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Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award

Recipients of The Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award:

2019: Chrissy Padgett
(From left to right) Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Steve Hansen, Chrissy Padgett, and President Paul Rinaldi.

Chrissy Padgett was presented with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety in Las Vegas on Sept. 17, 2019.

Padgett is an 18-year veteran air traffic controller. She worked at Atlanta Center for the first six years of her career and has been at Washington Center since then.

She became involved in NATCA through mentorship and has always preached involvement as the key to success of the Union, saying, “Don’t be intimidated to ask to help or lend a hand. NATCA is always looking for volunteers at all levels. Members should know that the Union is all of us working together, not just a few of us working alone.”

She is a member of the NATCA Reloaded Committee, which mentors, educates, and raises the activism of other members, and the NATCA Historical Committee.

She also serves on the Communicating For Safety Planning Committee and is heavily involved in representing NATCA on the collaborative Partnership For Safety program with the FAA.

“She was tenacious in her advocacy, pushing facilities to conduct their monthly safety discussions. She also graciously and expertly supported the work of the local safety councils,” Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert said.

Padgett helped develop the Safety Advocacy course through the NATCA Academy and was one of its instructors. She also was an instructor for a Building a Stronger Local workshop in 2018 and emphasized how important a role every member plays in the success of their Union.

Controlling traffic, Union activism, and NATCA have been in her blood her entire life. Both her father, Vic Padgett, and her uncle were air traffic controllers and involved with PATCO. Both were ultimately fired during the 1981 strike. Her uncle, John Thornton, was NATCA’s founding father, helping to lead a new effort by controllers to organize after the strike.

Thornton put his brothers and sisters’ interests first. Chrissy is not only following in those footsteps, she is blazing an exciting, wonderful new trail herself with incredible activism for NATCA.

Says Padgett: “I’m proud to be a part of NATCA Reloaded, which focuses primarily on education and mentorship. I became involved in NATCA through mentorship. Don’t be intimidated to ask to help or lend a hand. NATCA is always looking for volunteers at all levels. Members should know that the Union is all of us working together, not just a few of us working alone.”

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2018: Bridget Singratanakul
(From left to right) President Paul Rinaldi, Steve Hansen, Bridget Singratanakul, and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert.

Bridget Singratanakul was presented with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety in Las Vegas on Oct. 23, 2018.

Singratanakul has served as the NATCA Runway Safety Rep, representing the Union in collaborative efforts with the FAA and aviation stakeholders to address the need to improve safety on the runways, taxiways, and surface areas of the National Airspace System.

“This is an award I didn’t expect to get, but I’m a rep for you and I have a job because of you,” said Singratanakul.

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2017: Jim McAllister
(From left to right) President Paul Rinaldi, Steve Hansen, Jim McAllister, and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert.

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, and Safety Committee Chair Steve Hansen presented Jim McAllister (Potomac TRACON) with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety in March 2017. Named for the Chairman of the NATCA National Safety Committee, the award is presented to a NATCA member who has made extraordinary achievements and has worked tirelessly on NATCA’s behalf to be a leader in furthering the cause of aviation safety.

While each winner has contributed their skills, dedication, and work ethic in different ways, with varying areas of expertise, there is one thing that ties them all together: they are all passionate about safety and aviation.

McAllister has been a controller for 26 years. After joining the agency in 1991, he was hired into Washington National and later moved to Potomac TRACON where he currently works. Rinaldi explained that he played a pivotal role in equipping the TRACON with state-of-the-art equipment as a staunch NATCA advocate.

When McAllister first got involved in En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), the program was lacking the terminal automation needed to sync of the system. Rinaldi said that in 2009, McAllister was asked to become the lead in the terminal area of ERAM where he led the effort to deliver the most up-to-date equipment available to controllers in the operating environment.

Following his successful tenure with ERAM, he was the natural choice to lead when Data Comm was going through similar problems in 2015.

“Time after time we’ve asked this gentlemen to help us with the safety of the system,” said Rinaldi. “He has proven to be true NATCA for the last 26 years and not only is he respected among NATCA members, but among all of FAA and industry.”

Rinaldi said NATCA tapped into McAllister’s talent and passion, his ability to help set up a training program, and putting a team together to deploy Data Comm on time and under budget. His focus, Rinaldi added, led to remarkable success.

“I have no words,” said McAllister upon accepting the award. “It’s been a truly awesome career and awesome ride. It’s always been about you guys (the workforce) and making sure you have the best equipment and the best tools in the NAS to work with. Love you guys.”

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2016: Jeff Woods
(From left to right) Steve Hansen, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Jeff Woods, and President Paul Rinaldi.

Jeff Woods was presented with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety in Las Vegas in 2016.

Woods has been a controller in the FAA since 2001. He has worked at Beaumont ATCT (BPT), Houston Center (ZHU), and Houston TRACON (I90). Before his FAA career began, he served in the U.S. Navy. He has held many Union positions, serving as the I90 Secretary from 2009 to 2011 and I90 VP from Sept. 2011 to May 2012. He became one of the national representatives to OAPM (Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex) in May 2012, currently serves as the NATCA representative to the Program Management Office, and is a member of the newly-formed National Safety & Tech Leadership Council.

Gilbert said Woods has a passion for the Union and a unique ability to pull groups together to break down barriers. His talents have been invaluable to moving many national projects forward.

“This job, it’s getting behind the scenes with the FAA and it’s been pretty exciting,” said Woods, in his acceptance remarks before CFS attendees, of being on the National Safety & Tech Leadership Council.

“The best part is it’s interactive with you guys (the controllers),” he continued. “It’s getting out to facilities, seeing some of the problems, and actually being able to help. This is all for you guys, thank you so much for letting me do this.”

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2015: Chad Sneve
(From left to right) President Paul Rinaldi, Chad Sneve, and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert.

Chad Sneve was presented with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety in Las Vegas in 2015.

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2014: Leanne Martin
(From left to right) Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Leanne Martin, and President Paul Rinaldi.

Surrounded onstage at Communicating For Safety (CFS) 2014 by the members of the CFS Planning Committee, NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert presented the Steve Hansen Safety Activist Award to CFS Planning Committee member Leanne Martin (Kalamazoo ATCT, AZO), saluting her dedication to a vast array of safety programs and initiatives which have had a profound impact on the National Airspace System.

“I am thrilled to present this award to an amazing woman who has touched everything that NATCA safety activists do,” Gilbert said during her introduction of NATCA’s highest safety award. “You name it, she’s involved. Usually, it’s behind the scenes, and she doesn’t ask for any credit.”

Gilbert saluted Martin’s work ethic, particularly as it relates to spearheading efforts to plan each year’s CFS event and looking for ways to make it bigger, better, more meaningful and valuable to NATCA members and other attendees than the year before. That’s a daunting task!

Between conferences, Martin is a member of the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP) analysis team and is an ATSAP Event Review Committee (ERC) analyst. The ATSAP program continues to grow and flourish thanks to Martin and her NATCA colleagues. It now has 80,000 reports in its first six years. “That’s a tremendous amount of work, in addition to what she does with everything else,” Gilbert said.

In addition, Martin is the lead for training for the Partnership for Safety program and has also once served on NATCA’s Reloaded Committee.

“I am proud to give this year’s award to a very hardworking activist for NATCA,” Gilbert said. “And the women in the room, I hate to make this a gender thing, but women look for other women that they can lean on and count on and [Leanne] is one of those people that I lean on and count on. Many others do so as well.”

Martin was humbled by the award and shared the credit.

“I accept this award for the Planning Committee, the volunteers, the support that we get from the NEB and also the facility locals that work so very hard to get their people out and in attendance,” she said, also thanking the aviation industry whose interest and participation contributed to the largest exhibition area a NATCA event has ever hosted.

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2013: Andy Marosvari
(From left to right) Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Leanne Martin, and President Paul Rinaldi.

Andy Marosvari was presented with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety 2013.

Marosvari is a supremely dedicated member. He is always ready and willing to assist in anything he is asked to do. He never hesitates to say yes. It doesn’t matter what else he has going on.

He served as a member of the 7110.65 rewrite team that worked on the very manual that determines how controllers do their jobs. His knowledge and extreme attention to detail made him a perfect choice for this job.

In addition, our honoree has served as a member of the National Professional Standards workgroup. He exemplifies professionalism in everything he does. He has been on the National Safety Committee since 2008, and serves as the Professional Standards rep on the committee.
His expertise as both a pilot and controller are invaluable. He is called on frequently for his knowledge and passion towards aviation safety. This has been proven time and time again, most recently in his work with AOPA conducting seminars with pilots to advance safety.

It’s also evident in his work on a national “tailwind” corrective action request dealing with how active runways are determined when tailwinds and crosswinds are involved.

Marosvari is that rare advocate for safety in that he doesn’t even know just how intrinsic it is to his personality. Safety excites him. He understands what it means to not only work for safety but to live and breathe safety.
He understands that as we work towards maintaining safety, we have the ability to impact millions of people. His passion is a goal we should all hold in the highest regard. Night and day he has been dedicated to educating pilots and controllers and enhancing professionalism.

He is a true leader in our goal to maintain the safest air system in the world.

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2012: Mike Blake
(From left to right) Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Leanne Martin, and President Paul Rinaldi.

Mike Blake was presented with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety 2012.

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.

2011: Steve Hansen
Steve Hansen accepts the Safety Advocate Award, named in his honor, surrounded by his fellow members of the National Safety Committee at Communicating For Safety 2011 at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Steve H was presented with the Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award at Communicating For Safety 2012.

BELOW: Watch the award presentation.