April 14, 2024

Our next generation

Introducing our Next-Gen Forum – the place for our industry’s future leaders to voice their thoughts on key issues and help drive the sector forward

The next generation of onboard hospitality decision-makers needs to be heard, that was the conclusion of the Get Onboard Now! Peoples’ Action Group. We responded and the next-gen stepped forward…

The Next-Gen Forum will feature in each issue of Onboard Hospitality giving their fresh perspectives on top topics.

To begin, let us introduce you to the founding members…

Bernd Koperdraad
Export manager, Sola The Netherlands

Route into the industry: I worked for JOE & THE JUICE as an operational manager and was looking for a new challenge. A friend of mine worked for a hiring agency and sent me a vacancy at Sola The Netherlands. If you’d have asked me five years ago if I would ever work in this sector, the answer would have been no – simply because I didn’t know it existed!
What is important to you? Sustainability. If we don’t change anything, it will have catastrophic consequences for future generations.

Lucas Alcantara
Director new business model implementation – LSG Group

Route into the industry: I have a degree in international relations and have always aspired to work around the globe. The aviation industry is the perfect place for that. I joined the LSG Group as part of the Cross Border Program. I fell in love with the industry.
What is important to you? Creating exceptional passenger experiences.Sustainability is ever more important as is finding creative ways to bring it to the onboard hospitality world. I also truly believe that we need to do our part every day in working towards full equality, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Jacki Kasner Bowen
Manager, international sales & customer services, LSG Group

Route into the industry: I studied hospitality followed by a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Science. Like Lucas I was recruited by LSG Group as a Cross Border International Trainee.
What is important to you? Topics like sustainability, gender equality, and of course the passenger experience.

Emily Mills
High care manager, Niche Free From Kitchen
Route into the industry: I entered the food industry by studying Food Science at the University of Nottingham. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease at 16 which heightened my interest in food and the science behind it. Niche was a great fit for me as they produce gluten-free meals for airlines, which is something that I have struggled with onboard.
What is important to you? Providing an enjoyable passenger experience for all allergy sufferers is something I strive towards. In seven years of travelling since diagnosis I am yet to experience a stress-free eating experience onboard.

Kudzai Mercy Mudzengerere
Supply chain manager, LSG Group
Route into the industry: I discovered the onboard hospitality sector at career development shows in educational institutes and through graduate programme initiatives.
What is important to you? A healthy work environment that supports employee wellbeing, development, and corporate goals.

Holly Leadbitter
Sustainability lead, innovation team, Monty’s Bakehouse
Route into the industry: I studied geography at The University of Oxford where I analysed the relationships between human behaviour and our environment. I focused on food, culture and health and completed food industry internships around the world. After two years as a product developer at Graze, I joined the Insights team at Monty’s Bakehouse Innovation Hub.
What is important to you? Collaboration amongst businesses and consumers to inform and accelerate the invention of more sustainable and healthy food solutions. Making sustainability a source of value for businesses and consumers is key.

Helen Jones
Product development manager for Niche Free From Kitchen
Route into the industry: I started my career as a chef and studied BA Food and Professional Cookery in London. As part of my course I was required to undertake a work placement and the only place I considered was Niche as I have coeliac disease. I later completed an MSc in Food Product Development before re-joining the Niche family within the airline, travel and private healthcare catering section as product development manager.
What is important to you? As someone with dietary restrictions, allergen awareness and food provisions onboard are very important to me.

Alexandra Allen
Design manager at John Horsfall
Route into the industry: I previously worked in the clothing design and manufacturing market as a menswear designer. I came across John Horsfall when wanting to make a move into a more in-depth textile-orientated role.
What is important to you? Innovation with sustainable textiles. Whilst working at John Horsfall I am very proud to have been a part of the team developing our Re-Thread range, to help airlines choose well-made, considerately-sourced and long-lasting products. This range and similar steps forward in sustainability across our industry are essential.

Anne Charlotte Moreel
Lead designer, Clip Limited
Route into the industry: I studied industrial design in France and afterwards did an internship at BIG-GAME, a design studio based in Switzerland that partners with Clip on inflight products. Following my internship, I began to work exclusively for Clip. The world of aviation was totally unknown to me and I learned a lot every day.
What is important to you? To find ways to create better products. We have to make beautiful, practical and also sustainable products. A lot of things have already been done in terms of aviation equipment, but it is up to us to make them better. Above all, new projects must respect environmental standards. It is up to us to reduce the impact of our creations.

Get involved
Are you (relatively!) new to the industry?
Have your say by joining the Next-Gen Forum. Contact april.waterston@onboardhospitality.com to find out more.