About Us

The Sixel Consulting Group team brings a collection of varied backgrounds to the field of air service development. We’re former airline and airport executives, airline analysts, data junkies, and former aviation journalists. We use all of our skills to make the best cases for additional service in more than 70 current client markets around the country.

  • Mark Sixel, President and Owner
    Mark Sixel is a nationally recognized leader in air service development. Mark has been working on behalf of airports since graduating from the University of Texas in Austin with his Master Degree in Business Administration. In 1996 he formed “Transportation Solutions, Inc.” in Austin, his first fully owned airport and air services consulting firm. In 2001 he renamed the company Sixel Consulting Group, Inc. to better reflect the recognition that he had received in the industry. Mark has represented hundreds of airports of varying sizes at airline corporate headquarters, industry conferences and at local community forums. He has also been a featured speaker at numerous aviation conferences, both on the regional and the national level, and is frequently asked by regional and national media from around the nation for his expert views on the industry. Mark has developed strong, personal relationships with top airline route decision makers and continues to work with them on behalf of airports across the country.  Mark’s innovate solutions to air service challenges have made him a favorite in airline boardrooms around the country.


  • Michael Lum, Executive Director, Air Service Strategy and Development
    Michael joined Sixel Consulting Group in November 2008. He currently works with clients on air service strategy and development. Michael brings more than a dozen years of airline planning experience to the Group. He offers clients his insight into how airlines make new route decisions and how airlines project the financial performance of each route. Prior to joining SCG, Michael spent nine years at American Airlines where he worked in American Eagle Planning and Marketing. His responsibilities included route and schedule planning, network, fleet and competitive analysis, codeshare relationships, negotiating minimum revenue guarantees with airports, and ad hoc corporate development projects. Michael has been a key negotiator between American Eagle and many airports seeking to partner with the airline for new and expanded service. He understands air service development from “the other side of the table.” In his last three years with the airline, American Eagle launched 118 new routes. In addition to his career at American, Michael also spent time at both KPMG and Andersen Consulting. He managed projects in transportation and travel services industries, working for clients who included United Parcel Service (UPS), Airborne Express, Trans World Airlines (TWA), Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), and Norfolk Southern. Michael has an MBA in Corporate Finance. He is based in Dallas, Texas.


  • Kris Nichter, Executive Director - Business Affairs
    Kris joined Sixel Consulting Group in September of 2008. He is responsible for assisting airport clients in developing both passenger and cargo service. Kris is well known nationally, maintaining top level connections at most airports, and all major airlines. Kris has more than 15 years of aviation/travel related experience and knowledge. Kris started his career in the airline industry in 1995 where he worked for Delta Airlines in customer service at Toledo Express Airport. Kris then gained corporate travel experience with a Northwest Ohio travel management company in 1996. He was responsible for all aspects of travel agency management and operations. In 1999, Kris began his airport career with the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority as an air service development analyst where he worked for nine years. Kris successfully developed one of the first air service development programs and then increased his knowledge to gain the position of Director of Business Development, Marketing and Community Affairs. During his tenure at Toledo, Kris was responsible for attracting six new airlines. Kris was also involved with promoting the development of Toledo’s air cargo assets. Today, Toledo Express holds the title as one of the world’s top 50 air cargo airports. Kris is currently actively involved with various airline/airport/marketing organizations where he has been a featured speaker at industry conferences and events such as AAAE’s National Air service conference, ACI’s marketing and communications conference, Airport Ground Handling 101 conference and the Midwest airline marketing roundtable. Kris also is interviewed by national media including ABC News and various well known newspapers such as the Detroit News/Free Press to provide comment and quotes.


  • Jack Penning, Executive Director, Air Service Strategy and Development
    Jack is the longest tenured consultant at Sixel Consulting Group, having joined the firm in 2001. Jack is Executive Director, Air Service Strategy and Development – in charge of overseeing many of the Group’s research and airline recruitment projects. Jack’s wide-ranging responsibilities are developing case studies for new air service, delivering presentations to airlines for additional service at client airports, analyzing passenger trends, forecasting the impact of new service in client communities, and building community coalitions in support of new service. Jack has been instrumental in the growth of Sixel Consulting Group, from just three team members to a staff of 23, over the last 12 years. Jack has worked on projects that have led to the initiation of more than 50 new airline routes. Jack has also written grant proposals worth more than $15 million in funding for client airports. Jack is known in the Pacific Northwest for his previous work as the Aviation Reporter for KGW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Oregon, and NorthWest Cable News (NWCN), the 24-hour news channel covering five Northwest states. Jack is an Emmy and an Edward R. Morrow Award winner. Jack earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He and his wife live in Portland, Oregon.


  • Mike Mooney, Executive Director, Air Service Strategy and Development
    Mike Mooney joined the Sixel Consulting Group team in August 2009. Mike works with clients on air service strategy and air service development. Mike is well known in the industry, with 35 years of airline and air service development experience. Mike started in the industry straight out of college as a ramp and ticket agent for various commuter airlines. Mike then gained his dispatcher license and learned the fine art of air crew scheduling and planning. Mike was one of the original employees of Midwest Airlines, hired in 1984. At Midwest, he rose from Chief Dispatcher to Vice President of Planning, Pricing and Revenue Management. He spent 20 years with the airline, from 1984 to 2003. Mike then moved to air service development consulting, spending more than five years with another firm before joining Sixel Consulting Group. Mike has a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Transportation from the University of Dubuque.


  • Mike Gordon, Air Service Strategy and Development Consultant
    Mike joined the firm in September 2013. At Sixel Consulting Group, Mike works with airport and airline clients on air service strategy and development projects, including ancillary revenue development for airlines and communities. Mike brings with him over 30 years of aviation industry experience. He joined Sixel from a recent five-year tenure at the headquarters of Allegiant Air, where he provided key management and market support as Director of Pricing, Ancillary and Revenue Management. Mike entered the airline industry as a teenager with Frontier Airlines. During his six-year period with Frontier, he held a number of posts throughout their network including airport supervisory roles, sales and marketing. Over the next twenty-four years, the vast majority of his career was focused within pricing, ancillary and yield/revenue management departments with US Airways, AirTran and Allegiant Air. After leaving US Airways as Manager, he joined AirTran as Senior Manager. Steadily progressing upwards, he joined Allegiant Air as a Director, overseeing a suite of departments where he assisted with fine-tuning ancillary into an industry-wide growing trend. Mike attended High Point University in North Carolina. He and his wife Julie live in Orlando, Florida.


  • Ilona Fominykh, Aviation Marketing Consultant, International Markets

    Ilona is our first team member specializing in international aviation business development. Before joining The Sixel Group as Aviation Marketing Consultant covering International Markets, she spent over seven years at European airports. Three times she was awarded UBM/Routes Airport Marketing Awards while working as head of marketing for Russia's largest airport group, and managed the hosting of a Routes regional event in 2012. While at Airports of Regions (AR) she was responsible for business to business marketing, air service development, data analysis, forecasting, presentation creation, and relationship management for four airports with a combined primary catchment of 14 million people. AR successfully marketed a unique incentive concept during her tenure which involved providing regional aircraft directly to an airline in order to build feed opportunities to drive further growth. Ilona has successfully attracted and launched services from Finnair, Air China, Alitalia, Czech Airlines and Ukraine International Airlines through her air service development efforts.

  • Elizabeth Flores, Executive Director, Community Development and Marketing
    Elizabeth joined the firm in December 2012 as Manager of Community Development and Marketing. Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing and developing the marketing efforts of client airports in Toledo, Ohio (TOL), and St. Augustine, Florida (UST), including strategic campaign development, community outreach, and air service development. With over decade of aviation experience, Elizabeth brings an extensive airport marketing and social media background to the firm. Elizabeth comes to Sixel from SimpliFlying, an international firm specializing in airport and airline brand strategy, where she worked as the head of airport engagement. Elizabeth began her airport career at the Akron-Canton Airport (CAK) where she served as marketing manager and an integral part of the industry-leading CAK marketing team and, more recently, served as the first-ever director of marketing and community development for the South Bend Airport (SBN). She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in aviation business administration from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida and studied public administration in the graduate school at Kent State University. She resides in Rochester, NY with her husband, Nando.


  • Katie Jones, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
    Katie Jones comes to Sixel Consulting Group as its Marketing and Public Relations Manager for airports on the West Coast. Katie joins the team after more than six years with San Diego International Airport (SAN), where she performed public outreach for the airport’s major initiatives, including the billion-dollar Green Build expansion program. Katie brings extensive knowledge in public relations, community outreach and social media. Her campaigns have been recognized nationally in both the aviation and public relations fields and, in 2012, she was named one of Airport Business magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40.” Katie lives in San Diego with her husband David and their son Luke.


  • Diana Kotecki, Marketing / Community Engagement Specialist
    Diana joined the Sixel team in January 2014 as a Community Engagement Specialist. Her focus will be to assist the Toledo Express Airport with their community development and corporate outreach efforts. Diana comes to Sixel Consulting Group after a career spanning over 30 years with American Airlines in sales, automation and marketing. Her most recent role was as Manager of Sales and Marketing where she handled large agency and corporate accounts in Northern Ohio and Michigan. She also has a background in broadcast production and event planning. Diana attended Central Michigan University and resides with her husband, Gene, in Algonac, Michigan.


  • Melissa Galvan Peterson, Marketing and Public Relations Manager
    Melissa joined the Sixel team in June of 2014 as a Marketing and Public Relations Manager. Her prior experience in Aviation Operations, most recently with the Metropolitan Airports Commission, coupled with her experience in Public Relations makes her a perfect fit in the Sixel organization. Melissa spent over 5 years at the Bismarck Airport in North Dakota, where she oversaw the Airport’s branding campaign and marketing initiatives. Her efforts led to a 20% increase in enplanements during her tenure, with the addition of new service on Frontier Airlines and additional routes with United Airlines and Allegiant. Prior to Bismarck, Melissa was an Airport Manager in Willmar, MN, where she oversaw the commissioning of the community’s $25 million relocated airport project while she safely decommissioned the old, abandoned airfield. She is a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and is actively engaged in the aviation community. She is a graduate of St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management. Melissa is based in Minneapolis, where she lives with her husband Roger and their son Parker. She can be reached at melissa@sixelconsulting.com.


  • Alex Lynch, Multimedia Producer
    Alex joined Sixel Consulting Group in April 2013 from his previous work as an Emmy-winning media producer and photographer. Alex is responsible for producing, shooting, and editing Sixel Consulting Group's unique airline recruitment videos, comunity outreach videos, airport and airline training videos, airport television advertising, and airport social media videos. Alex brings 17 years of major market experience to Sixel Consulting Group, with a specialty in aviation journalism. Prior to joining SCG, Alex spent his last 12 years at KGW-TV, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Oregon, where he traveled the Pacific Northwest, interviewing community members, and telling their stories. During his career, Alex has been honored with dozens of awards, including two Emmys. Alex is considered one of the finest photojournalists in the country, placeing third in the National Photographer of the Year category. Alex earned his Bachelor of Arts from the journalism school at the University of Montana. Alex lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and two sons. He is known in his neighborhood as the guy who roasts his own coffee beans - which is especially impressive in the coffee-crazed Northwest.


  • Jeff Hayes, Director of Marketing
    Jeff, a seasoned marketing and air service professional joined SCG in 2007 as the Director of Marketing. Today he has wide ranging responsibilities including helping airports define their brand, research, advertising, public relations, direct response and airport marketing initiatives, and working with communities to grow their market share. Jeff has worked in the airline industry for 20 years. Jeff began his marketing career with BAA-Indianapolis at the International Airport as the Business Development Manager with air service and marketing responsibilities. In addition, his experience includes airline management, project management, video and website development, airline schedule analysis, air traffic forecasting and contract negotiations. Jeff attended Purdue University majoring in Aviation Management.

  • Jeremiah Gerald, Marketing and Regional Development Manager
    Jeremiah Gerald brings over 13+ years of aviation marketing and business development experience to the Sixel Consulting Group. He has extensive experience in negotiating and presenting detailed information to business professionals across multiple industry sectors. Throughout his career Jeremiah has excelled in numerous roles throughout the aviation industry. In 2001, he launched his career with Continental Airlines while working to complete his Professional Aviation degree at Louisiana Tech University. In 2003, Jeremiah landed his first airport role as an Operations Supervisor at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT). While serving in the role of Operations Supervisor, Jeremiah was directly responsible for environmental oversight, airport security, and ground transportation management and compliance initiatives. After GPT completed a $50M terminal expansion project, Jeremiah was offered a new role in air service and business development where he served for over 6 years. As Director of Air Service and Business Development at GPT, He was responsible for conducting thorough market analysis and securing local stakeholder support that resulted in additional air service from five new carriers. Jeremiah was successful in developing numerous multi-million dollar air program partnerships between local stakeholders and air carriers. In 2012, he entered the private sector in a new role as VP, Business Development for Thanks Again, the world’s only airport centric-loyalty coalition provider. At Thanks Again he was responsible for launching airport loyalty programs across North America and spearheaded program management and development initiatives. Jeremiah was successful in helping to establish lucrative partnerships between major corporations and airports across North America. He is a graduate of the MS Gulf Coast Leadership program and the Gulf Coast Business Council’s Masters Program. He has attained the credentials of “Certified Member” of the American Association of Airport Executives and has a commercial pilot’s license. Jeremiah currently resides in Gulfport, MS with his wife Stacy and their two daughters Cailynn and Kylie.

  • Jessica Wade, Creative Director of Marketing
    Jessica joined Sixel Consulting Group in November 2014 with 15 years of graphic design, marketing and branding experience. She also has experience in publishing, advertising, internet strategies, interior design, and coordinating production schedules. Jessica was involved in major remodeling projects for Fred Meyer retail stores throughout the Pacific Northwest, acting as creative director and designer. She studied graphic design and film at Portland State University, and has volunteered her graphic design skills for several charitable causes, including AIDSWALK Portland, EFF Portland and Project Dove. As Creative Director of Marketing for Sixel Consulting Group, Jessica will be responsible for designing creative and customized branding campaigns for clients and internally, as well as coordinating projects with the Sixel marketing team.​ Jessica currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband, Adam, son Christian, and daughters Nadia and Charissa. ​

  • John Gunderson, Information Systems Manager
    John has worked for Mark Sixel since 2000. John’s primary role is to keep SCG on the leading edge of the current technology. John created SCG’s network operating system and is responsible for keeping all hardware and software optimized. John has developed websites for airport clients and is in charge of quality control on all projects. He also ensures the integrity of the data acquired to study markets and new route opportunities.


  • Karen Salman, Accounting Supervisor
    Karen joined the firm in the fall of 2009 as a part-time bookkeeper in the Eugene office, after 37 years working in accounting firms and in private industry. She became a full-time staff member in January of 2011. In addition to overseeing accounting procedures, Karen utilizes her editing and proof-reading skills to review presentations, quarterly reports, grant proposals and other documents. Karen has a degree in Psychology and a teaching certificate from the University of California, Riverside.


  • Terri Campbell, Director, Travel Services
    Terri joined Sixel Consulting Group in June 2011. As Director of Travel Services, she coordinates travel for Sixel staff, manages the semi-annual air service conferences, and liaisons with travel agencies to secure accurate travel data for true market reports. She also consults directly with companies, offering travel and entertainment best practice solutions through a defined travel management program. Terri’s 20+ years in the travel industry encompass an eclectic range: from managing leisure and corporate travel agencies in Honolulu and San Diego, to arranging tours for fellow ex-pat travelers while living in Pakistan. Most recently, she spent the last decade as Travel Buyer for Levi Strauss & Co. She received her degree from Phoenix College, majoring in Travel Industry Studies. Terri is bi-coastal so, depending upon the season, she lives in either Oregon or Vermont.


  • Erika Gregory, Web Developer/GIS Analyst
    Erika joined the Sixel Consulting Group team in November of 2010, specializing in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She is called upon to transform layers of data into efficient, easy-to-read geographic analysis, including detailed catchment area studies, route maps, spatially modeled market research, and other projects directly related to the pursuit of additional air service. She assists the Sixel team in the research and production of airline presentations. In addition, Erika creates websites from the ground up using the latest technology. She specializes in HTML5, CSS3, and search engine optimization. Erika earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University at Buffalo in New York. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon.


  • Lauren Mishler, GIS Specialist/Graphics Designer
    Lauren joined Sixel Consulting Group in November of 2010, specializing in cartographic design and mapping using the latest technological applications in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. Lauren is in charge of developing and editing projects combining GIS, cartography, and geographic visualization techniques in support of the cases for new and expanded air service and airport analysis. Lauren is also responsible for template design for annual and quarterly reports for client airports, and does design work for both client and in-house projects. Lauren earned her Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Oregon, with an emphasis in Geographic Information Science. She lives in Eugene.


  • Katie Dalen, Administrative Assistant
    Katie joned the Sixel team in September of 2012 after previously assisting the office staff with several projects. She assists with the day-to-day tasks in the Eugene office, and plays an integral role in the preparation of materials for Sixel's semi-annual conferences. She resides in Eugene.

  • Joe Krom, GIS Analyst
    Joe joined Sixel Consulting Group in November 2013 as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) intern. In September 2014, Joe accepted the position of full-time GIS Analyst. With his attention to detail, Joe designs visually precise maps and completes data research for various cartographic projects. In addition, his maps are often included in presentations discussed at airport conferences and at airline headquarters meetings. Joe’s main interests are traveling and mountain and road biking. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Geography at Western Oregon University. He resides in Battle Ground, Washington.