Voting opens for WTCE’s Onboard Icons competition


World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) has opened the public voting stage of its Onboard Icons competition. Over the last two months, many in the airline catering and onboard services industries have been nominating friends and colleagues who deserve recognition for their hard work and contributions to the sector over the past decade. More than 30 nominations have been made, and voting is now live on the WTCE website to decide which 10 people are the most influential. Voting closes on 8th June.

Among the nominations are Matt Crane, who is group head of the SATS Global Innovation Centre UK and Singapore, director at Monty’s Bakehouse and also a founding member of the Aviation Sustainability Forum. Another name is Anne de Hauw of IN Air Travel Experience, which was founded in 2018 to help airlines transform into customer-centric and sustainable travel experience providers, as is Simon Ward, CEO and founder of TravelPlus. Another contender is Melissa Raudebaugh, who is responsible for inflight service, fleet & galley planning at Delta Airlines, and has also served as chairperson of the Crystal Cabin Award Judging Panel since November 2014.

Other names nominations who can be voted for include Wilbert de Louw, CEO of Foodcase International; Martin Buchholtz, head of global product and service innovation and research at LSG Group; Federico Heitz, CEO at Kaelis World; Ariane Van Mancius, founder at Now New Next; Robin Padgett, divisional senior vice president at Dnata Catering & Retail; and Marc Warde, founder of Niche Free from Kitchen.

In the lead up to the WTCE exhibition, which is taking place at Hamburg Messe from 14-16 June 2022, the industry is encouraged to vote for who they believe is the sector’s most influential person. The finalists will be revealed at a live awards ceremony in the Taste of Travel theatre at WTCE on Tuesday 14th June, in celebration of the exhibition’s 10-year anniversary.

WTCE’s event director, Polly Magraw commented, “Over the last decade, the industry has seen an outstanding level of innovation, and our Onboard Icons initiative aims to bring businesses together to celebrate their ideas, products and solutions that have impacted the sector so positively. All the nominees have undoubtedly been influential in the success of our industry and I’m looking forward to congratulating the 10 winners in person at the show this June.”

The full list of nominees:

  • Natalia Pashkova – director of development, Angel Sky
  • Simon Ward – CEO & founder, TravelPlus
  • Federico Heitz – CEO, Kaelis World
  • Matt Crane – group head, SATS Innovation Centre; & director of Monty’s Bakehouse
  • Valentina Dalle Mule – export manager Airlines, Bottega SpA
  • Eugenio Gaudio – CEO & founder, Dufre Italia
  • Ariane Van Mancius – founder, Now New Next
  • Melissa Raudebaugh – fleet & galley planning, Delta Airlines
  • Anne de Hauw – founder, Air Travel Experience
  • Marc Warde – founder, Niche Free From Kitchen
  • Lance Hayward – founder, The Hayward Partnership
  • Robin Padgett – senior vice president Catering, Dnata
  • Dr Stathis Kefallonitis – aviation brand strategist
  • Jenny Greenhalgh – executive chef, Rail Gourmet
  • Raymond Kollau – founder, Airline Trends
  • Alan Hayes – sales & managed dervices director, Dnata
  • Martin Buchholtz – head of global product and service innovation and research, LSG
  • David Loft – chief operating officer, international catering, Dnata
  • Leonard Hamersfeld – founder, Buzz
  • Erdmann Rauer – CEO, LSG Group
  • Rüdiger & Helga Friedrichs – managing director, Frankenberg
  • Wilbert de Louw – CEO, Foodcase International
  • Herwig Mariën – managing director, Wet-Nap Europe BV
  • Joshua van den Hurk – founder, The Bamboovement
  • Michael Raasch – CEO, Omnevo
  • Genevieve Rosario – head of product development & service design, Qatar Airways
  • Joe Harvey – business development, Omnevo
  • Kian Gould – owner & founder, Omnevo / AOE
  • Peter Coelho – COO, Omnevo
  • Sam Sibble – director of supply chain, Delta Air Lines

You can vote for your favourite on the WTCE awards page.

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About Author


Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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