Release #06.ATA2
July 31, 2006

ATA Unit of ALPA Elects New MEC Officers

CHICAGO --- Leaders of the ATA Airlines pilot group, as represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), have elected a new slate of officers. The ATA Master Executive Council (MEC) elected Captain Steven Staples as chairman, Captain Eric Jacobson as vice-chairman and First Officer Don Wurster as secretary. The new officers take office immediately and will serve through August 2007.

Before his election as MEC Chairman, Captain Steven Staples, 42, was serving as MEC treasurer as well as captains’ representative and chairman of ALPA Local Council 96, representing ATA pilots based at Chicago Midway Airport. He has also served as chairman of the ATA Negotiating Committee, as ATA’s strike center coordinator and as a member of ATA’s Contract Study Committee. A Chicago-based Boeing 737 pilot, Capt. Staples has flown for ATA since 1994 and previously flew for Pan American World Airways and Express One International. He lives in Makanda, IL with his daughter Annabelle and his wife Melissa, a Boeing 777 pilot for United Airlines.

Captain Eric Jacobson, 50, was first elected as MEC vice-chairman in 2003 and is now serving his second term in that office. A Boeing 757 captain who flies out of ATA’s pilot base at Chicago’s Midway Airport, Capt. Jacobson is a former Council 96 vice-chairman. Jacobson is a former commuter airline pilot who flew for ATA subsidiary Chicago Express Airlines as well as United Feeder Service before joining ATA in 1997. He lives in Downers Grove, IL with his wife Jan and three children.

First Officer Don Wurster, 48, is serving his second term as MEC secretary. first Officer Wurster is an Indianapolis-based Boeing 737 pilot who has flown for ATA for more than 20 years. A United States Air Force veteran, Wurster flew corporate jets before joining ATA in 1985. His union service includes two terms representing the first officers of ATA Local Council 97, and he also served two terms as MEC vice-chairman. He lives in Brownsburg, IN with his wife Shirley.

The ATA Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council is composed of seven voting representatives and four officers, who are elected from approximately 600 ATA Airlines pilots. The MEC has three local councils: LEC 96, representing pilots at Chicago Midway Airport; LEC 97, representing pilots and professional flight engineers at Indianapolis International Airport; and LEC 98, representing pilots at Los Angeles and Oakland International airports.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing 61,000 pilots at 40 airline carriers in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA CONTACT: Rusty Ayers, 773-284-4910 or 847-323-9519 (cell)