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Wednesday, September 2, 2015  

Leader to Expand Global Impact, Provide Industry Leadership, and Serve Members


New York, N.Y. (Sept. 2, 2015) —The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), today announced the selection of Joe Leader as Chief Executive Officer of the nearly 40-year-old international association.  As CEO, Leader will serve as the global champion for APEX, working with senior executives at all of the world’s leading airlines, top industry suppliers, government organizations, major media groups, and related industry leaders to elevate the travel experience for all passengers.

“The APEX Board of Directors selected Joe as our association’s CEO because of the depth of his experience, education, and leadership.  He has a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of all aspects of passenger experience,” said APEX President Alfy Veretto of Virgin America.  “We are confident Joe will take APEX to the next level of global recognition and influence that will bring transformative, positive change for the air travel industry.”

As CEO, Leader will be working with APEX’s worldwide team to further the association’s growth and success, while prominently positioning APEX as the most influential, value-driven membership organization in the industry. In addition to fostering ancillary revenue opportunities for airlines, Leader will represent the association before industry groups and governments. He will also serve as an industry spokesperson on public policy matters and global strategic alliances.

Leader will demonstrate the impact APEX members have had across all aspects of the passenger experience at APEX EXPO in Portland, Oregon on Sept. 28, highlighting advances in cabin, comfort, ambience, entertainment, connectivity, catering, seating, and service.  During his speech, he will also share his vision for APEX’s expanding industry leadership globally as passenger experience becomes a growing profit center for airlines.  Considered the industry’s most comprehensive and exclusive trade event, APEX EXPO is expected to draw more than 3,500 members and influencers in air travel. 

In a four-month search process, Leader was selected from over 600 high profile CEO applicants, who were screened and interviewed via the renowned Marlborough aviation executive search group.  Prior to joining APEX, Leader served in executive roles at aviation and technology companies for more than two decades.  He previously worked as the president of an international aviation association, led the advancement of aviation booking technology expansion at a multi-billion dollar GDS company, and served in the international leadership of advanced technology companies.  With a passion for education, Leader’s business Ph.D. dissertation research focused upon accelerating the passenger adoption of new aviation technology.  Leader also holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Emory University alongside an MBA/TM focused upon technology management.

“I am honored to join the incredible team at APEX and to serve our members who represent the full breadth of the air travel industry,” said Leader.  “The airline passenger experience is currently the central differentiating factor amongst carriers worldwide.  This is why APEX will continue its longstanding commitment to working closely with members and partners to advance that experience in a manner that positively benefits our customers, our industry, and the countless individuals who work tirelessly to make air travel a pleasure.”

Recognized as an aviation expert, Leader has been quoted by major news outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, and the Harvard Business Review.  Leader has previously been engaged as a key presenter for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE), Customer Engagement Marketing Summit, Direct Marketing Association, CMO, and Loyalty360.  As APEX CEO, Leader will continue to leverage his expertise for global media opportunities, with a focus on industry advances, highlights, and issues.

Leader joins a team of experienced industry professionals at APEX who oversee key committees, communications, marketing, finance, strategy, trade shows and all internal APEX operations. APEX’s worldwide team includes offices and lead personnel in Atlanta; Beijing; Brussels; Chicago; Denver; London; Montreal; New York; Orange County, California; Santiago, Chile; and Washington, D.C.

About The Airline Passenger Experience (APEX)
APEX encompasses a network of businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe.  As a non-profit, APEX reinvests all of its resources to better serve its members.  Every day, APEX members evaluate the passenger experience through an influential community and are improving every aspect of the airline experience: from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and inflight dining.  APEX works to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition.  For more information, please visit APEX.aero.


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