Meet the Board of Trustees


Born in Guinea, French West Africa, to missionary/pastor parents, Mark Sterns has served in ministry functions throughout his life. Whether founding a new business, managing businesses for private owners, or working or volunteering in service and ministry organizations, Mark has always had a heart to serve ... and to give.

Mark is founder of Passion Leaders, a collective of professionals bringing passion and leadership to business, educational and ministry enterprises. A recognized culture engineer, Mark also continues to serve in aviation with his values-based leadership.

In 2015, Mark left Higher Power Aviation (HPA), a DFW-based, jet aircrew training company he co-founded and served as president for more than twenty years. As CEO of three different FAA training centers and with more than 3,500 of his Boeing 737 graduates hired by Southwest Airlines, the largest B737 airline in the world, Mark has influenced one of the greatest airlines in history.

HPA gained industry repute through its values of training, excellence, innovation, joy, relationships, character and serving. In an industry that highly values gifting, i.e. Top Gun, Higher Power graduates were most often impacted by the "character over gifting" value experienced by virtually all 14,000 trainees.

Mark holds an MBA and a magna cum laude Bachelor of Science degree from Oral Roberts University, where he served as Student Association President, MBA President, and in 2009 was honored along with his wife, Paula, as Alumni of the Year in Service to Alma Mater. They have been married for 36 years and have two sons (both ORU graduates) and a new grandson. In all, twenty members of their family attended his beloved alma mater.

Mark is a frequent speaker at aviation conferences, and has lectured at universities, seminaries, military academies, and government agencies, along with churches and men's groups. Along with presentations on Entrepreneuring Your Career, Holy Spirit Empowered Entrepreneurship, and Human Factors in Training, talks often highlight the miracle of Higher Power Aviation - that a non-technical person can be elevated to serve in areas beyond their gifting. In fact, Mark has landed on an aircraft carrier, the Arctic Circle, and the African savannah; flown a fighter attack jet, and countless simulators including tankers, fighters, bizjets and airliners in four different continents ... and is not a pilot!

Many organizations have benefited from Mark's volunteer or board director service, including Mastermedia (a ministry to Hollywood and New York media), Camp Barnabas, Miracle League, ORU Alumni Board, Rotary Club, Tulsa Youth for Christ, and other ministries.

Athletically, Mark continues to play basketball and follows all ORU sports. He enjoys travel, connecting with new and old friends, and pursuing his passion of ministry in business.