William C. “Bill” Trimble joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 1993 and has served as chairman since 2005. In addition to his role as chairman, he is chairman of the Executive Committee. He also serves on the Finance and Investment Committee, the Compensation, Organization and HR Committee, and the Audit Committee.
Bill has been flying since 1983 and earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1985. He went on to earn Glider, Single engine sea, Multi-engine Land, Instrument, and Commercial (certificates and ratings). He now has more than 5000 flight hours and owns a TBM 850 based at BWI in Maryland.
A resident of Washington, DC, Bill is the President and CEO of a public real estate company.
William S. “Bill” Ayer first became an AOPA member in 1980 and then joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2017, where he currently sits on the Audit Committee as well as the Compensation, Organization, and HR Committee.
Bill has been flying for more than forty years and holds ATP and flight instructor certificates. He has more than 5,000 flight hours and currently owns a Piper Malibu.
Bill serves on a number of boards, including the University of Washington Board of Regents, the Honeywell Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Flight and the Board of the National Air and Space Museum. He also serves on the National Business Aviation Association Board and was the prior chair of the AOPA Foundation Board of Advisors. He also serves on the Board of an early stage company, and VICIS. He was a member of the FAA’s Management Advisory Council and is past chairman of FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee.
Bill was formerly chairman and chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air. He was also the founder of Air Olympia, a small commuter airline in Washington.
Bill and his wife, Pam, are residents of Bellevue, Washington and have one daughter, Elizabeth.
Mark Baker has been flying for more than 40 years, using airplanes for fun, commuting, and business. With more than 10,000 hours in the left seat and a commercial pilot certificate with single and multiengine land and seaplane ratings, rotorcraft rating, and type ratings in the Cessna Citation 500 and 525s, as well as DC-3. Mark’s favorite plane is a Piper Super Cub he’s owned for more than 25 years. Before taking the helm at AOPA, Mark had a distinguished career in top leadership positions at companies including The Home Depot, Gander Mountain, and Orchard Supply Hardware.
Lawrence “Larry” D. Buhl III has been a member of AOPA’s Board of Trustees since 2004 and an AOPA member since 1974. He currently serves on the Compensation, Organization and HR Committee, and the Audit Committee of the Board.
Larry has been an active pilot since 1973 and has accumulated more than 4,600 hours of flight time. He currently owns a Piper Malibu Meridian based at New Haven, Connecticut. He holds a Private Pilot Certificate with Multi-Engine and Instrument ratings. Larry’s aviation-related activities have included collecting planes made by Buhl Aircraft Company made in the 1930’s.
A resident of North Haven, Connecticut, Larry is the founder and CEO of Northeast Investments, Inc., a real estate and materials management company.
Darrell Crate has been a member of AOPA since 1992 and a member of the Board since 2004. Darrell was appointed Vice Chairman of the Board in February 2014. He serves on the Executive Committee, the Compensation, Organization and HR Committee, Chairs the Audit Committee and is Co-Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee.
After soloing in 1991, Darrell earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1993. Today, he holds Multi-engine Land and Instrument rating, and has more than 5,000 flight hours. He also owns a Pilatus PC-12 based at Beverly, MA. His aviation achievements include flying his single engine plane to all of the 48 continental United States, (and may hold the record for the least number of bathroom breaks when traveling with four children).
A resident of Hamilton, Massachusetts, Darrell is the Managing Principal of a private equity firm he founded in 2009.
Matthew J. Desch joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2011, having been an AOPA member since 1976 and a member of the AOPA Foundation Board of Visitors since 2008. He serves on the Executive Committee, the Compensation, Organization as well as the HR Committee.
Matt earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1976 and holds a Commercial certificate with Instrument, and Multi-Engine Land as well as Single-Engine Sea ratings. He has more than 2000 flight hours today and owns a TBM 910 based at Dulles International Airport (KIAD).
An early pioneer in the wireless industry, he is CEO of Iridium Communications Inc., a global provider of mobile satellite communications. Matt resides in McLean, VA.
Amanda C. Farnsworth has been an AOPA member since 2003 and joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2012. She serves on the Finance and Investment Committee, as well as the Compensation, Organization, & HR Committee.
After soloing in 2003, Amanda earned her Private Pilot Certificate followed by her Instrument rating in 2004. Since then she attained her Commercial rating in 2016, her Cirrus Vision Jet type rating in 2019, and has accumulated more than 2,300 flying hours. She is involved in numerous aviation organizations.
She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BS in Mathematics and MS in Computer Science with related work in Business. She serves on several corporate boards and is active in many Nashville organizations, including serving on the Boards of Directors for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Ensworth School Board of Trust. She flies a Cirrus Vision Jet.
James “Jim” N. Hauslein has been an AOPA member since 1987 and joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2012. In addition to his role as Treasurer, he also serves on the AOPA Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee, the Compensation, Organization, and HR Committee, and Chairs the Finance and Investment Committee.
Jim has made general aviation part of his personal and professional life since 1996 when he earned his Private Pilot certificate. He later went on to earn his Instrument rating, as well as Multi-Engine, Commercial, Seaplane and Cessna Citation 500 and Cessna Citation CE-525 type ratings. He now has more than 2,000 hours in the cockpit.
Today, Jim is Managing Director of Hauslein & Company, Inc., a private equity firm. As part of his private equity investment activities with Hauslein & Company, he has served on the board of directors of several companies. Jim also spent over a decade, in the roles of Chairman and CEO, for Sunglass Hut International, Inc., the world's largest specialty retailer of branded non-prescription sunglasses and lifestyle watches. During his tenure at Sunglass Hut, sales increased over 3,100% as the company expanded and developed into a multi-channel, multi-product, multi-national, vertically integrated global retailer. In addition, Jim most recently served as Chairman and CEO of Big Time Products, the nation's leader in work-site accessories and was a 2017 Hardware Category vendor-of the-year recipient from Home Depot. Jim also appeared on a variety of business news programs on CNBC, CNN, and Fox News.
Jim resides in Hobe Sound, Florida. In addition to flying, he enjoys golf, tennis, SCUBA diving, and adventure travel.
Herman Neel Hipp Jr., better known as Neel, has been a member of the AOPA Board of Trustees since 2000 and a member of the association since 1980. He currently serves on the Finance and Investment Committee, as well as the Audit Committee.
Neel, who owns a Beech Bonanza based at Greenville Downtown Airport, holds a Private Pilot Certificate with Instrument and Multi-Engine ratings as well as a Commercial Certificate. He has accumulated more than 2,700 hours of flight time. In addition to his work on behalf of AOPA, Neel has served on the Greenville Downtown Airport Commission and as Chairman of the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission.
Former chairman of Liberty Life Insurance Company and current owner of Hipp Investments LLC, Neel lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
William B. “Will” Hudson rejoined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2020. He served for several years after his father, Fitzgerald “Jerry” Hudson, retired in 1999 after serving on AOPA’s board for more than 30 years. He has been an AOPA member since 1983.
Will earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1984, his Instrument rating in 1986 and his Commercial certificate as well as his Single Engine Sea rating in 1988. He has more than 3500 flight hours and owns a Cessna T210 and a Pilatus PC12 that he flies for business and pleasure. His favorite flying activities involve winter instrument flying and summer backcountry adventures. Having flown throughout the intermountain west for almost 30 years, Hudson is dedicated to AOPA initiatives that seek to protect general aviation’s access to the backcountry, and to ensure a balanced relationship between the FAA and GA pilots.
A resident of Marin County, CA, Will is a founding partner of Vx Capital, a commercial aircraft leasing company, and is currently its President and Chief Operating Officer.
James G. “Jay” Tuthill has been an AOPA member since 1978 and a member of the Board of Trustees since 2009. Jay currently sits on the Compensation, Organization, and HR Committee.
Jay began flying in 1976 and reports he has finally passed the 3000 flight-hour mark. An ATP with four different type ratings and a fair amount of turbine time, Jay finds himself returning to his G.A. roots through his passion for water flying. Based at Chicago/Romeoville Airport, Jay is a fierce proponent of individual freedom and the responsibilities that come right along with it. What better place for him than to be on AOPA’s Board where he can lend his energy to AOPA’s valiant stand to preserve your freedom to fly.
Jay is Chairman of Tuthill Corporation, a mid-size manufacturer of industrial products for markets worldwide. He makes his home in the Chicago area.
Luke R. Wippler joined AOPA’s Board of Trustees in 2015, and has been a member of AOPA since 2005.
As a Private Pilot with Multi-Engine instrument and single-engine seaplane ratings, Luke has accumulated over 1,300 hours of flight time. He currently owns a Socata TBM 700.
A resident of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Luke is senior vice president and director of capital, liquidity and interest rate risk for U.S. Bank, the nation’s fifth largest bank. He has more than 18 years’ experience in the banking and financial services industries.