Acro Tag

Jenny Carlino Q&A

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In our ongoing Q&A series, we’ve been talking to the main players that help ensure Acro continues to deliver first-class products year in, year out.

For our latest instalment, we sat down with General Manager for International Sales, Jenny Carlino. Jenny has been with Acro for 10 years, so we asked her to tell us more about what her role involves and how the industry has changed within that time.

Can you tell us a bit about what your role as General Manager for International Sales at Acro involves?

I’m responsible for leading the full sales cycle at Acro from start to finish – from conducting detailed market analysis through to identifying new business opportunities and providing effective revenue forecasting.

I also carry out regular business reviews which help to build on existing customer relationships within the business, with a particular focus on the European region.

How important are industry events such as AIX in helping you to continue achieving success within your current role?

AIX is very much the main event for our industry and remains a key focus for us as a team every year. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our full range of products to a wide range of existing and prospective customers from across the world – all within the space of three days.

There’s a lot of planning and resources involved in attending, but I always come away feeling that it’s a really valuable experience, especially having connected with acquaintances old and new in person. I know a lot of working can be done virtually but there is still no real alternative to meeting someone face to face.

You’re approaching your 10-year anniversary working with the team here at Acro – can you tell us a bit about your role when you first joined the business, and how the company has changed and grown within that time?

I joined Acro just as the company was growing its market presence. Since then, I’ve witnessed amazing growth, including new ownership and a new leadership team, and relocation to our new facility in Crick at the end of 2020. It’s been a great 10 years.

You started your career working for an Italian aircraft seating manufacturer – how did your work there lead you to become General Manager for International Sales at Acro?

Prior to joining Acro, I worked as a Senior Sales Manager with another firm in the aviation sector, so I already had extensive experience of the aircraft interiors industry. During this time, I became truly passionate about the aviation industry, so it was natural for me to seek a new role in the same sector when I moved over to the UK.

I think this experience also gave me a good grounding in understanding the different customs, approaches and expectations from different cultural backgrounds. For example, considering the appropriate ways to greet and interact with people in different cultures is an important thing in each new territory.

Are there any elements of your background working in economics and the public sector that prepared you for successfully navigating the international aircraft seating market and, if so, what are they?

I’m from Italy originally and chose to study for a degree in International Communications and then a master’s degree in European Studies and International Relations. So, my academic background allowed me to acquire and develop professional skills which helped me to navigate an international working environment.

It’s no coincidence that when I talk to colleagues within the company and the wider industry, we all have a passion for travel and exploring new places, which I also think naturally leads to an interest in working within this sector too.

Italian is my first language, but I am also fluent in English and Spanish, and I have a conversational competence in Portuguese which really helps in my role working across Europe. I also understand a bit of French and studied Japanese for a couple of years at university, but I’m still learning those languages so I’m not as confident.

Do you have any standout moments during your decade working with Acro that you can tell us about?

Being able to contribute to Acro’s growth through acquiring new customers during my time here is something I’m really proud of. I still get a buzz from signing new customers. For example, we recently managed to secure a large Airbus linefit project with a new customer who selected our Series 9 seat. Series 9 is currently Acro’s leading product – it is quickly gaining recognition as the leading economy class seat on the market and is in high demand. For me and the team, securing this type of partnership is the reason we come to work every day.

You were born and raised in Italy. What brought you to the UK and what do you miss the most about your life there – and what do you enjoy most about living in Britain?

Both my husband and I were seeking new professional challenges, so we moved to the UK where my husband had previously lived. I am happy here, but I do miss not living close to family and friends, that’s the main thing – oh, and the great Italian food and weather, of course.

However, the UK is a great place to live, offering a lot of opportunities for professional growth.

Alongside your work in driving sales here at Acro, you’re also a busy mum of young children too. It’s been duly noted that you do an amazing job of balancing these responsibilities with the international sales role you fulfil on behalf of Acro – so, what’s your secret?

Being successful in my job definitely involves navigating a balance between work and family life. Fulfilling my professional commitments can be challenging, especially when I need to travel to meet customers, but my husband is very supportive and Acro as an organisation is flexible too. One of the main secrets is the ability to prioritise tasks, together with staying positive, tough, and resilient too!