- Mark joined Alaska Aerospace in October 2018 as President. In February 2019, he was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer by the Board of Directors. He brings over 25-years’ aerospace experience to the company with an emphasis on space operations in both government and private sector organizations.
- Mark started his career as an engineer planning plume phenomenology missions for the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), a predecessor of today’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA). These missions collected multispectral data of rocket launches from airborne and ground-based sensors and was the foundation for seeker technology development.
- Serving in the United States Air Force as a space systems engineer from 1992-99, Mark performed multiple duties as a satellite operator, engineer, and intelligence analyst to include populating the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation to full operating capability, deploying with a combat-ready unit to integrate space capability into air operations, and leading activities for advanced programs. Mark deployed multiple times in support of the NATO-led multinational Implementation Force (IFOR) and Stabilization Force (SFOR) for Bosnia and Herzegovina operations in the mid-1990s.
- In 2000, Mark joined Booz Allen Hamilton where he spent his formative years in industry as a program manager and engineer for several space and high technology aerospace programs. Over a thirteen-year tenure, Mark rose to Principal where he directed the Firm’s corporate-level capture and proposal team. In this position, he established firm-wide competitive methods for business development, led must-win high-priority proposals, conducted business development training, and implemented a firm-wide infrastructure to grow the company’s multi-billion enterprise through the company’s initial public offering.
- Mark joined Modern Technology Solutions, Inc (MTSI) as Vice President Business Development & Marketing and Colorado Region Lead in 2012. He managed a geographically dispersed capture, marketing, and proposal development team as well as providing regional office support of delivery to space, missile defense, and research & development customers.
- Continuing his professional aerospace career, he joined Doss Aviation in February 2015 and was elected Chief Executive Officer by the Board of Directors in 2017. As CEO, he also concurrently held the positions of Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Vice President for Business Development. Doss Aviation provides U.S. Government flight training and a variety of other aviation related services. While leading Doss Aviation, Mark was instrumental in revamping the company’s business development activities, revising processes, creating new partnerships, negotiating contracts with the U.S. Government, and establishing new bid and market strategies. He also led efforts to establish operational excellence and increase safety, and improve efficiency of the company, which successfully postured the business to be acquired by a major defense contractor.
- As Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Pantigo Lester LLC, Mark successfully established a management consulting firm to serve mid-market aerospace and defense businesses. His cross-functional team leadership to a client’s North American manufacturing and repair & overhaul operations led to the identification and improvement of several key business metrics.
- Mark obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Norwich University in 1992 and his Master of Engineering in Space Operations from the University of Colorado in 1996.
- Mark is a graduate of several leadership programs, including being a distinguished graduate of US Air Force Squadron Officers’ School, a graduate and Board President of Leadership Pikes Peak, and graduate the 50 for Colorado executive program as well as Leadership Program of the Rockies. Distinctive to his leadership abilities, Mark was certified as a John Maxwell Team member in 2018, having completed the leadership curriculum.
- In 2007, Mark was honored as one of 15 business leaders under 40 by the Colorado Springs Business Journal whom demonstrated significant contributions to their chosen industries and community. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Leadership Pikes Peak as well as the Colorado Springs Community Advancing Public Safety (CAPS) program. In 2008, Mark successfully spearheaded community efforts to promote two Colorado state legislative bills to support military spouses.
- In addition to operating satellites, Mark is also a licensed private pilot and Zamboni ice resurfacer driver. Mark currently lives in Anchorage with his wife Amy.
Mark D. Lester
President & Interim Chief Executive Officer