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All Academy course development is overseen by an advisory group charged with identifying training needs specific to duty and tax-free retail. The content of our courses is scrutinised by experienced senior industry executives bringing a wealth of expertise from around the globe, covering all major product categories and aligned to insights on best in class retail practices from leading industry retailers. The Academic Advisory Group blends expertise from Human Resource and Training & Development perspectives with the practical commercial realities of the opportunities and challenges our industry faces. This ensures our courses are world class.
Aude Bourdier
Academic Advisory Group Chair

VP Managing Director Global Travel Retail, Brown-Forman

Aude brings 30 years of Wines & Spirits industry experience, having held various leadership positions across Marketing, Commercial, and General Management. She joined Brown Forman in 2018 as VP Marketing Director Global Travel Retail and Asia Pacific, and was recently appointed VP Managing Director of the GTR division in July 2020. Born in France, she has worked and lived in Paris, Geneva, London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Aude was elected to the Tax Free Worldwide Association (TFWA) Management Committee several times and serves the organization’s Board as Vice President Marketing.

Sarah Branquinho
President, Duty Free World Council

Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer & External Affairs Advisor, Dufry

Throughout her 30 years’ experience in the duty-free industry, Sarah has been an active advocate for the US$70 billion duty-free and travel retail industry and the key role it plays in enhancing transport infrastructure and the passenger experience.
After playing a prominent role in the industry’s campaign to fight the abolition of intra-EU duty- and tax-free sales, Sarah joined BAA and its retail company World Duty Free, serving in various External Affairs roles at companies eventually acquired by Dufry, where she is now Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer while continuing to serve as External Affairs Advisor.
Alongside her commercial roles, she has served as Chair of the UK Travel Retail Forum (2009 – 2018), President of the European Travel Retail Forum (2012 - 2018), and is the World Business Partner observer on the ACI Europe Board and a founder member and Chair of Women in Travel Retail, which offers networking opportunities to women in the travel retail industry.

Frank O'Connell
Former President, Duty Free World Council

Frank O’Connell has worked in the duty free and travel retail industry for over forty years and is past President of the Duty Free World Council, and past President of the Paris based European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC).
He has served as Director Retail DAA, Commercial Director Dusseldorf Airport and as a member of the Supervisory Board of Flughafen Düsseldorf GmbH and the board of ARI.
Mr. O’Connell holds an MBA from the University of Stirling, is a graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and holds an MA from Dublin City University.
He is co-author of the book “European Airport Retailing, Growth Strategies for the next Millennium” and has written extensively on airport retailing.
He is Chairman of the board of Crosscare, the social care agency of the Archdiocese of Dublin Ireland.

Gerard Murray
Executive Secretary, Duty Free World Council

Managing Director, Traveller’s Trove

Gerry Murray has served as Executive Secretary of the Duty Free World Council since 2016 managing the day to day activities of the Council. Alongside the advocacy role of the Council a key focus has been the creation of the DFWC Academy and its courses.

Gerry is also Managing Director of Traveller’s Trove, a brand representation and consulting agency, operating exclusively in the duty free and travel retail channel. He has been in the industry for almost 30 years and has worked for leading brands, with global responsibilities, across the Wines & Spirits, Confectionery, and Luggage categories. His familiarity with all sub-channels within duty free is complimented by experience of operating own retail stores in airports as well as selling to third party retailers.

Mona Al Ali
Senior Vice President Human Resources, Dubai Duty Free

Mona joined Dubai Duty Free, as an Emiratization coordinator, in July 1998 to increase the number of UAE nationals in the company. Promoted, she became part of DDF management in 2003 and handled various responsibilities related to recruitment, social events, Emiratization and HR administration. In July 2016, Mona Al Ali was appointed as Vice President - HR Service delivery and was promoted as Senior Vice President – Human Resources in July 2019 in addition to projects related to China and GCC commercial strategies.

Mona was a recipient of the Dubai Government Excellence Award in 2003, awarded by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
She is a member of Retail Business Group and DFWC Academy.

Barry Geoghegan
Founder, Duty Free Global Ltd.

Barry has been in the wines and spirits business for 32 years and focused on travel retail only for 11 years. Duty Free Global has offices in Ireland/US/Asia and team members based in Switzerland, Belgium, and Argentina.

Barry has a BA Honours Economics degree from University College Dublin and a Wine MBA from Bordeaux Business School. He has also lectured to diploma students on the WSET courses for over 10 years on the Wines of Bordeaux, Wines of the Americas, and the Business of Wine.

Erin Lillis
Travel Retail Director, Lacoste

Erin Lillis is an accomplished Travel Retail professional with more than 20 years managing and directing operations for one of the world’s iconic premium casualwear brands LACOSTE, from both a Travel Retail & domestic retail perspective.

Starting in 2000 as Head of VM & Store Planning in the UK, then moving to Asia to become Retail Excellence Director for the region. In mid-2012 Travel Retail Director was added to her responsibilities & since 2013 she has been solely focusing on the travel retail channel. Driving the development of Lacoste at all airports, downtown duty-free stores and other point-of-sales connected to duty-free business in APAC.

Erin is also involved in numerous charities supporting impoverished children such as Angels for Orphans and Sunrise Cambodia as well as ImpactHK, a charity supporting homeless in Hong Kong.

Carlos Granados
Associate Director Sales WTR, Mondelez World Travel Retail

Carlos Granados has acted as Head of Global Sales for Mondelez World Travel Retail (WTR), the leading confectionery company in the travel retail sector, since June 2018. He also serves on the Leadership Team for the Travel Retail, European Export and Switzerland business units of global snacking powerhouse Mondelēz International, as well as on the TFWA Management Committee. Joining Mondelez WTR in 2011, Carlos has led several sales and global accounts teams in the West Europe and Americas regions, most recently acting as Senior Business Development Manager in Madrid prior to moving to Zurich for his current position. Building extensive experience in FMCG and sales, Carlos previously served in various roles at Mars, managing large key accounts as well as sales and customer marketing teams within different sales channels in the Spanish domestic market. Carlos holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University CEU Luis Vives of Madrid.

John Rimmer
Managing Director, TFWA

John Rimmer has been active in the travel retail industry for over 20 years, having begun his career in the sector with trade title Duty Free News International, which he edited from 2004-06. He then relocated to France to join travel retailer Aelia (later Lagardère Travel Retail) where he worked to develop the company’s international business. In 2012 he joined the industry’s largest trade body Tax Free World Association, where he was appointed Managing Director in 2017. In his role he works with global and regional associations to support the promotion of the duty free & travel retail industry across the world.

Nicola Wells
Commercial and Marketing Strategist, USP Consulting

Nicola is a business leader who has delivered strategic, organisational, and cultural change in blue chip FMCG and global retail businesses during her 25 year corporate career.
Before establishing U.S.P Consulting in 2019, she spent 8 years as Global Strategy and Marketing Director at Aer Rianta International with executive responsibility for corporate strategy. communications, B2B and B2C marketing, Insights, Category Management and E Commerce. Nicola currentlys provide commercial and marketing strategy consultancy services to to clients across different sectors including DF&TR.
Nicola has worked on course development with the DFWC since and is delighted to continue that collaboration.

Other Academic Advisory Group Members are:
Tobias Baude
Imperial Brands PLC
Carine Ruiz
L’Oréal Travel Retail
Maureen O'Hara
Aer Rianta International
Soufyen Ammar
Lagardère Travel Retail
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