All keynote and panel sessions will take place in the Acadia Ballroom on the first floor of the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel.

Buddy Anslinger

Director, Ricondo & Associates, Inc.
USA Today
Keynote Speaker

Buddy Anslinger has nearly 30 years of experience providing network planning and strategic advisory services for airlines, airports, and aviation-related clients worldwide. Spending over 20 years at Continental Airlines, Mr. Anslinger led a number of initiatives in different areas of the airline, including alliances, strategic planning, corporate planning, government affairs, and network planning.

Evan Berg

Vice President
Campbell-Hill Aviation Group
We’re In This Together: Decoding the Link Between Tourism and Aviation
Moderator

Evan Berg has more than 15 years of direct airline route planning and air service development experience with Southwest Airlines. He recently made the transition from the airline sector to aviation consulting. Evan joined Campbell-Hill Aviation Group in 2017 as a Vice President. He brings 16 years of experience at Southwest Airlines in a variety of management roles at its headquarters in Dallas, Texas. He specializes in international and domestic network planning, new market research and development, long-term network strategy, network integration, capacity planning and corporate real estate.

The Honourable Scott Brison MP

Member of Parliament for Kings–Hants (Nova Scotia)
Atlantic Canada – the Economy, Tourism and Aviation
Keynote Speaker

Scott Brison, has been elected to Canada's House of Commons in seven general elections between June 1997 and October 2015.

Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Mr. Brison to the federal cabinet as President of the Treasury Board in November 2015. He serves as a member of the key Cabinet Committee on Agenda, Results and Communications that tracks progress on the government’s priorities; the Cabinet Committee on Growing the Middle Class that considers strategies to promote inclusive economic growth, opportunity, employment, and social security; and as Vice-Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Defence Procurement.

Joyce Carter

President & CEO
Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA)
Tuesday Welcome Remarks

Joyce Carter joined HIAA in 1999, and since then she has been integral in HIAA’s growth and development, becoming Chief Financial Officer in 2006, Chief Strategy Officer in 2008, and President & CEO in 2014.

Joyce is a Board Member of the Canadian Airports Council and is Chair of their Large Airports Caucus and Governance Committee. In 2016, she was appointed President of the Board of Directors for the Atlantic Canada Airports Association, and to the Board of Directors of the Airports Council International (ACI) World Governing Board.

Nicola Ann Colville

Area Manager, Canada & Bermuda
International Air Transport Association (IATA)
State of the Industry
Keynote Speaker

Nicola Colville is the Area Manager, Canada and Bermuda for IATA based in Montreal. In this role she represents the interests of IATA member airlines by advocating for aviation with governments and industry stakeholders across the supply chain to create a safe, secure and sustainable air transport system. She is a facilitator of industry projects, policy positions and aviation solutions and has a broad range of experience working with culturally diverse and multinational teams.

Dean Dacko

Business Strategist Consultant
Canada Jetlines
Doing Things Differently: Is Canada Ready for Disturbance?
Panelist

Dean is currently acting as Commercial Consultant for Canada Jetlines to develop the airline's North American operating footprint, and recently as Chief Commercial Officer launched New Leaf Travel Company establishing the corporate branding, operational infrastructure, and communication platforms to drive the brand’s entry into the Canadian market.

Randolph deGooyer

Vice President, Commercial Services, Jazz Aviation LP
Keeping It Regional: A Discussion on the Market Characteristics and Direction of Regional Flying in Canada
Panelist

Randolph deGooyer is the Vice President of Commercial Service for Jazz Aviation LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc. He has over 25 years of senior leadership experience covering airline, travel and transport sectors.

Robert Deluce

President and Chief Executive Officer
Porter Airlines
10 Years of Porter Airlines
Keynote Speaker

Robert J. Deluce is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, recognized as one of Canada’s most knowledgeable and respected airline owners and operators. He is part of a decades-long Canadian aviation legacy that began when his parents started White River Air Services Limited in 1951.

Charles Duncan

President, WestJet Encore
WestJet 3.0
Keynote Speaker

Charles Duncan took the helm as President of WestJet Encore in June 2017. Charles enjoyed a long and successful career with Continental Airlines and then, through merger, with United Airlines. He navigated the commercial side of the Continental business with roles in pricing and revenue management, network planning, and sales. He was based in Japan for 10 years, and played a key role in Continental’s launch of trans-Pacific service to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing; ultimately leading to his role as President and Chief Operating Officer of the airline’s semi-independent subsidiary, Continental Micronesia in Guam.

Wadih Fares

President and CEO
WM Fares Group
Wednesday Welcome Remarks

Over the past 30 years, Wadih has been involved in every aspect of building design and construction. He currently serves as President and CEO of WM Fares Group.

Wadih has been the Honorary Consul of Lebanon for the Maritime Provinces for the past 18 years. He is a member of the Dalhousie University Board of Governors and chairs the Capital Projects and Facilities Committee. He is a member of the QEII Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees, a member of an advisory panel to the Minister of Housing Nova Scotia and co-chair of the newly-created Premier’s Immigration Advisory Council.

Johanne Gallant

President & CEO
Fredericton International Airport
We’re In This Together: Decoding the Link Between Tourism and Aviation
Panelist

Johanne Gallant joined the Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) in 2015, bringing over 30 years of success in the fields of marketing, sales and international trade to New Brunswick’s capital city. Prior to joining the FIAA Ms. Gallant spent over a decade leading the considerable growth at the Greater Moncton International Airport as Director of Airport Commercial Development and Acting President and CEO (2011-2014). Previous to that role she held various positions with the New Brunswick Department of Tourism and Economic Development including Director of Marketing and Trade Sales.

Brad Gushue

Olympic Curler
Planning, perseverance and acceptance: Building a plan for success and finding a way to follow it
Wednesday Luncheon Keynote Speaker

A graduate of Memorial University with a Bachelor of Business in 2004, Brad has successfully balanced a demanding athletic career, family life, and several businesses where he is an active owner/operator. His athletic achievements are numerous, most recently as skip of the current Canadian and World Men’s Curling Championship teams and Canada’s first Olympic Men’s Curling gold medalist in 2006. Other personal distinctions include being inducted into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Memorial University in 2006.

Eugene Hoeven

President & Founder

EH&A Aviation Management Solutions
Doing Things Differently: Is Canada Ready for Disturbance?
Panelist

Mr. Hoeven brings more than 25 years of management experience in the aviation and air transport industry, having worked for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Bombardier, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO). This also included industry representation at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for close to 20 years.

Ross Jefferson

President and CEO
Discover Halifax
We’re In This Together: Decoding the Link Between Tourism and Aviation
Panelist

Ross Jefferson is the President and CEO of Discover Halifax, the regional destination marketing organization responsible for overseeing the growth of the tourism economy in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

With over 5.3 million overnight stays annually, tourism in Halifax is a billion dollar industry with more than 23,000 people employed in over 4,000 businesses. As one of Canada’s leading destinations for leisure visitors, cruise, and national and international conventions, Halifax also represents a major gateway for air traffic travel connecting the Atlantic Provinces to the rest of the world through the Stanfield Halifax International Airport.

Chris K. Jones

Director, Strategic Initiatives
Department of Economic Development and Tourism PEI
We’re In This Together: Decoding the Link Between Tourism and Aviation
Panelist

Chris K. Jones started with Tourism Prince Edward Island in 2001 and is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives. His particular focus is on the development of strategic partnerships with public and private industry. In his current role, Chris is responsible for research, public policy, strategic planning, regulatory affairs, product development, and industry investment.

Ron Kaercher

Director, Regional Airlines and Markets
Air Canada
Keeping It Regional: A Discussion on the Market Characteristics and Direction of Regional Flying in Canada
Panelist

Ron Kaercher is the Director, Regional Airlines and Markets with Air Canada. In this role, Ron is responsible for managing the relationships with the company’s regional Express carriers from an operational perspective, and supports Air Canada’s activities in regional markets across North America. He has more than 25 years of experience in the aviation business, with roles in the areas of Network Planning, Market and Revenue Management, Alliances, and Finance and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Finance) from Concordia University, Montreal.

Robert J. Kokonis

President and Managing Director
AirTrav Inc.
Keeping It Regional: A Discussion on the Market Characteristics and Direction of Regional Flying in Canada
Moderator
We’re In This Together: Decoding the Link Between Tourism and Aviation
Opening Address

Robert Kokonis has 28 years of corporate and consulting experience, acquired with companies such as Air Canada, Finnair, Royal Jordanian, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and Worldspan.

Marcus Lam

Vice President
InterVISTAS Consulting Inc
Doing Things Differently: Is Canada Ready for Disturbance?
Moderator

Marcus has an unyielding passion for designing sustainable, profitable route networks in the airline industry. Marcus has expertise with passenger discrete choice modelling, airline network design, fleet optimization, and other airline strategic commercial initiatives. He has successfully led and delivered projects for passenger and cargo airline clients worldwide.

Bernard LeBlanc

Managing Director, Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport; Regional Executive, Atlantic Canada, Vantage Airport Group
Keeping It Regional: A Discussion on the Market Characteristics and Direction of Regional Flying in Canada
Panelist

Bernard LeBlanc has more than 25 years of business leadership experience, with executive management roles in diverse industries in Canada and the United States. He has significant experience setting strategic direction to position organizations for long term-success, enhancing operations to generate profitable growth, and implementing major initiatives. Bernard joined the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport (GMIA) early in 2015.

Lee J. Lipton

Director of Network and Schedule Planning
WestJet
We’re In This Together: Decoding the Link Between Tourism and Aviation
Panelist

Lee Lipton is WestJet’s Director of Network and Schedule Planning. He heads the network development, route planning, and flight scheduling for WestJet’s mainline service, Encore regional airline, and new ultra low-cost carrier. His team is currently preparing to introduce the 737MAX and 787 aircraft that will enable WestJet to expand far beyond its current 100 destinations in 20 countries.

John MacLeod

Vice President, Commercial Strategy
Air Canada
Keeping It Regional: A Discussion on the Market Characteristics and Direction of Regional Flying in Canada
Opening Address

John MacLeod was appointed Vice President, Commercial Strategy in March, 2017, with overall responsibility for delivering the commercial aspect for the airline's objectives in revenue performance and customer experience, including ensuring the successful launch of all new routes in Air Canada's global expansion.

Shashank Nigam

Founder & CEO, Simpliflying
Leading in the Age of Enragement
Conference Kick-off
The Power of Storytelling in the Age of Social Media
Thursday Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker, and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 75 clients (airlines and airports) in the last six years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to Abu Dhabi.

Monette Pasher

Executive Director
Atlantic Canada’s Airport Association
Thursday Welcome Remarks

Monette Pasher is the Executive Director of Atlantic Canada’s Airport Association, a not-for-profit group which represents the interests of all commercial airports in Atlantic Canada. The Association is responsible for policy, planning, and partnership advocacy efforts for 12 airports.

Andrew Pierce

Vice President, Network Planning and Reporting, Porter Airlines
Keeping It Regional: A Discussion on the Market Characteristics and Direction of Regional Flying in Canada
Panelist

Andrew joined Porter's startup team in 2005, when he participated in the initial business plan and purchase of Bombardier Q400 turboprops. He led the sales, marketing and communications efforts before taking on technical projects like the website and its integration with the reservations system, followed by program initiatives like Porter Pass and VIPorter.

Marco Prud'Homme

Vice President
Nolinor Aviation
Doing Things Differently: Is Canada Ready for Disturbance?
Panelist

Marco Prud'Homme holds a degree in administration from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR) and holds an MBA from the John Molson School of Business (Concordia). He also holds a commercial pilot license.

Michele Saran

CEO
Tourism Nova Scotia
We’re In This Together: Decoding the Link Between Tourism and Aviation
Panelist

Michele Saran became the first permanent CEO of Tourism Nova Scotia in May 2016. As CEO, Michele is focused on establishing strong relationships with industry stakeholders and leading the implementation of an export-focused tourism growth strategy. Her commitment to understanding global best practices; research-based decision-making; and leveraging national, regional, and local partnership opportunities is producing positive results for Tourism Nova Scotia.

Peter Spurway

Vice President, Corporate Communications & Airport Experience
Halifax International Airport Authority
Altitude East 2017 Emcee

Peter Spurway’s responsibilities include all corporate communications initiatives, advocacy, community outreach, as well as stakeholder and media relations and passenger experience.

Peter has worked in diversified communications and public affairs positions for 30 years, from education, to broadcasting, to legal and healthcare organizations, and politics.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of New Brunswick.

Bert van der Stege

Vice President, Business Development & Chief Commercial Officer
Halifax International Airport Authority
Wednesday Welcome Remarks

Bert van der Stege joined HIAA in 2016 and is responsible for the customer airport experience and all revenue development, both aeronautical and non-aeronautical. This includes overseeing strategies to increase flights, destinations, passengers and cargo numbers; and to grow revenue from non-aeronautical sources including parking, shops, restaurants, advertising, and vehicle rentals. He also takes the lead to attract and retain terminal building tenants as well as the commercial development of airport property.