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Sustainability Symposium Speakers

Thomas Fowler
Head of Sustainability and Finance, Ryanair

Thomas Fowler is Director of Sustainability & Finance for Ryanair, Europe’s No. 1 airline. Thomas is a qualified ACCA accountant Thomas has been working with Ryanair for 17 years, having joined in June 2003. He has held a number of roles in finance – with a particular focus on fuel purchasing, fuel hedging, and taxation. With his recent appointment as Director of Sustainability, Thomas will be responsible for developing and leading Ryanair’s environmental policy. Ryanair is already Europe’s greenest/cleanest major airline with the youngest fleet and highest load factors. Its CO₂ per passenger/km is 66g, half the rate of other flag carrier European airlines. Ryanair is committed to reducing this by a further 10% to under 60g per pax/km by 2030.

Dick Forsberg
Senior Advisor, Aviation Finance Advisory Services (AFAS), PwC

Dick Forsberg has 50 years’ aviation industry experience, working with airlines, operating lessors, arrangers and capital providers in a variety of roles spanning business strategy, industry analysis and forecasting, asset valuation, portfolio risk management and airline credit assessment. He retired from leading aircraft lessor Avolon in March 2019 and now provides advisory and consultancy support to the industry. He is currently supporting PwC’s Aviation Finance Advisory Services team as an external Senior Consultant.

Ross O'Connor
Head of Capital Markets, Avolon

Ross O’Connor joined Avolon in 2011 and was appointed Head of Capital Markets in 2021. As Head of Capital Markets, Ross is responsible for Avolon’s capital markets and funding raising strategy and initiatives. This includes managing our investor relations and rating agency management activities, as well as Avolon’s global bank relationships. In addition, Ross oversees Avolon’s asset management activities on behalf third-party investors in Sapphire I and II. Ross has held various roles throughout the organisation, including positions in the aircraft trading and the capital markets teams, and most recently as Head of Investor Relations. Ross holds a Bachelor (Hons) in Management Science and Information Systems Studies from Trinity College Dublin and is a Member of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Dean Gerber
ISTAT President & Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Valkyrie BTO Aviation

Dean Gerber is currently Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Valkyrie BTO Aviation (a Blackstone company). In his previous role, he served as General Counsel for Orix Aviation. Prior to that he served as Executive Chair of the Global Transportation Finance team at Vedder Price P.C. in Chicago (where he practiced for over 25 years) and served on the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Gerber is regularly named one of the top aviation lawyers in the world by a variety of legal publications including Legal Media Group’s Expert Guides, the International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers and Chambers Global. He has extensive experience in transactions involving aircraft operating lessors, airlines, credit enhancers, underwriters, governmental agencies and others on various aspects of aircraft acquisition, finance and leasing. His experience includes securitizations (including ABS and EETCs), operating leasing, mortgage and synthetic lease financings, manufacturer-supported financings, bankruptcies, restructurings and workouts. Mr. Gerber, also a certified public accountant, previously served on the Executive Committee of the Aviation Working Group's Legal Advisory Panel and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT).

Lynn Guiney
Senior Aviation Executive

An innovative deal-maker and industry leader, Lynn Guiney is currently capital raising for a start-up Lessor, SolÉir Aviation Capital, which plans to launch later in 2022. Lynn most recently led the EMEA Team at Avolon, the world’s second largest aircraft leasing company, managing and curating relationships with more than 50 airlines with more than 150 aircraft on lease. As part of Avolon’s Senior Management Team, Lynn oversaw the integration of the CIT Leasing business acquired in 2017 (300+ aircraft, US$10.4bn) and led the firm’s D&I Committee. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Lynn was a key decision-maker in airline restructuring across Avolon’s global fleet. Previously Managing Director and Global Head of Remarketing at Standard Chartered Aviation Finance, with responsibility for debt and operating leasing origination in the EMEA & Americas regions. Prior to Standard Chartered, Lynn was Managing Director and Head of EMEA at AWAS (now DAE Aviation Capital), and a member of the start-up team at RBS Aviation Capital (now SMBC Aviation Capital).

Klaus Heinemann
Founding Partner, HH Kapital BV

Klaus Heinemann is designated to be Chairman of the Nordic Aviation Capital Board upon emergence from its Chapter 11 process, he also currently chairs the Audit Committee of Hamburg Commercial Bank AG, is a member of Avinomics’ Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of SkyWorks Capital. He is Founding Partner of HH Kapital BV, Amsterdam. Before that, Klaus served as Chairman of Finnair, Helsinki, and as Chief Executive of AerCap, Amsterdam.

Eveliina Huurre
Senior Vice President Sustainability, Finnair

Eveliina Huurre as Finnair’s SVP Sustainability concentrates on solving the issue of flight emissions to support the social and economical well-being brought by flight industry. Before her role as a sustainability leader Eveliina was responsible for Finnair’s Inflight experience, in charge of Finnair 2800 cabin crew members. In addition, Eveliina is a member of the executive board at one of Finland’s biggest health care service providers Mehiläinen. Due to her long history with social- and healthcare, social responsibility issues are close to her heart.   

Bob Lange
Head of Business Analysis and Market Forecast, Airbus

Bob Lange was appointed Senior Vice President, Head of Business Analysis and Market Forecast in 2018. Bob’s team is responsible for market research and forecasting, business analysis and benchmarking to support Airbus’ Strategy. He started as a Future Projects engineer in the military transport segment after completing an apprenticeship and an honours degree in Engineering at Bath University.

In over 30 years at Airbus, his responsibilities 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. Bob held marketing account responsibilities in North America and Asia followed by Product Marketing responsibility for A330/A340 and A3XX (A380), then moved to Product Strategy where he worked on the launch of the A350 XWB. His exposure to long-range markets stimulated a particular focus on aircraft interiors and cabin product development. Bob led the Interiors Marketing team before being appointed Vice President Marketing and subsequently Head of Market Forecast and Product Strategy. Bob is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He is married with two adult sons and enjoys rugby, football, sailing and golf.

Declan Kelly
Chair, ALI

Declan Kelly is Chair of ALI, the representative body for aircraft leasing companies in Ireland. He assumed the role in July 2020 and will serve as Chair until July 2022. During his career, he has a held a number of senior roles in the aircraft leasing industry, spanning a 30-year period. He began his career with Aer Lingus, later joined GPA and has most recently held the role of Chief Commercial Officer in GECAS, the largest aircraft leasing company in Ireland. Declan has spent much of his career outside of Ireland and currently resides in the US. His main focus during his tenure as Chair of ALI, will be to increase the visibility of the aircraft leasing industry as a single coordinated voice, improve education and skills for the sector, expand Ireland's network of tax treaties, Covid-19 recovery and develop initiatives for digitalization platforms, ESG and sustainability which are imperatives for our collective future.

Catherine J. Kolimas Schorm
Managing Director, Co-Head of Aviation Technology, Goldman Sachs

Catherine Kolimas Schorm is a Managing Director in the Global Industrials Group within Investment Banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co. She is a leader in the Global Transportation franchise, focused on coverage of traditional commercial aviation companies as well as emerging innovators in her capacity as Co-Head of Aviation Technology. She also serves as Industrials’ Aviation Sector Captain, ESG Sector Captain and an Ambassador of the firm’s One Million Black Women Initiative.

Michael Leskinen
President, UA Ventures, United Airlines

Michael Leskinen serves as the president of United Airlines Ventures, United Airlines’ corporate venture fund that allows the airline to continue investing in emerging companies that have the potential to influence the future of travel. Launched in June 2021, this new fund concentrates on sustainability concepts that will complement United’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050 - without relying on traditional carbon offsets - as well as revolutionary aerospace developments and innovative technologies that are expected to create value for customers and United’s operation.

Joseph McGinley
Head of Investor Relations, AerCap

Joseph McGinley was appointed Head of Investor Relations of AerCap in December 2017. In this role, he has primary responsibility for all external communication with credit and equity investors. In addition to investor communications, Joseph has responsibility for the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, research and delivery for AerCap. This involves interacting with the key ESG rating agencies as well as the sustainability and governance officers of various investment houses. Joseph also sits on the AerCap Board Committee for ESG which was established in 2021. He previously served as a Senior Credit Analyst where he led the credit coverage of the aircraft leasing, airline, building materials, utility and renewables sectors. In this role he authored extensive research on the regulatory landscape for renewable energy development in Ireland, as well as leading the research coverage of the 2017 IPO of Greencoat LLP, a Dublin based renewable investment manager. With 14 years’ experience, Joseph has extensive knowledge in financial markets and the aviation sector, with an added focus on sustainability. Joseph holds a Bachelor and Business and & Law (BBLS) degree from University College Dublin, a Diploma in Aircraft Leasing and Finance from the Law Society of Ireland and has been a CFA® charterholder since 2013.

Brian Moran
Vice President, Global Sustainability Policy & Partnerships, The Boeing Company

Brian Moran serves as vice president, Global Sustainability Policy & Partnerships for Boeing. In this new role, Moran leads a diverse, global team that elevates and showcases Boeing’s focus on sustainability. This includes informing the global policy landscape and deepening partnerships to advance Boeing’s sustainability objectives, such as the scaling of sustainable aviation fuels. Moran is based Amsterdam, Netherlands and reports to the President of Boeing International and the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.

Rodrigo Prudencio
Principal, Climate Pledge Fund, Business & Corporate Development, Amazon

Rodrigo leads investments for Amazon’s $2Bn Climate Pledge Fund, a corporate venture capital fund dedicated to investing in companies that can help Amazon attain its commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2040. Rodrigo covers several investment sectors for the Climate Pledge Fund including sustainable aviation. Earlier in his career, Rodrigo was a partner at Nth Power, a San Francisco based clean-energy venture capital fund, and was founder of Shuddle, a shared transportation network focused on kid transportation.

Ulrike Ziegler
President of the Board of Directors, IMPACT

Ulrike Ziegler is president of the board of directors of impact, a non-profit association founded in February 2022 by leading global financiers in aviation. impact, a global platform, aims at providing tangible answers needed to achieve the Net Zero goal. Ulrike has more than 20 years aviation experience and held senior positions at UniCredit Bank as Global Head of Aircraft Finance and at ING Germany as Head of Aviation. She has worked with airlines and lessors around the globe at various stages of their business development. Keen to facilitate change she has spearheaded major strategic projects at both UniCredit and ING. Ulrike has served as member of the Investment Committee at HSH Global Aircraft I from 2007 throught 2017. Prior to her aviation career she has worked in Project Finance, Export Finance and Syndications.