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Dean Donovan
Managing director, Columbia Equity Partners

Columbia Equity Partners has made a number of aviation investments including launching Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris in 2004. As well as a Director at Volaris, Dean is also a Director in SearchForce and Prophet. He is also Chairman of Stellar Labs.

Dean previously worked at Bain & Company for 13 years where he was a Director and Managing Partner (Africa), and has advised senior executives and company boards on merger, acquisition, divestiture, business strategy, and other issues in a variety of industries, primarily to Fortune 1000 companies. Dean has worked extensively in Mexico, Spain, various parts of the US and South Africa.

Dean graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California Berkeley where he studied Economics and Rhetoric. He received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1990. Dean sits on various company boards of directors.

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Bob labelle
CEO, XTI Aircraft

On February 1, 2017, Robert LaBelle assumed the role of CEO, XTI Aircraft Corp. He is responsible for development of the TriFan 600 Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft and all matters related to development of the product and the company. He has helped transform the aircraft to hybrid-electric propulsion and made other significant changes in order to better position the aircraft for its future market.

He was previously CEO, AgustaWestland North America. In that role he was responsible for AgustaWestland’s business with the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal agencies. Prior to that he as President of Texas-based AgustaWestland Tiltrotor Company, Inc., a company he established to support the development of the AW 609 Tiltrotor and other programs. He has held executive level positions within AgustaWestland since joining the company in 2005, including vice president, general manager, and president of other U.S. subsidiaries.

Robert joined AgustaWestland after a career in the U.S. Navy. His last assignment was in Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD where he was a Major Program Manager (PMA-231) for the E-2 Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound aircraft.

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Richard Koe
Managing Director, wingx advance

Richard Koe is joint Managing Director of WINGX, taking the lead on strategy, business development and sales initiatives. Together with Christoph Kohler, Richard has grown WINGX to be the leading provider of market intelligence to the global business aviation industry. As well as managing WINGX, Richard is a regular speaker, panellist and moderator at industry conferences worldwide, writes on a wide range of business aviation issues, and works closely with regional regulators and industry associations. 

Richard has spent a decade in the business aviation sector, initially as a board member of PrivatAir, subsequently managing the group´s private jet charter and management division. Richard has also advised several airline and business aviation ventures prior to starting WINGX. 

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Per Marthinsson
Founder & Managing director, avinode

Per Marthinsson co-founded Avinode in 2001, alongside Niklas Berg and Niclas Wennerholm. They had the youthfully grand ambition to pull the printed directory-bound charter industry into the digital world, with the vision of making it as easy to book a private jet as it is to book a commercial flight. Fifteen years later, the trio are now universally accepted as responsible for revolutionizing the way the business aviation industry operates.

The Avinode Group now also streamlines how flights are managed, sold and operated through its sister company SchedAero - a modern, web-based flight scheduling system, currently used by 400 companies worldwide. And in November 2016, the Group launched their answer to the final pain-point in the industry: PayNode – the world’s first payment platform created specifically for the business aviation market. Through these three complementary offerings, the Avinode Group presents an unrivalled, end-to-end solution for the charter space.

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sergey petrossov
founder & ceo, jetsmarter

Awarded Forbes 30 Under 30 in Consumer Technology and South Florida’s Top Working Professional by the Sun Sentinel Sergey Petrossov is always seeking ways to innovate industries.

Prior to JetSmarter, he co-founded two IT projects: an online chat system for website customer service and a distance-learning platform for Russian-speaking educational institutions. He also served as a board advisor to a South Florida-based private jet operator that, at the time, had the world’s largest on-demand Gulfstream charter fleet.

When Petrossov flew private for the first time he immediately identified challenges with the antiquated, brick-and-mortar approach to booking charter flights. Mobile marketplaces were on the rise, and he felt certain that the cumbersome private aviation booking process could be solved with technology – thus, the idea for JetSmarter was born.

After gathering his development team from previous projects and investing his own capital, Petrossov began the planning phase for an app that could connect flyers with top-rated private jet operators. The beta-version of JetSmarter launched in August 2012 as a proof of concept for select users. After raising additional funding and collaborating with hundreds of vendors and partners, Petrossov officially launched the JetSmarter app to the public in March 2013.

JetSmarter’s skillful technology, management, and advisory teams – many of whom are credited with successful project execution for NASA, Nokia, Microsoft, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Uber – bring a combined experience of more than 100 years in technology, private air travel and logistics to the table. It is their unceasing hard work combined with Petrossov’s vision that gave birth to the groundbreaking app JetSmarter is today.

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Stephen Rice
Professor, embry-riddle aeronautical university worldwide

Dr. Stephen Rice is an Associate Professor of Aviation Human Factors at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU). He received his PhD in Aviation Human Factors from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2006. He taught for seven years at New Mexico State University, and three years at the Florida Institute of Technology, before moving to ERAU in 2016. His research interests include trust in automation for both manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, with a focus on consumer perceptions of autopilots in transportation. He has published 115 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and presented at over 140 international conferences. Much of his work in aviation has been funded by the FAA, the US Air Force, NATO, and the US Army, among others.


Eymeric Segard
ceo & founder, Lunajets

Eymeric, 48, is half French, half Colombian. He spent his childhood in France, the UK, Colombia and Brazil. He studied at Brown University in the US, and worked in NYC, London and Mexico, starting his career at Merrill Lynch, before joining WPP’s Ogilvy. He speaks fluently 5 languages. In 2008, he founded LunaJets and moved to Geneva, Switzerland with his Brazilian wife and their 2 ski-­‐addicted kids. Expanding and managing LunaJets is his passion, but he is also an active « Ironman » triathlete.


Naresh Shah
COO, A3 by airbus

Naresh is the acting COO. Naresh has many years of schooling in aerospace engineering, math, and management in the Air Force Academy, at MIT, and at George Washington University, most of which was little used while he flew around the world as a KC-135 pilot in the US Air Force for the first 11 years of his career. Eventually he saw the light and started putting his education to some practical use, first at DARPA, helping manage several space and advanced manufacturing programs, and then by co-founding and managing operations for a digital manufacturing innovation institute.

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Paul Touw
CEO, stellar labs

Paul Touw is an entrepreneur spanning 25 years in both technology and aviation startups. Mr. Touw is currently CEO & Chairman of Stellar Labs, Inc., which seeks to become the first complete open marketplace for private aviation.

Mr. Touw began his career as an engineer in the aerospace industry, and would later found or join six startups in Silicon Valley, three of which he served as CEO and three having public exists. He founded Ariba in 1996, the first B2B e-commerce marketplace serving Fortune 500 companies. He then founded XOJET in 2005, which today is the largest floating fleet charter operator in the U.S.

His most recent venture, Stellar Labs, capitalizes on both his backgrounds in marketplace technology and aviation charter. Mr. Touw is married with three children and lives in Saint Helena, California. He is also a private pilot.


Tom Vice
president & coo, Aerion corporation

Mr. Vice is responsible for all aspects of Aerion’s AS2 design, development, certification, and customer delivery.

Vice joined Aerion from Northrop Grumman, where he served as president of its Aerospace Systems sector overseeing an $11 billion global advanced technology business with 23,000 employees. Aerospace Systems is a pioneer in space-based observatories, satellites, fully-autonomous intelligent systems, combat aircraft, high-powered lasers, and microelectronics.

Previously, Vice was president of Northrop Grumman’s Technical Services sector, a leader in integrated logistics and modernization, defense and government services, and training solutions, with more than 19,500 employees in 300 locations in all 50 states and 29 countries.

Vice joined Northrop Grumman in 1986 as an engineer on the B-2 stealth bomber. Over the span of 30 years at the company, he led nearly every aspect of the business: engineering, program management, advanced programs and technology, manufacturing and operations, supply chain management, business development, and information technology.

Vice earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He serves on the board of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, the board of trustees of the Florida Institute of Technology, the board of councilors for USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering, the board of advisors for Purdue University’s School of Astronautics and Aeronautics, and previously served on the board of governors for the USO.

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Alasdair Whyte

Alasdair is editor and co-founder of Corporate Jet Investor which provides insight and organises events for the global business jet market.

More than 100,000 people read Corporate Jet Investor each month - both online and through its One Minute Week email. It also organises events in London, Dubai, Geneva, Singapore and Miami.

He became a financial journalist in 1998 and has specialised in aviation for most of this time. He is also responsible for the content of Helicopter Investor and Superyacht Investor.

Alasdair lives outside London and is married to Louisa (Corporate Jet Investor’s other co-founder). His main hobby has become driving his two children between their hobbies.

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Alex wilcox
CEO, jetsuite

With over two decades of experience in creating highly innovative air carriers in ways that have improved air travel for millions, Alex Wilcox now serves as CEO of JetSuite – a private jet airline which launched operations in 2009. In co-founding JetSuite in 2008, Alex brought new technology and unprecedented value to an industry in dire need of it. JetSuite is a launch customer for the Embraer Phenom 100, an airplane twice as efficient and more comfortable than other jets performing its missions. Also a founder of JetBlue, Alex was a driving force behind many airline industry changing innovations, including the implementation of LiveTV on board and all leather coach seating. Alex was also named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute and is a member of the Southern California chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO).