Zeke Flores, Founder/CEO
Ezequiel “Zeke” Flores is Founder and CEO of Flying Concessions, an experienced airport retail, food, and beverage concessionaire that focuses on the core competencies of food and beverage, retail development, airport concessions, merchandising and consulting. Flores, a Chicago native, began his career when he joined the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. He later traveled the globe with Sara Lee, seeing firsthand how Sara Lee purchased small, local companies and built them into national brands.
His interest was piqued by this process and his entrepreneurial side took over: Flores had the idea to purchase city-owned property in underdeveloped neighborhoods in Chicago and invest in these communities to help them grow. Soon, he was a licensed real estate broker in Illinois, later forming the real estate company Flores Retail Corporation, where he was responsible for over a 1.7 million square foot real estate portfolio.
It was around this time that Flores met entrepreneur and airport concession pioneer Sue Gin, founder of Flying Food Group, a leader in airline catering and retail food solutions. She mentored Flores, introducing him to the airport concession business. In 2010, they became partners in Flying Food Concessions.
After Gin’s unexpected passing in 2014, Flores founded Flying Retail (now doing business as Flying Concessions) to enhance the traveler’s experience and attract strong national retail brands and partners to airports. Flying Concessions is ACDBE, DBE, MBE and SBE certified in Illinois, New York/New Jersey, Virginia (Washington, D.C.), California, Colorado and Texas. Click here to see the terminal map of O'Hare.
Committed to giving back, Flores sits on the Illinois State Board of Investment, is the Chairman of the Board of Corazón A Corazón, sits on the DePaul University Board of Trustees and serves on the Steering Committee for the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. (To see a full list of organizations with which is Zeke is affiliated, click here.)
Flores has been recognized as an Emerging Leader by the National Latino Education Institute, one of 40 Under 40 by Crain’s Chicago Business, one of 40 Under 40 by Negocios Now, and 14 Under 40 by DePaul University. Additionally, Flores has accepted the 2016 Latino Leaders Maestro Award in the category of Entrepreneurship.
Flores, who speaks fluent Spanish and conversational Portuguese, graduated from DePaul University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. He lives with his wife and their daughters in Chicago.