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Senior Director of Communications
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When: Nov. 4-5, 2022
Where: Tampa, FL, at Tampa Executive Airport (KVDF)
When: Nov. 17-18, 2022
Where: Fort Worth Texas, at Fort Worth Alliance Airport (KAFW) hosted by Alliance Aviation Services
When: Oct.18-20, 2022
Where: Orlando, FL
Mark R. Baker joined AOPA in 2013 as president and CEO 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 10,000 hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from light seaplanes to turbines and helicopters.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Baker has served on numerous corporate boards and has taken leadership roles with several nonprofit organizations.
Before his appointment at AOPA, Baker served in numerous senior executive roles, including CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corporation, a leading retailer of home improvement and garden products. Baker also served in senior executive roles at Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Gander Mountain Company, and The Home Depot. Earlier in his career, he also worked for HomeBase, Scotty’s Home Improvement Centers, and Knox Hardware and Lumber.
In conjunction with his role as president and CEO of AOPA, Baker is chairman of AOPA’s Political Action Committee; chief executive officer for the AOPA Foundation; president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, representing pilots in 81 countries; and publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world’s largest and most influential aviation publication.
Greg Cohen serves as the Senior Vice President of Administration, overseeing Human Resources, AOPA Aviation Finance, Pilot Information Services and Member Services, Facilities, Office Services, Finance & Accounting, and Information Technology.
A native of New Jersey, Cohen is an instrument-rated private pilot, soloed at 16, and earned his certificate at 17. He is currently the proud owner of a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza.
Cohen is a certified public accountant, holds an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Franklin & Marshall College.
Prior to rejoining AOPA in 2016 as Vice President of Human Resources, Cohen worked for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Dulles International Airport, Reagan National Airport, and the Dulles Toll Road. Other prior experience includes working for ACS State & Local Solutions (later acquired by Xerox), and for the mutual fund giant Vanguard Group.
Cohen’s previous experience at AOPA, which first began in 2006, includes various positions within the Finance division.
Jim Coon is the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Advocacy, where he is responsible for the implementation of AOPA’s political, legislative, and regulatory initiatives and policies before Congress, federal agencies, and state legislatures.
Prior to joining AOPA, Jim had over three decades of experience working with Congress and the aviation industry. He held the role of Staff Director for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for several years and served as Staff Director on the Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee. During his 25-year tenure on Capitol Hill, he played a large role in crafting major transportation legislation and was recognized by Roll Call as one of the top five transportation staffers to know. Additionally, he is a board member of the Aero Club of Washington and served in leadership roles for the National Air Transportation Association, the Boeing Company, and the Air Transport Association (now A4A).
Jim was also appointed Secretary General of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) in August of 2020. IAOPA was founded in 1962 to facilitate the movement of general aviation aircraft internationally and today the organization consists of 82 affiliates around the globe. Jim serves as only the 6th IAOPA Secretary General in the organization’s 59-year history. In 1964, IAOPA was accepted as the sole general aviation observer to ICAO, a distinction the organization maintains to this day.
Jim received a degree in Urban Planning from Virginia Tech and served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and Virginia Army National Guard. He joined AOPA in 2014 and is a student pilot. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children.
Justine Harrison joined AOPA in 2019 and serves as AOPA’s general counsel and corporate secretary, leading the Legal Department and overseeing AOPA’s Legal Services Plan, which serves more than 66,000 members.
Harrison is a commercial rated pilot and flies aircraft ranging from an AirCam experimental she co-built to a Lear 75.
Harrison earned her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, and her Juris Doctor from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Prior to joining AOPA, Harrison ran her own law firm for a decade after serving as general counsel, senior vice president of external affairs, and corporate secretary of the Nevada Cancer Institute.
She previously served as a director for the Nevada Cancer Institute, the Nevada Business Aviation Association, and Angel Flight West, and as a member of EAA’s Legal Advisory Council.
Kollin Stagnito is senior vice president of media and marketing. Stagnito brings a wealth of media and marketing knowledge to AOPA and is responsible for running AOPA’s print and digital media teams including AOPA Pilot—the world’s largest aviation magazine, newsletters, social media, podcasts, website, and AOPA Live video channel. Additionally, he manages AOPA’s membership marketing, product marketing, advertising and partnerships.
A native of Pennsylvania, Stagnito graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Business Economics. He began flying during his senior year in college and within a year earned his private pilot certificate, purchased a Cessna 150, and became an AOPA member. He currently holds commercial pilot and remote pilot certificates, is an advanced and instrument ground instructor, and loves flying his 1947 Cessna 140. He has logged over 1,000 hours of flight time and has flown more than 25 models of single engine aircraft.
Prior to joining the association in January 2019 as Vice President of Publications, he was the CEO of Stagnito Business Information. Between 1991 and 2016, Stagnito, his father and two brothers—with private equity backing—successfully started, grew and sold two media companies serving the food and beverage industry: Stagnito Communications and Stagnito Business Information. During this time, he was progressively responsible for sales, marketing, content, audience development, events, research, operations and mergers and acquisitions.
Richard McSpadden was appointed executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute in February 2017 and was promoted to senior vice president in July 2020. He currently leads a team of certified flight instructors and content creators who develop and distribute aviation safety material –free of charge— in order to advance general aviation safety industrywide. ASI distributes material through a dedicated YouTube channel, iTunes podcasts, Facebook, and a dynamic website. ASI material is accessed 12 million times annually.
A native of Panama City, Florida, McSpadden started flying as a teenager and has logged over 5,000 hours flying a variety of civilian and military aircraft. McSpadden is a commercial pilot, CFII, MEI with SES, MES ratings and a 525S (Citation Jet Single Pilot) type rating. He taught his son to fly, instructed his daughter to solo in their Piper Super Cub, previously owned a 1950 Navion that was in his family for almost 40 years, and currently owns a 1993 Piper Super Cub.
McSpadden holds a degree in Economics from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Public Administration from Troy University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College.
Prior to joining AOPA, McSpadden had a successful career in the information technology industry, leading large, geographically dispersed operations providing business-critical IT services. McSpadden also served in the Air Force for 20 years, including the prestigious role of commander and flight leader of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team where he led over 100 flight demonstrations flying the lead aircraft.
Additionally, McSpadden currently serves as the industry chair for the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee.
Adam Meredith joined AOPA in 2013 and currently serves as president of AOPA Aviation Finance Company. Meredith is responsible for the start-up and management of AOPA Aviation Finance, a brokerage firm wholly owned by AOPA, providing aircraft financing to its members.
He is a native New Englander and a commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings.
Meredith holds dual master’s degrees in Business Administration and Finance from Boston College, and has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado. Meredith first obtained formal credit training in 2001 from Eastern Bank, the oldest and largest mutually held bank in the United States, with $11B in assets. While at Eastern Bank, he earned experience in equipment leasing, commercial and industrial lending, managed assets, and commercial real estate. Prior to joining AOPA, Meredith was with Santander Bank, where he was the aviation commercial loan officer and portfolio manager. Before Santander, Meredith co-founded and sold TJM Motorsports, a small business specializing in the wholesale distribution of automotive performance parts.
Additionally, Meredith is involved with the National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA), where he serves as a board member and chairman of the Light Aircraft Roundtable Committee, and is active in his local area youth lacrosse programs.
Elizabeth Tennyson is the senior vice president of the AOPA Foundation, overseeing the AOPA Foundation and You Can Fly programs and initiatives. AOPA’s You Can Fly is responsible for programs designed to get people flying and keep them flying. You Can Fly is comprised of four initiatives: introducing high school students to aviation career opportunities, improving the flight training experience, making flying more accessible and affordable through flying clubs, and returning lapsed pilots to the cockpit. AOPA’s Foundation focuses on funding programs that grow the pilot population, improve safety, and make flying more accessible and affordable.
A native of California, Tennyson earned her private pilot certificate in 1998 and is an instrument-rated private pilot and a hang glider pilot. She is currently the proud owner of a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza.
Tennyson holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and undergraduate degrees in broadcast journalism and international relations from the University of Southern California.
Tennyson first joined AOPA in 1998. Prior to joining You Can Fly, she held positions throughout the association that included director of Publications/managing editor of Flight Training magazine, vice president of Publications/executive editor of AOPA Pilot magazine, vice president of e-Publishing, senior director of Communications, and vice president of Aviation Program Operations. Prior to her tenure with AOPA, Tennyson was a television, radio, and wire service reporter, working for The Associated Press in Los Angeles, Miami, and Raleigh, North Carolina. She also served as editor in chief for a collection of legal and golf magazines.
Tennyson serves on the boards of the Aerospace Center for Excellence and the Aviation Accreditation Board International.
Erica Saccoia joined AOPA in 2009 and currently serves as AOPA’s senior vice president of Finance and Accounting. Saccoia is responsible for the day to day management of a team of accountants and operational technicians as well as overseeing all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities for the organization(s), including financial reporting, planning and budgeting, accounting, risk management, contract management, tax and regulatory compliance, auditing, and all other areas of financial analysis and activity. In addition, her department is responsible for monitoring and
overseeing the organization’s internal financial and fiscal policies regarding all financial transactions.
A native of Woodbridge, Virginia, Saccoia graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting, and she obtained her certified public accountant license in May 1994.
Prior to joining AOPA, Saccoia was the accounting manager, Financial and Tax Reporting, for National Public Radio for eight years. She started her career with Price Waterhouse as an auditor of the federal government and nonprofit organizations.
Saccoia’s prior experience at AOPA includes senior vice president-Finance and Accounting, vice president-controller, director of Accounting, and accounting manager, where she was responsible primarily for financial reporting for the Air Safety Foundation and AOPA Foundation.