Zoe Lindemuth – Managing Partner & Director of Research
Zoe Lindemuth, formerly of a global aviation-consulting firm, has extensive experience in aviation and specific expertise in aviation economics for airports. She worked on numerous projects including the Washington State System Study and the Air Service Analysis of the South Florida Airports. For these studies she conducted a variety of tasks ranging from an analysis of each airport’s socio-economics to surveys of airport directors and major constituents. Specifically, for the Washington State System Project, she analyzed the underlying elements of the Washington economy that drove the changes in air traffic levels at Washington airports. This provided the factual foundation for an assessment of the adequacy of air service and provided a basis for forecasting aviation activity. For individual airports, she has worked on economic analyses for Los Angeles, Miami and Boston.
On the airline side, Ms Lindemuth prepared an analysis of the financial condition and strategy of several low-fare airlines including JetBlue and MaxJet. As part of this analysis, she examined each carrier’s fleet, aircraft orders, markets served and financial results for the period ending December of 2007.
Zoe Lindemuth has a Bachelors Degree in Finance, with a minor in Economics from Villanova University.
Deborah Meehan, MCRP – Senior Advisor to SPA
Deborah Meehan joined Strategic Partners in early 2011 to develop Leadership Advisory Services to airport management. As a trusted advisor to senior management at airports and airlines, Ms Meehan’s focus was increasingly targeted to the problems faced by leadership—policy, political, economic but also just staff related problems As with any organization, the quality and effectiveness of the executive and his or her ability to execute vision through staff was what differentiated airports. As the airline industry consolidated and the airport industry became increasingly private sector oriented, Ms Meehan noticed a new requisite level of sophistication at the airport workplace. Problems became more complex at the same time that resources became increasingly scarce and the reliance on building solutions and utilizing consultants diminished. In response to these changes, Ms Meehan has turned her focus to helping airports develop diverse, effective and motivated workforces. As the baby-boomer generation retires, the airport industry needs effective succession planning and new leadership to take aviation into the next phase.
Deborah Meehan is the former President and Chief Operating Officer of SH&E, an aviation consulting firm. For almost three decades, Ms. Meehan was responsible for SH&E’s Government Practice where she directed most of the large, complex projects where the Study Team represents experts from multiple disciplines. She has a record of success working on high intensity, controversial projects where work quality is subject to outside scrutiny. During her tenure at SH&E, Ms Meehan worked closely with the US airport community and became the trusted advisor of senior management at many of the nation’s major airports, including San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Denver, Dallas Fort Worth, Houston, Salt Lake City, Miami, Philadelphia and Boston. Most recently, Ms. Meehan directed a major project for the FAA and Massport where the issues ranged from the development of cost allocation methodologies relating to airline and airport costs, to the evaluation of complicated delay modeling. This very successful project was highly controversial and required expert testimony in a number of forums. Ms. Meehan has an understanding of airport operations. She is a recognized industry expert and has testified before United States Congress on multiple subjects.
BA, Economics, University of Massachusetts
MCRP, Urban Planning, Harvard University
Past President of the Airports Consultants Council
Associate Board of Governors ACI-NA
Board of Visitors, University of Massachusetts
Ms. Meehan has testified to the United States Congress Aviation
Sub-Committee regarding United States/Cuba relations and Airport Privatization.
Richard Shieldhouse, PhD – Senior Advisor to SPA
Dr. Shieldhouse joined Strategic Partners in the spring of 2011. Before joining Strategic Partners, he worked for 25 years as an aviation, rail, and international trade consultant, and in marketing and finance positions for a major U.S. freight railroad.
For a leading international aviation consulting firm, he performed a wide variety of studies requiring an intimate knowledge of the airline industry, practical use of economic and financial techniques, and the ability to write cogently. Dr. Shieldhouse prepared testimony and exhibits used for regulatory proceedings regarding the final sale of Pan Am’s Pacific Division to United Airlines and the merger of Northwest and Republic Airlines. He also developed business plans for various airline start-ups. For the US government, he has designed and implemented reverse trade missions to expose visiting delegations of airport and airline executives to the latest in US aviation security technology. These groups included officials from Latin America and the Caribbean, Brazil, Malaysia and North Africa.
More recently, Dr. Shieldhouse has become involved with tourism research. He has published numerous papers on the subject and has spoken to audiences in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and France. His dissertation, A Jagged Path: Tourism, Planning, and Development in Mexican World Heritage Cities, concerns the impact of World Heritage list inscription on tourism and – looking at two case studies — the relationship between public policy and tourism. The research found that inscription provides a significant increase in foreign visitors over the short term. Over a longer horizon, consistent visitor flows are dependent on consistent and transparent public policy and planning.
While Dr. Shieldhouse’s present focus is on aviation and tourism planning, his project experience demonstrates a wide familiarity with numerous freight transport modes, strong understanding of applied business economics and financial theory, keen ability to understand and simplify complex issues, as well as ability to understand operating issues and translate into meaningful analysis.
Dr. Shieldhouse received a Ph.D. in Design, Construction & Planning from the University of Florida and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
Kristin Lane – Senior Advisor, Branding
The Kristin Lane Agency, a brand and marketing consulting firm in Boston, Massachusetts is now teamed with Strategic Partners to do branding and benchmarking. Harnessing her 20 years of strategic marketing experience with transportation, sports and corporate brands, Kristin’s practice is focused on consultation with entrepreneurs and business leaders across a wide range of communications, brand and business challenges. She is currently working in Jacksonville as part of a team addressing the branding of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority.
For the past five years, while a partner at Forty Forty, Kristin guided strategy and brand extension efforts for clients seeking to leverage new communications platforms to fuel business growth. Kristin’s professional experience encompasses a wide range of local, regional and national business categories.
At her previous agency, Kristin directed brand development and marketing assignments for Capital One Bank including brand integration and sponsorship activation programs for the bank’s $11 million portfolios in New York and Washington, DC; launch strategies, advertising campaigns, media planning, brand architecture and community initiatives for Atlantic Canadian-based Irving Oil across Atlantic Canada and New England; brand development for the Jacksonville Transportation Authority; brand consultation and development for The Mountain Winery (formerly Paul Masson Vineyards) including positioning, identity development, marketing plan development for revenue growth and environmental branding to coincide with a multi-million dollar renovation. Other recent highlights include brand development for Nantucket Supreme, a chef-inspired gourmet frozen product sold at specialty food and club stores; marketing strategies for the Minnesota Twins; brand integration and marketing strategies for Williams Energy; brand positioning, identity and brand development for MarLees Seafood in New Bedford, Massachusetts; brand and revenue generation programs for Airport Marketing Income and specifically Logan International Airport.
Previously, Kristin was an SVP of Marketing at RBS/Citizens Bank. Throughout her tenure she negotiated multi-million dollar sponsorships and co-marketing deals with public entities, professional sports teams, and retailers including the $95 million naming rights with the Philadelphia Phillies. While at Citizens, Kristin recognized that transportation platforms were an efficient way to reach the mass market and build rapid top of mind brand awareness. Kristin developed branded programs of mutual benefit with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (Fast Lane Program), Chicago Transit Authority, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Port Authority in Pittsburgh and Sunoco. At Citizens, Kristin also developed concepts for new market launches including campaigns to drive media coverage.
Kristin has won numerous awards for work she led or directly influenced including several Bell Ringers, a Silver Effie for the television spot featuring SEPTA and an OBIE. Kristin received a BA from the University of Massachusetts in 1991.
Mary Ellen Drinkwater – Senior Vice President
Mary-Ellen Drinkwater is the company’s Senior Vice- President, of Finance, and leads all projects in the area of transportation finance. Through her work experience, she has developed a strong, diversified administrative background in the areas of financial accounting, financial analysis, operations management and business consulting.
Ms. Drinkwater has held several senior management positions which include: Audit Manager with the international accounting and consulting firm of Coopers & Lybrand P.C (known today as Price Waterhouse Coopers) of Boston; the Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller of the national hazardous waste management services firm of Clean Harbors, Inc.; and Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller of the international business software development firm of eCredit.com. In addition, Mary-Ellen has worked as a high level financial executive consultant for companies located throughout Massachusetts.
A graduate of Northeastern University’s school of Business Administration, Mary-Ellen received her license as a Certified Public Accountant in 1985; she maintains her membership in both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Gabriela Guinea, Sr. Project Associate
Gabriela Guinea has over 20 years experience in strategic planning, finance, marketing, and sales, including 14 years working at Mexicana de Aviación. While at Mexicana she last served as Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning, with overall responsibility for forecasting, scheduling and evaluation of alternative operating scenarios.
As Mexicana’s Vice President of Corporate Strategic Planning, Ms. Guinea led teams evaluating new aircraft acquisitions, including its A320 fleet. She also was responsible for evaluating Mexicana’s acquisition of two regional airlines, Aerocaribe and Aerocozumel.
Ms. Guinea’s extensive experience with management information systems was deployed in the development of Mexicana’s profitability control system, which provided information for every station and every route. These skills were previously refined in positions at Banco Nacional de México and Grupo Lanzagorta.
During the 1990s she was founder and owner of the construction firm Edificaciones y Construcciones, a firm focused on infrastructure projects in Mexico City.
Ms. Guinea has a Masters in Business Administration from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.