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Paradies Lagardère, Prime Retail Concessionaire at MSY, Announces Realignment of Executive Roles, Enhances Leadership Within Retail and Dining Divisions

Leading airport retailer and restaurateur Paradies Lagardère officially announced key new roles and promotions, including the appointment of Nikki Harland to the President of its Retail Division and Jens Baake to the President of its Dining Division. Effective at the first of the year, these changes further strengthen the organization’s leadership as it navigates the challenges facing the travel industry and prepares for future growth opportunities.

Paradies Lagardère, an Atlanta-based company with operations in airports across the U.S, is one of the prime concessionaires at the new Louis Armstrong International Airport along with its local partners in retail concessions. 

Harland assumes her new role after leading Paradies Lagardère’s talent management efforts for the past six years. Additionally, she was the executive sponsor for the 2018 integration efforts of the new Dining Division after Paradies Lagardère acquired Hojeij Branded Foods and Vino Volo, served as a member on ACI North America’s Human Resources Committee, and was a founding member of the company’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. Prior to joining Paradies Lagardère, Harland held leadership positions with Gap, Inc., Toys”R”Us and Turner Broadcasting System, and earned degrees from Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University.

After joining the company as the Chief Operating Officer for Paradies Lagardère’s Dining Division earlier this year, Jens Baake is being elevated to the president of that division, a role currently held by Regynald Washington who will retire at the end of the year but will continue to serve as an advisor to the company. Baake’s impressive background in the restaurant industry includes COO roles with the Palm Restaurant Group, MS Development, Co. LLC and Meyers USA, and executive roles with Walt Disney World, Foxwoods Resort Casino, and Ameristar Casinos. Baake earned a Masters in Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Management from the University of Massachusetts, has also earned a Culinary Degree in Germany and is a Level 2 Sommelier.

Additional aspects of this realignment include the promotion of Claude Guillaume to Senior Vice President of Restaurant Operations, where he will oversee the execution of dining operations, customer service, and a team of Regional Vice Presidents. Also, Greg Walton will now lead the organization’s talent management efforts as the new Vice President of Human Resources.

“As we navigate our industry’s current challenges and look to the future, this realignment of key leadership roles positions Paradies Lagardère to be the most successful, productive and agile company possible,” said President and CEO Gregg Paradies. “I remain extremely proud and appreciative of how our leadership team has led during this pandemic while ‘walking the walk’ of the Paradies Lagardère family culture each and every day. Furthermore, I want to specifically thank Regynald Washington for his exceptional leadership of our Dining Division as it has been an absolute pleasure partnering with him during the past few years.”