VATUSA HQ Staff Updates

Anthony Santanastaso

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VATUSA HQ Staff Updates
« on: October 19, 2022, 11:30:41 AM »
With a mixture of emotions, I would like to share with you some important information regarding HQ and VATUSA. Throughout September, I took the time to carefully consider options and individually speak with senior facility and HQ staff. I provided guidance to each group to express their thoughts and concerns about every aspect of our division and its operational status. Coupled with my own observations, it was clear that we needed to move in a different direction fueled by a culture of more collaboration, communication, and support. October welcomed in the time for action and we've begun to take steps toward a future wherein the start of the aforementioned culture could materialize and continue to flourish.

Operating under the belief that HQ had become too large for its own good, we've decided to scale back the staff positions to just 9 members. The reduced size will help to increase the activity and effectiveness of each remaining position while also making the support structure clearer for the division to know who to turn to for guidance. The reduction of middle management will enable the voices of division staff to be heard more clearly while at the same time ensuring that the messaging and communications from HQ equally remain consistent and not misconstrued. As the division continues to grow, we will make it a point to analyze how well the leadership is working. Operating by a culture of support and accountability, we will make necessary adjustments and be sure that we always operate in accordance with our organizational statements:

To create a more cohesive and collaborative hobby environment wherein its members challenge pre-existing standards, embrace growth, and aim to positively influence the entire VATSIM network.

Through effective communication, collaboration, and empathy, we treat each other with dignity and respect. We are open to various types of members and acknowledge that no one is above the learning process. With each new day we strive to be better versions of ourselves.

To be determined by senior leadership teams at our upcoming staff meeting.

Unfortunately, the consequence of this decision meant saying farewell to four dedicated and devoted volunteers. Rick Rump, Ray Salvagnini, and Nick Watkins have respectfully resigned from their positions in advance of the 11/1 reorganization deadline. Jeremy Peterson will remain until 11/1 as we transition his duties to be a part of a larger, more collaborative team. All four have spent countless amounts of hours expending energy for the sake of the division. Their positive contributions shall always be remembered and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts. The difficulty and emotion involved with approaching them about my decision to scale back HQ was perhaps the most challenging leadership task I have had to execute. Brandon Barrett will remain as the Deputy Division Director of Air Traffic Services and Nick and Jeremy were offered an opportunity to continue their work and expertise with Brandon Wening being their direct report as Deputy Division Director of Support Services. We are still going to value the marketing and TMU initiatives and in fact make it so that either are more adaptable and influenced by the opinions of the whole division.

Lastly, I want to welcome Brin Brody to HQ as the Assistant Training Services Manager. A former ATM and active instructional team member, Brin was hired by a committee of 9 people comprised of 3 ATM's, 3 TA's, and 3 HQ members, not including myself. The process for his selection made sure that we selected the best candidate for the job. I am confident that Brin will work on behalf of the division and assist in the advancement of training projects and initiatives.

At present, the magnitude of work on the plate of Training Services helped to reinforce the need to maintain the existing structure. ATC training represents a significant part of our operations. Likewise, pilot outreach and education does, too. That's why you will notice that the new HQ is slanted more toward Training and Support Services. As the needs of the division change, we will continue to re-evaluate our decisions.

Thank you to everyone for all that you do for VATUSA. I am both honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve you and will do so the best way I know how.