Member Focus: Clinten Lancaster (ZAN)
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Reloaded Committee. Lancaster is second from the left.
Air traffic control career: Graduated from University of Alaska Anchorage's (UAA) Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program. Started career at Anchorage Center (ZAN), where he's been now for seven years.
Born and raised: Born in Anchorage, Alaska. Raised in Chugiak, Alaska, about 20 miles north of Anchorage.
Q: How did you get involved with NATCA?
A: I was an associate member of NATCA when I was in college and joined NATCA as soon as I got to ZAN. I was an area rep for about four months after certification, and then I just started getting involved and going to NATCA classes when I was able. I also had the luxury of working with the previous Alaskan Regional Vice President (RVP) and he was able to point me in a lot of the right directions.
Q: What are you involved in with NATCA?
A: I am currently in my second term as the facility representative at ZAN, and I'm in my first term as alternative RVP for the Alaskan Region. Previously I was an area rep for about two years and served a term as the ZAN vice president. I’ve also been on the Reloaded Committee and I'm currently on a national labor relations workgroup.
Q: How did you get involved in these leadership roles within NATCA?
A: I received a substantial amount of mentoring from the leadership in the Alaskan Region, as well as some of the other RVP’s. They showed me the path and I just applied myself as much as I could. The only way to be a leader is to just do it, use your support system and apply yourself — the rest will come. Take input from all sides of the issue and never be afraid to change the way you do things if someone has a better way.
Q: What's the toughest part of being a facility representative? What's the most rewarding?
A: The toughest part is trying to keep your personal feelings out of the situations. I find it difficult sometimes to remove my own feelings and opinions from situations and stay neutral. But that is what you have to do to represent everyone fairly and equally. I would say the most rewarding thing is seeing the programs and changes that you have put into place while working, and the people you’ve helped mentor getting involved and now starting to mentor others.
Q: Being a FacRep, how do you encourage younger members to get involved?
A: I've had the most luck just staying involved with them throughout the training process and once they checkout, it's great seeing what their interests are and what they're comfortable doing. Training classes and large-scale NATCA functions (CFS, Convention) are also great tools to get people involved. I also try to stay as available as possible so I can point people in the right direction.
Q: Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of NATCA?
A: I like to build custom motorcycles. I’m a huge 49ers fan, so it's been a good year for me. I have a wife and three kids who keep me pretty busy, and I enjoy going to my cabin and snow machining, four wheeling, hiking and fishing.
Clinten Lancaster (right) with friend Kevin Donnelly
Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
A: At my first NATCA convention I attended, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and so many others spoke during the opening ceremony. I realized then that what we do is so important on so many levels, and that so many people have given so much time and effort to our cause. I was hooked and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.
Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?
A: Just get in and do it, feet first and all. Find a mentor who will help guide you and just do it. If you can’t find a mentor call me (907) 240-3044. I’ll do my best to get you involved and point you in the right direction. It’s not as scary as you think