Mark R. Baker is a longtime general aviation (GA) pilot and only the fifth president in the 75-year history of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world’s largest civil aviation organization.
A native Minnesotan, Baker earned his pilot certificate in his twenties and has logged more than 7,500 hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from light seaplanes to turbines and helicopters. He holds numerous ratings and certificates, including a commercial pilot certificate, single- and multi-engine seaplane ratings, rotorcraft rating, and type ratings in the Cessna Citation 500 and 525s.
Having owned and restored numerous aircraft through the years, his current favorite is a Piper Super Cub, equipped with floats, skis, or wheels depending on the season. An enthusiastic advocate for general aviation, weekends find Baker enjoying the company of his fellow pilots at airports and seaplane bases around the country. Baker believes strongly in making general aviation accessible to more people and has welcomed numerous friends and family members, including his father, son, and two sons-in-law, into the pilot community.
Prior to his appointment at AOPA, Baker served in numerous senior executive roles, including chief operating officer at Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, president and CEO of outdoor outfitter Gander Mountain Company, and chief merchandizing officer and executive vice president for The Home Depot. Most recently, he served as CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp., a leading retailer of home improvement and garden products.
Baker, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, has also served on numerous corporate boards and has taken leadership roles with nonprofit organizations, including City of Hope, a top biomedical research, treatment, and education institution in Duarte, California.
In conjunction with his role as president and CEO of AOPA, Baker is chairman AOPA’s Political Action Committee, chief executive officer for the AOPA Foundation, president of the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations representing pilots in 72 countries, and publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world’s largest and most influential aviation publication.
Baker took the left seat at AOPA on September 6, 2013, following formal appointment by the Board of Trustees at the Annual Meeting of Members in Frederick, Maryland.
Bruce Landsberg became the president of the AOPA Foundation in May 2010. He is responsible for all foundation activities including program development, safety seminars, publications, special educational and research projects, and donor cultivation. Prior to coming to the AOPA Foundation he lead the AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) since 1992. During his tenure, ASF has been nationally recognized with numerous awards on aviation safety leadership and educational program excellence. He writes the monthly “Safety Pilot” column in AOPA Pilot magazine and a weekly blog – Leading Edge . He serves on many committees to represent general aviation interests in the FAA, NTSB, National Weather Service, collegiate aviation and various industry groups.
Before coming to AOPA , Landsberg was product marketing manager for FlightSafety International in Wichita, Kan., specializing in transition and instrument proficiency training programs for high-performance singles, light twins, and turboprops, and for airline pilot recruitment programs. Prior to that, he was manager for Cessna Aircraft Company’s Air Age education department involved in fleet sales of aircraft to colleges and universities.
Landsberg writes the monthly “Safety Pilot” column in AOPA Pilot magazine, as well as a popular weekly blog in AOPA ePilot . He represents general aviation interests with the FAA, NTSB, National Weather Service, collegiate aviation programs, and various industry groups.
A former U.S. Air Force officer Landsberg holds a B.A. in Psychology and a master’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Maryland.
Landsberg has logged more than 6,000 hours and holds airline transport pilot (ATP), single-engine, multiengine, and instrument flight instructor certificates. He has been an AOPA member for more than 40 years.
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