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.
Kris Nichter, Director of Business Development
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, Director of Market Analysis
Jack joined Sixel Consulting Group in 2001, from his career as an
aviation journalist. Jack is now the firm’s Director of
Market Analysis – in charge of overseeing many of the
Group’s research and airline recruitment projects. Among
Jack’s wide-ranging responsibilities are developing case
studies for new air service, producing airline recruitment
videos, developing leakage studies, and writing federal
Small Community Air Service Development Grant (SCASDG)
proposals. Jack is considered an expert in Grant
development, as his proposals have won Sixel client airports
more than $9 million since 2005. Jack is well known
throughout 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. His
aviation-related journalism has been featured on major
networks such as CNN and MSNBC. 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, Air Service Strategy and Development Consultant
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
Greg Atkin, Air Service Strategy and Development Consultant
Greg joined the firm in February 2013. Greg has over seven years of airline experience at US Airways in various roles, including Pricing and Route Planning.
During that time, Greg helped to streamline the US Airways route network to focus on its competitive strengths.
He also significantly restructured pricing in Washington, DC, to bolster a large number of new and existing markets.
Greg’s interest in the airline industry began at a very young age when he would draw airports and read airline timetables for fun, and he has continued to be a student and enthusiast of the industry.
Greg earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Greg resides in St. George, Utah.
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 Cecconi, Manager of 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 9 years of aviation expericene, 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. She resides in Rochester, NY.
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.
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 joined SCG in 2007 as the Director of Marketing. Today
he has wide ranging responsibilities including assisting
with airline presentations, research projects, and working
with communities to build air service. Jeff has worked in
the airline industry for 20 years. His experience includes
airline and airport management, route planning, airline
schedule analysis, air traffic forecasting and six years
working for the US Government in the Department of Homeland
Security. Among other positions, Jeff has worked in upper
management for BAA-Indianapolis International Airport and
American Trans Air (ATA). Jeff attended Purdue University
majoring in Aviation Management.
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 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, GIS Specialist/Air Service 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. Erika earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in
Geography from the University at Buffalo in New York.
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.
Stone, Research Associate
A numbers whiz, Josh joined the Sixel team in May of 2009.
Josh uses SCG's vast library of resources to locate and
supply the other team members with data necessary to
solidify cases. Josh is currently pursuing a BSBA in Aviation
Management from Auburn University.
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.