Friday, January 5, 2018

WESSCO's Sharon Conway DeHerder retires

An industry professional with 30 years of experience, and a hand in developing some of the most
Sharon Conway DeHerder, Rick DeHerder and
furry friends savor a SoCal sunset
innovative and creative designs in amenities for airlines and cruise lines, started off 2018 with an announcement that she is retiring. 

Sharon Conway DeHerder, Executive Vice President of Business and Product Development at WESSCO International has moved to sunny San Diego, to the south of the company’s Los Angeles headquarters, and is living “a new urban neighborhood lifestyle” with Rick DeHerder, her husband of 20 years. 

In recent years at WESSCO, Sharon has been involved in the development of a number of award winning amenity kits including First Class kits on American Airlines bearing the designs from Ray and Charles Eames; United Airlines’ Philosophy kit; Air Canada Escents Kit; Aeromexico’s Eco Chic Korres kit; and COPA’s Mola-inspired kit.

She also worked on an exclusive program for travel retail with toymaker Mattel featuring Travel Barbie® and Hot Wheels® backpacks. The initiative was a success, and later sold duty free on 10 airlines and airport shops around the world. WESSCO was also the first in the industry to offer a doctor clinical skincare line, Dr. Murad, on United and Cathay Pacific male and female kits.

Her accomplishments at WESSCO go back much further to her start as Account Manager of Cruise Lines and Hotels. Some of the exclusive gifts, supplied by WESSCO, were delighting passengers on the on the QE2 of Cunard, as well as Windstar and Seabourn lines. She has developed products for the buy-on-board market for Virgin America and American Airlines and played a critical role in opening up the Latin American market for WESSCO. 

The WESSCO International stand hums with activity at events around the world. Sharon’s presence, always in the middle of it all, will be missed.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

FORMIA and Qatar Airways recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The “Rose Pompadour” shade of pink selected
for the amenity kit was first used
in 1757 by French porcelain maker Sèvres

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, FORMIA and Qatar Airways teamed up to create hard-shell amenity kits in a signature pink hue.

The cases are miniatures of Italian luggage brand BRIC’S Bellagio and Sintesis suitcases – one for men and one for women, respectively – and were offered to passengers in First and Business Classes on long-haul flights.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with Qatar Airways and BRIC’S in supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the fight against breast cancer,” said FORMIA CEO and Managing Partner Roland Grohmann in a statement last month. “FORMIA’s collaboration with Qatar Airways and BRIC’S has strengthened our relationships, and the inclusion of Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio cosmetics further solidifies the quality and excellence being offered.” —Rachel Debling

Monday, October 23, 2017

Longtime industry figure Martyn Jelley to retire November 1

For decades, one of the cheerful faces that people could count on seeing at industry events in many corners of the world has been that of Martyn Jelley of Diversey. He will be easing into retirement starting November 1. 
Martyn Jelley

Martyn began work with Diversey 1979. He has managed the global business for airline catering and onboard, which included airlines, cruise and ferry, since 1994. The company manufactures, and is a global leader, in hygiene solutions, specialty cleaning chemicals and associated services. It has earned sole nominated supply positions with most of the major airline catering operators worldwide for more than 10 years. 

In his decades in the industry Martyn has been an active Board Member and Vice President of International Travel Catering Association. Representing Diversey, he has attended the International Flight Services Association annual event for more than 25 years. He also represented Diversey at APOT events in Asia.

“I intend to stay close to my valued relationships, colleagues, and friends within the onboard catering industry, also as a part time consultant,” he said. Beyond that, Martyn said he plans on doing some things he always wanted to do but never had the time. That includes time together his wife Trudy (also a regular at industry events), three grandchildren and the rest of his family.

We wish Martyn luck in his retirement, but also suspect he won’t be a stranger. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Emirates sweetens Diwali season with Indian delicacies

Besan ke ladoos and dry fruit burfis

Emirates is offering special Diwali delicacies for the celebratory season from October 16-22 on flights to India from Dubai.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is a significant celebration among Indians across the world. The classic sweets associated with Diwali are blended with colors and flavors with traditional Indian culinary elements, like the besan ke ladoos and dry fruit burfis.

Emirates will serve Motichoor Ladoos traditionally prepared using chickpea flour, ghee, cardamom and saffron flavored sugar syrup. The sweets will be presented in decorated boxes with special artwork and garnished with pistachio and silver leaf embellishment, representing the traditional decoration of Diwali.

The special Diwali sweets will be offered on all Indian hot meal trays on Emirates Economy class.

Business and First class customers will be offered the Ladoos together with a dry fruit burfi treat - a sweet made with cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, raisins, dried figs and dates. The treats will be served in boxes decorated with traditional Diwali light artwork, as an alternative to Premium Chocolates.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

ANZ to board fair trade coffee blend this month

Air New Zealand has signed a contract with Christchurch-based Hummingbird Coffee to serve its coffees onboard in its international Business Premier and Premium Economy cabins and airport lounges later this month.

The airline will be working Hummingbird to create a bespoke blend for its passengers.

"Not only is our partnership with Hummingbird improving the quality of coffee onboard for customers, importantly we are also helping to showcase a great Kiwi brand all over the globe and helping to improve grower livelihoods and environmental impacts," said Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne.

Hummingbird Coffee has been roasting coffee in Christchurch for nearly 30 years and was one of the first companies to directly import fair trade organic coffees into New Zealand in 2002.
The airline's popular coffee ordering feature on its mobile app remembers orders and offers a cup to lounge eligible passengers upon entering selected Air New Zealand lounges. It then notifies the passengers when their order is ready to be collected from the barista. More than 2.8 million orders placed to date with the app.

Air New Zealand has also introduced a new program to recycle paper coffee cups used onboard domestic jet services, which is expected to divert 60 tonnes of cups from landfill yearly. Previously there has not been access to a recycling plant able to process at the scale the airline requires, however a new facility in Auckland is helping to handle the volume.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Aircraft Interiors promises 'Smart Event' and innovation in Long Beach

For the first time, the Aircraft Interiors Expo September 26-28  in Long Beach will be what organizers call a Smart Event. Technology, designed by Konduko, will enable visitors to use their smart badge to easily collect information from exhibitor stands with one simple tap. At the end of each day, visitors will receive information from all the exhibitor stands they visited one email, removing the need to carry paper brochures, catalogs and flyers. 

"For exhibitors, the system acts as a virtual business card which drives lead generation and content distribution, enhancing the show experience and driving business value," said a release from Reed Exhibitions, the Expo organizer. 

Innovations being showcased by exhibiting companies this year include the Avipeo social network for the aviation community, LIFT’s by Encore's production-ready Tourist Class seat, Mirus’ next-generation economy class Hawk seating platform, Optimaresbrand-new premium lay-flat Maxima seat model and SkyPaxxx’s modular ready to install carpet Sky-Tiles.

AIX will feature the Airline Club Lounge (booth 2019) reserved for the 300 executives who will attend the show from 100 major carriers. The complimentary Airline Club Lounge will provide a space for these executives to relax, work or network away from the show floor.

Verity Newton, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, said: “AIX takes place against a backdrop of continued success for the aviation industry. The aircraft interiors market is set to be worth almost $30 billion by 2021, and is growing at 7% annually.

“Our co-location with APEX and IFSA is proving to be a great success, and we are confident that the show will be a fantastic experience for all our attendees, VIPs and exhibiting companies from around the world.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

illy teaches coffee fundamentals at new school in San Francisco

illy, the third-generation family-owned coffee company from Trieste, Italy, today opened its first permanent University of Coffee (Università del Caffè) in the United States adjacent to its illy caffè location at 220 Montgomery Street in San Francisco.
"For illy, San Francisco is a natural choice for a first dedicated University location in America, given the city's early embrace of high-quality coffee, its vibrant culinary scene and its well-earned reputation as a major hub for innovation and education," said Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illycaffè SpA. "We are honored to contribute to the city's rich coffee culture by sharing our knowledge and passion."

Since 1999, the University of Coffee has educated nearly 200,000 producers, hospitality professionals and coffee lovers, from 25 branches. Students learn coffee history, culture, science, preparation and tasting in a hands-on setting. There will be a regular rotation of classes and events at the San Francisco location, which is also available for private events, corporate meetings and other activities.
"University of Coffee functions as a meeting place where not only coffee and hospitality professionals can train, but also as a destination where coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs can share in their passion for coffee culture," said Mark Romano, vice president of education, quality & sustainability at illy and manager for the US branch of the University of Coffee.

University of Coffee started offering classes in North America in 2008 in conjunction with renowned culinary institutes including The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the International Culinary Center (ICC), in addition to working with illy retail and hospitality partners to offer consumer coffee classes. At its core, the program serves as a centre of excellence designed to promote, support and communicate the culture of quality coffee worldwide. 

illy also offers an inter-university Master's degree course in Coffee Economics and Science in Trieste, Italy. The Master's Degree in Coffee Economics and Science provides post-graduate students interested in careers in the coffee industry with a comprehensive education in the culture of coffee, from the plant to the cup; in the social and economic value of coffee; and in the culture of coffee producing countries.