Eric Potts Joins National Panel to Expand DEI in Aviation Industry
Freese and Nichols’ Eric Potts has been named to a national committee addressing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the airport and aviation industry.
Eric, an Account Director in our Pearland office, was appointed to the new DEI committee by the Airport Consultants Council (ACC), of which Eric has been a member for more than 10 years. This role comes after recently finishing a seven-year term, in December 2020, as Vice Chair for the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Oversight Committee. During his term, Eric represented the ACRP Oversight Committee on the Transportation Research Board (TRB) DEI Task Force.
The main goal for ACC’s DEI committee is to develop a living and breathing implementation plan that includes ways it can foster DEI initiatives and programs within companies as well as increase the organization’s commitment. The committee, which is made up of ACC board members and young professionals of various backgrounds, will be broken into groups that will review ACC’s background, development industry, member companies and programs.
“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are part of the social fabric that we’re continuously working on,” said Eric. “It’s a way to expand the roles and opportunities to underserved communities and work force at large.”
Based on action items in ACC’s strategic plan, there will be an increase in activities and focus on the issue of DEI, including:
- Expanding collaboration with organizations representing minority- and women- owned businesses and individuals, including AMAC, NSBE, etc.
- Providing training to disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) and small businesses on how to effectively participate in airport project teams
- Offering mentoring for individuals and small DBE companies to succeed in the airport development industry in the future
- Educating member companies on meaningful, purposeful strategies to build and deliver effective DEI policies into their hiring and operations
- Fostering the advancement of all minorities of color and women
- Promoting DEI opportunities in aviation starting in high school and colleges programs, such as STEM, through a Young Professionals Forum
This continued involvement in DEI not only helps strengthen the impact within our profession and community, but our focus and commitment within Freese and Nichols as well.