Ezequiel Flores (BUS ’00) approached the late Sue Gin (DHL ’09), a DePaul trustee, at a women’s event for the Economic Club of Chicago that had fewer than 10 men in the audience. “I didn’t care,” he remembers. “I just knew I had to meet her.” From that day on, Gin became a mentor to Flores, and in 2010, they became business partners in airport concessions.
As CEO of Flying Retail, Flores operates one of the largest specialty retail portfolios at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which includes Brighton, Brooks Brothers and Brookstone, as well as Green Market and America’s Dog as part of his food and beverage portfolio. He also oversees operations of all existing concessions at the airport and is looking to expand into additional airports. “It’s a journey,” he says. “I really enjoy it, but besides that, there is a deep sense of responsibility that pushes me to excel.”