Our Team

WHO WE ARE

Meet the officers and staff on Michigan AFL-CIO’s team. The Michigan AFL-CIO is staffed by a team of folks dedicated to improving the lives of working families, bringing economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation.

Ron Bieber

PRESIDENT

Daryl Newman

SECRETARY-TREASURER

Derek Dobies

CHIEF OF STAFF

Stephanie Brown

CONTROLLER

Zinnia Kallabat

DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF

Ryan Sebolt

DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Conner Wood is the Campaigns Director for the Michigan AFL-CIO. A campaign operative by trade, Conner most recently served as the Field Coordinator for the Huron Valley ALF and Monroe-Lenawee CLC. A fifth-generation Michigander, Conner was born and raised in Isabella County. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Electoral College. In addition to his work in the labor movement, Conner currently serves as Board Secretary for the United Way of Jackson County and as Chair of the 7th Congressional District Democratic Party. He is a proud member of the Detroit News Guild, CWA 34022. He and his wife Kelsey (herself an active CWA member) live in Jackson.

Conner Wood

CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR, FAIR MAPS PROJECT

Payton Ferris - Digital Director

Payton Ferris

DIGITAL DIRECTOR

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Jessica Bibbee

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Chris Palette

NATIONAL AFL-CIO DATA COORDINATOR

Luke Canfora

NATIONAL AFL-CIO SENIOR FIELD REPRESENTATIVE

Cajsa Maki

UPRLF FIELD COORDINATOR

Joey Andrews

REGIONAL FIELD DIRECTOR (WESTERN)

Joe Bellgowan

REGIONAL FIELD DIRECTOR (CENTRAL)

Jamiel Martin

POLITICAL DIRECTOR (METRO DETROIT)

Trent Varva

FIELD COORDINATOR (HURON VALLEY & MONROE-LENAWEE)

Bill Elliot

BUILDING MANAGER

Advocates

Michigan AFL-CIO Advocates is our public advocacy nonprofit organization. Our mission is to unite labor leaders, policy makers, and the general public to educate and advocate around policies, programs and projects that can bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to communities across Michigan.

Jasmine Kaltenbach

Executive Director

Jasmine Kaltenbach was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan where she comes from a family of union members. While attending the University of Michigan, Jasmine participated in student activist movements on campus and in College Democrats. She recently ran a competitive mayoral race in Jackson, Michigan and has experience in sales, field organizing, event planning, and fundraising.

She is excited to work at the Michigan AFL-CIO advancing pro-labor municipal policies that will help Michigan’s working families. Jasmine is a member of UAW Local 1981.

Labor Foundation

The Michigan AFL-CIO Labor Foundation is our affiliated charitable nonprofit organization. Our mission is to curtail generational economic and social injustice through long-term investment in the memorialization, education, and association of the Michigan labor movement within our communities.

Elizabeth Gotham

Executive Director

Elizabeth (Elle) Gotham is a licensed attorney in Michigan with expertise in labor and employment law. Prior to joining the Federation, Elle owned a law practice where she fought to protect workers’ rights under the Civil Rights Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Labor Standards Act and corresponding state laws.

Elle hails from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where she grew up on the shores of Lake Superior. After attending Michigan State University, she moved to the City of Detroit where she still resides today. Elle worked for Congressman John Dingell for three years before attending Wayne State University Law School. There she served as Managing Editor of the Wayne Law Review and graduated first in her class. As someone who has advised and represented employees across various industries in court, and as a working mom herself, Elle is acutely aware of the challenges facing Michigan workers and their families. She is dedicated to advancing the mission of the Michigan AFL-CIO’s Labor Foundation so that all Michiganders can feel the power and benefits of collective action.

Elle Gotham

Workforce Development Institute

The Michigan AFL-CIO Workforce Development Institute is our affiliated nonprofit developing the next generation of Michigan workers. Our mission is to combat economic and environmental injustice by connecting the unemployed or underemployed with the training and resources necessary to find gainful employment and transition to a cleaner, greener economy.

Cheryl Sanford Chief Executive Officer Michigan Workforce Development Institute ( formerly Michigan HRDI)

Cheryl Sanford

Chief Executive Officer

As the Chief Executive Officer for the Workforce Development Institute, Cheryl Sanford has over 30 years of experience as a workforce development professional providing services for job seekers and employers. Her areas of expertise include program development, grant writing

 business services, and project management.  She works with local and state economic developers to provide assistance for businesses ranging from self-employed entrepreneurs to large corporations.

Raised in Highland Park, MI, Cheryl is committed to serving her community.  She was elected to the Highland Park School Board in 2018 and serves on several other boards including The Highland Park Business Association, Solidarity, and the United Community Housing Coalition. She is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Journalism.

Cheryl Sanford

CEO

Missy Guth-Beach

COO

Saher Abdulmalek

BUSINESS SERVICE REP

Kimberly Allen-Bradfield

BUSINESS SERVICE REP

Annette Donnelly

FISCAL / CONTRACT MANAGER

Sam Dougherty

SW DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Kiah Esaw

CASE MANAGER

Blaine Farr

COORDINATOR / BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PROFESSIONAL

Michelle Fowler

PROGRAM TECHNICIAN III / CAREER COACH

Julie Gregory

PROGRAM TECHNICIAN III

Beverly Hogan

CASE MANAGER

Keoshi Gardner

BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PROFESSIONAL / CNA CAREER COACH

Walt Lodes

OPERATIONS/TRAINING MANAGER

Megan Tappenden

CASE MANAGER

Ron Merritt

CASE MANAGER

Ken Miller

BUSINESS SERVICE REP

Sandy Payne

PROGRAM TECHNICIAN III

Michael Piper

APPRENTICESHIP NAVIGATOR

Colleen Sullivan

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Brianna Ward

LEAD BUSINESS SOLUTIONS PROFESSIONAL / CAREER COACH

Bethany Smith

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

Kaelyn Lewis

CASE MANAGER

Sherry White-Harrison

COORDINATOR

Kevin Weeks

SE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Community Services

The Michigan AFL-CIO Community Services Department represents the partnership between the Michigan AFL-CIO and the Michigan Association of United Ways. The convening provides education, training, and service opportunities for union members to join with local United Ways in developing powerful responses to challenges faced in communities across Michigan.

Michele Basemore

METRO-DETROIT AFL-CIO

Tiffany Bush

UW SOUTHEASTERN MI

Jesse Cloman Sr.

UW GENESEE COUNTY

Alicia Dennis

UW SOUTHEASTERN MI

Richard Franz

TRI-COUNTY LABOR AGENCY

Tanise Hill

SE MICHIGAN UW

Steve Lamb

UW SAGINAW COUNTY

Teresa McGinnis

UW GENESEE COUNTY

Rella Bittner

UW WASHTENAW COUNTY

David Pawloski

UW BATTLE CREEK/KALAMAZOO

Dan TenHoopen

HEART OF WEST MI UW

Nikkia Hurlbert

UW JACKSON COUNTY

Robert Cramer

MI ASSOCIATION UW

Janavive Routt

UW LAKESHORE