Our team

Here at APOC Aviation, we surround ourselves with experienced, bright, and industry-passionate people.

We seek to build and maintain a professional, diverse, and motivated team focused on growing our business by providing superior client-focused services. We are a team of passionate industry leaders who are always ready for the next big challenge.

Our executive team

Founder & CEO

Max Lutje Wooldrik

“I love to see things evolve into something better. From nothing to something.”

Max Lutje Wooldrik is a serial entrepreneur and the driving force behind APOC.

 

Your background:

I started my first company at 21, a website that sold mobile subscriptions to students. By the age of 25, I had set up my second business, a telecommunication company. After that, there were several software businesses involved in IT, software, apps, and educational software. All of these were a precursor to APOC, which I started in 2014.

Why did you start APOC?

I was awarded my pilot’s licence in 2009 and the love of flying inspired me to sell the telecoms company in 2011 and get involved in the world of aviation. Halfway through working on my bizjet pilot’s licence I came across the aircraft parts business and realised that this was where I wanted to get involved.

Why should a customer come to APOC?

We have heard from multiple sources that with APOC, you always get what you want and what you need. We are only human, we make mistakes, but we learn from them, we fix them, we take responsibility. We stand for tailor-made, customised services, and not many companies can offer that. Of course, aviation is a very regulation-driven industry, but if we can make it less bureaucratic, we will do so.

How has the company changed in the last two years?

We went from being a start-up to a scale-up and we now have a broad spectrum of resources to rely upon, together with a group of committed investors. We have structured the business strategically and implemented many processes, but we are constantly improving.

What was the turning point for the company’s growth?

Opening our landing gear division in Lithuania and cultivating the leasing side of the business. We saw a demand in the market, and we tailored ourselves to fit. APOC is always ready to consider new opportunities.

Who is the ideal employee for APOC? What are you looking for in them?

The ideal employee is self-motivated, someone who comes up with ideas and solutions to problems, instead of creating problems.

What keeps you going?

I love to see things evolve into something better. From nothing to something.

What is the dream?

For APOC to become a European aviation supplier with the highest rate of customer satisfaction.

Hobbies/passions/motto:

A lot: flying, kite surfing, boating, paragliding, chess, whiskey! Travel and good food.

What example are you setting for your employees?

Fun is also an important part. It’s not all about work. You should also enjoy life.

CFO

Barry Lemmers

“I love numbers. Numbers don’t lie”

Barry Lemmers Joined the company in 2018, bringing with him over twenty years of experience in finance along with a significant number of successfully fulfilled projects in the field of company acquisition and process streamlining. During his time onboard, APOC has already tripled in size while securing a major shareholder to the business.

Your background:

I started my career in EY (auditing firm) while I was still in college and worked there for 7 years. During my time with EY, my main activity was working directly with financial institutions – banks, insurance companies, etc. Eventually, I came to a point where I had to decide if I wanted to continue with EY, eventually becoming a partner, or develop my career somewhere else. At that point, I decided to stretch my wings and see what lay beyond.

At first, I tried internal auditing, but I soon discovered that it wasn’t for me. I then moved to the role of business controller for a Dutch bank, where my main duty was to supply relevant (financial) information designed to enable better business decision-making. This role allowed me to feel fully involved and invested in the company.

After a couple of years in this position, I was given a chance to join the Transaction Services team in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). This role proved tremendously exciting as I had the chance to work on various transactions that you only usually read about in the media. This was an incredibly steep learning curve; tight deadlines, access to highly confidential information, in-depth analysis tasks, and reporting findings. All making the job both fun and rewarding.

The role involved learning about various company structures, and various business models, and also involved much travel. However, the downside for me was that the really interesting part of the acquisition process comes only after the analysis and reporting have been completed. I rarely got to experience the full process in practice – the integration, the business planning, and the development of critical business strategies. This was something I felt I was missing.

My final project with PwC led to my next challenge. The CFO of the company with whom we were advising asked me to join the company to help him, amongst others, improve processes and financial reporting. In other words: bring the finance department to a higher level. And that is what I did for the next 4,5 years. During that period, I successfully integrated the company’s finance departments in The Netherlands and Belgium.

My next job came with the appointment of my first role as CFO, where, in addition to finance, I was also responsible for HR and IT– streamlining, automating, and standardising. During my tenure, the company grew significantly in size and operations.

After another 4.5 years, I joined yet another company – APOC – where my function is to prepare the company for the significant growth to come.

Why APOC?

After 4,5 years, I felt it was time to once again move on and find something new. Through a mutual relation, I came across APOC. After a couple of meetings with Max, his vibrant enthusiasm and the excitement in his voice when he spoke got me interested in the company and the entire industry. I have always liked and admired companies that build something, own something or create something.

When I joined in 2018, the factor that stimulated me most working for APOC, was that we were just at the beginning of the road. It was a growing company, a company with goals and a company with a journey to undertake. As the company was fast-growing, I determined that this company would not make the same mistakes in the development process – as I had witnessed in my previous roles. Working in a still relatively small company was a big step outside of my comfort zone. Armed with confidence and enthusiasm, I felt that this was a company bound for enormous success, and I wanted to be part of the journey.

We are now on track and have in our care a $100 million company to nurture and continue to grow.

Was becoming a CFO a dream of yours?

Not really a dream, but I always had the ambition to become a CFO before my 40th birthday, and I made it.

Why finance?

Numbers don’t lie. I decided to enter the world of finance after I finished high school. I specifically opted for accountancy because I thought if you become an accountant, you not only work with numbers – which I liked – but it also provides you with a good start to your career and enables you to see many different companies from the inside.

Why should a customer come to APOC?

I think it’s because we strive for excellence. We’re honest, and we don’t make promises that we cannot keep. We have processes and tools to fully understand the market, in conjunction with our attention to impeccable customer service.

It would be impossible to say that we never make mistakes. We do. But we are honest about them, take responsibility for them, and learn from them, making sure they never happen again.

How did the company change in two years?

The process of change has started, but it is far from done yet.

We are still looking to expand our portfolio. Every day, we realise that we need to move the company another step forward. Making it better, more efficient, more fun to work for. A process that will never be finished. We believe that you can always do better. If you are ambitious like we are, there is always some work to be done, some new improvements to be made, and some new goals to reach.

What was the turning point for the company’s growth?

Two major events acted as catalysts for growth.

Firstly, we decided to enter the landing gear and engine leasing market. For that, you need experts, along with more cash to buy assets. It was the trading and leasing route that kept us afloat and brought a steady supply of income during the Covid pandemic. Without this income, life would have been much more difficult. With hindsight, it’s fair to say that the strategic decision we made three years ago was a very sound one.

Secondly, the involvement with our shareholder, Egeria, has proven decisive in our plan to grow the company. Initially, we were striving to find external financing through informal investors and crowdfunding. Once we started to look for equity funding, we came into contact with Egeria. Their support with knowledge and funding opened up a whole new path for all of us.

Who is an ideal employee for APOC? What are you looking for in them? What quality do all employees have in common?

In short, we look for people with ambition. I wouldn’t want to have an employee who sits comfortably at their desk, day after day, without showing any ambition. That person has to have the desire to improve the company, to improve himself/herself. You also need to be a nice colleague to work with, a team member. We need to trust each other, rely on each other, work closely together, and have fun together too. Our employees need to gel closely with the team, and so far, I think we have succeeded in making that happen.

What is bigger – the company or the employee?

The company comes first. Sometimes that means that you need to put the company’s interest before yours. But, we cannot forget about the interests of the employees. If you want your employees to act in the company’s interest, you have to think about their interests too. You cannot expect employees always to choose a company’s interests over their own. Otherwise, you will lose your best employees first.

Are you a good CFO?

I think so. But I can always do better.

How do you make sure that you win?

I do my very best every day to win, but I don’t always win. One thing is important – you should know how to lose too. You should know how to deal with setbacks and how to react when things go wrong. If you deal with disappointment in the right way, you can only improve yourself.

Hobbies/passions:

Golf, sailing, family, friends.

How is success measured? How do you measure success?

I am a CFO. I like numbers, so part of my success can be found in numbers, but I am also responsible for HR, and in this role, you can’t use only numbers. So, even though I like and trust numbers, sometimes you have to trust your feeling as well.

How would someone write about your life for a magazine or newspaper? How would they describe you?

I am a hard-working, honest, no-nonsense kind of guy. If you messed up, be open, tell me, and we will fix it.

What can you give to employees?

Work satisfaction. When people are happy with their job, when they get fair compensation for what they do, have enough challenges, and work on a variety of projects, you create satisfied employees.

How do you find aviation?

It’s a fun and exciting industry. I like the people and the fact that it is an international industry. It is also an evolving and creative field, something that became evident during the COVID pandemic.

Executive Assistant

Suzanne Vogtschmidt

“If I didn’t have a good relationship with colleagues, I would stop. This is the most important thing for me.”

Suzanne joined the team in 2015 with plenty of previous experience in large international companies. Since then, she has been managing APOC’s growing team, keeping them together, and helping Max not to lose his mind on a daily basis.

Your background: education/previous industries you worked in/the last position before joining the aviation:

I had always thought that I wanted to study law, however, after finishing high school the idea no longer stimulated me. My idea was to go to France and become part of an Au Pair programme – my father was not so keen on the idea. So, I listened to him and chose something regarded as being ‘more suitable’ – secretarial studies at the best private high school in the Netherlands. We agreed that I would finish my studies, and then go to France. But, somewhere in between, I fell in love and stayed.

Across the span of my career, I have worked with many large multinational companies, such as CANON Europe and NOKIA.

After having both my children, I joined NBBE where I remained for 8 years. Later, I joined a cybersecurity company, FOX IT.

How did you come along APOC?

I wasn’t actively looking for a job at the time, but a friend informed me that a company was looking for a secretary, so I went for an interview. After a handshake with Max, I knew I would stay here. It was an immediate connection.

What do you think is your biggest impact?

Once, I was told that I am like a social glue and that I can lighten up the room. I get along with everybody: I try to keep everyone together, despite their differences. For Max, I am his organiser, his diary, his agenda keeper; I give peace to his life and make it less chaotic. It comes naturally. I don’t have to try hard, and I like the process very much.

Why should a customer come to APOC?

We’re an open-minded company, especially Max. Max is APOC. Initially, it was very easy to keep the company atmosphere alive when there were only 6 people involved. Now we are growing, and I sincerely hope that we can keep the atmosphere alive throughout that growth and beyond. What attracts customers to APOC, I believe, it’s the personal touch and the personal approach to the customer.

The strongest side of APOC?

The whole industry is the real advantage. Aeroplanes, flying – working in this industry gives you a unique set of opportunities.

What keeps you going?

If I didn’t have a good relationship with my colleagues, I would stop. That is the most important thing for me. Also, the connection with Max.

A funny/motivational/encouraging story from your life/work/APOC:

I always say that I want everybody to be themselves. There are so many different people around, it is important to remain individual.

Anything else you think is relevant to the topic?

I would like to have all our team stay together and continue looking in the same direction.

Technical Manager

John Plasmans

VP Operations

Karim Grinate

“Aviation was always the thing I wanted to do in my life. I even used to clean planes as a side job during my studies.”

With over 10 years of experience in the field and through working for major airlines, Karim Grinate joined the team in 2019. He now leads the Component Sales division and, at the same time, continues to move the company forward with his innovative ideas and professional attitude as a VP of Operations.

 

Your background – education/previous industries you worked in/the last position before joining aviation:

My first job was working at the biggest newspaper in the Netherlands. My primary responsibility was to prevent readers from cancelling their subscriptions. And honestly, I was good at it. I was really triggered by meeting the target.

My first real job in aviation came in the customer service department at KLM Cargo. While taking on bookings to fill the cargo space, my commercial approach and acumen were noticed by the Sales Director, who offered me the first available Sales Manager position that became vacant.

I always had a different approach to customer service than my colleagues, which I believe was the reason for my success at Air France, KLM, Martinair Cargo. After 3-4 years, I joined Qatar Airways as Regional Cargo Sales manager, and later Oman Air as Senior Manager Cargo for Europe.

Why aviation?

Aviation was always the thing I wanted to do in my life. I even used to clean planes as a side job during my studies. Large aircraft, dynamics, and I, never liked a 9-5 schedule.

Why APOC?

I always go for a challenge. After the meeting with team members, especially Max, I thought – let’s do this.

Why should a customer come to APOC?

We always deliver what we promise. We have efficient processes in place. We love all customers, no matter the tier. A diverse team in terms of knowledge and experience. We possess a good sense of the market.

Hobbies/passion/motto:

I am a family man, so my free time is spent with my kids or playing football.

What keeps you going?

Aviation vs sales, both dynamic. I love big projects, I like budgets, I like targets. I need to be constantly challenged. I need a target that can be materialised, and I am to be the one who can make it happen. That’s me.

Anything else you think is relevant to the topic?

There is a happy marriage happening between myself and APOC. There is a very bright future ahead, and there is a lot to achieve. We are just taking baby steps right now, but so many massive projects coming that will amaze the industry.

VP Engine Trading and Leasing

Anca Mihalache

Aviator by blood. “Aviation is like a second family to me, and I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.”

Anca Mihalache joined the APOC team in 2019 with a solid engine management background under her belt. Responsible for developing a leasing platform for APOC, she covers a complete spectrum of management solutions and leads a team of professionals with passion and dedication. Anca has a blog where she shares her experiences of being a woman in the business world.

 

Your background – education/previous industries you worked in/the last position before joining aviation:

I hold two bachelor’s degrees, one in International Trade and Marketing and the other in PR. Previously I worked as a brand manager in the biggest Romanian news trust and then started working in aviation. Initially, I worked at my father’s company Aero Care, then at Vallair, where I was involved in trading and leasing aircraft and engines. After my role at Vallair, I joined the team at APOC.

As VP of Engine Trading at APOC Aviation, I lead the engine trading division. I am responsible for developing the leasing platform for APOC Aviation, fostering relationships with airlines, investors, and repair shops; managing engine sales; trading engines with leases attached or as naked assets; and evaluating engine stock for trading, leasing, or teardown.

Why aviation? Was there something or someone who motivated you to seek a career in this field?

My father is an aircraft engineer who instilled in me a deep interest in aviation. He shared with me his love for the industry, something which I now totally understand.

Why APOC?

Simply because the team at APOC is absolutely amazing. Working for this company is not really working but more like spending time with your family. Also, it is a very fast-growing company, and the opportunities are endless.

Why should a customer come to APOC?

Because we are very professional, we have a dedication to excellent customer support, and we are always very positive.

Hobbies/passion/motto:

I love doing Zumba, going out in the city, travelling, and doing charity work.

What keeps you going?

My family, love for my job, and the fact that I have such great life.

A funny/motivational/encouraging story from APOC:

Friday afternoon drinks in the office are the best way to finish the week.

VP Landing Gear Trading and Leasing

Karolis Jurkevicius

“It was pretty boring… until Landing Gears came along. It was love at first sight.”

Karolis Jurkevicius joined the team in 2018 with more than 15 years of experience in sales and project management. Since joining, Karolis is the one who introduced the LDG leasing service, increased warehouse capacity 10 times, and was announced as the best supplier by our biggest customers.

 

Your background: education/previous industries you worked in/the last position before joining aviation:

In one guise or another, all of my life I have been working in sales. I must say, even though I was always far more interested in work than studies, my transport engineering education helped me a lot during my career considering the industries I worked for. Before aviation, it was used trucks, then construction machinery.

I landed my first aviation job in 2016 and was involved in component sales, right up until my first Landing Gear project – it was then that everything fell into place.

It happened that I had to learn practically everything alone, in my previous company LDG products proved unpopular – it was complex and took much time to get results. However, for me, I found it very interesting, also it has proven beneficial for me and my future career.

Why aviation?

I never even dreamt of aviation. The target was to get into an international company with an active global market. Then, a colleague of mine offered me an opportunity to give it a try, and here I am. I am motivated by the value of deals – often, decisions in this unique industry rely on speed and not price.

Why APOC?

After a couple of years in aviation, I wanted to quit. I felt burned out and needed a break. And then I met Max in the bar during one of the conferences. I liked his overall approach to business and life. He gave me full freedom and responsibilities, exactly what I was looking for.

Why should a customer come to APOC?

We always aim to deliver what is promised and provide the highest quality of service possible. We are not perfect – we are an organism and are learning by doing. We own what we sell. We take risks so our customers don’t have to. We are always playing with open cards.

Hobbies/passion/motto:

Motorcycles. Cannot work without music in my ears. Sports – watching and playing.

And the motto: F1= -F2. Newton’s Law. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Act the way you want others to act with you. Give what you expect to receive from others. Everything I do, I expect the same from others.

What keeps you going?

Family. Freedom to travel. Constant movement forward. Every day with every new client, with every new meeting, I learn something new, and every day I realise that there is so much left to learn. I will leave aviation when there will be nothing left to learn… which is, never.

A funny/motivational/encouraging story from your work:

During one exhibition, I bumped into a guy and had a 10-minute chat with him. That conversation brought us our most profitable customer. So, every meeting counts. That is why online platforms will never replace face-to-face meetings.

VP Airframe Acquisition and Trading

Jasper van den Boogaard

“With an interest in all technical areas, I initially considered studying car mechanics,  now I’m hooked to the vibrant international life of aircraft trading.”

Jasper van den Boogaard joined APOC in 2017, bringing with him over 10-years of experience in aircraft leasing management and aircraft appraisals, covering both technical and financial aspects. At 22 years of age in 2007, he wrote a thesis on economic cycles that proved correct when the financial crisis struck in 2008. Since then Jasper’s financial model for aircraft appraisals and return-on-investment calculation has been used successfully for lease cashflow and asset acquisitions.

Your background – education/previous industries you worked in/the last position before joining aviation:

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Engineering, an Honour’s degree in Aviation Management, and a Master’s degree in Air Transport Management.

My journey in aviation started after I joined SGI, an aircraft lease management company. Within 8.5 years, I was covering all aspects of aircraft management – from technical support and financial evaluations, bringing aircraft back to service, and lease transitions. That in-depth experience was a great advantage when I moved to aircraft trading.

Why APOC?

It was a new, exciting opportunity and I brought a skill that the Company needed, I wanted to be a part of the growth, and I enjoy complex, exclusive, and difficult challenges.

Why should a customer come to APOC?

We consistently deliver on our promises, and we provide high-quality services supported by a strong, trustworthy team of professionals. Besides taking pride in our work, we enjoy working together with our customers and developing long term business relationships.

Hobbies/passion/motto:

Mountainbiking and racing cycling. For relaxation and peace of mind, I spend a lot of time in the forest with my family where I have a cabin.

What keeps you going?

At APOC my focus is on arranging deals and piecing everything together to make them work. There are so many smart individuals in this industry that share a mutual passion for aviation and they bring their own unique perspectives. The opportunity to work together and do business on a daily basis is priceless.

SVP Business Development Americas

Kevin Wall

“I have made a lot of good friends in the industry. Customers became my friends & friends became customers. That is what I love about aviation”

Based in the new APOC office in Miami from early 2022, Kevin will be positioned to fully dedicate his attention to the region. Bringing over 35 years’ experience dealing with customers in the Americas, he will build brand awareness and market share for APOC.

 

Your background – education/previous industries you worked in/the last position before joining aviation:

I have spent 35 years in the industry in forward-facing positions. Most recently as Chief Commercial Officer & Deputy CEO at Dublin Aerospace.
I was born and raised in Ireland, but after attending university in Limerick I moved to the Netherlands and started working for Fokker where I spent 10 years. Then I moved to Lufthansa, where I spent the next 20+ years.

Why aviation?

I got an opportunity in the early 1980s to join the OEM, Fokker, when two brand new types of aircraft were being developed. I found the interface between electronics and avionics very interesting. Once you start in aviation, you catch the bug, and you never go back!

Why APOC?

I encountered Max and the APOC brand some time ago and was impressed by the dynamic attitude and the refreshing approach towards doing business at the Company. The growth of APOC since its inception some five years ago has been quite impressive and has attracted favourable attention from both the industry and investors alike. I am delighted to come on board with the APOC team at this exciting time in its development.

Hobbies/passion/motto:

I love playing golf, and as a younger man I used to ride horses. I enjoy classic British cars and have rebuilt my 46-year-old Triumph from scratch.

What keeps you going?

I am very passionate about what I do, and I love meeting people. The aviation industry brings the two together. I could never work for a company that only sells volume instead of high value products. It would not give me the same fulfilment.

Anything else you think is relevant to the topic?

I am confident we will see APOC grow to new heights and will welcome many more customers to the APOC family as we strive to become the number one choice for support.