Press Releases

Jan 26, 2023

HMSHost Appoints Shelby M. Scales Vice President, Strategic Alliances

Former AMAC President & CEO and Department of Transportation official will take the helm of global restaurateur’s industry-leading Strategic Alliances Program

BETHESDA, Maryland (Jan. 26, 2023) – Global restaurateur HMSHost, a world leader in creating dining for travel venues, today announces the appointment of Shelby M. Scales as Vice President, Strategic Alliances, effective Jan. 23, 2023. In this role, she will lead HMSHost’s relationships with Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) partners and other woman- and minority-owned businesses. Scales will work alongside HMSHost’s current Vice President of Strategic Alliances, Ron Gomes, until his retirement later this year.

“HMSHost has developed an award-winning, industry-leading strategic alliances program that champions over 100 minority partners generating nearly $500 million in revenue annually, and I cannot think of a more qualified and accomplished leader than Shelby Scales to take the helm of this incredibly important program,” said HMSHost President & CEO Steve Johnson. “Shelby has a deep passion for aviation and travel, and she is one of our industry’s strongest advocates for minority entrepreneurs. I am delighted she has elected to continue her distinguished career as part of HMSHost.”

Scales’ career in small business development and diversity inclusion spans 25 years, most recently as Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) for the U.S. Department of Transportation. She is the former Director of the Office of Civil Rights with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and served as President & CEO of the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC). Early in her career as the Small Business Program Officer for Raleigh-Durham International Airport, she began its Historically Underutilized Business Program serving minority- and women-owned businesses, as well as the Small Emerging Business Assistant Loan Program for airport concessionaires. Scales is the recipient of numerous honors, including recognition from the Federal Aviation Administration for her leadership in promoting improvements for DBE programs.

“I am honored to join the HMSHost team to continue the distinguished work with the many ACDBE partners throughout the country,” said Scales. “I look forward to building on the portfolio and supporting our strategy to provide the best brand in the industry.”

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. Additionally, ACI-NA awarded HMSHost the 2022 Excellence in Airport Concessions Award for the Best Employee Recognition Program. The company also creates original award-winning events and campaigns including Airport Restaurant Month, Channel 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 locations all over North America, and is part of Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information.