2018 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40: Jacob N. Sotsky

Oct. 1, 2018

Jacob N. Sotsky
Age: 37

  • Alma Mater: Tulane University, BS, Civil Engineering, University of Louisville, MBA
  • Favorite Aircraft: B-777
  • Favorite Book: Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
  • Favorite TV Show: The West Wing
  • Favorite Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Favorite Hobbies: Travel, Music, Cooking, Entertaining

A client who nominated Jacob Sotsky, a director at airport strategy firm Jacobsen|Daniels, almost didn’t. “I'm not at all sure it's in my best interest to share just how amazing Jacob is. If others know my secret to getting things done (it's Jacob), he may be less available to me and that would be tragic,” the nominator wrote.

“We are a needy client. We call when we need something and it’s rarely between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Jacob always answers my call or email promptly and gets to work immediately on whatever it is we need,” said the nominator. “Logically we know he has other clients, but we never feel it. He’s politically astute and knows when to push and when to sit down. Ultimately, Jacob makes us look good. That’s a great consultant.”

While in college, Sotsky always wanted to be a planner, but he pivoted into civil engineering in his junior year at Tulane University. “I like having the ability to see things I’ve worked on happen in real time, like my work at Los Angeles International Airport,” he said. He’s currently working on the Landside Access Modernization Program (LAMP) at LAX, along with the Airport Development Plan at San Diego International Airport .

Sotsky enjoys how so many people are impacted by the work he and his colleagues do every day at airports to make their journeys better. “I used AutoCAD to draw lines for parking lots. Two years later, I looked out the window and see lines being drawn in the pavement exactly how I drew them,” he said.

Spending part of his childhood with his dad, who lived under the old primary departures runway at Louisville International Airport, made an impression on Sotsky. “I like working in such a dynamic world where everything is interconnected. I like that I have the ability to touch all aspects of airport design, from the moment a passenger gets to the airport to the moment they take off,” he said.

Airports need to continue to take a customer service-based approach in planning and design, said Sotsky. “More airports are focusing on the passenger experience, but we’re only scratching the surface,” he said. “The more airports cater to customers the more non-aeronautical revenue they can raise, which will allow them to fund more projects in the future.”