Cooking and outdoor activities for this DFW executive

Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2022

As the Executive Vice President of Global Strategy and Development at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, John Ackerman leads the airport’s efforts to improve its global profile. In this role, he oversees the airport’s Airline Relations, Cargo, Research and Analytics, and Government Relations functions.

Ackerman who joined DFW in January 2015 leads the company’s efforts to raise its global profile through international air service and business development. He plays a key role in developing the Airport’s strategic plan, which focuses on being the premier gateway between Asia and Latin America for both passengers and cargo.

Before joining DFW airport, Ackerman worked as the Chief Commercial Officer at Denver International Airport, was a pilot and executive at United Airlines, and was a Senior Director of Product Management at Standard & Poor’s.

“I have been an aviation professional for virtually my entire career, with a roughly equal split between military aviation, airlines, and airports.While I started as a pilot, I found that combining my love of flying with the business of airports and airlines is where my true passion lies. I enjoy building things- teams, businesses, and strategies,” he tells Air Cargo Update.

His favorite pastimes include any outdoor activities.

“I like almost any outdoor activitydistance running and stand up paddleboarding as oen as possible, hiking and climbing in the mountains of Colorado whenever I can get away. I am also passionate about animals, and I am founate to serve on the board of two nonprofit organizations dedicated to
helping animals,” he shared.

Ackerman adores cooking because it grants him both freedom and creativity. Not to mention, with cooking comes eating—and who doesn’t love that?

Ackerman’s favorite quote is from American celebrity chef, author and travel documentarian Anthony Michael Bourdain.

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”

Bourdain’s inquisitiveness regarding various places and people he visited continue to inspire Ackerman to explore new opportunities. “I thoroughly enjoy learning and trying new things – when I travel, I return with an abundance of new friends, experiences, flavors and memories.”

If Ackerman wasn’t an aviation professional, he would have taken up the role as a banker.

“I would likely have pursued a career in banking if I had not discovered my passion for aviation. The beauty of the aviation industry is the vast array of potential positions – from airlines and airports to manufacturers and finance, there is a role to fit any interests and skillset.”

Ackerman eagerly anticipates being able to travel freely again, reconnecting with business colleagues globally and exploring new places, and having novel experiences.