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Awards and Recognition
ACI-NA has a rich history of recognizing best practices and individuals through its awards programs. Here is background information about each.
As ACI-NA’s most prestigious award, the William E. Downes Jr. Memorial Award is the namesake of Bill Downes, the former commissioner of aviation for the City of Chicago from 1959 to 1975.
The Downes Award Committee is currently seeking nominations for the 2017 Downes Award, which will be presented at the 2017 ACI-NA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Fort Worth, TX in September.
The deadline for nomination submission is April 19, 2017.
The eligible nominee must meet at least one of the following criteria. The nominee shall have provided in his or her career:
- Outstanding leadership and action in the cause of Airport or Aviation Management; or,
- Successful work for acceptance, development and support of needed airport programs; or,
- Fostering of cooperation among various segments of aviation, with the result of bettering airports; or
- A creative approach to solving today’s problems with a plan for future airport and aviation development.
Any person is eligible for this award provided they are not recognized as an active Official Representative by Airports Council International-North America.
Accomplishments of primary importance to the William E. Downes, Jr. Award Selection Committee include those made in the field of airport management in the U.S. and Canada. However, individuals from other organizations including a governmental body, private industry, academic institution or private citizen, and in other ACI regions, are eligible for recognition provided such accomplishments had a significant and outstanding positive impact on airports or aviation.
- 2016 Honoree: Louis E. Miller, Salt Lake City International Airport, Tampa International Airport, and the City of Atlanta Department of Aviation.
- View past winners
The ACI-NA Excellence in Concessions Contest honors the contributions of Richard A. Griesbach, whose influence on the commercial development of airports extended far beyond his employment with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. At the 10th annual awards ceremony in 2007, the category of Concessions Person of the Year was added.
The purpose of the ACI-NA Excellence in Airport Concessions Contest is to inspire creativity in the industry and to recognize innovative and outstanding airport concessions. These awards help to demonstrate the growing importance of concessions to the total airport experience.
One airport will receive the ‘Griesbach Overall Award of Excellence’. To be eligible, an airport member must submit entries in both Best Food & Beverage Program and Best Retail/Specialty Program categories.
In June 2008, the Marketing and Communications Committee launched the Ted Bushelman Legacy Award for Creativity and Excellence to be presented at the annual ACI-North America Marketing & Communications Conference. The award is named for its first recipient, Ted Bushelman, who served as Senior Director of Communications, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport for 40 years.
The award will go to an individual nominated and selected by his or her peers in the airport industry. This special award recognizes the values, accomplishments and creativity of airport marketing and communications professionals who also share those talents and contribute to the legacy of professionalism experienced throughout our meetings and programs. The Committee reserves the right to withhold the award any year when there are not suitable nominees.
The following criteria will be used as guidance when selecting an award winner. The recipient of this award must have a minimum of 15 years experience in one or more of the disciplines represented by the Marketing and Communications Committee. Those disciplines include:
- media relations
- community relations
- aviation education
- customer service
- marketing, and
- air service development
In addition, the individual who is selected must have a record of demonstrating his or her skills, expertise, and professionalism in some or all of the following areas:
- Promotes the professionalism of the marketing and communications disciplines within the airport industry;
- Has a history of generating and embracing new ideas to promote and support his or her airport’s programs and services;
- Actively shares his or her knowledge and experience with other marketing and communications professionals within the airport industry;
- Participates in the ACI-NA Marketing and Communications Committee and attends its programs; and
- Promotes the importance, and advances the understanding, of airports and aviation within the broader community.
- 2008 - Ted Bushelman, Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport
- 2009 - Michael Conway, Detroit Metropolitan Airport
- 2010 - Jerry Staples, Halifax International Airport
- 2011 - Tara Hamilton, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
- 2012 - Patricia Rowe, Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport
- 2013 - Not awarded
- 2014 - Lucinda Harshman, Pittsburgh International Airport
- 2015 - Carolyn Fennell, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
- 2016 - Dickie Davis, Miami International Airport
The Excellence in Airport Communications Contest has been in existence since 1990. The Airports Council International-North America’s Marketing & Communications Committee sponsors this annual competition. This contest allows ACI-NA to recognize the quality of work, abundance of talent, and creativity within the marketing and communications field of the airport industry.
The Excellence in Airport Marketing, Communications, and Customer Service Awards honors airport professionals that offer expertise and talent in a variety of categories including web site design, annual reports, newsletters, advertising campaigns, special event planning and more.
A major component of the contest is the judges’ selection of the recipient of the Peggy G. Hereford Excellence in Communications Award. This award symbolizes overall achievement in an airport’s marketing and public relations programs, honoring the creativity and effectiveness of the airport’s staff.
Vancouver Airport Authority is the 2015 Peggy G. Hereford Excellence in Communications Award recipient. Click here to view a full list of winners from the 2015 Excellence in Airport Marketing, Communications, and Customer Service Awards on November 10, 2015 in Nashville, TN.
2016 winners will be announced at the ACI-NA Marketing & Communications Conference Awards Gala Dinner in Salt Lake City, UT November 2 - November 4, 2016.
Click here for complete details and eligibility requirements. The contest website will be open for submissions June 21 - August 31, 2016.
The ACI-NA Inclusion Champion Awards celebrate the proactive and innovative steps taken by a large, medium and small/non hub airport(s) and one WBP/ Associate Member company, for their successful leadership and achievement in the inclusion of new diverse business, workforce diversity, outreach and advocacy. This unique opportunity encourages our industry to recognize the practices of three airports and a WBP/ Associate Member company that demonstrate a commitment to diversity in aviation. Nominees for these four awards must have demonstrated a body of inclusionary work, not just a single program and/or project.
Nominations for the 2017 Inclusion Champion Awards are now open.
One award will be given in each of the four categories: large hub airport, medium hub airport, small/non-hub airport and WBP/Associate Member. All award winners will be ineligible for re-nomination three years after winning the award.
The eligible airports must demonstrate commitment in the following three categories:
Business Inclusion: The airport must demonstrate sustained practices that result in positive participation of diverse and small businesses in relation to overall procurements. Opportunities should include concessions, construction, design, suppliers and professional services. Participation must represent diverse businesses including: Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE); minority-owned business enterprises; woman-owned business enterprises; Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE); and Small Business Enterprises (SBE). Nominations should also demonstrate and quantify the economic impact of this participation.
Workforce Inclusion: The airports will be scored on the success of its employment practices that demonstrate inclusion and diversity including but not limited to: strategic recruitment efforts; inclusionary hiring practices; organizational cultural diversity education; and awareness training (i.e. implicit bias, generational differences, ADA, etc.) that demonstrate inclusion of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and gender diversity of workforce at all levels, including senior management.
Outreach: The airports will be scored on the success of its outreach programs to promote inclusion of all individuals and businesses including but not limited to: partnering with advocacy educational institutions; vocational programs; colleges and universities in its geographic areas to encourage the inclusion of future aviation industry professionals; and businesses. Describe your outreach programs where you have engaged the community, and supported the development, growth and capacity building of small and diverse firms.
The eligible WBP/Associate Member company must demonstrate commitment in following three categories:
Business Inclusion: The WBP/Associate Member company must demonstrate sustained practices that result in positive participation of diverse and small businesses in relation to the overall procurement of the company. Opportunities should include concessions, construction, design, supplies and professional services. Participation must represent diverse businesses including: Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE); minority-owned business enterprises; woman-owned business enterprises; Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE); and small business enterprises. Nominees should also demonstrate and quantify the economic impact of this participation.
Workforce Inclusion: The WBP/Associate Member company will be scored on their engagement, leadership and participation in the efforts to implement and/or sustain successful employment practices that demonstrate inclusion and diversity at all levels, including senior management. The program will be scored based on recruitment, development and retention practices that demonstrate inclusion of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and gender diversity of workforce.
Outreach: The WBP/Associate Member company must demonstrate commitment to the communities it serves, in ways that enhance professional and business development, and promotion of the future growth and diversity in the aviation industry profession, especially with advocacy and in educational institutions, vocational programs, colleges and universities in its geographic area. The WBP/Associate Member company will be evaluated on their contribution to the organizational practice of inclusion through outreach efforts, and partnering with individuals and businesses with the intent to enhance their development in the aviation industry.
Large Hub Airport – Miami-Dade Aviation Department
Medium Hub Airport – Indianapolis Airport Authority
Small Hub Airport – Jackson Municipal Airport Authority
WBPs/Associates – MarketPlace Development
Large Hub Airport - Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Medium Hub Airport -Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority
Small Hub Airport –- Columbia Metropolitan Airport
WBPs/Associates – Hudson Group
Large Hub Airport - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Medium Hub Airport -Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
WBPs/Associates – HMS Host
Airport – San Diego International Airport
WBPs/Associates – Hudson Group
Since 1997, ACI-NA has granted Environmental Achievement Awards to recognize its airport members that strive to protect and preserve the environment through their programs, initiatives and projects. Established by the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee, the annual Awards acknowledge the hard work and achievements of ACI-NA members by promoting awareness more broadly within the airport community, the general public and regulators of the many notable and innovative efforts being undertaken by environmental professionals at airports.
Environmental and planning staffs at our airports deserve recognition for their efforts in developing and implementing programs that protect the environment while keeping their airport’s projects on schedule, minimizing community and regulatory controversy and using creative means of maximizing overall cost-benefit.
Awards may be granted in the categories of environmental management, mitigation, outreach/education/community involvement, and special/innovative projects. Entries will be judged based on environmental benefit, innovation, effective implementation, widespread applicability, and cost effectiveness.
In 2014, the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee launched a new category within the Environmental Achievement Awards that recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the Committee. Winners of the “Peer Recognition for Outstanding Individual Contribution and Leadership” Award are nominated by their peers within the Committee and confirmed by Committee Leadership. The annual award will provide a special member “thank you” and encourage continued contribution to ACI-NA and the aviation industry.