ILCA’s executive council serves for a term of two years and is comprised of labor communicators from across the country. For more on this talented group, please read below.
Lisa Martin is Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America. She joined the team in 2007 and has focused on internal communications capacity building for LIUNA affiliates as well as technology tools that enable communication and member engagement.
Previously Lisa worked as communications manager and editor at a non-profit environmental advocacy group. She lives in Riverdale, Maryland with her two children.
John Wojcik has been labor editor of the Peoples World since May 2007. The Peoples World, through the work of John and others, has been a regular feature of labor movement meetings and activities for many years. It provides state of the art coverage of the things labor and its allies do all over this country and does it with fairness and clarity unmatched in the major media. Prior to his tenure at Peoples World, Wojcik was, for ten years, a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey where, as a UFCW shop steward, he became part of the union’s negotiating committee. During his years as a meat cutter he was an activist in the movement to build support throughout northern New Jersey for Walmart workers and their right to form a union. In the 1990’s he was a special education teacher working with children and adults who needed remedial attention in reading and math. In the 1970’s and 1980’s he was active in independent political action campaigns supporting pro-labor candidates in Brooklyn and Manhattan and he was a regular writer for the Daily World, working during that period as the paper’s political action reporter. Along with being labor editor, Wojcik is also co-editor of Peoplesworld.org.
With more than 20 years of experience, media veteran Damon Romine is National Director, Communications & Marketing for SAG-AFTRA, an AFL-CIO union representing 160,000 actors, broadcasters and recording artists. In his role, Romine manages the union’s external communications, which includes branding, crisis management, member relations and the award-winning magazine, SAG-AFTRA. He joined the union in 2009 and helped shepherd the historic merger campaign that brought together SAG and AFTRA in early 2012. During his tenure, the union’s communications efforts have been recognized with awards from the International Labor Communications Association, the Public Relations Society of America and PRWeek.
Prior to joining the union, Romine spent four years as national spokesman and Entertainment Media Director of GLAAD where he worked tirelessly within the entertainment industry to elevate portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender images. At GLAAD he created the annual Network Responsibility Index and was the architect of “Be and Ally & a Friend,” the largest-ever LGBT multi-media PSA campaign.
Romine previously served in senior editorial roles for consumer entertainment magazines published by Hearst Magazines and Bauer Publishing, and as a communications consultant for the Television Academy Foundation. He has degrees in Communications and Broadcast Journalism, and a masters in Media and Communications Psychology.
Howard Kling grew up in a working class home and became a labor activist as the beginnings of Neoliberal capitalism devastated his hometown of Buffalo, NY. Howard leads a major coalition for jobs and economic planning that resulted in the 1981 Solidarity Day labor march in Washington, D.C., and organized unemployed councils throughout the city in the early 1980s. He also earned an MA/A.B.D. in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a concentration in theater and American working class literature where he also served two terms as president of the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU).
Howard spent time as an independent filmmaker and produced and co-edited three feature films that were purchased by Disney and released on cable and VHS. He used his experience as a filmmaker and organizer to become a videographer and communications activist focused on workers and labor issues. In 1988, he became a producer and vice president of a media production company in Washington, D.C. where he maintained a client list that included the IBEW, the BAC, and other unions. He joined the staff at the Labor Education Service (LES), University of Minnesota in 1991 as the Director of the LES Telecommunications Project (LESTP).
In that position, he helped guide LESTP toward more documentary video production and, by the mid-90s, into Internet communications, eventually spearheading creation of Workday Minnesota, the first online labor news service in the U.S.
Howard eventually became director of the entire Labor Education Service program, serving in that capacity for 10 years. He remains the director of the LES media program, now called the Worker Action Media project. He has been active in a variety of organizations and initiatives to promote media democracy and give voice to community and worker issues. He served as president of the Union Producers and Programmers Network (UPPNET) from 1994 through 2002 and co-organized a ground-breaking LaborTECH conference in the Twin Cities in the mid-90s.
In the late 90s-early 2000s, he served on the planning committee for three Labor’s Voices conferences that were held in NYC and was elected to the ILCA Executive Council. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans Howard proposed and organized the first ILCA Labor Media Convention Project that took place there in 2007. He continues as the founding board chair of the Public Economic Information Service (PEIS), the governing board for Workers Independent News, and is a former board member of the Twin Cities Media Alliance, publisher of the Twin Cities Daily Planet (tcdailyplanet.org). Howard is also a playwright and served as writer/director of Solidarity Kids Theater in the Twin Cities from 1996 through 2002. Howard is a member of IATSE Local 219.
Marci Toback Rosenblum is CEO of Tricomm Creative (formerly RWD Group), which she founded in 1991 after having previously worked in the journalism and public relations fields. While her clients are varied, the majority is labor unions, or businesses associated with labor unions. She is the Communications Director for CWA Local 1180, SEIU Local 246, Long Island Pubic Service Employees ILA Local 342, AFSCME Local 983, IUOE Local 30, and several New York City police unions to name a few.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Mass Communications (Go Gators!) — one of the highest ranked journalism schools in the country. She has years of experience as a newspaper reporter and as a press director for several New York State Senators. In addition to writing and graphic design for both print and web, she formulates and implements social media campaigns and strategies.
She is a member of the National Writers Union UAW Local 1981, the Graphic Artists Guild, National Association for Professional Women, and the Freelancers Union. She is also the Corresponding Secretary of the Central Park Precinct Community Council in New York City.
James A. McNamara is a 36-year veteran public relations executive with the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO. He was appointed Director of Public Relations for the 50,000-member organization in August 1981. He is responsible for coordinating the public relations and communications program for ILA.
McNamara began his professional writing career while in high school covering sports for a Long Island weekly, The Franklin Gazette. Later at Iona College, where he received his Bachelor Degree in 1977 in Communication Arts, McNamara was Sports Editor for the college newspaper, The Ionian, and editor-in-chief of the college annual, The ICANN. He later earned a Masters Degree in Public Communications from Fordham University in 1981.
McNamara has been a member of the International Labor Communication Association for 36 years. He has served as ILA’s Public Relations Director for four International presidents. A native of Woodside, Queens, McNamara and his wife of 41 years, Alice, reside in New Rochelle in Westchester County, New York. They are the parents of Elizabeth, who is married to Daniel Mueller and have three grandchildren.
Chelsea Connor currently serves as the Director of Communications for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU, UFCW) where she leads the strategic communications planning and execution work that tells the stories of the RWDSU’s 100,000 members from the retail industry to distribution to food processing and nursing industries. Ms. Connor joined the RWDSU in January 2017 after completing a two-year contract as the Head of Media Relations & Communications at the Consulate General of Canada in New York where she was responsible for the strategic communications planning and execution for the Consulate General and its portfolio foreign relations work. During her tenure, she managed a team of officers to place Consuls General, Canadian Ministers (including two Prime Ministers), and Dignitaries in the top print, broadcast, and online publications in both the U.S. and Canada. Through developing digital campaigns and strategies across the U.S. network, she tripled the Consulate General’s social media communities across three platforms, and implemented design, analytics, and reporting mechanisms.
Prior to joining the Consulate General Ms. Connor worked as political consultant for two firms in New York City. Most recently, she served as the Director of Communications for the MirRam Group where she worked with several clients across industries including: Comunilife, Livery Base Owners Association, Public Advocate Letitia “Tish” James, Congressman Adriano Espaillat, Councilmember Julissa Ferreras, UFCW 2013, TWU Local 100, AARP, and Aetna. Ms. Connor joined MirRam’s team in 2014 after working on the 2013 election cycle with the Advance Group where she also served as the Director of Communications. While there she worked on the hugely successful “Anybody But Quinn” campaign, on more than a dozen New York City Council campaigns and for a variety of non-profit organizations, labor unions and corporate clients including Bertha Lewis’s The Black Institute, CWA 1180 and Pledge2Protect.
Prior to working as a Political Consultant, Ms. Connor served as a Political Producer, Journalist & Researcher for Tom Brokaw on NBC News’ “Decision 2012” and previously on “Decision 2008” as part of the Emmy Award winning election night broadcast teams. Before reprising her role with NBC News in 2012, Ms. Connor served in the campaign press offices of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. A Brooklyn native, Ms. Connor is a graduate of F. H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts and holds a B.F.A from New York University and a M.A. from Fordham University in Elections and Campaign Management.
John started his career in Boston with the IUPAT back in 1994 as an Industrial Painter with District Council 35, Local 939. Moving between Industrial and Commercial Painting for the next 18 years came with its ups and downs. There were layoffs and very slow years but there were also many steady years that convinced him to stick to his Union, leading to a steady career and the pathway to retirement that we all enjoy. For John, layoffs meant an opportunity to pursue self-development and soon began to take classes in the creative fields of music, writing and graphic design. While maintaining his status as a member in good standing with his Council, he soon found that the two worlds of Unionism and Communications held a large void in how we get our message out to our membership eventually landing him at the National Labor College for Communications.
In the summer of 2009, there was a shift in leadership at District Council 35. That shift opened up an opportunity for John and was soon hired by DC 35 BMST Jeff Sullivan. He first served as Research and Communications, later moving up the ranks to succeed DC 35 Asst. to BMST, Paul Canning as Organizing Director as well as, Labor Political Coordinator for Boston’s first Building Trades Mayor, Martin J. Walsh. John used his office to develop strong relationships with developers, contractors and the communities we were building opportunity in. Seeing the intersectionality of the different positions he held along with his creative background allowed him to think outside the box and build the relationships we sometimes overlook as a movement.
As a movement, and as a union, we must ensure our public and member communications continually become stronger across all platforms. It is essential that our messaging consistently advance our shared mission while inspiring workers and our communities to support and organize around the IUPAT agenda.
Brother Doherty is a 23 year member of the IUPAT, has worked both, in the field as well as, the office and brings a tremendous level of skill, ingenuity, and experience to this role.
Mark Gruenberg is head of the Washington, D.C., bureau of People’s World. He is also the editor of Press Associates Inc. (PAI), a union news service in Washington, D.C. that he has headed since 1999. Previously, he worked as Washington correspondent for the Ottaway News Service, as Port Jervis bureau chief for the Middletown, NY Times Herald Record, and as a researcher and writer for Congressional Quarterly. Mark obtained his BA in public policy from the University of Chicago and worked as the University of Chicago correspondent for the Chicago Daily News.
John W. Perkinson, jr. is a senior staff writer for the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, and has been with the organization since 1996. Among his responsibilities, he routinely writes for Air Line Pilot magazine. Prior to ALPA, he worked in the Flight Operations and Inflight Services Departments of United Airlines. John has a Masters of Business Adminsitration from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington and Lee University.
Before joining ILCA’s staff, Jennifer Bryant was a right-to-income organizer with the DC Black Workers Center. She is a graduate of Howard University and holds a masters degree from St. John’s University. She is a radio journalist on WPFW 89.3FM where she co-hosts Arise with Bill Fletcher.