SUNY Oswego School of Business faculty member Efstathios (Stathis) Kefallonitis recently was named a fellow in two prestigious British royal societies, but he is quick to deflect the honors to acknowledge what the college allows him to do.

The associate professor of marketing and management earned recognition as a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), and a Fellow of the Royal Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Both recognize the very best in the field, and "it is considered an award and an honor to be elected a fellow of both of these esteemed British institutions," Kefallonitis said.

"Throughout my education, one of my drivers in life is to give back," Kefallonitis said. It is something he has done since his youngest school days, and what led to these distinctions, he added.

Becoming an Oswego faculty member in 2011 proved an outstanding match between the institution's mission and his own. "Oswego is really well known for service to not only the local area but the world," Kefallonitis noted. “Since I joined Oswego, service to the community has been part of my mission. It's something I use in each and every class I teach."

He has engaged his classes in local, national and international projects with partners that include the Boeing Company, Syracuse Airport Authority, CNYArts, Greater Oswego County Chamber of Commerce, Landmark Theatre and Oswego Farmers Market, among others.

High honors

The RSA honor recognized "my contribution to the air transport industry and my professional standing," Kefallonitis explained. Its 28,000 fellows over the years have included the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Charles Dickens, Adam Smith, Stephen Hawking, Tim Berners-Lee and Judi Dench, "who support the RSA's mission to enrich society through ideas and action," according to the organization's website.

The CIM is "the world's largest marketing institution, recognizing overall contributions to the field of marketing," Kefallonitis said. The honor recognizes experience, achievements, awards and leadership status in the field.

Kefallonitis' scientific expertise lies in neuromarketing, biometrics, consumer behavior and brand engagement. He validates his research through various applications in the air transport and hospitality industries.

His schooling in the United Kingdom includes a Ph.D. in aviation marketing management from Cranfield University and a master's degree in design futures from Goldsmiths-University of London specializing in airline corporate identity design. Kefallonitis also was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in brand experience management at the London College of Communications, University of the Arts London, and has completed programs of study in neuromarketing at University College London and Cornell University's Management Institute.

Kefallonitis initiated the Centre for Competitive Creative Design in 2008 in partnership with Cranfield University and the University of the Arts London. Business Week listed this center as one of the eight best innovative centers in the world.

Besides his academic responsibilities at Oswego and as a Visiting Fellow at the London College of Communication at the University of the Arts London, Kefallonitis is the founder and president of LLC, a customer engagement and brand experience consultancy.

"I want to thank Oswego for this support and encouragement, as well as my schools in the UK for nominating me for the awards, and the industry for allowing me to implement my way striving for improvements," he said.

Taking flight

Kefallonitis' Rich Hall office includes small trays with cups and serving containers he has designed for airlines as well as scale-model airliners, tangible totems of his status as a top design consultant for the industry.

He has directed projects with air transport regulators, catering and onboard hospitality providers, and numerous airlines and airports. He has also been active in facilitating conference presentations, workshops and presentations in partnership with GateGroup (the world's largest hospitality and catering company), the Airline Passenger Experience Association, the International Flight Services Association, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services and the Aircraft Interiors Expos. Kefallonitis has authored textbooks and served as an examiner for the International Air Transport Association. He is a regular contributor to air transport trade and business publications, with his own guest column at Passenger (PAX) International magazine and ongoing contributions to the Onboard Hospitality periodical.

Among his accolades, Kefallonitis has been a keynote speaker for a number of airline industry conferences and has been featured in a special aviation issue of the New York Times in 2014, as well as many other trade publications.