AVIAA customer success team members Matthew Suedkamp, Don Hitch and Lori Jones.

AVIAA customer success team members Matthew Suedkamp, Don Hitch and Lori Jones.

March 12, 2019

AVIAA grows its customer success team
Following the recent acquisition of European purchasing business Convolus, AVIAA has expanded its customer support capability. The appointment of three industry veterans will help members to reduce purchasing costs.

AVIAA, the California-headquartered group purchasing organisation for business aviation, is growing its customer success team and enhancing its data infrastructure to support a membership of nearly 500 aircraft. The move follows hard on the heels of AVIAA's acquisition of Convolus and establishment of an office in Munich, Germany, headed by managing director Irena Deville.

AVIAA's customer success team works closely with members to help them understand the process and analytics of the cost savings they are accruing. “We advise members as they move into new sectors, whether they are transferring from Part 91 to 135 operations, adding a new aircraft type or introducing new capability that may justify adding a new pillar of spend,” explains COO Rick Tilghman. The team also advises members on when there are available slots in training and when best to plan maintenance visits, working on a day to day basis with its supply chain.

AVIAA has just welcomed Don Hitch into the dedicated role of vice president customer success. Hitch joins the business with a firm understanding of how to optimise luxury assets, having established and run the Part 91 flight department for California's The Wonderful Company as vice president of aviation. He brings 35 years' experience in Part 91, 135, and 125 flight operations as both pilot and manager. His senior leadership roles include presidency of AMI Jet Charter, a TAG Aviation subsidiary, and service on various NBAA committees and the Business Aviation Managers Committee (BAMC), which supports the CAM programme.

Hitch's team includes director of customer success Lori Jones, who joined the company last summer from charter specialist West Coast Aviation; Sarah Holian, formerly with StrataJet in London, who supports AVIAA's UK, European, and Middle Eastern members; and most recent hire, Matthew Suedkamp, who was previously director of flight operations for Elon Musk's rocketry company SpaceX.

“AVIAA works with preferred partners in every supply category from fuel, handling, insurance, maintenance, satcom and more,” comments EMEA MD Irena Deville. “Having a dedicated customer success team is a great benefit to our members, ensuring that they are supported at every level of the procurement process.”

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