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.
George joined AOPA in September 2014 and will lead the Air Safety Institute. He comes to AOPA with a diverse background both in General Aviation and Military Aviation. In addition to being an active General Aviation pilot since the age of 16, he recently completed a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy as an F-18E squadron commanding officer.
During George’s career in the Navy he held numerous senior aviation safety leadership positions which included: Director, F-14 Tomcat fleet safety programs, Safety Director in both Carrier Air Wing Seven and Three as well as F-18E Super Hornet carrier pilot Training Manager.
In addition to being an F-18 and F-14 pilot instructor, and standardization check pilot, George has over 850 carrier arrested landings, holds ATP, CFII, & MEI certificates, has logged over 5000 hours and currently owns a Mooney M20. George’s educational background includes a BS in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle, an MBA from the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California and is also a graduate of the U.S. Navy’s Aviation Safety School.
Bruce Landsberg is the past president of the AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute. He led AOPA’s safety initiatives for more than 20 years and during his tenure, the organization has been nationally recognized with numerous awards for aviation safety leadership and educational program excellence.
Now, as Senior Safety Advisor to the Air Safety Institute and AOPA Landsberg continues to write the monthly “Safety Pilot” column in AOPA Pilot magazine, a popular blog in AOPA ePilot, and speaks at many different GA safety events. 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, he holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master's degree in industrial technology from the University of Maryland.
Landsberg has logged more than 6,000 hours as an airline transport pilot (ATP) and holds gold seal flight instructor certificates. He has been an AOPA member for more than 40 years and is an aircraft owner.
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