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Bios of AOPA Board Members

William C. Trimble III
AOPA Chairman of the Board

William C. “Bill” Trimble joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 1993 and has served as chairman since 2005. In addition to his role as chairman, he is chairman of the Executive Committee and the Nominating Committee. He also serves on the Finance and Investment Committee, the Compensation, Organization and People Committee, and the Audit Committee.

Bill has been flying since 1983 and earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1985. He went on to earn Glider, Single engine sea, Multi-engine Land, Instrument, and Commercial (certificates and ratings). He now has more than 5000 flight hours and owns a TBM 850 based at BWI in Maryland.

A resident of Washington, DC, Bill is the President and CEO of a public real estate company.

Mark Baker

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 DC-3. 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.

Lawrence D. Buhl III

Lawrence “Larry” D. Buhl III has been a member of AOPA’s Board of Trustees since 2004 and an AOPA member since 1974. He currently serves on the Compensation, Organization and People Committee, and the Audit Committee of the Board. 

Larry has been an active pilot since 1973 and has accumulated more than 4,600 hours of flight time. He currently owns a Piper Malibu Meridian based at New Haven, Connecticut. He holds a Private Pilot Certificate with Multi-Engine and Instrument ratings. Larry’s aviation-related activities have included collecting planes made by Buhl Aircraft Company made in the 1930’s.

A resident of North Haven, Connecticut, Larry is the founder and CEO of Northeast Investments, Inc., a real estate and materials management company.

Matthew J. Desch

Matthew J. Desch joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2011, having been an AOPA member since 1976 and a member of the AOPA Foundation Board of Visitors since 2008. He serves on the Executive Committee, the Nominating Committee, and is Chair of the Compensation, Organization and People Committee.

Matt earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1976 and holds a Commercial certificate with Instrument, and Multi-Engine Land as well as Single-Engine Sea ratings. He has more than 2000 flight hours today and owns a TBM 910 based at Dulles International Airport (KIAD).

An early pioneer in the wireless industry, he is CEO of Iridium Communications Inc., a global provider of mobile satellite communications.  Matt resides in McLean, VA.

Stephen Elop

Stephen Elop has been an AOPA member since 1994 and joined AOPA’s Board of Trustees in 2022.  He serves on the Audit Committee as well as the Compensation, Organization and People Committee.

Stephen began flying at Brampton, Ontario in 1987 and has more than 3500 flight hours.  Stephen holds an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with Multi-Engine Land and Single-Engine Sea ratings as well as a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. He also has a Canadian based Private Pilot Certificate with Instrument ratings. He currently owns a 2007 Cessna T182T and a 2019 Cessna Citation CJ3+.

A resident of Kirkland, Washington, Stephen is the CEO of Digital.ai, an AI-driven software delivery and management platform company and has a history of senior leadership roles in the technology industry including CEO at Macromedia, President of Worldwide Field Operations at Adobe Systems, COO at Juniper Networks, President (MBD) at Microsoft, and CEO at Nokia.

Amanda C. Farnsworth

Amanda C. Farnsworth has been an AOPA member since 2003 and joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2012. She serves on the Finance and Investment Committee, the Executive Committee, the Compensation, Organization, and People Committee and the Nominating Committee.

After soloing in 2003, Amanda earned her Private Pilot Certificate followed by her Instrument rating in 2004. Since then she attained her Commercial rating  in 2016, her Cirrus Vision Jet type rating in 2019, and has accumulated more than 2,300 flying hours. She is involved in numerous aviation organizations.

She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BS in Mathematics and MS in Computer Science with related work in Business. She serves on several corporate boards and is active in many Nashville organizations, including serving on the Boards of Directors for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Ensworth School Board of Trust. She flies a Cirrus Vision Jet. 

James N. Hauslein

James “Jim” N. Hauslein has been an AOPA member since 1987 and joined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2012. In addition to his role as Treasurer, he also serves on the AOPA Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee, the Compensation, Organization, and People Committee, the Nominating Committee, and Chairs the Finance and Investment Committee.

Jim has made general aviation part of his personal and professional life since 1996 when he earned his Private Pilot certificate. He later went on to earn his Instrument rating, as well as Multi-Engine, Commercial, Seaplane and Cessna Citation 500 and Cessna Citation CE-525 type ratings. He now has more than 2,000 hours in the cockpit.

Today, Jim is Managing Director of Hauslein & Company, Inc., a private equity firm. As part of his private equity investment activities with Hauslein & Company, he has served on the board of directors of several companies. Jim also spent over a decade, in the roles of Chairman and CEO, for Sunglass Hut International, Inc., the world's largest specialty retailer of branded non-prescription sunglasses and lifestyle watches. During his tenure at Sunglass Hut, sales increased over 3,100% as the company expanded and developed into a multi-channel, multi-product, multi-national, vertically integrated global retailer. In addition, Jim most recently served as Chairman and CEO of Big Time Products, the nation's leader in work-site accessories and was a 2017 Hardware Category vendor-of the-year recipient from Home Depot. Jim also appeared on a variety of business news programs on CNBC, CNN, and Fox News.

Jim resides in Hobe Sound, Florida. In addition to flying, he enjoys golf, tennis, SCUBA diving, and adventure travel.

William B.L. Hudson

William B. “Will” Hudson rejoined the AOPA Board of Trustees in 2020.  He served for several years after his father, Fitzgerald “Jerry” Hudson, retired in 1999 after serving on AOPA’s board for more than 30 years. He has been an AOPA member since 1983.  Will was appointed Vice Chairman of the Board in May 2023.  He serves on the Finance and Investment Committee as well as the Compensation, Organization, and People Committee.

Will earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1984, his Instrument rating in 1986 and his Commercial certificate as well as his Single Engine Sea rating in 1988.  He has more than 3500 flight hours and owns a Cessna T210 and a Pilatus PC12 that he flies for business and pleasure.  His favorite flying activities involve winter instrument flying and summer backcountry adventures.  Having flown throughout the intermountain west for almost 30 years, Hudson is dedicated to AOPA initiatives that seek to protect general aviation’s access to the backcountry, and to ensure a balanced relationship between the FAA and GA pilots.

A resident of Marin County, CA, Will is a founding partner of Vx Capital, a commercial aircraft leasing company, and is currently its President and Chief Operating Officer.

Dan Otis

Dan Otis joined AOPA’s Board of Trustees in 2024 and has been an AOPA member since January 2022.

 

Dan founded Brickstone Partners, Inc., a Nashville-based real estate private equity firm, in 2001. Brickstone has been involved in office, retail and multifamily investment and development, including partnering on Google’s campus in Boulder.

He earned a BS degree from North Dakota State University. He holds a private pilot certificate with single engine land and instrument ratings. Dan operates a Pilatus PC-12NGX, has owned a Carbon Cub, and has flown extensively all over North America, Mexico and the Caribbean.

T. Williams (Bill) Roberts, III

T. Williams (Bill) Roberts, III joined AOPA’s Board of Trustees in 2024 and has been an AOPA member since 2010.

Bill is a partner and co-CEO of GWK Investment Management, LLC, an asset management firm. 

Bill earned his private pilot certificate in 2010, an instrument rating six months later, and a SF50 type rating in 2022.  Bill has owned Cirrus SR22s and currently owns a Vision Jet G2+.  Bill has more than 2,000 hours in these aircraft. He and his wife, Emma, actively use GA travelling frequently to The Bahamas and the Caribbean, and to commute between Boston and Maine.

He serves on a variety of nonprofit boards, including the Investment Adviser Association and the Westminster Kennel Club.  In addition, Bill is a member of Business Executives for National Security. He received his BA in political science from Denison University.

C. Austin Stephens

C. Austin Stephens joined AOPA’s Board of Trustees in 2024 and has been an AOPA member since 2000. 

 

Austin is a Managing Director with Merrill Lynch in the private wealth practice of STG Partners. Austin graduated from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with a BA in history, and has served on a variety of nonprofit boards, including PATH Foundation, The Westminster Schools, American Rivers and the Atlanta Beltline Partnership.

 

He holds a private pilot certificate with instrument, single engine land, single engine sea, and multi-engine land ratings. He owns a Beechcraft Baron and lives in Atlanta.

 

Luke R. Wippler

Luke R. Wippler joined AOPA’s Board of Trustees in 2015, and has been a member of AOPA since 2005.  Luke currently sits on the Executive Committee, the Finance and Investment Committee and is Chair of the Audit Committee.

As a Private Pilot with Multi-Engine instrument and single-engine seaplane ratings, Luke has accumulated over 1,300 hours of flight time. He currently owns a Socata TBM 700.

A resident of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Luke is senior vice president and director of capital, liquidity and interest rate risk for U.S. Bank, the nation’s fifth largest bank. He has more than 18 years’ experience in the banking and financial services industries.