APEX members do good by working to improve the passenger experience – but also by donating their time and money to the charitable causes they support. For IFPL, Wessco International and Images In Motion that means making sizable donations to organizations supporting causes that are near and dear. Read about other APEX members giving back here and here.
No Man Is an Island
By Paul Sillers
Geoff Underwood is the CEO of IFPL, the Isle of Wight-based company specializing in passenger interface solutions for the in-flight entertainment and connectivity industry. But he’s also chairman of the WightAID charitable foundation, which provides funding to charities, groups and organizations that improve the lives of people living on the Isle of Wight. To date, the foundation has donated close to a quarter million dollars to 64 charities.
“As my company IFPL has grown, the amount of money we are able to give to charities has grown, too. However, with that, the administration required to make all those donations went through the roof. We became inundated with requests from small local charities, groups and good causes,” Underwood says. “Many Island businesses make generous donations to local charities each year, but the whole process can be very time-consuming, so I set up the WightAID Foundation, making it easier for companies to support a whole range of local charities and community groups by making one donation, and the foundation will distribute the funds efficiently and effectively to those that need our support.”
WightAID supports a broad spectrum of causes: at-risk youth, crime prevention, victim support, offender rehabilitation, childcare provision and many other causes. “It’s my hope that other Island businesses will join me in supporting our island community,” Underwood says. “I aim to distribute all the money we receive and keep our running costs to
an absolute minimum.”
Near and Dear
By Paul Sillers
The American Red Cross and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Foundation are beneficiaries of the philanthropy of Wessco International, a Los Angeles-based supplier of onboard service products.
“The most positive outcome of our recent donations was providing refuge, food and relief items to families who fled the California wildfires. These contributions to the Red Cross will continue as these families recover and become more resilient against future disasters,” says Bob Bregman, president of Wessco. And referencing the company’s contributions to the IFSA Foundation, which was founded in 2000 to help students and onboard service professionals further their education, Bregman says, “We’ve heard from very grateful students who were awarded the scholarship over the years.”
Wessco’s support helps cover tuition, books, living expenses and costs associated with college or other educational opportunities, and is available to IFSA member company employees and their families, and those pursuing an industry-related professional degree in onboard services.
By Paul Sillers
In lieu of the usual celebratory activities, in-flight content service provider Images In Motion celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017 with a substantial donation of 1 million Singaporean dollars ($750,000 US) to Food From the Heart, a local charity that distributes basic sustenance to Singapore’s underprivileged.
“When we decided to thank Singapore for helping us survive two decades in business, we knew who we wanted to help.” €” Pravin Jumabhoy, Images In Motion
It was an easy decision to make for Pravin Jumabhoy, executive director of Images In Motion, who plans to retire in March 2019. “Singapore is where I grew up. It’s where I met my wife, where we began Images In Motion and where our three children were born. Visitors to Singapore are struck by the number of elderly who are still working: in food outlets, at the airport – everywhere. This is something that I found hard to accept,” he says. “When we decided
to thank Singapore for helping us survive two decades in business, we knew who we wanted to help.”
Food From the Heart helps over 35,000 Singaporeans, and there are similar charities around the world that do the same for their communities, Jumabhoy says. “In our industry, we talk about pax and screenings, and we compete to offer more, so I would challenge everyone to step up – there are millions of people who need help in all of our hometowns!”
“Giving Back” was originally published in the 8.5 December/January issue of APEX Experience magazine.