Decades of airport concessions experience with a fresh, bold, hands-on attitude.

Vice president of Tarra Enterprises Inc., Lou Ella Jordan is a 30-year veteran of the airport concessions industry, a 29-year member of the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) and a 2015 African-American Achiever.

Growing up in Belle Glade, Florida, a small farm community outside of West Palm Beach, Lou began working at a very young age, as a farm laborer. When she had the opportunity in high school to work for the local grocery store, she made the job her own – quickly earning the privilege of taking on increasing responsibility until she was in charge of inventory control and vendor relations, in addition to handling day-to-day operations.

Upon graduation, Lou moved to West Palm Beach to study nursing at Palm Beach Community College. She put her studies on hold, however, to become a wife and mother. Shortly after, Lou’s career began to take off. She bought a neighborhood grocery store in Riviera Beach – which she named Tarra Grocery after her daughter – and turned it into her first successful entrepreneurial venture.

When she learned, in 1984, that Palm Beach International Airport (PBIA) was seeking minority participation in the retail gift shop on its Delta Concourse, Lou teamed up with another entrepreneur to submit a proposal. Their partnership, JL Unlimited, became the first minority concession owner at PBIA. The store was small to start, but when PBIA built its new airport in 1988, Lou’s store became the largest gift shop in the airport. JL ran that operation until 2008.

In the meantime, Tarra became an integral part of the JL team, heading business development efforts. In 1995, she secured a concessions contract with the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Lou and partners established the Magnolia Group to fulfill that contract, building four news, gift and specialty stores in time for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Today, Lou serves on the executive management team of Tarra Enterprises, lending her experience, expertise and insights to every aspect of the organization.

She is also president of Girls II Women, the nonprofit organization co-founded by Tarra Pressey that educates, inspires and motivates girls from underserved neighborhoods in Riviera Beach, Belle Glade, West Palm Beach and Lake Worth.

Named a 2015 African-American Achiever by JM Family, Southeast Toyota and JM Lexus, Lou served for six years, two of those as chair, on the Palm Beach County Minority/Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee. In 2004, Lou was one of the first individuals appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to the Small Business Advisory Committee to the seat designated for a Certified Black Business Owner. Lou resides in Riviera Beach, Florida.

A resident of Riviera Beach, Lou volunteers every week at the New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church Food Ministry and makes herself available for other ministries as needs arise.