The Name Means Something


The Whitman May Name

The name means something. Whitman May is more than a company. Whitman May represents a legacy of excellence. Our founder, Adrian Beard christened the company “Whitman May” to honor the legacy of his great-great aunt Minnie Beatrice May and great uncle Alberry Whitman Christian. Ms. May owned and operated May’s Market in Kansas City, Kansas from the late 1920s to 1970 and employed her nephew, Mr. Christian as its butcher.

Ms. May was a proud entrepreneur in the face of racism, sexism and Jim Crow, building a business and legacy which allowed her family to prosper and move from Arkansas to Kansas. The story of her tenacity, fearlessness, and boldness in entrepreneurship is what inspired the creation of Whitman May.


Whitman May Enterprises, Inc.

Whitman May Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina by Adrian Beard to develop and operate quick service, fast casual, and casual dining restaurants in airports throughout the U.S. Whitman May Enterprises, Inc. operates Smashburger, a nationally top-ranked, fast casual restaurant, at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Whitman May Enterprises, Inc. also owns and operates fast casual restaurants, Char-Grill® and Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, Raleigh Taproom and Bruegger’s Bagels and Raleigh Brewery Tavern at Raleigh-Durham International Airport through a joint venture, operating as Uptown Airport Group, LLC.


Experienced Leadership

Adrian Beard is the president of Whitman May Enterprises, Inc. He established the company to develop and operate restaurants at airports throughout the U.S.

Beard has nearly ten years of experience in airport concessions operations. He is the managing partner of Uptown Airport Group, LLC, one of three prime concessionaires at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He is responsible for setting daily strategic goals and objectives, monitoring performance, and driving business growth.

Beard also serves as the vice president of operations for Denard Enterprises, Inc., managing Papa John’s Pizza, Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Potbelly Sandwich Shop at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

Beard earned a B.A. in public administration from Kentucky State University in Frankfort. He also earned an M.B.A. from Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition, Beard completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at Babson College in Babson Park, Massachusetts.