National Office Staff Employee Spotlight: Phil Yanchulis
We have an amazing National Office staff that our membership can be very proud of. They work hard every day and are committed to providing our members with the very best service and representation in organized labor. Today, we feature NATCA’s longtime Information Technology Manager Phil Yanchulis. Thank you for all you do in helping NATCA’s members, Phil!
Where are you from, or what places have you lived?: I am a native Washingtonian, a rare breed. I was born in Washington, then moved to the Maryland suburbs where I lived for 23 years, then moved to the Virginia suburbs. Currently, I live very close to Dulles Airport (IAD). I know all too well when IAD has to switch to the runway 30 approach!
Where did you go to school, or what other education do you have?: I received a baseball scholarship to the American University in Washington, D.C. When I was not on the field, I was working on and graduated with a Computer Science Degree.
How did you come to work at NATCA?: In 1997, NATCA had a contract with the company that I was working for at the time to help maintain the network and wiring for the NATCA office. NATCA asked my company if they could build a new membership database, as the old membership database was not Y2K compliant and was not going to be updated. I was a programmer on the project. After the new database was installed and operational, I became the project manager and lead programmer. In 2007, NATCA wanted to migrate to a new web-based membership database (UnionWare). Instead of extending the contract, NATCA decided to hire me to lead the migration to the new system.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a member of NATCA’s staff? What’s the most challenging?: Since my job has mostly been data-focused, I find providing accurate, timely, informative data to the requestor to be very rewarding. Whether it is providing data needed by one of NATCA’s contract negotiating teams, calculating accurate quarterly facility dues rebate financial data, gathering data needed for a local or national election, or assisting an individual with their seniority dates, I take great satisfaction when the data assists in getting the job done.
Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of your work for NATCA?: I love to play golf. I love attending sporting events with my wife and four daughters who all love sports. I have attended a Super Bowl, a World Series, a Stanley Cup Final, and many college basketball tournament games. (No Final Four – yet!) Also, for 42 years, I have been a soccer and basketball referee. I find that being a referee is a lot like working in the IT world – everyone expects perfection, you need to make quick, good decisions, and then you get to move on to the next problem or game!
Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?: During my more than 23 years at NATCA, I have met many wonderful people. But getting to work with — then become great friends with — Barry Krasner and his wonderful wife, Sallie Sullivan, are at the top of my list. To say that Barry and Sallie loved NATCA is an understatement. But they loved the people of NATCA even more. The passion for NATCA and all its members and staff that Barry and Sallie exuded every day was infectious. Having engineering arguments with Barry (that could be heard down the hall), then going out for beers to toast our discussions, was truly memorable!
If I could have a theme song, it would be: “We Are Family,” by Sister Sledge. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife of 35 years and 4 outstanding daughters. We have traveled to cities all over the US to watch our Washington teams play. Also, we have many siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins, and in-laws in the Washington area, allowing us to get together often. And we love trying out new microbreweries that seem to be popping up everywhere.
My favorite music: Classic Rock. I love YES, the Moody Blues, CSNY, and all the southern rock!
I absolutely cannot stand: Sushi
My specialty meal to cook: Eye round roast on the grill! Especially in winter – so good!
The best place I’ve ever travelled: Rome. I was working on a project to update software at the American embassy and was able to tour the city. Ancient ruins, modern architecture, Italian cuisine – just outstanding.
My favorite sport: College Basketball
My favorite movie: Caddyshack, 1980
The one chore I absolutely hate doing: Raking leaves. How can something so nice during the spring and summer be such a problem in the fall.