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Press Release

September 03, 2019

Paradies Lagardère Recognizes Two ACDBE Partners for Excellence

ATLANTA – Paradies Lagardère, a travel retail and restaurateur leader in North America, recognized two ACDBE partners with its ACDBE Partner Recognition Awards at the company’s annual partner meeting during the Airport Minority Advisory Council’s (AMAC) 35th Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference. The conference took place in Los Angeles, August 20 through 23.

Elliott Threatt, a long-term partner at Kansas City International Airport (KCI), received the Jethro Pugh Community Initiative Award. Lori and Courtney Ballard of Ballard Associates, LLC, partners at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), received the Berta Banta Innovation Award. The awards honor the memory of two of the company’s long-time ACDBE partners, Jethro Pugh and Berta Banta, and were presented to the 2019 recipients by Jethro’s son Trey, as well as Berta’s daughter Alyssa, both next generation ACDBE partners of Paradies Lagardère.


“Paradies Lagardère believes the entrepreneurial spirit of local operators, along with diversity, fresh ideas and local sensitivity, encourages effective business acumen and as a result, a strong airport concession program,” said Gregg Paradies, president and CEO, Paradies Lagardère. “The ACDBE Partner Recognition Awards acknowledges partners that embody the best of the best in our industry. Congratulations to Elliott, Lori and Courtney on this well-deserved recognition.”

Additional details:

The Jethro Pugh Community Initiative Award recognizes ACDBE partners who have coordinated or executed initiatives that have or will significantly benefit, improve or assist the quality of life for members of the communities surrounding the airports Paradies Lagardère serves. Elliott Threatt exemplifies the best of what our partners offer the communities they live and work in through his support of Kansas City. He earned this award through his community initiatives and work, including co-producing and hosting the Ad Hoc Against Crime Awards dinner, developing a program, Veterans Community Perk, which provides free coffee to homeless veterans in the Kansas City area, and volunteering and consulting for Thelma’s Kitchen, which allows customers to pay what they can, helping those struggling with food insecurity. The Veterans Community Perk program is currently being developed into a nationwide program.

The Berta Banta Innovation Award recognizes a Paradies Lagardère ACDBE Partner who changed, elevated or enhanced the traveler experience, or the success of local operations, by introducing a new product or service; upgrading an existing product or service or; developing new innovations to existing products and services. Lori and Courtney Ballard of Ballard Associates, LLC, are involved and committed partners at DTW. The team makes a huge impact through participation in airport initiatives that positively impact the organization. Lori, Courtney and their team assist in introducing new product lines that appeal to customers and create a sense of place at DTW. They’ve also developed tools and systems that help increase stock and accuracy. In 2019, Lori was part of a new initiative at DTW that’s now being executed throughout the entire organization that helps each platform to better manage weeks of supply, which in turn drives sales and profitability. Ballard Associates, LLC also participates in many community organizations, which makes Lori and her team not just innovators, but also leaders in the community.