<!----Enter Date Bellow *****************> Weekly Update for September 8, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>
Weekly Update for <!----Enter Date Bellow ****************> September 8, 2000 <!----End Enter Date Bellow *************>

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Wow. It’s Friday already, and it seems as though the week just began. I told one of the staff just yesterday, “I’m pretty sure I could lock myself in the National Office for the next three years and still not get everything done. And I wouldn’t smell very good, either.”

Monday, of course, was a holiday, and Jill and I spent it driving back to DC from Cleveland. Because of family matters Jill hadn’t had a chance to even consider housing, and she starts at Dulles in a week!

Tuesday Ken Montoya, our Legislative Director, took the lead in Capitol Hill appointments. We met with Staffers Rob Chamberlin and Mike Reynolds, for the majority on the Senate Aviation Committee. The discussion centered around the Senate Hearing on the 14th, and what I might bring to the discussion. We then had lunch with Sam Whitehorn, the minority party senior counsel. He was very supportive of our efforts, and we also discussed the delay issue, privatization and contracting out.

Tuesday afternoon I held our second weekly Directors Meeting, and already the group is beginning to use the process to improve our organization. Lew brought up an issue that affected each of the directors (access to the fax and copy machines for weekend work) and together we were able to brainstorm and implement a very useful solution. Communications was in the middle of a horrible email loop of bounced messages, and again, the group was able to brainstorm some solutions. The Training Department is ramping up for the coming year, Legislative is busy with two hearings and numerous numerous Hill visits. The Safety Department is really humming. And of course, Adell is taking care of the Executive Offices (incredibly, I might add) so we can do the work of the membership. These meetings are going to produce real dividends over the long run.

Later that afternoon I met with Dale Wright to get an update on financial affairs. Tuesday night I had dinner with Mike McNally, Duane Woerth, President of ALPA, and John O’Brien, ALPA Safety. The meeting was facilitated by Mike, and was a huge success. We have more common ground than disputed territory, and it’s important that we develop a strong enough dialogue that we can withstand our natural disagreements and tendencies. While eating Duane got wind that Linda Chavez Thompson with the AFL-CIO was in the next room. He went in to say hi, and she came over to do the same. Immediately after that President John Sweeney came by to greet us. He thanked Mike and congratulated me. Wow. Some Tuesday.

Wednesday morning Randy, Mike and I met with Monte Belger. Pat Forrey was in town and joined us for these discussions. We were joined by Jane Garvey, and we had a very cordial and productive discussion. I did take both meetings as an opportunity to advise the agency that the CTO issue was a major impediment to our efforts to decriminalize operational errors. We’ll see if they’re concurrence translates into action down in Air Traffic.

Wednesday afternoon I received a briefing from Hill and Knowlton, our newly hired public relations firm. Those of you attending Lobby Week will receive a comprehensive briefing on this firms’ activities on our behalfs, and I hope you’ll share it with YOUR constituents. I think you’ll all agree that this effort is well worth the time and energy we are putting in to it.

Late in the afternoon Mike and I met with Kenneth Mead, the DOT Inspector General. Mike was very helpful in facilitating this introductory meeting. After work I had planned to meet up with Steve Entis and some friends from Cleveland Center, but I didn’t get to the hotel until almost 8pm, so we decided to have a quiet dinner by ourselves and take in a movie.

Thursday morning Mike, Randy and I met with Jane and Monte at 7am for donuts and coffee. And Jane brought the donuts! I love that in an Administrator! We had a good meeting, and I was back in the National Office by 845am. Good thing. Ken had me scheduled for visits all day, and we met and talked to Senator Reid, Margaret Cominski, staffer for Sen. Inouye, and Senator Max Cleland, who is my new hero.

After running back to the national office to catch up on administrative stuff, we went back up on the Hill and met with Congressman Forbes, Congressman Duncan, Congressman Lipinski, and Congresswoman Kilpatrick. We also ran into Congressman Strickland of Ohio. Another quick trip to the national office to regroup, and then over to the Democratic Club for a fundraiser for Congressman Ed Pastor. At this fundraiser I met a fresh dozen legislators, and another couple dozen staffers. I am now thoroughly convinced that there is no one on Capitol Hill who Ken Montoya does not know. Everyone greets him, and they uniformly praise his work on our behalf. I might add that Congressman Pastor gave me a cigar, remarking, “Here, smoke this. You already won YOUR election!” Funny guy, and a big supporter of us.

Friday was meetings in-house with Susan Grundmann to discuss legal matters, Jim Gordon to discuss some liason and tech issues, Tim Haines to discuss financials, Joe Musher to meet our auditor, and then a dash over to a studio on Dupont Circle to watch the final edit of our commercial.

Randy and I had lunch with Charlie Keegan and John Thornton from the Free Flight Office, and our rep Jeff Sparrow joined us. Then it was back to the office for major admin work and a quick meeting with Courtney Portner (formerly Barron) to discuss our newsletter.

The sheer volume of calls, messages, emails and regular mail has buried me. I’ve talked pay with Rodney, Delays with Mark, fielded invitations to various and sundry functions here and there, and talked legislative with Alan. I’ve put out a couple good pages to the RVPs, and I only owe about 1200 people or so a phone call. That’s not so bad, is it?!?!? The truth of the matter is I do about 40 phone calls a day on three phones….the office phone, the private line, and the cell phone. Yikes.

We’ve taken some steps to try to improve service to you, our owners and customers. Effective immediately, the Organizing Department will be absorbed by the Field Services Department, which will be renamed the Membership Department. Lew Zietz, the current Director of Organizing, has accepted our offer to take over the new and expanded Membership Department. This department will be responsible for all functions associated with the growth and maintenance of our membership base, from organizing to surveying to support to increased benefits. Our organizing efforts will now spool down, and our membership service will begin to spool up.

Lew has over twenty years of experience in membership growth and maintenance, and is a published author in the field. In conjunction with this move, we have extended an offer to Candi Derr to assume a new position as Membership Services Manager. Candi’s responsibilities are those she currently holds, plus the added responsibility of insuring that members receive the maximum service when they reach the national office.

Joining Lew, Candi, and the team in Membership will be Katie Wittig. I know many of you know Katti from Anchorage and other functions. She's a bright and energetic addition to this most important team.

Jim Morin has been asked to serve under Bob Taylor in a brand new capacity with respect to safety and NTSB issues. In light of that realignment, I have asked Susan Grundmann to serve as NATCA’s General Counsel. She has agreed to take this position. Mr. Mike Doherty has been offered a position as NATCA’s Deputy General Counsel, and he has accepted.

I’ve had a busy and productive week. I’ve worked as hard as my time and body will allow, but not near as hard as each of you worked every single time you strapped on your headset. Take care, and we’ll be in touch.

JTB <!----End Text Field **************>

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