Who We Are

Niall Cunningham

Chief Executive Officer

1_niallCommencing his business resume with Trans Aer in 1993, Niall Cunningham has 20 years experience in the Aviation Section, moving onto Shannon Aircraft Refinishing in 1997 as Managing Director. Niall maintained his role during the acquisition of SAR by Lufthansa Technik in 1999.

In 2009 Niall Cunningham led a management buyout of Lufthansa Technik Painting Shannon expanding the Company through the establishment of a base at Dublin Airport increasing the Companies capacity by 150% and further expansion followed through the acquisition of two new purpose built Hangars in Ostrava, Czech Republic adding a further 100% capacity to the original Company.

In tandem with this expansion additional Services and Products were offered through the establishment of a sister Company, Eirtech Aviation Services that offer Design Engineering Capabilities and Approvals, Production Organisation Approvals, CAMO Services and Technical Asset Management.


Peter Collins

Chief Operations Officer

Peter CollinsPeter commenced his aviation career in 1991 when he joined Shannon Aerospace. The subsequent 9 years saw Peter build on his experience in senior positions, both in Shannon Aerospace and later Shannon Aircraft Refinishing, before he joined Lufthansa Technik Painting in Shannon as Operations Manager in 1999.

Peter was an integral part of the management buy out and the formation of IAC alongside Niall Cunningham, he held the position of Operations Director from November 2009 to December 2013 becoming Chief Operations Officer in January 2014.

Drawing on his extensive experience in refinishing and complimentary services, Peter is responsible for operational projects and events across all facilities. Peter travels extensively to meet the strategic demands of our expanding customer base.


Ben Whelan

Group Resource Director

Ben WheelanBen joined IAC at the inception in late 2009. His background is in Finance and dates back 25 years with the majority of that experience firmly rooted in the aviation industry. He is a qualified CPA Accountant and holds a Degree in Business from the University of Limerick, he is currently completing a Masters in Quality Science & Lean Systems. Ben brings his wealth of expertise from Shannon Aerospace, Ulster Bank and the Saudi International Bank to the IAC portfolio.

Ben started his aviation career in Shannon Aerospace where he was promoted through the ranks of the Finance department to eventually becoming the Finance Manager, during his time in there he spearheaded their very successful Lean programme across the facility which has since permeated throughout the Lufthansa Technik group.

Ben is taking this knowledge to IAC as well as his expertise in creating systems and processes that are now standard across our company.


Iarla Hughes

Chief Financial Officer

Iarla-editedIarla joined IAC as Group CFO in September 2015 with over 12 years experience in senior financial management positions across EMEA and the Caribbean. Iarla started his career working for Cable & Wireless PLC, the largest subsea fibre company in the world. Iarla held a number of senior positions during a seven year period starting out as the Financial Controller for the Ireland business and moving on to be the Finance Director of the Europe, Middle East and Asia enterprise Division.

Iarla also acted as Finance Director for THUS plc (trading as Demon Broadband), a UK consumer broadband business which Cable & Wireless purchased from Scottish Power in 2008. In 2012 the Cable & Wireless Worldwide business was purchased by Vodafone plc with Iarla taking on a leading role with accountability for transitioning the EMEA, UK Mid Market and Ireland business into the Vodafone Group. During this period Iarla also acted as the General Manager for the Cable & Wireless Ireland business.

In 2014 Iarla moved to the Caribbean as CFO for Digicel, the largest telecommunications provider in the region.Iarla had financial responsibility for the purchase and integration of West Indies Video (WIV), a high speed broadband and Cable TV provider in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This was Digicel’s first move into TV and Broadband services in the Caribbean which was part of a strategic move to evolve the brand from been a Mobile GSM provider into 4G LTE, home & business highspeed broadband and best in class cable TV.


Rod Friese

Chief Operations Officer; The Americas

Rod FrieseRodney Friese is the Chief Operations Officer of IAC North America. He is a 28 year veteran of the aircraft painting industry, starting his career as an aircraft painter working for Boeing in the Puget Sound region. It was from this work experience that he launched his company Associated Painters into a leading and respected aircraft painting operation.

Rod owned and managed the company as the CEO for 20 years before being acquired by Leading Edge Aviation in March of 2013. Rod then assumed all operational responsibility for all Leading Edge and Associated Painters locations in North America. During this span he has worked on or been involved with the management of thousands of aircraft paint jobs ranging from small private aircraft to the highest profile jets flying in the skies today. Rod resides with his wife of 28 years in Spokane, Washington USA where he enjoys their Arabian horse farm, hunting and fishing.


Steve Pickering

SVP Aircraft Refinishing (EMA)

Steve Pickering IMG_1578Steve has a wealth of experience in the Aerospace Industry and has over twenty five years knowledge of the coatings and refinishes market. In his early career he worked in a technical capacity and then moved across to concentrate on a sales/operational role. He has vast experience with paint manufacturers and extensive product awareness.

Steve has worked with the majority of the main carriers in the airline industry alongside some of the top names in the motor sport industry. Since taking on his current role at IAC, Steve has further expanded his understanding of our customer requirements as we continue to expand our business and the facilities/services we are able to offer.


David Patterson

Executive Vice President (Sales – Americas)

David PattersonAs one of the Company’s first and longest-serving employees, Dave has been instrumental in transforming LE into the global partner of choice for today’s top airlines. During his 22 years with the company, Dave has developed relationships with virtually every major airline.

With a focus on delivering exceptional value while meeting even the most aggressive client deliverables, Dave has helped lead the company to record annual sales and profits.

Dave is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach.