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ABOUT US – LEADERSHIP TEAM
With over 22 years of management experience at some of the world’s biggest airlines, David Cush was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America on December 10, 2007. In David's time with Virgin America, the Company has experienced record-setting growth and has swept all the major reader-based travel industry best-in-class awards, including “Best Domestic Airline” in both Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best Awards and Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
Over the course of his career, David has held key leadership roles overseeing all aspects of the airline business including Finance, Sales and Marketing, Customer Service and Operations. Prior to Virgin America, David served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales at American Airlines, where he was responsible for all sales activity worldwide, including Latin America, Europe and Asia. In his career at American, David also gained significant operating experience, having held the position of Vice President of American’s St. Louis hub, where he ran airport operations for more than 200 daily departures and over 7,000 employees. Prior to that role, David was Vice President of International Planning and Global Alliances at American. David originally joined American in financial planning, and later he was assigned to American’s regional headquarters in London as Managing Director of Finance and Administration for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. From there, he became the Managing Director of Finance and Administration for Miami, the Caribbean and Latin America, and then Managing Director of the Caribbean and Central America, with marketing and operational responsibilities in those areas. In addition to 20 years with American, David served as Chief Operating Officer of Aerolineas Argentinas, the national carrier of Argentina.
David was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Broadcast/Film and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1982. A year later, he received a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from SMU.
David was named one of the Bay Area’s “Most Admired CEOs” by the San Francisco Business Times in 2009. David is an Advisory Board Member of the Agassi Foundation for Education. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Bay Area Council.
Rachel Bell was appointed Vice President and Controller in February 2014. She joined the company as Director of Internal Audit in 2012. Building on a distinguished career in finance and accounting, Rachel is responsible for Virgin America's day-to-day accounting and financial reporting and brings extensive finance and accounting expertise to the role, along with broad experience in financial process improvement gained through her consulting work that spans industries.
Before joining Virgin America, Rachel was Managing Director in the San Francisco office of global business and risk consulting firm Protiviti from 2003 to 2011. Prior to her tenure at Protiviti, she was Senior Manager of Corporate Internal Audit for Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International, a leading hotel management company. Before that, Rachel was a Principal in PricewaterhouseCoopers' (PwC) Management Consulting group.
Outside of the office, Rachel enjoys surfing, a sport she and her husband picked up after moving to the West coast; a favorite surf spot is Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
With 27 years of hands on experience in air carrier operations, line and base maintenance, fleet management, regulatory compliance and quality assurance, Mark joined Virgin America in April of 2011.
Before joining Virgin America, Mark served as Vice President/General Manager at MRO Standard Aero’s LAX facility. Prior to that, Mark served as Executive and Senior Vice President of Aircraft Maintenance for NetJets from 2006-2010, where he oversaw a fleet of 425 aircraft and more than 500 employees. Mark began his career at NetJets in 2004 and while there led new efficiency efforts that resulted in improved maintenance durations and reliability.
Mark’s experience also spans an 18-year tenure at US Airways, where he held positions in maintenance control, fleet management, line and base maintenance and ultimately served as Senior Manager/Director of Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance for US Airways and US Airways Express. In this position, Mark also served as the company?s Federal Aviation Administration liaison on maintenance regulatory issues.
Mark began his career in aviation on the front line as a mechanic and lead mechanic for Butler Aviation, Midway Airlines and Piedmont Airlines. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Applied Sciences from the College of Aeronautics in New York and is a licensed A & P mechanic and General Electric Six Sigma Green belt.
A marketing industry veteran, Luanne has spent 20 years shaping some of the world’s leading brands. As Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Virgin America, Luanne leads the airline’s Brand and Online Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, In-flight Content and Loyalty teams.
Before joining Virgin America in October 2011, Luanne led digital marketing strategy as a consultant with Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s (LVMH) Fendi and Moleskine brands in Italy. Prior to that, Luanne served as Creative Director at Google, where she managed the brand globally and developed innovative campaigns to bring Google products directly to consumer and business audiences – including Android, Google Apps, iGoogle and Google Maps.
While at Google, Luanne helped shape some of the Company’s landmark brand efforts, including the development of the first video campaign for Gmail and the branding of the first YouTube/CNN presidential debates. Before joining Google in 2006, Luanne led her own successful marketing firm (Mixed Marketing, Inc.), with blue chip clients ranging from Calvin Klein Cosmetics to Netflix and eBay. From 1999 to 2002, she served as a Director of Marketing at Yahoo!, Inc. where she founded Yahoo!'s buzz marketing team before the term “viral marketing” existed.
Earlier in her career, Luanne served as the Vice President of Marketing at Joe Boxer Apparel, during which time the company was recognized as “Marketer of the Year” by BrandWeek. Before Joe Boxer, Luanne launched her career working for many years at various top San Francisco advertising agencies, including Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Citron, Haligman Bedecarré (now AKQA).
Luanne holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from San Francisco State University. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Travel Association.
Luanne currently resides on a hill in San Francisco and tries to travel light.
A technology industry veteran, Dean brings over 20 years of experience in computer operations and over a decade of experience with web-facing businesses to Virgin America. As CIO, Dean leads the airline’s strategic technology initiatives, including the implementation of the Company’s new reservations and operational platforms. In addition, Dean oversees Virgin America’s data centers, storage subsystems, core application infrastructure and integration, and the architecture of its Web site.
Dean comes to Virgin America from Basho Technologies, where he served as Vice President of Business Development. Prior to that, Dean served as Chief of Operations at the HP-owned Snapfish, where he had responsibility for all aspects of site delivery, product fulfillment and world-wide customer support in eleven languages. Before joining Snapfish, Dean served as Director of Operations at Looksmart, where he oversaw production systems, database, network and data centers and helped grow the search infrastructure to support more than 600 million searches per day.
Dean studied Physics and Computer Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and attended Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information. He lives in Mill Valley with his wife and two sons.
A seasoned airline industry veteran with an impressive depth and breadth of experience that includes more than 25 years at Hawaiian Airlines, the former Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines, Davis leads the airline’s guest service and airports operations functions.
Before joining Virgin America in May 2012, Jim was Vice President of Airport Customer Service at Hawaiian Airlines, where he had responsibility for 1,600 employees worldwide and oversaw the airline’s award-winning customer service portfolio and all of its airport operations division. Prior to joining Hawaiian, Jim worked for more than twenty-five years for Republic Airlines, Northwest Airlines and then Delta Air Lines– most recently, he was the General Manager of Airport Customer Service ramp operations at Delta’s Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) hub, where he supervised 550 employees and 300 daily flights.
Before transitioning to the Guest Services and Airport Operations functions at Northwest in 2005, Jim worked his way up through the ranks at Republic and Northwest in multiple technical operations roles. He began his career in aviation in 1986 as a maintenance technician.
Jim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Northeastern Illinois University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Frances Fiorillo oversees Virgin America’s most valuable assets. As head of People and In-Flight Services, she leads all aspects of the airline’s organizational development, human resources strategy and planning, compensation and benefits programs, recruitment, learning, and performance management. She is also responsible for all aspects of the development and day-to-day operations of in-flight services.
Frances brings nearly 30 years of airline experience to the Virgin America team. After starting her career as a flight attendant with Canadian Pacific Airlines (later Canadian Airlines), she quickly rose through the ranks to become Director of Onboard Service, then Vice President of In-Flight Service and finally Vice President of Human Resources, a position she held from 1997 to 2000.
When Canadian Airlines merged with Air Canada, she remained to become an integral member of the launch team for ZIP, Air Canada’s low-fare start-up. As Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Customer Service, Frances was involved in the planning of commercial, operational, technological, service, human resource and brand strategies for the new airline’s launch.
Frances joins Virgin America from the Provincial Health Services Authority in British Columbia, where she was Chief Human Resources Officer, responsible for building a new human resources organization as well as organizational cultural change, labor relations, employee wellness, learning and development.
At Virgin America, Frances’ dual People and In-Flight Service roles have her developing a culture that respects and supports both the airline’s employees and guests.
Frances graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of British Columbia.
With more than 30 years of experience working in the airline industry, Steve Forte joined Virgin America in 2013 as the carrier’s first Chief Operating Officer, with oversight of Flight Operations, the Operation Control Center, Aircraft Maintenance, Safety and Guest Services.
Steve spent most of his career at United Airlines, where he started as a pilot and made the transition to Flight Operations management. He was United’s Senior Vice President of Flight Operations and Director of Operations, a position he held from 1999 to 2006. Steve is type-rated on the Lear Jet, Boeing B727, B747, B747-400, B757, B767, B777 and the Airbus A320 family of aircraft operated by Virgin America. A former Chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operations Council and Airlines for America (A4A – formerly the Air Transport Association) Operations Committee, Forte has worked closely with global airlines, manufacturers, and regulators on a variety of industry issues.
Prior to joining Virgin America, Steve was Chief Executive Officer of iJet Onboard, a privately held provider of platform-based aviation software services. Before iJet, Steve was Chief Executive Officer of Naverus, Inc., a global leader in performance-based software that was acquired by GE Aviation.
Steve earned both a Bachelor of Arts and MBA from the University of Arizona.
A native of Philadelphia, he and his wife Jill have two teenage boys and reside in Manhattan Beach, California.
An airline industry veteran, Kevin has spent more than twenty years in leadership roles in revenue management and pricing strategy across the industry spectrum. As Vice President of Pricing and Revenue Management, Kevin plays a leading role in steering Virgin America’s revenue plan and performance.
Prior to joining Virgin America in January 2013, Kevin was Vice President of Pricing and Revenue Management for Jetstar Airways in Melbourne, Australia. At Jetstar, Kevin was responsible for pricing, revenue management, and ancillary revenue for domestic and international networks in 16 countries, during a period of rapid capacity growth at the carrier.
Earlier in his career, Kevin gained held leadership roles in domestic airlines throughout the industry. Before joining Jetstar Airways, Kevin served as Vice President of Revenue Management and Pricing for Eos Airlines. Prior to that, Kevin gained knowledge of the industry through consultant work for Sabre Consulting and GVision Consulting, where he worked with several European and Latin American Carriers. Kevin started his commercial career within Revenue Management at American Airlines, and subsequently moved on to Delta Air Lines leading several RM, Product Strategy, and Alliance Development teams.
Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado and an MBA from New York University.
With extensive experience in all aspects of finance and accounting at a publicly traded airline, Peter was appointed SVP and CFO of Virgin America in July2011. Peter oversees the growing airline’s financial operations, including treasury, tax, financial planning and analysis, accounting, external financial reporting, budgets, procurement and fleet planning. At Virgin America, Peter brings his strong financial expertise to bear as the Company continues to grow and prepares to enter the public markets.
Prior to coming to Virgin America, Peter most recently served as Vice President and CFO of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. from 2004 to 2011. At Pinnacle, he oversaw the financial aspects of a public airline with over $1 billion in annual revenue.
In addition to negotiating the purchase of Mesaba Aviation in 2010, Hunt led the negotiation of several operating agreements with Pinnacle’s major airline partners resulting in new aircraft orders and growth for the company and managed the relationship with Northwest Airlines during Northwest’s restructuring in 2007. Peter began his aviation industry career at Continental Airlines at 1996, where he served in several finance positions of increasing responsibility and ultimately rose to the position of Managing Director of Corporate Finance in 2000.
Peter holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Georgetown University. He started his career in the audit practice of BDO in their Washington DC office.
Peter has served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Mid-South and the Memphis Development Foundation, the not-for-profit organization that manages the Orpheum Theater in Memphis.
With 15 years of experience in public relations, brand communications and public affairs, Abby has helped lead Virgin America's communications efforts since the launch of the brand in the U.S. in 2007.
Prior to assuming the VP of Brand Marketing & Communications role, Abby served as a Managing Director at Mercury Public Affairs, where she led the agency's integrated digital media practice. Prior to Virgin America, Abby held a number of senior communications positions, including serving as the Special Assistant for Executive Communications for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Director of Advocacy Communications at the University of California - where she led coordinated communications and lobbying efforts for the 10-campus system. Abby served as the Press Secretary for a member of the California State Assembly and began her career as an Assistant Field Representative for U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. In addition to being a political junkie who worked in Advance roles on a number of national and statewide campaigns, Abby is a self-proclaimed "music nerd," who enjoyed stints worked in marketing at both Warner Records and Sony Music in London.
Abby earned her BA from the Univ. of California, Davis and a Master's of Science degree from the London School of Economics. In 2012, Abby was named as one of the "Top 40 PR professionals under 40" by PR Week. She lives in San Francisco with her husband.
With an impressive depth and breadth of experience in the airline industry, John leads sales, revenue management, network planning and alliances for the Company. John joined Virgin America in August 2012, as the young airline prepared to embark on the next phase of its growth.
John comes to Virgin America from WestJet, where he served for two and a half years as Vice President of Network Management and Alliances. At WestJet, he had responsibility for corporate development, network planning, revenue management and alliances during a period of significant revenue and network growth at the Canadian carrier. Prior to joining WestJet, John worked for Alaska Air Group for seven years, where he was Managing Director of Revenue Management and before that Managing Director for Planning and Alliances. Before Alaska Air Group, John was a Vice President for Network Planning at Air New Zealand.
John began his career in the airline industry twenty-five years ago at Canadian Airlines International, where he served in several management positions related to network planning, marketing, reservations and alliances.He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Cape Town, South Africa and an MBA from York University in Toronto.
An airline investment expert with more than 15 years of experience, Anthony has played a leading role in shaping Virgin America’s fleet growth. Anthony oversees the airline’s capital market transactions, corporate finance, insurance procurement, aircraft deliveries, lease negotiations, cash and investment management, fuel hedging and banking relationships.
Anthony originally joined Virgin America in August 2009 as the Director of Corporate Finance and Treasurer. Prior to Virgin America, Anthony served as a Managing Director in Babcock & Brown’s Corporate and Structured Finance Group, where he worked with a number of aviation clients. While there, Anthony established and managed new principal investment classes in aviation, infrastructure and real estate. Prior to that, Anthony served as the Manager of Commercial Alliances at Air New Zealand, where he managed relationships with numerous global airline partners and led business development teams on alliances.
Anthony is an accomplished world-class athlete who is an Olympic medalist and a triple Olympic finalist in swimming. In 1988, Anthony earned a bronze medal for his home country of New Zealand at the Olympics in Seoul, Korea.
Anthony graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors in Political Science and Economics from Stanford University. Anthony earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He lives with his wife and two children in Burlingame, California.
John joined Virgin America in July of 2010, following a 22 year career with Delta Air Lines where he served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. In addition to his tremendous expertise in aviation law, John is a seasoned business executive who has led the negotiation of large–scale strategic partnerships, business agreements and commercial transactions.
At Delta, John’s leadership roles included direct and supervisory responsibility over legal matters relating to advertising, marketing, compliance programs, commercial transactions, competition law, government relations, domestic and international alliances, international operations, intellectual property, technology and commercial litigation. While at Delta, John played a critical role in leading the airline’s involvement in the successful Orbitz Initial Public Offering. In addition, John brokered several high-profile alliances for the airline, including the initial Delta and Virgin Atlantic strategic alliance and frequent flyer partnership. John has handled a variety of government regulatory proceedings, including matters before the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Justice.
A native of New Jersey, John received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Georgetown University and a J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. John and his wife, Marianne, have an adult son and daughter.