Act with Vision

Signing the Airports Going Green Declaration

In 2016 we joined other leading airports at the Airports Going Green conference as an original signatory to the Airport Sustainability Declaration.

This work complements our work through the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition - recognized as one of the "Nine Sustainable Business Stories that Shaped 2016" by Harvard Business Review.

Metropolitan Airports Commission Chair, Dan Boivin, signs the Airports Sustainability Declaration during the 2016 Airports Going Green conference in Amsterdam.

Employees who Exemplify Acting with Vision

Liz Grzechowiak, assistant director concessions & business development, loves hospitality, customer service, and the opportunity to engage people while having a positive impact on their mood. Coupling that background with her passion for the Twin Cities' culture - including arts, dining, and small business - Liz and her team are developing a concessions program at MSP that balances familiar, national brands with a myraid of local brands to provide travelers diverse offerings.
In 2015, Liz threw herself and her team into creating a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for MSP that provided an environment that allowed anyone who was interested in doing business at the airport to have equal access to information and opportunities.
The RFP process can be a time- and resource-consuming process for proposers. Liz understood that local businesses would face unique challenges when contemplating transferring their business concepts from street side to MSP. To address this, Liz and her team created a process that provided transparency into the nature of operating at the airport. Local businesses were able to determine whether or not submitting an RFP would be worth their investment. In the end, more local businesses submitted RFPs than in years past, and 18 were selected - including one local restaurant whose airport location has done three times the business as its larger, street-side location!
If you had asked me if I ever thought I had a shot at a least at MSP Airport, I would have thought you were a little crazy. I opened Republic at MSP on October 1, 2016 so I guess it was always a possibility after all!  A little over two years ago I began the process very open-minded knowing that the airport was looking to represent good, local brands. I attended every possible meeting and learned as much as I could about how to position my brand into being awarded a lease. It's been such a positive and rewarding experience for me, and I'm happy to be a part of the program and changes that have been made at MSP.

-Matty O'Reilly, owner, Republic
In 2016 and 2017, under Liz's leadership, 50 new retail and restaurant concepts opened at MSP, leading to two 2017 Airports Council International-North America awards: Best Airport Retail Program of any Large Airport in North America and Best New Food and Beverage in the quick-serve category for locally-owned Angel Food Bakery and Donut Bar.
As the next phase of the concessions renovations process gets underway, Liz continues to focus on infusing creativity for the long-term so that we're achieving our vision of providing your best airport experience.

At the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), our vision is to provide your best airport experience - and when we say "your", we mean everyone's. Leading the charge on accessibility at MSP is Phil Burke, director of MSP operations. 
As a 16-year MAC employee, and a member of the Minneapolis Advisory Committee on People with Disabilities, Phil Burke is passionate about making travel accessible to all. He credits his staff, who oversee day-to-day operations at MSP, with allowing him the space to identify both challenges and opportunities that have the possibility of pushing MSP to a higher level in accessible travel. Through Phil's leadership, MSP is participating in a two-year pilot project on wayfinding for visually impaired travelers. In the pilot, a portion of MSP will be GPS-mapped and a smartphone app will transmit surrounding, distance, and location information to those travelers.
In 2013 Phil supported the launch of the Navigating MSP program for individuals with special needs and their families, and in 2014 formed the Travelers with Disabilities Advisory Committee (TDAC), building on an existing relationship with the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans. TDAC members - including representatives from Gillette Children's Hospital, Open Doors, Delta Air Lines, and the Transportation Security Administration - work to identify problems that impede travelers with disabilities and solutions to address them. 
One result of TDAC's work is ensuring braille readers have access to signs depicting the layout of each restroom as part of a multi-year MSP restroom remodel project.
"It's important that we treat all travelers equitably, fairly, and justly - it's the right thing to do," says Phil.
At the Transportation Security Administration, we're committed to treating the traveling public with dignity and respect. Phil's invitation to participate with TDAC has been an education and a partnership opportunity that means an awful lot to us. TDAC has become a very important part of our outreach to ensure those who may be concerned about security protocols at MSP, and thus may be hesitant to travel, have their concerns allayed prior to their travel date.

-Cliff Van Leuven, federal security director, TSA

Goal — Empower employees to advance innovative ideas, lead with confidence, and integrate sustainability into their work
2017 - 2021 Objectives:
  • Foster a culture of innovation and maintain tools that support a cohesive approach to implementation
  • Position each other for success through clarity of purpose, support, and empowerment
  • Establish a suite of sustainability engagement events for MAC employees

Host Sustainability Events to Engage our Employees
Our vision to infuse sustainability into everything we do won't come without hard work and engagement. We plan to continue our internal engagement efforts by offering a few different types of events throughout the year to best accommodate the variety of schedules, shifts, and accessibility to participate for our small city of employees. These events will celebrate, educate, and provide a connection forum for employees on the MAC's sustainability work!