Sponsored by Avis Budget Group - 2018 Mega Awards

Date: 31 Oct 2018    Location: Long Beach, California    Delegates: 250+

Thank you to everyone that took the time to submit nominations for the 2018 Industry Achievement Award. Our Chief Judge, Madeleine Anderson, had the hard task of selecting the winner from the six shortlisted candidates.

The 2018 Mega Award nominee finalists were as follows (in alphabetical order by company/employer):

- Rachel Izzard, CFO, Aer Lingus
- Toni Freeberg, Director Distribution & Ancillary Strategy, Alaska Airlines
- Marika Pauli, Head of Ancillary Product Development, Finnair
- Maryssa Miller, Head of Digital & Customer Products, JetBlue
- Catriona Larritt, Chief Customer Officer, Jetstar Group
- Ragnhildhur Geirsdottir, Chief Operating Officer, WOW Air

The winner, announced Wednesday 31st of October at the Mega Event Awards Reception, will be announced here shortly. Stay tuned!

Our Academy of Judges for this year's Industry Achievement Award was drawn from across the travel industry. Their collective years of wisdom, experience and achievements make them well placed to select this year's Industry Achievement Award. 

They reviewed the shortlist of nominees covering the three areas of Mega Event: Loyalty, Ancillary & Merchandising and Co-Brands.  In addition, the recipient of the 2017 Industry Achievement Award, Joe Mammano ,is also taking part.

Chief of the Academy of Judges:  Madeleine Anderson

Madeleine has had an extensive airline career working for the likes of British Airways where her areas of responsibility included loyalty, global partnerships and co-brands.  Following a period working for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young as a Management Consultant, working across multiple industries and geographies, she has also worked with and for brands including Emirates, FlyBe and jet2.com.  Currently, Madeleine is responsible for the co-brand agenda at Mega Event.  She will be short listing all the nominations, to produce a selection for her supporting academy to vote on.  She is assisted in this role by the following members of Industry Achievement Academy:

Joe Mammano  is currently the Chairman Emeritus of The Mallett Group. Joe has been at the forefront of airline loyalty over the past 30 years and was the 2017 winner of the Industry Achievement Award. With top roles at Continental Airlines OnePass and TWA, to name but two of Joe's many airline industry marketing leadership roles, Joe's focus is the customer and how to use the program to cement loyalty

Mignon Buckingham for over 20 years, Mignon Buckingham has been at the forefront of loyalty innovation - helping programs better focus on the consumer by delivering experiences that acquire, engage and retain members globally. She has also been responsible for the career development of a whole host of people, not just in her longstanding role at Collinson - but also for numerous airline and  travel clients across the world. Using her skills in spotting and developing talent, Mignon will be voting on a worthy winner for the 2018 Industry Achievement Award

Deborah Merrens is used to being at the forefront of developing loyalty programs.  Whether introducing a scheme from scratch at GlobalBlue to her more recent role as Head of Loyalty at British Airways, Deborah has worked with top notch talent.  She's covered both sides of the industry from hotels to airlines, financial services to credit cards!  He experience is worldwide, especially in Asia where development of talent is at a premium.

Christina Heggie is one of the opening keynote speakers for Mega Event.  As one of the investment principals for jetBlue ventures she is on the hunt for skills and talent that will make a significant difference.  And, backing that with hard cash as well as resources makes her an excellent judge!

Ornagh Hoban is the Chief Marketing Officer of Datalex.  Working in a very IT and often male dominated industry, Ornagh has a breadth of market and technology understanding that is unrivalled.  Working with the team at Datalex they have created market leading products for the airline industry and working with top notch brands she is well placed to spot and judge the next winner of the Industry Achievement Award for 2018!

Award nominations were open to all current employees of airlines, hotels, travel companies, loyalty programs.

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