Our Team2016-11-19T00:28:12+00:00

We’ve Seen It All. We’ve Fixed It All.

Led by Air Academy Associates’ president and co-founder Dr. Mark Kiemele, each member of our management team brings a unique skill set that rivals any of our competitors. In fact, we trained some of the very first Black Belts at the Six Sigma Research Institute.

Every customer has different needs, and our management team is equipped to analyze those needs, create a plan to best satisfy those needs, and then ensure the plan is executed in the most efficient and effective manner.

Each member of our team is dedicated to helping you gain the knowledge necessary to solve your problems, improve your margins and satisfy your customers. We are committed to your success, because we don’t succeed unless you do.

Mark J. Kiemele
Mark J. KiemelePresident & Co-founder
Mark J. Kiemele, President and Co-founder of Air Academy Associates, has more than 30 years of teaching, consulting, and coaching experience. Having trained, consulted, or mentored more than 30,000 leaders, scientists, engineers, managers, trainers, practitioners, and college students from more than 20 countries, he is world-renowned for his Knowledge Based KISS (Keep It Simple Statistically) approach to engaging practitioners in applying performance improvement methods. His support has been requested by an impressive list of global clients, including Xerox, Sony, Microsoft, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, Raytheon, Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, Samsung, Schlumberger, Bose, and John Deere.

Mark earned a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics from North Dakota State University and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. During his time in the U.S. Air Force, Mark supported the design, development, and testing of various weapon systems, including the Maverick and Cruise Missile systems, and was a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He currently serves on the National Defense Industrial Association’s Test and Evaluation Executive Committee. Dr. Kiemele has been involved in the origin and evolution of Six Sigma, as he trained the first Black Belts at the Six Sigma Research Institute at Motorola and has helped deploy and implement Lean, Six Sigma, or DFSS initiatives at more than 100 companies worldwide.

In addition to many published technical papers and articles, he has co-authored the books Basic Statistics: Tools for Continuous Improvement; Knowledge Based Management; Applied Modeling and Simulation: an Integrated Approach to Development and Operation; Network Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis; Lean Six Sigma: A Tools Guide; Design for Six Sigma: The Tool Guide for Practitioners. He is also the editor of the text Understanding Industrial Designed Experiments.

Richard C. Murrow
Richard C. MurrowCheif Executive Officer
CEO of Air Academy Associates, Rick has over thirty years of experience at all levels of responsibility in organizational planning, project management, process improvement, senior level business management, and strategic policy planning. While Vice President, Quality Systems, GE Mortgage Services, Inc. (GEMSI), Rick implemented Six Sigma at four sites, training over 2,000 employees. He directed the efforts of 14 Master Black Belts, the Quality training staff, and over 40 Black Belts. As Quality and Management Innovation Director, USAF’s Air Combat Command, he orchestrated the creation of a Center of Excellence and provided leadership to the 55-person organization. During this time he implemented operational improvements in performance systems for an organization of 165,000 employees at 32 different sites.

Rick earned a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from USAF Academy, a M.S. in Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University, a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado. For the last six years Dr. Murrow has worked directly with senior leadership, management, and quality directors of such leading companies as Sony, Merck-Medco, Mazda, Hyundai, Gates Rubber, St. Jude Medical, Textron Financial Corporation, Apogee, Shell, GlaxoSmithKline, and the FAA Logistics Center to improve processes, products, services, and management/business systems.

Denise RuckerChief Financial Officer
Denise joined Air Academy in 1999. In her role as the Chief Financial Officer, Denise is responsible for the implementation of cost effective and efficient accounting and financial systems, policies and processes that meet current and future business requirements. She oversees internal audits, reviews, analyzes results, and generates all financial statements and reports. Denise ensures that our business remains compliant with all internal policies and relevant regulations as well as seeing that all filings are completed in a timely manner. She manages the payroll function ensuring efficient systems, processes and controls. She is also responsible for accounts payable and accounts receivable. Denise oversees the annual insurance renewal process and ensures appropriate coverage is maintained at all times.
Suellen HillDirector of Operations
Suellen joined the Air Academy team in 1995. In her current role as the Director of Operations, she works with our clients to fulfill training material requirements. She oversees the development of the training materials to ensure they meet Air Academy Associates’ level of quality. She manages the shipping and handling operations of all training materials. Suellen maintains the great working relationships Air Academy has with our clients, consultants, and vendors. Suellen skillfully solves any operational and customer service issues that may arise. She directs and implements all software agreements. Suellen also manages the inspections of all systems and equipment to ensure effective and efficient operation.
Terry NewtonDirector of Air Academy Associates University
James KoglerDirector of Air Academy Associates University
Jeff Murrow
Jeff MurrowDirector of Business Development
Jeff joined the Air Academy team in 2010. Prior to Air Academy, Jeff worked as a general manager for two Fortune 500 retail companies. He directed all daily operations of several multi-million dollar business units. Such operations included: meeting and exceeding sales goals and “bottom-line” profitability of the store; recruiting, hiring, training, evaluating and counseling store employees; listened to the voice of both the internal and external customers; resolved customer concerns by determining optimal win-win solutions; utilized lean principles in all areas to maximize productivity, profitability and margins; communicated, executed, and managed all marketing programs; improved speed of service results by leading team to develop methods for continual improvement.

These skills have prepared him for his current role as Director of Business Development, in which he helps develop strategic partnerships that will generate interest and build Air Academy’s brand within the US and interational marketplaces. Jeff tracks media effectiveness and develops models to improve global reach through the use of social media. He works with senior management to develop and execute strategies for lead generation, sales, pricing and other matters related to revenue generation. He pursues and closes sales opportunities and manages the competitive bidding process. Jeff provides critical feedback to the executive leadership regarding competitive offerings, prospect needs, and marketing development ideas. He is also responsible for managing the ongoing relationships established with our business partners and clients, while building professional and trusting relationships with our new clients.

Lisa ReaganSenior Associate
Lisa Reagan, Director of Curriculum Development, joined Air Academy in 1998. She has more than 18 years of teaching and consulting experience in the areas of applied statistics, design of experiments, and Six Sigma.

She spent 13 years with Texas Instruments where she developed and delivered training internally and externally through the TI Learning Institute, provided extensive statistical consulting and mentoring, and was instrumental in deploying applied statistical methods throughout the corporation. While at TI, Lisa received the TI Technical Excellence and Quality Excellence awards, was elected as a Member of the Group Technical Staff, and served as a Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt. She was also a Six Sigma Master Black Belt with AlliedSignal.

Lisa has extensive experience leading and mentoring teams at all levels throughout an organization, helping to define efficient strategies for solving problems, reducing variation, and developing and achieving better, faster, and lower cost products and processes. Her talent for making statistical tools understandable and practical is well recognized. Her clients include Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Sony, St. Jude Medical, Abbott Laboratories, Glaxo Wellcome, Praxair Surface Technologies, and IDEXX Laboratories, among others.

Lisa has a B.S. in Mathematics from Bowling Green State University and a M.S. in Statistics from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has published 5 technical papers and was a contributor to following textbooks: Understanding Industrial Designed Experiments; Basic Statistics: Tools for Continuous Improvement; and Knowledge Based Management.

Kathi Swagerty
Kathi SwagertySenior Associate
Kathi Swagerty joined Air Academy Associates as Strategic Campaign Director in September, 2004. Kathi has a background in retail marketing and event planning with a B.S. degree in Marketing Management. Prior to joining Air Academy, Kathi used her marketing skills in initiating and building relationships for an internationally known organization of Six Sigma professionals.

In her Strategic Campaign Director position, Kathi is responsible for evaluating, managing and staffing Air Academy’s conference commitments and for coordinating e-marketing efforts with a focus on corporate branding, enhancing client awareness, and cultivating new business. She is a member of Air Academy’s Strategic Marketing Committee.

George Maszle
George MaszleSenior Associate
V.P., Business Process Management, George has over 35 years of business experience in various leadership positions aimed at improving organizational effectiveness. This experience includes Lean Six Sigma deployment, the systematic use of quality concepts, business process management, project planning and policy deployment.

While Vice President of Quality and Business Excellence at Xerox Corporation, George provided leadership in business improvement across all operations and geographies and was responsible for the alignment of performance plans and strategies. As Director of Xerox Lean Six Sigma he was influential in establishing Lean Six Sigma as a corporate business improvement strategy and positioned the methodology as a key enabler in Xerox’s return to greatness.

George’s roles have also included business assessments, aligning management processes and leading networks of process improvement professionals. He has educated leaders in basic and advanced business improvement techniques and orchestrated numerous benchmark exchanges resulting in improvement projects. He frequently exchanges ideas with and has supported a number of fortune 500 companies. His expertise and experience have also been shared with the US Army, US Navy, Department of Transportation and other government agencies.

George earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Rochester, Simon School of Business. Additionally, George is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt trained and holds a Certificate of Process Mastery from the Michael Hammer process management curriculum. He regularly conducts leadership workshops on these topics and has been a key presenter at various Six Sigma conferences.