Roelof-Jan (RJ) Steenstra is a turnaround catalyst and agile executive leader who transforms airport authorities into thriving and sustainable enterprises. He is recognized for moving businesses forward in challenging economic conditions by making smart and dynamic decisions and leveraging revenue diversification and lean principles to propel organizational refocus and change. His passion for airports is evident through his curiosity and talent for developing innovative and fiscally-grounded solutions – without losing sight of the passenger and employee experience.
Steenstra joined the Fort McMurray Airport Authority in 2016 and has since chartered a new course for the Airport Authority focused on revenue diversification, fiscal responsibility, and employee engagement.
With a vision of modernizing the organization, including adopting a lean business philosophy, RJ and his team achieved the extraordinary. Amidst adjusting to the new market realities and embracing a cultural shift, the Airport Authority was recognized by Airports Council International (ACI) World with a 2018 Airport Service Quality Award. YMM received top honour for Canada and was joined by one other airport in the United States as North America’s best regional airports for customer experience, serving under 2-million passengers annually.
Steenstra’s commitment to always serve his community and industry is demonstrated through his many contributions over the years. He is a leading voice in the industry, at both a national and international level, being repeatedly called upon to contribute, speak or present at national, transborder, and global conferences and events. He is Past Co-Chair of the 2023 Arctic Winter Games Bid Committee, Director for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)/ Airports Council International World (ACI) Community of Practice and the American Association of Airport Executive’s (AAAE) Northwest Chapter. He currently serves as Director and Governance Committee Chair on the Fort McMurray / Wood Buffalo Economic Development & Tourism Board. Most recently, RJ has been appointed to Chair the Policy Board for the Canadian Airports Council and Director on the Airports Council International – NA Executive Committee.
Steenstra holds a Bsc. in Anthropology and a BA in Communications from the University of Calgary, as well as an MBA from Royal Roads University. He’s gone on to earn several industry designations including an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) designation, an International Airport Professional (IAP) designation from the ICAO/ACI and an Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) designation from the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Management.
Named Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation in 2018, Rhee oversees operations at both O’Hare and Midway International Airports – one of the largest airport systems in the world. Over the course of a 28-year career at the City of Chicago, Rhee has served in multiple positions at the airports, from customer service foreign language assistant while in law school, to General Counsel for the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). In 2008, Rhee was named as the City’s Chief Procurement Officer. Rhee has dedicated much of her career to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The procurement reform efforts she led during her career have received national and international recognition, and Rhee herself has received dozens of industry awards for her contributions.
Kevin Dolliole began his aviation career at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport before going on to lead and transform the San Antonio and St. Louis Airports. Now with over 40 years of experience in various facets of the aviation industry, he is once again back at the helm of Armstrong International where he continues effectively managing operational, organizational, and development initiatives like the new $1 billion airport terminal that opened in fall 2019. Under his leadership, MSY was ranked as the number one large airport in North America for customer satisfaction based on J.D. Power’s 2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. Dolliole was also selected as Airport Experience News’ 2020 Director of the Year in the Medium Airports Category as well as Biz New Orleans Magazine’s 2019 CEO of the Year. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) and American Association of Airport Executives’ (AAAE) Policy Review Committee, and previously served on the Board of Directors for Airports Consultants Council.
Kevin M. Burke joined Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) as President and Chief Executive Officer in January of 2014. Since he joined ACI-NA, Burke has expanded ACI-NA’s reach and influence as the Voice of Airports® in North America by amplifying the important role airports play in our everyday lives, unifying the industry behind shared priorities, and advancing a common cause with non-traditional allies.
In addition to his proven government relations background and immense experience managing associations, Burke is a visionary leader who serves the airport industry as a passionate advocate for legislative and regulatory policies that strengthen the ability for airports to serve their passengers, customers, and communities.
Prior to joining ACI-NA, he served for 13 years as President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). Growing its member programs, its financial position, its standing on Capitol Hill and around the world are among his many accomplishments at AAFA.
Burke began his career in 1979 at the Republican National Committee and later the Reagan-Bush Presidential Campaign, where he served as Outreach Director for the campaign’s Nationalities Division. Following the campaign, he moved to Capitol Hill to work as a legislative assistant and later press secretary to Representative Norm Lent (R-NY). Burke has more than 30 years of experience as a government relations professional, having previously led government affairs efforts for Food Distributors International, the American Bakers Association, and the National Association of Broadcasters.
Burke is a graduate of American University in Washington D.C., with a Master’s degree in Public Administration. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government from the State University of New York at Brockport. Kevin and his wife Barbara Ianniello reside in Great Falls, Virginia.
Sam was born in Bristol, England and spent his early youth in Kenya, East Africa. His interest in aviation developed early and from 1973 – 1980 Sam was involved with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets where he achieved his private pilot’s license at the age of 17.
In 1984 Sam graduated from Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario with honors and went to work with the Department of External Affairs. His duties involved planning, organizing and coordinating Canada’s major Summits including, Expo 86, Commonwealth Heads of Government and the Economic G-7 Summits.
In 1988 he commenced his airport career at Vancouver International Airport where he held several positions including Airport Duty Manager and Superintendent of Ground Transportation. In 1992 he assumed the position of Superintendent Airport Operations at Kelowna International Airport and has held numerous positions, including Assistant General Manager jobs for both Airport Operations and Airport Development while achieving his International Accredited Airport Executive designation in 1997.
In July 2008 Sam was appointed the Airport Director for the Kelowna International Airport – one of the top ten airports in Canada serving just over 2 million passengers in 2019. As Airport Director, Sam currently is a board member of Tourism Kelowna and the International Association of Airport Executives.
Lew S. Bleiweis, A.A.E., has over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry with the majority of his time focused on airport management, including areas of properties, operations, maintenance, purchasing, and risk management.
He has been with the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority since 2008, and has led the organization since 2009. During his tenure, he has grown the organization from a non-hub airport to a thriving small hub airport with over one million passengers, increased the airport’s fund balance from just over $7 million to $31 million, while overseeing $100 million+ in capital expansion projects, inclusive of the airport’s first parking garage.
Prior to Mr. Bleiweis’ relocation to Asheville, he joined the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, Louisville, Kentucky in 1999, where he held several positions including Director of Properties.
Mr. Bleiweis also held several positions with the Kansas City Aviation Department, Kansas City, Missouri and the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission, Roanoke, Virginia.
Mr. Bleiweis is currently serving as Airport Council International North America’s (ACI-NA) Chair. He has served as Chair of the ACI-NA U.S. Policy Board, a member of ACI World Governing Board, a Member of the Board of Directors for American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), and President of the Southeast Chapter AAAE. He is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) by the American Association of Airport Executives, and he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Business Administration/Airport Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.