First and foremost, I am an airline Captain. I’ve been a pilot with the airlines since 2007 and it has taught me many valuable traits. Managing 7 crew and 228 passengers in what can be very stressful situations taught me how to manage pressure and stress in very time critical moments. That experience has applied to my life outside the aviation profession. The golden rule in aviation is “if plans change, change plans, and it is a rule I have applied to my whole life. Changes happen quickly, especially with our rapidly expanding technologies, and being able to adapt to those changes is a trait I’ve had to learn quickly for the safety of my myself, my crew and my passengers. Being a pilot has also blessed me with the ability to travel much of this fascinating planet, where I have learned a lot.
While being pilot I had the humbling honor of being in a position I could represent the pilot group as a union leader. For 4 years I was chairman of Government Affairs at my airline’s Air Line Pilots Association affiliation. I oversaw the lobbying efforts of my committee where I began as just myself and grew by 10 members on a very limited budget. There I organized and tackled many issues regarding aviation safety, foreign economic threats, drone regulation, biofuels for aviation and FAA appropriations. My work has been mentioned various times on aviation industry publications. I’ve helped tackle issues as large as foreign relations, open skies agreement’s, unfair subsidies from Qatar and the UAE, to reducing regulation, increasing funding in bio-fuels research and improving aircraft air quality.
My union work opened up my passion into politics where I realized I had a voice and I can speak for issues that are important to me. Privately I’ve always been fascinated with sustainable smart city technologies and infrastructure where I realized I could push for initiatives on the more local level. Over time I’ve set relations with many city/state officials speaking about my ideas, where I soon decided it was time I take another step in my life. I’ve incorporated my own firm where I can now promote initiatives as a registered lobbyist, not only to lawmakers, but also provide my knowledge and expertise to companies who are interested in growing in the industries as well.
Prada Governmental Solutions, Inc. was created to bring awareness among the IL and Chicago lawmakers on Smart City initiatives to compete with other mega cities globally. To create initiatives that would put Chicago on the global spotlight and an example to the rest of the world. In order, though to have a smart city, many foundations need to be accomplished to utilize all those in the city and state, rather than relying on bringing people in. We need to come together and utilize all of the residents and leave no one behind.
I have been fortunate enough to have the addition of Ta’Sha Barber, who brings vast experience in the political arena. A Political Science major, who minored in law, she has lobbied for the teacher unions and managed various successful campaigns. Frank Bass has partnered with us. He is a veteran to IL politics bringing 13 years of experience. The following are a few of the initiatives I strongly believe could put us in the right direction to be a global spotlight of what a smart city of the future is.