Four Exceptional Air Cargo Leaders Honored with Special Awards at ACE Gala Dinner in Abu Dhabi

4 weeks ago

Abu Dhabi, December 5, 2023

In a dazzling celebration of excellence in the air cargo industry, the ACE Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony at the prestigious Cafe del Mar in Abu Dhabi witnessed the recognition of four outstanding leaders with special awards for their exceptional contributions.

The gala took place during the 3rd ACE, held December 4-6 in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and brought together key players from the international air cargo logistics and freight forwarding sectors.

ACE acknowledged and celebrated the achievements of those who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and innovation.

The four Air Cargo Experts were bestowed with the prestigious awards, each highlighting a unique aspect of their outstanding contributions:

Leader to Watch: Charles E. Sarkis

In a world where leadership is not just about steering the ship but also about inspiring others to navigate uncharted waters, this individual stands as a beacon of inspiration. His unwavering dedication, and relentless pursuit of excellence have set him apart in the dynamic landscape of the Freight Forwarding industry.

This individual embodies the qualities that define a true leader: foresight, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to excellence.

We also had the chance to experiment some of his other skills as Dancer, Tennisman, Striker and Goalkeeper… throughout our travels in Shanghai, Mexico, Greece, Malaysia etc…

From the position of Global Sales working for one the Top 10 Multinational Freight Forwarding company in the Middle East, where he became No 1 Sales Globally after only 4 years to creating his own company, it took him only few years to build an amazing setup with 3 Branches and 3 Warehouses in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Beirut and Paris and more than 125 Employees.

As we presented him with the “Leader to Watch” award, let us not only acknowledge his past accomplishments but also anticipate the transformative impact he is bound to make in the future.

Also known as one of the Habibi’s, the winner of the “Leader to Watch” award, Mr Charles SARKIS, CEO of Motion Supply Chain.

This accolade acknowledges his imaginative strategies and leadership, promising a future of greatness in our field. Charles Sarkis embodies the qualities that define a true leader: foresight, resilience, and an unyielding commitment to excellence, he is poised to become a key figure in the industry, and this award highlights the anticipation and excitement surrounding his journey.

” I am deeply humbled and grateful to receive the “Leader to Watch” Award, also blessed and honored to have shared this emotional moment among ACE’s industry peers, mentors, and friends.

This is a very proud moment for me, as it took approximately 20 years to reach this platform. But I didn’t walk alone; I was accompanied by valuable partners and colleagues who believed in my vision and made it their mission. Truly, this award recognizes our efforts and dedication while motivating us to attain higher goals. I always say that “ SKY is ONLY the limit “, and today this award marks the beginning of a bigger dream”, said Charles Sarkis

Leader to Watch: Elodie Berthonneau

In the world of airlines, the next award recipient’s trajectory is nothing short of remarkable. From the early days as a ground agent their journey is a testament to dedication and prowess.

Her aviation story began with a brief stint at British Airways, but it was during her 14-year tenure with one of the largest Airline group that truly honed their skills in cargo sales, business development, and network planning. A seasoned professional, bringing a wealth of experience to their current company nine years ago, and making a significant impact in the Middle East, our next Leader to Watch, beyond all professional accomplishments, has a great sense of humor, a laser focus on results, and an unwavering commitment to their team’s success, emerges as an inspiring cargo leader as they continue to carve their path to success

The surprise element? She is not just a leader; she’s a trailblazing woman, fluent in four languages, effortlessly navigated the diverse landscapes of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, reshaping the future of aviation.

A mother of two, juggling executive roles abroad while raising a family is no small feat, yet she has mastered this delicate balance with grace and resilience.

Elodie Berthonneau, Qatar Airways, VP Cargo network planning and strategic partnerships, an inspiring cargo Leader to Watch!

This award celebrates an inspiring air cargo leader having worked with 3 major airlines in Europe, Asia and Middle East in the past 25 years. Starting with cargo sales and business development, Elodie Berthonneau has shown remarkable dedication and innovation, making her a standout leader with the potential to shape the future of air cargo logistics.

 “ I am truly thankful to receive the Leader to Watch Award. This award makes me realize how much I have accomplished indeed and motivates me to continue on that path along with colleagues and peers from the industry. I am committed to contribute and bring the required changes to this industry”, said Elodie Barthonneau.

Visionary Vanguard Award: Turgut Erkeskin

With a nearly four-decade-long career in the logistics industry, besides building his own forwarding company from scratch and running a successful business for 35 years, our Vanguard award recipient has assumed several roles at various NGOs and dedicated his career to the logistics industry on a global and national level.

A trailblazer whose forward-thinking initiatives have redefined the landscape of air cargo logistics. he has been at the forefront of innovative strategies and transformative ideas, propelling the freight forwarding industry into new and exciting directions. This award celebrates a visionary leader whose influence will continue to shape the future of logistics.

A lover of the seas, not only the skies, he enjoys boating in the Mediterranean with his family whenever time permits from his business and dedicated efforts to support the development and promotion of the logistics industry, designing its future through hard work, contributions, and achievements driven by an unconditional commitment to values which define his purpose: excellence, collaboration, innovation, inclusion, responsibility.

He has served at many prominent high-rank industry positions, is the President & CEO of GENEL TRANSPORT and as of lately, is now elected President of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations FIATA.

This award celebrates Erkeskin as a visionary leader whose influence will continue to shape the future of logistics.

I am deeply honored and humbled to receive the Visionary Vanguard Award. This recognition means a lot to me. Receiving this award reinforces my commitment to excellence and motivates me to strive for even greater accomplishments in the future.  I am truly fortunate to be a part of such an inspiring community”, said Turgut Erkeskin.

Life Achievement Award: Tushar Jani

Our Life Achievement Award recipient is a business entrepreneur and investor, is actively involved in various social welfare projects and is a passionate philanthropist. He believes in building organizations through building people, and he continues to give his leadership and guidance to his own teams in companies, entrepreneurs, industry associations, partners and to the community at large.

His journey in the logistics industry began over 40 years ago and has successfully founded and led many companies in varied areas of the logistics and supply chain sector, with a long and powerful CV of successes. He has been involved in prominent associations and of World Congress organising committees, like FFFAI, FIATA and TIACA to name a few.

He is the co-founder and former Chairman of “Blue Dart Express”, the International and Domestic Courier Company, and the Co-founder and Chairman of “Blue Dart Aviation”, the first private air cargo carrier in India. He is the Founder Chairman of the “Express Industry Council of India”, an association of all Courier and Express Cargo companies. He was also instrumental in setting up the Domestic and International Courier Common-user Terminals at the major India Airports, a first-of-its-kind private-public partnership.

Currently he is Chairman of CSC Group and SCA Group of Companies.

It is with great joy that we presented the Life Achievement Award to a true ACE, Tushar Jani, a stalwart in the air cargo logistics industry. This award honors his five decades-long dedication and impact, which have played a pivotal role in shaping the industry. He continues to give his leadership and guidance to his own teams in companies, entrepreneurs, industry associations, partners and to the community at large. Tushar Jani stands as a beacon of inspiration, leaving a legacy.

“I thank ACE for this very special recognition. I feel loved and humbled at the same time. My success is thanks to all my colleagues in my companies and my well-wishers in the industry. Our industry has finally been recognized for the critical role it has played for trade, economy and society over several decades and I am excited about what the coming decades promises to be”, said Tushar Jani.

The ACE Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony at Cafe del Mar provided an ideal setting to applaud these exceptional individuals and their significant impact on the air cargo landscape. The event underscored the importance of recognizing and honoring those who continue to elevate the industry through innovation, leadership, sustainability, diversity, and global collaboration.

About ACE

 ACE is an exclusive, by invitation only, premium networking event connecting experts, industry leaders, and bold innovators from the international air cargo logistics and freight forwarding sectors.

The event aggregates the industry’s most influential minds to discuss the latest innovations in air cargo business models, strategies, and technologies. Additionally, ACE provides an unequalled global platform for thought leadership, networking, and industry recognition for those driving the air cargo industry’s development and success.

ACE is organized by Air Cargo Plus and Change Horizon and is supported by TIACA, FIATA, Pharma.Aero, Neutral Air Partner, Women in Aviation and Logistics (WAL), and Meantime Communications.

For more information about the event please visit For media inquiries, please contact: Muriel Zographos at

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