Jan. 30, 2014

For NBAA’s Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) program to earn accreditation, it had to meet certain standards, such as: written bylaws, regular testing schedules and appropriate re-certification requirements. It also had to include a “public member” on the CAM Governing Board.

The CAM Governing Board actually has included a public member for the last several years, and Brad Baker, chairman of the board at Odyssey Marine Exploration, currently serves in that capacity.

“The key point is they represent the public and do not have a direct connection to the industry. Brad is not qualified to be a CAM, but he is a qualified end user of the product of business aviation,” explained CAM Administrative Director Jay Evans. ”His only interest in certification is from a potential customer’s view.”

While he’s not a business aviation professional, Baker is a pilot. He earned his private pilot’s license at age 20 and is instrument-rated. In his first career, producing and selling computer software and equipment, he relied on business aviation to reach his customers.

Baker took that computer company public, and he is also the CEO of Nexus Biometrics. Additionally, he has served on several for-profit and nonprofit boards, and said he often contributes the most to the CAM Governing Board just by asking questions.

“Brad gives us a CEO’s perspective at all of our meetings; he helps us stay focused on the services a CAM provides to the end user,” said CAM Governing Board Chairman Scott Rose of PepsiCo Aviation. “He’s really good at challenging our assumptions.”

That’s exactly what the public member should do, according to accrediting agency the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

“The public member should bring a perspective to the decision and policy making of the organization that is different from that of the certificants and helps to balance the organization’s role in protecting the public while advancing the interests of the profession,” NCCA states in its standards.

For his part, Baker finds it rewarding to serve with the “incredibly smart and dedicated” members of the CAM Governing Board.

“It’s a very forward-thinking group,” he said. “We’re focused on the future of business aviation safety and leadership. As a pilot, and as someone who’s used business aviation in my work, that’s very exciting.”