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Spotlight: 2021-2024 National Executive Board

The 12 members of NATCA’s 12th National Executive Board (NEB) began their three-year terms on Sept. 1, 2021. Here is a look at each NEB member.

President | Rich Santa 

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Rich Santa is serving his first three-year term as the seventh president of NATCA. He was elected by acclamation and took office on Sept. 1, 2021. 

Santa, a veteran air traffic controller from Washington Center (ZDC), previously served on NATCA’s NEB as Eastern Regional Vice President (RVP) from 2018- 2021. He began his career as a controller at New York TRACON (N90) in 1997 before transferring to ZDC in 2001. 

Santa has spent most of his career serving NATCA and its members, including four terms as ZDC FacRep prior to being appointed as the Alternate Eastern Regional (NEA) Vice President. Additionally, Santa has served as the Eastern Region Labor Relations Representative, a Basic Representative Training (now RT1) instructor for the NATCA Academy, the chair of the Information Technology Committee, and a member of the NEA PAR, the Grievance Review and Collaborative Steering Committees and the Onboarding, NCEPT, National Validation Team, Constitution, and Election Support Committees. He has also been the lead on several national projects. 

Executive Vice President | Andrew LeBovidge 

Andrew LeBovidge is serving his first three-year term as the eighth executive vice president of NATCA. He was elected by acclamation and took office on Sept. 1, 2021. 

LeBovidge, a veteran air traffic controller from Houston Center (ZHU), previously served on NATCA’s NEB as Southwest Regional Vice President (RVP) from 2015-2021. 

He started his air traffic control career at ZHU in 1992. He has served as a representative for NATCA since 1998; area representative from 1998-2000; ZHU FacRep from 2000-2015; alternate Southwest RVP from 2003 until 2015; and then two terms as the Southwest RVP. He served on the 2009 collective bargaining agreement negotiating team, represented NATCA on the National Academy of Sciences committee on air traffic controller staffing, and a number of other national groups and projects, and has been involved with NATCA’s National Committee on Training, the NEST, the CRWG, the NSTLC, and the Union Synergy and Drug and Alcohol committees. 

Alaskan Regional Vice President | Clint Lancaster

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Clint Lancaster is serving his third three-year term as NATCA’s Alaskan Regional (NAL) Vice President. He was first elected to this position in 2015. 

Clint was hired in 2006 and began his career at Anchorage Center (ZAN), where he still works. He has served NATCA at ZAN as an area representative, two terms as vice president, and two terms as facility representative. He also served as the Alaskan Region (NAL) Alternate Regional Vice President for three years and has been on the NAL PAR team for over four years. 

In addition, Clint has served on NATCA’s Reloaded Committee and on the National Labor Relations Strategy Group. He completed many NATCA Academy courses including Arbitration 1 and Advanced Arbitration training, and has been involved in many Article 48 groups as well as conducting several pilot outreach briefings in Alaska. 

Central Regional Vice President | Aaron Merrick

Aaron Merrick is serving his second three-year term as NATCA’s Central Regional Vice President (RVP). He was first elected to this position in 2018. 

Merrick served as Central Region Alternate RVP from 2014 to 2018. 

Merrick has spent his entire two-decade Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) career at Kansas City Center (ZKC), first in the Trails Area and then, since 2006, in the Ozark Area. He served as ZKC FacRep from 2013 to 2018. He was born and raised in Sedalia, Mo. 

Merrick’s NATCA service also includes ZKC executive board at-large member (2006), ZKC Ozark Area Representative (2007-11), ZKC facility vice president (2012), National Grievance Review Team (2014-present), and National On-Boarding Team (2016-present). 

Eastern Regional Vice President | Brian Shallenberger

Brian Shallenberger is serving his first term as NATCA’s Eastern Regional Vice President. 

Shallenberger was born and raised in Connellsville, Pa. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1988 and served as an air traffic controller at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. (NKT), and NYL Yuma, Ariz., until 1997. 

Shallenberger began his FAA career at Scottsdale ATCT (SDL) in 1997 before transferring to Washington Center (ZDC) in March 2002, where he served as facility representative (2016-2020), vice president (2014- 16), and area rep (2006-13). He also has served as NATCA Eastern Region NCEPT rep and collaboration facilitator. 

Great Lakes Regional Vice President | Drew MacQueen

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Drew MacQueen is serving his second three-year term as NATCA’s Great Lakes Regional (NGL) Vice President. He was first elected in 2018. 

MacQueen served as NGL Alternate Regional Vice President (ARVP) from 2016 to 2018. 

MacQueen began his FAA career on Dec. 11, 1994. He worked at San Jose-Reid Hillview ATCT (RHV) from 1994-98, San Francisco ATCT (SFO) from 1998-2001, and Philadelphia ATCT (PHL) from 2001-2004 before transferring to his current facility – Cleveland Center (ZOB) – in 2004. 

He served as NATCA local vice president (VP) at RHV, local secretary at SFO, and local treasurer at PHL. At ZOB, he served as local VP for two and a half years before serving as FacRep from July 2010 to January 2017. Additionally, MacQueen’s extensive Union service includes working on the Right From the Start campaign and the NGL labor relations team, and serving as a LEAP class instructor, Operational Planning And Scheduling (OPAS) implementation lead, and Air Traffic Operational Management/OPAS transition team lead. MacQueen also served on the 2016 Slate Book Contract Team which negotiated the current collective bargaining agreement for the Air Traffic Controller, NOTAM Office Specialist, Traffic Management Coordinator/Specialist, and Alaskan Flight Service Specialist bargaining units. 

New England Regional Vice President | Mick Devine

Mick Devine is serving his second three-year term as New England Regional (NNE) Vice President (RVP). The Boston ATCT (BOS) member was first elected to this position in 2018. 

Devine’s first elected position in NATCA was as the BOS local secretary. In January 2015, he was elected as the BOS FacRep and served for three terms. Mick also served as the New England Alternate RVP from January 2017 to January 2018. 

In 1995, Devine attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and majored in mechanical engineering. In 1996, he joined the United States Marine Corps as served with distinction as an aerial navigator in the KC-130. He flew in combative airspace over Northern Iraq and Kosovo in 1999 and 2000. After discharge in 2001, Mick attended Columbia University from 2002-2004, majoring in applied mathematics and combinatorics. 

Northwest Mountain Regional Vice President | Alex Navarro III

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Alex Navarro III is serving his second term as Northwest Mountain Regional Vice President. 

Alex began his FAA career in 2008 at Seattle TRACON (S46) and has worked as a controller at Seattle Center (ZSE) since 2013. He was a controller in the Air Force and worked for one year at a Federal Contract Tower in Renton, Wash. (now a NATCA-represented facility). 

He began his activism within NATCA as S46 treasurer in 2009, and has also served as both vice president, and most recently, FacRep at ZSE. In addition, he has worked as Washington Legislative State Coordinator, a LEAP (Leadership Experience Acceleration Project) instructor, and as a Drug and Alcohol Committee member. 

Region X Vice President | Brad Davidson

Brad Davidson is serving his second term as Region X Regional Vice President. 

Brad was hired in 2003 by the FAA and has worked at the Detroit Airports Division Office. Before joining the FAA, Brad was with the State of Michigan – Bureau of Aeronautics after a lengthy time in private industry as a licensed Professional Engineer. 

Prior to the current role as the Region X RVP Brad was serving his second term as the Airports Division NATCA National Representative. Brad is honored to serve the wide variety of Region X professionals that work across the entire country. 

Southern Regional Vice President | Jim Marinitti

Jim Marinitti is serving his third three-year term as Southern Regional Vice President. He was first elected to this position in 2015. 

Marinitti began his air traffic control career in the Navy in 1986 and was hired by the FAA in 1993. He was assigned to Fort Myers-Page Field Tower. Shortly thereafter, he transferred to Miami Center. In 2001, he moved on to Miami Tower and TRACON (MIA), which remains his current facility. 

Marinitti has held several elected NATCA positions, from secretary/ treasurer to RVP. He has been heavily involved in the legislative arena and served as one of NATCA’s leads for the rollout of the Collaborative Work Group process. He also taught Interest Based Communications and is one of NATCA’s instructors for the national leadership course called LEAP – Leadership Experience Acceleration Project. 

Southwest Regional Vice President | Nick Daniels

Nick Daniels is serving his first term as NATCA’s Southwest Regional Vice President. 

Daniels has spent the last 16 years of his 18-year FAA career at Fort Worth Center (ZFW) after starting at Dallas-Addison ATCT (ADS) and recently served as both ZFW facility representative from 2015 to 2021 as well as alternate Southwest regional vice president. He was also the facility’s vice president (2013-15), secretary (2011-13), and area rep (2007-2011). 

Daniels has also served as the region’s labor relations and onboarding rep as well as on NATCA’s Training Committee. He also has worked as a NATCA Academy instructor. 

Western Pacific Regional Vice President | Joel Ortiz

Joel Ortiz is serving his second three-year term as Western Pacific Regional Vice President. He was first elected to this position in 2018. 

Ortiz was born and raised in Corona, Calif. He graduated from Corona Senior High School in 1995. He immediately enlisted in the Marine Corps and left for boot camp in November 1995. In November 2003, Ortiz was honorably discharged and was hired as a DoD air traffic controller. He worked as a GS-2152 until the FAA hired him in 2006. In August of that year, he checked into his first FAA facility, High Desert TRACON (E10), which is now known as Joshua Control Facility (JCF). 

After becoming a certified professional controller (CPC) at JCF in 2007, Ortiz ran for and was elected as the NATCA local secretary. 

In December 2012, Ortiz became a CPC in the Los Angeles Arrivals Area at SCT. He served as the alternate area representative until he ran for and was elected SCT local vice president in 2014. In 2016, he was elected SCT president and served in that capacity until July of 2018.

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