The cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Barbadian Julie Reifer-Jones as its new chief executive officer. Her appointment comes more than a year after Englishman David Evans quit the post.
First woman CEO
Reifer-Jones, an accountant, is the first woman to be appointed as chief executive of the airline. The major shareholders of LIAT are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
LIAT said that prior to joining the airline as chief financial officer in 2008, Reifer-Jones held several senior finance positions. She has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of finance and management.
“Mrs. Reifer-Jones has served at LIAT in the number two position for some nine years. In that capacity, she has acted as CEO for extended periods on several occasions,” said the airline’s chairman, Dr. Jean Holder.
Intimate knowledge of company
“She is familiar with the people and culture of the region, and has intimate knowledge of the company. Her financial and academic qualifications should complement the practical experience of the airline industry she has acquired on the job. I wish her well as she undertakes one of the most challenging assignments in the region,” he added.
Delighted with appointment
Mrs. Reifer-Jones said she was delighted with the appointment. She’s looking forward to delivering an improved level of service from LIAT to the region.
In a March 30 email to the airline’s staff, Mrs. Reifer-Jones said that LIAT “is going through a difficult financial situation, and has implemented a schedule of delays for employees’ salaries over the next five months”.
She said the financial delays are affecting all airline employees, including the executive team. The airline expects that the situation should improve during the summer months.