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Merry Christmas, NATCA Family!


To our NATCA family celebrating Christmas today, we send the warmest greetings to you and your family and friends. Christmas is a special time to cherish those who are close to our hearts, including each and every member that makes up our NATCA family. We wish you a Merry Christmas.

Happy Kwanzaa, NATCA Family!


We join our NATCA family members observing Kwanzaa this week. During the celebration of Kwanzaa, it is customary to greet friends and family with the Swahili phrase, "Habari gani," meaning, "What is the news?" In answering, reply with one of the seven principles that are celebrated that day, which are: unity, self determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Happy Kwanzaa to you as we uplift love, community, and family during this special time.

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NATCA Members and Staff Honored at

18th Biennial Convention

At the 18th Biennial Convention in Houston, 17 awards were presented to members of our NATCA family to honor their extraordinary contributions and service to our union and profession. 

John Thornton Award

John Thornton was NATCA’s most important founder. He sacrificed his job as a member of PATCO and even went to jail. But he did not turn his back on the profession or those hired after the 1981 strike. He did the opposite. He led a new effort to unionize them in the mid-1980s. The result was the birth and certification of NATCA while the same president who fired Thornton and more than 11,000 others was still in office.

Both former NATCA president Paul Rinaldi and former executive vice president Trish Gilbert were honored with the John Thornton Award on Dec. 9 during the first day of the 18th Biennial Convention in Houston. Read more about the John Thornton Award here.


Paul Rinaldi

President Santa said that by any measure, Rinaldi left this Union much better than when he found it. "That’s the true measure of success of any of our previous leaders. Under his leadership, every member’s voice was heard: from the break room, to the halls of Congress, to the top floor of the FAA building, in the House of Labor at the AFL-CIO, and in every corner of the aviation industry. He instilled in all of us a deep sense of pride in our profession and careers and he brought the best work out of our representatives and our staff." Rinaldi was unable to be in attendance in Houston to receive this honor. The above photo is from the 14th Biennial Convention in Denver. Read more and view Paul Rinaldi’s award presentation here.


Trish Gilbert

Executive Vice President LeBovidge said Gilbert inspired NATCA’s members to work harder, aim higher, dream bigger, and dig deeper. Read more and view Trish Gilbert’s award presentation here.

The Dale Wright Award for Distinguished, Professional and Exceptional Career Service to NATCA and the National Airspace System

The Dale Wright Award for Distinguished, Professional and Exceptional Career Service to NATCA and the National Airspace System is named for NATCA’s former Director of Safety and Technology. This award honors an extraordinary, positive impact made on NATCA’s ability to call the U.S. National Airspace System the world’s safest. It symbolizes a career devoted to service to NATCA and safety. Read more about the Dale Wright Award here.

Steve Weidner

"This organization has already given you more than you could ever give back," said Weidner. "That is how we will continue to be the greatest labor organization in this country." Read more and view Steve Weidner's award presentation here.


The Team Excellence Award

The NATCA Team Excellence Award was created to recognize NATCA teams, workgroups, or committees that exemplify the true collective spirit of working together to achieve greatness. Read more about the Team Excellence Award here.


The National Legislative Committee (NLC) oversees the grassroots effort along with our Government Affairs Department to establish and grow relationships with all 535 Congressional offices.

Read more and view the NLC Team’s award presentation here.


The National Validation Team (NVT) evaluates and audits real-time traffic count information to ensure that NATCA members are properly compensated for the work that is done at each facility.

Read more and view the NVT’s award presentation here.

The Tim Haines Memorial Award of

Honor and Distinction

At each NATCA convention, union members and employees who have done an exceptional job representing NATCA values are honored with the Tim Haines Memorial Award of Honor and Distinction, otherwise known as the “Timmy Award.” This prestigious award was originally named the “Natty Award,” first presented by former President John Carr at the 2002 NATCA Cleveland Convention, then at the 2004 St. Louis and the 2006 Boston Conventions. The “Natty Award” was changed to the “Timmy Award” during the 2008 Miami Convention in honor of Haines, who among other things, with hard work and dogged determination, successfully implemented a reclassification project into NATCA’s third contract, the Green Book. Read more about the Tim Haines Memorial Award here.


Nick Daniels, who took office Sept. 1 as Southwest Regional Vice President (RVP), started his NATCA activism as a Fort Worth Center (ZFW) area representative and then served as ZFW secretary and vice president. In September 2015, he became the FacRep.

Read more and view Daniels’ award presentation here.


Jason Doss began his FAA career at Indianapolis Center (ZID) in 2008 and has spent the last 10 years at Jacksonville Center (ZJX). He has served on the Information Technology Committee since October 2015 and took over as chair of the committee earlier this year.

Read more and view Doss’s award presentation.


Tom Flanary began his career in 2011 and has worked at Miami Center (ZMA) that entire time. He served as FacRep for the last two years. He recently stepped down as FacRep in order to assume the position of national lead for collaboration.

Read more and view Flanary’s award presentation here.


Jamaal Haltom served as Las Vegas ATCT (LAS) secretary before becoming FacRep in January 2012. He served in that position until September 2019. He is currently the National Training Representative and has served in that role since October 2019.

Read more and view Haltom’s award presentation here.


Dawn Johnson has spent her entire 16-year FAA career at Atlanta Center (ZTL). She has served as chair of the Reloaded Committee for the past eight years. The Reloaded Committee shapes NATCA’s future by inspiring unionism and provides opportunities for involvement through education.

Read more and view Johnson’s award presentation here.


Karena Marinas began her career in 2005 and has spent all of it at Los Angeles Center (ZLA). Keeping members safe is of paramount concern to her. That’s what got her interested in serving on the OSHA Committee in 2012. She became chair of that committee in 2019.

Read more and view Marinas’s award presentation here.


Sam Navarro began her FAA career in 2007 and has spent her entire time at Seattle ATCT (SEA). She served as secretary/treasurer there for two years and then was FacRep for six years.

Read more and view Navarro’s award presentation here.


Tom Thompson served as a controller in the Army before his 25-year FAA career. He retired from Indianapolis Center (ZID) in 2013.

Read more and view Thompson’s award presentation here.

Preet Virk has served as NATCA’s comptroller at the National Office since July 9, 2018. Since becoming comptroller, he has continued the excellent professional leadership that has been a hallmark of the NATCA National Office Accounting Department. Virk is steady, strong, reliable, and responsible.

Read more and view Virk’s award presentation here.

Nicole Vitale was named NATCA’s Director of Labor Relations in February 2020. She did excellent work leading the LR department during a period of transition before the pandemic and has provided experienced leadership, guidance, and strategy on the many labor relations issues confronting NATCA and its members.

Read more and view Vitale’s award presentation here.

NATCA Announces List of Facilities

Which Have Achieved 100% Membership


As part of the 18th Biennial Convention, NATCA is highlighting its locals around the country which have achieved 100% membership among all of its bargaining unit employees. A total of 171 facilities made the list. View the full list here.

Executive Vice President LeBovidge Attends 37th Annual IFATCA Americas Regional Meeting

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Executive Vice President Andrew LeBovidge recently attended the 37th annual IFATCA Americas regional meeting held in Montevideo, Uruguay. Attendees at the meeting included Trish Gilbert – the IFATCA EVP Americas Region – and representatives from the member associations of Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic.


EVP LeBovidge participated on three panels, presenting perspective on mental health and wellness, collaboration and the importance of relationships, and just culture. Read more.

Save the Dates: 19th and 20th Biennial Conventions, 2023 and 2025


SAVE THESE DATES NOW! NATCA’s 19th Biennial Convention is scheduled for June 20-22, 2023. It will be held at The Diplomat in Hollywood, Fla.

At the 18th Biennial Convention, delegates in Houston chose San Francisco as the site of the 20th Biennial Convention. The dates are May 9-11, 2025.

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