What You Didn't Know About Lori Garver
Title: GM, Air Line Pilots Association International
Association: ALPA is the airline pilots union, the largest in North America, representing over 50,000 pilots. We represent and negotiate on behalf of airline pilots at 30 airlines and focus on public policies that help advance the piloting profession and the future of commercial aviation.
Recruit members: Pilot groups file with the National Mediation Board to have ALPA serve as their collective bargaining representative. Our most recent carrier to join was JetBlue last year.
Board makeup: Every four years, the president, VP and other officers are elected by the board, which has 190 members.
Biggest revenue generator: 90% from dues, which represents 1.9% of the member company’s annual earnings.
Biggest challenges: Matching pilot salaries to the level of work they’re performing and the enormous responsibility and training involved. (A new co-pilot only makes about $22k/year); unfair competition from state-owned airlines in the Middle East, who receive subsidies from their countries; and making sure we are integrating drones in the most safe and efficient way.
Public policy focus: The FAA reauthorization bill has a lot of safety, pilot training and qualification issues. We would like to see NextGen funded at the requested amount. We’re also interested in eliminating the Ex-Im Bank’s low-interest loans for widebody aircraft to state-owned carriers. US airlines need a level playing field to compete.
Why DC: Came here after college with a political science and economics degree. I volunteered for John Glenn’s presidential campaign in ’83. I eventually was hired full-time, but he didn’t make it past Super Tuesday.
Proudest moment at ALPA: Recruiting JetBlue pilots to ALPA last year. The company had not had union representation before, so seeing them vote in favor of joining ALPA by over 70% was a proud moment.
Startling fact: I trained to go to space and was medically certified to go on a Soyuz Rocket. I took 8Gs in a Russian centrifuge on my 40th birthday.
Hometown: Haslett, MI
Current home: McLean, VA
School: Colorado College and GWU
First job: McDonald’s cashier
Association career: While working for John Glenn, I applied for an entry-level job at the National Space Society. I ended up enjoying it and was promoted to executive director after a few years. I also worked for NASA (in several roles, including deputy administrator) but always felt connected to association work.
Job in another life: Rock star
Person to meet: Susan B. Anthony. She was an outspoken feminist and we don’t have enough of them.
Daily habit: Boot camp at 6am
Favorite book: Moneyball
Favorite movie: Boyhood
Favorite vacation: Family trip to Yellowstone
Bucket list: Go to space.
Family: Married (met husband while working for John Glenn) for 29 years; two sons (20 and 23); a dog and a cat.
Hobbies: Sports enthusiast—biking, skiing and any active game.