The Pan Am Podcast

Episode 38: Dan Colussy, Pan Am's President and Chief Operating Officer in the 1970s

June 11, 2023 Pan Am Museum Foundation Season 2 Episode 38
The Pan Am Podcast
Episode 38: Dan Colussy, Pan Am's President and Chief Operating Officer in the 1970s
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Show Notes

In this episode we are joined by Dan Colussy who served as Pan Am’s President and Chief Operating Officer in the 1970s. Dan will share his experiences of working in the airline industry during a pivotal point in Pan Am history. This interview provides a unique look inside the workings of the  executive leadership of the airline in the 1970s. 

After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard after college, Mr. Colussy began his career in engineering at General Electric and then went on to work for American Airlines and Northeast Airlines in executive marketing positions before joining the prestigious advertising agency Wells, Rich and Green as Senior Vice President overseeing the Trans World Airlines account. 

As a result of a chance encounter seated next to the CEO of Pan Am on a TWA plane over the Atlantic, Mr. Colussy was hired by Pan Am in 1970 as Vice President of Marketing Development and in a short period of time was promoted to Senior Vice President of the same division.

In 1976, Mr. Colussy was promoted to Executive Vice President and was elected as a member of the Pan Am's Board of Directors. Two years later in May 1978, he was elected president and chief operating officer of Pan American World Airways by the company’s board of directors. William Seawell remained Pan Am CEO. 

Mr. Colussy left Pan Am in 1980 to pursue other opportunities in the airline and aerospace industries. A successful and respected businessman, among his many pursuits he served as chairman and CEO of Canadian Pacific Airlines and is the former Chairman of Iridium Satellite, which he took out of bankruptcy in 2000 and rebuilt into a global and profitable satellite network providing communications services for over one million customers worldwide.

Today, Mr. Colussy is the Chairman of Gemini Capital, a Venture Capital Fund investing in new technologies. 

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A very special thanks to Mr. Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC and president of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and Pan Am Brands for their continued and unwavering support!