Rafal Stepnowski, Managing Director of Boeing Poland, has made a huge impact on Poland’s security and raised its defense capabilities. He did this not only by leading the reinforcement of the Polish army by securing the delivery of 96 Apache AH-64 helicopters, but also earlier – by working with the Polish Navy. Thanks to his actions, it was equipped, as one of the first in the world, with digital navigation charts.
To Rafal Stepnowski’s efforts, the city of Gdansk owes the fact that it is now the largest location of the global Boeing company in the European Union. Thanks to his managerial talents, vision, commitment, 800 people representing the fields of air navigation, software, engineering and many other areas are currently working in Gdansk alone. With these activities, he also supported the development and safety of civil aviation. Thanks to him, LOT Polish Airlines was the first in Europe to have the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
He started his professional path as a manager in IT companies. Thirty years ago, he joined his father in creating a family business producing digital nautical maps. This one became attractive enough to draw the interest of Jeppesen, a Boeing Company. Thanks to his perseverance, vision, extraordinary intelligence and charisma, he was promoted within the structures of the aviation giant, reaching, first, the position of Digital Aviation Vice President, next, Director of Government Affairs at Boeing International and finally, Managing Director of Boeing Poland. He owed everything he had achieved to his diligence, determination, and commitment.
He was a man of good will, sensitive to the fate of others. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, he focused his efforts on helping Ukrainian workers and their families. He worked day and night to ensure their safety and a roof over their heads. He provided assistance to more than 70 families.
He looked to the future – he spearheaded the creation of the Newton Room educational centers in Poland to engage high school students in learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). As an active member of the “Dorastaj z nami” (“Grow up with Us”) foundation, he supported children of soldiers – victims of peacekeeping missions. He founded and chaired the Jeppesen Foundation, which focuses on helping those most in need, and supports education, the arts and development activities.
He also worked for the economic development of Poland, Pomerania, and Gdansk. He was a board member and Vice Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce and promoted the Polish-American cooperation. Associated with Gdansk since birth, Rafal Stepnowski was a graduate of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Gdansk. His master’s thesis, “Methods of Analysis and Evaluation of Joint Stock Companies in Poland under Functioning Capital Market Conditions,” was one of the first in the country to review stock market analytical models (fundamental and technical). He was also a member of the department’s first independent student government in 1989. He also completed the Gdansk University of Technology’s MBA (Program and Project Management) in 2008-2010. He lectured at MBA courses in strategy and marketing.
Since 2011, he was a member of the Expert Council of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Gdansk and, since 2013, a member of the Consultative Council of the Faculty of Management and Economics at the Gdansk University of Technology.
He played sports, was a triathlete and a boxer. A fan of jazz, he organized unforgettable “Jazz by Jeppesen” concerts, featuring such international stars as Roy Hargrove. He was a great supporter of Lechia Gdansk. Always deeply involved in whatever he undertook, he was an inspiration to employees, business partners, people active in local government organizations. He added strength, self-confidence, supported in difficult moments.
Kind-hearted, welcoming, family-oriented. He was a loving husband, a wonderful father, son, brother and grandfather. A friend and a patriot.