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Sky's The Limit - BDD Blog

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 
2016 Business Taking Off


In April, the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) hosted its annual Business Taking Off event, which offers companies the opportunity to learn more about doing business with MNAA, ask questions and get answers about Small, Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprise (SMWBE) certification.


More than 250 local business owners and representatives attended this year's event and had the opportunity to learn about upcoming contracts and business opportunities at Nashville International and John C. Tune airports, as well as network with MNAA staff and other local businesses.


Our guests had the opportunity to interact with more than twenty local businesses at the Opportunity Fair and with MNAA leadership and staff.   One of the attendees had this to say:


"I want to take a quick second to offer a word of thanks. Following our conversation at the event Friday [Business Taking Off], I was able to coordinate with Mark Ausbrooks, and we've secured our first contract with MNAA. Mega thanks!"


MNAA recognized three advocate partners this year in its inaugural awards program.  Congratulations to each of the award recipients who have promoted, encouraged and stimulated participation of SMWBEs between the Airport Authority and the community we serve.  Award recipients included:


Floyd Crook, MNAA Director of Maintenance, awarded the Small Business Internal Advocate of the Year Award 


Atkins NA, awarded Large Business of the Year Award


L.I. Smith & Associates, Inc., awarded Small, Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise of the Year Award


To learn more about doing business with MNAA or how to qualify for SMWBE certification, please contact the MNAA Business Diversity Development Office at 615-275-1732 or or


Click here to view the full presentation from Business Taking Off.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 
Black History Month Music Series

We also launched the Black History Month Music Series at BNA as part of our celebration of Black History Month. The series spotlighted local bands and groups performing, commemorating and celebrating the sounds of the American Civil Rights Movement. We kicked off on Feb. 3 and featured a new performance each Wednesday throughout the month of February.


Travelers were treated to the amazing sounds of the Creative Soul Music Academy, Inversion, the Tennessee State University Choir and 4Given. All performances were free and open to the public on the Arts at the Airport stage at BNA.


The amazing performances drew in the Nashville community and passengers as the series highlighted one of the most important elements during marches, protest meetings and rallies—the music. MNAA has a longstanding tradition of inclusion and diversity in everything we do, and we were proud to showcase these iconic sounds and celebrate Black History Month at Nashville International Airport.



Thursday, February 11, 2016 
First in Flight: A Celebration of Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month, MNAA hosted a "First in Flight" luncheon and panel discussion in February with the first ever African-American, all-female flight crew who made history as they flew into Nashville International Airport from Atlanta in 2009.


The luncheon and panel was held at Meharry Medical College on Feb. 11, and convened more than 150 business and community leaders from across Nashville. NewsChannel 5 anchor Vicki Yates served as the moderator as attendees heard from the flight crew—Captain Rachelle Jones Kerr, First Officer Stephanie Grant and flight attendants Robin Rogers and Diana Galloway.


Through the discussion, each panelist described the gravity of that flight and the importance of the historic milestone. They also shared their personal paths to a career in aviation and encouraged students to chase their dreams.






















Visit WKRN News 2 and the Nashville Pride for additional coverage on the event. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015 
What Is a Disparity Study?
As you know, MNAA’s goal is to bring the spirit of Middle Tennessee to everything we do at the airports, which includes representing the region’s unique and diverse communities.
Next week, MNAA will release the results of a comprehensive, independently conducted disparity study that measures the effectiveness of our Small, Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprises (SMWBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) programs. Conducted by nationally-recognized Colette Holt & Associates, this study helps us to measure the effectiveness of our efforts and will help us further reduce any disparities in access to contracting opportunities based on race and gender.

Disparity studies are a common and important practice for programs like ours. They evaluate contracting data to measure the participation of available small, minority and woman-owned business enterprises within governmental agencies. Disparities exist when these firms are found to be underutilized in comparison to the proportion of available and capable firms in the region.
This study is a valuable tool that allows us to examine our processes and procedures and adjust as needed to ensure we continue to provide equal access to contracting opportunities at MNAA. That’s why we want to ensure our business partners and communities understand the results and how the data will help advance our SMWBE and DBE programs.
Plan to join us on June 30 at one of two community meetings to hear the results of our disparity study. Details below:

Thursday, June 11, 2015 
Business Taking Off 2015
In April, we hosted our annual Business Taking Off event, which offers companies the opportunity to learn more about doing business with MNAA, ask questions and get answers about Small, Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprise (SMWBE) certification.

More than 200 local business owners and representatives attended this year’s event and had the opportunity to learn about upcoming contracts and business opportunities at Nashville International and John C. Tune airports. This year’s roundtable layout allowed firms to network with key MNAA departments and other local businesses over breakfast in a comfortable and relaxed setting.
Additionally, we had 26 companies participate in the exhibitors’ fair. Attendees were able to visit informational booths and learn more about some of our best local firms from a number of industries. Participating in the exhibitors’ fair is always free, so be sure to reserve your booth early next year! 
We heard positive remarks from attendees on this year’s format and are already looking forward to an even bigger and better event next year.
The full Business Taking Off presentation, which includes upcoming FY16 contracting opportunities with MNAA, can be found here:
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 
Who are we?
We at the Business Diversity Development (BDD) office are here to help certified small, woman-owned, and disadvantaged businesses pursue contracting opportunities with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA). We offer a wide range of assistance through two different programs:  the Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (SMWBE) Program and the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.
Since 2002, the SMBWE Program has provided maximum opportunities for local small, minority and woman-owned business enterprises to participate in contracts, programs and all related business activities with MNAA. Our DBE program focuses on assisting disadvantaged business enterprises with economic participation in contracting opportunities created by financial assistance programs. Our goal is that these programs will promote, encourage and stimulate the participation of underrepresented businesses between MNAA and the community we serve.
So, what does that mean?
We’re here to provide opportunities and training that your business might not have access to otherwise. We want to ensure that your business has all the tools you need to succeed.
First, we help make the certification process as easy as possible. To obtain SMWBE or DBE certification, MNAA simply examines the ownership and control of your business – you provide us with the paperwork, and we’ll take care of the rest. Find the certification information here, and note that there is NO COST to become certified. The BDD office also monitors the compliance on locally and federally funded contracts.
Our office will help your business make connections throughout the industry by serving as a networking resource – we will provide referrals to other governmental agencies, and we connect businesses with prime contractors to provide subcontracting opportunities to those underutilized in their area of specialty. Our office also serves as the liaison between SMWBE/Disadvantage firms and Airport Authority staff.
In addition to helping with formalities and networking, we are here to educate. We provide resources that we believe cover the essentials of business operations. We offer a Mentor/Protégé program, a course that provides businesses with classroom-style training on topics including bonding, operations and succession planning, and an Emerging Contractor program, which provides businesses with one-on-one technical assistance. We also host an annual seminar, “Business Taking Off”, which allows companies to learn more about doing business with MNAA. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers regarding SMWBE certification.
Contact any of these staff members with questions, to learn more or begin the certification process!
Davita Taylor – Director: (615) 275-1468
Amy Castro - Coordinator: (615) 275-1732  
Kebbyn Connell - Certification Specialist: (615) 275-1755
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Welcome and prepare for takeoff!
Welcome to the Office of Business Diversity Development’s (BDD) new blog!
If you are new to working with Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA), you might be wondering who we are and what we do. In a nutshell, the BDD office serves as a liaison to historically underrepresented businesses looking to partner with MNAA on contracting opportunities. From contract support to business networking to community outreach, we provide a variety of services through two primary initiatives—the Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (SMWBE) program and Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) program. 
Our goal for this blog is to keep you informed of these programs and updated to ensure you have the tools needed to succeed. Additionally, we’re extending our outreach to include social media. If you follow Nashville International Airport’s page on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll soon see the #BDD hashtag accompanying any posts pertaining to our work. Keep an eye out for this as we’ll be including this in tweets and posts with news concerning our business diversity efforts.
If you have any questions or topics you would like to see addressed, feel free to email us at, and we’ll do our best to address them. We’re looking forward to your thoughts and feedback as we roll this out, but we hope this blog will be informative and beneficial to all. The sky’s the limit!