As a Member of the Southwest Airlines WiFi/IFE Team, Tara is responsible for ensuring the best possible experience for Customers while engaging with WiFi/IFE onboard Southwest aircraft. Tara builds relationships across multiple departments within Southwest to provide strategic direction. Tara takes great pride in finding new opportunities to educate others on the ever-growing presence of WiFi/IFE at Southwest.
Tara began her career at Southwest Airlines as an Intern on the Customer Experience Team. Recognizing that focusing on the Customer was an area of passion for her, she continued to grow within the role and her time on the Team consistently impacts her work today. Being able to work on WiFi/IFE gives Tara the opportunity to bring this passion for the Customer and a desire for operational efficiency together into one outcome.
Tara grew up in the great state of Texas, graduating with a BS in Marketing and a BS in Management from Oklahoma State University. She rounded out her education with an MS in Logistics and MBA concentrated in Operations Management from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Director, Flight Operations CNS Programs & Cockpit Technology, United Airlines
Jon Merritt currently heads up the development and implementation of United Airlines’ Flight Operations mobility initiatives. Launched with a Class 1 Electronic Flight Bag (Apple iPads) to over 12, 000 pilots, the mobility venture is the largest airline deployment of tablet electronic flight bags to date. United Flight Operations continues to explore additional ways for mobility to drive efficiency, productivity and accessibility for pilots and the airline. Jon has been with United Airlines 16 years, the last seven with Flight Operations managing information technology programs. A distinguished speaker; Jon has presented at Mobile Con, Gartner CIO ITXPO, Forrester Research Webinar, VM World, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona discussing the mobile cloud, mobility solutions for the airline industry and mobile content management. Jon earned his Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Marshall University in Huntington, WV and his Master of Arts in Instructional Design from Governors State University, in Illinois.
Sam Swaro is the AVP for Aerospace & Defense business unit of HCL Technologies, HCL is a leading global Technology services company working with clients in areas that impact and redefine the core of their businesses. In his role, Mr. Swaro is responsible for the P&L HCL’s A&D Commercial business for North America.
With 18+ years of experience in the A&D industry, he currently specializes in Strategy, New market development, Large and Strategic Account Management, Business Development, Complex Business Solution Design/Delivery.
As a Software Engineer, Mr. Swaro started his career in 1998, working for BAeHAL (A JV between British Aerospace and HAL). Mr. Swaro joined HCL in 2000 and helped HCL to start the A&D Business Unit and has been instrumental to grow the A&D business unit to one the largest Engineering services provider in the world. Mr. Swaro has held various positions in engineering and sales organization before he took on his present role. An Electronics & Communication Engineer, Mr. Swaro holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Tampa.
Me. Swaro served (2015-2017) on the Board of Governors of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Beyond his work life, Mr. Swaro is working hard to educate students about entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work readiness through the not-for-profit organization JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT of Southern California (JAOC). He served the JAOC Board for more than 2 years (2012-2014).
Currently with SAS in the position of Manager Mobile Solutions and EFB Administrator. Has overall responsibility for operation and support of the EFB (Electronic Flight Bag), and SAS Crew applications joined SAS in March 2008 as Flight Operations Engineer. Prior to joining SAS, worked as a Project Manager on a project of the design and development of a drilling system planned to be used on the wing to fuselage assembly under production conditions within Airbus FAL (Final Assembly Line). Ashi has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Royal institute of technology, KTH, in Stockholm.
Nancy Walker is the Chief Commercial Officer of SmartSky Networks, LLC., responsible for the Marketing and Sales functions of the company.
Walker is an aviation industry veteran with more than 30 years of aerospace technology and IFC experience. She most recently served as a senior portfolio manager for Leonardo DRS, where she was responsible for acquisition and execution of a large $100M+ assortment of programs in support of ruggedized network computing systems for U.S. defense and international military customers. Previously, Walker held various positions of increasing responsibility in technical, programmatic, leadership, and business development areas at NASA, Harris, LiveTV, and Thales.
Walker will lead SmartSky’s network-related sales and marketing efforts across various verticals, including business and commercial aviation.
Walker holds a Master of Science in engineering management and Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Florida Institute of Technology. She holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification and resides in Melbourne, FL.
Roman Lopatko is responsible for developing growth strategies for Honeywell’s Commercial Aviation business. Roman joined Honeywell in 2014 as Strategic Marketing Director for Air Transport & Regional.
Prior to Honeywell, Roman led business development in the Americas at Taleris, a GE/Accenture startup focused on launching new analytics-based airline maintenance & operations services. Roman also spent 12 years with Sabre Airline Solutions in various Strategy, Marketing and Consulting roles; led an airlines consulting practice developing new revenue generating services and business process improvement; worked on CRM and Big Data projects (before Big Data became a “thing”); and managed a global marketing and portfolio management team. He started his career as a product/account manager with IBM.
Roman has an MBA from Arizona State University, and a BS in Economics & Management from Moscow State University of Management.
Amanda Fish is the General Manager of Inflight Connectivity at Delta Air Lines, one of the world’s leading international commercial airlines. Mrs. Fish leads a cross-functional team of Program Managers, Engineers, and Marketing professionals in developing onboard connectivity specifications and strategies to optimize the Wi-Fi customer experience. Her team is responsible for conceptualization, design, implementation, and maintenance of the onboard connectivity solutions.
Mrs. Fish began working with in flight connectivity systems in 2016. Prior to that, she served as a Program Manager focused on nose to tail upgrades of the A320FAM fleet. Before coming to Delta Air Lines in 2013, Mrs. Fish worked in the Food Manufacturing industry in both Operations and Continuous Improvement. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University, holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and is a certified Project Management Professional.
Angela Vargo is Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for JetSuiteX. For nearly two decades, Angela has been innovating new products and services within air travel to enhance the passenger experience while generating millions of dollars in revenue for airlines.
For seven years, Angela served as the project lead for Southwest Airline’s inflight WiFi program. In that time, Angela developed the industry’s first personal device-driven entertainment platform and introduced “TV Flies Free” on over 550 aircraft, giving customers access to live streaming sports, news and other television content. Angela was also responsible for spearheading Southwest’s interiors program including “Evolve” and the newest interior, “Heart” incorporating cutting-edge materials and design aimed at reducing weight and improving passenger comfort.
Angela left Southwest in 2015 to pursue her passion for building new and disruptive forms of air travel outside of commercial flying. She helped build RISE, a membership-based air travel provider, and saw through the successful acquisition to Surf Air in July 2017. Angela soon joined JetSuiteX, a rapidly growing air carrier that offers public flights from private terminals in the Western part of the U.S., and is energetically championing the development of IFEC solutions that will meet the evolving business models and needs in the industry.
Angela is a graduate of Texas A&M University and lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband of 19 years and their two young sons.
As President and CEO of Phasor Inc., David Helfgott has the responsibility for the company’s strategic direction, to drive the development of its new & revolutionary Electronically Steerable Antenna (ESA) products and technology, and to implement its operational programs. As a 20-year industry veteran, he has extensive experience in satellite broadband, mobile telecommunications and commercial & government SATCOM networking services. Mr. Helfgott has held leadership positions at Inmarsat, Cobham, DataPath and SES. He holds a BA Degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Darden School.
Captain Jason Brown is the Manager, Flight Technical for Air Canada Flight Operations with almost a decade of experience in Advanced Flight Deck Programs. As a captain, Jason regularly operates the Boeing 767-300 to overseas destinations. He has played an instrumental role in developing Air Canada’s EFB Program for pilots and has worked closely with other Air Canada operational groups to harmonize mobility applications. In addition to the EFB Program, Jason also manages the Aeronautical Data and Connected Flight Deck programs.
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