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Team Excellence Award

The NATCA Team Excellence Award was created to recognize NATCA teams, workgroups, or committees that exemplify the true collective spirit of working together to achieve greatness.

Recipients of the Team Excellence Award:

2018 (Presented at Communicating For Safety): NDIS Team and 3120.4 Rewrite Team

No-Experience Direct Hire Initial Screen (NDIS): Team members were Jim Dyckman (N90), Daniel Foster (D10), Marc Schneider (ZID), Maurice Franklin (PCT), and Leah Montes (SCT). The NDIS workgroup developed a collaborative approach for the FAA and NATCA to address the challenges of placing employees with no prior ATC experience into level 10 and above terminal RADAR facilities.

3120.4 Rewrite Team members: Jimmy Lake (HCF), Andreas Sanchez (DFW), and Trevor Thompson (ZJX). The workgroup was established to collaboratively address reviewing, revising, and making recommendations for changes to the national training order (3120.4).


2018 (Presented at the 17th Biennial Convention in Philadelphia): OJTI Curriculum Workgroup, National Organizing Committee, and the Critical Incident Stress Management Team

The On-the-Job Training Instructor (OJTI) Curriculum Workgroup was empaneled in 2013 to work on a new OJTI Workshop and OJTI Cadre course to replace the out-of-date workshop that was in place. As the work progressed, the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP) identified an increase in incidents involving different factors related to OJT, and it became apparent that an OJTI Supplemental Workshop was needed. Over the course of the next three years, Tom Hedeen, Marc Schneider, and Jimmy Lake worked tirelessly to develop an OJTI Supplemental Workshop as well as the OJTI Workshop and Cadre Courses. The first course was conducted in December of 2016 and began rollout to the field in April 2017. This team dedicated countless hours and extraordinary effort to ensure that the members they represented would receive the best possible preparation to provide OJT.

NATCA’s National Organizing Committee was honored for its dedication to growing the NATCA family and ensuring that all aviation safety professionals who seek representation are assisted by the best. In 2014 the committee launched the NATCA Difference campaign, highlighting the benefits and opportunities that come with NATCA membership. In 2016 we saw those efforts pay off when NATCA won a runoff election for the Financial Management (AFN) bargaining unit, adding 1,300 new NATCA Bargaining Unit Employees (BUEs). Since the mid-1990s, NATCA has been working to represent Federal Contract Towers (FCT), and in March 2018, NATCA chartered its 100th FCT NATCA local. The Organizing Committee has shown extraordinary dedication, and continues to expand our family with new members and locals. Committee chairman John Bratcher (FSM), and members Clarence Cadenhead (MCI), Israel Bonilla (PHL), Mike Weekley (CMH), Phil Hughes (A90), Rob Valland (ZDV), Ken Slauson (EAL), Susan Lefler (ENM), Brad Burtner (PMP), Michael Gifford (CHA), Cesar Cordero (ELP), and Melissa Pollard (L30) were honored.

NATCA honored the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team for the work they did this year during and after the devastating natural disaster season, particularly hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, but also for the California wildfires, and everything in between. CISM team members Chris Schenk (ZSE), Carrie Uphus (STP), Holly Cron (ZHU), Kristine Mooso (ZBW), Travis Jensen (ZAN), Kristen Laubach (PHL), Matt Ellington (ORD), Joel Weiler (LGB), Mike Napolitano (ZMP), Deb Stewart (CRP), Andrea Moore (CLT), Tom Hedeen (DEN), Sarah Grampp (ZKC), Krystal Causey (ZMA), and Maliesa Nichols (MYF) have been there for our members in the most harrowing times. Even during Convention, they were on standby to lend an ear and advice for those affected by SWA Flight 1380 in Philadelphia and the death of member Kristle Jimenez (SFO). These members take little acknowledgement, but are there for each of us any time an incident occurs or we need an understanding peer to talk to.


2017 (Presented at Communicating For Safety): Professional Standards Team Members Garth Koleszar, Andy Marosvari, and Jeff Richards

NATCA honored founding members of the Union’s Professional Standards Program Garth Koleszar, Andy Marosvari, and Jeff Richards for their efforts in launching and growing the program.

“The team receiving this award today helped take NATCA to a new level,” said Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert during the presentation. She added that the trio is committed and dedicated to making sure professionalism is at the forefront of everything we do.

Gilbert explained that in 2009, the Professional Standards program was first codified in the Red Book collective bargaining agreement. In 2010, reps from FAA and NATCA met in Cleveland to begin drafting the program.

Gilbert said the three are some of the most dedicated NATCAvists. “They have committed their entire careers to better this Union and to highlight and strengthen our professionalism.”


2016: Slate Book Contract Negotiating Team

Going into contract negotiations for what became the 2016 Slate Book covering the ATC/FSS/TMU/NOTAM bargaining units, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said he had one guiding philosophy.

“I wanted to continue to build on the road of success and collaboration that NATCA and the FAA have developed over the past several years, and continue to move the Agency forward and continue to grow aviation in this country,” he said.

NATCA’s Contract Team was comprised of: Dean Iacopelli (Chief Negotiator, Eastern Regional Vice President), Phil Barbarello (Former Eastern RVP), John Bratcher (Fort Smith), Eddie DeLisle (Portland, Ore., TRACON), Jamaal Haltom (Las Vegas Tower), Drew MacQueen (Cleveland Center), Eugene Freedman (Special Counsel to the President, National Office), and Ryan Smith (Director of Labor Relations, National Office). On Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, at the 16th Biennial Convention, Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert honored the contract team members by presenting them with the NATCA Team Excellence Award.

The contract team became the first to establish an article within a contract solely about collaboration. It incorporates all of NATCA’s collaborative principles and processes and will provide stability for the workforce for the next six years. Collaboration is not simply a memorandum of understanding. It is a practice that has been fostered by NATCA and the FAA for the last five years that is now memorialized by the contract.
Read more: https://www.natca.org/index.php/insider-articles/1443-sept-9-2016-convention-spotlight-on-the-architects-of-the-slate-book

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