APEX Speaker Bios

IFSA Speaker Bios


Maura Chacko, Vice President, Development, Spafax
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Since joining Spafax in 2008 as a content expert, Maura has overseen the global TV deals as well as managing the TV programming for a variety of clients around the world. Maura previously worked in the programming department at HBO, managing on air promotion scheduling for HBO, HBO Latino and HBO2, as well as launching promotions for HBO on Demand. Maura wrote a monthly TV column for Access, DirecTV’s magazine for Latin America subscribers, as well as content and marketing articles for sparksheet.com.



Michael Childers, Chief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy, Lufthansa Systems
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Michael is a current member of the APEX Board of Directors and serves as Chair of the Technology Committee. He also chaired the Digital Content Management Working Group since 2001 and the previous WAEA Satellite Content Delivery Working Group. He has been in the IFE industry, WAEA and APEX since 1979 as a content provider, an industry journalist, and a technology executive. He is the recipient of APEX’s Outstanding Contribution Award for his work in adopting digital specifications for the industry. He has worked on various SMPTE Working Groups and industry committees and has been an APEX liaison to SMPTE, MPEGIF, and the Internet Streaming Media Alliance. He is currently Chief Consultant, Content and Media Strategy, for Lufthansa Systems.

Robin Cole, VP Global Business Development, GEE
Robin Cole manages GEE’s Global Business Development efforts which includes ad sales, sponsorship, digital media solutions, and marketing. Robin joined GEE in early 2014, bringing with her 15 years of business development, marketing and sales experience in Fortune 100 companies. These include Sony, where she managed worldwide Strategy and Business Development efforts for Sony Electronics and Sony Corporation including 3 years at Sony HQ Tokyo, Japan; Apple, where she led Product Marketing efforts across the MacBook portfolio of products including the MacBook Pro, iBook and PowerBook and what would become the iPad; and Microsoft where she held a number of marketing, business development and sales leadership roles across a variety of product groups including mobile, PC and digital media. Most recently Robin held the position of VP of Marketing and Business Development at a digital media start up that specializes in live online streaming to multi-platform devices. Robin graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2000 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Management of Information Systems.

Jim Costello, Chief Technology Officer, Telefonix, Inc.
Jim has more than 25 years’ experience in the wireless communications industry, including over twenty years developing solutions for aircraft connectivity. Jim’s most recent position was with Row 44 as Vice President of Engineering. Jim started with Row 44 in 2006 when its Ku band satellite product was in its concept phase and recently left with over 500 commercial aircraft installed and its satellite service operational on four continents. Prior to Row 44, Jim was with Motorola as Director of Advanced Technology, and with Verizon’s Airfone business unit as Vice President, Product and Service Development. Jim graduated from Purdue University with a BS degree in Engineering and from Lake Forest Graduate School with an MBA.

Rajan Datar, Presenter, BBC World News, The Travel Show
Rajan Datar 2As the presenter for BBC World News The Travel Show (previously Fast:Track), Rajan has reported from 50 countries – ranging from Sri Lanka to Croatia, and Brazil to Kenya. This extensive reporting experience earned him the 2012/13 Broadcast Journalist of the Year for Travel award. He also presents and produces the international news channel’s Country Direct travelogues, working on 20 programmes in the past two years from all corners of the world including Vietnam, Ukraine, Mozambique, Japan and Mexico.

For World News TV’s Talking Books strand, Rajan has interviewed several authors including Michael Palin and Colin Thubron discussing travel writing. He also presents Over To You on BBC World Service and is a regular contributor to the award winning From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4. In 2011 he presented a two part series for the popular UK speech radio station called “Soft Power, Hard News” examining the power and influence of global broadcast media. He has also been the host of specialist arts, music and cinema programmes on the World Service. He regularly moderates conferences around the world for global organisations and charities including the UN and IATA and is asked to speak about issues ranging from developing economies to travel, the media, music and issues around diversity.

Rajan began his media career as a radio reporter for the BBC, also writing features for national daily newspapers including the Guardian, Times and Mail before winning a place on the broadcaster’s much sought-after production trainee scheme. He was then asked to present the seminal award-winning travel show Rough Guide to the World, and has also worked on Reportage, People’s Parliament and The Net. Rajan gained further experience at the broadcaster reporting on BBC’s flagship programmes like Newsnight, Watchdog and the award-winning business show, the Money Programme.

He holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and a Masters from the London School of Economics. For twenty years he has been a founder-member of a ska, reggae and dub act, Maroon Town, touring thirty countries around the world and released four albums. Three years ago he ran a marathon and hobbies include football, music and cinema.

Dr. Yener Girişken, CEO, ThinkNeuro; Lecturer of Neuromarketing, Bilgi University
Dr. Yener Girisken is co-founder and CEO of ThinkNeuro, the first and leader neuromarketing research company in Turkey that is mainly focused on advertisement, customer experience and brand positioning research. He studied Economics in Turkey and had his MBA in University of North Carolina. Girisken worked in marketing research department in USA between 2001-2005. Upon the completion of his PhD thesis based on brand personality in Istanbul University, Dr. Girisken founded ThinkNeuro and shifted his career to neuromarketing research given the effectiveness of this technique in measuring consumers’ nonconscious reactions. Girisken contributes to academic field both by teaching neuromarketing at Bilgi University at master of marketing communication programme and by publishing academic papers focused on neuromarketing. Girisken is Turkey’s Chair of Neuromarketing Science and Business Association (NMSBA).

Barrett Goodman, Global Digital Business, Global Business Development, Sony Music Entertainment
Barrett Goodman is a member of the Business Development and Strategy team for Sony Music’s Global Digital Business. Barrett is responsible for sourcing new partnership opportunities with early stage startups and established digital companies. He works to structure catalog wide licensing deals across Sony Music’s global labels and artist roster and develop new monetization opportunities for Sony affiliates.Prior to joining the business development team, Barrett worked at Columbia Records where he managed label finance and operations as well as strategic brand partnerships for artists. Barrett earned a BA in Economics from St. Lawrence University and an MBA with a focus on strategy and entrepreneurship from NYU’s Stern School of Business. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and likes to spend his free time rock climbing, skiing and embarrassing himself at local Karaoke bars.

Rakhita Jayawardena, CEO, SriLankan Airlines
Rakhita Jayawardena, a veteran in the field, has held high-profile positions with Air Lanka (Re-branded as SriLankan Airlines in 1979) and South African Airways and has been President of Inflight Duty Free Shop (New York), Alpha (UK) and now King Power Traveler. He was also the founding President of APTRA (the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association).

He’s been called the founding father of inflight duty free. He began his duty free career as the General Manager of Air Lanka in 1983. During his tenure, Air Lanka twice won the Frontier award for the Retailer of the Year among scheduled airlines. In 1987, Frontier’s Editor, Piers Harding, called him a pioneer, saying that it would be unlikely to find a more uniquely experienced expert in this field anywhere in the world!

Subsequently, he moved to Inflight Duty Free Shop, New York (IDFS), as President and CEO. During this period, he expanded the company successfully across the globe to make it the largest in-flight retail operator at that time.
Thereafter, he was retained by Alpha PLC as the first President of Alpha On Board Sales & Services, United Kingdom. Currently, he is President of Kingpower Traveler, responsible for providing in-flight retail services to airlines throughout the Asia Pacific region.

During his career, he has successfully managed and operated more than 40 full-concession and supply service contracts for global airlines and also pioneered the low-cost airline food and beverage retail service.
Jayawardena was also the founding President of the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA), an organisation that has all the stakeholders of the travel retail business serving an industry, with a turnover in excess of $10 billion. In January 2006, he was voted by both DFNI and The Moodie Report as travel retail’s “Person of the Year” for his sterling work in building the Travel Retail Village for families who lost their homes in the Tsunami.

Tal Kalderon, IFE Manager, EL AL
Tal has worked for EL AL since 2006. He came in as a consultant to upgrade all IFE systems from the analog generation to digital. He is now the manager of IFE where he builds and develops content concepts for a variety of platforms while facing the challenge of ever changing technology. Tal finished his academic studies in 1990, his focus was in Film and Television and Business Management. He previously worked in the television industry as an Executive Producer for a TV studio in Israel and as a director. He has also consulted for local television companies on production and broadcasting issues.

Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D., Founder & President, branding.aero
Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D. is founder and president of branding.aero, LLC, an aviation branding consultancy. Leveraging a unique blend of creative insight and business strategy, Stathis has directed projects with Airbus, Boeing, IATA, ICAO, numerous airlines and airports, along with facilitating workshops and presentations at APEX, IFSA, WTCE and Aircraft Interiors EXPO industry events. He also serves as a Professor of marketing at the School of Business, State University of New York at Oswego, USA, and is a regular contributor to air transport trade and business publications. Stathis completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Airline Brand Experience Management at the University of the Arts London, UK. He holds a Ph.D in Aviation Marketing Management from Cranfield University, UK and a Masters in Design Futures from Goldsmiths – University of London specializing in airline corporate identity.

Iain Kemplay – Managing Director, Kemplay Consulting Limited
Iain Kemplay is the Founder and MD of Kemplay Consulting, a UK based music services company providing expertise, insight and solutions to the complex business of music rights.
With a senior management background at the UK music rights society PRS for Music, several years on the board of the UK Educational Recording Agency and as part of a launch team for Omnicom Media Group’s music publishing interests, he has substantial knowledge and experience of collective rights management and international music rights licensing in in-flight entertainment, broadcast and online.
He specialises in guiding music copyright owners, music rights organisations and users of music through the myriad of current rights representation and licensing options available, packaging solutions and identifying opportunities.

Éric Lauzon, Manager, In-flight Entertainment, Air Canada
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Éric Lauzon holds the position of Manager In-Flight Entertainment at Air Canada, since September 2011. As part the Air Canada’s Marketing & Product Design team, Éric is responsible for the development, the implementation and the management of passenger-compelling IFE content, processes and strategies. Employed by Air Canada for more than 18 years, Éric started as a Sales & Customer Service agent. After he graduated with his Master ès Science degree in International Marketing, he joined the Marketing Communications department in 2000 where he started as a Tourism Marketing coordinator and ended as the Manager – Marketing Communications – Loyalty, responsible for the development and execution of  advertising, direct response and loyalty marketing campaigns targeting Air Canada’s best customers. Now in charge of their in-flight entertainment experience, he always strives to ensure it is the best one possible. Éric is a member of the APEX Board of Directors, is the Co-Chair of the MultiMedia Market Committee and serves on the Awards and Marketing & Communications Committees.

Eric Lefebvre, Client Relationship Leader, National Research Council Canada
Eric Lefebvre is currently responsible for business development and strategy at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Aerospace division which includes a focus on the aircraft interior and cabin comfort program known as Working and Travelling on Aircraft (WTA). The WTA program is mandated to research and develop next generation technology for airlines to offer a more comfortable journey for passengers while enhancing new revenues and efficiencies. Mr. Lefebvre has an extensive background in the software/digital content and IFE industry and for the past 25 years has held business development and marketing executive positions at various companies including co-founding his own company in digital media.

Werner Lieberherr, President & Chief Executive Officer, B/E Aerospace
Werner Lieberherr joined B/E Aerospace in 2006 and serves as President & Chief Executive Officer since 2014. Prior, he served 16 years in the energy industry with ABB and Alstom in Europe, Asia and North America. Werner Lieberherr holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management in Chicago and a Masters in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from ETH in Zurich.





Devin Liddell, Principal Brand Strategist, TEAGUE
Devin Liddell leads the brand strategy offer for design consultancy TEAGUE, working collaboratively with clients such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, The Boeing Company, Intel, JW Marriott, Microsoft, and SC Johnson to create research-driven brand strategies and consumer experiences. With more than a decade of experience in brand strategy and design, Devin has worked across a broad spectrum of industries: aerospace, higher education, software/technology, food and beverage, and retail; his past clients include Amazon, GE, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Nordstrom, Seattle Symphony and Starbucks. His work has been featured in Brandweek and Brand Strategy, and he teaches regularly at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, Washington.



Anaïs Marzo da Costa, Head of Aircraft Interiors Marketing, Airbus
Since 2009 Anaïs is part of the Aircraft Interiors Marketing team, where she contributes to cabin product development and supports sales campaigns. She was recently appointed Head of the team. Her previous assignment was as the Commercial Director of a small aircraft interiors design company based in Toulouse. Prior to that, she was responsible for designing and delivering training programmes in the field of air transport management, at AirBusiness Academy that she joined at the end of 2004. Since early 2002, Anaïs has also been part of the Airbus Air Transport Seminar team, and was Director of the Seminar from October 2007 until December 2008. Anaïs graduated from ICADE – CESEM International Business School present in Madrid and Reims. She then completed her Masters in Air Transport Management (ENAC-ESC Toulouse, France). In early 2000, she joined the Airbus Customer Marketing team where she supported sales campaigns and held responsibility for marketing activities in the Africa/India region.

Leo Mondale, President, Aviation, Inmarsat

Leo Mondale joined Inmarsat in 2004 as Vice President of Business Development and Strategy, based in Washington DC. He now serves as President of the Aviation business unit, and is based in Nyon Switzerland. In his time with the company, Leo also founded and led the “Growth Management and Support” organisation of Inmarsat, which included responsibility for Inmarsat’s Product and Service Development, Programme Management, the development of the Global Xpress programme, and overseeing the establishment of commercial aviation as a specific line of Inmarsat business. Prior to joining Inmarsat, Leo held a variety of senior positions in the satellite and aerospace industries, including at Iridium, Inc. where he was ultimately Chief Financial Officer, as partner in Thaler Associates, Chief Executive Officer of @contact, LLC, and as President of Arianespace Inc. Leo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota and was awarded a Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Garen Moreno, Director, Strategic Partnering, BMW Designworks
Garen is a business development expert for the design industry who has been fortunate to spend his career doing what he loves most: Helping leading brands of the world grow their business. Garen has relocated to California after years leading an award winning creative consultancy in Spain. As Executive Director/Partner he helped grow the design studio to an international brand specialized in industrial design, retail design, brand strategy and experiential marketing. He has developed projects throughout Europe and the UAE for clients such as Tiffany&Co. LVMH, Aston Martin, Hermes, L’Oreal, SEAT, Roca and others.

Leveraging his global perspective on customer experience and environmental design Garen has now turned his attention towards premium mobility. At BMW Group Designworks Garen is Director, Strategic Partnering and leads the development of engagements for the mobility sector. Garen has procured and managed successful programs for leading commercial aviation brands as well as global airframe manufacturing leaders focusing on envisioning and creating the in-flight experience of the future.

In particular Garen is working to grow BMW Designworks’ presence and establish the firm as a leader in the design and development of seating environments for commercial aviation. “The ultimate driving experience is part of our DNA and we hope to influence global mobility driving change for the better. We are passenger experience experts and it is our mission to make travel better.”

Craig Proud, SVP Platform, GuestLogix
Mr. Proud brings more than 15 years’ experience in the Information Technology sector, having specialized in providing software as a service. Mr. Proud also has extensive Project Management experience having led large projects internationally for GuestLogix and in past leadership roles at Kubra and Level 3 communications.




Bryan Rusenko, APEX Technical Director, IFE Consultant
Bryan is currently providing consulting services to the industry, including serving as APEX Technical Director. As TD he is involved all aspects of the Technology Committee’s working groups, serving as co-Chair. His expertise includes media technology and workflows, standards application, emerging technologies, and systems architecture. Bryan has held key positions in the IFE industry since 1987, beginning as VP of Engineering at Intersound, Inc, an innovative post production company. From there he moved to Crest Digital where he guided their forward looking strategy as Sr. VP of Special Projects Engineering. He served as VP of Strategy and Technology, IFE at Technicolor where he launched their IFE group. Bryan was engaged by APEX as a special consultant providing technical assistance on the APEX Closed Caption response to the DOT. He has also been a long time speaker at WAEA and APEX events, including as event chair for an Educational Workshop. He has been a regular working group co-chair since the DVD-WG in 1998. Bryan has contributed as an author to industry publications.

Mark Schwartz, President, Design Consultancy Practice, Telefonix PDT
Mark Schwartz founded Product Development Technologies (PDT) twenty years ago. During that time, Mark grew the business into a full service product development firm with over 120 employees and more than 80 awards for its work. Under his leadership, PDT was twice named to INC 500’s Fastest Growing Companies list and became one of the premier product development firms serving the world’s largest and most innovative companies. In 2013, after years of successfully working together on aerospace product solutions, Mark and Paul worked together to join Telefonix and PDT’s competencies into one, integrated team to drive innovation in the IFEC and aerospace industry.

Sandy Stelling, Managing Director, Customer Research & Development, Alaska Airlines
Sandy Stelling is the Managing Director of Customer Research and Development at Alaska Air Group, an industry leader in innovation, customer service and loyalty among airlines. She oversees the company’s center of excellence on customer innovation to develop solutions to advance the customer experience. She is also responsible for customer insights & analytics and customer communications for Alaska Airlines.

Sandy Stelling previously served as managing director of airport services with responsibility for airport procedures, training, technology and strategic project execution for both Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. While in this role, she also led multiple business transformation programs across Alaska Air Group.

Sandy joined Alaska in 1999 as a project manager in its IT organization. During her 15 years with Alaska she has served in numerous leadership roles in airport operations and aircraft maintenance. In addition to these responsibilities she developed and led strategic programs to achieve performance and financial objectives across both Alaska and Horizon. Prior to Alaska, Sandy was a senior systems engineer at the Boeing Company, primarily supporting development, test and production of the 777 aircraft.

Sandy serves in a volunteer capacity with Lehigh University Alumni Admissions Outreach; and the Museum of Flight Amelia’s Aero Club Advisory Board. Sandy is a graduate of Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.


Rainer von Borstel, CEO, Diehl Aerosystems
Rainer von BorstelRainer von Borstel is Member of the Executive Board of Diehl Stiftung since April 2010 and also became President of Corporate Board Diehl Aerosystems in October 2010. In this function, he is leading the biggest of five Corporate Divisions of the Diehl Group.

Before his current appointments at Diehl, he spent almost two years at the industrial services supplier EDAG GmbH, where he was Head of the Aerospace Division. In that capacity, he was also CEO of galley manufacturer Mühlenberg Interiors GmbH (now Diehl Service Modules GmbH) and engineering service provider ELAN GmbH.

Earlier, he spent most of his previous professional career at aircraft manufacturer Airbus, where he held a number of increasingly senior positions between 1985 and 2008: His earlier experience in that period covers various functions in the fields of engineering, aircraft conversion (P2F) and programme management, both in Hamburg (Germany) and in Toulouse (France).

On executive level since 2001, he was first Vice President Single-Aisle Programme Operations, then Vice President Cabin and Cargo Engineering, heading the Center of Competence (CoC) for all aircraft cabin and cargo systems at Airbus. Between 2004 and 2006, he was General Manager at Airbus KID GmbH, an Airbus subsidiary for cabin electronics and connectivity. In 2007 and 2008 he was first Senior Vice President Center of Excellence (CoE) Cabin and Cargo Customisation, then Senior Vice President CoE Fuselage and Cabin.

Rainer von Borstel was born in 1959 in Cuxhaven (Germany), where he also attended school. Following his military service from 1978 to 1980, he attended the University of Applied Sciences (FH) in Hamburg, where he received his degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1985.

David Withers, CEO, digEcor
Since 2009, David has served as the Chief Executive of digEcor (incorporating Microair Avioncs and Total Aviation Solutions). TAS was founded by David Withers in 2009 as a niche aviation consultancy and from 2010 began to develop a new range of seat back entertainment systems. In 2012 Microair Avionics was acquired to add a depth of manufacturing capacity and its range of avionics products. In 2013 digEcor, a long term partner in the IFE development, was acquired. Today the company manufactures a full range of cabin technology products focused on enhancing passenger experience. Previous roles include Chair, Aviation Industry Leaders Council; President, Boeing Australia; Managing Director, Smiths Aerospace Asia Pacific; Senior Avionics Engineer, Qantas Airways. David holds an honours degree in Engineering and a Masters of Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He also serves on the APEX Education Committee.


Keynote Speaker: Matt Tenney

pic_matt_tenneyMatt Tenney is a social entrepreneur and the author of Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom.  He is also an international keynote speaker, a trainer, and a consultant with the prestigious Perth Leadership Institute, whose clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies.  He works with companies, associations, universities, and non-profits to develop highly effective leaders who achieve lasting success by focusing on serving and inspiring greatness in the people around them.  Matt envisions a world where the vast majority of people realize that effectively serving others is the key to true greatness.  When he’s not traveling for speaking engagements, he can often be found in Nashville, TN.

Click here to learn more about Matt Tenney.

Other Education Sessions

  • Suzy Badaraco will be presenting “Food, Flavor & Beverage Future Trends: Authenticity, Risk and Experimentation Lead the Way”
  • The Government Affairs Committee will be presenting on current issues in regulation in the U.S. and abroad.