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AMFA National Officer Election – 2016
Candidate Profiles

In an effort to provide AMFA members with basic information about candidates for union office, AMFA National has offered all candidates in this election an opportunity to submit a Candidate Profile along with their picture. Profiles were limited to 400 words and are unedited except for inappropriate content. AMFA National neither endorses any candidate for union office nor was any candidate given special treatment.

National Director

Bob Cramer

In 1980, Bob Cramer began his extensive career in aviation with the United States Marine Corps as an AE Technician on F4J/S Phantom II’s.  In 1985, he transferred to a full-time civilian/reservist position with the Air National Guard at Andrews Air Force Base as an Aviation Electrician on C-22 and Lear 35 Aircraft.   In 1987, he was elected to a Chief Shop Steward position with the National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) Union.  In 1990, Bob took an A&P position with USAir.  He continued as an Air National Guard Reservist of which he retired honorably in 1998.  During his time at USAir, he participated in the 1992 strike and suffered several layoffs with the IAM.  In 1997, he continued his aviation career by accepting a position as a Line Mechanic with Southwest Airlines.  In 2000, Bob became a Shop Steward with the Teamsters at BWI.  In early 2003, he was elected to be the Area Representative for Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) Local 18 for BWI.  In late 2003, he was elected to be the Airline Representative for AMFA Local 39 for Southwest Airlines and later went on to serve as the Airline Representative for AMFA Local 18 and currently AMFA Local 4.  He has participated in all contract negotiations for AMFA represented employees since AMFA’s certification at Southwest Airlines to include seniority integration.  He has been an active Board Member at System Board of Adjustment and testified in numerous arbitrations to enforce the Collective Bargaining Agreement since accepting his position as an Airline Representative for Local 39.  He is currently involved in mediation and Section 6 negotiations for both the AMT and Facilities Technicians.   He has also been elected and has served as a Delegate at the 2016 AMFA National Convention.

Aaron Hansen

I’m Aaron Hansen and the current Assistant National Director.  I began my aviation career in 1987 in the United States Air Force as a KC-10 Crew Chief. I have worked at Southwest Airlines for over 20 years as an Aircraft Mechanic.

Why Elect Aaron Hansen?

AMFA LEADERSHIP MATTERS! As a results-based leader who stands behind my objectives, I am the only clear choice for National Director. We need experience and a driven leader to properly move AMFA forward. I have strategic goals and objectives that I believe will do so promptly; Stronger carrier engagement by being involved and pushing for quicker contracts, I have a thorough plan for growing the association, I have a detailed Public Relations Plan for national recognition of AMT’s, stronger engagement with the membership by all National Officers and increase our legislative involvement and make AMFA a household brand on Capitol Hill.

I’m a proven executive that previously served four continuous terms (8 years) in office as President. I am very committed to standing by the truth and preservation of our Association.  I realize that there are important decisions for our future being made at the National level and will continue to offer my highest level of dedication and responsibility.

I believe it is important to have strategies in place prior to making commitments, so that we are operationally ready for the outcome.  As your National Director, I will continue the evolution of AMFA by bringing a new focus to our communications both internally and externally.  With my oversight, tasks will be seen through until their completion. I will continue to make clear and precise decisions that will be in the best interest of each Member.  Why? Because I stand firm of our profession and vow to protect it forever. To put it bluntly, I am willing to take us over the top. 

We sit at the precipice of greatness as an Association.  Previous leaders have been disappointing as they attempted to navigate through the opportunities presented to them.  Still others currently running for National office would have you believe that they possess a magic wand that can be used to correct all Association ills. Choose wisely.  With me, you get a proven leader with your best interest at heart.      

Join me and vote for Aaron Hansen as National Director

Thank you for your consideration.

AMFA Leadership Matters,

Aaron Hansen

Bret M Oestreich

AMFA Members:

We as AMFA Members have the fortunate opportunity to be able to vote for our National Officers. The qualities in leading any organization should be someone who can lead with integrity and  embrace unity while proactively promoting our profession. I believe I have those proven qualities and personal experiences needed to represent you in this ever radically changing industry.

I began my career in the United States Air Force as a Crew Chief on C-130 aircrafts from 1990-1994. I have been a Certified A&P Technician since 1995, when I started in General Aviation and finished my private pilot's certificate. In 1996 my Commercial Aviation Career at American Airlines started as an AMT under the TWU. In 1998, I became an AMFA Organizer after the continuous concessions and devaluing of the AMT Craft and Class Profession. I have been an active leader involved as a staunch AMFA advocate, promoter, organizer in multiple card drives and campaigns over 18 years. I also was co-chair in forming an organizational structure, constitution and organizing campaign for an Independent Union for AA Mechanics and Related- Association of Maintenance Professionals (AMP) against TWU in 2010-2011. I was a Union Safety Coordinator and chaired Accident Investigations for 8 years and was a Union Maintenance Technical Representative in AA Maintenance services (MRO) for 2 years. I have been with Southwest Airlines as a Composite Mechanic and Structures Mechanic in Dallas, TX since 2012 and was a primary Constitutional Convention Delegate in 2016.

This is a crucial time in our Aviation Careers, we face many challenges, the “status-quo” mentality will minimize our value as skilled professionals, and more importantly, destabilize the scope of work in our CBA.

I am willing to continue to lead and stand up against the big business financial focus ideologies. I am strongly committed to being your voice and confidant. Together we can capitalize on learning from our past sacrifices as we battle to bring about a prosperous future. We have to get back to AMFA’s core objectives of raising our quality standards and increasing our recognition as Craft and Class of a Skilled Mechanics and Related Workgroup.

I look forward to working with you to achieve the mutual future successes that we will obtain through building unity, strength and professionalism in the industry again. We need to be the front runners again by:

Knowledge - Skill - Integrity


Bret M Oestreich

Assistant National Director

Louie Key

It’s all about the members; it always has been and it always should be. This basic concept has guided me for the past eighteen years as I have successfully served in a variety of AMFA leadership positions.

I have been elected to the positions of Airline Representative, Regional Director, Assistant National Director, and National Director. I have also proudly served our membership in various other roles during this time such as arbitration board member, convention delegate (I have participated in every AMFA Convention since 2000), Professional Standards Representative, organizer (including the Southwest campaign), negotiating committee chairman, media point of contact, AMFA legislative representative, NTSB aircraft accident investigator (Alaska Airlines Flight 261 accident), and chaired committees dealing with mergers and seniority integration as well as bankruptcies and strikes.

In short, I have been squarely in the arena fighting for our members and fighting for our craft – I have never stopped, I have never given up. It is an honor to represent you and only with your support can I continue to do so.

At our National Convention I was nominated to continue serving our members in the positions of Assistant National Director and National Director. After much deliberation I have decided that I want to run for the position of Assistant National Director. I reached this conclusion based on several important factors, key is the fact that the AMFA membership is approximately 80% Southwest Airlines members and 20% Alaska Airlines members. The Southwest members may perceive, due to frustrations surrounding the ongoing contract negotiations, they would benefit from a Southwest Airlines National Director. Rather than challenge this perception, I believe that I can do the most good, for the most members, by continuing my service on the National Executive Council (NEC) in the capacity of the Assistant National Director.

In this role I can continue to support our NEC and share my experience on all the issues that will come before us. Our new National Director, and potentially other new National Officers, will benefit from the insights I have gained while serving our membership. Nothing teaches a lesson like adversity and AMFA has faced its share, but we’ve come out stronger each time and continue to thrive. For these reasons I believe there is immense value in retaining my diverse experience on the NEC.

Your voice matters; your future is in your hands.

Please cast your vote for Louie Key.

Gene Painter

My name is Gene Painter.  After retiring from the United States Air Force I began my career at Southwest Airlines in the fall of 1994.  I have been very pro-active and supportive in my endeavor as a Union member, this was as a Teamster (old school) and as a member of AMFA. I have participated as a Shop Steward, Shop Representative, Contract Steering Committee member, 2012 National Convention Delegate. I have watched diligently as the frustration of our membership grew during contract process. It has been a long time coming to have our representation, be truly represented.  I like you no longer wish to be reactive, But rather pro-active in our approach going forward.  The time has come for your voice to be heard.  Thank you.

National Secretary/Treasurer

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson Attended Northrup University and started his aviation career at Aviall Engine Overhaul Facility, Ryder Airline Services, Greenwich Air Services and G.E. On wing Support where he performed field maintenance on aircraft engines for 16 years. Jay worked at Aircraft Interior and Design, where he worked with 200 Mechanics that overhaul aircraft Interiors and manufacturing of aircraft Interior parts. In 2002 Jay was hired by Southwest Airlines (SWA) as a structures mechanic in Dallas Texas.

Jay was introduced to AMFA at SWA and has been part of the Association since 2002. He was elected as Local 11 Treasurer 2013. He frequently attended SWA contract negotiations as an observer. Jay recently took part in the 2016 National Convention as an Alternate Delegate.

Jay believes in a Union that uses a democratic process where officers are elected instead of appointed, open negotiations where members are invited to attend and participate in contract negotiations and transparency.

Justin Madden

Over the years, I have dutifully served our Association in many different roles starting as one of the main organizers that helped bring AMFA to SWA.  After serving on the Transition Committee and as a Shop Representative, I was elected to the Local Secretary position.  I have also been to two Conventions as a Delegate, and currently serve as your National Secretary/Treasurer.

When I ran for office four years ago, I wanted to serve in this position because I have a passion for our craft and a different perspective to advancing it.  Ultimately, my foremost objective was, and still is, to serve with your best interests at heart.  I’ve worked very hard over the past few years to accomplish just that, and would like to continue doing so.

A few years back, I promised to utilize our hard-earned dues money as intelligently and resourcefully as possible.  In fact, due to a thorough vetting of vendors and with a close eye on finances, the Association has saved tens of thousands of dollars over the past few years.  I promised to raise the previous amount and level of communication via collaboration between the Locals and National, as well utilize technology in a more efficient manner.  In fact, today more information is available and distributed to the Locals from the National level, a refreshed National website is more relevant, and there is now an AMFA app to access important information, such as GrievTrac. 

I firmly believe that the relationship between AMFA and labor, particularly on our respective properties, should be friendly and supportive, and over the past few years have placed an emphasis on establishing and cultivating these relationships.  I’m very proud that, due to hard work, AMFA is involved again in the SWA Labor Summit and can claim positive relationships with most unions on property.  It has also been my pleasure to be deeply involved in our legislative agenda, and I am delighted that the Association can declare major success in that arena.   

It is truly an honor to serve each of you as the National Secretary/Treasurer.  I have the necessary skillset and passion to continue pushing our Association forward, but I absolutely need your help to do so.  Vote to re-elect Justin Madden as your National Secretary/Treasurer. Proven leadership that gets results.

National Safety and Standards Director

David Brooks

David Brooks began his aviation career in the US Army in 1987. He was a UH-60 Blackhawk crewchief in the 101st Aviation unit, and in Germany. After honorable discharge, received his A & P license, and went to work for Delta Airlines. He has also worked for Dyn Air and BF Goodrich.  He was hired in 1995 by Southwest Airlines, and has been there since.  He has worked in all aspects of the maintenance field, to include line, hangar, and inspector duties. He pursued the career because of his passion of aviation, and received his private pilot’s license.

David feels honored to be serving as AMFA National Safety and Standards Director for the past four years. Prior to  his current position he served for eight years as Local 32 Safety and Standards Chairman. He feels that AMFA is the only alternative to other representation, and requires the membership to be involved and participate.  He also feels that there needs to be accountability and solidarity in our union, and that the most important thing is safety, to our members and the flying public.

The duties and responsibilities of the National Safety and Standards Director are outlined in Article VI, Section 9 of the AMFA constitution.

Scott King

Scott King got his aviation career started while attending Skyline High School in his hometown of Dallas, Texas by beginning work on his A&P license there, and finishing at Tarrant County Junior College.

After working general aviation, Aviall Jet Engine Overhaul and Pan Am, Scott landed at Delta Airlines, where he worked until 2009.

In April, 2009, Scott started at SWA as a Regulatory Affairs Analyst, then transferring to the “floor” as a Mechanic in September of 2011.

Since becoming a member of AMFA, Scott has been on the Professional Standards Committee, By-Laws Committee, Shop Representative, Alternate Outsource Liaison Representative and currently the Primary Outsource Liaison Representative since January 2016.

Within the last four years, the Company has proven to the AMT’s the lack of sincerity in maintaining the Culture that built SWA into where it is today. With the erosion of the Culture towards the Mechanic Group the role of AMFA has become very important. This has been proven by the recent rulings that AMFA was been forced to defend through the Collective Bargaining Agreement Contract (i.e. fourth line of Heavy Maintenance, Inspector backfill, fourth shift pay, and numerous other Contract violations).

Keeping all of the current pressures in mind, our Members must watch out for each other’s safety, as well as the Professional attitude that is required while navigating through the most challenging time in recent years. AMFA’s role towards safety must always remain at the forefront of priorities within the Association.        

Region I Director

Earl Clark

I have worked in the airline industry since 1979, first starting with Transamerica Airlines working as a Technician Helper and then a Technician (1979 – 1985). In 1985 I received my Airframe and Powerplant licenses and then worked for Southern Air Transport (1985 – 1991) as Engine Shop and Line Technician. I currently work for Alaska Airlines as a Technician. I started in 1991 in the hanger in Oakland, California working heavy maintenance. In 2004 I was furloughed and then bumped into San Francisco Line and then recalled back to the Oakland Line where I continue to work today. During the above time period I completed my Associates Arts Degree in Electronics form Chabot College in Hayward Ca (1983). 

I have been an active member of AMFA since they were voted in at Alaska Airlines in 1998. I have served as the Airline Representative for the Alaska membership form 1998 to 2008, first with Local 37 from 1998 to 2004 then with Local 9 from 2004 to April of 2008, and last for Local 32 from April 2008 to December 2008. I have also been elected by the membership to serve as a delegate to the 2000, 2001 Special and 2004 AMFA National Conventions. I have served as a negotiator while an Alaska Airline Representative in three contracts negotiated since AMFA was ratified as their bargaining agent in 1998. During my first term as AMFA National Region 1 Director I served as Negotiating Chairman for the Alaska Airlines ratified agreement of 2011 – 2016. I also during that term I served as Negotiating Chairman for the Horizon Air Negotiating committee. During my recent term I continue to serve as the Negotiating Chairman for the ongoing Southwest Negotiating Committees for the Aircraft Maintenance Technician and Related agreement and the initial Facility Maintenance Technician contract and the Alaska Airlines Negotiations. I have also served as an arbitration board member at Alaska Airlines, a Special System Board Member for the Local 32 Southwest members. In 2001 I served as an aircraft accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board in the investigation of Alaska Airlines flight 261.

Keith R. Jenkins

To my fellow union members, I am honored to have the opportunity to run for the position of Region I Director. For the entirety of my employment at Alaska Airlines, I have actively served on committees and helped AMFA as a union member. Currently, I work in Seattle as a Line Lead Technician; holding an A & P, FCC license with an AA degree. Through the years, I have acquired a holistic knowledge and understanding of our fast-paced and ever-changing work environment. My qualifications include experience with the military, having worked at MRO’s, heavy checks and another major airline, and the last fifteen years I have spent here at Alaska Airlines while being part of AMFA. I have seen our union grow and evolve into its current state. We work in a dynamic profession which requires us to up hold safety as a paramount factor. In my opinion, our premium work should be reflected in a premium contracts. We are deserving of contractual agreements reflective of the commitment and support we have given to our companies. Substandard contacts are unacceptable and should not be negotiated. I strongly believe as a united union we can accomplish greatness. With your vote for me, we can begin growing together in a stand for a singular goal: good, fair and equitable contracts. Thank you in advance for you time and consideration when voting.  Together we grow division is what they want.

Region II Director

Joel Behnken

Dear AMFA Members,

As members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, you will soon have the opportunity and duty to elect the officers of the AMFA National Executive Council (NEC). Do not take this duty lightly. As it these NEC officers that will serve you and AMFA for next four years.

Personally, I seek your vote and support for the office of AMFA Region II Director. I've been a licensed A&P since 1989 and began my career with Southwest Airlines in 1993 as an Aircraft Maintenance Tech in HOU, where I'm still based. I've served the members of AMFA Local 18 since AMFA was certified to represent SWA members in 2003, serving as Vice President from 2003-2004. I was then elected President of AMFA Local 18 and served in that capacity from 2005-2008. After a 3 year break from the office, I again became President of AMFA Local 18 in 2012 and currently hold that office. I've served as a Delegate for AMFA Local 18 to every AMFA National Convention held since 2004.

All these years of serving as an AMFA Local 18 officer has shown me there's no substitute for experience and integrity. Both are required for any AMFA officer to serve the members of AMFA well. Anyone who me will confirm that I have no shortage of either of these virtues.

The duties of Region II Director are quite varied, as spelled out in Article VI of the AMFA Constitution. The Region II Director also currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Contract Negotiations Committee.

One of my goals as Regional II Director would be to bolster communication between the Locals's members and AMFA National. Another primary goal of mine would be to strengthen AMFA and its members through solidarity. Webster's dictionary defines a labor union as "an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members' interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions." Which means, as AMFA members we're all in this together and without solidarity the power of any labor union and its members, is greatly diminished. Only through solidarity will AMFA and its members ever achieve the success they desire, especially during contract negotiations.

Thanks for your support, time in reading this and voting in the upcoming election. I have no doubt with the right leadership and solidarity, AMFA members will enjoy a secure and prosperous future.

Joel Behnken

Chris Bates

I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. My passion for aviation started as a child living in Alaska and the Seattle area watching float planes take off and land day in and day out. My aviation career started in 1999 working for Galvin Flying Service on Boeing field in Seattle WA. I started out working annual inspections and non routines on small aircraft at the flight school area at Galvin. I then moved to the hangar where I began to work on  various small business planes among other small private planes. I began my career at Southwest Airlines in 2002 and haven't looked back once, I found the company I want to retire with. I became a shop rep for AMFA local 11 in 2010, Iv enjoyed serving and assisting our members but strive to help at the national level as your director.  I look forward to being elected as AMFA National Region II Director. My goals if elected will be to bring solidarity back to this union and it's members. I strongly believe that communication is key among us and I feel strongly that to get a great contract we need to be informed and united as one union.

Best Regards
Chris Bates

7853 E. Arapahoe Court, Suite 1100
Centennial, CO 80112

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