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2017 - 2018 APEX Nominations Slate


Sustaining Board Members

The following Officers and Directors will complete their terms in 2017 - 2018:

  • Dominic Green (Panasonic) - Chief Advisor
  • Joan Filippini (Paramount) - Treasurer (2nd of 2-year term)
  • Anton Vidgen (Air Canada) - Director (2nd of 2-year term)


2017 - 2018 Candidates:


President (1-year term): Brian Richardson (American Airlines)
Vice President (1-year term): Juha Jarvinen (Finnair)
Secretary (2-year term): Maura Chacko (Spafax)



The election will be conducted in accordance with the bylaws, such that a minimum of 1 airline will be elected from the list of delegates below.

Babar Rahman (Qatar)
Michael Childers (Lufthansa Systems)*
John Craig (The Boeing Company)
Jon Norris (Panasonic Avionics)
Michael Reilly (ViaSat)
Mary Rogozinski (SmartSky Networks)
Igor Smirnoff (PressReader)
Ingo Wuggetzer (Airbus)*

 *Current Board Members seeking re-election


Candidate Profiles:


Candidate for President
Name: Brian Richardson
Company: American Airlines
Position: Director of Aircraft Interiors, Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity

Industry Experience:10+ years total at American Airlines in AA.com, AA Vacations and Merchandising roles 3+ years as Director of IFEC 

Current or previous APEX committees served:

  • Current President
  • APEX Vice President (1.5 years)
  • Nominating committee co-chair (2 years)
  • Awards committee (2 years)
  • Membership committee co-chair (2 years)

Statement: I'm interested in helping guide the APEX organization to become a tighter network of companies focused on customer experience, utilizing my knowledge and passion for the industry.


Candidate for Vice President
Name: Juha Järvinen
Company: Finnair
Position: Chief Commercial Officer

Industry Experience:With 19 years of experience in the fascinating world of aviation with 14 years with SAS Scandinavian Airlines, and latest 5 years at Finnair, I've had the privilege to work within passenger sales & marketing roles, running contact centre operations, responsibility of SAS airport operations worldwide outside of Scandinavia, heading cargo unit at Finnair and now as Chief Commercial Officer for Finnair. My current responsibility covers Finnair's global brand experience, marketing, sales, network planning & partnerships. ecommerce, merchandizing, loyalty, revenue management & pricing and Vacation subsidiaries.

Current or previous APEX committees served:
  • Board Member 2016-2017

Statement: I've been passionate about customer experience ever since I joined the customer experience industry back in 1997 in London working for Eurostar customers at Waterloo station! We are in the service business, with customers having numerous moments of truth with us, and our service partners. New technology development and data driven managed personalization open completely new world of opportunities for airlines, technology providers and other industry partners to truly engage the new potential disruption, and APEX has huge window of opportunity to be one of the key industry bodies to leverage on that. We need to further develop APEX to become recognized world leading association for airlines and service providers, and make sure that we keep up with the development. There are many external forces looking into entering the world of travel, and we in the industry already have to be able to capture of share of that potential. We can only do it together as a global association.

I have been a leader in this aviation business for past 17 years, ranging from sales, operations & commercial functions, with 8 years MD experience. Now C-level role for past 2,5 years, board chairman for Finnair subsidiary companies and board member in regional airline in the Nordic region, as well as proudly APEX board member since May 2016!


Candidate for Secretary
Name: Maura Chacko
Company: Spafax
Position: Manager, Multimedia Entertainment

Industry Experience: 9 years at Spafax, focusing on business development and new business, client services and TV acquisitions across our global network. Participated on panels at the TV Market and the Expo. Prior experience of 7 years at HBO (on air programming), providing general industry / entertainment experience, and prior to that 2 years at an ad agency working on international media / advertising sales.

Current or previous APEX committees served:

  • APEX Board Member for two years
  • Co-chair of the APEX Membership Committee
  • APEX Education Committee for various events over the last four years
  • APEX MMM Committee
  • APEX Governance Committee for the past three years
  • Organized / Hosted the APEX board meetings in New York and London for the past five years
Statement: I have been an active member of APEX since I joined Spafax nine years ago, including participation on various APEX committees and the past two years as a board member. During this time, I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the factors affecting our industry as a whole.

As co-chair of the membership committee and a member of the Governance Committee, I am focused on playing an active role in developing and maintaining the strategic direction of the association and I have been working closely with Dominic Green to understand the intricacies of the role of Secretary, and hope to bring my organizational skills and attention to detail to the role


Candidate for Director
Name: Babar Rahman
Company: Qatar Airways
Position:Senior Manager – Corporate Sponsorships, CSR and Inflight Entertainment/Connectivity

Reason for Running:

I am running to represent Qatar Airways and to contribute towards the development and enhancement of the IFEC industry. I also want to utilize the wide experience which will assist the IFEC industry to continue to grow and create out of the box innovative ideas and strategies to keep in line with future development.

Industry Experience:

I have spent over 10+ years at Qatar Airways; in my current role I am responsible for driving Global Sponsorships, Community Relations and Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Strategy. In my role managing IFEC, Qatar Airways relaunched the inflight entertainment as Oryx One, enhanced content selection and introduced content promotion strategies, increased connectivity usage, introduced the region-first on-board Wi-Fi sponsorship and successfully implemented several key IFE projects such as the Oryx One app, the Next Generation GUI, NFC Integration and first in the region broadband connectivity.


Candidate for Director
Name: Michael Childers
Company:Lufthansa Systems
Position:Chief Consultant, Content & Media Strategy

Reason for Running:

I am currently completing my second two-year term on the APEX Board. During the past four years, APEX has undertaken a number of initiatives that I would like to see through to maturity. They include the creation of the positions of APEX CEO and APEX Technical Director, outreach to Reed Exhibitions for the cooperative co-promotion of APEX EXPO and AIX, outreach to government/regulatory agencies like the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the integration of IFE into the broader content delivery ecosystem and relationships/liaisons with the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), Movielabs, and W3C. Some of our most experienced Board members are not running for re-election; I seek an additional two-year term to ensure continuity, experience, and continued progress toward completion of these important goals, both on the Board and as Technology Committee chair.

Industry Experience:

I have been active in WAEA since 1979, and was COO of the first independent content provider in IFE. In 2006 I became CEO of LightStream Communications Group focusing on automation and integration of the content delivery supply chain. I became an independent IFEC consultant in 2000, was Managing Director, Content & Media Strategy, for The IMS Company from 2006 through 2009, and have been Chief Consultant, Content & Media Strategy, for Lufthansa Systems since 2011. During this time I have 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. I believe that these various roles have given me a broad perspective on industry issues.;

Current or previous APEX committees / APEX Board experience:

I have served on the APEX Board of Directors for four years. I co-founded the first industry standards committee--DMDTC--in the early 1990s, chaired the APEX Digital Content Management Working Group since 2000, chaired the APEX Satellite Content Delivery Working Group, have been on the Technology Committee Leadership Team since 2009, and chair of the APEX Technology Committee for four years.


Candidate for Director
Name: John Craig
Company: The Boeing Company
Position: Chief Engineer, Cabin & Network Systems

Reason for Running:

I want to assure the industry remains healthy and moves in a direction that satisfies all the stakeholders. As a Boeing Employee, I would represent the aircraft manufacturer and bring that perspective into the association. I am currently the Board Chair for the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center and understand how a board functions and could bring our operational lessons in as well as share those from APEX.

Industry Experience:

I have been working with Aviation for over 31 years and with IFE since 1996. In 2001, I became the leader of the Cabin Systems organization and my role has expanded include connectivity, onboard networks, and am responsible for cyber security for Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Current or previous APEX committees / APEX Board experience:

I have participated in APEX events over the years and was on the technical committee for a year. I was one of the primary sponsors at Boeing to establish a booth at the APEX event in partnership with our services group.


Candidate for Director
Name: Jon Norris
Company: Panasonic Avionics Corporation
Position: Senior Director, Corporate Sales & Marketing

Reason for Running:

I have been an active member on both the Technology and Education Committees for many years and served one year on the board of APEX (2010-2011). I believe that I bring a broad range of industry experience (both IFEC and the broader passenger experience) plus a level of enthusiasm and drive which the board needs to move forward on our mission - to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition. I have strong competencies in people management, team building, leadership, coaching, mentoring and effective communication and I'm a regular speaker at industry conferences on a wide range of cabin, passenger and crew issues.

Industry Experience:

I'm currently Senior Director, Corporate Sales & Marketing for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, the world's leading supplier of inflight entertainment and communication systems. Prior to joining Panasonic Jon was Vice President Sales & Marketing for Lumexis Corporation, supplier of fiber-optic and wireless in-flight entertainment systems. Previous positions held include: - Executive Director of Trade Media and Events at Ink with responsibility for the Airline Passenger Experience and Airline Retail News magazines and a portfolio of international aviation industry conferences and exhibitions. - Vice President Cabin Design Office at Airbus where he led the development of world‐class cabin interiors and cabin systems for all Airbus aircraft programs. - A350 XWB Cabin & Cargo Program Manager with Airbus.

Current or previous APEX committees / APEX Board experience:

APEX Technology Committee 2009-2017 (current) APEX Education Committee 2010-2015 APEX Board Member 2010-2011


Candidate for Director
Name: Michael Reilly
Company: ViaSat
Position: Head of Content Services

Reason for Running:

In my almost 20 years in the IFEC industry, I feel we are now at an interesting crossroads - definite challenges but unprecedented opportunities to not only improve, but truly revolutionise the airline passenger experience - and that’s the value I’d like to bring to the table as an APEX Board Member. I’d like to engage with stakeholders (airlines and vendors) right across our industry supply chain and work together to achieve our collective aims faster, smarter and more cost effectively, which means more profitably at the end of the day. I have the full support of my employer ViaSat to dedicate the required time to APEX and its governance and stakeholders if I’m elected. I’m looking forward to the challenge if the membership feels I can add value to the leadership of APEX.

Industry Experience:

I've been in the IFE industry continuously since 1998 and have attended almost all APEX events since then - including what is now the Multimedia Market, Regional Conferences and APEX TECH. I've worked for a CSP, an aviation software company and now a hardware and connectivity company. Along the way I've led and been actively involved in innovative projects and built and maintained strong relationships with airlines, content distributors, labs, hardware companies/media integrators and connectivity providers. I have experience, knowledge and relationships across a broad spectrum of the industry that can benefit the association and its members as we move forward together.

Current or previous APEX committees / APEX Board experience:

APEX EXPO (then WAEA Conference) - Conference committee - 2009 - APEX Multimedia Market (then WAEA TV Market) - 2009 - APEX New Member Initiative - 2010 - APEX Regional Conference - 2014, Sydney


Candidate for Director
Name: Mary Rogozinski
Company: SmartSky Networks
Position: VP, Airlines

Reason for Running:

As many who know me know, I am passionate about this industry and association. I see great value in the APEX organization and what APEX can do to support members. I would like to return to the Board to continue to help influence the direction of the association in the future. As a Board member, I feel strongly that association members’ voices need to be heard and concerns need to be addressed. Based on member feedback I have received in the past, my top priorities will be enhancing benefits for members and raising the profile of the association within and beyond the IFEC community. Also, as someone who has worked for both an airline and a vendor member in IFEC, working on both hardware and content, and in the fields of both entertainment and communications, I bring extensive experience with me from which I believe the association will benefit.

Industry Experience:

With over 20 years of experience in the airline passenger experience industry, I started my career at United Airlines where I had the opportunity to help define the cabin product and IFE for the very first B777, through my current role at SmartSky Networks, where we’re introducing a new inflight internet system offering a state of the art inflight passenger experience. Over these years, I have experienced first-hand the multiple aspects of our industry, working in both the airline and vendor communities, managing IFEC hardware and IFE content, managing inflight entertainment and inflight connectivity programs, and developing customer products for both airplanes and airports. Throughout this period, I have found great benefit and have a been a big supporter of working collaboratively with representatives of other companies in the industry. While at United, I was very involved with the Star Alliance IFE and Lounge committees and I became very active with WAEA / APEX early in my career.

SmartSky Networks – VP, Airlines – 2015 – Present

At SmartSky, I’m responsible for providing business development leadership to grow SmartSky into an IFEC leader in the airline sector and leading the continued development and implementation of SmartSky's business model with airlines, airline distribution partners, and customers.

Gogo – Manager, Content Partnerships / Manager, Airline Accounts – 2009 to 2015

As Manager of Content Partnerships at Gogo, I was the in-house CSP for the Gogo Vision streaming video system, overseeing everything from selecting content partners, negotiating contracts and selecting the content for many of Gogo’s airline partners. As an Account Manager, I managed the day to day relationships with such Gogo customers as American Airlines, AirTran Airways, Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines.

United Airlines Product Marketing – Manager, Airport Lounges; Manager, Onboard Systems Planning; Senior Staff Representative – 1990 – 2008

For several years at UA, I managed all customer lounge facilities and technology offered within lounges, including the opening of new lounges, lounge refreshes and the initial installation of Wi-Fi in lounges. As the Manager of Onboard Systems, I managed all of United’s IFEC systems, including strategy development, product definition, project justification, implementation, and on-going support. This included oversight of a $250M IFEC product upgrade on both short and long haul aircraft. My introduction to IFEC was as a Senior Staff Representative at United, assigned to the team to develop requirements and support implementation for the inflight entertainment and communications system planned for the launch B777 and later retrofit on other UA aircraft. Throughout much of this period, I was very active on several Star Alliance committees, working to coordinate product offerings and policies across the member airlines.

Leadership Experience:

  • Saint Viator High School Board of Trustees – 1990 – 1995
  • Saint Viator High School Board – Executive Committee – 1993 – 1995 Sacred Heart of
  • Mary / Saint Viator High School Alumni Board – Multiple years, including 2 years as Board president.
  • Georgetown University - Library Advisory Board – Multiple years in the 1990s

Current or previous APEX committees / APEX Board experience: 

  • APEX Education Committee Co-Chair – Sept 2013 to present
  • APEX Education Committee – 2010 – present
  • APEX Board – Sep 2013 to June 20
  • WAEA Board Officer (Vice President, President and Immediate Past President – 2002- 2005 – Focused on long term strategic plan with emphasis on broadening scope of membership and improved engagement of members.
  • WAEA Board – 1998 – 2005
  • WAEA Technology Committee Co-chair – 1999-2003 – As co-chair, drove focus of committee towards new technologies such as wireless and digital media. Initiated and helped coordinate the first ever WAEA single focus workshop which addressed wireless technology. Was a leader in the evaluation of the use of DVDs on aircraft, the first form of digital media identified for IFE.


Candidate for Director
Name: Igor Smirnoff
Company: PressReader
Position: Chief Commercial Officer

Reason for Running:

I am running for a seat on the Board of Directors because I am a leader in the global technology industry and my broad experience, understanding of new technologies, participation in global conversations, and balanced perspective would help lead the industry in a progressive and transformative direction. I’m currently the Chief Commercial Officer at the most innovative digital media platform in the world. With more titles than any other platform, and more being added constantly, PressReader leads the global market. To the board I will bring the spirit of innovation required to succeed in the competitive technology world, a mind that seeks out and embraces high-impact change, big ideas that encourage positive shifts in thinking, and a relentless focus on the passenger as central to every experience. I would bring new knowledge and new expertise to the Board. My vision has led PressReader to become a truly global technology company that’s integrated into a wide variety of industries and markets around the world. I led the development of digital experiences for not only airlines, but also hotels, cruise ships, libraries, and other businesses around the world. The breadth of my experience gives me a global perspective and would help the Board understand how air travel fits into the real, detailed, and dynamic lives of every passenger. I am a leader in the digital and technology industries around the world. I embrace new technology and understands its ability to transform the passenger experience. I’m driving the growth of a global technology company that actually impacts the way people consume content. Elevating the passenger experience is not just about improving what already is. It’s about reimagining what could be. It’s about finding the best solution. As an industry supplier, and partner to various airlines, PressReader is changing the way people think about their in-flight experience. By speaking at conferences and summits, including Eye for Travel 2017, and sitting on panels, I am helping the industry see the value in giving passengers more control and more options. PressReader is a global company, and I am connected to all of its operations. I’m tapped into networks across the planet, taking time to truly listen to and understand the challenges, trends, and opportunities unique to each market. I’m not only a participant of global conversations. I start them. My perspective is balanced. I know that not every member company is a tier one airline. I know members are different sizes, have different priorities, and serve different customers.

Industry Experience:

I have spoken at conferences and sat on panels for both airline-focused and non-airline industry events. I’ve led conversations about air travel and technology, publishing, journalism, hospitality, education, and business. My leadership, and PressReader’s global reputation, extends beyond any one industry and is instead centered on how digital trends and global reactions to new technology affect businesses of all kinds. I’ve worked closely with a number of airlines around the world, and am currently working with more, to improve their in-lounge and in-flight passenger experiences. As you know, PressReader worked with APEX to survey the airline industry this past fall. I spoke about the results of that survey as part of a panel discussion at the APEX Expo in Singapore and, under my leadership, our team developed a research report that we shared with APEX members. A member of my executive team, James Newman, also recently poke in-depth on the subject at the APEX Multimedia Market event. This commitment to research helps me build a clear, well-rounded understanding of the industry.


Candidate for Director
Name: Ingo Wuggetzer
Company: Airbus
Position: Vice President Cabin Marketing

Reason for Running:

I'd like to continue my Board Membership, as we have just started a new strategic approach within the whole board team and also launched a couple of innovative initiatives, that I am really keen to realize. We want to push digitalization further and leverage the apex brand via partnerships and press in order to develop the association, delivering more value to the members in the future. Furthermore I want to contribute some stability and continuation for reaching our long term targets of apex, bringing also an european perspective into our community.

Industry Experience:

2 years of Consulting (Focus Aerospace) - 10 years with Lufthansa (Corporate Strategy, Head of Product Management) - 12 years with Airbus (Cabin Innovation / Cabin Marketing)

Current or previous APEX committees / APEX Board experience:

- Participation as Airline Member (LH) since 1999 - MarCom Committee member since 2011 - Board Member since 2012 - Head of Marketing & Communication Committee since 2012

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