For over 50 years, Horizon Air Freight has kept the world’s fleets shipshape and on-schedule with marine logistics by air, land, and sea — providing onboard delivery in over 350 ports globally. Our success is in part due to our solid foundation of “old-world” values including trust, persistence, grit, and care: those established early on by our founder Anthony Leondis in 1970.
Though the roots of this legacy remain intact, over time, we’ve added crucial influxes of “new blood” as our company has grown. (This includes individuals who are now “long-timers”: Bridget Aglio, Alex Durante, James Gassert, Pixie Gibbs, John, Alex and Steve Leondis, George Savich, and Rosemarie Susino, plus several young recruits from the Merchant Marines.) Bringing in team members from different generations allows us to develop new talent, while keeping our business forward-thinking.
We are excited and proud to recognize another recent batch of young talent in our company. We look forward to nurturing long and rewarding careers of growth for these individuals, and expanding into new horizons with their help!
Gamze Almaz is Account Manager at Horizon Air Freight, working in our Jamaica, NY office. Her education in Economics and Business Administration — combined with her previous experience at MTS Logistics — has equipped her to excel at Horizon. Outside of work, Gamze enjoys swimming, exercising, and other outdoor activities, as well as cooking, theater, travel, and learning foreign languages and history.
Why Gamze is committed to Horizon: “Horizon Air Freight is an amazing company to work at in a lot of ways. First of all, it is a family-based company and it makes me feel like I am part of that family, instead of just an employee. I know I am validated and valued by the organization, and I feel motivated, appreciated, and important. I am committed to Horizon because I know I can grow with the company and feel a real connection there.”
What her team leader, Alex Durante, has to say: “Gamze was first hired back in August of 2021 and has been one of the most valuable members of my team ever since. What impresses me the most about Gamze is that she migrated from Turkey to the United States five years ago and did not know any English, nor was she familiar with American culture. Gamze’s progress from a cultural and professional standpoint is nothing short of remarkable.
“When Gamze was hired, I personally spent a few months training her on cruise logistics. Within a few weeks, I was very surprised how quickly she began to learn the business and absorb all that I was teaching her. Cruise logistics is not only a very niche industry, but it is one of the hardest businesses to service, due the complexity of the logistical requirements. Gamze has risen to the occasion and has exceeded all expectations tenfold.
“I strongly believe Gamze has a bright future at Horizon, and will continue to grow professionally into a true manager one day.”
A word from our leader, Steve Leondis: “Gamze has developed into a critical and essential point of contact and operator for our clients. She is dedicated to each move and task, working after hours to ensure the clients get what they need, exactly when they need it.”
Sheryl Crespo is Director of Technology and Engineering, currently stationed at our Jamaica, NY location. She came to us with a B.A. in Computer Science from Columbia University, and extensive experience conducting machine learning research in both government and the pharmaceutical realm. She has also built and managed an engineering team from the ground up, and led software engineering efforts for Nielsen’s sports vertical. Outside of work, Sheryl is a fan of traveling, video games, creating costumes, reading, and dance.
Why Sheryl is committed to Horizon: “When I joined in 2021, I knew that I was entering a space where technology had not yet caught up to the needs of the industry – and I knew that I could help bring about real change to offset that deficit. I’m committed to making Horizon a technical leader in logistics.”
What her team leader, Dave Rector, has to say: “As director of engineering and technology, Sheryl is leading the digital transformation at the company. Her technical knowledge, creative solutions, and desire to not only maintain, but improve, the premium level of client service that separates Horizon from the competition is what sets Sheryl apart. Currently, Sheryl is focused on expanding her team and planning to integrate additional acquisitions.”
A word from our leader, Steve Leondis: “Sheryl is a huge asset to Horizon. I am extremely impressed with her dedication each and every day to our IT journey and development. When it came time to push the large scale changes through, she selflessly changed her and her teams’ working hours to ensure they could interface 24/7 with our vendors and programmers.”
Alex Levine works in our New York Routing department. His retail background and combined education in Sociology (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) and Media & Communications (SUNY Old Westbury) make him an admirably even-keeled and adaptable team player. Outside of work, his interests include real estate, hockey (New York Islanders), and soccer.
Why Alex is committed to Horizon: “Horizon has, for over 50+ years, been providing marine logistics and keeping vessels moving. I’m proud to be a part of one of the most trusted companies in the US — as well as globally — in the industry, with continued growth through our values and trust of our customers to get the job done.”
What his team leader, Rosmarie Susino, has to say: “Alex has been with Horizon just over one year now, training in our foreign routing department. In such a short time, Alex has learned a lot and has become one of our Routing Specialists. He is a dedicated worker who always gets the job done. Alex is always willing to take on something new or help a teammate when needed. He has a calm personality, never complains, and has truly proven to be a team player. We are so glad to have him on our team.”
A word from our leader, Steve Leondis: “Alex has become a critical member of our routing team – his diligence ensures our clients are satisfied and that his continued growth puts him on track to lead his own team.”
Jon Martin is Senior Software Engineer, currently located in Staten Island, NY. His BS in Computer Science from CUNY College of Staten Island, combined with his previous development and process work at Nielsen Sports, have equipped him as a vital addition to our technology team. Outside of work, this avid learner has been slowly restoring an old car to its original state, is an enthusiastic gamer, provides tech support for his family and friends, and works to fulfill his personal goal of traveling to a new place every year. (Barcelona is next!)
Why Jon is committed to Horizon: “I like to think I’m an engineer at heart, which has put me in the position I am today. I was instantly welcomed to the Horizon family, and love the coordinated effort towards our digital transformation.”
What his team leader, Sheryl Crespo, has to say: “Jon is willing to do whatever it takes to help Horizon succeed, and he has showcased this reliability and resilience through the roller coaster of 2021-2022.
“His investment in the company shows through his actions – he has taken on projects outside the scope of his work in the interest of learning as much as he can about Horizon’s current state, as well as making improvements and offering assistance in whatever ways possible. He took on the task of tech lead in our cloud migration, moving three decades of tech buildup into the modern age and defining best practice as he did so, literally paving the way for a new era in Horizon’s tech stack.
“His penchant for learning, critical thinking, and conscientious development style are characteristics of a principal engineer, and he is growing into that role quickly and naturally.”
A word from our leader, Steve Leondis: “Jon is a pleasure to have on our tech team – always there and willing to help any way he can to get the job done. He is a logistics guy at heart with incredible skill at his craft.”
Stanley McDaniel is Senior Accounting Manager at our Jamaica, NY location. We were fortunate to take on this University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate after his work as Senior Accountant at JFK Airport. Outside of work, this happy new father (he and his wife Aliya recently welcomed their first child) fulfills himself by working out, exploring, and enjoying sports, movies, and poetry.
Why Stanley is committed to Horizon: “Horizon has great leadership! Between Steve Leondis (CEO), Dave Rector (CFO), and the rest of the Operations Executive team, Horizon is poised to continue to grow and lead the freight forwarding industry for the foreseeable future. We are now also branching out into other industries through acquisitions.
“Horizon’s Leadership team is invested in the development of the business and the staff. When you work for a company that is all-in, it encourages you to be all-in as well. I am committed to Horizon not only because I am proud of the work that we do, but also the way we care for one another!”
What his team leader, Dave Rector, has to say: “As Accounting Manager, Stanley oversees accounting and audits for Horizon’s freight forwarding and ships’ agent businesses. Stanley has been with the company since June 2020, and has been instrumental in stabilizing the accounting department after a complete turnover of the accounting team, implementation of an ERP system (Netsuite), and an acquisition in December 2021. Stanley is now focused on expanding his team and planning to integrate additional acquisitions.”
A word from our leader, Steve Leondis: “When it came time to get through our 2022 audit, Stanley was there on the forefront ensuring we made it through and were prepared for everything required.”
Justin Mitchell works as a Senior Software Engineer in our Jamaica, NY office. He brought with him experience as a design engineer in midstream oil, a data engineer at Superdata, and a software engineer at Nielsen — all of that plus a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. When he isn’t working, Justin likes to spend time skiing, golfing, and playing classical piano.
Why Justin is committed to Horizon: “Horizon has a rapidly growing technical stack in an old-fashioned industry, which provides the opportunity to define how tech functions and unlock latent potential in underutilized data. Senior management has fostered a fast-paced collaborative environment that makes it easy to create solutions as a team.”
What his team leader, Sheryl Crespo, has to say: “Justin has gone above and beyond as a software engineer – most notably, he has led the technical charge into data analytics, establishing the infrastructure necessary for Horizon to standardize data best practice and expand its analytics capabilities.
“Throughout these technical accomplishments, he has interfaced with non-technical stakeholders including internal HAF employees and foreign agents, proving that he is willing and able to communicate across a wide range of technical ability. He has successfully presented his ideas to management and trained end-users alike – he is able to express himself effectively regardless of the situation. I believe that this skill lends itself to management and, in combination with his technical abilities, will make him an effective engineering manager in the future.”
A word from our leader, Steve Leondis: “Justin made significant contributions to the development of our IT systems and migrations. One of his exceptional skills is his collaboration with our ops team to get the best out of his work for Horizon.”
Andrew Tinari is a Business Associate in our Jamaica, NY location. Prior to working with us, this Columbia University graduate was a professional soccer player with the New York Red Bulls. He still enjoys soccer outside of work, as well as pursuing his interests in architecture, design, and travel.
Why Andrew is committed to Horizon: “Horizon is a leader in the freight forwarding industry. The underlying goal for growth and success both as an individual and a company is encouraged and sought after. We build trust by our actions and value each of our customers no matter the circumstances. I am committed to Horizon because I’m proud of the work that we do, and impressed by how everyone genuinely cares for each other.”
A word from our leader, Steve Leondis: “As our newest member of our management training program, I am extremely impressed with his constant willingness to learn and absorb knowledge from our team.”