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Union Officers, Base Section Chairs, Shop Stewards and Staff.

Below is a brief bio on your Union Leadership and (hopefully) a picture.

Chris Turner

President -

I am a U S Air Force veteran. I started my career with American as a B727 instructor, over the years I've instructed in the S80, F100, and A300 fleets. I'm currently a B777 FCTI. I consider it a privilege to be the president of TWU local 548. My goal is to serve the membership to the best of my ability. Kudos to my wife, Denise, for her patience, understanding and support.

Tim Bennett

VP DFW (FCTIs and SIMPs) -

Tim joined AMR/American Airlines in 1989. He flew for American until his retirement as MD-80 Captain in 2012. During his career, he was type rated/flew the 727, 737, 757, 767, 777, and MD-80. Tim returned to American in 2014 as a 737 SimP Instructor.

Eric Helms

VP CLT (FCTIs and SIMPs) -

I’m currently an A320 FCTI in Charlotte. I’ve been with Piedmont, US Air, US Airways and now American for 38 years. My wife, Kim and I just celebrated 32 years of marriage and have three children. Lauren is an intensive care RN, Caleb is a recent graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and Micah is a freshman at High Point University. I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family especially hunting, fishing and sailing the Caribbean.

Rob Lenhart


I started as a Simulator Engineer at US Air in Pittsburgh in 1984. Transferred to Charlotte in 1999. Been through a few mergers (PSA, Piedmont, America West, American). I have been involved with the Union in several capacities (President, Vice President, Base Section Chair) since 1989. Negotiated several CBA's and JCBA's over the years. Love to fish and hunt, primarily bow hunting.

Marco Amaya

Executive Board Member at Large -

I began my aviation odyssey when I was 17 years old.  After completing my studies, I began working as a flight instructor and pilot in the corporate world for a few years.  I later worked for two different airlines which led to my hiring at American Airlines in the summer of 1999.  I began my time at American serving on the Boeing 757/767 fleet and later transitioning to the Airbus A320 fleet in 2012.  My current job title is Simulator Pilot Instructor and Standardization Coordinator.  Through my aviation career, I have served different roles within ALPA and the TWU.  This is my second time on our Executive Board, having served in a different capacity in a previous administration.  I am married with one daughter, and I reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metropolitan area.  I would like to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity to serve you, and our organization. 

Dave Demeter

Shop Stewart DFW FCTI -

Dave has been with the company for more than 33 years.  He started in Phoenix working on the ramp for America West. In 1998, Dave was hired as a Flight Crew Training Instructor.  He has instructed on both the 737 and A320.  

Tiffany Good

Amazing Administrative Assistant - 

Tiffany has been our administrative assistant for more than 13 years. She has two wonderful children. Tiffany grew up in Virginia and moved to Texas in 1999.

Charles Griffin


Steve de la Vara

Recording Secretary -

I have had the pleasure of working for our airline for 30 years. Hired with America West in 1991 as a "ramper". Learned how to fly at Arizona State University, which then gave me the opportunity to apply for a position in the Pilot Training Department in 1996. I have been a ground instructor on the 737/757/767 and the A320. Currently an FCTI in General Subjects based in DFW.

Earl Smith

Financial Secretary-Treasurer

I am a U S Air Force veteran. I started my career with American Airlines in 1998 as a B727 Ground School Instructor.  In 2001, I became a B737 Simulator Pilot.  I joined the B787 fleet in 2014 and plan to remain in this fleet until I retire.  I consider it a privilege to be the Treasurer of TWU local 548. My goal is to serve the membership to the best of my ability.

Mike Gallardo

Executive Board Member at Large -

Mike was hired with American Airlines in 2000 as a 757/767 FCTI. Since then, Mike has instructed on the 737, and currently on the 787. In addition to being a Standardization Coordinator on the 737 and 757/767, Mike was also a Union Steward. Mike is Local 548 Veterans Committee Chair, and most recently elected as an Executive Board Member. 


Mike retired as Master Sergeant (E-8) from the Marine Corps Reserves in 2015 after 21 years of service. Mike flew as a CH-46 crew chief / aerial machine gunner and as a KC-130 flight engineer. Mike has five combat deployments, humanitarian deployment to Somalia, and has been a part of numerous global operations in multiple areas of responsibility. 

Jake Matthews

Shop Steward DFW FCTI 737 -

Marine veteran, UH-1N/Y Crew Chief, Weapons and Tactics Instructor, CRM Instructor, NATOPS instructor. I’ve been with AA since 2015 and was a S80 and 777 FCTI prior to moving to the 737 in 2018 and have been a Standardization Coordinator since 2019. 

Jim Halcomb

Base Section Chair DFW FSE -


Mike Henderson

Shop Steward DFW FSE -


Rick Campbell

Shop Stewart DFW FCTI -

Rick has been with American Airlines for more than 37 years.  He has instructed on the 787, 737, 727, DC-10 and MD-11.

Johannes Pressley

Base Section Chair CLT FSE -

Growing up in the mountains of Bavaria and Appalachia, Johannes joined the USAF for a six year enlistment as a U-2S crew chief.
After leaving the service he attended UNC at Charlotte to obtain a BS of Computer Engineering and began working for US Airways as an FSE upon graduation in 2015.

Mark Stewart

Shop Steward Envoy (GSI) -

I am a graduate of UCSD in San Diego and am a native Northern Californian.  I am in my 32nd year with American Eagle, I began with Wings West Jetstream 32 LAX and then SAAB 340 DFW with Simmons and ATR 72 ORD followed by E145 DFW and initial cadre E175.   I am the proud father of two daughters and two step sons all commencing college at the same time.   In my spare time I enjoy spending time out in San Diego on the bay.

Kelly Stork

Shop Steward CLT FSE

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Kenny Loyd

Employee Assictance Program (DFW EAP) -

I have been a Flight Crew Training Instructor at American Airlines since April, 2013. I have taught the B-757/767 and B-787 aircraft. I retired from the Air Force in 2011 as a Master Sergeant. I served as a U-2R Crew Chief and a C-130 Flight Engineer. I was asked to serve as an EAP Peer Coordinator in 2014. I'm a Labor Assistance Professionals-Certified (LAP-C)  Employee Assistance Program Peer Coordinator, since 2016. I enjoy helping people and this service position is a gift.

David Clark

Shop Steward Envoy (PSI) -

I grew up in Holland, MI and graduated from WMU in Aviation Flight Science. Post graduation I was a Flight Instructor in Lakeland, FL. Thereafter I worked as a First Officer at Republic Airlines and wanted to continue my passion for teaching which brought me to Envoy as a Pilot Simulator Instructor.


I am a proud Son and Brother. My middle brother Jonathan is the Senior Videographer/Editor at RFD TV in Nashville, TN. My youngest brother Christopher is getting his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Irvine, CA with a focus in artificial liver development.  When we’re not working hard, we love to snowboard at Whistler, BC & Steamboat, CO.

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Todd Kaperonis

Employee Assictance Program (CLT EAP) -

Todd's aviation career started in 1987 by working on the ramp. After getting his ratings, he flew as corporate pilot on a King Air A90. Todd has been an FCTI in the Charlotte Training center since 1999. The EAP role fits well with him as be enjoys helping others find hope during a tough season in their life.  He also enjoys organic farming and learning about the soil health / human health connection.

Bill Murray

Employee Assictance Program (DFW EAP) -

Bill is a 30-year veteran of the Air Force who flew F-111’s and F-16’s.  He then worked as a Senior Systems Engineer for Lockheed Martin on the F-22 and F-35 Programs.  He’s been with American for 10 years being qualified on the 757/767 and Airbus.  He now works in General Subjects and is our LAP Rep. He has been married for 47 years and lives in Keller.

James Palmer

Shop Steward DFW FSE

Brian Fowler

Shop Steward DFW FSE

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