MALMS Task Force

The Aviation Week Network MRO Events Team would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our Task Force Members for MALMS. We are always open to learning more about industry candidates to participate in our event- and topic-focused task force groups. The purpose of each task force group is to engage in discussion throughout the year with fellow industry members on the latest in leadership and developments within the selected MRO event and topic. These discussions inform session and agenda building for the corresponding event. Please reach out to Sarah Zilonis at [email protected] for more information.

Kevin Sampels, Vice President, Strategic Growth and Client Solutions, Frontier Technology Inc (FTI)

MALMS Task Force Chairman

Mr. Sampels is the Vice President, Strategic Growth and Client Solutions, for Frontier Technology Inc (FTI) where he is responsible for developing and executing corporate strategy to grow the FTI portfolio in the Department of Defense and across the Federal Market. He is a highly experienced logistician, bringing over 35 years of expertise in logistics operations including systems acquisition; requirements planning; supply chain design; storage operations; global distribution; organizational, intermediate and depot level maintenance; and material disposition. He is certified by the Department of Defense in both Lifecyle Logistics and Program Management. Mr. Sampels is a retired Air Force Colonel, having successfully delivered logistics support services to the Air Force and Joint Warfighters around the world. He has served at all levels in the Air Force, commanded multiple organizations, and deployed in support of numerous operations and exercises around the world. Additionally, he is the Vice Chair of the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Logistics Management Division and also serves on the boards of the Logistics Officer Association (LOA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Foundation.

Michael Bruno, Senior Business Editor, Community and Conference Content Manager, Aviation Week Network

Based in Washington, Michael Bruno is Aviation Week Network’s Senior Business Editor and Community and Conference Content Manager. He covers aviation, aerospace and defense businesses, their supply chains and related issues. Since joining Aviation Week in 2005, Bruno also has covered U.S. federal budgets, regulatory issues and congressional affairs. Beyond reporting, he regularly hosts and helps organize Aviation Week’s conferences and events, or speaks at outside events. He has received two Jesse H. Neal business journalism awards and been a finalist for others, including the annual media awards at the Paris and Farnborough airshows. Bruno started Aviation Week & Space Technology’s Going Concerns business column in 2015.

John Cooper, Senior Vice President, Global Government and Defense, AAR

John Cooper is Senior Vice President of Global Government and Defense at AAR (NYSE: AIR), a leading aviation services provider to commercial airlines and governments worldwide. Joining AAR in 2019 as senior leadership, Cooper runs the strategic development and planning for AAR’s rapidly growing government and defense sectors. Before joining AAR Cooper served over three decades in the U.S. Air Force with his final assignment as the USAF’s ranking General for logistics, engineering and force protection at The Pentagon. There he oversaw development of a $25B annual budget and approved all policy for logistics, maintenance, sustainment and supply chain management across the Air Force. A Munitions and Maintenance Officer by trade, he commanded at the squadron, group, and wing levels.  He also held numerous high-ranking leadership positions in the logistics and sustainment community and participated in numerous contingency operations. 

Jen DiMascio, Executive Managing Editor, Defense & Space, Aviation Week Network

Based in Washington, Jen manages Aviation Week’s worldwide defense, space and security coverage. Prior to taking on her current role, Jen was Aviation Week's Congressional Editor. Jen came to Aviation Week in March 2011 from Politico, where she covered the intersection of defense and politics. She also worked as a reporter and editor for Defense Daily, Inside the Army, The Other Paper and The Columbus Dispatch. Jen received a Master’s degree in journalism as a Kiplinger Fellow at the Ohio State University. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in history and journalism from the University of Michigan.

Lee Hudson, Pentagon Editor, Aviation Week Network

Based in Washington, Lee covers the Pentagon for Aviation Week. Prior to joining Aviation Week in 2018, Lee was at Inside Defense where she was chief editor for Inside the Navy. Lee has covered Navy and Marine Corps issues since 2011, reporting at the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, aboard ships and military facilities around the globe.

Alex Ledesma, Military Business Director, HEICO

Alex Ledesma is the Military Business Director for HEICO Defense. Alex is a seasoned professional with 20+ Years of experience in the Aerospace & Defense sector. As a director for HEICO, Alex leads the development and execution of military business opportunities, engages in strategic advocacy efforts, and promotes the utilization of alternate parts and repairs for Commercial Derivative Weapon Systems and Military Unique systems with various DoD customers. For over 60 years, HEICO has been the world’s leading producer and provider of alternative aircraft engine, component, and airframe parts and repairs. HEICO manufactures and sells over 6,000 high quality FAA-approved alternate aircraft parts and provides repairs on over 65,000 different components for commercial and military customers worldwide.

Lorenzo Marandola, President, M1 Composites Technology

Lorenzo Marandola is President of M1 Composites Technology in Montreal, Canada. He founded M1 to serve the international aircraft and composites community. M1 is an approved composites repair center and manufacturer of advanced composites aerospace components. He is a graduate of Concordia University with a degree in mechanical engineering and holds a Project Management Institute certification. With over 25 years of experience, he is a former Director of Business & Technology Development at L-3 Canada and has held key positions in Engineering at Bombardier Aerospace and Service Investigator at Pratt & Whitney Canada. His management style focuses on growth, team building, and leadership. As the winner of the Regional Quebec Entrepreneurship Program in 2013 and the Dunamis Award for Best New Business in 2014. Lorenzo has managed the start-up of this new company achieving Transport Canada accreditations (AMO & DAO), AS9100, AS9110 & ISO9001 certification and quality accreditations, Canadian Controlled Good Program (CGP) approval, Boeing Licensed MRO facility and Aero Montreal MACH 5. The M1 Composites Montreal facility features state-of-the-art equipment and is rapidly expanding in scope of service.

Steve Trimble, Defense Editor, Aviation Week Network

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC. Born in a U.S. Air Force family, he grew up on military bases around the world and came to Washington DC in 1997 to work for Army Times Publishing Co. as a journalist. Steve helped launch the Military.com portal in 2000, then joined the editorial team for Aviation Week’s web site in 2001. He reported on the Pentagon for Aerospace Daily in 2002 and 2003. From September 2003 to September 2018, Steve covered defense and aviation issues and managed staff as the US bureau chief for Jane’s Defence Weekly and later FlightGlobal. He has covered aviation stories on six continents and won several multiple awards, including the 2017 Aerospace Media Awards honor for Best In-Depth Feature on the effort to revive Russia’s commercial aviation industry.