Mr. Foster began his career in the aviation industry more than forty years ago with the founding of a company engaged in the sale, maintenance, rental and leasing of ground support equipment to airlines and airport operators, as well as providing airport snow removal services. In 1966, Hudson General Corporation acquired that business. Subsequent to its acquisition by Hudson General (now Swissport), the business changed its emphasis to service work and is now one of the largest aviation services companies in the world. In 1983, Mr. Foster returned to his roots of dealing in aircraft ground support equipment with the founding of Fortbrand Services. Mr. Foster possesses significant relationships with aircraft ground support equipment manufacturers, airlines, airport operators, fixed based operators and aviation services companies. Mr. Foster has also acted as a consultant on special projects in the aviation industry and is regularly consulted by financial institutions with respect to his expertise in the valuation of aircraft ground support equipment.
Prior to joining Fortbrand Services, Peter spent 10 years in the financial services industry. His most recent position was Senior Vice President of The Navigator Group, an independent leasing company, where he specialized in originating, structuring and funding leases of aviation ground support equipment. Peter has also worked at the The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, where he served as Vice President in the Structured Finance Group, developing new business and managing a portfolio of loans totaling $300MM to highly leveraged companies in a wide variety of industries. Peter's experience also includes serving as a Relationship Manager in JPMorgan Chase Bank's Middle Market Group. Peter is a graduate of Duke University.
Fernando (Fred) DiBenedetto
Fernando (Fred) DiBenedetto has over three decades of experience in the aviation industry. As President and COO of Servisair, a leading, global provider of a full range of services to airlines and airports, Mr. DiBenedetto's responsibilities included the delivery of such services to over 700 customers at 145 airports. His extensive experience included the purchasing, selling and leasing of GSE, negotiating a full range of service contracts and managing various projects, such as hangar construction, business acquisitions and start up of new operations. In addition, he is an active participant in industry organizations, such as ACI-NA and NATA.
Mr. Haegele has over twenty years of experience in the maintenance and technical support of GSE, including management of GSE maintenance shops and facilities for both airlines and aviation services companies. Immediately prior to joining Fortbrand Services, Mr. Haegele was employed by Gemini Air Cargo, as Director of Maintenance, Contracts and Finance, responsible for the management and administration of all aircraft maintenance functions.
Mr. Huot spent multiple winter seasons in the employ of the Calgary Airport Authority, operating equipment as part of the airfield maintenance team. Mr. Huot currently has over 23 years of experience operating of all types of airport maintenance vehicles and supporting the development of effective airport snow removal programs at airports of all sizes in North and South America. Mr. Huot has been fully factory trained in all aspects of the operation and maintenance of the airfield maintenance equipment that Fortbrand Services represents and has in excess of five thousand hours of personal experience operating such equipment in all types of weather conditions. Mr. Huot has worked in cooperation with NASA, the US Air Force, the FAA and NAV Canada to study and improve airfield winter operations. Mr. Huot's responsibilities include providing engineering support to the manufactures, commissioning of airfield maintenance equipment, training of airport personnel in the operation of such equipment and providing airfield operational support to Fortbrand Services's customer base.
Prior to joining Fortbrand Services, Ms. Garcia spent over two decades in a Fortune 100 mass media corporation, where she held many cross functional positions in IT, Operations and Finance. Most recently, as Procurement Manager, she was responsible for the strategic sourcing and purchasing of capital equipment, parts, repairs, maintenance and contract administration, supporting a global customer base. Ms. Garcia is a member of the Institute of Supply Management, as well as an active member of multiple non-profit organizations. She holds a BBA in Marketing from Dowling College.
Mr. Boily has spent his entire business career in the aviation industry and is fully familiar with airline ground support equipment and airline ramp operations. During his thirty years at Pan American World Airways, Mr. Boily was responsible for the purchasing of all ground support equipment, including preparation of capital budgets, conducting evaluation studies of new ground support equipment products, selecting and provisioning of ground support equipment and parts inventory for the introduction of 747 and Pan Am Shuttle service and managing Pan Am's ground support equipment maintenance facility at JFK International Airport. Prior to joining Fortbrand Services, Mr. Boily was employed by Johnson Controls World Services, where he was responsible for supervising the maintenance of various facilities owned by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey at JFK International Airport.
Andrew J. Perrone
Mr. Perrone has spent his entire business career in the aviation industry and possesses vast experience in all aspects of airport management and facility maintenance. During his thirty-five years at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Mr. Perrone held positions at LGA, EWR and JFK. For the eleven years prior to his retirement in January 2007, Mr. Perrone served as Chief of Airport Maintenance at John F. Kennedy International Airport. In this role, he was responsible for the management of the day to day maintenance of a large hub airport, which included snow removal, maintenance equipment evaluations, airfield security, preparation of capital and operational budgets, maintenance contract preparation and administration, FAR 139 inspection, preparation and evaluations, airfield preventative and corrective maintenance planning, airport construction coordination and maintenance training in snow procedures, techniques and equipment operation. Mr. Perrone has been a member of many aviation organizations and committees throughout his career and is also a member of the Northeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives and has served as a member of the planning committee for the AAAE/NEC International Snow Symposium.
Mr. Schwabish started his career at John F. Kennedy International Airport, as an Operations Manager for Airborne Express, a large international air freight organization. Over the years, Mr. Schwabish gained sales management and marketing experience in the industrial distribution and manufacturing sectors. The majority of his career has been spent managing a sales team for the Metabo Corporation, a German manufacturer of high-end power tools, specifically engineered for the industrial market. Dean received his Bachelors Degree in Communications from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
Mr. D'Andrea has over thirty years experience in the servicing and maintenance of aircraft ground support equipment, primarily for Trans World Airlines. His responsibilities have included management of the maintenance of a fleet in excess of 1,000 pieces of motorized and non-motorized ground support equipment, as well as supervising a staff in excess of sixty employees. Mr. D'Andrea manages the overall maintenance of Fortbrand Services's GSE fleet.
Tom Herda has over 30 years experience in the servicing and maintenance of all types of airport ground support and aircraft refueling equipment, primarily for Trans World Airlines (later American Airlines) at JFK International Airport. Tom's experience also includes working for Bobcat Corporation as a mechanic.
Veikko Mottonen has been associated with Vammas airport snow removal equipment since 1994. In addition to a degree in Engineering, Mr. Mottonen speaks five languages and has vast experience in international sales and trade. Mr. Mottonen's responsibilities include development and supervision of a worldwide dealership network outside of North America for the Vammas product line.
Prior to joining the Vammas team in 1995, Mr. Toijonen spent almost two decades in the airport snow removal equipment business. He currently has over 40 years of experience of development, sales, training and technical support of airport snow removal equipment. Mr. Toijonen's responsibilities include sales, engineering support, commissioning of snow removal equipment and training of customers' operators and maintenance personnel.
Mr. Huumarsalo joined Fortbrand Services in 2012. Before joining the Vammas team, worked at a manufacturer of welded and machined steel components. After holding the position of R&D engineer, Mr. Huumarsalo was appointed to position of chief of engineering of the Vammas product line. Mr. Huumarsalo holds a degree of Mechanical Engineer from Tampere University of Applied Sciences.
Mr. Novakovich joined Fortbrand Services in 2017 as a R&D engineer. Mr. Novakovich began his career as s sheet metal worker. Mr. Novakovich holds a degree of Mechanical Engineer in Machine Automation from Tampere University of Applied Sciences.
Prior to joining Fortbrand Services in 2011, Ms. Lahdenmaa spent many years in the Finnish plywood industry, where she held several cross functional positions in production, cost accounting, HR and payroll. Currently, her responsibilities are material logistics, including receiving of goods, as well shipping goods for production and spare parts to customers. Ms. Lahdenmaa is also responsible for project cost accounting. Ms. Lahdenmaa holds a degree of BBA in Business and Financial Administration from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences.
Ms. Brandwein is responsible for the administration of Fortbrand Services's lease portfolio and equipment records. In addition, Ms. Brandwein administers Fortbrand Services's management information systems and coordinates customer and supplier relationships.
Ms. D'Agostino is responsible for all invoicing, payments and other accounting and record keeping functions of Fortbrand Services. Ms. D'Agostino has been in the employ of Fortbrand Services for three decades.
Ms. Vecker has two decades of experience in both public and private accounting, having been employed by a major public accounting firm, as well as having been Controller of several middle market companies. Ms. Vecker is a Certified Public Accountant.