Region X Vice President  
National Air Traffic Controllers Association

HoweCurt 59895 8371 minCurt Howe is serving his first term as NATCA's Region X Regional Vice President.

Howe has worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 1987 in Western Pacific and Northwest Mountain regional offices. He is a licensed professional engineer with an extensive background in air traffic control facilities planning, design, and construction. Curt had a primary role in the original organizing effort for the engineer and architect bargaining unit and has been a local principal representative, and local secretary/treasurer.

Union opportunities and experiences include: first and second chair arbitration advocate, organizer, 11-time convention delegate, engineer pay team, 2007 engineer contract team, collaboration facilitator, and member of the NATCA National Historical Committee.

Howe was honored to receive the Tim Haines Memorial Award of Honor and Distinction in 2004. The FAA awarded him the Airway Facilities Technical Star of Excellence in 1998.

Western Pacific Regional Vice President
National Air Traffic Controllers Association

OrtizJoel 59895 8193 minJoel Ortiz is serving his first term as NATCA’s Western Pacific Regional Vice President. 

Ortiz was born and raised in Corona, Calif. “That is the city where I am fortunate enough to live and raise my family in today with my high school sweetheart, Adriana, after many years and many facilities in other states,” said Ortiz, who graduated from Corona Senior High School in 1995. He immediately enlisted in the United States 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.

“I worked and learned that role,” he said. “Subsequently I ran for, and was elected local vice president the following year. We were working under the White Book/Imposed Work Rules at the time and the opportunities to get more involved in NATCA were everywhere. Three days after I was elected vice president, the local president had to step down because he bid a supervisory position. I inherited the presidency and served in that role until I transferred to SCT (Southern California TRACON) in August of 2011.”

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 this year.

“At home, I have a beautiful wife, Adriana. Her sacrifice and dedication to our family allow me to serve NATCA to the degree that I have,” Ortiz said. “We have four children; Taylor, Lily, Joel Jr., and Dominic."

Great Lakes Regional Vice President
National Air Traffic Controllers Association

MacQueenDrew 59895 8283 min
Drew MacQueen is serving his first term as NATCA's Great Lakes Regional (NGL) Vice President.
MacQueen served as NGL Alternate Regional Vice President (ARVP) for two years before beginning his term as RVP on Sept. 1, 2018.
“I am extremely humbled and honored by the trust that’s been placed in me to lead our great region,” MacQueen said. “I am fully committed to working tirelessly on their behalf to ensure our beloved region continues to thrive and flourish for many years to come.”
MacQueen began his Federal Aviation Administration (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.
“I’m incredibly excited to represent the Great Lakes Region on the next National Executive Board,” MacQueen said. “I’m eager to bring new ideas, more member involvement, and an increased level of enthusiasm to the Great Lakes Region and the National Executive Board. Under Paul (Rinaldi) and Trish’s (Gilbert) leadership, this new NEB will accomplish great things on behalf of the NATCA membership.”

New England Regional Vice President
National Air Traffic Controllers Association

DevineMick 59895 8344 minBoston ATCT (BOS) member Mick Devine is serving his first term as New England Regional (NNE) Vice President (RVP).

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.

“Being able to serve this great organization is quite the honor,” he said. “It has been a humbling experience being elected by my brothers and sisters to represent New England members on NATCA’s 11th National Executive Board.”

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.

Mick was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1976. He was raised in Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y. He currently lives in Londonderry, N.H., with his wife Kelly Devine, who is also a NATCA member and a controller at BOS. They have two daughters, Bella and Ely, and a son, Mickey.

Devine says this about his leadership style: “As a leader, find your people, educate, empower, and trust them. Finally, allow them to own their successes while I as the leader own our failures.”

Central Regional Vice President
National Air Traffic Controllers Association


MerrickAaron 59895 8408 minAaron Merrick is serving his first term as NATCA's Central Regional Vice President.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the hard-working members of the Central Region and carry on the tradition of the great leaders that have served before me, representing NATCA members from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas,” said Merrick, who served as Central Region Alternate Regional Vice President since 2014.
Merrick has spent his entire two-decade FAA career at Kansas City Center (ZKC), first in the Trails Area and then, since 2006, in the Ozark Area. He has served as ZKC FacRep since 2013. 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).
He is a 1994 graduate of Sacred Heart School in Sedalia, Mo., a 1996 graduate of State Fair Community College (AA Degree), a 1998 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (BA Degree), and a 1999 graduate of Midwest Aviation Resource Consortium (MARC).
Merrick and his wife Shannen have three children, Caden, Cohen, and Cami.