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AOPA Presidential Citation honors financial innovator John R. Cochran III, MBNA Bank president and COOAOPA Presidential Citation honors financial innovator John R. Cochran III, MBNA Bank president and COO

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John Cochran, MBNA President and COO

Sixty-four years ago, five Philadelphia-based businessmen founded AOPA to keep flying affordable for pilots. Nineteen years ago, AOPA established a relationship with MBNA America Bank, NA, which does just that.

At today's opening luncheon at AOPA Expo 2003, association President Phil Boyer presented a Presidential Citation to MBNA President and Chief Operating Officer John R. Cochran III for making the program a huge success. "Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Cochran and his staff at MBNA, along with staff in AOPA's Products and Services, membership in AOPA has become an unmistakable financial benefit," Boyer said.

The Presidential Citation notes that the long-term partnership "has created valuable products and services, all of which help make flying more affordable for AOPA members." The citation highlights the bank's "carefully tailored programs, including development of the AOPA credit card, FBO Rebate Program, aircraft financing program, and other services."

Cochran was part of the management team that established MBNA in 1982. MBNA became today's largest independent credit card lender spurred by Cochran's endorsed-marketing concept, which partners membership groups and financial institutions. He is a member of the bank's executive committee and is also senior executive vice president of the bank's holding company, MBNA Corp.

He is chairman of the board of trustees for his alma mater Loyola College in Maryland, serves on the board of the Delaware Council on Economic Education, and is a member of the board of trustees of the Delaware Public Policy Institute.

The MBNA credit card program is AOPA's largest source of non-dues revenue and has allowed AOPA to provide programs like Project Pilot, Airport Watch, and the Airport Support Network while helping keep annual dues at $39 for 13 years. Credit-card holders benefit as well, collecting more than $10 million by early 2003 through the innovative FBO rebate program.

With over 400,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation organization. It is dedicated to defending the interests of general aviation and educating the public at large about the benefits GA offers. Some two thirds of all U.S. pilots are members of AOPA.

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