Jorge Ramirez is president of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) and a vice president of the national American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). The CFL is the third largest central labor council of the national AFL-CIO, representing half a million working people across Chicago and Cook County. The AFL-CIO is the umbrella federation of U.S. unions, representing 13 million working men and women. Jorge has served as an officer of the Chicago Federation of Labor since July 2006 and was elected the CFL’s first Latino president in July 2010. In February 2015, he was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council as a vice president, helping to guide the daily work of the national federation.
Jorge earned his first union card in 1988 through the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 1546. He worked his way up through the ranks, ultimately serving as UFCW Local 1546’s executive director before coming to the CFL.
As the son of Mexican immigrants, Jorge understands the struggles his father, a meat packing worker in Chicago’s Back of Yards neighborhood, and his fellow workers endured to unionize their workplace in the 1960s. Many of the packinghouse workers were immigrants, often unable to fight for their rights on their own. By standing together they secured a union contract that offered better wages and benefits. As a child, Jorge witnessed first-hand the strength a collective voice gave to the packinghouse workers, occasionally standing with his father on the picket lines. The lessons he learned provide the motivation he has to serve working men and women in organized labor today.
In his role as president of the CFL, Jorge serves on executive and advisory boards for labor, civic, and community organizations across the city and around the country. His involvement with these organizations allows him to represent the interests of labor and protect the fundamental rights of all workers. As a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Jorge is promoting the Reserve’s dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices to foster a healthy economy. Through his work with World Business Chicago, Choose Chicago, Chicago Infrastructure Trust and Navy Pier, Inc., Jorge is working to bring jobs and expand the region’s economy by growing and improving the city’s manufacturing, infrastructure, tourism and trade show opportunities. Locally, Jorge also serves on the boards of Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Immigrant Affairs, St. Joseph College Seminary, and other civic and community groups.
Jorge graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a double major in marketing and computer information systems. He later went on to receive his Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Robert B. Reich is one of the world's leading thinkers about work and the economy. Now Chancellor's professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, he has served under three national administrations, most recently as Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. He also served on President Barack Obama's economic transition advisory board. In 2008, TIME magazine named him one of the ten most successful cabinet secretaries of the past century.
Reich is the author of 15 books including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages, and several other national best sellers. He has a reputation for seeing where politics and the economy are going before they get there. For example, in his 2007 best seller, Supercapitalism, he warned of the perils of an under-regulated and over-leveraged financial system. In his 2010 best seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, he predicted a tepid recovery that would last for years, with volatile political consequences. In his most recent book, also a national best seller, Saving Capitalism, he foresees a widening political divide not between Democrats and Republicans but between establishment elites and anti-establishment populists in both parties. Reich is the co-creator and host of the widely acclaimed 2013 documentary, Inequality for All, in which he explains the underlying forces that are shaping our economy and lays out pragmatic solutions for a broader prosperity. Reich has a nationally-syndicated column and he also writes frequently for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Financial Times. He is a contributor to CNBC, and a frequent panelist on ABC's This Week and other television programs.
n late 2003, Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclev Havel prize, in Prague, for his original contributions to economic thinking. The Wall Street Journal has named him one of the nation's top ten thought leaders.
Lynn Rhinehart is General Counsel of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), a federation of 56 national and international unions representing 12.5 million working men and women. Ms. Rhinehart has held this position since October 2009. Ms. Rhinehart joined the legal staff at the AFL-CIO as an Associate General Counsel in 1996. She graduated magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1994. Following graduation, she clerked for two years for the Honorable Joyce Hens Green of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Ms. Rhinehart is a member of the District of Columbia bar. From 1987-1990, Ms. Rhinehart worked as a professional staff member for the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, chaired by Senator Howard Metzenbaum (D-OH). Ms. Rhinehart is the Executive Director of the Lawyers Coordinating Committee (LCC), a national organization of 2,000 union-side labor lawyers in law firms and legal departments. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Peggy Browning Fund and the National Employment Law Project.
David Rolf is known internationally as an innovative labor leader and thinker on the future of work and labor. Rolf was a leading architect of the historic fights to win a $15 living wage in SeaTac and Seattle, WA. He serves as an International Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and as President of SEIU 775, which represents more than 44,000 long-term care workers in the Pacific Northwest.
Rolf’s has been called “the most successful union organizer of the last 15 years” by The American Prospect, which said that “No American unionist has organized as many workers, or won them raises as substantial, as Rolf.” Rolf writes and speaks frequently about alternative futures for U.S. worker movements, and is the author of the forthcoming book Fight for Fifteen: The Right Wage for a Working America (New Press, 2016). He has been published in The American Prospect, The Nation, Aspen Journal of Ideas, Social Policy, and Spotlight on Poverty.
Rolf is building a new labor movement, founding organizations like the Fair Work Center, Working Washington, and The Workers Lab. The Fair Work Center is a Seattle-based hub for workers to understand and exercise their legal rights, and also assists in enforcing labor law. Working Washington is a statewide organization fighting for economic justice and workers’ rights in Washington State. The California-based Workers Lab invests in projects that will create the next generation’s labor movement, building economic power for working people at a large scale while developing self-sufficient organizational revenue models. Rolf is also the founder and board chair of the SEIU 775 Benefits Group, which provides training, health care and retirement benefits to Washington State’s home care workers. The Benefits Group is the largest long-term care workforce development organization in the country and the only organization providing Advanced Registered Apprenticeship training for home care workers. In addition to building career pathways for caregivers, the Benefits Group provides affordable, comprehensive health benefits and the nation’s first pension fund for home care workers.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, Rolf graduated from Bard College and joined SEIU as an organizer in 1991. He lives with his wife in Seattle.
Javier Ramirez is the Director of Field Programs and Innovation for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). In this position, Mr. Ramirez is tasked with building systematic coordination between national office support services and the needs of FMCS frontline mediators, making the best use of new, cost-saving technologies for improved service delivery, customer care, training, outreach, and special projects. His priorities include creating and innovating better internal information resources and communications tools for mediators. Mr. Ramirez has been at the forefront of the Agency’s efforts to engage, inform and educate prospective customers, stakeholders and interested parties with new technologies and innovative outreach programs. He has helped lead successful training efforts for new FMCS mediators as well as for peers in mediation services in federal, state and local government units. In addition, he has represented the Agency in international training efforts in Bangladesh and has been the recipient of multiple FMCS spot and performance awards, including, most recently, the 2013 Director’s Award, in recognition of his work.
Mr. Ramirez began his FMCS career as a Commissioner in 2005. As a Commissioner and Field Mediator for FMCS, he has trained and successfully facilitated parties in interest-based problem solving and modified traditional bargaining in sectors of the economy ranging from manufacturing to university professors. As a member of the training team for new FMCS mediators, Mr. Ramirez leads instruction on facilitation skills including modules on facilitating complex multi-party disputes. He has also led training teams for the peer mediators of the U.S. Forest Service and Milwaukee Public Schools. In addition, Mr. Ramirez has successfully facilitated multi-party issues in manufacturing, construction and the public sector.
Mr. Ramirez has presented at numerous national and regional conferences on conflict related topics including, generational conflict, conflict resolution, improving communication, effective use of mediation and collective bargaining (traditional and interest based). Mr. Ramirez completed a three-part interest-based problem solving program in Bangladesh for government officials, labor and industry, which included facilitation techniques.
Prior to FMCS, Mr. Ramirez spent more than 14 years in labor relations negotiating contracts, and resolving disputes in areas such as immigration, contract administration, communication, staffing, and politics (Federal, state and local). His efforts have been featured in Rolling Stone and Chicago Tribune Magazine, and cited in the New York Times Best Seller “Fast Food Nation” and Chicago Lawyer magazine.
Anthony M. Reardon (Tony) was elected national president in August 2015 at the National Treasury Employees Union’s (NTEU) 55th convention. As the union’s top elected official, he serves as the spokesperson for the union representing NTEU with the media, Congress and agency leadership on issues of importance to union members and federal employees. He leads NTEU’s efforts to achieve dignity and respect for all federal workers.
Reardon is a 26-year veteran of NTEU. He joined NTEU in 1990 as the union’s operations manager and rose to become chief operating executive, a position he held for 11 years. In that role, he oversaw budgeting and other financial matters and managed NTEU’s day-to-day operations, ranging from personnel to information technology. Throughout his career, Reardon has recognized that a union’s strength lies in its membership. That is why he places a premium on building NTEU’s membership and providing exemplary service to its members.
As a member of the NTEU Executive Committee since 1997, Reardon played an integral role in strategic planning and key decision making that affected the union’s entire body of work and success. He worked closely with NTEU chapter leaders throughout the country and organized national conventions and the highly-regarded training programs for leaders.
In December 2013, Reardon was elected to serve as national executive vice president—NTEU’s second-highest position. In that capacity, Reardon chaired the NTEU team that negotiated a new, six-year contract with the Internal Revenue Service and led the union’s Custom and Border Protection bargaining team. He represented NTEU on various union-agency management forums and worked with agency leaders. In 2015, President Obama appointed Reardon to the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations and the .
Reardon is committed to working with NTEU chapter leaders and members to define and construct a shared vision for NTEU’s future, one that prepares the union to meet the challenges ahead. He believes strongly that federal employees deserve fair pay and a secure retirement and is committed to ensuring they can rely on fair promotion and appraisal systems and have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs.
Reardon graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a bachelor’s in finance. He and his wife, Dawn, have four children and reside in Mount Airy, MD.
Renae Rebechini brings a holistic approach to helping people learn new skills to have an impact that matters to them. Her passion is inspiring others to be excited about what they are doing. As a consultant, facilitator, negotiator, mediator, and OD professional, Renae offers expertise in training, consulting, planning, project launches, investigation, and discovery. She offers training in Organization Development topics, such as: Strategic Planning, Future Planning, Communication Styles and Effectiveness, Learning Styles, Conflict Resolution Styles, Complex Adaptive Cycles.
Renae helps transform groups and individuals that are stuck in ongoing, unresolved conflict by assessing real hidden causes of conflict and applying the best tools and strategies to move to resolution. She is known for providing a positive, calming influence and an ability to see many options in any situation.
With decades of experience working at the state and national levels to support the relationships among unions and management in the education system, she has facilitated groups with complex political and emotional influences, of 2 to 250, from 1 hour to 12+ months. She is adept at staying current with the changes in the laws that affect the educational system and labor relations and has experience understanding and navigating the legal system.
Renae’s expertise in Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB), Interest-Based Problem Solving Processes (IBP) and Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) are at the core of her approach to successful facilitations, negotiations, and mediations. Renae is trusted by all of her clients (labor, management, and others) as well as collaborators at all organizational levels to keep confidences and be honest.
Renae has always had a thirst for learning and a love for new ideas and the possibilities they represent. She has traveled the world with local schools and the American Council for International Studies, and has developed a lifestyle of sharing her curiosity and sense of possibility with others. She currently lives in the western suburbs of Chicago, with her husband, one rescue dog and two cats. She also enjoys spending time with her two daughters and their families.
Reid initiated into Toronto IAM Local 235 in 1981. He served as Newsletter Editor and Secretary-Treasurer of his Local, as well as on the District 78 Executive Board and the Ontario Provincial Council of Machinists. In 1992, he was tapped to become a Special Representative and then rose to Grand Lodge Representative. Reid has served in the IAM’s High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) Department since 1997.
Michael Rendina is a senior advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and serves as liaison with key stakeholders involved with the city’s major initiatives.
Rendina has served as Director of the City of Chicago’s Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs and as Chief Officer of Public and External Affairs at Chicago Public Schools. Prior to his government service, he served in various roles on candidate and issue campaigns in Illinois and nationally. He was raised in union household in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and earned his bachelor’s degree in International Economics and Politics from George Washington University in Washington D.C., where he also received his M.A. in Political Management. He lives in Northcenter with his wife and three children
Mike Richards is a Union official who has been working in the field of Union Representation since August 1979. He has attended many college level courses dealing with Labor Relations. His primary duties include leading a Local Union with membership in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Utah. He has worked with both private and public sector contracts his entire career. He was introduced to interest based bargaining when his Local Union and Northwest Natural Gas Company, whose headquarters are located in Portland Oregon, decided to develop a system of representation without the obstacles of distributive bargaining. This relationship began in 1987 and continues, very successfully today. Mike Richards lives in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, four daughters, and eight grandchildren.
Roach started his career in the IAM as a ramp serviceman for TWA in 1975 and was a member of Local Lodge 1056 in New York. Soon after, he transferred to Local Lodge 1445 in Newark, NJ. He was elected as a Shop Steward in 1976 and served as Grievance Committee Chairman from 1979 through 1992. Roach also held other positions in Local Lodge 1445, including Trustee, Vice President and President. In 1984, he was elected District Lodge 142 Trustee and also served as coordinator for the District’s Human Rights Committee. Roach became a District 142 General Chairman in 1992.
Roach became General Vice President (GVP) of the IAM Transportation Department on June 1, 1999, and was re‐elected in 2001, 2005 and 2009. He served as a member of the International Transport Workers’ Federation Executive Board and Management Committees for over 12 years.
Roach has also served as a member of the Executive Committee of the AFL‐CIO’s
Transportation Trades Department, an Executive Board member of the AFL‐CIO’s
Maritime Trades Department and Trustee to the IAM National Pension Fund.
While General Secretary-Treasurer of IAM he also served as Co‐Chairperson of the IAM National Pension Fund, the IAM National 401(k) Plan and the IAM Health and Benefit Trust Fund. Roach has also been a member of the board for the Union Label & Service Trades Department and Union Privilege, and is a Labor Advisory Board Member of American Income Life.
He holds a B.S. in Labor and Management Relations from SUNY Empire State
College’s Harry Van Arsdale, Jr. Center for Labor Studies and is a graduate of the
Labor Liberal Arts Program at Cornell University. He also completed the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution program at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the FMCS Institute Course on Conflict Management – Becoming a Labor Arbitrator.
Prior to her present appointment, she served as the Department's Chief Negotiator and Director of Employee and Labor-Management Relations. In that role she directed all labor-management relations activities for the Department, including the administration of collective bargaining agreements with the three unions, and served as Chief Negotiator for contract bargaining.
Previously, Ms. Rose was the Director of Human Resources and Organization Management at the Bureau of Labor Statistics for seven years. She was responsible for management of all Bureau personnel operations. She also served for four years as the Director of Human Resources and three years as the Chief of Employee Relations for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at the United States Department of Commerce. She began her career with the government in 1980 at the Office of Personnel Management's Office of Federal Investigative Services
Ms. Rose is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA, and she resides in northwestern Loudoun County, VA.
Marsha Ross-Jackson is an experienced leader, attorney, educator and consultant. With over 25 years of professional experience in a variety of roles, industries and sectors, Marsha's breadth of knowledge and experience enable her to add value to any organization. Marsha's expertise in managing operations, finance, communications, employee and labor relations, investigations, compliance, human resources, and law in diverse, large multi-state offices has helped her to become well-versed in cross-cultural communication and leadership, as well as extremely effective in directing across interdisciplinary settings. Marsha has served as an HR/legal business partner and advisor to senior leaders, boards of directors and operational leaders. She has also represented multi-billion dollar clients in insurance, employment and commercial litigation matters. Marsha is an arbitrator, a member of the American Arbitration Association's Roster of Neutrals—Employment Law Panel. She is also a member of the Joint Arbitration-Mediation Panel for the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union.
Marsha has a BA in Biology, a Master's in Public Administration, and a Juris Doctor Degree from DePaul University College of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review and inducted into the Order of the Coif. She is currently a Senior Lecturer and the Executive Director of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Institute for Law and the Workplace, as well as Assistant Dean of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Multicultural Affairs and Professional Development. She designed and teaches a law school skills course titled "Labor and Employment Law Considerations for Business." She also leads the Chicago-Kent Labor and Employment Law Externship Program, including teaching the classroom component. In 2015, Marsha received the Student Bar Association's Adjunct Professor of the Year Award.
Prior to joining Chicago-Kent, Marsha led labor and employee relations for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System, which included facilitating labor-management relations with 16 different labor unions. She was also responsible for workplace investigations, conflict resolution and HR compliance. Marsha spent several years as the Director of Workforce Engagement for Health Care Service Corporation, directing labor and employee relations and employee engagement activities for 17,000 employees across 4 states. As the Deputy Director of Field Operations for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Marsha was responsible for operations of over 60 employment offices throughout the state, as well as the agency's labor and employee relations. Additionally, Marsha served as the Interim Executive Director of the Asian Health Coalition of Illinois, managing all aspects of operations, with an emphasis on HR and legal. Over the past 11 years, Marsha has worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Phoenix and The Morris Graduate School of Business, teaching courses in employment law, business law, ethics, communication, organizational and group behavior, HR management, and managing diverse organizations.
Marsha consults with company leaders regarding labor and employee relations topics. Marsha has also developed and delivered several workplace training modules, including but not limited to Anti-Discrimination/Harassment, FMLA/ADA/ADAAA, Discipline and Documentation, Performance Management, Building a Culture of Inclusion, Leading Change, Effective Decision-Making, Employee Engagement, and Personal Accountability. Marsha has moderated and served on several panels discussing a variety of topics surrounding diversity and the legal profession, as well as labor and employee relations.
Hal Ruddick is the Executive Director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, AFL-CIO, a federation of 28 local unions representing 110,000 Kaiser Permanente employees. Ruddick leads the Coalition in its Labor Management Partnership with Kaiser Permanente. Ruddick has pushed for accelerated workforce training and development to prepare workers for future changes in health care delivery. He has driven safety and wellness efforts for Coalition Union-represented workers and championed front-line innovation to help Kaiser Permanente remain competitive and on the forefront of the health care industry. In 2015, the Coalition secured its most comprehensive national contract, which maintains industry-leading wages and benefits and provides individual workers a voice in decisions that affect their work.
Ruddick, who joined the Coalition in 2013, has 28 years of labor leadership, with experience in the health care industry, policy and legislative advocacy, and benefit fund governance.
He previously served as president of Service Employees International Union Local 4, representing nursing home workers in Illinois; was a leader in uniting 80,000 hospital, nursing home, childcare and homecare workers in the SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana local; and most recently directed the Hospital Division of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, leading a team of more than 50 staff working on behalf of 40,000 hospital workers across California.
Barbara Rumph is the Regional Director of the St. Louis, MO (Region 6) office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Ms. Rumph has successfully mediated many contract bargaining negotiations, grievance mediations, and employment disputes. She also designs and implements training programs. She has traveled to numerous states delivering FMCS training programs such as Diversity Awareness, Relationship by Objective and Violence in the Workplace. Ms. Rumph has been a guest speaker at several labor-management conferences.
Ms. Rumph has a master’s degree in personnel human resources management from American University in Washington, D. C.
Ms. Rutsky earned her Master’s degree in English Languages and Literatures at the University at Albany. In addition to managing a full teaching assignment, she was elected union shop steward for the SUNY English Department (CWA Local 1188). She later held a union staff position as statewide administrative coordinator for union staff and membership.
While teaching at Albany area colleges and universities from 1995 to 2009, Ms. Rutsky taught more than 30 content areas of college writing and literature courses, served on curriculum development and review committees, advised students, and coordinated department accreditation and reaccreditation reviews. She was also active as a member of and presenter with professional organizations including the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Northeast Women’s Studies Association.
In 2009, Ms. Rutsky retired from college teaching and became a contract negotiator for the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA). She was responsible for negotiating and administering contracts for more than 20 BUs. In 2014, she became a NYSNA program representative; in that capacity, she continued to negotiate contracts, acted as L-M liaison, argued grievances, mobilized members and processed arbitrations. In addition, she was a facilitator and mentor in NYSNA’s Member Leader Training Program. She served as grievance chair for the NYSNA staff USW BU.
Ms. Rutsky is a member of LERA and a graduate of Cornell’s ILR Collective Bargaining Studies Program.
Born and raised in New England, Ms. Rutsky and her husband James, live in Latham, NY. She enjoys spending time in the Adirondack Mountains and doing community service.
Johnetta Ryan joined CISCO January 2001. Johnetta retired after 30 years from Ameritech. Johnetta started Illinois Bell Telephone Company in June of 1970. October of 1970 she became a union steward with the IBEW Local 165. She was made Chief Steward in 1989 and was promoted to Business Agent a few years later. As a Business Agent she worked on contract negotiations, union organizing, grievances and arbitrations. Johnetta retired from IBEW Local 21 December 2000.
Since joining CISCO fourteen years ago Johnetta has spoken to well over 60,000 men and women about union apprenticeship programs in Northeastern Illinois. She sets up Hands –on- Expos, Apprenticeship School Tours, Teacher and Counselor Conferences for the Illinois State Apprenticeship Committee and attends Career Days. She also arranges for speakers for schools. She serves on boards and committees. Johnetta has won awards from DuPage County, Dawson Tech, ACE Tech and Skill Builders for her outreach programs and Influential Women in Business of the Year.
Johnetta is the Secretary of the Apprenticeship Information Committee and on the Illinois State Apprenticeship Committee and serves on their Education Sub Committee.
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