Member Focus: Lisa Cyr (Boston TRACON)
Friday, May 10, 2013

Lisa Cyr (purple scarf), with her fiance Rick Fulford to her right, is joined at this special event by (clockwise, starting with front left) New England Regional Vice President Mike Robicheau, NNE Legislative Representative Jay Bowers, Deb Bowers, Stephanie GrosJean, Ashley Taylor (Jay's daughter), Boston Center Facility Representative Kevin Bianchi and Phil Hughes.

NATCA/FAA career: Started her air traffic control career at Albuquerque Center (ZAB) in December 2005 and transferred this past January to Boston TRACON where she currently works.

Born and raised, other places of living: Born and raised in Amesbury, Mass., lived in Nashua, N.H. for seven years before going to the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, and then moved to Albuquerque.

Education: Aviation Flight Operations, B.S., from Daniel Webster College.

Family: Parents are Russell and Barbara Cyr who live in Amesbury; one older brother Andy Cyr who lives in San Francisco; and fiancé Rick Fulford, a controller at Boston Center (ZBW).

Q: How did you become a NATCA member?

A: I joined when I first got to Albuquerque Center. Based on what I knew from friends who were already controllers, I knew before I started at the Academy that I wanted to be a NATCA member.

Q: Did you have any family members that were involved in unions?

A: My mom is in the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and was the treasurer for the State of Massachusetts for a long time. We never really talked about her involvement, although I knew she represented fellow employees and had relied on fellow union members when dealing with a difficult principal in her district. We now talk more about what it means to be in a union than we did when I was growing up.

Q: How did you get involved, and what are you involved in with NATCA?

A: When I first started with the FAA, the White Book culture change had begun, and the FAA was moving towards a non-collaborative environment. As a new employee still in the probationary period, I felt pressure to keep my head down and not get involved in anything that was outside of my training. My one-year probation ended just after the White Book was forced on the workforce, and I felt myself at a crossroads. I was contemplating between quitting NATCA or stepping up and getting involved. I didn't understand what was going on and why my employer was treating us so poorly. At the same time, another member at ZAB nominated me for secretary, and I figured out that was God’s way of telling me to get involved. I ran for the position that September of 2006, and then served for two terms as ZAB local NATCA secretary.

In January 2011, I became ZAB’s Safety Representative, and I was selected for the National Recurrent Training team. I helped develop Recurrent Training from the spring of 2011 until December 2012, during which time I became the NATCA National Lead for Recurrent Training. I stepped down from Recurrent Training in December 2012 in order to prepare for my move to A90, my current facility.

I also served as a National Workforce Engagement representative, while helping with Workforce Engagement at ZAB. I represented NATCA at Oshkosh (Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture) last summer, helping in the NATCA booth and working at KidVenture.

Q: What made you decide to take on leadership roles within NATCA?

A: There are many inspiring leaders in NATCA who challenge me to be a better member just by their actions and words. Others at NATCA have personally supported me, mentored me and encouraged me to be an active part of the solution. In particular, Steve Hansen, Russ Miller and Tom Adcock have all had a significant impact in my involvement at NATCA, as well as my development as a leader. Knowing I had the support of others, and most importantly, the support of my fiancé, Rick, helped me in my decision to take on the lead of Recurrent Training.

Q: What would you like to get involved in that you haven't already?

AI would love to be involved again with anything safety related. I'm currently training at A90 and I'm putting all of my focus into successfully checking out. I will always be an active member at NATCA, and I hope to help my new local in any way I can. I'm grateful for the opportunities I have already been given, and I'm excited for what the future may hold.

Q: Out of all your involvement within NATCA, what speaks to you the most?

AThe brother and sisterhood of our Union. I love how we come together to rally behind a member in need, and the support we give to one another during a crisis. The passion and commitment so many of our members give to NATCA and to each other is inspiring. I'm amazed at how much people give of their time and of themselves, selflessly, and most of all, I’m so grateful to those people who do.

Q: Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of NATCA?

A: Right now I am spending a lot of free time planning our wedding. Rick and I are getting married on June 21, 2013. I also love to spend time with family and friends. Other hobbies/activities I enjoy include working out, skiing, cycling, reading and watching movies. I'm looking forward to flying around New England again, and going to the beach.

Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?

A: There are so many amazing moments I have experienced because of NATCA, and I have too many to list… However, I do believe my favorite memories will be of the times when (New York Yankees fan) Paul Rinaldi had to wear a Red Sox shirt and write checks to NATCA Charitable Foundation because he lost our bet! There will be lots of these moments to come, I hope! (Editor's note: Photo at the bottom of this feature proves that Lisa hasn't always been victorious in these friendly wagers with Rinaldi!)

Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?

A: There are many ways to get involved, and there is something for everyone. NATCA is one of the greatest things you will be a part of, so think of something you are passionate about and find out how you can contribute! If you are unsure, talk to a member you admire, as they will help you. Speak up and don’t wait!

Q: Let's go beyond your involvement with NATCA:

My favorite singer is: Ray LaMontagne.

My favorite book I could read over and over is: The Power Of One - Bryce Courtenay.

The best place I've ever travelled to was: Dublin, Ireland.

My father always tells me: "Be good.”

My favorite sports team that I live and breathe is: BOSTON RED SOX.

Candy or Chocolate? Dark Chocolate.