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June 2013

Commerce Hub at DIA


  The DIA Commerce Hub

The DIA Commerce Hub is a resource designed to increase oppor-tunity for the local business community by providing educational programs, prime engagement, and business development, with the goal of winning airport contracts.

The Hub is an advocate for small businesses, championing efforts that improve policy, increase access, and position firms to bid on projects across all aviation departments. The Hub directly assists external business customers who require training, guidance, tactical support, and mentoring to meet DIA, city, and federal requirements for gaining ACDBE or DBE certification.

Commerce Hub at DIA

Since its opening in October 2011, the Hub has provided technical assistance to more than 500 existing and aspiring firms seeking aviation opportunities at DIA. In 2012, the Hub participated in and hosted numerous business outreach events, provided educational workshops, and continues to host a monthly conversation in concert with entrepreneurs currently working with DIA. Additionally, Hub leadership has addressed community policy concerns and established a pipeline of local, small, and minority businesses that are competitive in the DIA business environment.

Contributions include:

  • Six awards to new ACDBE businesses.
  • Professional service awards to multiple companies in technology, construction, marketing, engineering, and architectural design.
  • Matching more than 150 DBEs with DIA concessionaires to work on tenant finish opportunities.
  • Expanding the pool of certified firms by nearly 100.



Tuskegee Breifing
Tuskegee Airmen are shown at a briefing session in Ramitelli, Italy, March 1945. Courtesy of the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress; LC-DIG ppmsca-13259.


  Tuskegee Airmen Honored at DIA

Many an American World War II bomber pilot or gunner was heartened by the sight of fighter aircraft with red tails accompanying them on a sortie.

These crimson tailed aircraft belonged to the extraordinary flyer unit called the Tuskegee Airmen. Bomber crews knew they had a better chance to complete their missions when the red tails appeared to protect them from attacking enemy planes.

African-American pilots, bombardiers, navigators, and ground crews—segregated from the white units in the U.S. Army Air Corps—were schooled at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and became known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

At the dedication of a new exhibit at Denver International Airport, the Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones local chapter of the national Tuskegee Airmen Inc. honored Colorado men documented as original Tuskegee Airmen.

Airmen at DIA
The Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones local chapter of the national Tuskegee Airmen Inc. opened a new exhibit at DIA that honors 19 Colorado men documented as original Tuskegee Airmen. Present for the ceremony were four Tuskegee Airmen (left to right in red jackets): 2nd Lt. Franklin Macon, Capt. Samuel C. Hunter, Jr., James E. Randall, and Cadet Randolph “Randy” Edwards. Chapter officials also unveiled new highway signs renaming Interstate 70 in Colorado to “Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail.” Holding the sign is Angela Williams, state representative for District 7, and standing between Randall and Edwards is Heather Barry, director of business affairs and external relations at DIA.

All of the 19 honorees are represented in the exhibit with a poster-size biography illustrated with a photograph taken when they were in active service. The biographies are mounted on display cases, and within some of the cases are memorabilia from the airmen’s active service in the Army Air Corps or, later, the U.S. Air Force.

The exhibit honors the following Colorado Tuskegee Airmen (listed with military ranks):

Maj. Warren D. Alexander
Lt. Col. Richard L. Biffle, Jr.
Maj. Omar O. Blair
Flight Officer Lawrence A. Brown
Cadet Randolph “Randy” Edwards
Maj. James Harrison
Lt. Col. James H. Harvey III
Capt. Samuel C. Hunter, Jr.
Col. Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones
2nd Lt. Franklin Macon
Chief Master Sgt. Julius D. “JD” Mason
Lt. Col. John E. Mosley, Jr.
Col. Fitzroy “Buck” Newsum
James E. Randall
Lt. Col. Marion Raymond Rodgers
Lt. Col. Clarence Shivers
1st Lt. David A. Smith
Tech. Sgt. William A. Walters
Chief Master Sgt. Livingston Williams

Of these 19 original Tuskegee Airmen, Edwards, Harvey, Hunter, Macon, Mosley, Randall, and Rodgers are still living, and all except Harvey, Rodgers, and Mosley (who grew up in Denver), were able to attend the ceremony.

The original flight helmets (leather or canvas) of several airmen can be seen in the exhibit, as well as a piece of army luggage, a first-aid kit, student workbook, and other items. Lt. Col. Biffle’s medals and Capt. Hunter’s uniform are displayed.
At the ceremony, chapter officials unveiled new highway signs renaming Interstate 70 in Colorado to “Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail.” This special recognition of the Tuskegee Airmen is part of a nationwide effort to create a lasting memorial to our nation’s celebrated heroes.

Display Case
A new exhibit honoring Colorado’s Tuskegee Airmen is located on Level 5 of Jeppesen Terminal near baggage claim for Southwest Airlines.

All Tuskegee Airmen were award the Congressional Medal of Honor in 2007. President George W. Bush saluted them and said, “These men in our presence felt a special sense of urgency. They were fighting two wars. One was in Europe and the other took place in the hearts and minds of our citizens.”





Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs on B Gates.
  Denver International’s Small Business Initiatives Build on Successes

Denver International Airport is building on its programs to provide a jump-start for small businesses looking to get into airport concessions. The DIA Commerce Hub works with minority, local, and small businesses to help position firms to bid on opportunities at DIA.

Dunkin DonutsThe Denver City Council recently approved three new contracts that will bring Dunkin’ Donuts, Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs, and Wetzel’s Pretzels to the airport early next year. The airport Dunkin’ Donuts will be among the first new Colorado locations for the Massachusetts-based company, while Wetzel’s Pretzels will expand its Colorado presence to DIA. Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs will bring a popular local restaurant to the airport for the first time.

Each of the opportunities has a 40-percent Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (ACDBE) goal. The federal ACDBE program is designed to ensure that disadvantaged business owners can compete fairly for concession opportunities and is tied to federal funding for airports.

Dunkin’ Donuts is being brought to DIA by Denver Concession Group, LLC with ACDBE partner Dennis DeLongchamp. The donut shop will be located on the A concourse.

Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs, soon to have a location at DIA, is a partnership venture between LS Travel Retail and ACDBE-certified Keith Montoya (Partners@DEN). The original Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs opened on East Colfax Avenue in 2006. Since then, it has been voted “Best Hot Dogs in Denver” for six years in a row. At DIA, the restaurant will be dine-in but will feature take-out options and a large bar offering beer on-tap.

Wetzel's PretzelsConcessions International, which has partnered with Muluye Hailemariam as its ACDBE participant, will be operating a franchise of Wetzel’s Pretzels, headquartered in Pasadena, Calif.

Two of the three ACDBE operators are new to the program, developing their respective new opportunities after getting their start through another Denver International program designed to open doors to the airport for small businesses: the airport’s Retail Merchandising Unit (RMU) program, which consists of a collection 38 carts and kiosks throughout the airport and provides a starting point for people looking to get into airport concessions. In 2012, the RMU program, generated a total of approximately $11 million in gross sales.

“For a small, minority business owner, Denver International Airport’s RMU program provided an unprecedented opportunity to become an airport concessionaire at the very lowest barrier to entry,” Montoya said. “I was able learn from airport business leaders and from other concessionaires about how to do business at the airport. It was an invaluable starting point to partner on a full-scale concession.”


  Rolling Owner Controlled Insurance Program



Twenty-four airport capital improvement projects— including new construction, maintenance, and renovation within DIA’s “airside” and “landside” areas—have been identified to participate in a Rolling Owner Controlled Insurance Program (ROCIP). These projects span the years 2013 to 2016 and have a total projected construction value of $274.9 million.

Denver International Airport, through the ROCIP, will provide insurance for the contractors, with coverage for worker’s compensation, general liability, excess liability (up to $200 million), and other risks. Contractors will still be required to provide all offsite insurance, plus professional and automobile coverage.

When submitting bids, contractors (and their subcontractors) must exclude normal costs for insurance from their quotes for cost of work. All contractors must also make sure that insurance costs as provided under the ROCIP are not included in the contractor’s bid or proposal for the work, in the contract price/contract sum, and will not be included in any change order or any request for payment.

Companies must enroll in the program and must submit their monthly payrolls on time. With the ROCIP, contractors and subcontractors will be required to have all of their employees undergo drug testing and attend a two-hour orientation. DIA pays for both, so the only expense is paid time for employees to attend.

In addition to all federal, state, and local regulations, the contractor and subcontractors of any tier must comply with ROCIP Safety Manual provisions. They must have a qualified safety representative approved by the DIA Safety Team. At least two weeks before the project begins, the contractor must submit a site-specific safety plan for review and approval. The DIA Safety Team will oversee project safety and will inspect construction sites frequently.

Advantages of a ROCIP:

  • Locked-in insurance rates for three years (worker’s compensation and general liability rates are increasing a minimum of 5 percent a year)
  • Better supervision of construction safety because DIA Risk Management will be responsible for the safety program
  • More disadvantaged business participation because insurance barriers for small and emerging contractors are removed
  • Broader protection, higher liability limits, and more reliable coverage
  • Non-cancellable coverage, except for nonpayment, fraud, or failure to implement reasonable safety provisions
  • Reduced cross-suits and litigation expenses because there is only one insurer and one broker; all parties’ interests are aligned financially and legally
  • Upfront premium savings through economy of scale discounts
  • Premium refunds for proactive safety and claims management efforts

Contractor and subcontractor advantages of a ROCIP:

  • Free quarterly OSHA safety-training workshops
  • A level playing field because insurance costs are not included in bids

Construction workers on South Terminal Project.
  “Contractor Conversations” Comes to the Commerce Hub

DIA construction contractors John Meza and Juan Alvidrez proposed the idea of sharing lessons learned to DIA Business Liaison Alicia Avila. Commerce Hub Director Heather Barry, made this vision happen with her commitment to support their philosophy and goals.

The first Contractor Conversations meeting was held in May at DIA. The conversations regarding the contractor experience at DIA are intended to be casual and informative, supporting efforts to succeed as projects progress. The May meeting was led by Meza and Alvidrez. Fifteen current DIA construction-related firms attended, participating in positive conversations and sharing ideas and business acumen.

Edweena Gilmore, vice president of Gilmore Construction, attended Contractor Conversations and thanked the Commerce Hub for hosting these meetings. “It was a great meeting,” she wrote, “and I will see you at the next one”. Many other positive comments were expressed, and all participants are looking forward to the next conversation opportunity on Thursday, July 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the DIA WorldPort building.

Heather Barry will receive any ideas to support the success of current DIA contractors and, if necessary, will elevate the ideas to appropriate DIA divisions for discussion and support. For information on Contractor Conversations, please call Alicia Avila, DIA business liaison, at (303) 342-2346.



  This Month in Aviation History
  • On June 4, 1783, the Montgolfier brothers, in France, launched the first public balloon flight.
  • Elisabeth Thible, a Frenchwoman, was the first woman to make a balloon flight. Her flight was on June 4, 1784.
  • Capt. John Alcock and Lt. Arthur Whitten Brown, British World War I fighters, made the first nonstop transatlantic flight from St. Johns Newfoundland to Clifden, Ireland, on June 15 and 16, 1919. They accomplished the 1,900-mile trip in 16 hours, 12 minutes flying a Vickers Vimy bomber, powered by two Rolls Royce engines.
  • Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman to receive a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale pilot’s license. The date was June 15, 1921.
  • On June 28 and 29, 1927, Albert Hegenberger and Lester Maitland accomplished the first nonstop crossing of a portion of the Pacific Ocean—from Oakland, Calif., to Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Wiley Post and Harold Gatty completed the first circumnavigation of the world by a lone aircraft June 23 through July 1, in 1931. Post later was killed, and Will Rogers along with him, when his plane crashed in Alaska.
  • The Gossamer Albatross human-powered aircraft crossed the English Channel on June 13, 1979. It was flown by Bryan Allen, who made the trip in 2 hours, 55 min.
Connecting Businesses to Opportunities
Contact & Office Location

DIA Commerce Hub Office Location
Jeppesen Terminal, Level 6, West

Open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(303) 342-2351
E-mail: DIACommerceHub@flydenver.com

Commerce Hub



City & County of Denver Department of Aviation
8500 Peña Boulevard | Denver, Colorado U.S.A. | 80249-6340


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