Kristen Barnett has been in the airport concessions business for over 15 years. She is currently the President and CEO of National Concessions Management, LLC (NCM) and an owner and Member of Trans-Air Concessions, LLC. Both entities own and operate retail and food and beverage concessions at various airports in the United States, including the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. Kristen has been involved in every aspect of her concessions business. In addition to being an executive and owner, she has worked shifts as a retail sales associate and has gained hands on experience serving in every position on a Burger King service line while successfully Burger King Inc.’s Management Training Program for Owner/Operators.
Kristen has been principally responsible for the NCM’s operations since March of 2003, which have included as many as 13 stores in the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, along with two operations in the Savannah-Hilton Head Airport, a Budweiser Brewhouse and a Burger King, totaling more than $16 million in annual sales.
Kristen has been fully engaged in the day-to-day operations of the concessions businesses from the beginning. She is intimately involved in design and construction oversight, staffing, and budget development. She was NCM’s principal representative in three joint ventures with HMS Host, which operated an additional 10 food and beverage and retail locations at the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. These have included a joint venture for several locations on Hartsfield-Jackson’s Concourse E and featured the operation of multiple concepts, including Starbucks, Coca-Cola Store, Tumi Leather and CNN News.
Kristen has also served as the principal liaison between NCM and Brookstone Inc. since 2001. She has been actively involved in all aspects of the partnership that currently includes four Brookstone stores, with locations in the airports in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Her joint venture responsibilities have included RFP preparation and presentation, design and construction oversight, staffing and training, store openings and operational standards compliance.
Kristen was a management committee member for the joint venture between HMSHost and NCM which oversaw retail operations on Concourses T, B, C and D at Hartsfield-Jackson. She held that position from her arrival at NCM in 2001 until that contract ended in 2008. She continues to help NCM expand its airport presence as a partner with Airport Lounge Development to help operate The Club at ATL, a common-use premium traveler lounge in Atlanta’s new Maynard Jackson International Terminal. The Club at ATL works with airline partners British Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines to provide service to their first-class, business-class and elite status passengers.
In her role as Member and Owner of Trans-Air Concessions, Ms. Barnett has been instrumental to the company’s growth. She was part of Trans-Air’s food and beverage success in the Norfolk, Virginia Airport and helped guide Trans-Air’s expansion into retail operations at Hartsfield-Jackson in October 2014. Her retail expertise has helped Trans-Air achieve year over year sales increases of greater than 20% in its news & gift locations and she has had a key role in developing a partnership with the Atlanta Business Chronicle to re-brand several Trans-Air newsstands under the Atlanta Business Chronicle banner.
She has extensive operational experience outside of airports as well, having owned and operated two locations of The Grape Wine Bar & Bistro with other partners. She eventually became the principal partner. In this role, she oversaw and was primarily responsible for the opening of the second of these two locations, in Las Vegas, Nevada including the design, construction, license procurement and staffing.
In addition to her retail and food and beverage responsibilities, Ms. Barnett serves on the boards of Intus IQ, LLC, SIPCO, LLC and IPCO, LLC, all patent licensing companies which license a wireless technology developed and patented by several of her partners and her late father to industry leaders like Samsung and Honeywell.
Ms. Barnett holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University and is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law. A native Atlantan, she is also very active in community activities, having served on the Board of Directors for The Center for Puppetry Arts, as a Partner in Education with the Glennwood Academy and City Schools of Decatur. She currently serves as a member of The Children’s School Board of Trustees and the Pace Academy Alumni Scholars Committee. She was recently recognized by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta international Airport as a leading female concessionaire during Women’s History Month and was a 2004 recipient of the City of Atlanta FBE Phoenix Trailblazer Award by Women Flying High.