Member Focus: Zoe Roberts // November 09, 2012
Air traffic control career: Hired in 2006 and currently works at Indianapolis Center (ZID).
Born and raised: Born and raised Southeast Minnesota. Went to college in Grand Forks, N.D., at University of North Dakota and lived there until moving to Indianapolis.
Q: How did you get involved with NATCA?
A: I first got involved in NATCA, when I was a CTI student and went to NATCA in Washington in 2004. Then when I was an air traffic controller, the local secretary position opened up. I ran for this position in 2009 and I’m on my second two-year term.
Q: Did you have a family history of unionism? Was there any reason you got involved in a union?
A: No. I got involved because I was hired during the White Book and knew many things needed to be corrected. I knew NATCA was going to be the only one working for me.
Q: What are you involved in with NATCA?
A: I am ZID’s secretary. I have been a delegate at the last two conventions. I run the local elections at our facility when it’s not my election year. I was, until recently, involved on our Best Practice team, coming up with ideas on how to improve the safety of our facility while collaborating with management. I do training review boards. I’m also involved legislatively. I recently went to the Legislative Activism class, and I try to share what I learned with our members. I go to NATCA in Washington every year. And I participate in any fundraisers we may have and represent NATCA in any way I can. I guess you could say I dabble in it all.
Q: How did you get involved in these leadership roles within NATCA?
A: Our local FacRep, Thomas Thompson, is really good about getting our young members involved, and he encouraged me to continue getting involved with NATCA.
Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of NATCA?
A: We have a bowling league and a summer softball team that I’ve been on. I’m not involved with this year’s bowling league, due to my new schedule. I like to run, and have run in multiple half-marathons and a couple full marathons. I also like to volunteer for the Humane Society. I help out at a lot of the adoption events, showing people the dogs that are in need of a home. We also have an event every Christmas where people can take pictures with their pets and Santa. It’s $5 and all the money goes to the Humane Society.
Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
A: The first time I went to CFS, I attended the Archie League Award dinner banquet. It was very emotional and I felt very proud of our job as controllers. Obviously, I’m always proud of what we do, but it was nice seeing people get a pat on the back for the good work they did.
Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?
A: When you get involved, you’ll find you’ll appreciate your union more than before because you’re able to educate yourself on what your union really means and what it does. There are many ways to be involved (locally, legislatively, safety teams, etc.). Find what best suits you. A lot of people don’t know all of the different things NATCA does. When you get involved and learn, you find it really is an amazing organization full of even more amazing people.