Country of Origin
Country of Residence
Where are you from?
I am a combination of European & American. My family history is Swiss, German & a little bit of Latvian; we arrived in USA when I was a child, so I am an immigrant, myself, having arrived in USA at Idlewild on a KLM Lockheed Constellation.
What would you like to tell about yourself?
I consider myself a citizen of the world, having been to 123 countries (thus far) and having lived & worked on six continents (I have not yet found a job in Antarctica). I have been to the most popular places on earth and I have also been to 15 of the “25 least visited countries on earth” – and many places in between. I have sold aircraft (I am a former Vice President of Sales for Airbus), I have worked on the start-up, restructuring, privatization and management of airlines in some of the toughest situations (running the only lifeline to Mogadishu and five other cities in Somalia with 42 year-old Ilyushin-18 operated by Kazakh crews), to national airlines in Africa, Asia and Latin America, to the most opulent private jet services serving corporate CEOs, Sheikhs and celebrities. I have been CEO of a multibillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund, sat on Board of Directors of airlines, lessors, aircraft maintenance centers and training academies, represented governments, investment banks and investors. I have repossessed both automobiles and aircraft, the latter having earned me much notoriety for having been charged with “…having stolen a Boeing 767 aircraft from the gate at Suvarnabhumi International Airport [Bangkok], under cover of darkness….” More on “the Indiana Jones of Aviation” at the “About Tom” page of my blog, which can be found at http://tomronell.wordpress.com/about
What makes Tampere special for you?
The people, the culture, the history, the nature, the arts & sciences, the industriousness, positive energy and drive which one feels everywhere along with the warmth and welcome of the people.
Tell about your professional activities?
I have an unusually diverse background which includes a degree in Economics from the Wharton School, computer software sales, financial analysis, airline maintenance & engineering, worldwide aircraft marketing & sales, investment banking, sovereign wealth fund management and start-up, restructuring, privatization and management of airlines and private jet services in all parts of the world and in all kinds of environments.
What is your involvement in international activities?
I believe that the above has covered this topic?
What is your mission as a Tampere Ambassador?
To raise awareness of Tampere in the aviation and travel industries and to contribute to the growth in business travel and tourism to Tampere by interacting with airlines, travel organizations, government, corporations and media which can make it happen, thereby helping to strengthen and enlarge the economy of Tampere region and its role in the world economy, as well as securing the well-being and future of its citizens.
What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
Tampere has staked out a path for itself as a center for technological innovation through academic research and leading private enterprises, especially as concerns the Internet of Things and other technology. However successful Tampere can be in its aspirations, Tampere’s potential will be greater and in better position to accomplish and exceed expectations if the movement of people and goods to & from Tampere can be made more convenient and less costly.