AAAE Airport Trainers’ Forum

October 6-7, 2020 | Virtual

Learn how to create effective learning objectives aligned with succession plan realities while exploring how to leverage limited training resources at this dynamic forum.



All times noted are in U.S. Eastern time zone.

October 6
1:00 pm—2:30 pm

Understanding Your Audience

This session will provide insight on the different types of learners and explain the neuroscience of learning. Participants will learn how to increase retention through tools and techniques, and how to assess ROI through Kirkpatrick's Four-Level Training Evaluation Model. There will be documents and list of resources as a takeaway.

Cathy Haggerty, CPTD, Director, Training & Business Development, AAAE

10/6/2020 1:00:00 PM10/6/2020 2:30:00 PM
October 6
2:30 pm—3:00 pm

Break & Learn

10/6/2020 2:30:00 PM10/6/2020 3:00:00 PM
October 6
3:00 pm—4:30 pm

Building a Talent Pipeline aligned with succession planning realities

Anticipated talent shortage as many of our employees are two to five years away from retirement — in tandem with an informal succession planning process are threats to business continuity. A unified talent management strategy is a very simple equation – training, education, and experience PLUS performance evaluations will EQUAL succession planning. Learn how our airport community is preparing for the future through informal polls, chat conversations and other virtual conversations.

Sponsored by

LaPonda J. Fitchpatrick, Training and Consulting for the Real World

Michael Bangs, Organizational Development Manager, Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport

Mary Mullally, C.M., SHRM-SCP, CAPM, Deputy Director, Organizational Development, Wayne County Airport Authority

10/6/2020 3:00:00 PM10/6/2020 4:30:00 PM
October 6
4:30 pm—5:00 pm


10/6/2020 4:30:00 PM10/6/2020 5:00:00 PM
October 7
1:00 pm—2:30 pm

Technology is Not Enough--People Are a Force to Behold!

There is no doubt that the world has changed drastically in the way we receive and provide information. And, it seems we need more of it than we did some 20, 10, 5, even a year ago. In our ever increasing digital world that supports many social media platforms and virtual meeting spaces, learning opportunities can be engaged in from anywhere in the world at any time of day. This makes it convenient and sometimes less expensive to provide training to our employees. It also allows airports to share training resources regionally and around the nation. What we also know is real-time human interaction is still important to the learning experience. Although online, self-paced training curriculum is viable for repetitive trainings and rote memory exercises, aviation is customer-focused where employees encounter real people at all stages of the aviation transportation system. Training too must provide critical social interaction opportunities and additional learning opportunities through watching and listening to others solve problems in a training environment. This session will discuss best practices on how to create the best virtual, instructor led and on-ground learning opportunities for your employees that can be shared through your network of airports and peers.

Karen Ellis, Chief Customer Experience Officer, San Antonio International Airport

Lise D'Andrea, President & CEO, CXE inc.

Wayne Jordan, Manager, Customer Service, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Gretchen Meyer, Director of Customer Service, Chicago Department of Aviation

10/7/2020 1:00:00 PM10/7/2020 2:30:00 PM
October 7
2:30 pm—3:00 pm

Break & Learn

10/7/2020 2:30:00 PM10/7/2020 3:00:00 PM
October 7
3:00 pm—4:30 pm

Communication and Collaboration

What traditionally used to be a collaborative classroom session with interactions with your class fellows can now be achieved through online collaboration. Let’s learn and experience how its being done.

Syed Mehdi, A.A.E., Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, San Antonio International Airport

Shelley Riebel, President, MBC Training and Development, LLC

Kathleen Wheelihan, Strategic Performance Consultant, MBC Training and Development, LLC

10/7/2020 3:00:00 PM10/7/2020 4:30:00 PM


September 18, 2020
 AAAE Member  $275 
 Non-member   $300

Registration questions? Contact Natalie Fleet

Program questions? Contact Cathy Haggerty



 AAAE reserves the right to postpone or cancel an event if the number of registrants is insufficient; due to acts of God; or any other reason beyond AAAE’s control. In this event, we will notify all registrants and credit the full registration fee towards another AAAE meeting, product or service. However, any costs incurred by the registrant, such as hotel cancellation or airline penalties, are the responsibility of the registrant. Confirmation letters will be emailed to attendees within two weeks of receipt of registration. However, if you have not received a confirmation email two business days prior to the meeting, and you enrolled at least two weeks prior to the meeting, please contact the AAAE Meetings Department at 703.824.0504 or Please note failure to receive a confirmation letter before an event will not be grounds for a refund.


Registrations, cancellations and refund requests must be submitted in writing. All cancellation requests for registrations received on or before Tuesday, September 29, 2020, are subject to a $50 cancellation processing fee; approved refunds will be processed after the meeting takes place. There will be no refunds of any kind after this date. Cancellations with outstanding invoices received within two weeks of the start of the conference, will require full payment on the balance due. Refunds will not be provided, and balance dues will not be forgiven for no-shows. Substitutions within the same conference will be accepted without penalties. The difference between member and non-member price will be charged if a non-member replaces a member. Substitutions will be accepted with a written request to The individual substituting for the original registrant is responsible for all financial obligations (balance due; difference in fees due to membership type) associated with that substitution. For all inquiries regarding cancellations, refunds and substitutions, please contact the AAAE Meetings Department at 703.824.0504 or email AAAEmeetings@aaae.orgBy submitting a completed registration, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the cancellation policy.


By registering for and attending any AAAE event, you agree that your image may be used at any time, without further notification, for printed materials, web sites, social media and other marketing purposes.

If you require any special assistance to participate or have special dietary requirements, email

AAAE accepts registration regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, sex, physical disability and national or ethnic origin. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment and educational services.


Michael Bangs

Organizational Development Manager
Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport
Detroit, MI


Lise D'Andrea

President & CEO
CXE inc.
Annapolis, MD

With a stronghold in the Airport Customer Experience arena, Lise has more than 20 years of experience in designing strategic airport specific programs for improving customer service and top line revenue. A graduate of Temple University, Lise leveraged her college foundation in marketing and communications into a career of customer experience, training and human resources for corporations with renowned service cultures, including Xerox Corporation, Hilton Hotels and Saks Fifth Avenue. With corporate experience in Hospitality, B to B and National retail with a focus on improving customer experiences, Lise founded CXE in 1993. Her proven success in partnering to develop customer experience strategies with executive stakeholders with airports, concessions partners and service/operations entities has earned CXE the trust of many leading airport clients. Through Customer Experience Measurement, Customized Training, Performance Coaching and Recognition and Appreciation Programs, CXE is the thought leader in optimizing airport employee and customer experiences nationwide. Lise's current role leads strategic consulting and visioning for client programs, supports executive level collaboration in developing service cultures and customer experience improvement strategies, and leads a team of 40+ employees.


Karen W. Ellis

Chief Customer Experience Officer
San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio, TX

Karen W. Ellis serves as the Chief Customer Experience Officer for the San Antonio International Airport System which comprises the San Antonio International Airport and Stinson Municipal Airport. Karen has 20 years of leadership and customer service experience in the Aviation industry by serving with the following airports; the Houston Airport System, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and now with SAT. Karen holds a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Management from Troy State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Jacksonville State University. In conjunction with her educational background, Karen is a Certified Customer Care Manager by the Customer Service Institute and a certified Customer Service Manager by the Customer Service Institute of America. Through Toastmaster’s International, Karen has achieved the status of Competent Toastmaster, Advanced Toastmaster Bronze and Competent Leader with Toastmasters International and served as President of the International Customer Service Association – Georgia Chapter. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Customer Service Working Group for Airport Council International and is the past Chair of the Training Committee for the American Association of Airport Executives. Under Karen’s leadership at the San Antonio Airport, the airport has been recognized as best in overall satisfaction for the past four years, and received recognition for completing Level 1 and 2 of the Airport Accreditation Program by Airport Council International.


Cathy Haggerty, CPTD

Director, Training & Business Development
Alexandria, VA

Cathy Haggerty is a Director, Training and Business Development for the American Association of Airport Executives. She has over 20 years of experience leading the design and delivery of training programs in heavily regulated industries. Cathy specializes in distance learning and interactive computer based training, and has led the customization and implementation of training programs across the country for businesses with over 130,000 employees. In 2013, Cathy was awarded Certified Performance and Learning Professional, CPLP, status from the Association for Talent Development. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Louisville, and is trained in Six Sigma and Franklin Covey Time Management Essentials.


Wayne Jordan

Manager, Customer Service
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Atlanta, GA

Wayne Jordan joined (ATL) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in February 2017 as the Customer Service Manager. In this role, he is responsible for managing the Customer Service contract which includes the customer service team affectionately known as the ‘Green Coats’, ATLNext CXRs that are in place for construction navigation and ATL Volunteers for the world’s busiest and most efficient airport. In this role, Wayne works with the DOA Landside team and the frontline CXRs to manage the day-to-day operations at all three security checkpoints, assist passengers with wayfinding/inquiries and any potential irregular operations. With more than 20 years of Customer Service experience, he brings a hands-on approach to the Customer Service team with a strong focus on the customer’s journey throughout the airport. With well over 100MM passengers per year, the goal is to create and positive environment and experience for every passenger. Therefore, his solid background in Customer Relations is essential in working with all stakeholders and developing effective relationships to ensure a pleasant experience for all passengers.


Syed M. Mehdi, A.A.E.

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer
San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio, TX

As the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer for the City of San Antonio Aviation Department, Syed leads the implementation of the vision and mission that was created by the leadership. He also oversees corporate strategy, the human capital development; and long-term strategic planning including the Master Plan. Syed has been in the airport business for over 26 years as an airport executive, as well as a consultant. Syed started his airport career at Manchester International Airport, United Kingdom, working in airfield operations and moved on to work for blue chip aviation consulting firms, such as Speedwing Consulting/British Airways, SH&E, Jacobs Consultancy and Landrum & Brown. There he worked on airport projects worldwide, specializing in airport master planning, airport certification and safety, air service development, business planning, strategy development, and airport privatization. Some of his work included technical support and advice on public private partnership deals in the United States, India, and United Kingdom; international expansion strategy for National Air Traffic Services, United Kingdom; 30-year master plan for airports in China, India, Southern Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. In 2008 while heading the air service development, marketing and public relations divisions at Bahrain International Airport, Kingdom of Bahrain, his air service development and marketing campaigns were voted to receive the OAG-Routes Best Airport Marketing Award in the Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States. Syed attended Loughborough University in the United Kingdom to obtain a Master of Science degree in Airport Planning and Management.


Gretchen Meyer

Director of Customer Service
Chicago Department of Aviation
Chicago, IL

Gretchen Meyer is the Director of Customer Service for the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), one of the largest airport systems in the world. The CDA owns and operates Chicago O’Hare and Chicago Midway International Airports which saw more than 105 million passengers in 2019. Gretchen has been with the CDA for 22 years and leads the customer experience through various projects such as the O’Hare Modernization Program, the Midway Modernization Program and the upcoming O’Hare 21 project which will bring a new, world-class global terminal to O’Hare. She is an active member of several aviation organizations and is an elected member of the ACI-NA Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience Steering Committee. Prior to joining the aviation world, Gretchen worked for the City of Chicago’s office of Special Events planning festivals, large scale events and welcoming VIPs from around the world. A lifelong Chicagoan, Gretchen attended Chicago Public Schools and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois.


Mary Mullally, C.M., SHRM-SCP, CAPM

Deputy Director, Organizational Development
Wayne County Airport Authority
Northville, MI

Mary has been with the Authority for 16 years and spent the past 13 years working in HR Organizational Development with responsibility for Talent Development, Performance Management, Succession Planning, Training Delivery, Coaching, Change Management and Event Planning. Mary was the project manager during the implementation of Cornerstone OnDemand's Learning, Performance, Succession, Recruiting, Onboarding and Connect system modules at the Authority. The software has transformed the organization’s ability to comply with Federal, State and other government agency requirements. But more importantly, the software laid the foundation for a unified talent management strategy for maintaining a workforce pipeline. In recognition of successful application of their software, Cornerstone awarded the Authority the RAVE award in 2014 for Visionary In Performance Management and designated finalist for the 2016 award in Learning Strategy Innovation. Mary has served as the Co-Vice Chair of their Training Committee for the past three years. She is a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives, Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) of the Society of Human Resource Management and a Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM) with the Project Management Institute, HR Generalist by the American Society of Employers, Certified Facilitator for AchieveGlobal Customer Service and Leadership Development and Certified Facilitator of Everything DiSC by Wiley. Prior to working at the Authority, Mary was a Director of Corporate Giving at Michigan Bell/Ameritech and had many years of experience working in Marketing and External Relations roles.


Shelley Riebel

MBC Training and Development, LLC
Armada, MI

Shelley Riebel, MBC President utilizes over 20 years of training and leadership experience combined with her industry knowledge to create successful training opportunities that produce performance results! As a strategic performance consultant she helps organizations transition through change, develop leaders and achieve sustainable success. She develops training plans aligning to organizational strategic goals. Shelley teaches from experience and knowledge of what really works! Combining knowledge and vivacity makes Shelley a motivating and inspiring speaker. Audiences describe Shelley’s presentations as enthusiastic, creative, motivational and practical. Work experience: Includes corporate experience in leadership, sales and service and director of training and organizational development for a 10,000 employee organization. Topics: Supervision, Management, Leadership, Strategic Leadership, Service, Strategic facilitation, Coaching


Kathleen Wheelihan

Strategic Performance Consultant
MBC Training and Development, LLC
Armada, MI

Kathleen Wheelihan, MBC Strategic Performance Consultant, brings enthusiasm, an energetic speaking style, and a concern for clients to her work. Her unique combination of over 25 years of business background, education, and theatrical experience helps make her programs “info-training” and filled with practical tools. Some of Kathleen’s most recent work has been focused on developing leadership skills, effective communication and positive accountability at all levels to increase results and improve how employees and organizations adapt to change. Kathleen’s facilitation style is high-energy, motivational and interactive. Work experience: Over 15 years of corporate experience in leadership, training, marketing, human resources, operations, sales and service, accounting and special projects (including facilities, technology and mergers.) Topics: Supervision, Management, Leadership, Strategic Leadership, Service, Sales, Strategic facilitation, Coaching