The ACA Team
When clients choose ACA, they work with knowledgeable, senior professionals that understand both current industry conditions and their historical context. This ensures that clients receive specialized insights that will help them solve today's problems as well as preparing effectively for the future.

Click on the names below to learn more about each ACA team member's exceptional talents and experience.
Affiliated Companies
Richard J. Nelson
Mr. Nelson is a senior aviation executive and aviation educator with extensive experience in airline operations, maintenance, safety, strategic planning, financial planning, and leasing. He specializes in regional aircraft and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Medallion Foundation, Inc., a non-profit aviation safety organization that provides management resources, training, and support for the Alaskan aviation community.

From 1987 through 1994, Mr. Nelson served as the Vice President of Operations and Maintenance at MarkAir and was the president of the company’s subsidiary, MarkAir Express. As the President of MarkAir Express he returned the airline to a safe and profitable operation. As Vice President of Operations and Maintenance for MarkAir, he was responsible for the operation and maintenance of B-737 aircraft, L-382 aircraft, the introduction of DHC-7 and DHC-8 aircraft, as well as being responsible for the operation and training of flight crews, dispatchers, flight attendants, and maintenance and quality control employees. Mr. Nelson also oversaw aircraft lease and purchase agreements, labor agreements, and industry and regulatory coordination.

From 1994 through 1996 Mr. Nelson served as the President and CEO of Skyway Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Midwest Express Airlines. During this period, the airline obtained the highest on-time performance in the industry, a safety record with no damage to aircraft or injuries to passengers and the lowest insurance claim rate in the industry. Mr. Nelson developed the industry’s first fixed cost airframe and engine maintenance program in coordination with Pratt & Whitney and other major vendors. In 1995 Skyway was sold by its parent company in an IPO. Mr. Nelson coordinated the transaction with bankers, underwriters, legislative representatives, the highest levels of the FAA, investors, and vendors to maximize the return to investors.

From 1996 through 2000, Mr. Nelson served as the Interim Dean, Interim President, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director at the University of North Dakota’s, John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences and the UND Aerospace Foundation. Mr. Nelson reduced expenses, improved enrollments and maintained and increased business relationships. This included the restructuring of an agreement with China Airlines and the signing of a new agreement with China Xinhua for the first pilot training from Mainland China. Both transactions improved cash flow with minimum risk to the institution.

From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Nelson served as the Chief Operating Officer for Great Lakes Aviation, a regional carrier based in Cheyenne, WY, that operates 52 aircraft serving hubs in Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver with 352 flights per day. Mr. Nelson was responsible for all areas of flight operations, maintenance, quality control, and labor negotiation.