City of Phoenix Airport Concessions Manager Receives Highest Honor

Paula Kucharz edit.jpg Paula Kucharz, Concessions Manager for the City of Phoenix Aviation Department, has been honored as Concessions Person of the Year by the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA). Kucharz was presented with the prestigious award at the 2016 ACI-NA Business of Airports Conference in Orlando, Florida. (Photo – Maureen Riley (left), Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports and Chair of ACI-NA, and Kevin M. Burke (right), President and CEO of ACI-NA, present Paula Kucharz (center) with the prestigious Concessions Person of the Year Award.)

With more than 15 years of experience in the airport concessions industry, Kucharz is recognized for her successful efforts in leading an award-winning concessions program at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. In 2014, the airport concluded a complete overhaul of its restaurants in its busiest terminal, Terminal 4. The terminal now features a variety of local and regional favorites as well as nationally recognized choices that travelers have come to know and desire. Kucharz is also overseeing a new, phased retail program at Terminal 4, which serves 85 percent of passenger traffic.

“Paula’s depth of experience in concessions management and passion for the industry has been vital in the development of our offerings to our customers,” said Director of Aviation Services Jim Bennett. “Under the leadership of Assistant Aviation Director Christine Smith and Deputy Aviation Director for Business and Properties Chris Madsen, Paula and her team are among the best in the industry. Their great work continues to help us provide a world-class experience for our customers. We could not be more proud of Paula’s well-deserved achievement.”

Kucharz has been a valuable leader in the City of Phoenix Aviation Department since 1996. Kucharz also has extensive experience as a shopping center professional with roles in marketing, management, specialty and permanent leasing. Kucharz holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University and certificates from the ICSC John T. Riordan School of Professional Development. In 2015, Kucharz was named Property Manager of the Year by Airport Revenue News.