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JFK Air Cargo EXPO 2023 Non-Members

March 30 @ 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

$135.00 – $1,000.00
2023 expo non-members

The JFK Air Cargo Association is pleased to announce JFK Air Cargo EXPO 2023.

Preparations are well underway for another record-breaking EXPO, with attendance levels expected again at well over 300 attendees. This year’s event will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2023 at the Russo’s on the Bay in nearby Howard Beach, Queens, New York.

Recent global dynamics have forced the industry to rethink its most basic fundamentals, with survival and success greatly tied to those being most responsive to change. The causal effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, international conflicts, and parcelization seem endless. Yet these dynamics continue to bring about new challenges, experiences, and lessons. While the physical landscape of air cargo has not changed significantly regarding cargo coming off of planes, handled through warehouses, being picked up by trucks, delivered to customers, and vice versa, the technological landscape has. However, companies that partner to make up the air cargo logistics chain, including airlines, forwarders & brokers, ground handlers, truckers, and airports continue to face the negative impacts of inefficient operations compounded by outdated facilities. The industry is at a competitive crossroads, vitally needing to increase cargo’s velocity through inefficient warehouses while gaps in communications continue to exist between industry partners.

John F. Kennedy International Airport and its air cargo community may not be alone with these challenges but is resolved to take a leadership role and find real solutions that will result in optimism and confidence.

The theme of this year’s event is aptly named: “JFK EXPO 2023: “Airside, Landside, and Bright Side,” and you can be assured that it will be informative, highly productive, and outstanding.

JFK EXPO 2023 will feature Luncheon Keynote Speaker Tom Schmitt, President, Chairman, and CEO of Forward.

The EXPO Panel Session entitled:

“Partnership & Bridging Communication Gaps”

The panel will address various topics, such as identifying the gaps in communications between the various partners in the air cargo logistics chain, how to increase velocity and efficiencies from the time freight arrives at an airport cargo warehouse to the time it is picked up, and vice versa,  current industry dynamics that affect this issue including the impact of parcelization, technological advances, roadblocks to success, and potential solutions to improve service.


Brandon FriedBrandon Fried/The Airforwarders Association/Executive Director

Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association is one of the country’s leading experts on air freight and cargo security. With more than 40 years of experience, Brandon represents the industry and the association by serving on several Federal Advisory Committees including: The TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee, and The U.S. Department of Commerce Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. He also served three terms on the CBP Commercial Operations Advisory Committee.

While still a forwarder, Brandon joined the Airforwarders Association and was soon elected Chairperson in 2001. He served two consecutive terms as Chair and remained an active member of the Board of Directors. In 2005, he sold his forwarding company and was appointed Executive Director of the Association.

He also represents forwarder interests as Chair of the Advisory Board of Cargo Network Services, an IATA company.

In Washington, Brandon is the public face of the Airforwarders Association testifying in Congress, working with the Department of Homeland Security, and frequently appearing in national media including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, CBS Marketwatch and the New York Times.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Brandon holds a master’s degree in business administration and lives in Chevy Chase, Md. with his wife Kim and has two children, Evan and Jordan.


TOM SchmittTom Schmitt Chairman/President and CEO of Forward Air

Tom Schmitt leads Forward Air Corporation, serving as President, CEO and Director since 2018 and Chairman since 2019. Prior to joining Forward Air, Schmitt served as Management Board Member and Chief Commercial Officer for DB Schenker, a $20 billion global logistics company.

Schmitt has extensive experience in global logistics and executive management for public and private companies. He was President, CEO and Director of Aqua Terra, Canada’s leading provider of natural spring water, and President, CEO and Director of Purolator, Canada’s top parcel and freight transportation company.

Prior to joining Purolator, Schmitt spent 12 years at FedEx in Memphis, TN, where he served as CEO of FedEx Supply Chain and Senior Vice President of FedEx Solutions. He also held senior roles at McKinsey & Company.

Schmitt holds an MBA as a Baker Scholar from Harvard Business School and received his bachelor’s degree in European Business Administration from Middlesex University in London.

Recognizing the importance of community engagement, he continues to support non-profit organizations such as Ballet Memphis and Shelby Farms Park.

He also is a published author. Together with Arnold Perl, Schmitt wrote “Simple Solutions,” a leadership book published by Wiley & Sons.

Donna MullinsDonna Mullins/Kale Info Solutions Inc/Vice President

In June 2020, Donna opened the USA offices of Kale Info Solutions, a division of Kale Logistics Solutions based in India. Kale is a next-gen solutions provider with in-depth domain knowledge and technical expertise. Kale has created a suite of comprehensive IT enterprise systems, including UPLIFT, our Airport Community System single window platform. Kale’s community and enterprise solutions cater to a wide network of Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) who have strengthened and improved their operational and business capabilities globally.

Donna still serves as President and CEO of Mullins International Solutions, LLC and Mullins International Academy.
Prior to starting Mullins International Solutions, a compliance training and consulting firm for the international trade industry, Donna served as Branch Manager for the Atlanta office of CV International. Prior to joining CVI, Donna was President and CEO of Alpha Sun International an independent freight forwarder and customs broker. She had the company for 7 years before merging. In March 2010, Donna merged her company, Alpha Sun International, Inc in with CVI.

While owning Alpha Sun International, Donna led the group through C-TPAT certification and assisted many customers in obtaining C-TPAT certification.
Donna has served in the international transportation community since 1982, where she began as an importer of wholesale merchandise. Upon leaving the import side of the trade, Donna started her career in the brokerage and transportation arena.

Donna’s list of nationally recognized service positions is the leading indicator of why MIS is the choice in compliance training and Kale is the choice for logistics enterprise systems. These affiliations have put her in the position to help set the course of the logistics industry. Because she is there on a national level communicating the policy changes and working hand in hand with CBP, BIS, FMC, TSA and others, she is well versed in the regulations and the other government agencies that can be involved in what seems like the most straightforward of transactions but in fact is very complicated.

In 1990 she received her US Treasury Customs Brokers License. Donna also holds a Certified Customs Specialist and Certified Export Specialist accreditation from the NCBFAA Educational Institute and is a Certified Logistics Technician by MSSC.

Ms. Mullins has held various volunteer positions including President and Chair of the AIFBA (Atlanta International Forwarders and Brokers Association); President and Chair of the AACA (Atlanta Air Cargo Association); Board of Director for the AMA (Atlanta Maritime Association); and currently serves as the Air Freight Subcommittee Committee Chair for the NCBFAA Transportation Committee where she also serves on the TSA ASAC Air Cargo Sub-committee; she was most recently NCBFAA Area 4 Director for eight years. Donna is the current chair for the Airport Congestion Committee and a previous board member of the AfA (Airforwarders Association), the TCA (Transportation Club of Atlanta) and the World Trade Center Atlanta.

Donna has held an Adjunct Professor position with Clayton State University where she was involved in the Logistics and Supply Chain Management and teaches the ABC’s of Customs Brokerage as well as other international classes and courses. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the Logistics and Supply Chain Business of Collage at Clayton State University and Atlanta Technical College.

Vito D’Anna/Lufthansa Cargo/Gateway Manager Aircraft and Warehouse Handling

Tom MarzanoTom Marzano/Alba Wheels Up/EVP of Operations

Tom has over 35 years of experience in the logistics industry, including ten years with Alba Wheels Up in Executive Operations positions. Mr. Marzano is a Licensed Customhouse Broker and a Certified Customs Specialist (CCS), he is currently President of the JFK Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association and is a Board Member of the NCBFAA. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John’s University.

GKH. Warren Jones/Alliance Ground International LLC/Vice President Business Development

Gerald began his air cargo career in Huntsville Alabama back in 2000 working the famous Dixie freighters. In 2005, he joined Total Airport Services as their Chief Operating Officer, a position he held for 13 years. In 2021, he joined Alliance Ground International and is their Chief Operating Officer. Gerald is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the AGI cargo warehouse and ramp operations that encompasses 33 cities in North America with over 5000 employees that handles over 40 international and domestic airlines as well as operations for the United States Postal Service.

ReneRene Espinet/Forward Air/Vice President of Global Partnerships

Mr. Rene Espinet is Vice President of Global Partnerships for Forward Air. He is tasked with International business development at the corporate level while promoting Forward Air’s brand globally.  He took on this new challenge in 2011 and has built and implemented Forward Air’s global strategy from the ground up. Mr. Espinet strategically selected specific international sales and service locations, which are tasked with generating new revenue streams while marketing the Forward Air brand in areas targeted for expansion.

Rene joined Forward Air in November 2001 as Vice President of the Northeast Region.  In this role, he led his team to a back-to-back “Region of the Year” award, an accomplishment that was never achieved by anyone in Forward Air before.  He credits his success to motivating a team of great managers who forged meaningful customer relationships leading to increased top line revenue and profitability.  

Before joining Forward Air, Rene served as Evergreen International Airline’s Director of Sales and Service where he was responsible for supporting Evergreen’s Asian common carriage program and developing U.S. export flights.  He successfully established a North American road feeder network for his Asian counterparts to market five Southeast Asian origin cities allowing for greater connectivity and product offering via three U.S. gateways.  Rene also served as Evergreen’s Director of Inflight Services where he recruited, trained, and managed over 200 flight attendants from seven different countries. 

Rene has always been a strong advocate for the airfreight industry and served as the secretary for the JFK Air Cargo Association for seven years in New York.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Studies with a concentration in Management as well as an Associate’s degree in Aviation Business Administration from the prestigious Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Bob CatonRobert Caton/Realterm/Vice President Airport Infrastructure

Bob Caton joined Realterm (formerly operating as Aeroterm) in 2015 and is Vice President of Development, Airport Infrastructure. His role is to help the team facilitate acquisitions, redevelopments and new developments dealing specifically with air transportation related facilities throughout North America. Bob liaises with airport authorities, city, state, federal regulatory entities and engages with our tenant customers.

Prior to joining Realterm, Bob worked for Prologis as Vice President, Leasing Officer andAirport Facility Specialist, where he was responsible for a number of on airport markets working within the eastern region overseeing the on-tarmac leasing, management and development. As well as provided operational/technical expertise in new development projects globally and ensured compliance with security requirements of the Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration. Mr. Caton holds a degree in Criminal Justice from SUNY Farmingdale and is a New York State Licensed Real Estate Broker.

Although the full EXPO Agenda will be announced shortly, reservations are already being taken for the EXPO Exhibition Hall portion, which features scores of exhibitors from all segments of the industry displaying their products and services. Being an EXPO exhibitor provides direct face-to-face interaction and networking with airline, freight forwarder, and other air cargo industry key decision-makers in a dedicated and focused environment.

“Airside, Landside, and Bright Side”

7:30- 8:30 Exhibitor Set up
8:00-12:00 Registration/Exhibition Hall opens

8:00-9:00 Coffee and Danish (Sponsored by the Port Authority)
9:00-9:15 EXPO Opening Remarks
9:15-10:15 Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion: “Partnering & Bridging Communication Gaps”
Moderator: Brandon Fried- Executive Director, The Airforwarders Association
Rene Espinet- VP of Global Partnerships, Forward
Gerald Kolasch- COO, Alliance Ground International
Donna Mullins- VP, Kale Info Solutions
Tom Marzano- EVP of Operations, Alba Wheels Up
Bob Caton- VP, Development Airport Infrastructure, Realterm

10:15-12:00 Cocktail Reception (Sponsored by WFS) and Networking
12:00- 2:30 Lunch and Keynote Speaker
Luncheon Keynote Speaker
Tom Schmitt- President, Chairman, and CEO of Forward


March 30
8:30 am - 3:00 pm
$135.00 – $1,000.00
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Dayna Harap


Russo’s On The Bay
JFK Airport PO Box 301002
Jamaica, NY 11430 United States
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