Paradies Lagardère firmly believes that the entrepreneurial spirit of local operators is a core driver of each airport’s concession program. Identifying companies who not only qualify for Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) certification, but also bring added strength to the retail program through exciting concepts, unique local sensitivity and strong business acumen, is at the cornerstone of our Business Diversity philosophy.

Paradies Lagardère launched two recognition programs for our ACDBE partners during the Airport Minority Advisory Council’s (AMAC) Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference in Houston in 2017. We recognize two ACDBE partners each year at AMAC with The Berta Banta Innovation Award and The Jethro Pugh Community Initiative Award, highlighting the best in business and philanthropic efforts among our partners.

The Berta Banta Innovation Award recognizes a Partner who changed, elevated or enhanced the traveler experience, or the success of the internal business operations, by introducing a new product or service; upgrading an existing product or service or; developing new innovations to existing products and services.

Berta Banta began her career in the travel industry with a travel agency and hotel gift shop in Fort Worth, Texas. She later began a partnership with Paradies Lagardère and opened several stores at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Banta was a founding member of the Hispanic Women’s Network; was awarded “Business Woman of the Year” multiple times; and served on several boards, including the Texas Workforce Commission, the Fort Worth Zoo, and Traveler’s Aid at DFW Airport. A scholarship managed by the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas is named after her, and continues her legacy of supporting and advocating for women entrepreneurs.

The Jethro Pugh Community Initiative Award recognizes a Paradies Lagardère ACDBE partner who has coordinated or executed an initiative or project on behalf of the Joint Venture partnership that has or will significantly benefit, improve or assist the quality of life for members of the communities surrounding the airports we serve.

Jethro Pugh was picked in the 11th round of the 1965 NFL Draft to play for the Dallas Cowboys, playing in four Super Bowls and winning two in 1972 and 1978. He retired in 1978 after playing 14 years with the Cowboys, the fourth-longest tenure in franchise history. Pugh, already planning for the day when he wasn’t playing football, asked the Cowboys to set aside money in a deferred compensation plan. He used the money to open a souvenir shop at DFW Airport in 1983. Pugh launched the Jethro Pugh Celebrity Golf Tournament in Dallas, which has raised to date more than $1 million in scholarship money for students attending historically-black colleges and universities through the United Negro College Fund.

Click here to learn more about our ACDBE partnerships.