jUNE 4TH 2019

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 B737 GSI. 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.

Tiffany Good

Amazing Administrative Assistant - 

Tiffany has been our administrative assistant for more than 10 years. She has two wonderful daughters. Tiffany grew up in Virginia and moved to Texas in 1999.

Joe Hendrix

I served in the US Air Force where I was trained as a simulator specialist. Upon separation from the Air Force, I worked on a civilian contract on the B52WST simulators at Carswell AFB. From there I hired on to American Airlines in Simulator Support where I have been for 34 years. I have served as a shop steward, treasurer, and now VP for the Local. I was involved in our JCBA negotiations. My wife and I are about to celebrate our 41st anniversary. We have a daughter and a son and 6 grandchildren. We have several acres in the country where we enjoy our horses and our gardens. I also enjoy spending a lot of my spare time in my shop that I share with my son where we have several hot rod projects from frame off to finished.

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 35 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.

Jim Rupe

Executive Board Member at Large -

I've spent the last 10 years as a Sim Instructor on the B777.  Before this "cushy" job, I was both a Ground School and then a Simp on the MD80. Away from work, it's all about the kids and grandkids.

Dave Demeter

Shop Stewart DFW FCTI -

Dave has been with the company for more than 30 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.  

Todd Schock

Base Section Chair DFW FSE -

Bio coming soon...

Mark Stewart

Shop Steward Envoy -

Bio coming soon...

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Lynn Taubeneck

Lynn has been an EAP peer coordinator for our Local for over 30 years.  He has quietly helped many of our members and their families through the roughest times of their lives. Lynn currently holds a LAP-C certification which is a nationally recognized certification in the areas of addiction and behavioral counseling. Lynn is also a minister and conducts leadership training seminars around the world.  His personal motto is: "Truth is still truth even if no one chooses to believe it."

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Kenny Loyd

Employee Assictance Program (DFW EAP) -

Bio coming soon...

Steve de la Vara

Recording Secretary -

I have had the pleasure of working for our airline for 28 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.

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James (Jim) Martone

Financial Secretary-Treasurer -

Bio coming soon...

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Rick Campbell

Executive Board Member at Large -

Rick has been with American Airlines for more than 34 years.  He has instructed on the 787, 737, 727, DC-10 and MD-11.

Mike Gallardo

Shop Steward DFW FCTI -

Bio coming soon...

Dora Ruth

Shop Steward DFW FSE -

Bio coming soon...

Jim Halcomb

Shop Steward DFW FSE -

Bio coming soon...

Johannes Pressley

Base Section Chair CLT FSE -

Bio coming soon...

Luis Gomez

Base Section Chair Envoy -

Luis Gomez holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Aviation Sciences from Baylor University.

He joined the regional, Envoy Air, in 2016 instructing on the Embraer 145/175 aircrafts and has been serving as a Base Section Chair for the Pilot Simulator Instructors group since December 2019.

Among his hobbies, Luis practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also flies R/C airplanes, and he has been trained as a Classical/Jazz violinist. 

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Todd Kaperonis

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.