Andres Castañeda is the Chief Experience Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Aeroméxico. He re-joined Aeroméxico in 2014 as the Vice President of Digital Marketing, having previously served as a revenue analyst for the airline before becoming CEO of Clarus Digital, one of Mexico’s biggest marketing agencies at the time.
After his time with Clarus Digital, Andres joined Unilever as their Communication Channel Manager before heading back to Aeroméxico. He was promoted to Aeroméxico’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2017 and has been a member of the APEX Board of Directors for two years.
Andres brings more than 10 years of experience in airline customer experience and has presented on technology topics at previous APEX events.
Vice President & General Manager – North America, Air China
As Vice President and General Manager for North America, Dr. Zhihang Chi currently manages all aspects of Air China’s business in the region from the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles, California. He leads a team of 350 U.S.-based Air China colleagues and oversees marketing and operations for all passenger flights between North America and China.
Dr. Chi joined Air China in 2004 and has since led North America’s growth initiatives, investments and various contributions across the local economies the company services. Prior to his promotion to Vice President in April 2008, Dr. Chi was General Manager for the Western U.S. region for two years until November 2006. Before that, he was responsible for Air China’s Los Angeles operations. Dr. Chi frequently speaks on topics ranging from trade to tourism and aviation. As a result of his extensive experience and visionary leadership, he actively works to develop and strengthen U.S. and Chinese diplomatic relations and provides a unique perspective and deep understanding of issues affecting the U.S. and China, as well as the travel and airline industries at large.
In November 2011, Dr. Chi was the recipient of the prestigious China Business Leadership Award on behalf of the U.S.-China Policy Foundation. The award recognized his valuable contributions to U.S. and Chinese policymakers and government officials. He was also featured in the March 2015 issue of Vital Speeches of the Day, a monthly magazine. And in November 2014, Dr. Chi gave a keynote address on U.S.-Chinese bilateral relations at a Town Hall event in Los Angeles. Earlier in his career, he held several positions for Northwest Airlines from 1994-2003 where he developed and managed a number of strategic alliances with other international airlines, with a specific focus on Chinese carriers.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, Dr. Chi was born in China and speaks fluent English and Chinese. He earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Peking University in Beijing.
Chief Consultant, Content & Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems
With more than 40 years’ experience in inflight entertainment & connectivity, and non-theatrical distribution, Michael has combined 12 years as COO of the first and largest independent content provider in IFE with more than 20 years’ experience in content management and delivery. His current focus is the integration and automation of the IFE content delivery supply chain, content security protocols, and content acquisition and licensing. His specialties include content acquisition and licensing, content management, supply chain integration & automation, and IFEC business modeling and planning.
He has served on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) PED ARC and was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) ACCESS Advisory Committee. Michael has been active in WAEA since 1979, and was COO of the first independent content provider in IFE. In 2006 he became CEO of LightStream Communications Group focusing on automation and integration of the content delivery supply chain. He became an independent IFEC consultant in 2000, was Managing Director, Content & Media Strategy, for The IMS Company from 2006 through 2009, and has been Chief Consultant, Content & Media Strategy, for Lufthansa Systems since 2011. During this time he has also been an industry journalist, including two years as Managing Editor of the APEX Newsletter, and as a contributor to EXPERIENCE Magazine, Aircraft Interiors, and others.
In September 2013 he was honored by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) with its Outstanding Contribution Award. He was the seventh recipient of the award since the Association was founded; Sir Richard Branson was the first. Michael is a member of the APEX Board of Directors and chair of its Technology Committee.
V.P. of Advertising, Sponsorships & Partner Marketing, Global Eagle Entertainment
Ms. Creaven manages all aspects of GEE’s global advertising and sponsorship team, media operations and marketing specializing in aviation media including in-flight entertainment, digital media, online, connectivity and print. In addition, she manages all airline partner relationships and developing innovative media opportunities to generate airline media ancillary revenue. Ms. Creaven oversees and develops media infrastructure, IT support and media campaign inventory tools and new CMS platform for media sales.
Ms. Creaven’s previous experience includes positions with Delta Air Lines, Cumulus Media, and American Airlines.
General Director North America & Asia, Avianca Airlines
With over 25 years of sales experience in the airline industry, and based at Avianca Airline’s North American headquarters in Miami, Rolando Damas is directly responsible for the airline’s passenger operations in the United States, Canada, and Asia. Mr. Damas is a key decision maker overseeing sales and marketing, airports, cost control, government affairs, and the carrier’s general sales agents throughout these countries.
Damas defined and implemented a highly efficient sales structure while increasing Avianca’s presence in North America, this while Avianca’s weekly capacity between North America and Latin America increased from 80 flights in 2011 to 300 flights in 2018.
Damas studied at State University of New York, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree while majoring in Business Management and has a Certificate in Executive Leadership from Yale School of Management.
Executive Director – APEX
VP Customer Experience, Virgin Atlantic
Daniel is Vice President at Virgin Atlantic where he leads the talented Customer Experience team. Together, they shape and define the strategic vision of customer experience for Virgin Atlantic in the air and on the ground.
Prior to joining Virgin Atlantic, Daniel spent 13 years working in various senior leadership roles for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. During this time, he oversaw a range of global marketing and customer experience programs which are recognized as best-in-class within the industry.
Originally from Toronto, Daniel has lived in New York, Singapore, Brussels and now London. Daniel is an avid explorer with extensive travel to almost 100 Countries and all 7 Continents.
Chief Executive Officer of APEX and IFSA
Regional Director, Financial & Distribution Services, IATA
Ms. Lines is a graduate in Business Administration & Marketing who started her career in travel and tourism in a family business responsible for sales and marketing for Alamo, Hyatt and Hilton Hotels in Costa Rica.
Alicia joined IATA in 2001 after moving to the Dominican Republic as IATA BSP Coordinator. She later became Country Manager for the Western Caribbean region, looking after Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, The Cayman Islands and Cuba. During that tenure she was also a Regional Project Manager for the Americas for the Simplifying the Business project which abolished paper tickets, implemented bar coded boarding passes amongst other passenger experience technological enhancements.
Since her transfer to Miami Regional office in 2012, she has served as Head of IATA Regional Vice-President’s Office coordinating IATA’s strategy and allocating resources for the America’s, Human Resources Head and appointed Regional Director for IATA’s Financial and Distribution Services Division for the Americas, responsible for IATA Settlement Systems (ISS) which enables the swift, reliable, and efficient movement of funds between airlines and their travel partners. In 2018, the ISS settled globally over US$430 billion and advocating for the future changes in distribution such as NDC and One Order.
VP of Global Marketing, Japan Airlines
Akira Mitsumasu is VP of Global Marketing in Japan Airlines. Akira brings over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry and has held multiple leadership roles within the company, including his most recent role as VP of Products and Services Planning. Akira has been named one of Asia’s Best Marketer and is recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Global Marketing Leaders. He currently serves as an advisory board member on the CMO Council for Asia Pacific. Akira’s passion for his work extends beyond his office. He is a voracious researcher on business related issues and has recently published a book titled “Control and Coordination of Subsidiaries in Japanese Corporate Groups”. Akira holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a DBA from Hitotsubashi University in Japan.
Chief Commercial Officer, Viasat Ireland
Fergal leads Viasat’s IFE business development team. He builds partnerships with advertisers, retailers, and service providers to deliver innovative, personalized digital experiences inflight and throughout the entire passenger journey. He works with airlines to create new ancillary revenues, and insights to drive yield, load and loyalty.
Viasat’s best-in-class inflight connectivity and IFE systems are live on over 1,300 commercial aircraft including American Airlines, Jetblue, United Airlines, Qantas, SAS and other LCC and regional fleets.
Vice President Marketing, FlightPath3D
Prior to joining FlightPath3D, Jon was Senior Director of Marketing at Panasonic Avionics. Other positions held include: VP Sales & Marketing at Lumexis Corporation, Executive Director of Trade Media and Events at Ink, VP Cabin Design Office at Airbus, A350 XWB Cabin & Cargo Program Manager at Airbus, Chief Design Engineer on the 728JET at Fairchild Dornier and Chief of Repair Engineering at BAE SYSTEMS Regional Aircraft.
Jon is co-chair of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Membership Committee, a member of the APEX Technology and Awards Committee leadership teams, a chartered engineer with the UK’s Royal Aeronautical Society, and a regular speaker at industry conferences/forums on a wide range of IFEC, cabin and passenger issues.
Head of On-Board Service Operations, LATAM Airlines
As head of On-Board service operations Juan is responsible for LATAM Airlines cabin crew operations and on-board catering & retail execution. In his 11 years tenure with LATAM Airlines he served in different marketing, innovation and operational roles. Before joining LATAM Airlines he was an entrepreneur, worked in consulting, private equity and market research. Juan holds a B.A. in Business Administration from University of Buenos Aires and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, where he majored in Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
Chair – APEX Education Committee, Co-Chair – APEX Connectivity Working Group
Mary has been a leader in the inflight entertainment and communications industry for over 30 years. At SmartSky, Mary was responsible for introducing SmartSky within the commercial aviation industry and growing SmartSky into the IFC leader in the commercial airline sector. Prior to SmartSky, Mary managed the launch of Gogo’s connectivity and streaming video services on several key airlines. At United Airlines, her primary focus was on the development and implementation of inflight entertainment and communications services that enhanced the customer experience.
Throughout much of her career, Mary has been actively involved in the IFEC industry. She has served multiple times as a Director on the APEX Board and is currently the Chair of the APEX Education Committee and Co-Chair of the APEX Connectivity Working Group. Mary also served as the President of the Association for 2 years.
Media Consultant- Internet Video Wrangler, Sequence Key
As a freelance consultant, Andy Rosen is boldly upsetting the post house workflows that he helped unify within our 0395 specification. That MPEG2 implementation effort began in 1995 when Andy was developing interactive cable fundamentals at Warner Brothers. Later, our 0598 specification included DVD security contributions from Andy and his Microsoft colleagues. Next, when he was with the Xbox streaming video service, Andy’s content ingest optimization mandates overlapped with what became the IMF-friendly QC automation recommendations of part one of the APEX 0415 specification.
Now Andy is coordinating SMPTE media control, metadata, and ad tracking standards with related efforts underway at the Audio Engineering Society and the DASH Industry Forum. He’s infusing elements of their commercial Internet mindset into APEX 0918, the first specification coming from our Advertising Delivery Working Group.
Strategy Manager, Lufthansa Group / Lufthansa Technik
Stephan has almost 12 years of experience in the aviation industry, with a focus on inflight entertainment and connectivity, plus several years in other industries. Previously, he served as an engineer for rail vehicles for Siemens’ North American market and was a researcher in the automotive industry at the Institute of Electrical Machines, Aachen University of Technology. Stephan has also served as a Professor for Electrical Engineering at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.
His aviation roles include:
-Head of Aircraft Production Inspection for Lufthansa Technik (Hamburg, Toulouse, Seattle, Charleston);
-Strategy Manager for Aircraft Base Maintenance and Modification for Lufthansa Technik (Hamburg);
-Project Manager for Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity, Lufthansa Technik (Hamburg).
He served as Co-Chairman of EUROCAE/RTCA WG99/SC234 on “new guidelines for PEDs on board commercial airplanes” for the Lufthansa Group. Now he co-chairs the APEX Connectivity Working Group (CWG).
Founder and CTO, NetForecast
Peter Sevcik is the founder and CTO of NetForecast and is a leading authority on Internet traffic and performance. Peter has contributed to the design of more than 100 networks, including the Internet, and is co-inventor of three patents on application response time prediction and network congestion management. He pioneered Internet usage tracking techniques and invented the Apdex methodology.
Co-founder, IdeaNova Technologies, Inc.
Juraj Siska is an IT professional with a fruitful history of building secure IT systems. After a successful IT consulting career, he started IdeaNova Technologies which provides high quality IFE products and services to avionics customers worldwide. Juraj has led IdeaNova for over a decade of brining innovation and professionalism to its clients. He graduated from Iowa State with a PhD and is the company’s CEO, overseeing business and technical implementation of the next generation of IFE systems.
Director of Business Development at Touch
André is the Director of Business Development at Touch, being responsible for the company’s sales strategies, product differentiation and business growth. With a background in engineering and business strategy, Andre started his career in the oil industry but soon embraced the world of aviation, aggregating experience in airport services, engineering services, ground handling, VIP lounges and inflight entertainment over the last 6 years.
Chief Technology Officer, iPass
Blaz has more than 19 years of experience delivering wireless connectivity solutions to the enterprise and carrier sectors with a focus on network service performance and user experience. As Vice President of Product Management at Pareteum he is engaged with customers, partners and members of the in-flight connectivity ecosystem to help shape the passenger experience and insure Pareteum product strategy alignment.
Blaz holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton.