Nashville Airport on pace to award $250M to small, minority and women-owned businesses

Nashville Airport’s “BNA Vision” will award nearly $250 million in contracts to small, minority and women owned businesses (SMWBEs) by the end of the overall expansion project in 2023.

The new Concourse D, which features 6 additional gates, already granted $55 million in contracts for SMWBEs as part of the airport’s ongoing commitment to diversity and economic inclusion. CEO Doug Kreulen credits significant guidance from the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce for helping to fuel that commitment.

“We’re a member of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Black Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and we set goals to try to mirror the Metropolitan service area for demographics,” says Kreulen. “Our Board of Commissioners has a diversity committee that looks at that breakdown on an annual basis.”

Right now, Kreulen says all of BNA’s Human Resources policies and procedure manuals are out or legal review based on new laws and guidance to make sure they are current. He says Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joe Woolley has been great at encouraging businesses to do the right thing, and their relationship has been a positive development for BNA.

BNA Vision Construction Overview Rendering

BNA has been a Platinum Level member of the Nashville LGBT Chamber for over a year. The Chamber says BNA joined at that level to show the commitment and dedication they have around diversity and inclusion and supplier diversity. Executive Director Joe Woolley says their organization has been working to connect its members to opportunities to do business with the airport for several years.

“We continue to work with BNA to recognize LGBT certified businesses in their procurement and contracting,” says Woolley. “After Metro Nashville did this in February of 2019, it has given other organizations the direction and information to do the same. We look forward to making this official soon with the Nashville Airport Authority.”

Woolley says the Chamber has also worked with BNA to create inclusive and welcoming policy in regards to employment and workplace, and that BNA has always been open to hearing about changes and improvements to those policies and supporting employees to bring their whole self to work.

“This is in large part due to the leadership at the airport,” says Woolley. “CEO Doug Kruelen leads by example and believes in diversity and inclusion and does the things needed to make it successful. It is important to have that belief at the top to make it happen across the company. He has assembled a team that strives to make BNA open and accepting for everyone.”

One way the LGBTQ+ community feels welcomed to the airport that wasn’t even planned is the multicolor levels of the new parking garage and the lighting that goes with it. The NLGBTCC says they hear from and see so many visitors post about the beautiful PRIDE rainbow at the airport. Kreulen had previously remarked that while it was just a way to remember the floor you parked on, he was happy people were seeing it like that and felt welcome.

You can learn more about BNA’s goals and opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses by clicking HERE.

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