Washington, D.C.—Yesterday, members of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) elected David J. Spero to a three-year term to be their next national president. Current national president Mike Perrone is retiring after serving three terms as national president and three terms as national vice president. The union represents nearly 11,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Defense aviation safety professionals.
Spero is currently the PASS Region II vice president, responsible for the union’s labor relations matters for FAA Technical Operations employees in the Southeastern, Central and Southwestern United States, as well as employees in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He was first elected to that position in 2003.
National Secretary-Treasurer Carlos Aguirre was unopposed and will serve another three-year term.
Bob Seagravewas elected to serve as thevice president for PASS Region I, replacing Luke Drake, who is retiring after four terms. Seagrave is currently a vice president of the union’s northeast chapter and the union’s national safety representative for the Air Traffic Organization of the FAA. He has been a union member for over 20 years and is anairway transportation systems specialist.
Douglas Lowe was elected to replace President-elect Spero as the PASS Region II vice president. An airway transportation systems specialist and a PASS member since 2007, Lowe was elected to several officer positions in the union’s Georgia and Florida chapters. He is currently the Florida chapter president. He is a U.S. Marine veteran.
Ray Baggett was elected to serve as the vice president for PASS Region III, replacing Joan Matthiesen who is retiring after serving two terms in that position. An electronics technician and a PASS member for nearly 30 years, Baggett has been elected Region III Vice President previously, serving two terms. He is currently the Colorado chapter’s vice president and chair of the union’s National Safety Committee. He is an Air Force and Colorado Air National Guard veteran.
Ben Struck was elected to serve as the vice president for PASS Region IV. He was appointed to fill that position in January after the retirement of Michael Gonzales in December 2020. An aviation safety inspector and a PASS member since 2013, Struck has previously served as the regional business agent for the northeast region. He is also a vice president of the union’s northeast chapter.
Tamara Armstead was elected as the Region V vice president, succeeding Howard (Hawk) Hawkins. A management and program analyst with the FAA, Armstead joined PASS as soon as her unit elected PASS as its exclusive union representative in 2018. She is one of PASS’s team leads for the FAA’s Critical Incident Stress Management Program. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Armstead is a U.S. Army veteran.
“This represents a major change for PASS and its Executive Board,” said President Perrone. “But everyone who will be serving on the board has come up through the ranks of PASS and they are dedicated to the success of the union and protecting the workplace rights of all the employees we represent while they protect the American flying public.”
The new national president has long history in PASS. Since joining the union in 1992, Spero has served as a chapter vice president and local union representative. Spero spent his career as an airway transportation systems specialist. Like many PASS members, he is a military veteran, serving four years in the Air Force.
“I am ready to hit the ground running,” said Spero. “My experience of working as a regional vice president and dealing with contractual, constitutional, political and legal issues put me in a place that requires no ‘on-the-job’ training. I am prepared and motivated to lead PASS and meet the challenges of this decade and beyond.”
The secret ballot election was conducted during August by True Ballot and the ballots were counted yesterday at hotel in suburban Washington, D.C. (to allow for sufficient space to follow local coronavirus protocols) and the results were certified by True Ballot and the union’s Tally Committee.
The new term for all PASS officers will begin on October 1.
September 2, 2021
Contact: Liz Doherty, Communications Director