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Previous Outstanding Contribution
 
2015 Mary Kirby
Mary Kirby has covered the aviation industry for nearly 17 years as both a journalist and editor. Beginning with a weekly world airline newsletter, Mary joined FlightGlobal in 1999, was promoted to Deputy Editor Americas in 2003, and then to U.S. Editor.
In 2007 she became Senior Editor for FlightGlobal’s weekly magazine, Flight International, where she led the coverage of IFEC and aircraft interiors, and contributed regularly to Airline Business magazine. Mary was also the proprietor of the popular and highly regarded Runway Girl blog that focused on the passenger experience. In November 2013, Mary launched Runway Girl Network, which delivers news and intelligence about the airline passenger experience industry and highlights the work of women in aviation. Her site is transforming the traditional aviation B2B trade news model to encompass a B2B-2C model that considers passenger needs. 
 
2015 Steve Harvey 
In 1979, Steve was working as a radio news reporter in London. Recognising
the potential for customised in-flight entertainment (IFE) he formed Inflight
Productions with Doug Moffitt. Launch customers Laker Airways and British
Caledonian were soon joined by British Airways, KLM, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. By 2006 IFP had become the largest privately owned provider of IFE at which point the directors accepted an offer to sell the company to Advanced Medien. Doug eventually retired and Steve left to join PME (acquired by GEE). He is now a senior account director with GEE responsible for the Emirates account.


2013
 Michael Childers 
In an association driven by innovators, earning recognition as an outstanding contributor says a lot. Michael Childers, chief consultant for content and media strategy for Lufthansa Systems, has been at the forefront of APEX’s push to be globally recognized as a leading authority on IFE. His successes on behalf of the association undoubtedly make him deserving of the 2013 Outstanding Contribution Award.
 
For more than three decades, Childers has contributed to WAEA and APEX in various roles. He currently serves as co-chair to the Technical Committee. 
 
Childers’ colleague, Michael Planey – principal for H&M Planey Consultants – hailed Childers as a leading advocate for the industry and for APEX.
 
“His leadership during the transition from analog to digital media within APEX has led to the establishment of industry standards, a streamlining of content management and an improved integration of IFE within the content producers’ digital ecosystem,” Planey wrote. “Further, Michael has been dedicated to enhancing the educational programs at APEX, both as a speaker at numerous conferences and as an author for AVION, WIN and Experience over the past decade.”
 

More recently, Childers and fellow TC member Rich Salter participated on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) investigating the use portable electronic devices (PEDs) inflight. Their participation, as well as a corresponding APEX/Consumer Electronics Association study helped propel APEX into the national spotlight, earning the association a great deal of industry recognition.

2011 Ken Brady
Ken Brady is currently Chief Engineer for Thales Avionics Inc., and has 34 years of experience in the engineering field, 24 of which have been dedicated to the development of inflight entertainment and service systems. His background includes hardware design, software design and systems engineering. He has been a participant in the ARINC Cabin Equipment Interfaces/ Cabin Systems Subcommittee for more than 21 years and is also a participating member of the APEX technology Committee.

The IFE market knows Ken as a key contributor to the development of industry standards and technologies for decades. His enthusiasm about the industry remains consistently strong and he has contagious positive energy. Remarkably knowledgeable, his vision turns into real world IFE solutions that truly satisfy market needs. He’s inspirational.

Ken has been known as a key contributor to the development of industry standards and technologies for decades. His enthusiasm about the industry remains consistently strong and he has contagious positive energy. Remarkably knowledgeable, his vision turns into real world solutions that truly satisfy.

2010 Bryan Rusenko
Bryan Rusenko is Crest Digital’s Senior Vice President – Special Projects Engineering and is responsible for the firm’s forward-looking technology strategies and developing solutions to technologically challenging problems. Rusenko served as Chief Engineer for Intersound from 1983 to 1990. In that position, he guided the company’s expansion into video post-production and entry into the inflight entertainment market. Later, in 1990, he joined Crest, where he has created workflows that guide the VOD and DVD Encoding departments, then designed and programmed the original subtitling system Crest used to enter the market in 1991. He later founded Crest’s MPEG services group in 1994.

Bryan has been a mainstay on both APEX and WAEA's Technology Committee and has been a longtime co-chair of that group, a task force chair, and a frequent presenter at industry events. He was elected to WAEA's Board of Directors in 2001 where he served for eight years. His service to APEX (formerly WAEA) and his dedication to educating and developing innovative ways to communicate technology-related information to its members make him a deserving and outstanding recipient of the award.

2009 Arn Steventon
Arnold “Arn” Steventon single handedly conceived of, developed, and marketed the IFE industry’s first personal TV. He founded the company Air Vision and, following several years of developmental work, introduced the small, seatback screen to the marketplace in 1984. The revolutionary new system first flew in 1985 on a Northwest 747.

Steventon’s development of the seat back personal screen constituted an IFE industry landmark and breakthrough. It led the way for seat-mounted and armrest-mounted personal screens, seat players, etc. Soon duplicated by other IFE hardware companies, Steventon’s development was the forerunner and led the way for others. Steventon’s company Air Vision was later purchased by Warner Bros. and subsequently by Philips Electronics. Avicom, Trans Com, Matsushita, and others were influenced by Steventon’s concept and product, and they introduced personal screens of their own. Like the revolution of the first inflight movie system, the development of the 8mm film cartridge, and the introduction of video projection, Steventon’s revolutionary idea and development of the first personal screen video stands as an important industry landmark.

2008 Lonnie Webber
Webber was the key-figure in the development of Trans Com’s 8mm film cartridge projection system … the first IFE system that afforded inflight multiple programming and films. An engineer, Webber’s devotion to the project and his development of that innovative system played a key role in Trans Com becoming the major IFE hardware and programming supplier of its day.

2000 Wade Hanniball
With an early understanding of the digital revolution and the role it could play in the IFE industry, Hanniball was employed by Universal Pictures and devoted many hours to the formation and establishment of technical standards that could be broadcast by WAEA and applied to its suppliers. His tireless work was recognized by the association.

1998 Richard Branson
Branson was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award because of his pioneering achievements in IFE on his Virgin Atlantic Airways. He demonstrated an unusually strong emphasis to Virgin Atlantic’s IFE hardware and creative programming. A world-recognized innovator, Branson’s dedication to IFE excellence made Virgin Atlantic a consistent winner of multiple WAEA Avion Awards.






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