NATCA Staff Spotlight: Terminal Technology Coordinator Bill Geoghagan
We have an amazing National Office staff that our membership can be very proud of. NATCA Terminal Technology Coordinator Bill Geoghagan has been with NATCA’s Safety and Technology Department for almost 10 years. Bill is a retired Savannah ATCT (SAV) controller and has been an active member of the National Office staff union, Organized NATCA Employees Union (ONEU). In this photo, Bill is standing with a woodworking project he completed depicting the ONEU logo that he proudly displays in the NATCA National Office in Washington, D.C.
“The most rewarding part of working at NATCA is the people with whom I work. This is the most wonderful group of people!” Bill said. He described his love for the Archie League Medal of Safety awards presentation event each year as part of his NATCA experience. “[When receiving their awards] the answer from every controller every year is always, ‘I was just doing my job.’ It is touching and makes me proud of my connection to them as a retired controller and of representing them as a member of the NATCA staff.”
Thank you for all you do for NATCA and our members, Bill!
Where are you from, or what places have you lived?
I grew up in Mississippi and lived there for 46 years. My FAA career took me to Meridian Radar Air Traffic Control Facility (NNM), Nashville ATCT (BNA), Gulfport ATCT (GPT), and SAV.
Where did you go to school, or what other education do you have?
I attended The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., and Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. And, of course, the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, for air traffic training.
How did you come to work at NATCA?
I was almost to mandatory retirement at SAV at 56 years old, but I wasn’t ready to stop working. I saw the opening here at NATCA. I knew Dale Wright who was the director of safety and technology at the time, so I called him to see what the job entailed. It sounded interesting and challenging so I applied. After several interviews, I was hired in November 2012 as the NATCA terminal technology coordinator.
Do you have family members who are involved in unions?
My father-in-law was the shop steward at Firestone Tire and Rubber in Akron, Ohio. He died before I was hired by NATCA. I have his flag in my office as I knew he would appreciate being part of our Union.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a member of NATCA’s staff? What’s the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of working at NATCA is the people with whom I work. This is the most wonderful group of people! I love our get-togethers, our camaraderie, and that everyone seems glad to be here. Challenging? I have been at NATCA for nine years and I still don’t know which stairway goes to which floors! I just can’t get it.
Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of your work for NATCA?
I enjoy shooting. Since I’ve been at NATCA I have competed in several competitions – no wins, just for fun. I have been doing some woodworking and carving. If you look in the ONEU office at NATCA, I carved the logo on the wall with the two carved hands. I’ve enjoyed photography since high school. I have some recent examples on the wall of my office.
Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
Attending the Archie League Medal of Safety awards dinner at Communicating For Safety (CFS)! Before I came to work at NATCA, I had never attended CFS. At the end of CFS, they hold a dinner to highlight the best air traffic control saves for the previous year. Each regional vice president introduces the story of their nominee(s). We have had video and audio of the radar. The pilots (and sometimes family) have come to speak and thank the controllers for saving them. And the answer from every controller every year is always, “I was just doing my job.” It is touching and makes me proud of my connection to them as a retired controller and of representing them as a member of the NATCA staff.