Speakers

Max Gosney

Portfolio Director & Conference Chairman


Ground Handling International

Max joined GHI in 2017 after launching and hosting conference and award events in the UK manufacturing industry. A trained journalist, Max strives to deliver innovative content on stage, online or in print that challenges, educates and entertains. As a non-aviation professional - Max is always eager to don the hi-vis jacket and get out on the apron to experience the everyday challenges facing ground handling businesses and their airline customers. Max graduated as a biochemist from Cardiff University in 2001. He became a NUJ/NCTJ accredited journalist in 2003. Max went on to an award-winning 14 year editorial career including stints at magazines in the UK pub, pharmacy and manufacturing sectors. Outside of work - Max is never far from a book, the fridge or the 5-a-side football pitch.

Gustavo Di Cio

Director


ABIAX Air Aviation

Gustavo is the Director of Abiax Air Aviation. Before co-founding Abiax Air in 2008, he was the Director of Strategy at the Latin American Airline Association, but also worked developing aviation projects for Canadian government. Before joining the aviation industry he held senior and CEO positions in the financial and insurance sectors within Latin America. Gustavo holds an MBA in Aviation Management from Concordia University, Montreal, a diploma in Sustainable Tourism and a degree in Business Administration. He teaches Evaluation of Investment Projects and Aviation Economics for Latin American civil aviation authorities. A writer, he has also participated in conferences as a speaker, moderator and chairman, and has attended more than 100 aviation and airport events.

Christopher San Giovanni

Director Ground Safety


JetBlue Airways

Christopher is currently the Director Ground Safety at JetBlue Airways, based in NYC. Christopher developed the original Ground, Environmental, Health and Safety Programs for the airline shortly after its start-up in 2000. In his current role, he oversees the Ground Safety, Safety Quality and Assurance, Health and Safety, Injury Management and Reduction, Communicable Disease / Pandemic Planning, Dangerous Goods, Environmental Services and Passengers with Disabilities programs for an airline with over 18,000 employees. He is additionally a key part of the Senior Leadership Safety Management System roll-out team. Christopher was also in a senior leadership role at Menzies Aviation, where he had oversight of not only safety but also security, operational training and quality assurance as the VP, Operational Support and Compliance, Americas. He additionally has experience of the maritime industry as a Director of Safety.

Joshua Goldwitz

Director Airport Services and Planning


JetBlue Airways

Josh is currently the Director Airport Services & Planning at JetBlue Airways, based in New York. In his current role, he oversees airport business planning, business partner development, ground support equipment, de-icing, aircraft appearance and customer accessibility programmes for an airline serving 102 airports. His focus includes introducing process and technology improvements that drive ground handling safety and efficiency. Previously, Josh held positions in the US and UK in the fields of public transit and rail transport. He additionally has experience in forensic vehicle accident reconstruction. Josh holds a BSc and a Master's in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD.

Jose Canales

Senior Vice President - Latin America & the Caribbean Region


Swissport

Jose Canales is the Senior Vice President for Swissport Latin America & the Caribbean, with responsibility for 13 country organisations and 76 stations in one of the fastest growing regions in the Swissport network. Jose graduated from Cranfield University in the UK with a degree in Supply Chain Management and has more than 25 years of experience leading domestic and international supply chain management, logistics, ground handling and cargo operations in Latin America, Asia, and the US. Jose served in a number of senior management positions at Panalpina before joining Swissport in early 2014 and has a track record of establishing operational excellence, driving successful turnarounds and delivering sustainable, profitable growth for multi-country regions and strategic accounts.

Desiree Perez

CEO & Founder


Desiree Perez Coaching & Consulting

Desiree is a recognised expert in the aviation industry for her work with leadership teams and individuals on leadership and professional development. Prior to her 18 years in aviation, Desiree lived in Argentina, then Germany, before being relocated to the US in 2011. Desiree served as a senior leader in the aviation industry on a global level, leading multicultural customer excellence teams for some of the most recognised airlines, airports and service providers. During that time she witnessed first-hand the importance of leadership development. Desiree currently speaks on the importance of leadership development in an ever-changing aviation environment, with an increased focus on profitability, customer service and safety.

Carlos R. Ozores

Principal


ICF Aviation

Carlos, Principal in ICF’s Aviation group and Director for Latin America, is a recognised expert in air transport industry economics and strategy. His advice to airlines, airports and investors has supported multi-million dollar investments and critical business decisions. With over 16 years of experience in aviation, he brings a broad industry exposure, and offers clients a global perspective to solving local issues, thanks to extensive global work experience.

Eric Toler

Associate


ICF Aviation

Eric Toler is a Manager at ICF Aviation, one of the largest and most experienced global aviation and aerospace consulting organizations. His expertise includes aviation market analysis and due diligence, airline network strategy and fleet planning, airline alliance/partnership strategy, and air service development, with a particular focus on emerging markets. Eric has conducted numerous traffic and revenue forecasts in relation to airport privatization transactions for top-tier investment banks and airport operators. In network and fleet planning engagements, Eric helps airlines optimize routes, schedules, and hub operations, as well as evaluate partnership scenarios. Eric holds an M.A. in International Trade and Economic Development of Latin America from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

W. Chris Harrison

Shareholder


Ogletree Deakins

W. Chris Harrison has represented and advised management for over twenty years.  His practice includes all aspects of labour and employment law, including litigation, arbitrations, non-compete agreements, collective bargaining, union representation issues, grievances and labour arbitrations, unfair labour practices, employment discrimination, retaliation, AIR 21 and whistleblower claims, administrative law claims and airline regulatory matters. Prior to joining the firm, Chris served as in-house counsel at Pinnacle Airlines Corp, rising to become Vice-President of Labour Relations and Associate General Counsel, where he oversaw all labour relations, employment and regulatory matters for three airlines and over 9,000 employees. Chris is also a Senior Editor of The Railway Labor Act by BNA books, the authoritative treatise on the RLA.

Olga Svirskaia

Senior Manager, Airport Purchasing - Hubs & Spokes


American Airlines

Olga is a Senior Manager at American Airlines, Airport Purchasing for Hubs & Spokes stations. Originally from Minsk, Belarus, she gained an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the Belarusian State University and worked in the market research sector prior to moving to the US. Olga joined American Airlines in 2007, after completing her MBA in Marketing and Supply Chain at the NC State University. She began as as a Commodity Manager with the Aircraft Interiors (Tech Ops) Purchasing group, where she managed IFE content, soft goods, galley inserts and several seat programmes, before moving on to the Field Services Purchasing group in 2011. Since then she has held several roles within the Purchasing group, supporting airports and cargo services within the US and internationally. She led a team through bankruptcy, service outsourcing, merger-related integration planning and contract consolidation and, most recently, a variety of customer improvement projects.

Ruben Atehortua

Ground Operations Director


Avianca

Ruben started his career in Avianca as the Commercial and Airports Chief at Avianca Services. In this role he looked after the commercial and operational issues relating to airport services for Avianca Services customers. In August 2015 Ruben was promoted to Ground Operations Manager for the Bogota hub. In this position he was responsible for all the below the wing operations for Avianca, with a scope of 250 daily flights and 2,000 staff members. In 2017 Ruben assumed the post of Ground Operations Director, taking responsibility for all the below the wing operations (both in house and outsourced) of the network. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, Ruben holds a Business Administration degree, has a Master's in Business Administration and a Master's in Logistics and Operations; he has also accrued extensive training on related matters.

Marva Richards

Operations Manager


Airport Services (Antigua)

Marva has been employed in the ground handling industry with Airport Services (Antigua) Ltd for a little over 30 years. Marva began as a passenger services agent and then spent many years as a load control agent and then operations duty officer. In 2006, Marva was promoted to Operations Manager managing the contractual obligations of the ground handling agency to various clients, as well as the day to day management of passenger services, ramp and maintenance teams ensuring a safe and efficient operations. Marva holds a MSc. International Business from the University of Liverpool class of 2016.

Plato Thompson

Deputy General Manager Operations


Nassau Flight Services

John Redmond

SVP, The Americas


Menzies Aviation

John Redmond is Executive Vice President, Americas, at Menzies Aviation, with responsibility for all of Menzies Aviation operations across the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Panama and the Caribbean. John is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, and joined Menzies Aviation in 1998. He held various roles in the UK and continental Europe prior to taking up his current position in late 2007.

Jon Conway

Director General


Airport Services Association (ASA)

Jon began his aviation career with BOAC (later British Airways) Cargo, before embarking on a 27 year career with Cathay Pacific Airways. Initially working in cargo operations at London Gatwick, he was appointed Airport Manager Manchester in 1989. In 1994 he moved to Hong Kong, where he held a variety of senior management roles, the last being Director & General Manager of Hong Kong Airport Services. In 2008, he joined dnata as Divisional Senior Vice-President UAE Airport Operations and in 2014 he was given additional responsibility for dnata Cargo. Overseeing a workforce of over 18,000 across the UAE, Jon was also a Director of several joint ventures. In March 2017 he was appointed Director General of the Airport Services Association (ASA), the trade body representing the global ground handling industry. He is also Vice-Chair of the IATA Ground Operations Group.

Patricia De Kraus

General Manager


Spirit Airlines Peru

Rodrigo Martins

VP Cargo & Ground Handling Services


Talma Servicios Aeroportuarios

Rodrigo is the VP Ground Handling Services of Talma Servicios Aeroportuarios, a ground handling service provider operating in Peru. Before taking this position, he was a CEO in Peru with a multi-national ground handler and worked for several years in the airline business in Europe. Rodrigo has participated in many aviation events since 2003. Rodrigo holds an MBA in Business Administration and a degree from the Oxford Business University in Tourism Management. Having been on both sides of the business, namely contracting ground handling for an airline and serving the airlines as a ground handler, Rodrigo has gained the necessary experience to evaluate the needs amongst the difference stakeholders, and he is constantly sharing his experience within the industry.

Roberto Gomes

Senior Consultant


Quality Assurance GH Consulting

Roberto is a multi-disciplined aviation professional with proven experience, both in Brazil and abroad. His recent activity comprehends particular focus on safety management system implementation within ground handling services, as well as audits compliance procedures, controls and KPI's management.

Dan Agostino

Assistant Aviation Director - Operations


Miami International Airport

Rohit Tomar

Manager, Strategy and Operations


KPMG

Rohit Tomar works with global aviation clients to advise them on operational and financial transformation or growth strategies. Trained in aviation business from Germany and London, he has gathered more than 12 years of experience ranging from MRO, Airports, Airlines and Ground Handling companies. He currently works with KPMG in India and is part of the global Centre of Excellence for aviation in KPMG. Over the last two years, Rohit has advised clients such as Oman Airport Management Company, Etihad airways, Saudia Airline, Jet Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines and Cargo Services Company among many other clients. He is an avid researcher of innovative financial structuring models across the aviation industry.

Ricardo Miguel

President


Abesata

Ricardo is President of the Brazilian Ground Handling Services Association. He holds a Master's in Air Transport and Airports, and has qualifications in Aeronautical Sciences and Legal Sciences. He is also a Professor of Aerospace Law, an airline pilot and an aviation accident investigation specialist. Further, Ricardo is a member of the Advisory Board of the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency.

Thilo Wiers-Keiser

Sales & Marketing Director


Mototok

Thilo and Kersten Eckert founded Mototok in 2003. Thilo takes responsibility for worldwide marketing and sales. They have now over 750 machines in operation worldwide. They focused only on intelligent, electrical, wireles controlled aircraft movement solutions. Many well known customers and aircraft manufacturers have improved their operations with Mototok because the concept brings unique advantages.

Diego Raul Gonzalez

Lawyer


Aeropuertos Argentina 2000

Diego is Legal Affairs Manager at Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, a post he has held since 1999. An Attorney, he attended the Law School of Universidad Nacional de La Plata, where he graduated in 1992. He is the founder and President of the World Association of Airport Lawyers, a post he has occupied since 2008. He is also the founder and President of the Asociation Vehiculos Aereos no Tripuldos, as well as founder and President of the ACI-LAC Political, Regulatory and Legal Committee. Diego holds a Master’s in Administrative Law and is a full Professor on the subject of Airport Law. As Corporacion America’s legal advisor, he has participated in various public and private procurement processes, as well as in expressions of interest.

Russ Evans

Director of International Sales


Posicharge

Russ joined Aerovironment/PosiCharge in July 2016 and has over 20 years' experience in international product sales. Prior to joining Aerovironment, Russ was the EVP for Harlan Global Manufacturing, where he led corporate business development and new client systems. He was involved in exploring joint venture opportunities with companies such as Guinault and Kocoverk and managed a diverse project portfolio. From 2004-2007, Russ was the Director of Sales Operations at Assembly Component Systems. Prior to that, Russ held various positions as Director of International Sales & Marketing, Manager of Business Development and Director of Operations. He holds a Business Administration degree in Business Management, and a BSc in Economics.

Paul J. Eubanks

Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs


Airports Council International - North America

Paul joined ACI-NA in April 2007 and is currently Senior Director, Policy and Regulatory Affairs. He serves as the staff liaison to both the ACI-NA and Operations/Safety and Facilities/Maintenance Working Groups. He is also the ACI-NA staff liaison to numerous FAA stakeholder groups and is involved with the ACI-NA Small Airports Committee. Prior to joining ACI-NA, Paul worked on Capitol Hill for nearly seven years, focusing primarily on aviation transportation policy work. A graduate of Hillsdale College, with a degree in Political Science, he also holds a Master’s in Aviation/Aerospace Management and Operations, from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Nick Heemskerk

Director Global Product Development - GSE


JBT Aerotech

Nick is Director of Global Product Development for JBT AeroTech - GSE. He is responsible for the development of JBT's aircraft loaders, de-icers, conventional and towbarless tractors, transporters and passenger boarding steps, and directs engineering teams in Orlando, Madrid and Kunshan in China. Nick was born and raised in the Netherlands, where he obtained his BA in Engineering and an MBA. He joined JBT (called FMC at the time) in 1997 at the European headquarters in Brussels and moved to Orlando to join the GSE business in 2000.

Eric Hartmann

VP Aviation Services


Agunsa

Eric is an aviation enthusiast from New York, who now lives in Santiago de Chile. Having started his career checking in passengers at JFK, he has since held positions as Station Manager at Baltimore Washington and Miami airports, and was involved in the start-up of an airline in Chile. Before returning to Chile last year, he served as the head of the SkyTeam Cargo alliance, and was based in Amsterdam. Latin America and Asia are his specialities, and his current challenge is that of strengthening the position ofAgunsa Aviation Services in Latin America.

Mark Garlasco

CEO TLD USA


TLD America

Mark is CEO, TLD USA, and is responsible for manufacturing operations, sales and service for North America, Latin America, Australia and Japan. Holding a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and a Professional Engineer Licence, he joined Accessory Controls and Equipment (a TLD predecessor company) in 1981 as a Design Engineer. In 1987 Mark joined United Technologies Hamilton Standard Division, progressing in engineering management roles and developing aircraft air-conditioning systems. In 1999 he took up the post of COO at TLD for the Windsor factory, and expanded his role to CEO of North American industrial operations in 2007. In 2010 Mark assumed his current post.