Press Releases

September 16, 2020

HMSHost Recognized For Diversity Practices and Honored with 2020 Inclusion Champion Award by Airports Council International of North America

BETHESDA, Md. (September 16, 2020) – Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, recognized global restaurateur HMSHost with the 2020 Associate Inclusion Champion Award. Every year ACI-NA honors one company for its successful leadership and achievement in the ongoing inclusion of business and workforce diversity, as well as outreach and advocacy. Nominees are considered for their leadership around demonstrated inclusion work, employment diversity, positive inclusive business mentoring practices, and programs to further develop aviation industry professionals.  This award is a tribute to the 120 Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) partners that have been mentored by HMSHost.

“We are extremely honored to be recognized by ACI-NA with the Associate Inclusion Champion Award which showcases our commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion throughout our business and employment practices,” said HMSHost President and CEO Steve Johnson. “This recognition comes at such an important time when it is imperative that we prioritize unity and diversity for the future growth and success of the industry. This award is dedicated to our ACDBE partners who are navigating through the most challenging times our industry has ever faced. Together we persevere.”

“Empowering minority- and women-owned businesses is a part of the good work the airport industry engages in each year to increase diversity and inclusion,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “This year’s Inclusion Champion Award recipients are a strong showing of successful outreach and advocacy to promote business opportunities and develop a workforce that is reflective of the people we serve.  We applaud HMSHost as this year’s winner and look forward to continuing this important work for many years to come.”


HMSHost advocates for diversity not only through its existing 120 ACDBE partnerships, but also by implementing comprehensive programs to target local organizations and businesses through direct outreach, advertising campaigns, and an informal mentor protégé program to help guide promising suppliers and entrepreneurs. As an extension to HMSHost’s commitment to expand its inclusionary business efforts, HMSHost onboarded more M/WBE General Contractors into its partner portfolio including Chicago’s Bowa Construction which became one of the first 100% African American owned general contractors, building restaurants in Chicago O’Hare International Airport.


In 2019, BBIPOC (black, brown, indigenous, people of color) comprised 70% of the workforce, 58% of supervisors and managers are BBIPOC.  Women represent 61% of the total population and 58% of all supervisors and managers are women. Such diverse representation also extends to the C-suite with more than 60% of senior executive staff representing minorities and women.

Working for inclusion at all levels of employment; the company launched the HMSHost Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) to support the professional advancement of women by providing networking opportunities, increasing visibility in the workplace, and delivering leadership training that enhances personal and professional growth opportunities.

HMSHost Leading the Industry
HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the leader in travel dining with awards such as Restaurateur with the Highest Regard for Customer Service and Best Brand Restaurateur for Shake Shack by Airport Experience News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards gave first place honors to both of HMSHost’s Whisky River locations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.  ACI-NA, the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, recognized HMSHost with the 2020 Associate Inclusion Champion Award, for leadership and achievement in the ongoing inclusion of business and workforce diversity, outreach, and advocacy. The company also creates original award-winning events and campaigns including Airport Restaurant MonthChannel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, 1,000 Acts of Kindness, and Eat Well. Travel Further. 

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and at more than 80 travel plazas in North America.  HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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