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Ward Joins Bambuza As CDO

Erik_WardBambuza Hospitality Group, an ACDBE-certified travel retail and restaurant specialist, has named Erik Ward to the role of chief development officer. Ward will oversee expansion and partnerships, and is tasked with further growing BHG’s airport and street-side portfolio across the country.

This news comes alongside the announcement that BHG has been awarded a contract in John Wayne Airport to develop and operate the first airport Sambazon, the concept from San Clemente, CA, bringing açaí-based superfood bowls, smoothies and drinks to health-conscious consumers.

“I am so honored to join the Bambuza team, having personally watched the company grow from a single restaurant in Portland to a hospitality group successfully operating both bespoke and partner brands across three states,” said Ward. “My passion is for helping values-driven firms in our industry grow to their full potential, and I’m thrilled to have that opportunity now with BHG.”

Ward joins BHG with experience in both airport and shopping center development. He led the expansion of airport gaming amenity Gameway, and he oversaw the growth of Pacific Gateway Concessions through to its successful acquisition by Stellar Partners in 2019. He also brings experience in shopping center leasing with Westfield, as well as in promoting broad-based community prosperity in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic And Workforce Development.

“With the dynamic growth of our airport portfolio from PDX to SEA, and most recently to SNA, Bambuza is poised for further expansion,” said Katherine Lam, president of Bambuza Hospitality Group. “We knew we wanted someone with the right experience, relationships, and core values to lead these efforts, and Erik was the obvious choice.”