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Author: Parker Web

2024 Mar. Mag

March 2024 Mag

Carol McElheney is the regional vice president of operations at Hudson, the largest travel retailer in the world. Carol has been with Hudson for more than 10 years and continues to excel in her role. She continuously demonstrates her proven abilities to craft and facilitate creative business solutions, resulting in major improvements in operating plans and successful new revenue generation.

With over 20 years in the F&B industry, Carol clearly demonstrates her understanding of the value of customer service. She defends and supports that everyone wants and deserves to be treated with respect.  When this occurs, the outcome is often the beginning of a meaningful relationship.  Carol has nurtured so many incredible relationships over the years, several of which continue to inform many of her decisions and business opportunities. From universities to corporate dining rooms, Carol has had the pleasure of building and developing business models that work and add long-term value.

Smiling black woman standing in front of a night time cityscape wearing a black sleeveless dress and and a large beaded white and black necklace on a Cerese D magazine cover

Carol is wearing Cerese D’s Real Soft Focus Pearls.


While it is important for Carol to cultivate an inclusive workplace, this sentiment carries over into her decisions to intentionally bring diverse business partners into her locations.  Women and minority-owned businesses are sorely underrepresented but have dynamic offerings that can thrive and prosper if allowed to be recognized by the masses. Our business should reflect the many travelers who come through our airports. Travelers should experience a “sense of place.” Bringing some of the city’s unique aspects inside the airport allows Hudson to pay homage to what the city and state offer.

Carol loves her role as RVP in the airport space and all that it represents! She believes everyone on her team brings value to the organization. Her leadership style supports building a diverse team and business through intentional relationship building. Carol is very passionate about serving and helping people. She is committed to ensuring all her team members are trained, mentored, and championed for personal and professional growth opportunities.

Her interests include improving all people’s lives and mentoring young professionals.  She actively serves on several boards in Alabama, most recently joining the Sloss Furnace Board in Birmingham.

Carol is a true change agent, committed to leaving everything better than she found it. Her faith and servant leader mentality continue to motivate her success.

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