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Industry Leader Awards 2023

by Kimberly Inlander

Aug 7, 2023

© Iakov Kalinin | Dreamstime.com


For the second year, FXExpress Publications, Inc. names its Industry Leader Awards, a hand-selected group of the best and brightest in the travel industry and a recognition of those leading the way in their fields. Congratulations to all the amazing honorees!

Best Aviation Industry Leader


In 2017 Luc Bondar, who hails from Australia, joined United Airlines as vice president of loyalty following time working in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. Today Bondar’s title is president, MileagePlus, and vice president, marketing & loyalty, for the airline.

In his current role, Bondar oversees all of the carrier’s brand, consumer marketing and consumer product strategy, including United Clubs, Lounges and onboard products. He also oversees the airline’s consumer loyalty programs and leads MileagePlus, responsible for its operation, performance and growth, and all associated program partnerships. By leading one of the world’s largest and continuously growing airlines, Bondar has proven himself one of the industry’s most influential leaders.

Prior to his current role, Bondar served as senior vice president of sales for Index Systems; senior vice president, U.S., at Aimia; and as vice president of loyalty for Carlson Marketing Worldwide. His career began in Australia, including in advertising at Leo Burnett.

2023 Aviation Industry Leader Nominees

Marjan Rintel, CEO, KLM

Joanna Geraghty, president & COO, JetBlue

Allisson Ausband, EVP and chief customer experience officer, Delta Air Lines

Best Hotel Industry Leader


To become the world’s largest hospitality company, an organization needs strong leadership, and Marriott International, with 31 brands under its umbrella, found just that in Erika Alexander, dedicated to elevating the guest experience, enhancing hotel operating models and supporting growth.

Alexander looks to shape Marriott guests’ experiences through global quality, rooms, food and beverage, meetings and events, sustainability, supplier diversity, procurement, program and brand operations, system and platform support, and market operations. She began her career with Marriott more than 30 years ago in direct sales and also worked as general manager in select- and full-service hotels before moving on to other executive positions and working in the extended-stay segment.

She’s won a number of accolades, including being named an International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation Fellow and one of the Top 100 Influential Women in Atlanta by Atlanta Business League. She serves on several nonprofit boards and on the La-Z-Boy Board of Directors and the board of CollegeTracks.

2023 Hotel Industry Leader Nominees

Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO, Preferred Hotels & Resorts

Timothy Kelly, executive vice president and managing director, Atlantis Resorts & Residences

Mark Sergot, senior vice president, Global Sales Organization, IHG Hotels & Resorts

Mike DeFrino, CEO, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Sonia Cheng, CEO, Rosewood Hotel Group

Best Cruise Line Industry Leader


Carnival Cruise Line has been certified as a Great Place to Work, and at its helm sits Christine Duffy, president. She leads the fleet of 25 ships, sailing nearly 6 million guests per year and employing more than 40,000 people from 120 nations. It’s clear the cruise line has thrived under her leadership, which began when she assumed the role in 2015, joining Carnival from Cruise Lines International Association, where she served as president and CEO.

She entered the cruising industry in 2011 with CLIA, leading the adoption of the Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights, among many other initiatives. Today, aside from her professional commitments, Duffy serves on the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, is a member of the board of directors for Aimbridge Hospitality, and sits on the Professional Advisory Board of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Duffy also champions women’s leadership in the travel industry, named one of the top women in travel and hospitality by Women Leading Travel & Hospitality, among many other accolades and organization appointments. Before CLIA, Duffy spent 10 years at Maritz Travel Company.

2023 Cruise Line Industry Leader Nominees

Harry J. Sommer, CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

Daniel Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten Group

Best Airport Industry Leader


Managing the busiest airport in the world is no easy feat, but Jai Ferrell tackles her role as deputy general manager and chief commercial officer for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with success. To provide a clearer understanding of the enormity of Ferrell’s role: She oversees technology, innovation, commercial revenue and commercial management at ATL. And that’s not all, as the commercial development division also handles airline affairs, concessions, parking, advertising, air service development and marketing/brand strategy.

Beyond all of the official duties, her leadership shines through her many board positions and accolades, from a member of the global marketing and communications committee for Airport Council International – North America to being named one of Airport Business Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 Executives in the aviation industry.

Ferrell has served in many different positions at ATL, from airport manager, marketing & promotions to assistant general manager, commercial development. The Spelman alumna received a master’s degree from Georgia State University and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

2023 Airport Industry Leader Nominees

Balram Bheodari, general manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Atif Elkadi, CEO, Ontario International Airport

Rick Cotton, executive director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Frank Scremin, CEO, LaGuardia Airport

Winner’s Circle

Best Aviation Industry Leader: Luc Bondar, President, MileagePlus, & Vice President, Marketing & Loyalty, United Airlines

Best Hotel Industry Leader: Erika Alexander, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations, Marriott International

Best Cruise Line Industry Leader: Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line

Best Airport Industry Leader: Jai Ferrell, CCO & Deputy General Manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Best Green Initiatives & Sustainability Industry Leader: Denise Naguib, Vice President of Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, Marriott International

Best Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Industry Leader: Julie Coker, President & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority


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