|Illinois Public Sector Conference Brochure (1.9 MB)||Download|
David Amerson is a staff attorney with the Police Benevolent Labor Committee. David is also the Chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section Council, and is an adjunct faculty member with the University of Illinois’ Labor Education Program. Previously, David was the coordinator of AFSCME Retirees - Chapter 31, and Executive Vice-President of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. He has also represented federal workers in the legal department of the AFGE, and as a legal advisor to the Graduate Employee Organization (IFT-AFT). Additionally, David provides legal counsel to a number of national non-profits. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois- College of Law and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Margaret Angelucci is a shareholder with the firm Asher, Gittler & D’Alba and has been in practice since 1994. Since then, she has worked hard to represent the interests of working people in a variety of capacities. She represents labor unions and individual employees in both the public and private sectors. In the labor context, Ms. Angelucci’s practice runs the full gamut of the labor-management relationship, including training union staff, union organizing drives, contract negotiations, contract enforcement, grievances, arbitrations, interest arbitrations and unfair labor practice proceedings. She also has represented union pension and health funds in the enforcement of collective bargaining agreements. In the context of representing individual employees and classes of employees, Ms. Angelucci has handled a wide variety of matters arising from the employee-employer relationship, including negotiating employment agreements, severance agreements, internal investigations, covenants not to compete, overtime claims, discrimination claims, and enforcement of COBRA and ERISA rights. Ms. Angelucci is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association. She is a current Chapter Editor for the ABA’s DEVELOPING LABOR LAW and a former ontributing Editor for the ABA publication DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE IN ARBITRATION. She frequently speaks on labor and employment law issues at the local, state and national levels. Ms. Angelucci received her B.A. from Michigan State University and her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.
Mr. Arévalo is a partner of SmithAmundsen, LLC with over 20 years of experience. He represents public and private sector clients ranging from municipalities to closely-held corporations in the areas of labor and employment and local government law. Mr. Arévalo advocates for his clients in court at the state and federal level and in administrative proceedings before state and federal agencies. Additionally, he has represented public sector entities as corporate counsel in the areas of governance, statutory compliance, transactional as well as in collective bargaining and other general employment matters. He serves as special counsel for several municipalities in Northern Illinois. Mr. Arévalo is active in leadership for the Illinois State Bar Association Local Government Law Section Council. He sits on the board of director for the Friends of the McHenry County College Foundation, the Regional Board of MercyHealth System and is Past President of the Stateline SHRM. Mr. Arévalo serves in the Legislative Committee for the IPELRA and is a member of the Leadership Greater McHenry County Class of 2013. Mr. Arévalo frequently speaks on labor and employment issues at the state and local level. Mr. Arévalo received his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and his B.A. from Boston College.
On March 30, 2020 the Firefighter’s Pension Investment Fund retained William (Bill) Atwood as its Interim Executive Director. In 1984 Bill joined Investment Counselors Incorporated, an investment management firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as Vice President for Business Development. Bill joined the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI) in 2003 as its Executive Director. As Executive Director, Bill functioned as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of ISBI, which is the fiduciary for $18.1 billion in pension assets for the Illinois State Employees’ Retirement Fund, the Illinois Judicial Retirement Fund, the Illinois General Assembly Retirement Fund, and the Illinois Power Agency. Under Bill’s leadership ISBI consistently exceeded its actuarially assumed rate of return of 7.0%; surpassed its portfolio benchmarks; and out-performed ISBI’s peer group of like-sized public funds. Further, ISBI became a national leader in areas related to diversity and corporate governance. In 2014 Bill was named outstanding Large Public Plan Manager of the Year by Institutional Investor Magazine. After leaving ISBI in 2018, Bill joined the Illinois Finance Authority where he led policy initiatives related to asset transfers and pension fund consolidation. In 2019, in his role at the Illinois Finance Authority, he assisted in drafting the Report of the Governor Pritzker’s Pension Fund Consolidation Feasibility Task Force and the preparation of SB 1300, which created the Firefighters’ Pension Investment Fund.
Melissa Auerbach is a partner with the Chicago law firm of Dowd, Bloch, Bennett, Cervone, Auerbach & Yokich. She represents public and private sector labor unions in all aspects of litigation before federal and state trial and appellate courts; before state and federal administrative agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Labor Relations Board and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board; and in labor arbitrations. She advises unions with respect to organizing campaigns and collective bargaining, and also advises individual employees with respect to employment contracts and other employment matters. She has been a member of the Illinois bar since 1980 and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Third, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar), Central and Southern Districts of Illinois, and Eastern District of Wisconsin. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Gary Bailey has served as a labor attorney for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council for over 25 years. He is involved in negotiations, grievance arbitrations and interest arbitrations on behalf of sworn peace officers and law enforcement personnel across the State of Illinois. Mr. Bailey is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law and was elected in 2017 to the Section Council, which serves as the governing board. He served as Co-Chairman of the State and Local Government Bargaining and Employment Law Committee from 2009-2012 and presently serves as Union Co-Chair for the Sub-Committee on Interest Arbitration. Mr. Bailey received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and his Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he is a member of the Senior Partner Council. He was inducted as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2008.
James Baird is a Founding Partner at the firm Clark Baird Smith LLP. His labor and employment practice is focused on the representation of public and private sector management clients in union representation, collective bargaining, grievance and interest arbitrations, workplace counseling and unfair labor practice matters. Mr. Baird is a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and a member of the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors. In November of 2019, the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law named Jim the recipient of the Arvid Anderson Public Sector Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year Award. Jim is the 11th recipient (and 3rd management lawyer) to receive this prestigious national ABA award. He served for over 30 years as Labor Relations Counsel to both the National and Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Associations. Additionally, he has served as Chairman of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce Labor Relations Committee (1978-80) and is a former member of the National Dispute Panel of the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Baird has authored or co-authored a number of books and has spoken extensively on labor and employment relations issues to colleges and universities. He received a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, a Master of Laws in labor law from George Washington University School of Law, with highest honors, and a B.S. from Michigan State University.
Thomas S. Bradley is a partner at the firm of Laner Muchin, Ltd. He has been practicing law since 1988. He advises public sector employers on labor and employment issues, legislation, the Illinois constitution, the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, and other state statutes, and represents them in arbitrations, administrative hearings, circuit court litigation, appeals, and other litigation. Tom represents private sector employers in injunction actions and trials in state and federal court, including employers seeking to enforce trade secrets and rights under restrictive covenant agreements. Tom also provides employers with day-to-day counseling and strategy on labor and employment matters. Mr. Bradley received a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from John Marshall Law School.
Lisa R. Callaway is a partner with Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga, LLC and brings 30 years of experience providing skilled employment and labor law counsel to private and public sector clients. Before joining Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga, LLC, Ms. Callaway was a partner at Clark Baird Smith LLP, Vice President and General Counsel for The Management Association of Illinois, and an associate in private practice in labor and employment law firms. During her career, she has represented employers dealing with labor, employment and human resources issues. She assists employers in collective bargaining, arbitration, employment discrimination, wage and hour, and general labor and employment law matters. She also provides training, conducts workplace investigations and advises public and private sector employers on business issues. Ms. Callaway’s experience extends to managing a small business. She currently serves as a commissioner on the City of Elmhurst Zoning and Planning Commission and is an advocate and active member of the Illinois Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Ms. Callaway received her B.A. cum laude, M.S.I.R and J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago.
Chelsy Castro, JD, MA, AM, LCSW
Chelsy Castro is CEO and Founder of Castro Jacobs Psychotherapy and Consulting (CJPC), a firm specializing in lawyer well-being. An attorney turned psychotherapist and performance strategist, Chelsy counsels individuals and the organizations they work for on how to achieve their goals in healthy and productive ways. Chelsy’s publications and trainings focus on science-based skills and strategies for improving performance and increasing well-being in high-pressure professions. After practicing law as a multilingual attorney in the field of international regulatory compliance, Chelsy later earned her clinical degree at the University of Chicago and shifted her focus to lawyer well-being. Prior to launching CJPC, Chelsy designed, developed, and managed clinical programs for the legal profession, and provided evidence-based psychotherapy and training for lawyers, judges, and law students.
Jeanne Charles has a multi-state ADR practice predominately in the areas of workplace disputes. She earned her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. She currently serves as a labor arbitrator on various panels that include the City of Chicago, Chicago Teachers Union, Chicago Transit Authority, IAFF, Internal Revenue Service, the National Treasury Employees Union, AFSCME, and Major League Baseball (MLB). Jeanne is also a Special Magistrate for the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) and is listed with the American Arbitration Association, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and National Mediation Board. She is an adjunct professor at Penn State University’s School of Labor and Employment Relations where she teaches a graduate course in Human Resources and Employment Relations. Jeanne has been inducted into the National Academy of Arbitrators and serves on its Board of Governors. She is also a fellow with the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. More detailed information can be found at www.JCharles@JCharlesADR.com.
Nicholas Christen is Strategic Research Director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers working in IFT’s Chicago office. Mr. Christen is specializes in union representation, collective bargaining, and unfair labor practice matters for State, University and School employees. Prior to joining the IFT, Mr. Christen represented public employees for AFSCME in central and southern Illinois. Mr. Christen is the treasurer of the Illinois Labor History Society, serves on the advisory board of the Hope Institute for Children and Families and is an advisor at The Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Miami University and his J.D. from the Chase College of Law. He is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and is licensed to practice law in Illinois.
Robb B. Craddock currently serves as Senior Director of Labor and Employee Relations – Staff Human Resources for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At the university, Mr. Craddock serves as chief spokesperson and is responsible for the administration of 15 different labor agreements covering civil service employees. Mr. Craddock represents the university’s chancellor in grievance matters and serves on faculty negotiating committees. Prior to working for U of I, Mr. Craddock served as Deputy Director of Labor Relations for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services from September 2008 through January 2015. In that role, he successfully handled labor relations matters on behalf of the Office of the Governor. Mr. Craddock represented the largest employer in the State of Illinois. His tenure as the State of Illinois’ chief labor negotiator exposed him to multiple labor unions including American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Service Employees International Union, Teamsters and various trade unions. In October 2013, Mr. Craddock accepted on behalf of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services the James Baird Leadership Award for 2013 presented by the Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association. This annual award recognizes leadership and achievement in Illinois public sector labor relations. Additionally, Mr. Craddock is an active member of National Public Labor Relations Association and the Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association. Mr. Craddock received his M.P.A. with a graduate certification in public sector labor relations from the University of Illinois at Springfield and his B.A. from Western Illinois University.
Jules I. Crystal is an attorney and has been a labor and employment arbitrator and mediator for 10 years. His primary expertise is in the labor and employment arena, having participated in a wide variety of mediations, including those involving alleged wrongful termination, employment discrimination and sex harassment, alleged violations of labor and employment agreements, non-compete agreements, whistle-blowing statutes and the Fair Labor Standards Act. He is a member of the Association of Attorney Mediators, the Chicago Bar Association – Labor and Employment Law Section and the American Bar Association – Labor and Employment Law Section: Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Labor and Employment, Development of the Law Under the National Labor Relations Act and the Litigation Section: Committee on Employment and Labor Relations. He is also an adjunct professor, teaching courses on Labor Law, Privacy in the Workplace, Labor Arbitration and Mediation, and the Collective Bargaining Process. He is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Mr. Crystal earned a B.A from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Tamara Cummings serves as General Counsel to the Illinois Fraternal of Police Labor Council, a large public sector union representing law enforcement bargaining units in all areas of labor and employment relations. She is also a fellow of the ABA College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Previously, she was in private practice and represented Chicago Police Officers in administrative, criminal, and civil matters. Ms. Cummings received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and her Juris Doctor degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Bryan P. Diemer is currently an attorney with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO. He received a law degree with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law. He also received a master of arts in labor and industrial relations and an undergraduate degree in economics-- both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the past seventeen years, he has represented labor unions and related Taft-Hartley funds in the federal and state courts, as well as administrative agencies such as the NLRB and the ILRB.
Stanley B. Eisenhammer is a partner with Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP. He concentrates his practice in all phases of school law, including labor relations, employment discrimination, and student rights. He is a former board member and president of the Board of Education of Township High School District 214, and he has served as a trustee on the Board of Trustees of the Village of Arlington Heights. Mr. Eisenhammer is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. He is a speaker and lecturer on school law at the national conventions of the National School Boards Association, American Association of School Administrators, and the American Bar Association. He graduated from Washington University and received his law degree from the University of Illinois.
As one of Katz, Friedman’s esteemed Labor and Employment attorneys Joshua File serves as a zealous advocate for the firm’s many labor union clients. In addition to representing labor unions in traditional labor law practices, Josh represents individual employees who have been the victim of unlawful employment practices by their employers. Josh has successfully represented individual employees in cases arising under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), the Americans’ with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Illinois Wage Payment and Collections Act, and a variety of Equal Employment Opportunity laws such as Title VII and the Illinois Human Rights Act.
Josh joined the firm’s Labor and Employment practice in 2011. He has spent his entire legal career devoted to representing labor unions and fighting for the rights of working men and women everywhere. An aggressive litigator, Josh has gone head to head against many Fortune 500 companies such as BP, Ford, ABC and American Airlines. He has successfully litigated against major public employers such as the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois on behalf of both individual employees and public sector labor unions.
Josh frequently practices in State and Federal courts throughout the state of Illinois, as well as before the National Labor Relations Board, and both the Illinois Public Labor Relations Board and Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. Josh has handled numerous labor arbitrations on behalf of the firm’s various union clients.
In addition to his work in the court room, Josh works closely with the firm’s union clients offering advice and counseling on a myriad of legal issues. Josh has traveled all over the State of Illinois regularly providing educational seminars to labor unions on a variety of labor and employment law topics. Josh has also been a speaker at the annual Illinois Public Sector Labor Law Conference for Continuing Legal Education at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Josh earned his Juris Doctor from DePaul University College of Law in 2011, where he graduated with a certificate in Business Law and was the recipient of the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Litigation Strategies. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs from Indiana University in 2007, where he graduated with a major in Legal Studies and a minor in Business Management. He is a devoted fan of the Indiana Hoosiers.
Josh is a member of the Illinois State Bar and New York State Bar. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Illinois and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois. Josh is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Chicago Bar Association. He serves on the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyers’ Division Committee for Labor and Employment Law.
Laura Finnegan is a partner at the firm of Baum Sigman Auerbach & Neuman, Ltd. Her practice concentrates on the areas of employee benefits, the collection of employer contributions to Taft-Hartley funds, as well as labor and employment law. In those areas, she defends Taft-Hartley funds in employee benefits claims in Federal Courts in Illinois and Wisconsin; counsels Taft-Hartley funds on various issues of compliance with federal labor and tax laws; assists in the negotiation of service provider agreements for Taft-Hartley clients; litigates numerous fringe benefit contribution collection cases; represents Taft-Hartley clients in bankruptcy proceedings; and she prosecutes and litigates individual as well as class action employment discrimination cases successfully. She also represents labor unions in arbitration cases before the National Labor Relations Board and the Illinois State Labor Relations Board. Ms. Finnegan has been a contributing editor to the Developing Labor Law, 1995 through 1999 supplements, and the Fourth Edition published in 2001. In addition, she enjoys teaching and has taught basic fiduciary duties, welfare claims and appeals, and proposed changes to the labor laws that effect employees in the construction industry. She is the author of Chapter 19 of The Campaign Guide's Organizing the Construction Industry "Legal Basics for Trustees of Health Pension or Skill Funds."Ms. Finnegan is licensed to practice in Illinois and Wisconsin and is a member of federal bars in Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as being admitted to the federal trial bar in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and the AFL-CIO Lawyers' Coordinating Committee. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, and her law degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology.
Jane Flanagan is a Deputy General Counsel in the Office of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. She recently completed a Leadership in Government Fellowship with the Open Society Foundations and, during this time, was also a Visiting Scholar at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Jane is the founder and former Chief of the Workplace Rights Bureau in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and also previously served as counsel to Maryland’s Commissioner of Labor and Industry. Jane began her career representing employees in private practice.
Mr. Frank worked as a band director in IL public schools for 3 years and at Illinois State University for 10 years. After completing his PhD, he served as Executive Director of the Coalition for Education Rights Under the Constitution, a partnership of about 80 Illinois public school districts and Illinois organizations that brought the suit The Committee v Edgar which challenged the Illinois system of school funding. He then worked in Research for the Illinois Education Association as a school funding and tax law consultant and finished his career at the IEA as Director of Educational Policy and Research.
Felicia L. Frazier is a managing partner at Odelson & Sterk, Ltd. where she provides experienced counsel in the areas of school, municipal, and labor law. A graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in psychology, she earned her Juris Doctorate from John Marshall Law School. Previously, Ms. Frazier served as Assistant State’s Attorney with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. As a trial attorney, she prosecuted hundreds of cases in both bench and jury trials. In addition, she provided domestic battery training for Area 4 Police Headquarters personnel. Ms. Frazier presently serves as general counsel to numerous school districts, as well as village attorney for multiple municipalities. Her public sector experience includes personnel issues, labor and employment matters, and contract negotiations. She represents employers in state and local labor board hearings, as well as grievance and arbitration hearings. Ms. Frazier has served as a speaker at school and municipal conferences on topics including employee discipline, discharge, pension related issues, and social media. She has also conducted training programs for a variety of employers on labor and employment law issues. Ms. Frazier is a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys and the Illinois State Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Along with her husband and two children, Ms. Frazier volunteers at homeless shelters and food pantries.
Michael Frisch ("Mike") is Senior Advisor and Legal Counsel to Mayor Lightfoot. After the 2019 election, Mike led the transition related to the City's Law Department and labor-related issues. After arriving at City Hall, Mike became responsible for legal policy, labor issues, and various special projects. Mike began working for now-Mayor Lightfoot during law school while he was a summer associate at Mayer Brown LLP. Mike clerked for Judge Robert Dow in 2010 and 2011. Mike left Mayer Brown in 2015 to serve as a trial attorney with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where he led numerous high-profile matters including the CFTC's litigation against Kraft Foods for market manipulation.
As of January 2020, Angela Fyans went in-house at the City of Bloomington as Deputy Corporation Counsel. Prior to that she was a shareholder/partner at the law firm of Sorling Northrup. Angela Fyans-Jimenez joined Sorling Northrup in 2014. From 2001 to 2003, she was an Assistant State’s Attorney at the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s office. From 2003 to 2013, she worked as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Springfield, Illinois, where she was involved in municipal ordinance prosecution, labor and employment, litigation, transactional work, real estate and zoning, and general civil litigation in state, federal and appellate courts. She served as advisory counsel to several City Departments and commissions. She is also licensed in Utah, where she practiced family law, criminal defense, bankruptcy law and immigration law.
Ms. Fyans-Jimenez has spent a large part of her legal career representing local government; local government directors, managers and supervisors; local police departments and their officers; and city commissions. She has defended these individuals and entities in administrative, arbitration proceedings and in state and federal courts. She has advised the aforementioned on issues that arise on a daily basis. Examples of issues include union contract and employment issues as well as real estate, zoning, commission practice and procedure; statutory compliance, code prosecution and litigation strategies. She is also well versed in issues involving the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act.
She is a certified Hearing Officer, certified Mediator, and a certified Arbitrator. Ms. Fyans-Jimenez also has considerable experience with contract preparation and business transactions, including the negotiation of real estate, entertainment and performance contracts on behalf of clients.
Steven Greenhouse was a reporter for The New York Times from 1983 to 2014 and covered labor and the workplace for nineteen years there. He also served as a business and economics reporter and a diplomatic and foreign correspondent. He has been honored with the Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club award, a New York Press Club award, a Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Reporting, and the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism for his last book, The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker.
Timothy E. Guare, a senior counsel with Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP, has concentrated his practice in labor and employment law for over 35 years. Mr. Guare’s practice has almost exclusively been devoted to the handling of personnel matters and the development of labor law in the public and private sectors in Illinois before the National, Illinois State, Local and Educational Labor Relations Boards. He has represented his clients in numerous unfair labor practice charges and representation proceedings before the various Boards. Mr. Guare knows and is well known to the officials and the Administrative Law Judges of the Labor Boards, as well as to other attorneys who practice before the Boards on a regular basis. He has handled labor and employment cases in the Illinois and federal court systems, including cases before the Appellate Courts. Not only has Mr. Guare negotiated hundreds of contracts for public entities over the last several years, but he has also provided assistance to clients in their contract administration, including grievance processing and counseling. Mr. Guare’s background includes a wealth of first-hand experience with all levels of the myriad challenges facing public employers, and has been named an Illinois Leading Lawyer in Labor and Employment law by his peers in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A native of the Chicago area, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago and his Juris Doctor from DePaul University. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Guare was a teacher of mathematics in public schools. He also served as a Board member of his local high school district. Mr. Guare has authored sections on public sector labor and employment for IICLE's volumes on School Law and Municipal Law.
Angie Cowan Hamada is a shareholder at Allison, Slutsky & Kennedy based in Chicago where she represents Unions and employees in labor and employment law matters before state and federal agencies, courts, as well as in arbitration, mediation and negotiations. She graduated from Chicago Kent Law School in 2005 with a certificate in Labor and Employment Law. She is currently a Commissioner on the Cook County Human Rights Commission, is the program co-chair of the ABA’s Developing Labor Law Section, and is on the Board of Editors of the treatise The Developing Labor Law: The Board, the Courts and the National Labor Relations Act. She regularly speaks on panels providing the Union and employee perspective on various labor and employment law issues.
Marisel always knew she wanted to help others who lacked the know-how to navigate a system or faced language barriers. Growing up in the South Bronx as the product of two parents from Puerto Rico, by age nine Marisel was already serving as an interpreter for her neighbors, which quickly led to also serving as their advocate. So it was a natural fit after her graduation from Fordham University and then New York University School of Law to continue that advocacy for others. She worked at the National Labor Relations Board in New York and Chicago and at the Chicago office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prior to joining the Firm in 1988.
In her 35+ years as an attorney, Marisel has represented public and private labor clients in a variety of industries including retail, health care, food processing, construction, education and transit. In addition, she represents several Chicago public pension funds, on a variety of issues in state and federal court and before administrative agencies such as the EEOC and the Illinois Department of Human Rights. She provides advice and handles personnel matters. She advises union clients on a daily basis regarding contract interpretation, grievances, arbitrations, unfair labor practices, organizing and representation matters. Marisel negotiates agreements on behalf of employee benefit funds with service providers and assists with the negotiation of investment and investment-related contracts.
Marisel has tried jury cases in federal court on behalf of individual plaintiffs in employment discrimination matters and has been first chair at trials involving the Fair Labor Standards Act. She also handles individual and class action cases under the Family & Medical Leave Act and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Marisel is fluent in Spanish. She is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois, and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and she is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Since March 2008, Marisel has been recognized as one of the Women Leading Lawyers in Union Labor Law.
Marisel has held various civic positions with the City of Chicago. Presently, she is the Chairwoman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. She also sits on the board of both IIT Kent Law School Institute for Law and the Workplace and the Center for Conflict Resolution.
Brad Jansen is Deputy General Counsel, Labor & Employment for the Chicago Transit Authority, where he has worked since 1996. Mr. Jansen manages labor relations with 17 unions representing 10,000 employees. He represents the CTA in negotiations, interest arbitrations, and grievance arbitrations. He advises executive management on labor and employment matters, including wage and hour issues, FMLA and ADA compliance, and EEO policies. Mr. Jansen frequently develops and conducts management training programs. He and his section attorneys also represent the CTA in state and federal courts, the EEOC, the Illinois Human Rights Commission and other agencies. Mr. Jansen is an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University, where he teaches labor and employment law. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his J.D. from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Alice Johnson is among the most influential health care labor professionals in Illinois. As the current executive director of the Illinois Nurses Association, Alice has directed the operations and activities of the INA union and its staff since 2012. In that time, she spearheaded efforts to organize advanced practice nurses at retail health clinics and defeated Governor Rauner’s effort to lay off more than 124 correctional center nurses in 2017. Under her tenure, INA has successfully advocated for important legislation protecting the safety of nurses against violence and defeated short sighted efforts to dilute the scope of nursing practice. In 2018, in a rare case of action amidst state gridlock taking place at that time, INA successfully advocated for the passage of the Healthcare Violence Prevention Act, mandating Illinois hospitals, veterans’ homes and retail healthcare facilities to institute workplace violence prevention programs, protecting the rights of healthcare workers to contact law enforcement and implementing safeguards for inmate healthcare. Prior to 2012, as the director of the INA’s collective bargaining program, she directed and supervised INA’s labor negotiations and representation. She was a staff attorney at the INA from 2006 to 2010, where she negotiated collective bargaining agreements and represented the INA in labor arbitrations and before the labor board. In addition to serving as Executive Director of the Illinois Nurse Association, Ms. Johnson also serves on the University of Illinois Labor Education Advisory Board and serves as a Director on the Board of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, a research organization dedicated to thoughtful economic growth for businesses and working families.
David A. Johnson is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Franczek P.C. Since joining the firm in 2010, David has expanded his practice to include the representation of other public bodies and municipalities in collective bargaining. This includes the negotiation of project labor agreements, interest arbitration, grievance arbitration and Labor Board proceedings, in addition to providing counsel on labor and employment issues ranging from hiring, discharge, promotion, and discrimination claims, Prevailing Wage Act issues, and claims arising under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act. He formerly served as Chief Labor Negotiator for the City of Chicago where he was responsible for more than 50 union contract negotiations covering bargaining units ranging from a few hundred to more than 10,000 members, including police, fire, emergency services, skilled trades, administrative and clerical units. He served as the lead negotiator in the 2008 – 2010 negotiations with civilian bargaining units resulting in the modification of existing contracts in order to provide cost savings and avoid more than 1,000 layoffs. Mr. Johnson received his J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law and his B.A. in history from Michigan State University.
Keith A. Karlson serves as counsel for the Metropolitan Alliance of Police and is a shareholder with Karlson Garza McQueary LLC. He concentrates his practice in the representation of first responders (in Illinois and Indiana), their unions, and their pension funds. In addition to representing numerous first responder labor unions across Illinois and Indiana, Mr. Karlson also serves as counsel for numerous police and fire pension funds across Illinois. He is also Deputy Counsel for the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (“IPPFA”). Mr. Karlson is frequent speaker regarding administrative, statutory, and civil rights protections afforded first responders and lectures about police and fire pension matters. He is also certified by the Force Science Institute in the application of human factors to police use of force incidents.
Helen J. Kim became General Counsel for the Illinois Labor Relations Board since November 1, 2016. Prior to her position at the ILRB, she was General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Labor, the state agency charged with administering and enforcing various labor laws, including the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, the Wage Payment and Collection Act, and the Prevailing Wage Act. Ms. Kim began her state service as labor relations counsel with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, representing state agencies in arbitrations as well as cases before the ILRB. She was also an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Civil Actions Bureau of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where she represented Cook County and its elected officials in labor and employment matters. Ms. Kim received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Jill Leka is a strategic business partner helping employers solve their thorniest labor and employment law issues. She focuses on traditional labor matters as well as those involving employment litigation and the public (including educational) sector. In that role, she also proactively counsels public, not for profit and private sector clients to position them for success. She represents employers in grievance and interest arbitrations, unfair labor practices and Union representation proceedings, disciplinary, pension/PEDA/PSEBA, constitutional and discrimination litigation, as well as conducts complex investigations. Ms. Leka has successfully negotiated hundreds of collective bargaining agreements. She also advises not for profits and educational institutions, including institutions of higher learning in all legal matters, including serving as General Counsel and all issues associated therewith. Prior to starting CBS LLP with her colleagues, she practiced at Seyfarth Shaw LLP from 1993 until 2010, where her legal focus closely resembled that at CBS LLP. Ms. Leka currently serves as General Counsel for the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association and as a member of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) Human Rights Committee. In addition, she is an author of “Much Smarter Bargaining” (NPELRA 2017), “Freedom of Speech in the Public Workplace” (CABA 1998), “Illinois Statutes Affecting Public Employee Relations” (IPELRA 1995), and “Survey of Employment Law” (1993 Southern Illinois University Law Journal). She has conducted numerous training programs on a variety of subjects and is a frequent speaker on various labor and employment topics. She earned a B.S. from Southern Illinois University and a J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Martin H. Malin is co-director of the Institute for Law and the Workplace and teaches Labor Law, Employment Discrimination, Public Sector Employees, ADR in the Workplace, and Contracts. He received his B.A. from Michigan State University's James Madison College and his J.D. from George Washington University, where he was an editor of the law review and elected to the Order of the Coif. He joined the Chicago-Kent faculty in 1980 after serving as law clerk to United States District Judge Robert E. DeMascio in Detroit and on the faculty of Ohio State University.
Malin is a former national chair of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, a former Secretary of the ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law, a former member of the Executive Committee of The Labor Law Group, and a former member of the Board of Governors and vice president of the National Academy of Arbitrators and a former member of the Board of Governors of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. During 1984 and 1985, Malin served as consultant to the Illinois State, Local and Educational Labor Relations Boards and drafted the boards' regulations implementing the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. From 2004 to 2008, he served as reporter to the Neutrality Project of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies, which produced a mini-treatise on labor board and mediation agency impartiality. In October 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Malin as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, which resolves impasses in collective bargaining between federal agencies and unions that represent their employees. Obama reappointed Malin in 2014. He served until May 2017 when he and the other Obama appointees were removed by President Trump. In 2016, the ABA presented Malin with the Arvid Anderson Award for lifetime contributions to public sector labor law.
Malin has written extensively on all aspects of labor and employment law. He has published more than 80 articles and seven books, including Public Sector Employment (West 2004, 3rd ed. 2016), the leading casebook on the law governing public employees, and Labor Law in the Contemporary Workplace (West 2009, 3rd ed. 2019), a leading casebook on labor law. He ranks in the top 10 percent of authors in the Social Science Research Network database in terms of downloads of his work.
Ralph Martire is executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability (“CTBA”), a bipartisan 501(c)(3) think tank committed to ensuring that state, federal and local workforce, education, fiscal, economic and budget policies are fair and just, and promote opportunity for all, regardless of race, ethnicity or income class. He is also the Rubloff Professor of Public Policy at Roosevelt University. During his time at CTBA, Ralph has helped obtain numerous legislative successes (including passage of the Evidence Based Model of Education Funding in FY2018, a state Earned Income Tax Credit, creation of a bipartisan legislative task force to integrate workforce and economic development policies, passage of the 2011 Temporary Tax Increases, corporate accountability legislation that, among other things, requires public reporting of economic development benefits created through receipt of tax breaks and other subsidies, decoupling Illinois tax policy from both the federal bonus depreciation rules and the federal repeal of the estate tax). In 2018, Ralph was appointed to serve on the legislatively established “Professional Review Panel,” charged with monitoring the implementation of Illinois’ new evidence-based school funding formula. He was also appointed to the Transition Team of Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker. In 2011-2013, Ralph served as a full voting commissioner on the Congressionally-established “Equity and Excellence in Education Commission,” which was housed in the Federal Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division. In addition to his professorship at Roosevelt University, he has taught fiscal policy seminars and education finance courses for various universities and the International Fulbright Scholar Program. Ralph has received numerous awards for his work on education policy reform, including: being named River Forest’s Co-Villager of the Year by the Wednesday Journal for his work promoting equity in District 90; the 2007 Champion of Freedom Award, presented by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition to individuals whose professional work embodies Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, commitment to equal educational opportunities; and the Ben C. Hubbard Leadership Award given by Illinois State University to individuals who have greatly benefited education in Illinois. He also received the Adlai Stevenson Award for Public Service presented by the American Society for Public Administration to honor one individual with a connection to the Chicago area that has made outstanding contributions to government and public administration over an extended period of time. Ralph is also a regular columnist on education, fiscal and economic policy for the State Journal Register, the Daily Herald, and The News Gazette. He received his B.A. in History with highest honors from Indiana University, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan.
Jerry Marzullo is a founding partner with the law firm of Puchalski Goodloe Marzullo, LLP and sits on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA). He concentrates his practice in the area of public sector labor and employment law as well as public sector pension law. He has successfully represented clients in both pension and labor matters including collective bargaining, arbitrations, pension hearings (representing both Applicants and Pension Boards), administrative review and declaratory judgment proceedings, and in Illinois appellate courts and Federal Courts. Mr. Marzullo is a former Cook County Assistant State's Attorney and received his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He also received his Masters n Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Jerry is licensed to practice law in Illinois at the State and Federal levels. He is also affiliated with the American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association and the Justinian Society of Italian American Lawyers. He is also a member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys. He was previously taught both undergraduate and Master’s Degree courses in various topics at both Morton College and Lewis University including Criminology, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, Civil Liability for Police Officers, Legal Aspects of Fire Service Management, Public Employee Labor Law and Community Planning for Fire Service Protection. Jerry has been a frequent speaker on pension related issues for the IPPFA at its regional seminars and annual training conferences and has also frequently spoken at the Associated Firefighters of Illinois annual pension conference and has been invited to speak this year at the Illinois Professional Firefighters Association Pension conference. He has also been invited to speak and teach Firefighters at the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA). He is also a City of Berwyn Fire Engineer (IAFF-AFFI Local 506) where he currently has fourteen years of creditable service and is President of the City of Berwyn Firefighter's Pension Fund and an Executive Board Member of Local 506. He is a Certified Fire and Arson Investigator and Advanced Technician Firefighter.
Susan Matta is a shareholder with Asher, Gittler & D’Alba, Ltd. Her union career began in 1995, when she entered the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute’s Apprenticeship Program, and later became a staff union organizer at UFCW Local 951, where she worked on NLRB election campaigns and corporate pressure campaigns. After graduating from law school, Susan served as a Law Fellow with Service Employees International Union on a corporate pressure campaign against a local hospital chain, where she represented individuals who were sued for medical debt. Susan then served as the General Counsel for Service Employees International Union, Local 73 for almost ten years, where she represented both public and private employees. As in-house General Counsel, Susan gained invaluable and extensive knowledge of the institutional concerns and needs of unions, conducted numerous trainings for both staff and members, and gained extensive experience representing the union in negotiations, arbitrations, State and Federal Court, and before the National Labor Relations Board, Illinois Labor Relations Board, Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, Illinois Department of Human Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2013, Susan transitioned to private practice with Carmell Charone Widmer Moss & Barr, where she became a partner and focused on representing firefighter clients. She is experienced at representing firefighter unions, small and large, in contract negotiations, contract enforcement, interest arbitration, unfair labor practice proceedings, and court litigation. In 2019, she joined Asher, Gittler & D’Alba, where she continues to focus on representing firefighter clients. She received her B.A. from Hampshire College and her J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law.
Anthony McGee has served Teamsters Local 700 as a business agent since 2010. Before joining the Teamsters full-time, Anthony was a rank-and-file member with the Cook County Department of Corrections. While serving as a union steward, Anthony’s natural leadership style and ability to communicate members’ interests at the bargaining table was recognized, and he transitioned into the role of business agent for Local 700. As a business agent, Anthony has experience representing members throughout Local 700’s public employee membership from law enforcement, fire fighters, public works, county and municipal clerks and more. In addition to serving members as a union representative, he has extensive experience in negotiating successful contracts for members from start to finish. Anthony was elected as Vice President of Local 700 in 2019, and had previously served as Trustee for a five-year term.
Peter Conrad McNamara is a Senior Attorney for the Chicago Transit Authority in the Labor & Employment Division. His current practice consists of primarily defending federal employment lawsuits, state employment lawsuits, labor arbitrations, state administrative proceedings, and providing advice & counsel to CTA’s management. Prior to joining CTA, Peter worked for the Federal Aviation Administration for 8 ½ years handling similar labor & employment matters as well as clerking for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, for approximately 3 ½ years. Peter received Bachelor of Arts degree in History & Psychology from DePaul University and his Juris Doctorate degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law. He is a proud alumnus of Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Illinois. In addition to being licensed to practice law in Illinois, Peter is admitted to practice law before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and is a member of the Northern District’s Trial Bar.
Thomas M. Melody is an equity shareholder in the law firm of Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd., and his experience includes the general practice of school and municipal law, with a focus on labor and employment law. He has negotiated many collective bargaining agreements, and represents employers in all facets of labor and employment law, including contract administration, grievance arbitration, and statutory compliance. Mr. Melody has represented numerous public sector employers in both state and federal courts, as well as before state and federal administrative agencies such as the EEOC, the Department of Labor, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the ILRB, and the IELRB. He has also handled numerous matters before local Civil Service Commissions and Fire and Police Commissions. Mr. Melody is the co-author of the Formal Dismissal and Suspension Procedures Under Illinois Tenure Law, ILLINOIS SCHOOL LAW, IICLE, and he is also one of the authors of the HANDBOOK ON PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE IN POLICE AND FIRE DISCIPLINARY MATTERS”, and HOME RULE VS. NON-HOME RULE (WHAT’S BEST FOR YOUR MUNICIPALITY?), both of which were published by the Illinois Municipal 17 League. Mr. Melody has also written numerous articles on school law and labor law issues. Mr. Melody is a frequent speaker on labor and employment law issues, as well as school and municipal law issues. He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and received his Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University School of Law in 1994.
Martha Merrill currently serves as the Director of Research and Employee Benefits for AFSCME Council 31. Mrs. Merrill has worked as a union researcher for over 15 years, focused on areas related to collective bargaining and benefit administration, in addition to research and analysis related to pension funding and public finance. She has her MPA from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Scott Miller has been a staff attorney with AFSCME Council 31 since 2001. Prior to that, Scott was the Chief Legal Counsel of the Illinois Department of Labor. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois - Chicago, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs.
Melissa Mlynski is the Senior Director of Human Resources at the University of Illinois Springfield, a position she has held since December of 2016. She is also an adjunct assistant professor at UIS teaching graduate courses in labor and administrative law. Previously, Ms. Mlynski was the Executive Director of the Illinois Labor Relations Board from June of 2012 through December of 2016. She has extensive experience representing public employers in collective bargaining, labor arbitrations and cases before the ILRB, including more than 10 years as labor relations counsel for the Department of Central Management Services. Ms. Mlynski also worked in private practice representing public employers in labor and employment law matters. Ms. Mlynski received her B.A. in English from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.
Laurence Msall is the President of the Civic Federation. Msall joined the 125-year-old tax policy and government research organization in January of 2002. Before joining the Civic Federation, Msall was the Senior Advisor for Economic Development for Illinois Governor George H. Ryan. Msall was responsible for the oversight of eleven of the state’s economic development and infrastructure-related agencies including the Departments of Commerce and Community Affairs, Revenue, Transportation, and the state’s housing and other development authorities. Appointed as Senior Advisor in February 1999, Msall worked closely with the Governor and his staff on issues related to business climate, tax and transportation policy. Before joining the Governor’s staff in 1999, Msall served as the Vice President of the Commercial Club of Chicago. In addition to his work with the Commercial Club, Laurence Msall served as Secretary to the Commercial Club Foundation and Vice President of the Civic Committee. He has worked with the CEOs of some of Chicago’s largest corporations and service firms promoting regional economic development strategies related to airport capacity, urban redevelopment, and special projects including the Chicago Bears stadium, technology development, and the reorganization of the United Way of Chicago. Prior to joining the Commercial Club staff in 1990, Msall served as Assistant to the Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs with primary responsibility for policy development. From 1984-1988, Laurence Msall represented the Department and Governor Jim Thompson’s office on economic development and business issues before the Illinois General Assembly, serving as DCCA’s chief legislative liaison. Laurence Msall is a licensed attorney and 1992 graduate of Loyola University School of Law, Evening Division, where he was named to the Dean’s List of Distinguished Students in 1990, 1991 and 1992. He was a recipient of the 1992 Loyola Leadership and Service Award. Msall holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he was the 1984 recipient of the Umbeck Prize for the Outstanding Sociology Student. Msall is a member of the Board of Directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, the Chicago Civic Consulting Alliance, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System Nominating Committee and the Kennedy Forum of Illinois. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs and NPR Illinois Issues. He is an active volunteer with PADS Homeless Shelter and L’arche Chicago and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Knox College.
Jill O’Brien is an Equity Partner at Laner Muchin, Ltd. She is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and the firm’s Hiring Chairperson. Throughout her 30 years of practice with Laner Muchin, Ltd., her practice has focused on the representation of public and private sector employers in a wide variety of labor relations and employment matters, including collective bargaining negotiations, grievance handling, mediation and interest arbitration hearings. She also defends employers in employment disputes and labor proceedings in court and before agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Illinois Department of Human Rights, Illinois Human Rights Commission, Chicago Human Rights Commission, the Illinois Department of Labor, and the National Labor Relations Board. She also counsels employers and offers management training programs concerning day-to-day labor and employment and human resource issues such as terminations, disciplinary issues, leaves of absence, policy issues, wage and hour issues. She received a B.S. in law enforcement administration from Western Illinois University and a J.D. from John Marshall Law School.
Over the past 20 years, Trisha Olson has worked in Chicagoland schools as a paraprofessional, teacher, school board attorney and parent advocate. While in law school, Trisha was the research assistant for the President of the ACLU, Nadine Strossen, and interned at Mayerson & Associates, New York City’s preeminent parent-advocacy law firm for individuals with autism. Since law school, Trisha has represented both boards of education and families on a diverse range of topics, including special education, student rights, bargaining, personnel matters and board governance. She has counseled the Illinois State Board of Education for four years, serving as its chief legal officer since July 2019.
Karl R. Ottosen is Managing Partner and Shareholder of Ottosen DiNolfo Hasenbalg & Castaldo, Ltd. Hehas over 28 years of experience representing governmental bodies, private corporations, and individuals in a variety of labor and employment law issues. Mr. Ottosen frequently negotiates contracts with unions representing bargaining units in law enforcement, fire protection, education, public works, and other public services, as well as with private sector manufacturing units. Mr. Ottosen is regularly selected to speak at seminars and workshops on labor, employment, and local government law issues. His topics include issues in finance, litigation, anti-discrimination compliance, supervisor training, sexual harassment, violence in the workplace, and other general labor and employment concerns. He received a B.S. from Western Illinois University and a J.D. from University of Illinois College of Law.
Rob Paszta presently serves as Associate General Counsel for the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150, AFL-CIO. After serving in the United States Air Force, Rob began his career as a law clerk for Local 150 and extern for Region 13 of the NLRB. In 2010, Rob joined the Labor Relations department at CSX Transportation where he handled grievances, arbitrations, and contract negotiations. Rob returned to Local 150 in 2014. Among other duties, Rob has litigated several cases on behalf of Local 150 against various public bodies for their violations of the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts. Rob is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Technical Management and earned his J.D. degree at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Thomas J. Pleines is an attorney at the Law Office of Thomas J. Pleines. He was the Chicago Metro Counsel for the Policemen’s Benevolent Labor Committee with the Policemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois until 2018. He has several years of experience dealing with the City of Chicago in administrative hearings, the Circuit, Appellate and Supreme Courts of Illinois. He have negotiated collective bargaining agreements on behalf of Chicago Police Officers with the City of Chicago. Mr. Pleines was General Counsel for the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge #7 from 1993 to 2011 and has over 35 reported decisions of the Illinois Appellate Court, the Supreme Court of Illinois, Federal District Court for Illinois and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Pleines received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Northern Illinois University and his J.D. from John Marshall Law School.
Sarah L. Pratt presently serves as Public Access Counselor for Illinois Attorney General's Office. She began her career as an assistant attorney general in general law and has worked as a litigator and supervisor in positions including Bureau Chief of Workers’ Compensation and Bureau Chief of General Law in Springfield. In 2003 Ms. Pratt joined the private sector where she practiced workers’ compensation and employment defense litigation. She returned to the AG’s Office in 2011; after leading the Public Access Bureau for two years she was appointed Public Access Counselor. Among other duties, Sarah provides training and is a frequent speaker on the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts. Ms. Pratt is a graduate of Illinois College with a B.A. in English and French and earned her J.D. degree at the University of Illinois.
Brian E. Reynolds is an attorney, mediator and arbitrator. For the past 16 years, Mr. Reynolds labor experience has been focused on interest arbitration and grievance arbitration issues. Prior to becoming an arbitrator, Mr. Reynolds was Executive Director of the Illinois Labor Relations Board where he managed administrative and investigatory branches of state agency regulating public sector collective bargaining, including representation cases, unfair labor practice charges and impasse procedures. Prior to joining the Board, he served as a labor attorney for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services and as an attorney for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Illinois Commerce Commission. Mr. Reynolds earned a B.A, magna cum laude, from the University of Dayton and a J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law.
Thomas H. Riley, Jr. is the Executive Director of Labor and Employee Relations and Special Counsel for the University of Illinois System. For over 30 years Mr. Riley has counseled and represented private and public-sector employers on all aspects of labor and employment law issues, including substantial experience handling complex labor matters in higher education. At the University of Illinois, Mr. Riley oversees negotiations, administration and strategy for the university’s 50 collective bargaining agreements across the three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield covering many of the approximately 25,000 employees in a wide range of bargaining units such as service and clerical, health care professionals, trades, police, nurses, faculty and graduate student unions. He counsels university administration to align human resource, budgetary and operational goals and routinely directs and advises on a multitude of labor issues, such as bargaining unit formation, compliance, strikes and picketing, retaliation, interest arbitration, labor litigation and agency matters including unfair labor practice claims and union organizing, arbitration and mediation, and preventive strategies. Prior to joining the University of Illinois 20 years ago, Mr. Riley was a partner in the Chicago office of a national law firm representing management in workplace law and related litigation. In private practice he counseled and defended employers on a wide range of issues, including complaints of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge and other claims arising under federal, state and local laws regarding employment, civil rights, employee safety and labor. Mr. Riley has published and presented on labor issues, appeared on television and has been quoted in media such as the Washington Post and BNA Daily Labor Report. Mr. Riley is on the Board of Advisors for the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions. He is admitted to practice in Illinois and Louisiana, and before numerous federal district courts, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Sylvia Rios is General Counsel of the Illinois Education Association (IEA). Ms. Rios provides advice and representation to IEA on a variety of labor, employment, and education law matters and oversees its legal department. Before becoming IEA General Counsel, she held the position Associate General Counsel for seven years. Prior to joining IEA, Ms. Rios served as Assistant Attorney General in the Illinois Attorney General Office’s Employment Unit defending state agencies and employees in state and federal employment discrimination matters. She also has worked as a Staff Attorney with the Illinois Labor Relations Board and began her legal career as an Associate with the union-side law firm Jacobs, Burns, Orlove and Hernandez.
Bianca Saviano currently serves as Deputy General Counsel for Teamsters Local 700. In her position, she represents the Union and its members in collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, before the Illinois Labor Relations Board, before various other administrative forums and in State and Federal Court. She additionally provides her Clients counsel on a variety of labor and employment matters. Before working at Teamsters Local 700, Bianca worked as an Associate Attorney at Illinois Advocates, LLC. Bianca holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
Robert J. Scherschligt is Legal Counsel for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 916 in Springfield, Illinois. His current practice consists of negotiating collective bargaining agreements, and representing the Union in disciplinary matters, grievances, mediations, and arbitrations. Prior to joining the Teamsters, Bob served as Sangamon County’s Chief Public Defender from November 2010 until January 2020. He has more than 27 years of litigation experience at the county, state, and federal levels. Bob received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Millikin University and his Juris Doctorate degree from Creighton University’s School of Law. He is a registered certified public accountant and is licensed to practice law in the states of Illinois and Missouri. In addition, he is admitted to practice law before the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit United States Court of Appeals.
Brian Schwartz is the Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel to the Illinois Principals Association and has practiced law for over 22 years. He is the author of three books: The Law of Homeschooling (2008), Finding Middle Ground in K-12 Education (2009) and Illinois Law in the School Office (2015). He has also written numerous book chapters, law review articles and scholarly publications. Brian previously served on the national board of directors of the Education Law Association and is the past chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s Education Law Section Council. He is a member of the Illinois and National Council of School Attorneys. Brian has presented nationally on a variety education-related issues.
Melissa Sobota is a partner at Franczek PC. She concentrates her practice in both labor and employment law. Her labor experience includes collective bargaining for schools and higher education institutions, municipalities and county employers. She has experience handling union certification petitions, severance petitions, as well as litigating unfair labor practice charges before the Illinois Labor Relations Board and Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. She has also advised employers on medical and insurance benefit plan issues in relation to contract negotiations and employee disputes. Her employment practice includes the defense of employers against discrimination cases filed state court, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. She has also defended employers before the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, the Illinois Department of Labor, the Illinois Human Rights Commission, and the Illinois Labor Relations Board. Her higher education practice includes negotiating collective bargaining agreements, as well as handling grievance arbitrations, unfair labor practice charges, and representation petitions before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board and National Labor Relations Board on behalf of colleges and universities. Prior to private practice, Ms. Sobota worked with the corporation counsel of the City of Chicago in the Labor Division and defended the City in grievance arbitrations regarding contract disputes, discipline, and medical and benefits plans. She is a member of the American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section), the Illinois State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section), and the Illinois Public Employer Labor Relations Association. She received a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Kimberly Stevens is the Executive Director of the Illinois Labor Relations Board. Prior to her current position with the Labor Board, Ms. Stevens was most recently Deputy General Counsel at the Illinois State Board of Education. Ms. Stevens has also worked for the Illinois Labor Relations Board as an Administrative Law Judge, and she previously served as labor relations counsel for the Department of Central Management Services, representing the State of Illinois in contract negotiations, arbitration hearings, and cases before the ILRB. Ms. Stevens began her legal career at the Illinois Attorney General’s office in the civil trials bureau, where she was responsible for government defense litigation in State and federal courts as well as administrative matters before State merit boards and commissions. Ms. Stevens received her Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in history, political science, and humanities from Valparaiso University and her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from the Valparaiso University School of Law.
Rick Stewart is the founding Principal of Hesse Martone’s Springfield, Illinois office. Rick is licensed to practice in Illinois, Missouri and New York. Rick has over 15 years of experience in handling a variety of labor and employment matters. He advise clients on a day-to-day basis in collective bargaining, contract administration, employee discipline and labor-management relations in both the private and public sectors. Rick has handled cases before various courts, administrative agencies, commissions and arbitrators in both Illinois and New York and has compiled a record of remarkable success in handling interest arbitrations. Rick acts as Legal Counsel to the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and is a regular speaker on public sector labor and employment issues. Prior to joining HM, Rick represented labor unions in both Illinois and New York and he has extensive experience in (and a unique perspective concerning) union election campaigns and collective bargaining negotiations. Labor and employment issues of all types have been a primary focus of Rick’s practice and he has handled literally hundreds of contract negotiations and arbitrations in both the public and private sectors. Rick has successfully represented both private sector and public sector election campaigns including cases under the new NLRB expedited rules. He received a B.A. in history, Magna Cum Laude, State University of New York at Albany and a J.D. from Albany Law School at Union University.
Ellen Maureen Strizak is General Counsel at the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB). She began working for the IELRB as a Board Writer in 2002. From 2006 until 2010, she was Staff Counsel for the Illinois Labor Relations Board. She returned to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board in 2010 as Associate General Counsel. Ms. Strizak received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Iowa and her J.D. from the John Marshall Law School. Prior to law school, Ms. Strizak organized tenants as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Austin, Texas.
Chuck Sullivan was appointed as the President of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI) in January of 2020 and elected by the membership at their convention in June, 2020. From 2008 until his appointment to President, he served as an AFFI Legislative Representative. During that time, he worked extensively on legislation and rules within Article 4 of the Illinois Pension Statute that affects Downstate and Suburban Firefighters. In addition to those duties, Chuck is also a firefighter in the city of Champaign and holds the rank of Captain. He was hired there in 1995 and held various Executive Board positions within the Champaign Firefighters Local 1260 Union prior to his election in 2008 to the AFFI Executive Board. Chuck has an Associate’s degree in Fire Science and a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Illinois University.
Robin Ward was In-House Counsel at the Village of Arlington Heights. Prior to her recent retirement, she had been with the Village since 1988. Ms. Ward was part of the collective bargaining team for the village’s negotiations with its police and fire unions. She worked in the Legal Department of the Village of Skokie for 2 1/2 years before joining the State Labor Relations Board at its beginning operations. After working at the State Board for 3 1/2 years, she went to work for the Village of Arlington Heights. Ms. Ward is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in political science and De Paul University College of Law.
Torrick Ward is the Deputy Director of Labor Relations for Cook County, Illinois. Prior to serving as Deputy Director, Mr. Ward served as the acting director of the Department of Human Rights and Ethics for Cook County and the Senior Labor Counsel for Cook County Labor Relations. Besides holding positions at Cook County, Mr. Ward worked as an Assistant Corporation Counsel, Senior Counsel and Deputy Director of Compliance at the City of Chicago. Mr. Ward has practiced in the areas of Labor and Employment, Civil Rights and Corporate Compliance since 1998.
John Weathers is Commissioner of Mediation in the Peoria, Illinois field service area of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). Mr. Weathers joined the FMCS in 2016 after working as labor counsel for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council (ILFOPLC) in Springfield, IL for over six years. While with the ILFOPLC he negotiated and administered numerous collective bargaining agreements, presented cases in grievance and interest arbitration, and handled various court and labor board issues. Prior to his employment with the ILFOPLC, Mr. Weathers worked for the State of Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) for nearly four years. His duties at CMS included grievance arbitration, unfair labor practices charges filed against state employees and agencies and negotiation of collective bargaining agreements.. Prior to practicing labor law Mr. Weathers was an State of Illinois Assistant Attorney General focused on defending the State in Federal and State Courts against various constitutional claims. Mr. Weathers received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Illinois and his law degree from the Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Dennis L. Weedman is a partner in the Collinsville office of Robbins Schwartz. He represents school districts, community colleges, county boards and other units of local government in labor negotiations and employment related matters, including complaints and charges of discrimination, wrongful termination litigation, claims of sexual harassment, civil rights violations and unfair labor practice charges. He also advises clients on the handling of grievances, as well as represents public entities in labor arbitration hearings. Mr. Weedman also counsels clients in all areas of personnel management, as well as in the areas of board governance, general education law and student rights and responsibilities. Mr. Weedman has served on the Illinois State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section and is a frequent presenter for the Illinois Association of School Boards and at statewide conferences, including the Chicago-Kent School of Law Public Sector Labor Relations Conference. Prior to joining Robbins Schwartz, Mr. Weedman served as an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Labor Relations Board and was Labor Relations Counsel for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services. Mr. Weedman received his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Richard White’s experience spans a forty-two-year career substantially spent as a public servant with supervisory and executive level experience in law enforcement and public retirement systems. Richard worked in the criminal justice system and private security for forty years which included thirty-four years as a sworn law enforcement officer. He retired from the Orange County (CA) Sheriff-Coroner Department with a public sector pension. During his law enforcement career, Mr. White served nine years as a member of the Board of Trustees on the Orange County (CA) Employees’ Retirement System and served four one-year terms as President of the Board of Directors of the State Association of County Retirement Systems. Following retirement, Mr. White served as a Retirement Administrator for the Mendocino County Employees’ Retirement Association. In June 2020, Mr. White was named interim Executive Director of the Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund. Richard earned a Master of Science degree in human resources and organizational development from the University of San Francisco.
Stephen A. Yokich graduated from Northwestern University in 1978 and cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981. He clerked for the Honorable George Clifton Edwards, the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1981 to 1982. Stephen served as the General Counsel for Labor for the Education and Labor Committee of the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 1994 and as Associate General Counsel for the International Union, UAW in the UAW’s Washington D.C. office from 1995 to 1998. He currently holds a part-time position as Associate General Counsel for the UAW.
Stephen represents private and public sector labor unions in cases before state and federal labor relations boards and in state and federal trial and appellate courts. This representation encompasses the enforcement of union contracts and the defense of cases involving allegations of discrimination, breach of the duty of fair representation and state law torts. He represents unions in cases with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and with State occupational safety and health agencies. He also represents individuals and classes of individuals in suits under the civil rights acts, in suits involving the wage and hour laws and in suits involving retiree health and pension benefits.
Stephen is admitted to the bar of the State of Illinois and to the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of Illinois and the Northern District of Indiana. He is also admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court and to the United State Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuits.
Daniel Zapata is General Counsel for the Service Employees International Union, Local 73. SEIU Local 73 represents 29,000 workers, primarily public and publicly-funded employees, throughout Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Mr. Zapata represents Local 73 at arbitration hearings, at court, at the different labor boards, and other administrative agencies. Mr. Zapata is a 2013 graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law.
|Availability||Module Title||Duration||Course Details|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 08:30 AM (CST)||
Welcome + Opening Plenary: The Covid-19 Pandemic and Public Sector Labor Relations. Speakers: Steven Greenhouse, Ralph Martire, Laurence Msall, Martin H. Malin (Moderator)
||1 Hour 36 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 10:15 AM (CST)||
K - 12 Education. Speakers: Trisha A. Olson, Sylvia Rios, Brian D. Schwartz
||1 Hour 15 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 10:15 AM (CST)||
Higher Education. Speakers: Thomas H. Riley, Jr., Stephen A. Yokich
||1 Hour 26 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 10:15 AM (CST)||
Impact of COVID-19 on Law Enforcement. Speakers: David Amerson, Felicia Frazier, David A. Johnson, Keith A. Karlson
||1 Hour 23 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 10:15 AM (CST)||
Firefighters Forum. Speakers: Angela Fyans-Jimenez, Susan M. Matta, Karl R. Ottosen, Chuck Sullivan
||1 Hour 14 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 10:15 AM (CST)||
Health Care. Speakers: Alice J. Johnson, Torrick Ward
||1 Hour 16 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 10:15 AM (CST)||
Navigating the Maze of Leaves in a Pandemic. Speakers: Lisa R. Callaway, Thomas M. Melody, Bianca Saviano, Daniel Zapata
||1 Hour 14 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 11:45 AM (CST)||
IELRA Developments. Speakers: Nicholas Christen, Melissa Mlynski, Ellen Maureen Strizak
||1 Hour 18 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 11:45 AM (CST)||
Interest Arbitration, A Year in Review: The Impact of COVID and More. Speakers: Tamara L. Cummings, Timothy E. Guare, Brian E. Reynolds
||1 Hour 14 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 11:45 AM (CST)||
Funding and Collective Bargaining. Speakers: Stanley Eisenhammer, Larry Frank, Martha Merrill, Rick V. Stewart, Jr.
||1 Hour 18 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 11:45 AM (CST)||
Ethics and Civility Across Tribunals. Speakers: Scott Miller, Kimberly Stevens, Dennis L. Weedman
||1 Hour 13 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 11:45 AM (CST)||
Return to Work Privacy and Constitutional Issues. Speakers: Melissa Auerbach, Thomas S. Bradley, Jane Flanagan
||1 Hour 13 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 11:45 AM (CST)||
Nuts & Bolts of Discipline. Speakers: Carlos S. Arevalo, Jules I. Crystal, Joshua M. File, Marisel A. Hernandez
||1 Hour 17 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 01:30 PM (CST)||
IPLRA Developments. Speakers: Gary L. Bailey, James Baird, Helen J. Kim
||1 Hour 22 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 01:30 PM (CST)||
Steering the Process through Uncharted Waters: Remote Hearings, Bargaining and Mediation. Speakers: Jeanne Charles, Angie Cowan Hamada, Melissa D. Sobota, John J. Weathers
||1 Hour 22 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 01:30 PM (CST)||
Nuts & Bolts of Bargaining. Speakers: Margaret Angelucci, Robb B. Craddock, Anthony L. McGee, Jill O'Brien
||1 Hour 16 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 01:30 PM (CST)||
Sharing and Access to Information. Speakers: Robert Paszta, Sarah Pratt, Robin Ward
||1 Hour 09 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 01:30 PM (CST)||
Pension Consolidation. Speakers: William R. Atwood, Jerry J. Marzullo, Richard A. White, Jr.
||1 Hour 18 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 03:00 PM (CST)||
Ethics - Mental Health Issues: Coping Skills for the Pandemic and Beyond. Speaker: Chelsy A. Castro
||1 Hour 18 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 03:00 PM (CST)||
Marijuana and the Workplace. Speakers: Bryan Diemer, Brad Jansen, P.C. McNamara, Robert J. Scherschligt
||1 Hour 17 Minutes||More info »|
|Dec 04, 2020 @ 03:00 PM (CST)||
Police Reform and Labor Relations. Speakers: Laura M. Finnegan, Michael Frisch, Jill Leka, Thomas Pleines
||1 Hour 14 Minutes||More info »|
|Total Classroom CE Credits Information|
Please wait ...