ALPA Delegates Elect New Slate of National Officers
Las Vegas, NV – ALPA's Board of Directors today elected a new leadership team to take the association through the next four years.
The elections were part of ALPA's 41st regular biennial BOD meeting, during which all of the union's representatives met to deliberate on Association matters and set a course for its future. The newly elected officers will assume their positions Jan. 1, 2007.
Rice Elected First Vice-President
In addition to the election of Capt. John Prater (Continental) to serve as the next president, Capt. Paul Rice, a 27-year veteran of United Airlines and a Boeing 747 Captain, was elected first vice president. Capt. Rice currently serves the Association as vice president of administration.
“It is time that we coordinate our efforts across the Association, engaging management as a solidified union to demand that our voices are heard, our sacrifices recognized, and our expertise acknowledged,” said Capt. Rice. “Pilots demand excellence from their union’s elected leaders, and I am proud and honored to continue to represent my fellow pilots on all issues in all venues throughout the world. During our 75th anniversary, the democratic process that has served us so well has once again proved that airline pilots remain in command of their union.”
Capt. Rice believes one of the biggest challenges facing today’s airline pilot is the globalization of the airline industry. ALPA must be a major player in the industry’s ever changing landscape, Rice said.
“We need to take our place as participants in the globalization of the industry, and work with our brothers and sisters from around the world to ensure that airline pilots everywhere are protected and able to work in a safe and secure environment,” Rice said.
Capt. Rice served the previous 4 years as vice president of administration. He presently serves as the IFALPA executive vice president of the North American Region and IFALPA Director of U.S.-ALPA. Rice was chairman of United Airlines Council 11 (Washington) from1995 to 1999.
Capt. Rice and his wife of 20 years, Vickie Currier-Rice, are the parents of two children: Jordan, a third-generation pilot; and Maxine, a high school sophomore.
American Eagle Pilot Elected Vice-President of Administration
Capt. William Russell “Bill” Couette, a 17-year veteran American Eagle pilot and LEC 133 Chairman, was elected ALPA vice president of administration.
An Embraer ERJ-145 captain based in Chicago, Capt. Couette said he is honored to serve his fellow pilots, and is looking forward to maintaining his authenticity as a line pilot. “I’m not a polished politician,” Couette said. “I’m a line pilot. I am straight forward and I am not going to change.”
Capt. Couette also said that as an express pilot, he brings a new outlook to the organization. “I will be able to bring the perspective of that type of flying to wide-body pilots,” he said. “I want to bridge that gap. I want to see the association get tighter. As profitability for the airline industry is just around the corner, I want us all to go together,” he said.
Capt. Couette is currently assisting ALPA’s SkyWest organizing effort. He also serves on the Strike Oversight Board for Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
He is originally from Maple Lake, Minn., where his mother Celette still resides. His deceased father, Russell, former member of IBEW Local 160, passed on to Couette a deeply-held belief in the importance of a strong, unified union. Capt. Couette attended St. Cloud State University and graduated in August 1987 with a bachelor of science in aviation technology.
Beebe Re-elected Vice-President Finance
Capt. Chris Beebe, a B-737 US Airways pilot, was re-elected vice president of finance for his second four year term.
Former MEC chairman for US Airways pilots, Capt. Beebe boasts more than 20 years of ALPA volunteerism, serving as the US Airways pilots’ negotiating committee chairman, grievance representative, MEC vice chairman, MEC secretary/treasurer, and legislative affairs chairman.
Capt. Beebe said that ALPA needs in the future to send a clear, unified message to both pilots and other airline industry-stakeholders.
“As we emerge from a concessionary era, we are financially strong. Our resources remain intact,” Beebe said. “We’re moving into an era of aggressiveness, and we are poised to fight to restore what has been lost.”
Capt. Beebe said that during this period of increased activism, pilots will need to continue to display mutual support and respect for each other.
"This union can only be as strong as we make each pilot group," he said. "We are in a world where every battle matters to every pilot."
Originally from Hampton, Va., Capt. Beebe resides in New Town, Pa.
ALPA's Board elected a new slate of 10 executive vice presidents, who, along with the four national officers, sit on the Association's Executive Council, the governing body that manages the Association's fiscal plans and participates in policy decisions. The new executive vice presidents are:
Capt. Christian Lynch, Continental
F/O Michael Geer, Delta
Capt. Joseph Fagone, FedEx
Capt. Darryl Snider, Northwest
Capt. Mark Seal, United
Capt. Kevin Friel, ATA
Capt. Tom Zerbarini, Atlantic Southeast
Capt. John Sluys, Alaska
Capt. Russ Webber, America West
Capt. Dan Adamus, president, Canada Board
Joining Capt. Adamus on the Canada Board are Capt. Nick DiCintio, vice-president and IFALPA director, and Capt. Nick Rapagna, secretary/treasurer.