San Antonio (June 29, 2023) – San Antonio International Airport (SAT), Whataburger and Super Bien are the recipients of three prestigious awards announced at the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) Business of Airports Conference Awards on Wednesday in Scottsdale, Arizona.

ACI-NA named SAT the Medium Hub Inclusion Champion. The trade association, which represents commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, recognized SAT’s Business Opportunity & Diversity Development (BODD) team for implementing several sustainable practices to achieve its inclusivity goals, including:

  • Outreach and engagement with subcontractors
  • The creation of an informative, practical manual that explains the requirements of working within a secure environment on airport property
  • Providing presentations on what to expect when working on an airfield

“Diversity, equity and inclusion efforts are integral parts of SAT’s workforce culture,” said Jesus Saenz, Director of Airports, San Antonio Airport System (SAAS). “We connect with firms that may have language barriers to present the benefits of becoming certified as a Small, Minority, Women-owned Business Enterprise (S/M/WBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE).”

SAT’s recruiting team is committed to targeting a diverse pool of applicants, such as

military veterans, second-chance employment candidates and those seeking entry-level positions. In 2021, this resulted in the hiring or promotion of 114 employees – with more than 50 percent being minorities.

Whataburger, which opened at SAT last summer by food and beverage concessionaire, Paradies Lagardère, was named Best New National Brand Concept. Paradies Lagardère was also honored with the Best Employee Recognition/Culture Award.

Super Bien, located in Terminal A near Whataburger, was named the Best New Food and Beverage Quick-Service Concept. Legendary local Chef Johnny Hernandez’s Tex-Mex restaurant opened in November in a joint venture with global restaurateur HMSHost.

“It’s long been a mission of SAT, HMSHost and mine to offer travelers quick, fresh, delicious, chef-driven, local fare the moment they land in San Antonio. Food in this United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City of Gastronomy should always taste ‘Super Bien’ – and it does,” Hernandez said.

Jennifer Mills Pysher, Chief Commercial Officer and Technology Assistant Director, SAAS, applauded Super Bien and Hernandez.

“Chef Johnny’s culinary skills are known around the world,” Mills Pysher said. “This third restaurant of his at SAT has been the perfect partnership to showcase San Antonio’s flavor and culture to millions of travelers.”

ACI-NA President and CEO, Kevin M. Burke, said SAT’s commitment to building a stronger airport industry is inspiring.

“Airports know that they can’t do it all on their own. It takes a strong, diverse and inclusive mix of workers, partners and businesses to provide a safe, comfortable and efficient passenger experience,” said Burke. “SAT has implemented numerous programs related to business operations, workforce development and community outreach to ensure the best possible outcomes both for travelers and employees – along with new opportunities for many individuals and small businesses.”

For more information, please visit the airport’s website.


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