Maria Deacon is senior vice president of technical operations at United Airlines. In this role, she oversees United’s maintenance operations, ground service equipment and facilities maintenance, supply chain, technical services and planning and strategy.
Maria also helps shape the continued growth and investment in United’s Calibrate apprenticeship program, helping the airline expand and diversify its next generation of maintenance employees.
Prior to joining United, Maria served as GE Aerospace’s general manager of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) where she was responsible for delivering revenue across a mix of more than two dozen global GE and partner sites worldwide.
As general manager of CFM Services at GE before that, she oversaw the financial aspects of the largest in-service fleet in commercial aviation and the joint venture relationship for all CFM and LEAP engine services.
Maria holds a CPA from the University of Cardiff in Wales, U.K. and is a certified investment management accountant.
Kurt A. Carpenter is United’s vice president of technical operations planning and strategy. In this role, Kurt is responsible for airframe overhaul and repair, base maintenance planning and execution, line maintenance planning, performance and analytics, reliability, maintenance control, continuous improvement, and process standardization and strategy. He also maintains the long-term strategy for future airframe maintenance requirements and is a key contributor to associated fleet decisions.
Kurt joined United in 2017 as managing director of technical operations mobility. Prior to joining United, Kurt was vice president of maintenance and engineering for Allegiant Air from 2011 to 2017, and he served as director of maintenance at Allegiant from 2008 to 2011. Kurt also held a wide range of maintenance and engineering positions with ATA Airlines from 1985, when he started as a technician, to 2008, when he was director of heavy maintenance.
Rodney currently serves as the Vice President of Maintenance Operations for United, which includes Line Maintenance and Technical Operations Maintenance Control (TOMC). Previous to his July 2021 promotion, Rodney served as managing director for Line Maintenance, which includes nearly 5,000 technicians at 48 stations around the world.
Before leading the Line Maintenance organization, Rodney was managing director of aircraft maintenance for the IAH hub and Central Region. Before that, he served as managing director of Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System (CASS), with responsibility for ensuring our maintenance program was effective in providing safe and reliable operations. While in this role, his organization played a significant role in achieving an FAA-approved Safety Management System and a Single Operating Certificate following the 2010 United-Continental merger.
Rodney earned his Airframe and Powerplant Certification in 1985 from Colorado Aero Tech and joined Continental in DEN, moved to LAX as a maintenance supervisor and then Houston (HOU/IAH) where he started the RAMS (Recovery and Maintenance Specialists) team. Rodney went on to hold positions as a shift manager and senior manager. During his tenure at IAH, he was recruited to serve as director of Reliability Engineering. “That was a huge turning point for me,” Rodney said. “My whole career up to that point had been about turning wrenches on airplanes. This change in career paths gave me a better understanding of the why and how we produce safe and reliable airplanes.”
Rodney is a certified Six Sigma black belt. He also is United’s FAA-designated Director of Maintenance.
Tarundeep serves as the vice president of supply chain planning for United. In this role, he oversees the supply chain planning organization which has 2,000 employees and includes the warehousing and distribution group, component and engine overhaul and repair, and provisioning, repair services, and rooling teams. He will jointly lead United’s relationships with some of the company’s largest suppliers for engines and component maintenance.
Tarundeep started at United in 2007 as a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt and later served in Contact Centers as manager of customer solutions, in Airport Operations as senior manager of continuous improvement, and in Finance as director of business and technology resource strategy. He joined Tech Ops in 2015 as director of process improvement and project management and took on his current role in July 2019.
Tarundeep earned his bachelor’s degree in Production and Industrial Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering in India, and his master’s in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Prior to joining United, he was an Advance Industrial Engineer and Lean Six Sigma Coach for the Supply Chain and Distribution division of the 3M Company.
John Wiitala is vice president of technical services for United, the world’s leading airline. He is responsible for the technical groups that support United’s aircraft configurations, operations, and maintenance. These technical support groups include engineering, inspection, quality assurance, reliability, maintenance programs, technical publications, and aircraft records.
Prior to this role, Wiitala was managing director of product and service engineering. He joined the company in 1992 and held a number of engineering jobs throughout the organization including director of engineering and managing director of project engineering.
Wiitala began his aviation career in 1988 in project engineering at Aircraft Modular Products in Miami, Florida.
Wiitala received his Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Iowa. He is married and has two children.