“Ms. Byrd’s talents in business and entrepreneurship make her an excellent addition to the FIT Board of Trustees, and we are pleased to have her as a new member,” said Edwin A. Goodman, chairman of the board, during her swearing-in ceremony last month. Byrd’s work as a leading airport retailing consultant has made it possible for more than 50 airports throughout North America to integrate new businesses into their modernization and expansion plans while increasing revenue.
Byrd began her career as assistant commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Aviation, directing commercial activities for the city’s three airports. In 1989, she and a partner founded Unison Consulting Group, Inc., a Chicago-based airport consulting firm and the first such minority-owned firm in the nation. As a principal, Byrd was instrumental in helping to shape federal regulations on minority participation in airport contracts.
In 1999, Unison was acquired by Maximus Inc., a $658-million worldwide government consulting, systems solutions, and program management company. Byrd directed the airport retail development practice of Unison-Maximus until 2006.
Byrd’s commitment to public service is carried out through her support of numerous philanthropic causes. She has been honored for her work on behalf of Chicago’s La Rabida Children’s Hospital and has provided mentoring and tuition funding for underprivileged minority youth in Chicago. In 2006, Byrd and her husband, Ronald E. Blaylock, were saluted for their contributions to HELP, USA, an organization that aids the homeless.
Byrd earned a BA in journalism at Howard University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. She practiced law in Chicago and is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association. Byrd moved to New York in 2004.
FIT is governed by its own Board of Trustees, which is charged with the administration of the institution and support of its mission. Board members include Edwin A. Goodman, chair; Elizabeth T. Peek, vice chair; Richard A. Anderman; Jay H. Baker; Robin Burns-McNeill; Judith I. Byrd; William Cope, IV, student trustee; Yaz Hernández; Joan B. Hornig; George S. Kaufman; Beverly S. Mack; and Jay Mazur.
FIT, a leader in professional career-oriented education, is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY), with 44 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. The college serves more than 10,000 students and offers courses in a wide range of fields.