Adell Humphreys Retires After 22 Years With NATCA National Office
Thursday, March 01, 2012
NATCA and its National Office staff said a fond goodbye - until we meet again - this week to Adell Humphreys, whose dedicated service to NATCA for the past 22 years came to a close with her much-deserved retirement.
Humphreys, who served as acting director of the Membership and Marketing Department the past two years, was honored with a farewell luncheon on Tuesday. Her last day in the office was Wednesday.
She left with a special message for NATCA and its membership:
"I can't believe that 22 years have passed so quickly, and I can assure you
that it's very bittersweet as I bid adieu to NATCA and join the ranks of
the newly-retired! I've always said that I was so lucky to have worked
for this union . . . It's been the best of times, the craziest of times,
and there were even some sad times.
The members and employees of this union have been a significant part of my life for a long time, and I will forever cherish the memories of our time together. As I drive off into retirement, I won't say goodbye to my dear friends and NATCA family. But
until we meet again, I wish every one of you all the very best that life
has to offer.
With love and thanks, Adell"
Humphreys started her NATCA career just as the union was preparing to mark its third anniversary, in 1990. In 2000, she received the Barry Krasner Award for Distinguished Service, presented by New York TRACON. And at the 2004 NATCA Convention in St. Louis, then-President John Carr presented her with a "Natty" award -- the precursor to the current "Timmy" Awards (named for the late PIT Fac Rep, Eastern Region RVP and dedicated NATCAvist Tim Haines) for outstanding service and dedication to the union and its members.
In 2001, our history book, "Against the Wind," chronicled many of Adell’s accomplishments and contributions to NATCA's success in her first 10 years with the union:
While the National Executive Board is in flux every three years and has evolved through five administrations, one of the few constants at headquarters is Adell Humphreys. Officially known as the union’s director of administration, her professional touch graces everything from the prosaic to the strategic.
Humphreys learned about the nuances of air traffic controllers when she worked for PATCO’s director of operations. More than a decade later, NATCA astutely grasped the benefits of her skills and knowledge. “Adell’s qualifications were outstanding,” former Executive Vice President Ray Spickler says.
With lightning-fast fingers, Humphreys has documented the deliberations at monthly NEB meetings since 1990. As the union grew, her responsibilities did, too. They were secretarial in nature at first—she earned the nickname “Adelli” for faithfully ordering in lunch at NEB gatherings— but Humphreys deftly demonstrated her ability to manage executive affairs.
She has coordinated schedules for all of NATCA’s presidents, from the era of Day-Timers to the latest PalmPilot. Convention delegates vote on which cities to hold the union’s biennial gatherings, but Humphreys oversees the selection of hotel and meeting sites. And she inherited the “title” of landlord with the purchase of the Krasner Building in 2000, supervising initial renovations and ongoing maintenance.
Juggling the move to the new headquarters while preparing for the Anchorage convention made the first three months of 2000 a chaotic time for Humphreys. Yet she handled the additional workload like a veteran controller expertly reeling in planes during an arrival rush. Little wonder, perhaps, given that she devotes much of her life to NATCA.
She considers the union her family—aside from doting on two nieces, Ashley and Kendall. The lasting association contrasts with a childhood marked by fleeting friendships as Humphreys moved among various Marine Corps bases across the country, a time when playing the flute and violin cultivated an early love of music. These days, her tastes favor Bruce Springsteen, who she believes “is truly the king of all music.”
The union has even benefited from her primary recreational passion. In 1998, she lovingly quilted an attractive potpourri of sixty-two NATCA logos taken from various shirts. Controllers contributed several thousand dollars to a Political Action Fund raffle for the privilege of owning the quilt, which now hangs in the local union office at Oakland Center.
Other wall-sized quilts grace Humphreys’ office at headquarters, along with the Barry Krasner Award for Distinguished Service. “It meant so very, very much to me to be honored by the men and women I work for,” she says.