NGPA's strength comes from the incredible people who make up the organization. As pilots and aviation enthusiasts helping each other, volunteering exemplifies the spirit of NGPA more than anything else. We can always use a hand, and volunteering is a great way to meet people and make new friends.

Executive Leaders

Brian Gambino

President (Chicago, IL)

Brian grew up under the final approach path for runway 22L at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. As a kid he was always looking skyward, and by the age of 6 proclaimed that he wanted to be a Pilot. After a discovery flight at age 14, Brian focused his energy on his lofty dreams by heading to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science, with a minor in Air Traffic Management. Right after college Brian attained his first job in the airline sector, spending 8-years learning and honing his skills; abilities that would land him his dream job at JetBlue Airways where he currently flies the Airbus 320/321.

Brian was very lucky to have parents who not only supported his aspirations for the sky but also stood by his side when he came to terms with his sexuality. He also found the support of the NGPA in 2008 and attended his first Palm Springs event that very same year. Fast forward through a few years of membership and Brian began to take on a leadership role as the Director of the Industry Expo event in late 2015. In that role, the NGPA has seen the Industry Expo grow from an event of less than 100 attendees to one which see’s over 1,400 attendees and exhibitors each year. This connection to our Industry Partners and sponsors has given Brian the opportunity to sign many of NGPA’s current sponsorship agreements as well as further relationships for our organization across the industry.

Brian lives in Chicago with his husband Jon who works in global marketing. Outside of work and NGPA, Brian and Jon are passionate about traveling to new areas of the world and tasting wines throughout the areas they visit. They love reading a good travel blog and they have a knack for redeeming airlines miles for fancy travel around the globe.

Troy Merritt

Vice-President (Atlanta, GA)

Troy’s journey to aviation began in 2011 when he enrolled in the University of North Dakota's flight program. Upon completing his degree and flight training, Troy spent time as a flight instructor before moving on to his career as an airline pilot. Throughout his airline career, Troy has served as First Officer, Captain, Pilot Recruiter, and Assistant Chief Pilot. Today, Troy is thrilled to be a part of United Airlines flying the A320.

With the support of his close friends, Troy came out as gay in 2011 during his freshman year in college. Troy joined the NGPA in 2016 and quickly found a home in the LGBTQ aviation community. For Troy, the NGPA allowed him to combine his career and interest in aviation with his identity in the LGBTQ community. 

Troy’s first volunteer work with the NGPA involved the building of university and flight school chapters of the NGPA on multiple college campuses. Most recently, Troy was Director of Member Services and Support, and now serves at the Vice-President of the NGPA. Troy lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his partner, who is also a member of the NGPA, an airline pilot, and, curiously enough, is also named Troy.

Greg Sumner

Co-Chair (Phoenix, AZ)

Greg Sumner earned his B.S. in Aviation Technology and Operations and B.A. in Spanish from Western Michigan University (WMU) in 1997. He began flying for United Airlines in 2000 and has held several professional and volunteer positions. He has flown the Boeing 727 and holds type ratings on numerous aircraft, ranging from the Learjet to the Boeing 747.

Sumner completed his Executive M.B.A. with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2013 while working in numerous NextGen business roles for L-3/Thales Avionics in Phoenix. The WMU Department of Spanish awarded him an Alumni Achievement Award in 2016, and the WMU College of Aviation chose Sumner for its 2019 Excellence in Diversity award. He has served in various positions on the NGPA and Education Fund boards, including governance, marketing and the alliance-merger committee as Education Fund Vice Chair.

Sumner currently serves as a captain on the Boeing 737 and resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his husband, Kevin Arnett.

Steven Tustin

Co-Chair (Long Beach, CA)

Steven serves as co-chair of the NGPA board of directors and sits on the Governance, Finance, and Marketing committees. Before being named co-chair in 2020, he volunteered as director of marketing and chaired that committee for two years. Prior to that he served as a board member and secretary of the NGPA Education Fund as well as serving on the NGPA Alliance Committee that was responsible for combining the NGPA and NGPA Education Fund into a single nonprofit in 2017.

Before becoming an airline pilot, Steven was responsible for safety and quality assurance for S E Pipe Line Construction and then as an administrator for environmental, health, and safety compliance at Gulfstream Aerospace.

Steven accomplished his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot in 1989 when he earned his private pilot license at Corona Municipal Airport near Riverside, California. After many years of being an active general aviation pilot and flight instructor he decided on a career change and joined Trans States Airlines as a first officer in 1998. Since then, Steven has flown a variety of commercial aircraft and is now captain for Southwest Airlines on the 737 based in Los Angeles.

He earned a BA in International Relations from the University of Redlands in 1988 and now resides in Long Beach, California with his husband Christian where they are active supporters of the LGBTQ and aviation communities.

Erika DeLong

Vice-Chair (Forest Lake, MN)

Erika DeLong is First Officer at United Airlines flying the Boeing 737. She is a third-generation pilot who knew at age five that she wanted to be an airline pilot; and that her gender identity did not match her physical body. At age nineteen, even before having her first flight lesson, Erika purchased her first airplane, a 1966 Cessna 150, and began taking lessons.

Erika had flown professionally for 19 years at Endeavor Airlines. She was the first transgender pilot to transition at her former employer. During her transition, she worked with them to bring awareness of an individual’s needs and helped create policies for inclusion. This effort allowed her to continue her employment, fly openly as a transgender pilot since 2014, and advance her career flying as a CRJ-900 Captain/IOE Instructor.

Outside of work, Erika is a general aviation owner and hobbyist, wife, mother, and role model. She is the Transgender Member Support Chairwoman with the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) and an active board member. In her Transgender Member Support role, she helps aviation individuals navigate their transition by mentoring them through the FAA first class special issuance medical process and works as a liaison/consultant for airline employers and transgender employees. In addition to member support, she has been active in speaking on transgender topics at various aviation events, including several Diversity and Inclusion conferences focused toward airline leadership and human resource staff.