Breakout Track Sessions
GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS
Dr. Thomas Edwards – Director of Aeronautics, NASA Ames Research Center
Dr. Edwards is Director of Aeronautics at NASA Ames Research Center, with responsibility for research in aviation operations, flight vehicle technology and design, and fundamental aerodynamics. He is also responsible for the operation of national flight simulation and wind tunnel facilities. He began his career with NASA in 1983, and has served in a variety of research and managerial assignments in fields including computational fluid dynamics, aircraft design, aerothermodynamics, information technology, and aviation operations.
Dr. Edwards is a graduate of Princeton University, with Master’s and PhD degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. As a Sloan Fellow, he holds a Master of Science in Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Dr. Edwards is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Douglas King – CEO and President, The Museum of Flight
Douglas R. King assumed the role of Museum president and chief executive officer in January 2011. King was previously the president and chief executive officer of the Saint Louis Science Center, the fourth largest science center in the country, where he served since 1995.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Museum of Flight in Seattle,” said King when he was chosen for the position in 2010. “From the forward thinking and exciting effort to retire a Space Shuttle here at the museum to building the new Space Gallery and working with Aviation High School, I am truly honored to be leading all of these education initiatives that are underway in addition to developing more plans for the growth of this unique museum.”
At the Saint Louis Science Center, King’s team welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors each year, making it not only the fourth-largest science center in the country, but one of the nation’s 25 largest museums. King helped build a national reputation that was rewarded with the Association of Science/Technology Centers’ highest honor – the Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Award – three times since 2005.
Prior to his work at the Saint Louis Science Center, King served for five years as president of Challenger Center for Space Science Education headquartered in Washington, D.C. Founded by the families of the Challenger crew, the center has established educational facilities in more than 50 cities across North America and England, including St. Louis. Before becoming involved in education, King spent nearly 20 years in the electronics industry. He served as a vice president of the American Electronics Association and president of the Association of Technology Business Councils. He was also a founding board member of Technology Gateway, and served on the board of its successor, Innovate St. Louis, which is helping grow St. Louis as a national science and technology leader.
King was appointed by the administrator of NASA to the agency’s Education and Public Outreach Committee and by the chief of staff of the Air Force to the Air Force Civic Leaders Group. He also serves on the boards of the Academy of Science of St. Louis, the Giant Screen Cinema Association, the Missouri Biotechnology Association, the Coalition for Plant and Life Sciences and Forest Park Forever. He has also served as president of the Association of Science Museum Directors, chairman of the NASA Education Advisory Committee, and as member of the NASA Advisory Council, the Congressional Web-based Education Commission, and the board of the Association of Science/Technology Centers.
A native of Fresno, California, King received his BS degree in engineering from Stanford University and his MBA in finance from the University of Washington. He and his wife Stacy have four adult children.
Bob Lange – Vice President Marketing, Airbus
Bob Lange began his career as a Future Projects Engineer at British Aerospace Woodford after completing an Undergraduate Apprenticeship and an honours degree in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Bath.
He joined Airbus in 1987 where he held Airline Marketing account responsibilities in North America and Asia before being appointed A330/A340 Product Manager where he worked on the launch of the A330-200 and A340-500/-600. Bob became A3XX Marketing Director in 1996, working with major airlines to define requirements for the cabin interior, managing consumer research and concept design. In 2001, following successful launch of the A380, he held a staff function planning New Product Communications within the Brand & Image team.
In 2003 he was appointed Director Long Range Product Policy responsible for product development recommendations resulting in the launch of the A350 XWB. In 2005 Bob became Director of Cabin Strategy where he led a project to develop the new cabin vision for the A350 XWB. He moved back to Marketing in 2007 to lead the Aircraft Interiors Marketing team, covering all current and future Airbus cabins.
Bob was recently appointed Vice President Marketing. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is married with two sons and enjoys rugby, football, golf and music.
Simon Talling-Smith – Executive Vice President of the Americas, British Airways
Simon Talling-Smith was appointed Executive Vice President Americas for British Airways in August 2008 and is responsible for the airline’s extensive commercial and customer service operations in the USA, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
In addition, he leads the $7Bn transatlantic joint venture across the three carriers: American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia.
Simon’s position, based at the carrier’s Americas head office in New York, came after holding a number of executive roles at British Airways. Previously he had been in charge of the airline’s 14,000 cabin crew and catering services, based in London.
Prior to his heading the cabin crew, he had managed British Airways’ brand & products portfolio. He also has managed a series of customer service improvement programs, particularly focusing on development of the airline’s award-winning website, ba.com
Simon joined British Airways in 1991 as a graduate trainee from Oxford University where he graduated with an M.A. degree in Engineering, Economics and Management. He is married with two sons and a daughter, and lives in New York City.
Brad Tilden – President, Alaska Airlines
As president of Alaska Airlines, Brad Tilden leads a team of 9,000 people operating the eighth-largest U.S. airline and serving over 16 million passengers a year. This includes oversight of a 117-aircraft fleet operating in more than 60 cities across North America and Hawaii that produces annual revenues of $3 billion. Under Tilden’s leadership, the airline was ranked highest in customer satisfaction among traditional network carriers by J.D. Power and Associates for the third consecutive year in 2010, and led major domestic airlines in 2010 with its on-time performance.
Previously, Tilden served as Alaska Air Group’s chief financial officer and executive vice president of finance. Before joining the airline in 1991, he spent eight years with the accounting firm Price Waterhouse in its Seattle and Melbourne, Australia, offices.
Tilden earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University and an executive master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington. He also holds a private pilot’s license.
He serves on the boards of Pacific Lutheran University, the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Flow International Corp. and Alaska Air Group Inc. A resident of Issaquah, Wash., Tilden is married and has three children. Introduced to aviation early in life, he grew up a few miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where he watched Alaska Airlines’ jets take off and land. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys cycling.
Randy Tinseth – Vice President Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Randy Tinseth is vice president, Marketing, for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, a position he’s held since April 2007. Tinseth is responsible for marketing efforts across Commercial Airplanes' entire family of products and services -- contributing to planning and product development, understanding and communicating market requirements and the market outlook and supporting market positioning and sales activities.
Tinseth hosts the Boeing blog, “Randy’s Journal,” http://boeingblogs.com/randy/, which to date has had more than three million unique visitors.
Starting his Boeing career in 1981 as a flight test engineer, Tinseth has held a number of positions in Sales, Marketing and Engineering.In his previous role as Customers Leader for the 747-8 Program, Tinseth was responsible for developing marketing and in-service support strategies for the new 747-8 airplane, executing sales, and working with the customer base. He also served as director of Product and Services Marketing, responsible for marketing Boeing’s commercial airplanes and services to airlines, financial institutions and other constituencies globally.
Born in Kalispell, Mont., Tinseth holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University, and in 1986, he received a master’s in business administration from Seattle University.
BREAKOUT TRACK SESSION SPEAKERS
Social Media Track
Greg Dicum – Co-founder and President, MondoWindow
Greg Dicum is the Co-founder and President of MondoWindow, a San Francisco-based company that is bringing the best of the web to the in-flight experience. MondoWindow.com, the company's flagship site, is the first web-standards compliant in-flight moving map. MondoWindow redefines what a moving map can be by turning the plane into a "geobrowser" that can fly through information space as it flies through the air. More than just a map, MondoWindow enriches the view with text, audio, video, games, and social media that let passengers experience the places they are flying over.
Greg comes to IFE from journalism: he writes frequently for the New York Times, The Economist, and others. He is also the author of the Window Seat series of books, which helps airline passengers make sense of the view below.
Ash ElDifrawi – Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Gogo LLC
Ash ElDifrawi joined Gogo on October 25, 2010 as EVP and CMO. Ash is responsible for all customer-facing functions, including sales, marketing, customer research, product, creative, airline relations, and marketing operations. He leads Gogo’s media initiatives, including in inflight ecommerce, content, and advertising.
Prior to Gogo, Ash led the rebranding and development of a revolutionary online shopping experience at Hayneedle Inc. Before that, Ash was the Google executive responsible for all CPM-based revenue for Google and YouTube. Ash was also a managing director at Wrigley, where he oversaw a $1+ billion portfolio of brands across four continents. Ash came to Wrigley from McKinsey, where he worked with the world’s leading companies in the areas of operations, marketing, research, and strategy. Ash earned both his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago, and went on to gain his doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Henry Gummer – Client Services Director, Spafax
Henry started his career working for Simons Priest and Associates, a leading broadcast media research company. He then moved on to work in scheduling and acquisitions of movie content for BSkyB before joining Spafax in 2000 as Movie Acquisitions Manager and in time becoming the Account Director for British Airways and now Client Service Director, responsible for Business Development and Research in the UK office.
Doug Halpin – Product Manager, Thales Avionics, Inc.
Douglas Halpin is a Senior Product Manager at Thales Avionics, Inc. He has managed the production and development of multiple passenger applications. His current focus at Thales is breaking down the barriers of entry into the seat-back in-flight entertainment industry by enabling mobile marketplace developers to market and license their applications to airlines via the Thales App Portal.
Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D. – Managing Director, branding.aero
Stathis is a creative aviation marketing management professional with extensive international experience. He is an independent and dynamic executive leveraging a unique blend of creative insight and business strategy.
Stathis holds the position of Managing Director at branding.aero LLC, an aviation branding consulting firm providing a holistic approach of branding opportunities.
He also serves as an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the School of Business, State University of New York at Oswego.
Stathis completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Airline Brand Experience Management at the University of the Arts London, UK. He holds a Ph.D. from Cranfield University, UK in Aviation Marketing Management and a Masters in Design Futures from Goldsmiths – University of London specializing in airline corporate identity.
Michael Manstein-Spanbloechl – Head of Inflight Entertainment, Lufthansa German Airlines
Michael has been with Lufthansa since 1975, when he started working as a flight attendance on intercontinental routes worldwide. Concurrently studying law, TV-journalism, communications, international politics and anthropology at the German universities of Frankfurt and Mainz, finalizing these studies with a Masters degree in 1981.
In 1986 he started working for the inflight entertainment team specialising in in-house video productions for entertainment and sales promotion purposes. During the nineties responsibilities broadened and since 1996 he is heading the inflight entertainment content team, part of Lufthansa’s Product Competence Center.
Content structure, editorial concepts and graphical user specification for the current and future systems, flying onboard all Lufthansa long distance aircraft have been developed by his team. From 1994-1997 he has served on the WAEA board of directors concentrating on education and membership issues.
Mark Peurifoy - Industrial Designer/Brand Specialist, B/E Aerospace
In his position, Mark has designed award winning branded cabin interior products for airlines such as United, as well as for British Airways, and Korean Air among others. In addition, he was Senior Industrial Designer for Amtrak designing high speed rail interiors for the next generation Acela high speed rail train sets. Mark holds a Master of Industrial Design degree from North Carolina State University and is currently pursuing a Master of Entrepreneurship degree from Western Carolina University.
Les Posen - Clinical Psychologist, Flightwise
Les Posen FAPS is an Australian-based Clinical Psychologist with a 25 year history of treating anxiety disorders, especially fear of flying. His history includes facilitating the Ansett Australia Fear of Flying course (1994-2000), attending international airline crew and passenger disaster management training for Ansett, providing consultation and training to Qantas flight crew peer support teams in stress management, and delivering treatment plans for hundreds of patients who wish to fly better. Les has also delivered seminars and papers to psychologists on his treatment methods and was a featured speaker at the 2007 International Fear of Flying conference in Montreal at ICAO Headquarters.
He was one of the first to develop a fear of flying blog in 2004 (flightwise.com.au) where he has continued to freely give away his knowledge to thousands of visitors. Les is also on the faculty of Macworld San Francisco where he teaches presentation skills. Attendees can expect to be delighted and engaged during Les' presentation, and leave with much to put into immediate practice.
Social Media Track
Akhil Agarwal – Chief Operating Officer, InterGlobe Technologies
Akhil Agarwal heads worldwide operations spread across 5 continents. Akhil is focused on increasing competitiveness & depth of services while improving customer experience and employee engagement. Akhil brings with him over 20 years of management experience in Operations, Consulting, Product Development, Large System Integrations, Testing, Support, and Consultative Selling to Banking, Insurance, Telecom and Travel companies in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
At IGT he has been instrumental in developing the synergies between the IT services and the BPO services, thus creating integrated IT BPO solutions, which are focused towards maximizing the business value for customers’ outsourced operations. Akhil is also at the helm of IGT’s foray into new age solutions including social media and mobility.
Prior to joining IGT, Akhil was the Vice President and Global Head of BFSI at Virtusa, where he spearheaded the company's global deliveries and operations. He has also served as Vice President at Kanbay/Capgemini, where he played a significant role in the offshore delivery of multiple business units for large accounts resulting in exponential growth of the company's global work force, revenue and market capitalization. In his two decades of management experience across the globe, he has held many senior management roles at various other firms like US Interactive, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Trust and Information Gateways Corporation.
Akhil is an alumnus of the Western Michigan University and has been featured amongst the “Who’s Who” students in American colleges & universities while pursuing his M.S. He is also a Gold Medalist BE from Birla Institute of Technology, India.
Jerry Fletcher – Reservation Systems & Social Media, Delta Air Lines
Jerry Fletcher has been with Delta for 15 years, working in various customer service and leadership rolls. He co-founded @DeltaAssist, the first of its kind, industry leading social outreach tool. Jerry has a passion for travel, service, and emerging media.
He holds a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution, focusing on group dynamics and alternative dispute resolution. When Jerry isn’t busy managing Delta Assist, he enjoys traveling to remote corners of the globe with his family.
Sergio Mello – CEO, Satisfly
Sergio is a young entrepreneur from Torino, Italy. He studied electrical engineering at Politecnico di Torino and soon co-founded WeBrainstorm, an ICT consulting firm where he served as CEO. His tasks ranged from management consulting to process analysis where he delivered to clients in the Biotech, Trading, VoIP and Media fields.
While carrying out projects for international customers and attending a European Commission Executive training, he had the opportunity to live throughout Eastern Asia, where he further developed his multi-cultural communication skills.
His work at Asiana Airlines, together with his innate passion for flight, has catalyzed the combination of expertise in the Transportation and Digital Media industries. The result is his latest venture: SATISFLY, a unique solution that will undoubtedly reshape the world of passenger interaction in the airline industry by finally monetizing the potentials of Digital Media.
Shashank Nigam – CEO, SimpliFlying
Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is CEO of SimpliFlying, which helps airlines and airports engage travelers profitably. SimpliFlying.com is one of the Top 2 blogs on aviation, and their Twitter handle (@simpliflying) is one of the Top 5 most influential on airlines.
Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Nigam's impassioned, straight-shooting and honest perspectives have found their way to major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, NDTV Profit, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, The Straits Times, Aviation Week, DARE, The Indian Express, and others.
Nigam studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities. Contact him via e-mail (shashank@simpliflying), Twitter (@simpliflying) or just Google him.
David Bruner – Vice President, Panasonic Avionics Corporation
David Bruner is Vice President, Global Communication Services for Panasonic Avionics Corporation. He is responsible for implementing Panasonic’s new connected aircraft strategy. David has been with Panasonic for 6 years. Previously David was the Director of Business Development for General Dynamics Airborne Electronic Systems, President of Inflightonline – a web media company focused on the inflight market and Senior Vice President of AT&T Aviation. In total David has over 25 years in the aerospace industry including 5 years at American Airline’s SABRE group. Prior to IFE David was an IT professional.
Don Buchman – General Manager, Mobile Broadband Systems, Viasat
In Don's current position, he is responsible for directing the ViaSat team that is providing industry-leading high-speed mobile Internet into aviation and maritime market segments, government aeronautical systems, and the Yonder® global mobile service network.
Mr. Buchman has been at the leading edge of communication system development for military and commercial applications for the past 22 years.
During the past dozen years he has been employed at ViaSat, where he has played a leading role in developing several of the company’s products, including several patented technologies. He has also served as chief engineer for the ArcLight® mobile broadband product line, the primary ViaSat technology behind the company’s mobile services.
Mr. Buchman holds a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and an MSEE from the University of Southern California.
Christiane Ducasse – Vice President Sales, SmartJog
Christiane Ducasse was recently appointed VP Sales at SmartJog in June 2011. Based at SmartJog’s US Offices in Los Angeles, she oversees sales and business development activities in two major markets, the Americas and Asia Pacific Rim. SmartJog, a TDF Group Company, with headquarters in Paris, provides secure and managed digital delivery solutions and cloud based asset management services to the entertainment industry since 2002. Christiane’s customers work in International Theatrical Distribution, Digital Cinema, Inflight Entertainment, Home Entertainment, Media and TV. She is responsible for all major US Studios theatrical and non theatrical accounts and is leading business development in the IFE market globally, with over 50 IFE service providers using SmartJog's services today including IFE integrators, IFE labs, CSPs, AVOD content providers, aggregators and airlines.
Prior joining SmartJog over 6 years ago as Director of Sales, Christiane was a marketing consultant in Los Angeles and Montreal during two years for companies involved in Digital Cinema and 3D animation applications. From 1998 to 2003, she was Vice President, Business Development at Pixel Systems, where she launched an electronic delivery service for digital signage and outdoor advertising.
Her background in international servicing, post production and digital entertainment and her experience in establishing key client relationships and strategic partnerships as well as her knowledge of the global digital media industry is invaluable as the industry at large embraces file-based workflows and Smartjog continues to expand its services in the Inflight entertainment, post production, new media and theatrical markets.
Prior her tenure at Pixel Systems, she wrote business plans and implemented international PR and marketing strategies for technology, production and post production companies and organized numerous seminars and events. She started her career as Editor in Chief of a Canadian trade magazine for the film and TV industry, Qui fait Quoi, and worked as a trade journalist for many publications during several years.
Ed Elliott – Senior Solutions Architect, Technicolor
Ed Elliott is a post-production industry veteran who brings decades of experience in all aspects of file-based and traditional workflows. He currently serves as Senior Solutions Architect for Technicolor, a premiere post-production firm located in Burbank.
In this capacity, Ed designs and supervises the implementation of digital workflows used in the company, from digital cinema resolution down to cell phones. He is a leader in solving complex challenges by applying technical solutions to content creation and distribution. He builds collaborative teams to help make the business of consuming content (whether entertainment or functional) more efficient, enjoyable and profitable.
One of his strongest attributes is the ability to connect and communicate divergent points of view held by: clients, marketing/sales, engineering, IT, executive management and finance. In addition to his rock-solid background in engineering, Ed has a deep understanding of business process, human factors, supply chain design and keeping it simple.
A strong background in film, colorimetry, video, audio, metadata and IT all serve as a foundation for his enterprise level systems design and management expertise. Ed enjoys bringing effective solutions to people and making technology comprehensible.
Julke Llorens – Director, Technical Services, EMTEQ
Julke Llorens has been with EMTEQ for over nine years. Mr. Llorens currently leads EMTEQ’s certification and integration engineering group in Miramar, Florida. Prior to his nine years with EMTEQ, Mr. Llorens was with AVITAS Engineering as an avionics project engineer for five years until their acquisition by EMTEQ. Mr. Llorens commenced with AVITAS Engineering upon obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida International University. Rounding out his aviation experience, Mr. Llorens, while obtaining his degree, worked for over 10 years as an avionics technician for the MRO that eventually became AAR Aircraft Services in Miami, Florida. With his demonstrated expertise in the field, Mr. Llorens was designated a FAA Systems & Equipment – Electrical Equipment DER in 2004.
Jeff McShane – Executive Vice President, Northwest Aerospace Technologies, Inc.
Jeff has 20 years’ experience in aircraft interior reconfigurations and IFE integration with emphasis in Program Management and Business Development. Program experience with integration of IFE systems has included previously certified and/or for first of type certification programs including component qualification, seat modifications, aircraft side modifications and FAA/EASA STC programs for major IFE suppliers and airlines on Airbus and Boeing model aircraft. NAT has obtained over 100 FAA/EASA STC’s for various cabin modifications since 1997.
Neal Meehan – Director Aeronautical, Global Xpress Program
Mr. Meehan’s comprehensive background encompasses a well-respected career in the airline industry that he has effectively transitioned into the business consulting, telecommunication and Internet markets. Supporting his regular oversight of major, multi-million dollar ventures, Mr. Meehan is experienced in leading strategic assessment, enhancing resource distribution, negotiating collaborative relations, and building effective management teams. With extensive start-up and executive management experience, he has played a key role in advancing and implementing investment, promotion, and customer service objectives. His primary activities have focused on developing and implementing revenue generation plans, building corporate partnerships, and advising executive management pursuits.
Previously, as Chairman and CEO of Aura Systems, Inc., Mr. Meehan successfully led the restructuring and reorganization of this small manufacturing company involved in the automotive industry. As President and CEO of Hush Communication USA (HushMail.com), and Internet startup, Mr. Meehan was instrumental in securing $800K of investing and oversaw the development of the strategic plan that prepared the company for a $15M private equity placement. As VP of Aeronautical Services for Iridium, a $5+ billion global, mobile wireless satellite company, he played a key role in the development of the aeronautical application of the Iridium technology and the proposed acquisition and integration of AT&T Claircom. Likewise, as Executive VP at In-Flight Phone Corp., he was instrumental in securing MCI as a strategic investor of $90+ million plus $286M in high public yield public bonds, and formulated marketing and customer service activities, directed development, advertising and public relations.
Earlier with the airline industry, as Sr. VP of Customer Service at Continental Airlines, he directed the activities of 20,000 employees including in-flight, dining and cargo services, reservations, and customer relations. Mr. Meehan instilled an excellence in customer service philosophy throughout the division, and managed a budget of over $300 million annually. Earlier as President and founding CEO at Continental Express, he formed on the nation’s largest regional airlines through the acquisition of five geographically disparate companies that were merged into one company with a single operating certificate. In addition, at Continental Express, he sold $36 million of landing rights (slots) at Chicago O’Hare airport and implemented a pilot career program reducing attrition to almost zero. In the airline industry Mr. Meehan has served in multiple executive leadership positions in which he spearheaded startups, directed day-to-day operations, plus introduced innovative customer and employee programs. He also led the most successful startup after airline deregulation (NY AIR). In these various senior roles he has facilitated the implementation of multiple innovative technology-based products and their associated marketing programs. Mr. Meehan served as a Rifle Company Captain in the American State Marine Corps. He has received an Honorary Doctorate of Commercial Science from St. John’s University; an MBA in Executive Management; and a BA in History. He and his wife, Sally, reside in Texas and have six children.
Fran Phillips – Senior Vice President, Airline Solutions, Gogo LLC
Ms. Phillips is responsible for overall airline sales activities and relationship management. She has an extensive background as an executive and consultant developing the in-flight customer experience for major commercial airlines. Her background includes the successful launch of the first full aircraft in-seat video system for American Airlines, and she has been involved in the development of in-flight products and programs with companies such as Rockwell Collins and Sony. She served as Marketing Director and later consulted with Connexion by Boeing to identify customer requirements and lead the development of Web portals, content acquisition and web alliances. She holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Maryland
Michael Planey – Industry Consultant, HMPlaney Consultants
Bridging the gap between engineering and marketing in the inflight entertainment and aircraft interiors industries, Michael Planey offers his clients more than 12 years of expertise in these rapidly evolving markets.
Michael began his career with a year as a Student Engineer working on crew station design and emergency egress systems for the United States Air Force. He was involved in the development of advanced electronic imagery and display technology as well as human factors engineering programs examining pilot workload. That experience has carried through to his managerial roles in inflight entertainment system implementations for American Airlines and US Airways.
Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, Michael is fluent in the technical details of product design and development. His positions at the airlines afforded him the opportunity to develop substantial expertise in Aircraft Performance Engineering, Operations, Revenue Management and Brand Management as well as leading the implementation of premier inflight entertainment and communications technologies. His deep understanding of the needs of airlines to maintain cost-effectiveness while remaining competitive within the marketplace means that Michael has been able to advise both airlines and vendors on the next generation of inflight entertainment and communications products.
Dan Reed – Vice President, Product Strategy, Thales Avionics, Inc.
Dan Reed is currently the Vice President of Product Strategy for Thales Avionics based in Irvine, California, and assumes responsibility for overall product strategy and business development for the company. Dan has been with Thales Avionics (formally BE Aerospace) for over 19 years, and has held senior management positions in engineering, sales, marketing, business development, and strategy.
He has a BSEE and MSEE from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a Masters of Arts in Management from Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California.
Stephan Schulte – Project Manager, Lufthansa Technik AG
Stephan Schulte is currently the Project Manager at Lufthansa Technik AG, based in Hamburg. He holds a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering. He previously, spent time in the US to build light-rail vehicles for the U.S. market (Sacramento based) and did research in computation technologies for automotive applications afterwards. He ended up with aircaft/airline business, starting four years ago: first as avionics engineer for cockpit and aircraft systems, then acting as project manager for aircraft systems and just recently became product manager for engineering/certification/installation/roll-out topics of IFEC systems.
Michael Small – President & CEO, Gogo LLC
Michael Small, a 29-year veteran of the communications industry, was named president and CEO of Gogo on February 16, 2010.
Prior to joining Gogo, Mr. Small served as the chief executive officer and director of Centennial Communications Corporation. From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Small served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of 360 Degrees Communications Company. Prior to 1995, he served as president of Lynch Corporation, a diversified acquisition-oriented company with operations in telecommunications, manufacturing and transportation services.
Mr. Small received his Master's Degree in Business Administration from University of Chicago and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University.
Mr. Small serves on the board of First Midwest Bank. He also serves as chairman of the board for PAX, a non-profit organization providing solutions to prevent gun violence.
John Walker – Executive Vice President, Sales & Acquisitions, Post Modern Group, LLC
John has over 25 years of sales, management and marketing experience in the postproduction, film distribution and IFE industries including a term as a member of the WAEA (now APEX) board of directors. Formerly he was Chief Sales Officer & EVP with Crest Digital, for 19 years. Prior to joining Crest he was Director of Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Acquisitions at Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.