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March 27, 2015

"What's New at AOPA" Hangar Flying Session

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“What’s New at AOPA”
Mark Baker, AOPA

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has been very active in preserving pilot’s rights and in promoting aviation around the world. A description of current issues facing pilots and aircraft owners will be provided by Mark Baker, CEO of AOPA. Particular emphasis will be given to Congressional measures which would significantly alter medical certification for flight.

A native Minnesotan, Mark Baker became a pilot in his twenties. The pilot community and his close flying friends are the reason you can find him at an airport or a seaplane base nearly every weekend. Over the years, as Mark continuously added new ratings, he would fly his wife, Vickie, and four children (plus a cat and a dog) in a Bonanza on the weekends, enjoyed hangar flying with buddies in Minnesota and found some of his greatest enjoyment in encouraging his relatives and friends to also learn to fly. An aircraft owner and an AOPA member since 1987, Mark has logged more than 7,500 hours of flight time. He enjoys flying everything from light seaplanes to turbines to helicopters, but his favorite airplane continues to be his Piper Super Cub. His love of flying is infectious: Not only did Mark encourage his father to learn to fly, but two of his sons-in-law have earned their pilot’s certificates and his own son will become a pilot soon as well. He has also enjoyed flying Young Eagles and donating time and resources to the Experimental Aircraft Association. In his professional life, Mark worked his way up through the home improvement business and acquired a sharp focus on customer service that will translate well to a membership association. Most recently, he served as CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corporation, a leading retailer of home improvement and garden products. Mark also served in senior executive roles at Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Gander Mountain Company, The Home Depot and other companies in the industry. Mark has been a wonderful breath of fresh air for general aviation, and he claims the Anoka County-Blaine airport as his home airport.

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