Mark Sullivan (USA)

A resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Mark started ballooning in hot air balloons in 1982 and received his gas balloon rating in 1985. He holds a USA commercial license and has 1350 hours in balloons, with 400 of them in gas balloons. He has achieved Level VIII of the Balloon Federation of America Pilot Achievement Program, Level IX of the FAA Wings Program and holds the Gold Sporting Badge with Three Diamonds from the Ballooning Commission of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the world’s air sport and record federation. He has also received the prestigious Montgolfier Diploma from the FAI Ballooning Commission, ballooning’s highest award.

Mark Sullivan participates in ballooning on many levels. He is a world-class competitor as well as an international event organizer and a representative to national and international ballooning organizations. Below is a sampling of his activities:

Competition Flying
Mark is the only person to become New Mexico State Champion in hot air balloons three times. He has also won the Top Gun Traveling Trophy (in hot air balloons) twice.

1st Place - 1992 North American Championship

1st Place - 1995 U.S. National Team Championship (team members Sid Cutter and Troy Bradley)

1st Place - 1995 U.S. National Gas Balloon Championship

2nd Place - 1995 World Gas Balloon Championship flying with David Levin

2nd Place - 1996 Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett flying with David Levin

3rd Place - 1994 U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship

Awards
1994
Shields – Trauger Memorial Award, the highest award in the BFA.

1995 FAI Air Sport Medal

1996 Albert Desmond Memorial Award, the highest award in the Competition Division of the Balloon Federation of America.

1998 Montgolfier Diploma, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale’s highest award given in the sport of ballooning.

Service to Ballooning:
1984 - 1986
Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Aerostatic Ascension Association (Albuquerque, NM).
Vice President 1995, 1986 & 1985.

1986 - Present Board of Directors of the Gas Division of the Balloon Federation of America.
Chairman of the Board 1996 & 1997.

1986 – 1996 Board of Directors of Top Gun Inc. Founder of this local competitive balloon club.
President 1986-1991.

1987 – 1993 Board of Directors of the Competition Division of the Balloon Federation of America.
Chairman of the Board 1992 & 1993.

1989 – Present Board of Directors of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
President 1997-Present.

1995 - Present United States Alternate Delegate to the FAI Ballooning Commission.

Event Organization
In 1993 Mark organized and was the Event Director for the 37th Coupe Aéronautique Gordon Bennett, the oldest aeronautic competition in the world. In 1994, he organized and was the Event Director for the 9th World Gas Balloon championship. He immediately followed up these two events by organizing and directing the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race in 1995 and 1996, in conjunction with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. In 1997 the America’s Challenge was approved as an FAI Category 1 event.