Robert Fornaro was appointed as President and CEO of Spirit, the largest Ultra-Low Cost Carrier in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, in January 2016. He became a member of, and will continue to be a member of, the Spirit Airlines Board of Directors in May 2014.
Prior to his appointment as CEO of Spirit he served as President of Parkview Partners LLC, an Orlando-based transportation and travel industry advisory firm. Mr. Fornaro retired as Chairman, CEO and President of AirTran Holdings, Inc., and its subsidiary, AirTran Airways in May 2011. Fornaro joined AirTran in March 1999 as President and Chief Financial Officer, was named Chief Operating Officer and elected to the board of directors in 2001, and became Chief Executive Officer in 2007.
Fornaro has more than 35 years of marketing, planning, finance and general management experience. Bob also has substantial experience in financial turnarounds and operational restructurings. During his tenure at AirTran, the Company transformed itself from a regional to an international airline and experienced a near seven-fold increase in revenue to nearly $3 billion. AirTran achieved the unique position of being the lowest cost provider of any major U.S. airline as well as achieving industry - leading service metrics.
Prior to joining AirTran Airways, he operated a successful aviation consulting practice. From 1992 to 1997, Fornaro served as senior vice president - planning for US Airways where he directed the company's route planning, pricing and revenue management and overall corporate strategy. From 1988 to 1992, Fornaro held the position of senior vice president - marketing planning at Northwest Airlines. His responsibilities included strategy and planning as well as managing Northwest's international alliances and regional airline partner relationships.
Fornaro holds a Master's degree in City & Regional Planning from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in economics from Rutgers College.
Rocky Wiggins joined Spirit, the largest Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, in September 2016 as our Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO). In this role he will lead our IT strategy and IT operations as we refine our business solutions, operations, and customer experience.
John Bendoraitis was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in December 2017. Bendoraitis joined Spirit as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Office in October 2013. He brings nearly 30 years of industry experience to the current role, which includes responsibility for the areas of technical operations, airport operations, flight operations, inflight, our operational control center, safety and security.
Prior to joining Spirit, Bendoraitis served as Chief Operating Officer of Frontier Airlines. Previously, from 2008 to 2012, he served as President of Comair Airlines. From 2006 to 2008, he served as President of Compass Airlines, where he was responsible for the certification and launch of the airline. Bendoraitis began his aviation career at Northwest Airlines, where over a 22-year span he worked his way up from aircraft technician to vice president of base maintenance operations.
Bendoraitis holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Metro State University in St. Paul, Minn., and an MBA from St. Thomas University in Minneapolis. He also holds an A&P Certificate from Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology in St. Louis, Mo.
From September 2006 to October 2007, Canfield served as General Counsel & Secretary of Point Blank Solutions, Inc., a manufacturer of antiballistic body armor. Prior to Point Blank, from 2004 to 2007 he served as CEO and Plan Administrator of AT&T Latin America Corp., a public company formerly known as FirstCom Corporation, which developed high-speed fiber networks in 17 Latin American cities. AT&T Latin America Corp. filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Mr. Canfield also served as General Counsel & Secretary at AT&T Latin America Corp from 1999 to 2004. Previously, Mr. Canfield was Counsel in the corporate and international practice groups of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
Canfield serves on the board and audit committee of Iridium Communications Inc., a satellite communications company. Canfield previously served on the boards of directors of Birch Telecom Inc., a telecommunications company, from 2006 to 2008, and Tricom S.A., a telecommunications/CATV company, from 2004 to early 2010.
Canfield received his bachelor of arts degree from Wesleyan University and his law degree from Fordham University.
Matt Klein joined Spirit, the largest Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, in August 2016. Klein brings more than 20 years of management experience in the airline and travel industries to the role, which includes responsibility for network planning, pricing, revenue management, and consumer marketing.
Prior to joining Spirit, Klein most recently worked in various consulting capacities in the travel industry. Prior to that, he served as Chief Commercial Officer at lastminute.com and Vice President, Global Airline Relations at Travelocity. Additionally, his experience includes serving as a leader of pricing, revenue management, forecasting and distribution planning at AirTran Airways, and various other roles in domestic pricing with US Airways.
Matt holds an MBA from University of Florida, and a B.S. degree in Finance from the University of Maryland.
Laurie Villa joined Spirit Airlines in October 2014 as Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. In December 2017, Villa was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. With more than 30 years of leadership expertise in driving strategic large-scale organizational growth and transformation, she currently leads the company’s human capital management initiatives embracing a diverse group of more than 16,000 U.S. and international team members. Villa has a steadfast approach to progressing corporate culture, advocating for corporate social responsibility, and creating innovative practices. Her leadership provides directional human resource and business guidance to achieve company objectives.
Villa has committed her career to helping companies grow their businesses, invest in the right talent and make a lasting difference in local communities. She previously served in senior leadership positions in start-ups, large-scale and multinational corporations including: Sara Lee, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Ann Taylor. At Sara Lee, Villa was responsible for leading global organizational development and succession planning for over 150 operating companies worldwide. In addition, she partnered with the operations team to establish and drive manufacturing, sales and marketing growth in thirteen Central American and Caribbean countries. Sara Lee became the premier employer in each of these regions, growing from 1,000 to 13,000 employees. At LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Villa led the human resources integration of the $4.1 billion acquisition of the Choice-Point data aggregation company. During her tenure with Ann Taylor, the business grew in global sales from $800 million dollars annually to more than $2 billion, growing the staffing to over 15,000 associates in 800 retail stores.
Villa currently chairs the Spirit Foundation and is also an active Board Member of The First Tee of Broward County. She serves on the Board of Advisors of Primate Technologies, a technology company in the power utility industry. Previously, she served on various non-profit boards including, Life Directions in Chicago, IL and the Work/Family Resource Center in Winston-Salem, NC.
Laurie has received numerous awards and accolades for her work in Human Resources. She was honored with the Excellence in Human Resource Award 2018, by South Florida Business and Wealth Magazine, the Top 100 Outstanding Women in Broward Country 2017, and has also been featured in the book - Angels in the Workplace. Villa obtained her BBA and MBA from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.