Member Focus: Mark "MoMo" Zameda
Friday, October 18, 2013
NATCA/FAA career: I started with the FAA in 2002 at Chicago Center (ZAU). From 2008-2013 I served as alternate area representative, and helped in negotiating some of our Local MOU's. I also served on the ZAU Reloaded Committee, WX Dissemination Team and Engagement Collaborative Working Group. Nationally, I was on the Workforce Engagement Team from 2009-2012.
Next week I start training at Chicago TRACON (C90).
Born and raised, other places of living: I was born and raised in Chicago. I now live in Oswego, Ill.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University (SIU).
Family: My wife, Sarah, and our son Benjamin.
Q: How did you become a NATCA member?
A: For me, becoming a member of NATCA was obvious. Besides being raised by a union family, I found out how important NATCA is to both the membership and the aviation industry early on. During my SIU years I was working on a research paper about ATC separation standards and some news about "technical violations." I had to interview a few folks at the FAA and got to meet Bryan Zilonis (back then he was the ZAU FacRep). After seeing how well informed and professional Bryan (and NATCA) was about the issues at hand, I knew that this Union was something I wanted to be a part of.
Q: Do you have any family members who were involved in unions?
A: We're a couple of Union thugs (just kidding!). My grandfather was Teamsters Local 701 until he passed. My dad was an auditor and trustee for IAM Local 126 until he retired. In 1981 my dad and the IAM 126 president helped hold the PATCO picket line at ORD, the only Chicago area union to do so. My mom is Teamsters, my sister is Illinois PBPA and my brother-in-law is IBEW Local 701.
Q: What originally made you decide to take on leadership roles within NATCA?
A: In 2006, I had certified in the southeast area at ZAU as negotiations between NATCA and the FAA were failing. I was as frustrated as I'm sure many of my brothers and sisters were. After venting out my frustrations to my rep, I got put to work helping scan grievances and other odd jobs until I attended rep training in 2008.
Q: What would you like to get involved in that you haven't already?
A: I would like to get more involved in the legislative arena as well as arbitrations.
Q: Out of all your involvement within NATCA, what do you most enjoy?
A: I enjoy the camaraderie that comes from meeting and working with brothers and sisters from different facilities. When a couple of people get together for the same common goal that's bigger than the individuals participating, and everyone holds the same amount of passion towards doing their best, well, that's just a feeling you can't quite put into words.
Q: Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of NATCA?
A: I still have a passion for flying, as expensive as that's getting! Otherwise I enjoy attempting to play beer league hockey, video games, and going on trips or activities with my wife and son, and spending time with our friends and family.
Q: Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
A: There are so many favorite moments, it's tough to choose. My favorite time was helping out with ZAU Reloaded, meeting the new folks and seeing those guys check out and start getting involved themselves.
Q: Do you have any advice/tips/messages for members who would like to get involved?
A: Get informed, get involved! There are so many different things you can do, from Reloaded to Benefits to serving as a rep to everything in between. No matter how quiet things seem in your neck of the woods, there are countless brothers and sisters putting long hours in trying to preserve our career and the great prestige it holds. This Union kicks butt, why wouldn't you want to be a part of that?
Let’s go beyond your involvement with NATCA.
My favorite type of aircraft is: I have to be biased and go with the Beechcraft Debonair, one of the aircraft owned by the flying club I belong to. It's stable, holds four people and handles like a dream.
The one chore I absolutely hate doing is: Laundry.
My favorite comfort food is: Polish sausage - Maxwell Street style.
The best place I've ever travelled to was: St. John's, Canada.
My favorite sport is: Hockey.