Our Team

We love our people! J|D gathers elite professionals from varied disciplines and cultures to enrich our insights in the global aviation industry. Experience the wealth of knowledge and innovation that only diverse perspectives can offer.

Yolanda Woodruff


Operational Services

Yolanda brings over 25 years of comprehensive airport program and property management expertise, particularly in retail concessions planning and oversight. As an experienced Director of Retail Operations, Yolanda has led cross-functional teams in managing concession programs at O’Hare and Midway International Airports. Her meticulous oversight ensured the seamless operation of over 250 locations, spanning 115K square feet of retail space, with an impressive annual sales volume exceeding $389M.

Throughout her career, Yolanda has demonstrated expertise in concessions redevelopment, stakeholder relationship management, and day-to-day operational oversight. Her responsibilities encompass tenant coordination, operational readiness, site inspections, lease administration, and compliance. Additionally, she possesses extensive knowledge in federal and local affirmative action programs related to airport concessions, including ACDBE/DBE/MBE/WBE initiatives. Yolanda’s expertise extends to conducting outreach sessions, small business workshops, and airport concession symposiums, fostering supplier diversity and career development opportunities within the industry. Her dedication to excellence is evident in her implementation of concession secret shop programs and development of customer service training content for concessionaire employees.

Reflecting on her eclectic past, from catering at SkyChefs, to a stint at the O’Hare post office, Yolanda has embraced diverse roles with enthusiasm and curiosity.

Beyond the office, Yolanda thrives on personal and professional development, actively participating in workshops like the Landmark Forum Worldwide and currently exploring a leadership training course aimed at nurturing passion projects. Her ideal weekend unfolds in a foreign land, immersed in exploring new neighborhoods, cuisine, and culture, and documenting her adventures in a journal.

Q & A with Yolanda Woodruff

What Do You Love About This Industry?

I’ve come to adore its vastness yet its close-knit camaraderie, akin to a big family. Throughout my 20-year journey, new people have arrived. but the core collaborators remain largely unchanged, fostering a familial bond that transcends role changes. People often transition into new positions but are still part of the same events, conferences, organizations, and such, we seem to enjoy and stick with the industry.

What industry changes or trends do you think will have the biggest impact?

Sense of place at airports, airports are now driving the model of sense of place so that people come to that airport they know that they are in that city or that region. It provides more opportunity for local business to bring their brand, products and culture to the airport, providing exposure to the world beyond just operating on the streets.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?

Too hard to choose, but I love Paris so much that one day I plan to stay for a month.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

Broadcast Communications, which was my minor. I was always the narrator in the school plays now I’m always the person called on to read the scripture or obituaries.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Gandhi because he inspired MLK with the nonviolence civil rights/ peace movement.

Join Our Team

J|D is always looking for inquisitive, motivated, results-oriented, persons interested in growth and professional development.