Detroit Metropolitan Airport expands contracting opportunities for small and minority businesses

– Introduction of new diversity initiatives results in 300-fold increase
DETROIT (April 18, 2016) – In less than a year, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) has increased the number of certified small business enterprises (SBEs) by 321 percent. The significant jump is the result of a concerted effort to modify the airport’s procedures to expand the definition of an SBE and help more small businesses secure contracts. As a result, DTW’s Procurement Department has cross-certified 106 disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) as SBEs, providing them access to additional opportunities that would not have been within their reach a year ago.
The U.S. Department of Transportation DBE program is designed to provide small businesses, owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, a fair opportunity to compete for federally funded transportation contracts.
“The federal government encourages airports to support and maximize DBE opportunities, so our Procurement team took a creative, outside-the-box approach and exceeded expectations,” said Thomas Naughton, Airport Authority CEO. “We shifted our thinking from meeting targets to breaking down barriers.”
In July 2015, the Airport Authority had 80 SBEs. By March 2016, that number increased to nearly 340, including the cross-certified DBEs. The DBEs may now lawfully be treated as SBEs for non-federally funded contracts, leading to $8 million in new contracts awarded to DBEs since last summer.
“We took a three-pronged approach to modify our program,” said Samuel Nouhan, Airport Authority Vice President of Procurement. “Next week, our team will host the Airport Minority Advisory Council Great Lakes Regional Forum at DTW. During that conference, we’ll share with the participants how we enhanced our procurement process and procedures. Hopefully, we can inspire others and increase opportunities throughout the region.”
The forum, which runs April 20 – 21, 2016, will bring together airport operators, airline executives, government officials and contractors for professional development and networking.
Leslie Proll, Director of the Departmental Office of Civil Rights – Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, will deliver the keynote address on April 21. Her office enforces civil rights and labor laws, as well as coordinates oversight of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.
Other speakers include a variety of knowledgeable moderators and panelists.
Lori M. Ballard, President, Ballard Associates, LLC
Ron Evans, Deputy Director of Procurement, Wayne County Airport Authority
Shannetta Griffin P.E., Sr. Director of Planning & Development, Indianapolis Airport Authority
Sue Hall, Chairperson, Wayne County Airport Authority Board
Andy Ingraham, President & CEO, NABHOOD
Samuel Nouhan, Vice President of Procurement, Wayne County Airport Authority
Richard White, Former Airport Director
Roy A. Williams, President & CEO, Roy A. Williams Consulting
Tanya R. Allen, Partner & Vice President, HBF APU
Anthony Barnes, AMAC Membership Director
Juanita Britton, President, BZB International, Inc.
Jinny Bromberg, President, Bromberg & Associates, LLC
Joanne Brooks, Vice President & Counsel, The Surety and Fidelity Association of America
Rita Brown, President, BCC+ and Immediate Past President, National Association of  Women in Construction-Detroit 183
Linda Bruton, Linda Bruton Law, PLLC
Tarolyn Buckles, A.M. ASCE, President & CEO, Onyx Enterprises
Don Burden, Bonding Agent, Zervos Group, Inc.
Victoria Inniss Edwards, Director Human Relations Division, Wayne County Human Relations (MUCP)
Gabriela Garcia, Project Director – Great Lakes Region, Small Business Transportation Resource Center, USDOT
Ron Gomes, HMS Host
Ronald E. Hall Jr., President & CEO, Bridgewater Interiors, LLC & Secretary, Wayne County Airport Authority Board
Holli Harrington, Director of Supplier Diversity, Indianapolis Airport Authority
Marvin Jackson, Walsh Group
James Jacob, CEO, Ajax Paving Industries, Inc.
Debra Johnson, Contract & EEO Specialist, Minneapolis Saint Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission
John Lancaster, Director, Franchise Development – Emerging Markets, Choice Hotels International
Denise J. Lewis, Sr. Partner, Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP
Myrna Mendez, President, FWD Enterprises Consulting Services
Eric Mercado, C.M., ACE, Managing Director, Aviation Career Services
Thomas Naughton, CEO, Wayne County Airport Authority
Faye Northey, Sr. Solicitation Manager, Wayne County Airport Authority
Michael O’Sullivan, Director of Facilities, Design & Construction, Wayne County Airport Authority
Tonja Pastorelle, President, Pastorelle Marketing Group
Christine Poe, Vice President – Concrete/EEO Officer, Ajax Paving Industries, Inc.
Leslie Proll, Director of the Departmental Office of Civil Rights – Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
Benjamin Rababy, Vice President, United Concessions Group, Inc.
Jacki Reyes, Project Manager – Great Lakes Region, Small Business Transportation Resource Center, USDOT
Michael Roberts Sr., Owner, Roberts Riverwalk Hotel, Detroit
Robert Selig, President & CEO, Capital Region International Airport
Michelle Sexton, Rosales Law
Delora Hall Tyler, President & CEO, First Media Group
Sheila Udeozor, DBE/Drug & Alcohol Program Manager, Detroit Department of Transportation (MUCP)
Camille Walker-Banks, Executive Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Wayne State University
Susan Warner-Dooley, First Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation
Thomas Wickersham, President & CFO, Roncelli, Inc.
Ann Williams, Outreach Specialist, Michigan Department of Transportation (MUCP)
James Wilson, Delaware North Companies
On April 20, four Davis Aerospace Technical High School students will receive college scholarships during the AMAC Foundation Leadership Dinner. The next day, approximately 25 students from the school will participate in interactive sessions with airport, airline, concessions and federal security representatives followed by a tour of the airfield.
Online registration for the Great Lakes Regional Forum,, will end today at 3 p.m. ET. Onsite registration opens at noon April 20. For the full schedule of events, visit

MI Asian Staff
Author: MI Asian Staff