Member Focus: Samantha Navarro
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Derek Adams (S46), Alex Navarro (S46), Sam Navarro (SEA) , Ken Greenwood (S46) and Fran Esmond (BFI) at the Denver Convention last March.

Air traffic control career:
In the military for 4.5 years at McChord Air Force Base. Joined NATCA in September 2007 at Seattle Tower (SEA), where she currently works.

Born and raised: Born in King City, Calif. Her father was in the military, so she moved from place to place.

Q: How did you get involved with NATCA?

A: A friend of mine, Derek Adams, who was running unopposed for FacRep, asked me to run for secretary/treasurer. Shortly after, my husband, who at the time was treasurer at Seattle TRACON, and I went to the Honolulu Convention, and I caught a glimpse of Paul Rinaldi’s speech about Barry Krasner and our fellow Union brothers and sisters. By the time I got home, I was ready to get more serious about getting involved.

Q: What are you involved in with NATCA?

A: Besides being FacRep and a Regional Representative on the Reloaded Committee, I play no other major roles in the Union. There are a lot of young people at our facility and I try to find ways for them to be involved, no matter how little it may be.

Q: How did you get involved in these leadership roles within NATCA?

A: Isabel Cole nominated me for FacRep, and I was elected May 2012. I was really worried about how good of a job I would do, especially balancing a family of two kids and a husband that plays an active role in our Union as well. I quickly learned that you just learn as you go. As for the Reloaded Committee, I started as a local rep at the facility level. Jim Ullmann later asked me to take on the Regional Representative role, and I'm still learning that as I go, too!

Q: What can you tell members who may be interested in one day becoming a FacRep themselves?

A: You can't please everyone. A lot of my mentors told me that I couldn’t make everybody happy in this job. I've been in this position for a few months and sometimes I'm still trying to do that. But if you get the majority happy, you're doing a good job. Everyone has his or her own ideas about what they think is best. But ultimately, you have to make a decision that is best for the majority of the facility.

Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?

A: I love listening to Paul and Trish talk. They're both eloquent speakers, even when they come to speak at the local events we host. You can see the pride they have in their jobs and the care they have for their membership. That's what ultimately sold it for me, when I heard Paul speak, and I decided to get involved. As secretary/treasurer, you don't think you'll be doing too much to help. But any role we play is very important. Anytime I get the chance to, I take the opportunity to listen to our leaders so that it may help me grow.

Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?

A: Just take in a little bit of everything. You're not going to know what you want to do right away. Find a mentor and shadow them to learn more about what this Union has to offer. You don't have to be President of a union or FacRep of a facility to make a difference.