October 16, 2019

Leadership Challenges: Moving From Commercial to Nonprofit, with Mark Baker

Episode 10:

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 a DC-3 type rating. 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.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Mark Baker changed the tone and trajectory of AOPA after taking over
  • Why Baker chose to leave retail and move into an association
  • The challenges Mark Baker had to overcome while transitioning to the nonprofit industry
  • The importance of enabling and engaging your staff
  • How Baker improved AOPA’s regional fly-ins and other types of member engagement events
  • The challenges of advocacy in a complex association climate
  • Where we are at with the growth of the pilot population
  • The role that mentorship played in Baker’s growth as a leader

Additional resources: