75 Minute Session - Dr. Mark Phillips and Syed Mehdi
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Your Flight's About Ready to Depart: Implementing a New Strategic Direction at a City Airport

The San Antonio Airport System consisting of the San Antonio International Airport and Stinson Airport has had multiple leadership changes in the last two years: three different directors, 7 new out of 8 senior managers, a new city council and a new mayor. As a new team of strategy professionals comes to the airport, we had to revamp the vision, mission, strategic themes and objectives and begin the challenge of implementing the new changes.

We chose the balanced scorecard approach and followed the following three step process to implementation:
1) Mastery of, and Fit with, Current Environment
2) Structure, Metrics and Systems to Accommodate Changes
3) Organizational Inertia

We have had multiple successes and how shall we say it, “learning moments” in our journey of implementing our new strategic approach. We look forward to telling our story, sharing our successes and lessons.  


 THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2018

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

DR. MARK PHILLIPS - San Antonio Airport System, City of San Antonio

As Manager for Strategy, Training and Innovation for the City of San Antonio Aviation Department, Mark assists in leading the implementation of the vision and mission that was created by the leadership.  He oversees all airport training, innovation efforts and implementation of strategic initiatives.    

 Mark Phillips brings significant practical experience in the fields of strategy, project management, process engineering, leadership and organizational behavior.   Mark teaches in the Undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA programs in the College of Business at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Mark has certifications in Innovation Development from UT Austin, Balanced Scorecard Professional (BSP) from the Balanced Scorecard Institute, Certified Black Belt Instructor from Air Academy Associates, Certified Master Black Belt Instructor from Price Waterhouse Coopers, Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM) and is a Certified Professional Project Manager (PMP).  Prior to retiring from the US Air Force, Mark served as the project manager for the Engine and Nachelle Affordability program for the C-17 Aircraft System and was Chief of Performance Consulting for Headquarters Air Education and Training Command.    Prior to his retirement from United Services Automobile Association (USAA), he was the Director of Core Competency Development and Practice Lead for Process Engineering.

 SYED MEHDI - San Antonio Airport System

As the Chief Strategy and Development Officer for the City of San Antonio Aviation Department, Syed leads the implementation of the vision and mission that was created by the leadership.  He also oversees the human capital development; and long-term strategic planning including the Master Plan. Syed has been in the airport business for over 22 years as an airport executive, as well as a consultant.

Syed started his airport career at Manchester International Airport, United Kingdom, working in airfield operations and moved on to work for blue chip aviation consulting firms, such as Speedwing Consulting/British Airways, SH&E, Jacobs Consultancy and Landrum & Brown.  There he worked on airport projects worldwide, specializing in airport master planning, airport certification and safety, air service development, business planning, strategy development, and airport privatization. 

 Some of his work included technical support and advice on public private partnership deals in the United States, India, and United Kingdom; international expansion strategy for National Air Traffic Services, United Kingdom; 30-year master plan for airports in China, India, Southern Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. In 2008 while heading the air service development, marketing and public relations divisions at Bahrain International Airport, Kingdom of Bahrain, his air service development and marketing campaigns were voted to receive the OAG-Routes Best Airport Marketing Award in the Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States. Syed also worked on airline network planning projects for legacy and low cost carriers in the United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East. Prior to joining the Aviation Department in San Antonio, Syed worked on strategic planning projects for airports in the United States, South Africa and Middle East. Syed attended Loughborough University in the United Kingdom to obtain a Master of Science degree in Airport Planning and Management. 

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