Interview with E & K Retail. INC Owner Elliot Threatt

Travel retail firm Paradies Lagardère has recognized two Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) partners for excellence.

The company’s ACDBE Partner Recognition Awards took place at its annual partner meeting during the Airport Minority Advisory Council’s (AMAC) 35th Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference.
Elliott Threat, a long-term partner at Kansas City International Airport (KCI), received the Jethro Pugh Community Initiative Award. Lori and Courtney Ballard of Ballard Associates, partners at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), received the Berta Banta Innovation Award. The awards honor the memory of two of the company’s long-time ACDBE partners, Jethro Pugh and Berta Banta, and were presented to the 2019 recipients by Jethro’s son Trey and Berta’s daughter Alyssa, both next-generation ACDBE partners of Paradies Lagardère.

The Jethro Pugh Community Initiative Award recognizes ACDBE partners who have coordinated or executed initiatives that have or will significantly benefit, improve or assist the quality of life for members of the communities surrounding the airports Paradies Lagardère serves. Elliott Threatt won the award for his community initiatives and work, including co-producing and hosting the Ad Hoc Against Crime Awards dinner, developing a program, Veterans Community Perk, which provides free coffee to homeless veterans in the Kansas City area, and volunteering and consulting for Thelma’s Kitchen, which allows customers to pay what they can, helping those struggling with food insecurity. The Veterans Community Perk program is currently being developed into a nationwide program.

The Berta Banta Innovation Award recognizes a Paradies Lagardère ACDBE Partner who changed, elevated or enhanced the traveler experience, or the success of local operations, by introducing a new product or service; upgrading an existing product or service, or developing new innovations to existing products and services. Lori and Courtney Ballard and their team assist in introducing new product lines that appeal to customers and create a sense of place at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. They have also developed tools and systems that help increase stock and accuracy.

“Paradies Lagardère believes the entrepreneurial spirit of local operators, along with diversity, fresh ideas, and local sensitivity, encourages effective business acumen, and as a result, a strong airport concession program,” said Gregg Paradies, president, and CEO, Paradies Lagardère. “The ACDBE Partner Recognition Awards acknowledge partners that embody the best of the best in our industry.”

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