The ARK at JFK: ARK Import Export Center Announces Michael Falacara As COO

JFK veteran to oversee day-to-day operations and management of animal health, reception and quarantine terminal and associated ground handling operations at JFK International Airport

The ARK at JFK is pleased to announce that Michael Falacara, formerly COO of dnata USA, Aviation Services, will be joining its senior management team as Chief Operating Officer effective January 2, 2020. Mike will be responsible for day-to-day operations and interactions with air carriers, cargo agents, ground handlers and regulatory bodies to reinforce The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey/JFK Airport’s status as one of the U.S.’ premier airports for traveling animals.

“With over 30 years of air cargo and ground handling experience at JFK, we believe that Mike brings invaluable knowledge of air cargo and port operations to The ARK’s team of seasoned real estate, financial, marketing and animal handling professionals, says John J. Cuticelli, Jr. CEO and Founder of The ARK at JFK. After devoting the past eight years of my career to conceiving, designing, negotiating, developing, financing opening and ultimately operating The ARK, I am confident that Mike possesses the optimal combination of C-level management skills and intimate knowledge of this industry.  We are thrilled to have Mike representing The ARK within the JFK and PANYNJ community and to ensure that New York attends to the welfare of traveling animals, their companions and owners while working alongside government agencies to protect public health. This appointment reaffirms The ARK’s commitment to providing these essential services for all animals at JFK and beyond.”

The Racebrook management team of John Cuticelli, Chief Executive Officer and Alex Koppenheffer, Chief Investment Officer, remains in place. John and Alex are responsible for all aspects of real estate development and management for The ARK, including the evaluation of expansion opportunities to other international ports of entry. Elizabeth A. Schuette, ARK Import Export Center Managing Director, will oversee all business development, communication, PR and marketing functions as well as serving as the main ARK contact for Federal regulatory and supervisory agencies.   

Prior to The ARK at JFK, Mike was Chief Operating Officer for dnata USA, Aviation Services U.S. based operations responsible for managing over 3,000 employees, overseeing 7 discrete business lines that produced over $100MM in revenue with strong profitability. In this role, he coordinated ground handling for approximately 200 daily wide body international flights from over 45 different airlines at 17 U.S. airports. The position required strong execution skills and strict adherence to safety and compliance requirements. Before dnata, Mike held various senior level positions with ground handling, operations, equipment leasing and airline operators at JFK. 

“I am excited to be a part of this entrepreneurial company,” says Michael Falacara, new Chief Operating Officer at The ARK at JFK. “This is an opportunity to bring a niche business line to forefront of the aviation community here at JFK and beyond. I look forward to the challenge of moving the company to the next level and providing the array of services that The ARK operation offers to customers and airlines alike.”

Mike is a native of Long Island and presently lives with his wife and children in Massapequa.


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