Board of Directors
Jonathan Ornstein serves as Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Mesa Air Group. One of the longest serving CEOs in the industry, Ornstein returned for his second tour with the Company in 1998 as President and CEO and was named Chairman of the Board in 1999. During his first tenure with Mesa, from 1988 to 1994, Ornstein worked closely with company founders Larry and Janie Risley, serving the Company as EVP and President of wholly-owned subsidiary, WestAir Holding, Inc. Prior to Mesa acquiring the company, WestAir had pretax losses of $12 million. Under Ornstein’s leadership, operating results improved to a pretax profit of $16 million the following year.
Leaving Mesa in 1994, Ornstein accepted the position of CEO of Continental Express and was later named Senior Vice President of Airport Services for Continental Airlines. At Express, Ornstein orchestrated the Company’s operational and financial turnaround resulting in an $80 million dollar improvement in operating income. In his role at Continental he was Co-Chairman of the Operational Performance Committee which designed and implemented the company’s improvements in on time performance, reliability, baggage delivery and customer service. He was also instrumental in Continental’s fleet restructuring, leading negotiations with lessors worldwide.
He was recruited from Continental by Richard Branson and co-founded Virgin Express S.A/N.V., a low fare European carrier based in Brussels, Belgium, where he served as CEO and Chairman from 1995 until 1999. His aviation career began in 1986 with Air LA, a small commuter airline in Los Angeles where he served most notably as a ramp agent. Ornstein attended University of Pennsylvania.
2015 Airfinance Journal -- Regional Jet Deal of the Year -- Mesa EETC
2005 Air Transport World -- Regional Airline of the Year
1999 Professional Pilot Magazine -- Pilot Management Teamwork Award
1995 Regional Airline Executive of the Year
1992 Air Transport World -- Regional Airline of the Year
Ellen N. Artist has more than 30 years' experience in aviation finance as a bankruptcy trustee, financial advisor, financial principal and commercial lender. Ms. Artist led the out-of-court restructuring of lease and loan obligations for both Independence Air and American Airlines. She was a founding partner at; The Seabury Group, LLC and Sky Works Capital, LLC; two advisory boutiques specializing in the aviation industry. Other areas of expertise include aircraft finance, claims resolution, trust accounting, litigation and interaction with counsel and creditors. Artist earned her bachelor's degree in Economics from Northwestern University and an MBA with distinction from New York University.
Mitchell Gordon is President and CFO of Cambridge Capital Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: CAMB) a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that focuses on supply chain, logistics and transportation companies. He also serves as Managing Partner of BGSA, the leading middle market investment banking firm, serving the supply chain, logistics and transportation sectors. He was President of Morpheus Capital Advisors, a leading merchant banking firm serving middle market companies, from 2003 to 2013.
He previously served as Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President and a member of the Office of Interpool, one of the world’s largest lessors of transportation equipment. Prior to joining Interpool, Mr. Gordon founded and was President of Atlas Capital Partners and was Managing Director and Co-Head of Salomon Smith Barney’s Transportation Investment Banking Group. His background also includes serving as Senior Vice President and head of the Transportation and Automotive Groups at Furman Selz as well as Vice President of Investment Banking at Needham & Company.
Mr. Gordon has served on the boards of Interpool, Indigo Aviation and Almedica, Inc., all publicly-traded companies, and currently serves on the board of the Best-Shot Foundation. He holds a BSBA from Washington University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Grant Lyon has more than 20 years' of distressed management experience and has served as a financial advisor for numerous corporate restructuring engagements. Mr. Lyon’s expertise includes out-of-court restructuring, claims analysis, securities valuation, debtor-in-possession financing, solvency analysis, litigation support and serving as a liquidation trustee. Lyon is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is a Certified Public Accountant..
Brigadier General Harvey W. Schiller, USAF Ret., Ph.D., is Commercial Commissioner of America's Cup 35, Chairman of Schiller Management Group (SMG), a global consulting and business solutions company, and Chairman of Renew Merchandise, a producer of RPET products. In addition, Dr. Schiller serves as Vice Chairman of Diversified Search, one of the top executive search firms in the U.S., and recently served as Chairman of GlobalOptions Group Inc.
Schiller has served as Chairman and CEO of YankeeNets, with ownership of the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets, and New Jersey Devils, served as President of Turner Sports, Inc., a division of Time Warner; and President of the NHL franchise, the Atlanta Thrashers. Before joining Turner, Schiller was Executive Director/Secretary General of the United States Olympic Committee. He holds the prestigious Olympic Order.
Schiller served as Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference from 1986 to 1990. He was a member of the NCAA Executive, Championship, and Budget committees. He served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force from 1962 to 1986, attaining the rank of Brigadier General. In 1980, the President appointed Schiller as a Permanent Professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He holds several military awards including the Legion of Merit and Distinguished Flying Cross.
Schiller earned his bachelor's degree from The Citadel, and is a member of their Athletic and Business Halls of Fame. He earned his master's degree and doctorate in chemistry from the University of Michigan, and holds honorary doctorates from The Citadel, Northern Michigan University, and the United States Sports Academy.
Schiller was recently recognized by Sports Business Journal as a Pioneer and Innovator in Sports Business. He is active in a variety of national organizations and corporate boards. He is a member of the board of the Air Force Academy Athletic Corporation and the Board of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.