News about AMPAP Participant Acheivements

In all, 71 airport executives received their International Airport Professional (IAP) diplomas in 2011, bringing the total to over 160 since the programme’s inception.  In addition, seven others earned the AMPAP Associate diploma, which is reserved for industry stakeholders. The IAP diploma is earned through successful achievement of stringent requirements that ICAO and ACI established for the programme’s six-course curriculum.

AMPAP 2012 Graduates accompanied by Ms. Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI and Mr. Mohamed Elamiri, Deputy Director, Safety Management and Monitoring, ICAO

AMPAP Executive, Pierre Coutu, commented on this year’s developments:

The graduation is always an annual highlight of our programme and we were delighted to see so many graduates make the trip to Marrakech to participate in the ceremony. AMPAP is now enjoying firm recognition, evidenced by a steady to high-growth mode, and we look forward to another large group of IAPs earning their accreditation in 2012.

On November 1, during the ACI World Annual General Assembly in Marrakech, 32 graduates were present to receive their diplomas and were part of AMPAP’s largest graduating class.

Mr. Patrick Chonde. AMPAP 2012 Valedictorian and Ms. Catherine Mayer of SITA, AMPAP Premier Sponsor

Patrick Chonde of the Kenya Airports Authority was elected class valedictorian. On behalf of the graduates, his speech, which is excerpted below, touched on several key, recurring themes in regard to the IAP accreditation:

The growth of AMPAP has been remarkable over the years:  from the initial number of 17 participants in June 2007 when it started to the current figure of over 600 participants. Today in this room, a total of 32 graduates are present from 19 different countries representing all five ACI regions, will receive their certificates and diplomas and the coveted International Airport Professional (IAP) accreditation.

Personally, AMPAP has been an awesome experience. It has helped me sharpen my career skills. I gained from AMPAP not only analytical tools and intellectual confidence, but more importantly awareness of best practices, a strategic approach to my job, and a fantastic network of peers from diverse backgrounds and cultures from around the globe”

I wish to quote ACI Director General, Angela Gittens, in her remarks during the graduation in Bermuda last year: ‘This is the beginning of the search of knowledge and not an end.  The graduation is a one-off event, the hard work starts now.’

I believe the AMPAP graduates are better equipped to be more efficient and effective by disseminating their newfound reservoir of knowledge within their own organizations, especially among their colleagues.Please join me in a big round of applause for the graduates who have tirelessly worked to attain this coveted recognition and for making history by celebrating it for the first time in this great continent of Africa, in the beautiful city of Marrakech, in the Kingdom of Morocco.”

Dr. Pierre Coutu, AMPAP Programme Executive, Ms. Catherine Mayer of SITA, AMPAP Premier Sponsor and the 2012 Graduating Class

Robert Kennedy, IAP

Mr. Robert Kennedy, IAP, former Interim Deputy General Manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport joins Aviation Strategies International. With immediate effect, Mr. Kennedy will occupy the position of Vice-President, Consulting Services for the firm.

Here is an excerpt of the press release:

In his remarks, Dr. Coutu highlighted that “Robert adds yet another pillar of strength to our company which has been solid in serving its clients in the international arena. With more than three decades of aviation industry experience, Robert’s talent will further enhance the expertise and professionalism of our team and we eagerly welcome him. We’re also very excited that his executive responsibilities will include the establishment of a new ASI division that will provide aviation cargo advisory services”.

Rob Wigington, IAP

Rob Wigington, IAP,  has been named the new Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.

Wigington replaces Monty Burgess, who retired in June.

The following are excerpts from the MNAA press release:

“Rob brings a longtime commitment to the airport industry and an extensive skill set to the MNAA, where he will play an important role in providing what we call the Nashville Airports Experience to our passengers, partners and employees,” said Raul Regalado, President and CEO of the MNAA.

As Executive Vice President and COO, Wigington oversees the MNAA’s Operations, Maintenance, Public Safety, Community Affairs and Customer Service, Finance, Purchasing, Treasury, Accounting, Information Technology, MNAA Properties Corporation, Business Development, Continuous Improvement, Properties, and Planning, Design and Construction departments.

Wigington joined the MNAA staff from Houston, Texas, where he served as Deputy Director of the Houston Airport System since 2007. Previously, Wigington held leadership positions with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Airports Council International – North America, Fleishman Hillard/GPC, and Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Wigington has more than 30 years of experience in multiple aspects of the airport industry. He has a master’s of public administration degree from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in government from Pomona College. Wigington is accredited as an International Airport Professional by Airports Council International.

Cheryl Marcell

Cheryl Marcell, IAP

AMPAP graduate, Ms. Cheryl Marcell has been recruited as the new Director of Communications and Events and the World Headquarters of Airports Council International.

Below is an excerpt from the press release issued by ACI World:

“….Cheryl Marcell will join the organization as of 1 August 2011. She currently works for the Sacramento County Airport System, in California, USA, where she has served as Deputy Director for Marketing and Public Relations since 2000. In this role she has been responsible for air service development, legislative activity, media relations, public relations, public art program and all marketing projects for the four airports in the Airport System. Under Marcell’s leadership, the airport system has won several local media and communication awards and is widely recognized as an economic engine and a valuable regional marketing partner.

Addressing airport issues on a national stage, Marcell served as the Chair of the Marketing and Communications Committee for Airports Council International – North America in 2009. She has prepared and delivered numerous speeches at many ACI seminars and conferences on topics such as crisis communications, customer service and airport branding.

Marcell comments on her recent appointment, “I am thrilled to be joining such a prestigious organization as Airports Council International. Strengthening the voice of the world’s airports and planning and executing high quality educational events world-wide is a challenge that I accept with great enthusiasm. Our airport in Sacramento has very close ties with ACI-World and the ACI-North America Region, so I have a good working knowledge of the mission and values of our professional trade association. I look forward to working on all our initiatives on behalf of our airport members.”

ACI World Director General Angela Gittens welcomes Marcell to the management team, “We are delighted to have attracted such a high calibre professional who is not only an accredited International Airport Professional (IAP), but has also volunteered much of her time and talent to ACI from her current position in Sacramento. We searched far and wide for the right person to fill the gap being left by Nancy Gautier, our long-term Director of Communications who declined to relocate to Montreal for family reasons, and Cheryl is very much that right person.”

Marcell’s professional qualifications encompass association management, public relations/marketing and trade show management positions with private sector employers in California and Texas. She has been active in the Sacramento business community, serving ex-officio on the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau. A strong supporter of destination marketing programs in the Sacramento region and a major participant with the hotel and visitor organizations, Marcell has also been active at the state-wide level on the Board of Directors for the California Travel Industry Association.”

During a staff ceremony last week, San Fransisco International Airport General Manager, John Martin, honored his airport’s 2010 AMPAP graduates. Although they were unable to attend the official AMPAP graduation ceremony held in November in Bermuda, SFO officially recognized John Reeb, Jeffrey Hoglind and Kevin Kone for their hard work and dedication in earning the International Airport Professional (IAP) designation.