Member Focus: Alex Navarro
Friday, July 19, 2013
NATCA/FAA career: October 2008.
Born and raised, other places of living: Born in Los Angeles and raised around the globe (Incirlik AFB, Turkey; Howard AFB, Panama; Yokota AFB, Japan) as an Air Force brat.
Education: High school and military.
Family: Samantha Navarro (spouse and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) FacRep), Tomas Navarro (7 year old son), Mariana Navarro (2 year old daughter).
Alex, second from right, stands with fellow NATCA members.
Q: How did you become a NATCA member?
A: My first day through the doors at Seattle TRACON (S46), our acting FacRep, Pat Brown, explained the importance and presented the paperwork to join.
Q: Do you have any family members who were involved in unions?
A: My wife was a dues paying member at SEA for about a year prior to me getting in the FAA.
Q: How did you get involved, and what are you involved in with NATCA?
A: I was asked by fellow members in 2009 to throw my name into the hat to be our Treasurer. Like many others, I had no intention to get as dedicated to this great union as I am, but couldn’t help but be enticed by all the outstanding leadership and impressive results that they bring. Chief among them was the Red Book. I’ve been on the S46 Executive Board ever since and am currently the Vice President at S46.
Q: What made you decide to take on leadership roles within NATCA?
A: Obligation and coincidence. I watch so many of our brothers and sisters live and breathe for this union and sacrifice so much of their personal lives in order to better the lives of others. The least I can do is help in any way I can, beginning at the local level. The leadership role is only a byproduct of my involvement. I want to help this union in any way needed and if that means that I shred papers, phone bank, serve on a local executive board, etc., that is what I’ll do. It just so happens that the Local is letting me represent them as their Vice President at S46.
Q: What's the most rewarding part of being facility vice president? What's the most challenging?
A: The most rewarding has been all the times I have been the person who a member calls on in the middle of the night with an issue. Some of my mentors (Jim Ullmann, Doug Pincock, Troy Harrison, Jeff McElvain, Lyle Burrington and Jim Marinitti, just to name a few) are always available and ready to help at all times when I need them. It’s flattering when some of the local members view me in the same light in their times of need. The most challenging is trying to get our next generation (my peers) motivated and passionate about NATCA.
Q: What would you like to get involved in that you haven't already?
A: Training Review Board or Labor Management Relations duties. It would be great to see how others view things and solve things, as well as help our members get a fair and effective training program.
Q: Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of NATCA?
A: Family movie nights or zoning out on video games.
Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
A: This last election season I came off a mid and went right to a labor walk on behalf of NATCA. I needed a few Rockstars to get through it (thanks, Denise Spencer), but I made it through and actually felt like we accomplished something in the local community and for our union.
Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?
A: Participate. A moment of your time is all it takes. During this time of sequester and the fact that we’ve only (potentially) delayed furloughs, I can’t understand why some members aren’t motivated to protect our careers and our union. We need to be proactive and motivated to prevent the next battles instead of react to the next battles. We need our tenured members to pass on knowledge and our newer generation to take it in with hopes of making it better than we found it.
Let’s go beyond your involvement with NATCA:
If I could pick four people to have dinner with, dead or alive, I would you choose: Michael Jordan, Mel Brooks, Tupac and my father.
My biggest pet peeve is: When a developmental says “I was gonna…”
My favorite comfort food is: My mom’s aroz con pollo.
My father always told me: My father always taught me to take care of your co-workers. He showed me that through actions more than words. As a Master Sergeant in the Air Force, he always hosted BBQs or holidays for his troops and showed me that you don’t have to be blood to be family.
If I could have a theme song, it would be: Korn’s cover of “Lowrider.”