2014 Speakers

Will Aitchison

Attorney, Aitchison Law. Over the course of his career, Will has represented over 100 Labor Organizations in five western states. Will has handled hundreds of arbitrations and is the author of seven books on labor relation issues including The Fair Labor Standards Act - A User's Manual and The FMLA: Understanding the Family and Medical Leave Act. Will teaches collective bargaining for the Labor Relations Information System.


Martin Alvey

Attorney, Alvey Law Group. Martin represents working people in workers' compensation, personal injury and social security disability cases. Alvey Law Group has offices in Portland and Astoria. Martin was raised in Coos Bay, Oregon. He graduated from Willamette University in 1982, and obtained his law degree at Northwestern School of Law in 1986. Martin is the former Chair of the Oregon State Bar Workers' Compensation Section. Martin is the 2007 recipient of the Douglas W. Daughtry Award of Merit from the Worker's Compensation Section of the Oregon State Bar, and the 2008 recipient of the Doug Swanson Outstanding Workers' Compensation Attorney Award from the Oregon Trial Lawyer Association. Martin is currently the President of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.


Brad Avakian

Oregon Commissioner of Labor. For more than 20 years, Brad Avakian has been fighting to expand economic opportunity and ensure equality for all Oregonians. Early in his career, as an employment and civil rights attorney, Brad gave voice to workers who were seeking their fair wages, better working conditions, and freedom from discrimination in the workplace. Later, as a State Legislator, he passed laws to expand collective bargaining rights, crack down on predatory lending, and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Since 2008m Brad has served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI), where he has stepped up enforcement of Oregon's civil rights laws and partnered with Oregon's business and labor communities to strengthen workforce development efforts.



Brad Avakian

John Bishop

Attorney, McKanna, Bishop, Joffe, LLP. John has spent his entire legal career working exclusively for labor unions and their members in disputes with employers. He began his legal practice in New York City in 1985 and continued it after he moved to Oregon in 1989. John has advocated for a wide variety of employees in both public and private sectors. He appears regularly before arbitrators and administrative law judges and occasionally in the courts. John is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law.


John Bishop

Bob Bussel

Director, Labor Education and Research Center. Since 2002, Bob has been Associate Professor of History and Director of the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon. Bob was previously Labor Educator at Penn State University for seven years and spent a decade as a Union Organizer and Representative with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union.



Cheryl Coon

Managing Attorney, Social Security Section, Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton. Cheryl represents disabled individuals at all levels of the Social Security Disbility process from initial application through federal court appeals. Cheryl's law career begain in 1977 and has included litigation in federal courts, administrative practice before state and federal agencies, and six years working in the United States Congress as legal counsel and staff director for committees of Congress. She has taught at Lewis and Clark Law School. Cheryl is admitted to practice in Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Cheryl is a board member of the Disability Section of the Oregon Bar, a past Board Member of the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon and a past founding board member of the Children's Diabetes Network.


Cheryl Coon

Linda Davidson

Officer-in-Charge, NLRB Region 19, Sub-region 36. Linda began her NLRB career in 1979 where she worked a variety of support staff positions before being promoted to a Field Examiner position in the Portland office in 1990. In October 2007 she was appointed the Officer-in-Charge of the Portland Sub-regional office. As Officer-in-charge, Linda directs the processing of Unfair Labor Practice and Representation cases in the State of Oregon and Southwest Washington under the supervision of Richard L. Ahearn, Regional Director of the Seattle Regional Office.


Tom Doyle

Attorney, Bennett, Hartman, Morris & Kaplan. Originally from New Hampshire, Tom came to Oregon to go to Reed College and then to Lewis and Clark for Law School. He began his legal career in 1997 with Smith Gamson Diamond and Olney and then in 2001 joined Bennett Hartman Morris & Kaplan. His practice focuses on representing unions and employees, particularly in the health care industry. He advises health care, industrial, and public sector unions on family leave, Amercian's with Disabilities Act, health beneftis and pension matters. In addition, he represents employees privately in civil litigation - primarily on FMLA and ADA cases. The remainder of his practice is spent representing professional licensees such as nurses, teachers and doctors in licensing issues. When not practicing his practice law, Tom can be found backpacking, sea kayaking or taking care of his chickens and two children at his home in Milwaukie.


Katy Dunn

Associate General Counsel, SEIU Local 32BJ, a property services local representing over 145,000 workers from Massachusetts to Florida. Prior to her position at Local 32BJ, Katy was a fellow for two years at the Service Employees International Union, and was also a Peggy Browning Fellow with AFSCME. As part of her work at Local 32BJ, Katy has worker extensively on social media issues, including organizing, internal compliance and member communications. Katy has also spoken on these issues at a variety of conferences, including the 2013 Section of Labor & Employment Law National Symposium on Technology. Katy has been involved with the labor movement since her first picket line at age twelve.


Nelson Hall

Attorney, Bennett, Hartman, Morris & Kaplan. Nelson was born in Crescent City, California, and raised in Brookings-Harbor, Oregon. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1977, attended graduate school at Bowling Green State University on a teaching assistantship, and then went on to earn his law degree from Northwestern School of Law in 1985. Nelson served on the Workers' Compensation Board for five year including two years as Board Chair. He is partner in Bennett, Hartman, Morris & Kaplan. Nelson's practice emphasizes persoanl injury, including wrongful death and medical/dental malpractice, third-party liability and ELA cases, workers' compensation, employemnt and labor (union) law.

Nelson Hall

Alan Herzfeld

Attorney, Herzfeld & Piotrowski. Alan Herzfeld is a partner in the firm Herzfeld & Piotrowski, LLP. and has been practicing labor and employment law in Boise, ID for 30 years, specializing in Union-side labor law. His clients include Firefighter Local Unions throughout Idaho and numerous private-sector Trade Unions and Labor Councils in Southwestern and Southeastern Idaho, including the Electricians, the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters, the Sheet Metal Workers, the Ironworkers, the Carpetners, the Teamsters, the Transit Workers, the Boise Central Trades and Labor Council and the Idaho Building and COnstruction Trades Council. His practice includes Federal and State Court litigation, administrative agency advocacy before the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Department of Labor and other Federal Agencies, labor arbitration, collective bargaining and legislative drafting and advocacy. Alan recieved his law degree from the University of Idaho, Class of 1983. Prior to law school, Alan worked as a union carpenter.

Alan Herzfeld

Ronald K. Hooks

Regional Director, NLRB Region 19.Ron was appointed Regional Director of the Seattle Regional Office effective March 26, 2012. He is a graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis and Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. Ron began his career in 1972 as a Field Attorney in Region 26 and left the NLRB the following year to work in the private sector. He returned to the agency in 1974 as a Field Attorney in the Fort Worth, Texas Regional Office (Region 16). Ron eventually became the Regional Attorney in Memphis in 1992 and then served as the Regional Director in Memphis (Region 26) for twelve years before coming to Seattle.


Hooks Ronald pic

Gordon Lafer

Associate Professor, Labor Education and Research Center. Gordon obtained his BA from Swathmore and his Ph.D. from Yale. He worked as a senior researcher for the Building Trades Organizing Project in Las Vegas and as the Hotel Industry Strategy Director for the ILWU Local 142 in Hawaii. In 2009-10 Lafer served as Senior Labor Policy Advisor for the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Education and Labor. Lafer has also testified before several State Legislatures as an expert on Labor Policy - including presentations on "right to work" proposals in Michigan, Indiana and New Hampshire.



Howell Lankford

Arbitrator and Mediator. After graduating from Reed College, Howell had a few real jobs and then became a lawyer in 1977. He was an Administrative Law Judge for the Oregon ERB for five years and became a full time Arbitratory in 1984.


Howell Lankford

Richard Liebman

Attorney, Barran Liebman. Although he is a management attorney, Rick is quick to point out that he has represented a number of Unions in their capacity as an employer. Rick has been representing employers in Labor and Employment Law since 1972. He recieved both his undergraduate and J.D. degrees from the University of California at Berkley. He is the former chair of the Tir-County Affirmative Action Association and the Oregon State Bar's Labor Law Section. He is management editor of the Oregon State Bar's book and a supplement enititled Labor and Employment Law, and has been an instructor in EEO law at Portland State University's Professional Development Center for twenty yeras. He has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America (1995-present) and was selected as their Oregon Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and listed an an Oregon Super Lawyer (2008-present).

Rick Liebman

Kathryn Logan

Chair, Employment Relations Board. Kathryn earned her B.A. at Johnston College, University of Redlands, and her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law. She worked as an Administrative Law Judge for the Employment Relations Board, the Public Utility Commission and on contract with numerous State Agencies. Kathryn also worked for both the City of Salem and the State of Oregon as a Labor Relations Manager. Finally, from May 2006 through February 2012, she was a Senior Assistant Attorney General with the Oregon Department of Justice, advising State Agencies on labor and employment matters. Kathryn was appointed to the Employment Relations Board effective March 1, 2012, and became Board Chair on January 7, 2013.


John Lund

Regional Representative, U.S. Secretary of Labor. John has served as Regional Representative for the U.S. Secretary of Labor for the Pacific Northwest since May 2013. The Regional Representative conducts liaison with intergovernmental bodies and with stakeholders in civic, labor and business organizations through the Pacific Northwest region which encompasses Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota. Prior to his Seattle assignment, Dr. Lund served as Direcotr of the Office of Labor Management Standards at the Department of Labor, begining on June 29, 2009. Dr. Lund previously spent twenty-four years as tenured faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, holding a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the School for Workers. His work there focused on work measurement, job evaluation, ergonomics, occupational safety and health, union financial management systems, prevailing wage rates, collective bargaining and labor law. Lund also served and Research and Education Director for the Oregon Public Employees Union and lead business agent for International Union Operating Engineers Local 701 based in Portland. For six years, he served as a faculty member and director of the Pacific Northwest Labor College, also located in Portland.

John 2

Norman Malbin

General Counsel, IBEW Local 48. Norman graduated from the University of Denver in 1971 and Northwestern School of Law - Lewis & Clark Law School in 1985. After working for two union law firms (1986-1989) he established his own firm in 1989 and remained there until 1998 when he closed his practice and went to work as General Counsel for IBEW Local 48. Norman founded the Oregon Labor Law Conference and has served as its principle planner and moderator since its inception.


Norman Malbin

Rich McCracken

General Counsel, UNITE HERE. In addition to being General Counsel to UNITE HERE, Rich is a partner in Davis, Cowell & Bowe, known in Nevada as McCracken, Stermerman & Holsberry. He is also the principal outside counsel to the Sheet Metal Workers' International Association (now "SMART") and is counsel to the Nevada State Federation of Labor. Rich's work has been concentrated in comprehensive strategic campaigns, espcially in support of organizing. As a result, the cases he has handled include landmarks in securities and corporations law, as well as labor law, in the Supreme Courts of the United States, California, Nevada, and Oklahoma, and the United States appeals and district courts. His emphasis, however, has been not so much on litigation but on helping to design powerful new techniques that conform to and make use of the law but do not involve litigation.





Adam Rhynard

Board Member, Employment Relations Board.Adam earned his B.F.A. and M.A. at the University of Arizona and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Before moving to Oregon, he practiced extensively in the areas of labor, employment and campaign finance law. From 2008-2013, he worked in a neutral capacity as a Staff Attorney for the Workers' Compensation Baord, advising all members of that Board and drafting administrative orders to resolve employer-employee disputes under the Workers' Compensation Act. Adam was appointed to the Employment Relations Board effective March 15, 2013.


David Rosenfeld

Attorney, Wienberg, Roger & Rosenfeld. David Rosenfeld has been practicing Union Law since 1973. He has argued many important cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, various Federal and State Courts of Appeal and the NLRB. His book entitled Offensive Bargaining and the strategies he has developed have been used by Unions throughout the Country as effective weapons against anti-union employers. One of the things David likes most about being a Union Lawyer is helping Union officials be more offenisve, aggressive and effective in dealing with difficult employers.

David has taught at Berkley Law since 2005. He has developed and taught a seminar at Boalt entitled "Representing Low Wage Workers." He has taught the basic Labor Law Course and developed a seminar entitled "The Law of Organizing Workers" and "Current Topics in Employment and Labor Law." He has also taught at Hastings College of the Law. He has recently co-authored a book entitled "California Workers Rights" and practitioner comments in the recently issued treatise "Labor Law Analysis and Advocacy" by Robert A. Gorman and Matthew W. Finkin published by Juris Publishing (2013).

David Rosenfeld

Mike Tedesco

Attorney, Tedesco Law Group. Mike has over 30 years of experience handling labor and employment disputes. He has successfully conducted hundreds of labor arbitratrions in the private and public sectors. He is a practitioner before the National Labor Relations Board and the Employment Relations Board of the State of Oregon, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Oregon Law School, and a Senior Adjunct Facility Member at the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon.


Mike Tedesco

Jason Weyand

Board Member, Employment Relations Board. Jason earned his B.A. from Oregon State Univesity and his J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law. After law school, Jason served as an ERISA/Bankruptcy attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. This Federal Agency in Washington, D.C. was responsible for protecting and insuring the defined benefit pensions plans of American workers in the private sector. While working for the Federal Government, he became active as a steward in his local union, ultimately leading him to accept a position as Legal Counsel with Oregon AFSCME in 2004. Jason served in that position until Govenor Kitzhaber appointed him to the Employment Relations Board effective July 1, 2012. Jason has been a member of the executive board of the Labor and Employment Section of the Oregon State Bar for several years, serving as Treasurer and Chair-Elect of the section. In addition, Jason served as a co-editor and authored two chapters in the Oregon State Bar's continuing legal education treatise on public sector labor and employment law.

Weyand use

 Jeff Anderson

Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 555. UFCW Local 555 is a 20,000 member union in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Jeff has been a member of his local union since 1976. Jeff serves on the Union's pension and health and welfare boards as a trustee. In addition, he serves as first Vice President of the Northwest Oregon Labor Council. Jeff's community service includes 29 years on the Salem Electric Co-op Board, 9 years on the Oregon wage and hour commission, and is chair of the Oregon Working Families Party.
 Jeff Anderson picture for the leader

Raahi Reddy


Career Instructor, Labor Education & Research Center. Raahi has over twenty years of experience in the labor movement as a leader, organizer, and labor educator. Raahi has led large-scale campaigns to help win social and economic justice for workers, including immigrants and people of color. She has also coordinated innovative labor education projects in California that helped bring together labor, community leaders, and organizers. Raahi has acted in numerous leadership roles during her labor career, serving as Chief of Staff for an 85,000 member union in Southern California and as national board member for the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. Prior to joining LERC, Raahi was the Organizing Director for Basic Rights Oregon, helping the organization launch its 2014 ballot effort to win the freedom to marry in Oregon.


Andrea Paluso


Co-Founder and Executive Director of Family Forward Oregon, Family Forward Education Fund and the Mother PAC. Andrea is a social worker turned community activist and fervent policy wonk. She has worked in public education, community health clinics, and in international development. She has a master's degree from Columbia University in Social Work and Public Health and a work history in public policy and nonprofit program management. Andrea hopes that Family Forward's work will inspire and help parents, employers and policy-makers to creat the kinds of policies that work for today's families. Andrea is the mother of two kids, ages 6 and 8.  

 Andrea Paluso

Karen Clark

Planning Specialist, Portland Office, US Department of Labor. Karen has been with the US Department of Labor for 16 years. She is currently the Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist for the Portland District Office of the US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division. Prior to her current position Karen worked as an investigator for the Department.

 Karen bio photo



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