Jacques Ancher, a visionary, innovative and creative leader who helped change the way air cargo was perceived in airline boardrooms around the world, is the 2014 recipient of TIACA’s Hall of Fame Award.

Jacques, who career spanned 40 years with the Dutch national airline, KLM, is the 49th air cargo industry executive to be honored by TIACA and will receive his award at the annual Hall of Fame Gala Dinner, held this year in Istanbul, Turkey, in April during the Association’s Executive Summit.

Joining KLM in 1961, he developed his career in both the freight and passenger divisions, working in Rome and Johannesburg as well as the Netherlands. In 1977, Jacques joined the Freight Marketing team and was quickly promoted to Head of Market Segments and Distribution. In 1981, he was appointed Head of Marketing for KLM.

After two more years as Head of Passenger Marketing and Sales and Deputy Manager of KLM in the Netherlands, in 1984 he commenced what would be a 17-year career in air cargo that saw KLM become one of the most respected, successful and innovative cargo carriers in the world. In 1987 he was promoted from his post as Head of Freight and Mail Marketing to become Director Freight.

In 1990, he took over as Executive Vice President of KLM Cargo, the airline’s global freight division and held this post until his retirement in January 2001.

Michael Steen, Chair of TIACA’s Chairman’s Council, said: “Airline cargo managers of today have a great deal to thank Jacques for because he did more than most to raise the value and importance of cargo to airline CEOs. He was a true business innovator, unafraid of taking risks to demonstrate the need for change if cargo was to remain relevant to scheduled passenger airlines. The changes he sought and engineered were designed to assure a viable, contributing air cargo business with a strong focus on customer service and quality performance. His professionalism extended well beyond KLM issues of the day and he understood that the industry as a whole had to evolve to survive. He sought to impact that change by personal example and conviction, making sure that his business was always in professional hands, recruiting the best and brightest staff he could find and empowering them to effect change and help air cargo reposition itself within KLM and by example, in other carriers as well.”

Under Jacques’ leadership, KLM Cargo was one of the first airline’s to segment products and dedicate specialists to handle them and also became a pioneer in using flexible outsourced freighter solutions to supplement capacity for use by its customers. He can also be credited with addressing the importance of integrated and transparent relationships which he knew required renewal on many levels and by doing so, he stimulated an industry wide recognition of the importance of air cargo to the business and financial well-being of all its participants.