Board Member: Mark Baker
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, rotocraft rafting, 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-Grow 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 improvements and garden products.
Baker, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, has also served on numerous corporate boards and has taken leadership rolls in non profit organizations including City of Hope, a biomedical research, treatment, and education institution in Duarte, CA.
In conjunction with his role as President and CEO at AOPA, Baker is Chairman AOPA's Political Action Committee, Chief Executive Officer for the AOPA Foundation, President for the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association representing pilots in 72 countries, and Publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world's largest and most influential aviation publication.
Board Member: J.J. Frey
Email J.J.: firstname.lastname@example.org
The author of How To Fly Floats, J.J. Frey is retired from EDO Corporation where he was Vice President of the Seaplane Operation. He had been with the company's Float Operation for over 35 years. Mr. Frey has been a licensed private pilot since 1964, and has flown extensively throughout Canada and the United States, including Alaska. With flight time of almost 5,000 hours, he holds an instrument rating, as well as ratings for SEL (Single Engine Land), MEL (Multi-Engine Land), SES (Single Engine Sea), MES (Multi-Engine Sea). In 1985 the FAA awarded Mr. Frey its Distinguished Service Award, recognizing his expertise and untiring support of aviation safety. In 1997 he was also given by the FAA an Award of Extraordinary Service, for his exceptional support in fostering safety as an aviation safety counselor for the Albany District office. J.J. is an Aviation Safety Counselor for the FAA, as well as a Board Member for the Seaplane Pilots Association.
How To Fly Floats was first published in the early 70's and has sold more than 200,000 copies. It is widely recognized as the most authoritative guide on the subject of flying floats, used by the majority of seaplane pilots. It has been translated into three languages.
Board Member: Mark Futch
A life-long Republican, Mark is a candidate for District 1 of the Charlotte County Airport Authority Board,
where he will work to promote General Aviation, their supportive businesses and sensible and safe growth for
the flying community within the Charlotte County area.
A SPA (Seaplane Pilot Assn.) Foundation Board Member, Mark is a Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor with over 28,000 hours, of which 24,000 is in the Seaplane. In this time, he have flown
from Alaska to Central America, the Caribbean and all of the lower 48 States. As a Flight Instructor, Mark has conducted over one hundred seaplane ratings.
Mark and his wife of 41 years, Kathy, owned and operated Boca Grande Seaplane Air Taxi Service based in Boca Grande, Florida for 30 years. My grandfather, one of 13 children,
was born on the North End of the Island and they have brought up two very successful children there: Matt, who is a Redstone Arsenal graduate and a Bomb Technician with the Orange County (Florida) Sheriff Department and recent recipient of the Governor’s Medal of
Heroism for his part in the Pulse Club attack; Rey Ann, a graduate of University of Tampa recently working with top advertising accounts there and receiver of the Adrian Award in advertising. Each married with children; Francis Futch, Olivia and Pierce Urbat.
A third generation Tarpon fishing guide in Boca Grande, Mark is in his 41st year and
hold two wins in the World’s Richest Tarpon Tournament. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, he has performed seaplane stunts in a half dozen feature films and dozens of National television commercials and has the distinguished honor of being selected for the Nominating Committee for the film SAG Awards for 2015.
His passion for aviation began at the age of seventeen, taking the first flight lesson at the Punta Gorda Airport. Mark’s mother, Shirley Cassady was Miss Punta Gorda of 1945, and the Burnham family were pioneers here, along with the Robert’s and the Futch’s. Eventually he put himself through flight school by working as a charter boat Captain in Boca Grande where his father, Karl’s family settled in the 1800’s from Key West and he still operates charter boat, “Sitarah.”
In one last notable statement, Mark has the credit to his name of being written in numerous novels, including a character in the best seller Night Moves of long time author-friend, Randy Wayne White. Mark has recently thrown his hat into the ring of politics as a candidate for the
Charlotte County Airport Authority.
Board Member: Bruce Hinds
Email Bruce: email@example.com
Call Bruce: 360-769-2311
Bruce Hinds has always had a fascination with Flying Boats, which of course has nothing to do with the fact that his father flew for Pan Am. As a young teen he met his dad's friend Charlie Blair and visited Antilles Flying Boats... the seed was planted. Although he's been flying for over 50 years it's only been in the last 15 that he's been able to realize his dream. He and his wife Janie fly their beautifully restored 1947 Super Seabee from Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor, WA. He says "The Bee is a perfect fit; it's a boat. it's a plane, and a tail dragger too,"
Bruce admits he knew little or nothing about seaplane flying or Seabees when they acquired Ms. Beasley, so he located and contacted a list of Bee owners in the NW and re-started a long out of production newsletter for Seabee owners/lovers that now goes worldwide. He also joined the SPA and Washington's own WSPA to learn all he could. It was a SPA Field Director that had such a big impact on him to get involved. Bruce has served on the board at WSPA, held the VP and President's positions, created their e-newsletter and their first website.
In addition to his service in WA and Seabee experience, Bruce brings over 20,000 hours of flying. He retired from Continental Airlines as a Captain, Line Check Airman, and instructor. He's flown corporate turbo props, Beech 18's and DC-3's for air cargo, as a Demonstrator Pilot for Mitsubishi on the MU-2, and Helicopters in the US Army. Since coming to our Board more than 4 years ago, he would like to see us re-ignite the passion within the Field Director Network.
Board Member: Stephen Williams
Email Stephen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Stephen: 207-350-2120
Steve Williams lives on Georgetown Island Maine where he is co-owner in Woodex Bearing Company, a manufacturer of bearings and mechanical shaft seals. Williams studied engineering at the state university and worked as a machinist and production engineer at Woodex Bearing Company.
Steve started flying 34 years ago, adding Commercial and Instructor ratings, and accumulating 5800 hours of PC time mostly in tailwheel aircraft and seaplanes. He currently flies a Cessna185 on amphibs along with his wife Lisa Reece who holds a commercial seaplane rating and heads up the Maine Aeronautics Association, a grass roots pilot's organization serving Maine and New England.
Steve's PIC time includes extensive cross country time across US, Mexico, and Eastern Canada which includes time camping out of plane, canoeing, and fishing. Three decades of flying throughout the state has given him an intimate knowledge of Maine seaplane activity.
SPA Field Director activities involve advocacy and educational opportunities throughout the state of Maine. Advocacy issues may involve speaking in front of municipal, state government bodies or individual lake association groups. Educational opportunities involve two yearly safety seminars, including a seaplane safety course taught at the New England Safety Symposium in Nashua NH.
Steve currently serves the aviation community as a Director for the SPA and the SPA Foundation, Treasurer for Maine Aeronautics Association, FAASTeam Rep., and as a member of the Wiscasset Airport Advisory Committee. He also serves the community as a Director of Boothbay Railway Museum where he currently serves as Board President.
Board Member: Walter Windus
Email Walter: email@example.com
Call Walter: 408-255-1917
Walter is a retired rocket and satellite engineer who started flight training in Provo, Utah in 1969. He got his private pilot certificate in 1970, Single Engine Seaplane rating and Multi-engine land rating in 1971, his Instrument pilot rating in 1972, and his Multi-engine Seaplane rating in 1973. He also went on to get his commercial pilot certificate, A&P, and Flight Instructor's rating.
Walter joined the Skyview Flying Club at San Jose International Airport in 1971 and became President and General Manager through 1983. The flying club operated six aircraft, two advanced trainers, and two high-performance aircraft. He also joined the Santa Clara County Airman's Association and served one year as the President of the organization and several years as Legislative Action Chairman.
Walter has served on several community and state aviation committees and commissions, including the San Jose Airport Advisory Committee, Santa Clara County Airport Siting Committee, Caltrans Aeronautics Advisory Committee, as well as a Commissioner on the Santa Clara County Airport Land Use Commission.
Walter has been a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary for over 25 years, and has been called upon numerous times to fly his Coast Guard certified seaplane for Coast Guard ordered search and rescue.
Along with being a Field Director for California, Nevada, and Utah, Walter is the past Chairman of the Seaplane Pilots Association. He is responsible for gaining seaplane access to all but two of the currently available water landing sites in California.