"An investment in knowledge
always pays the best interest."
The Aerospace Event will provide aerospace and defense industry suppliers and stakeholders with a top-level, confidential, informative, and exclusive venue for executives to learn and exchange ideas on common concerns and new developments in our rapidly-changing industry.
Our goal is to provide the premier gathering venue for the important middle-tier of the aerospace industry on an exclusive basis to ensure quality input and discussions.
The agenda will be comprised of notable experts from the air transport market and commercial space.
Keynote Presentations / Panel Discussions / Networking Functions
Service To The Flag Awards Networking Reception, Waldorf Room
Separate registration required. Please see details.
Registration and Welcome Reception, Jean-Georges Beverly Hills Patio
Hosted by our inaugural partners.
Sponsored by Weldaloy Specialty Forgings
Sponsored by Weldaloy Specialty Forgings
Hosted by our Inaugural Partners.
Hear perspectives from top leaders in the Aerospace & Defense Industry
Click on photos to learn more about our distinguished presenters
Mr. Richard Aboulafia joined AeroDynamic Advisory in January 2022. Since 1988, he has tracked aircraft programs, markets, and companies as an analyst and consultant and now manages consulting projects in the commercial and military aviation field and analyzes broader defense and aerospace market and industry trends. Mr. Aboulafia has advised numerous aerospace companies, including most prime and many second- and third-tier contractors in the US, Europe and Asia. Mr. Aboulafia also advises numerous financial institutions on aerospace market conditions.
Dr. Sean Bradshaw's primary focus is on the advanced technologies required for environmentally-sustainable aircraft propulsion systems. This includes developing and maintaining a sustainability strategy across Pratt & Whitney that integrates with Raytheon Technologies. Dr. Bradshaw is also engaged in Pratt & Whitney-sponsored university research on advanced technologies related to sustainable propulsion systems, and he supports the development of engineering talent at Pratt & Whitney. He is the chairman of the Gas Turbine Association, the chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Gas Turbine Technology Group, an associate editor of the Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, a member of the ASME Heat Transfer Committee, and an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University.
Ms. Karin Burns is responsible for developing strategy for Commercial Engines & Services, developing new service offerings, providing tools to enhance value recognition for products, competitive analysis and forecasting — spanning from passenger demand through aircraft and shop visit demand. Prior to her 2022 promotion, she spent two years as Marketing Intelligence and Operations Leader for GE Aviation, focused on strategic marketing analytics, competitive intelligence, forecasting and pricing for the commercial business. Ms. Burns joined GE Aviation as Government Pricing leader in 2016 and became Executive Director of Government Business in 2018. Previously, she was part of the Financial Management Program at NBC Universal.
Mr. John Cuomo was appointed Chief Executive Officer and President of VSE Corporation in April of 2019 and brings over 20 years of experience in the aerospace distribution and services market industry. Mr. Cuomo previously served as Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Distribution Services, Inc. Prior to Boeing's 2018 acquisition of the Aerospace Solutions Group of KLX Inc., he served as its Group President and General Manager of that business. From April 2000 to 2014, John served in multiple roles and functions at B/E Aerospace (the parent company of KLX until 2014), including Vice President & General Manager and Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Marketing & Business Development.
Mr. Henry Dubois oversees the financial planning and analysis, accounting, tax, audit, investor relations, corporate development, and treasury functions for the company. Mr. Dubois brings proven experience in growth strategies, deal sourcing, and integration, as well as extensive domestic and international experience leading telecom and satellite imaging companies through periods of growth and M&A activity. He brings over 30 years of experience in the commercial remote sensing industry, having served in COO and CFO roles at GeoEye and DigitalGlobe. Prior to joining BlackSky, he was Managing Director at HED Consulting, where he advised companies on strategic initiatives, operating improvements, and financial activities.
Dr. Ronald Epstein actively covers companies listed in the United States, Canada and Brazil. Previously, he worked as a research scientist in applied aerodynamics technology at Boeing Phantom Works. Also, he was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, teaching fluid dynamics and control systems.
Mr. Paul Finklestein leads the Marketing team for Pratt & Whitney's Commercial Engines division and holds marketing responsibility for all Pratt & Whitney products and services worldwide. Primary role is enabling sales of the GTF product family, developing sustainability strategies and evaluating opportunities for the next generation of aircraft. Mr. Finklestein has held numerous positions in engineering, program management and customer service organizations and is a regular speaker at industry conferences and events.
Mr. Mike Gold leads Redwire's business development, marketing, and external affairs teams, positioning the company for long-term growth and expanding adoption and integration of Redwire's capabilities across civil, commercial, and national security space sectors. Previously, he was the Executive Vice President for Civil Space and External Affairs at Redwire, where he supported the company's civil space business development efforts and government and media relations. Prior to joining Redwire, he was NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Policy and Partnerships, Acting Associate Administrator for the Office of International and Interagency Relations, and Senior Advisor to the Administrator for International and Legal Affairs. Before joining NASA, he served as Vice President of Civil Space at Maxar Technologies and General Counsel for the company's legacy Radiant Solutions business unit.
Mr. Daniel Hall is certified as both an Accredited Senior Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and a Certified Appraiser with ISTAT, and has comprehensive knowledge of the commercial and business aviation sectors. His involvement includes analysis of values, market insight and commentary, business development and consultancy advisory. Mr. Hall specializes in the business aviation sector, actively tracking market values and financing for over 50 business jet type families and over 100 variants.
Dr. Kevin Michaels has over 30 years of experience, including hundreds of consulting engagements for leading aviation and aerospace companies across the globe. Previously, he was a Vice President with ICF's Aerospace & MRO consulting practice from 2011-2016. Also, he was a co-founder and partner with AeroStrategy from 2001-2011 until its acquisition by ICF. Dr. Michaels is a globally recognized expert in the aerospace manufacturing and MRO sectors and has significant expertise in business-to-business marketing, customer satisfaction, M&A advisory, technology assessment, cluster development, and strategic planning. His experience spans all major market segments, including air transport, business & general aviation, and military.
Mr. Kenneth Herbert is a Managing Director and Senior Aerospace & Defense Analyst at RBC Capital Markets. Prior to RBC, he was the senior A&D analyst at Canaccord Genuity and Wedbush Securities. From 2003-2009, he ran the Aerospace & Defense consulting practice at Frost & Sullivan and was an associate to the No.1-ranked machinery analyst at Salomon Smith Barney from 2000-2003.
Mr. Chuck Jackson is responsible for the integration of all elements of the CFM RISE technology strategy and program execution for the commercial aviation market, including the execution of new open fan and hydrogen technology demonstrators. His career began with GE in 1996 and held key roles in Aviation's Engineering and Commercial Engines Operation organizations including Customer Support, Product Support, Six Sigma and various engineering roles. Subsequently, he was named Director of CFM56 Commercial Operations, and Executive Director of CF6 Strategy and Product Management. In 2013, he led the GE9X program from its inception, as Executive of Programs. In order to work directly with the Boeing 777X senior leadership and drove critical Boeing and airline engagement during the key stages of the program, he relocated to Seattle. In 2018, he moved to Regional and Business Aviation Division, leading the services portfolio, including managing all commercial, operational, and support aspects of the global CF34 and CT7 commercial engines.
Ms. Sheila Kahyaoglu covers the Aerospace and Defense sector, in addition to the Airlines sector. She joined in March 2012. Ms. Kahyaoglu was ranked #1 in Institutional Investor's All-America Research poll in 2022 after being #2 in 2021 and 2020 and Runner-up in 2019. She was ranked Rising Star in the 2015 and 2014 polls. Before joining Jefferies, Ms. Kahyaoglu was a research analyst at Credit Suisse, covering the Electrical Equipment and Multi Industry (EE/MI) space. From 2005 to 2008, she was a Leveraged Finance analyst at JPMorgan.
Mr. C. Jeffrey Knittel is responsible for Airbus' commercial aircraft and commercial services businesses throughout the Americas, as well as providing leadership to Airbus Helicopters and Airbus US Space & Defense. Additionally, Mr. Knittel chairs A3 by Airbus, the company's Silicon Valley-based innovation arm; is a board member of Airbus Ventures, which invests in early-stage technologies across the globe; and is a member of the Airbus Canada Limited Partnership Board – a multibillion dollar joint venture between Airbus and the Province of Quebec. Mr. Knittel has more than 35 years of experience in aerospace and transportation finance. Before joining Airbus, he was Chief Executive Officer of C2 Aviation Capital, a global organization focused on acquiring, leasing and managing commercial aircraft. Prior to leading C2 Aviation Capital, he served in increasingly senior leadership positions at CIT Group Inc. His final position there was President of CIT Transportation Finance, a $21 billion diversified organization that provided leasing and financing solutions for the aerospace, rail and maritime industries.
Dr. Geoff Murray has more than 25 years of consulting experience in the transportation industry. He works with OEMs, suppliers, and investors advising on strategic issues including aftermarket growth, organizational design, and mergers and acquisitions. Dr. Murray earned his Ph.D. in engineering from Northwestern University and is an active pilot, holding FAA Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor certificates. He began his aerospace career as an original member of the McDonnell Douglas T-45A Goshawk experimental flight test team. Dr. Murray is frequently quoted in the popular press including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, CNN, NPR's All Things Considered and technical venues including Flight International and Aviation Week & Space Technology.
Ms. Joanna Speed specializes in bringing together prominent aerospace industry executives to expose the issues, confront the challenges, and answer the questions facing its stakeholders. Ms. Speed recently served as Chief Growth Officer of Aeromed Group, and previously was the Managing Director, Aerospace and Defense Events for the Aviation Week Network – which included the SpeedNews Legacy – where she led the launch and execution of multiple marketing strategies and audience engagement platforms. During her prior tenure, she emerged as a thought leader for pioneering forecasting and intelligence forums in the A&D arena. Ms. Speed is a recipient of the Service to the Flag Award for Industry by Women In Defense and serves as the current President for the Women In Defense Greater Los Angeles Chapter – a subsidiary organization under the National Defense Industrial Association. Recently, she was recognized by Business Insider as one of the top 15 most recognized and influential women in aerospace.
Mr. Bob Lange was appointed to his current position in 2018. His team is responsible for market research and forecasting, business analysis and benchmarking to support Airbus Strategy. In over 30 years at Airbus, his responsibilities have alternated between marketing Airbus and its products towards the outside world and acting as the Voice of the Customer internally in the field of product development. He held marketing account responsibilities in North America and Asia, followed by Product Marketing responsibility for A330/A340 and A380 and led the Cabin Interiors Marketing team. Prior to his current role, he was VP Marketing and subsequently led the Product Strategy team. Mr. Lange began his career as a Future Projects engineer in the military transport segment.
Mr. Gaël Méheust serves as CFM International's global representative in its relationships with customers, government agencies, industry associations and the media. He provides corporate leadership for the integrated management of the joint venture serves as a key interface between the top management levels at GE and Safran. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Safran Aircraft Engines. In this role, he played an integral role in launch of the LEAP engine program. CFM International is a 50/50 joint company between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE.
Prior to launching The Air Current in June 2018, Mr. Jon Ostrower served as Aviation Editor for CNN Worldwide, guiding the network’s global coverage of the business and operations of aviation. Mr. Ostrower joined CNN following four and a half years at the Wall Street Journal. Based first in Chicago, then in Washington, D.C., he covered Boeing, aviation safety, and the business of global aerospace. Previously, he was editor of FlightBlogger for Flightglobal and Flight International Magazine, covering the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and other new aircraft programs from 2007 to 2012. Mr. Ostrower is an instructor at the University of Southern California in the Viterbi School of Engineering's Aviation Safety and Security program.
Mr. Bryan Perkins has over 20 years of aerospace manufacturing experience, during which he has held many leadership positions. As CEO, President, and Founder of Novaria Group, he continues to build a growing enterprise focused on Aerospace Tier 2 manufacturing. Since 2011, he has closed over 20 aerospace component manufacturing transactions, all of which were privately-held, multi-generational, or entrepreneur-owned businesses. In addition to serving as CEO, he has taken on a variety of hands-on operational leadership roles within Novaria during various stages of scaling. His public and private company experience extends to the leadership and successful closure of multiple transactions, integrations and supplier-customer negotiations with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. Prior to founding Novaria group, he spent 10 years in various aerospace manufacturing, operating and corporate development roles with Parker Hannifin.
Mr. Stephen Perry has over 25 years of corporate finance and investment banking experience, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate divestitures, management buyouts, and debt and equity financing. Notable transactions include advising Frontier Systems in connection with its sale to the Boeing Company, as well as industry legend Burt Rutan in connection with the sale of Scaled Composites to Northrop Grumman. More recent transactions include the acquisition of Thomson Aerospace & Defense, a subsidiary of Meggitt PLC, by UmbraGroup S.p.A; the sale of Matrix Composites to ITT; and the sale of IntelliPower to AMETEK. Mr. Perry has extensive relationships with ADS companies both in the USA and overseas and has been involved in a number of cross-border transactions. Previously, he held various roles at Credit-Suisse First Boston, Kayne Anderson and Irving Trust Company.
Mr. Joe Ran leads World Energy's Business Development and Project Development effort to initiate carbon-reduction projects in hard to decarbonize sectors. His experience spans from the transportation energy value chain to the electric power sector with an emphasis on energy transition. Mr. Ran’s past assignments in engineering, operations improvements, commercial operations, strategic planning, and M&A are well suited to help World Energy achieve its mission to make net-zero a reality. Previously, he lead Shell's best practice developments in hydroprocessing technology. Mr. Ran has developed strategic plans for California utilities to achieve net-zero by 2045.
Ms. Wendy Sowers leads Boeing Commercial Airplanes' analysis of the airline industry. In this role, she directs the development of the annual Commercial Market, the bi-annual World Air Cargo Forecast and supports near and mid-term market analysis for Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ business and strategic planning. Ms. Sowers has been with Boeing for over 20 years in a variety of roles including product marketing, competitor analysis and strategy and supply chain management.
Mr. Michael Tierney helps the firm better serve clients in the business of making, moving, and selling products to customers around the world. Mr. Tierney has nearly 20 years of experience in global management consulting, new market assessment, cybersecurity, risk management and mitigation, intelligence, and industrial development. He has worked with international clients in a range of industries including defense, aerospace, medical devices, finance, and many others. He also has several years of experience supporting the US intelligence community in a variety of capacities.
Mr. Tom Vice is a successful operating executive with unquestionable integrity, broad industry experience, and proven strategic, financial, risk management, and technical skill. Before joining Sierra Space, he served as Chairman, CEO and President of Aerion Corporation, a company developing supersonic civil aviation. Previously, he was the President of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector, an $11 billion global advanced technology business. Prior to becoming the President of Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector, he was the President of their Technical Services sector, a recognized leader in integrated logistics and modernization, defense and government services and training solutions.
Mr. Rod Williams is a 25-year veteran of Bombardier, where, among many other roles, he was Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Regional Programs. Most recently, he served as Chief Marketing Officer of Wheels Up, as well as President of its Canadian subsidiary.
Mr. Charles Willis has over 40 years of experience in the aviation industry and has served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and a director since WLFC incorporated in 1985. In April 2022, Mr. Willis was appointed Executive Chairman of the board of directors.
We serve the global A&D industry with elite events for OEMs, suppliers, sub-tier manufacturers and the financial community, for executives to learn and exchange ideas on common concerns and new developments in our rapidly changing industry.