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Concessions International (CI), a leading concessionaire with food and beverage outlets in major airports in the U.S. and Virgin Islands, announced the appointment of Donata Russell Major to the role of chief executive, effective immediately.
Major, who previously served as the company’s vice chairman and has been a principal factor in the company’s growth, has worked in a variety of jobs during her 28-year career at the Atlanta-based concessionaire.
Following in the footsteps of Herman J. Russell, her business-savvy father who founded the company in 1979, Major has played a vital role in day-to-day operations for many years.
As she leads the company moving forward, Major will continue to manage key client and partner relationships, special projects, and business development, as well as strengthen CI’s leadership team. She will continue to work closely with Anthony Joseph, CI president.
“Donata was the natural fit for this very important role,” Herman J. Russell, Sr. says. “Over the years, she has worked to ensure the successful management of all company departments and functions.
“One of her overarching goals was, and continues to be, fostering a family-oriented work environment that encourages and inspires individuals, strengthens character, and instills unparalleled performance excellence,” he continues. “Her stable, dedicated, and enlightened leadership over the past 28 years has led to significant growth for the company, and we couldn’t be more delighted to have her on board as CEO as we begin a growth-centric year.”
Major adds,“I am thrilled to be taking on this new role at the company I love, especially at this exciting time in our history. We are anticipating a banner year, as we will be opening a record number of locations in major airports across the country, including Dallas Fort Worth, Atlanta, and Miami International.
“We’re also working very hard to bring new and exciting concepts to the customers we serve, in keeping with our goal of showcasing the local flavor of the cities where we do business,” she says.
Major, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor of economics in management and marketing, is committed to improving the quality of life in communities the company serves.
A sampling of her extensive board involvement includes Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The Whitefoord Community Program, Early Learning Property Management, Inc. (ELPM), I.M.A.G.E. Afterschool Program, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
She also is a member of the board of directors of the H.J. Russell Company, the sister company to Concessions International.
Michael Russell, who previously served as CI’s chief executive, has taken over the position of vice chairman of the CI Board.
Concessions International, which employs about 1,000 employees across six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, recently opened a new Einstein Bros. Bagels unit in Terminal A at Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW), and will be opening a Genghis Grill in Terminal E there, as well.
Moreover, the company is about to open a new production kitchen at its Wells Street Corporate Support Office in Atlanta. Also on tap for CI is a new Fresh To Order unit in Concourse B in the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which is slated to open by mid-March, as well as seven other new concepts.