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2020-21 Slate for Board of Directors

APEX 2020-21 Slate for Board of Directors!



Anton Vidgen
Director, Brand Experience
Air Canada

Reason for running for the Board of Directors:
I have had the pleasure and privilege of serving APEX’s membership as a Board member and most recently as Vice President over the past three years. I am honored to be nominated as President of APEX. As a member of the leadership team, I’m proud of our significant accomplishments, including growing our membership base, organizing the largest EXPO in our history, our acquisition of FTE, and being aviation thought leaders on critical issues.

Now with the pandemic we are collectively facing the biggest challenge to our industry ever. Every single member has had their business negatively impacted – and this includes APEX. But like you, we are not standing still, and we are energized and motivated to deliver strong value to all of our members. From pivoting to a virtual EXPO with FTE, to sharing recommendations and guidance to regulators and authorities to improve biosafety measures, we continue to innovate and provide leadership to assist with our industry’s recovery.

As President, I look forward to serving every member and together we will bring the airline passenger experience to new heights.

Airline passenger experience industry experience:

  • Over 14 years of experience in the aviation industry
  • Have worked for airlines and aerospace companies in 8 different countries and 4 different continents
  • Founded and led boutique aviation consultancy
  • Have worked extensively with full-service and low-cost carriers as well as with companies in the business jet and aerospace markets
  • Currently Director, Brand Experience at Air Canada. As part of delivering a branded customer experience, I lead creative direction for food and beverage, lounges, in-flight entertainment, publications, retail, and lifestyle as part of the company's goal to position Air Canada as an iconic Canadian and global brand.
Current or previous experience APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:
  • APEX Vice President, 2018-2020
  • APEX Board member, 2017-2018
  • Marketing Committee member, 2017-2020
  • Nominations Committee member, 2019-2020
  • Awards Committee member, 2017

Andres Castañeda
Chief Customer and Digital Officer & EVP




 Airline passenger experience industry experience:

  • 9 years of experience
  • Marketing
  • E-commerce
  • CX
  • Product
  • RM

Leadership Experience:

  • Leadership position in Aeromexico. CMO
  • Board member of PLM
  • Executive member of JV for the transboarder between Delta and Aeromexico.

Current or previous experience APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:

  • APEX Director, 2018-2020

Joan Filippini
Senior VP, Non-Theatrical Sales
Paramount Pictures

Reason for running for the Board of Directors:
Given my financial background, I want to be part of this hard working group to help ensure the APEX mission into the future by maintaining a strong balance sheet and working with the Board to best enhance the association and its members.

Airline passenger experience industry experience: After receiving my MBA, with an emphasis in International Finance, I joined Bank of America in the Capital Markets Sales group in Leverage Finance and Hedging Products for large investment borrowers. I then joined the team that produced the DreamWorks business plan. After raising my children, I re-joined DreamWorks as Head of Non-Theatrical Distribution in 2000 as well as heading distribution for Go Fish Pictures. I joined Paramount in 2006 and am currently Senior Vice President Non-Theatrical Distribution and Repertory Sales.

Current or previous experience on APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:
  • Board Member 2013 - 2020
  • Treasurer (8 years)


Job Heimerikx
CEO, Founding Partner

Reason for running for the Board of Directors: 
Portable IFE has previously been the new kid on the block but quickly grown to be a new form of technology in the market for enhancing passengers’ experience with serious impact on the single-aisle market. We have pioneered this technology since 2014 and have always felt great support from both APEX/FTE. Now it is time and my desire to give back. I believe that I bring a lot of experience and true innovation to APEX/FTE as a thought leader and inventor of portable IFE. I want to run for the position because I truly believe that I can bring a lot of creativity and innovation to APEX/FTE by starting to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk. I want to focus on helping APEX/FTE to get through these strange times, ensuring financial stability – just as I am running our own company - and enforcing the organization’s Code of Conduct to improve integrity in the industry. Integrity is particularly important when a market is under pressure to ensure a healthy value chain from studio to the airline and back. I would like to do all this with a smile, creativity and devotion. I am here to serve the organization and execute, instead of only providing ideas on the sidelines. 

Airline passenger experience industry experience:
I have been working in the industry since 2011 as CEO and founder of AirFi.aero. We have grown AirFi.aero to be the #3 IFE player in the world (source: Valour Consultancy) based on number of aircraft and to be the #2 supplier of crew ePOS solutions, serving (pre-COVID) approximately 80 airlines and rail operators worldwide. I will provide a very broad spectrum of views with respect to Passenger Experience and not limited to tier 1 airlines only. My unique value proposition is the fact that we deal with airlines of all sizes, from those with 1 aircraft to those with over 300 aircraft. Different sizes require very different needs and I want to be sure to have all member-voices heard. 

Leadership experience:
Next to being founder and CEO of multiple new companies in various industries, I have served on various boards of start-ups and an investment fund over the years. I also bring 25+ years of innovation experience based on out-of-the-box thinking. I am a motivator and Chief Evangelist Officer. I like to connect people and organizations to improve products and bring new innovations to the world. Even though I was raised with true “Dutch directness” I have a great feel and deep respect for the different cultures and beliefs in the world. As an INSEAD-MBA graduate, I have been fortunate to study and work alongside some of the sharpest minds from multiple cultures across Asia, Europe and the United States. As a leader I am a loyal servant to my team and do not shirk the difficult decisions and I never let go of the interest for the organization and its members. I am comfortable and familiar operating fast-growing and lean organizations, with a strong focus on finance, budgets and cash. The vision I have for the directorship role is to be the bridge between strict financial and budget control (lean thinking) and creative, forward-looking vision development. Just like we do at AirFi, I want to help the APEX/FTE organization to improve by 1% every day.  

Current or previous experience on APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:
I have not been taking part of other committees in the past, but will be part of the APEX financial committee as well. AirFi have been part of the APEX TECH committee since 2018.


Julie Lichty
Executive Director, Head of Product Management
Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Reason for running for the Board of Directors:  
During this time of enormous challenge, APEX’s role in providing leadership for our industry is more important than ever, and I believe I can add value to that leadership with my experience and track record. 
This is an incredible opportunity to help guide and strengthen the industry that I love. I am a firm believer that the best leaders are constant learners. My career as well as my personal life has been guided by my desire to seek knowledge, learn, and grow.

With digital disruption and innovation constantly changing the way we work, think, play, and interact, my proven experience in digital transformation and passenger experience can benefit the Board and the Association’s members.  I believe that APEX can benefit from a more cohesively balanced Board, comprised of all of its member organizations. This ensures that the voice of the industry is well rounded and serves the interests of all members.

Airline passenger experience industry experience:         
Panasonic Avionics: 2014 – present

Thales Avionics: 2009 – 2014

IMS: 2005 - 2008

Tenzing Communications - 2000-2001

The recent pandemic and world events have brought greater challenges and increased complexity to our industry. As we move the needle towards recovery, we open new ways to re-focus on the passenger. My years of dedication to the passenger experience, from both an entertainment and digital side, have enabled me to work with an outside-in approach and place the passenger at the forefront of everything I do.

Throughout my aviation career, first at Tenzing Communication, IMS, then Thales and now as a senior executive at Panasonic Avionics, I’ve developed and driven digital, hardware product and services strategies across the technology and business spectrum. These range from connectivity to mobility, advertising, security, applications, media, content management, SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, AI, IoT, Cloud, and hardware.

I’ve developed winning solutions that meet emerging trends and establish market leadership through strategic partnerships, technology, and differentiated customer services.

I would also bring a large circle of influence to a Board role, having developed partnerships with a wide range of industry leaders including Twitter, Amazon Web Services, Deloitte, IBM, Boeing, and Toca Boca to name a few.

Leadership experience:
Board Director, AeroMobile

Executive Director, Product Management, Panasonic Avionics

In addition to my experience as a Board Director for AeroMobile, I’ve led companies through organizational excellence planning, change management, cultural initiatives, and digital transformations. Operating through the lens of each of these strategies enables me to lead with a long-term perspective while remaining mindful of key short-term milestones and objectives.

Another aspect of my leadership experience, and one that is very close to my heart, is mentoring future leaders. Passing on knowledge and supporting others in their career growth is extremely rewarding. I am very proud to have mentored seven employees at Panasonic Avionics — each of which has been promoted and designated as “High Potential” within the organization. A key part of my day to day leadership is coaching all employees as a way to help them gain in both confidence and motivation.


Current or previous experience on APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:

I have participated in several educational committees for the APEX Tech Conference and the APEX Expo. I’ve also been privileged to participate in four APEX Expo panels.

I have also taken part in the 0415 Part 2 Working Group and Accessible Cabin, contributing to the technical and industry information to drive these initiatives forward. I have yet to hold any formal roles within the APEX organization but would be honored to join the Board.


Stefan List
Head of Cabin Market Insights

Reason for running for the Board of Directors:
Since it‘s foundation APEX has significantly influenced airline experience for passengers around the globe. By providing the highest level education to all aviation stakeholders, it’s network of professionals are shaping the future of our industry.

As a member of the APEX Educational Committee I have the unique opportunity to contribute to our influential community with lectures and panel discussions, but also to learn a lot from numerous interesting exchanges. Especially in the current crisis a strong network of end-to-end travel experts is needed for our industry’s resurgence against the headwinds of COVID-19.

My regular exchanges with Airlines, Lessors, Associations, Authorities and Vendors have confirmed me to run for the APEX Board of Directors in order to contribute to regain trust in air travel and to help prepare a prospering future for all of us.

Airline passenger experience industry experience:         

Concept Cabin 2050: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5K1ZDs-li0

Cabin Vision 2030: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loWML-pIsaU

Trend Research: Cabin Classes & Configurations, Passenger Experience and Airline Operations, Airline Business Models

Global Passenger Research: Passenger Segmentation, Passenger Preferences

Customer Experience Teams: Innovation-/Concept Testing with Airlines and Lessors

Cabin Innovation Strategy


Leadership experience:
Head of Cabin Product Strategy & Concepts

Head of Cabin Innovation Strategy & Consumer Research

Head of Cabin Market Insights

Current or previous experience on APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:

  • Since 2012: Member of the APEX Educational Committee
  • Speaker at various APEX EXPO’s, EC and TC events
  • Moderator of various expert panels
  • Organizer of APEX EXPO 2012 keynotes regarding Connectivity Ecosystem with speaker from Cisco, Intel, Ericsson, Google, Philips
  • APEX Board of Directors Interviews and Team booster in 2013

Rich Marzzacco
Director, Airline Sales

Reason for running for the Board of Directors:

I am running for the APEX Board of Directors as both an avid traveler and aviation professional. I am someone who is not only familiar with the travel experience, but also what it takes to move on-board product forward. During this unprecedented time for the travel industry, I will bring leadership, energy, and resolve to the Board at a time when it is most needed. Additionally, I will provide a voice for the industry’s system & hardware providers, something which has been recently missing from the Board.

Flying has been and always will be magic to me. Aligned with the purpose of APEX, I am passionate about advancing the passenger experience so that more globally can feel a similar magic.

I’d like to thank the nomination committee and all those that have supported my bid. I look forward to the opportunity to serve our community and the member organizations.

Airline passenger experience industry experience:          

I have been in the commercial aviation industry for 18 years. The first 5 years were spent working in Aircraft Interiors and the last 13 of those years focused in IFE and Connectivity. During that time I have worked on and led developments in both business and commercial aviation with some of the world’s most innovative brands, OEMs, airlines and people.

I’ve participated in new aircraft model launches in both business aviation (Bombardier Global 5000 and Challenger 605) and commercial aviation (C-Series/A220, Boeing 787, Airbus A350, Airbus A320neo). I have been a leader in the IFE transition over the years in both hardware (the introduction of capacitive touch screens and advanced consumer technologies) and software (introduction of Android, advanced applications, etc.). On the connectivity side, I have had the opportunity to be involved with the technology transition from Ku-Band to Ka-Band through partnerships with Viasat/JetBlue, Global Xpress, and Thales’s own FlytLIVE solution with SES. I have also had the honor to work with many of our APEX member airlines worldwide in helping them to keep their on-board experience promises to their customers. My unique background in interiors, IFE, and connectivity for both business and commercial aviation make me an ideal addition to the APEX Board of Directors.

Leadership experience: 

I am a leader within my organization and a trusted resource with respect to passenger experience. In my spare time I manage the Thales Softball Team and serve as President of our corporate Toastmasters Club.

Current or previous experience on APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience: 

I have been a participating member to APEX (formerly WAEA) for more than a decade.


Akira Mitsumasu
VP, Global Marketing
Japan Airlines

Reason for running for the Board of Directors:
As VP of a global premium airline, I feel a responsibility to work collaboratively with industry stakeholder to continuously improve customer experience. This is especially important in a fast changing world where customer behavior and expectations change too. And with the Covid-19 situation, there is much we can do to meet the immediate needs of travelers (e.g. safety and flexibility) whilst planning for a better new normal.

Airline passenger experience industry experience:         
I have been in the airline industry for over 30 years and understands how important CX is as a core competency that drives revenue. Prior to my current role as VP of global marketing, I was VP of products and services where improving CX, (maintaining high standards in daily operations and finding kaizen opportunities) was my top priority.

Leadership experience: I am an advisory board member at the CMO Council APAC.

Current or previous experience on APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:
I served at the APEX Board of Directors 2019-2020.

Zina Neophytou
Vice President, Out of Home
BBC Studios

Reason for running for the Board of Directors:  
In September I will complete a two-year term on the APEX Board of Directors. It has been my pleasure to serve APEX members, and I would like to ask for your support of my candidacy to serve another term on the APEX Board.


I am running as a Vendor Candidate representing BBC Studios and I’d like the opportunity to continue to act as a voice for content. As one of the main content providers to airlines, a key focus area for me has been to help move forward the industry’s obsolete content delivery processes to help load new content onboard aircraft much faster. I’ve been actively pursuing how connectivity can enable us to implement changes effectively and efficiently in a way that benefits our industry.  Last year, I demonstrated leadership in moving technology forward by pioneering an industry first to stream inflight one of the BBC’s landmark shows at the same time as its TV network premier.  In order to share this innovation with the wider industry, I participated in panels at APEX EXPO and APEX TECH.


Furthermore I worked alongside our Insights Team at BBC Global News who commissioned the Slipstream study, which was developed to understand the expectations of connected travel from the passenger perspective. I worked closely with APEX to share these results with member companies through panels at Expo and Tech and these valuable insights remain available to members.

It’s been a tumultuous year for the global travel industry which is facing its biggest crisis on record and I believe that continuity of leadership during these times is vital. Now more than ever the need for creative thinking is key for APEX Members and I continue to see great value in the APEX organization and what APEX can do to support members during these challenging times.

I have been an active member of the association for over 20 years and one of the most important aspects of a membership driven organization is to ensure that member voices are heard and their concerns addressed. I’d like to continue to do this this and help influence the direction of the association in the future.


In addition to my tenure on the Board of Directors, and participating in panels at EXPO and TECH, I am also a member of the Finance Committee. I hope to continue to grow as a member of the Board of Directors enhancing benefits for members and I will continue to focus on new technologies that could enhance the passenger experience and benefit our industry.


Airline passenger experience industry experience:         
The first industry event I ever attended as a professional executive when I was working for Worldwide Television News (now known as APTN) was WAEA in Durban back in 1998. It was at this event where I was poached by the BBC and where I have been working since April 1999. Since then and throughout my 21 year career at the BBC, I have been committed to working very closely with APEX and I have been a goodwill ambassador for APEX within the BBC. Over the years I have successfully concluded numerous sponsorship agreements between the BBC and APEX which included providing BBC Talent/Presenters/Keynote Speakers at a number of its events. As well as working with the traditional CSP’s and directly with airlines, I have concluded distribution deals for the Live BBC World News channel with all the key connectivity players within the IFEC industry and I continue to work with new distribution platforms such as streaming services to PED’s, VR Headsets etc. I was responsible for launching the very first bespoke BBC Channel to the maritime market which successfully launched in January 2017 and I continue to explore something similar within the IFEC industry.


Leadership experience:
In my role as VP – Out of Home at BBC Studios, I am a member of the EMEA Leadership Team within Global Distribution. I am also very well connected with key influential figures within the Airline industry because of my involvement with IATA. Furthermore I have nurtured strong relationships with numerous other industry associations such as Worldhotels, World Travel Market, The International Hotel & Restaurant Association, PATA to name a few…

Current or previous experience on APEX committees and/or APEX Board experience:

I served at the APEX Board of Directors 2018-2020 as a Director. In addition to my tenure on the Board of Directors, and participating in panels at EXPO and TECH, I am also a member of the Finance Committee.

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