President – Product, Partnership and Marketing Practice
Jay Sorensen is an experienced management professional with 27 years experience in product, partnership and marketing development. Of this experience, 13 years were at Midwest Airlines (formerly Midwest Express) where he had responsibilities for marketing, sales, customer service, product development, operations, planning, financial analysis and budgeting. Jay has started guest loyalty programs and co-branded credit cards, developed products in the service sector, improved the delivery of customer service and has started companies in the travel and tourism industry.
During his career Jay has worked on product or partnership development programs with corporations such as: Aeroplan, AirTran, Amadeus, Amtrak, British Airways, Baymont Inns and Suites, Icelandair, Marcus Theatres, Visa USA, and Virgin Atlantic Airways. He speaks at leading conferences in Europe and North America such as the Low Cost Airlines Congress, Frequent Flier Program Conference (FFP), and the Ancillary Revenue Conference (ARAC). Jay is author of the IdeaWorks Guide to Ancillary Revenue; the publication has been purchased by aviation professional from all over the world.
Managing Director – Financial Consulting Practice
Bob Bahlman is a senior executive with a diverse financial background and 23 years experience in strategy development and implementation, contract negotiation, financial and business restructuring. Most recently, he was the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Controller for Midwest Air Group which is a $400 million publicly traded airline group serving more than 50 cities throughout the United States under the Midwest Airlines brand. His extensive finance experience includes these areas: treasury, business analysis, tax function, general and revenue accounting, SEC reporting, internal audit, investor relations, fuel procurement, risk management, information technology and properties and facilities management. Bob has implemented broad-based restructuring strategies to include long-term lease and debt renegotiation, raising new capital through equity placements and managing the process of cost reduction. His work included the delicate balancing act of preparing a bankruptcy filing while working, successfully, to avoid a bankruptcy filing.
Michael Smith – Consulting Affiliate
Credit Card, Loyalty Partners & Travel Insurance Specialty
Michael Smith applies over 20 years of marketing and financial experience to projects such as co-branded credit cards, ancillary revenue opportunities, and frequent flier programs. Since 2003 he has helped airlines, car hire companies, hotel chains, and travel insurers realize greater revenue through the introduction of new products. Michael is regarded as a leading expert on the partner agreements associated with frequent flier programs and the online sale of travel insurance.
Prior to his consulting activity, Michael was responsible managing the extensive portfolio of travel partners for the Executive Club program of British Airways; this included the co-branded credit card relationship with American Express. He helped establish and develop agreements with major travel brands such as Avis, GE Travel Insurance, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He is experienced with the process of establishing partner agreements, negotiating marketing fees, and creating promotional and exposure opportunities for partners.
Marc Rosenberg – Consulting Affiliate
Global Distribution and Ancillary Revenue Integration (Toronto, Canada)
Marc Rosenberg offers thorough expertise in supporting ancillary revenue and bundled-fare initiatives through global distribution systems. Marc retired as Air Canada’s vice president of sales and product distribution in 2008. He was part of the team that led the carrier’s conversion to a fare family and a la carte pricing approach. This provided unique insights to the challenge of marrying ancillary revenue methods to agency distribution. Since 2008, Marc has worked with airlines and other travel-related companies on projects involving distribution strategy, channel management sales, and online ancillary revenue implementation.
Marc’s 40 years of professional experience has focused on travel agency distribution, corporate sales, and online retail. His roles have included president, CEO, and chairman of Galileo Canada; and board member at Apollo Travel Services, Galileo International, and Galileo Japan. Within the Air Canada organization he held executive positions as general manager for the United States, based in Miami; and VP sales and product distribution. Marc lives in Toronto and loves exploring the world with his family to embrace the cuisine, sights, and culture of faraway places.
Writer and Editorial Consultant
Eric Lucas is an international travel and business writer and editor whose work appears in the Los Angeles Times, Michelin travel guides, MSN.com, Westways Magazine and numerous other publications. Founding editor of Midwest Airlines Magazine, he is the author of five books, including the 2009 Michelin British Columbia Green Guide. Eric has followed and written about the travel industry for more than 20 years. He lives in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, where he grows and sells organic garlic.
More Resources and Service
Through its consulting affiliates, IdeaWorks coordinates the delivery of the following services: Direct Marketing – Sales Promotion – Market Segmentation – Customer Value Analysis – Database Management – Loyalty Technology Software
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