Class in Session

As you’ll read in this issue, many of ALPA’s newest local council officers recently attended the Leadership Training Conference. In addition to learning about their new roles as union leaders, this was an opportunity for staff to meet nearly a third of ALPA’s Board of Directors (BOD) delegates. Local council officers who are also status reps serve as members of this highest branch of the union’s governing bodies.

The daytime hours were packed with presentations and training exercises, while nightly events allowed us to spend more individual time with our new pilot volunteers. David Krieger, our managing director, and I presented an overview of the staff structure and ALPA’s strategic plan on the first day of the conference, and many of our staff directors talked about their departments throughout the week. Staff leadership also attended evening social events—an open house, a visit to the Udvar-Hazy museum, and an officer dinner. The week was a wonderful opportunity to get to know ALPA’s diverse membership: men and women, Americans and Canadians, and pilots at the beginning of their careers as well those approaching retirement.

If I heard a common theme, it was an expressed sense of unity and a desire to advance our strategic goals of safety, representation, and protecting the future of the profession. Staff especially enjoyed the open house where we were able to connect with pilots one on one and explain the resources and support available to them as volunteers. I learned more about what compelled these pilot members to run for office and what they hoped to accomplish.

I felt a sense of comradery among these new pilot leaders—a spirit of community and a desire to make things better not only for our members, but also for the profession. ALPA is all about pilots helping pilots. In most instances, someone else has likely dealt with what one of these new reps may experience and can provide some insight about the opportunities and challenges that exist. As staff, we can help make these connections so that we maximize our ability to advance our core mission and strategic goals.

In nearly two years, many of these new officers will sit down with their peers as the BOD to review the Association’s strategic plan and set priorities. I have no doubt that ALPA is in good hands with these new volunteers. The Leadership Training Conference reminded me that whether training new leaders or outlining strategic plans, ALPA is always looking forward.