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Union's annual Leadership Conference draws 150
Updated On: Oct 03, 2012
Blaine Rummel of the AFSCME International Communications Department makes a point in the social media workshop at the Council 75 Leadership Conference.

Members, staff and others convene at Sunriver for multiple training opportunities

About 150 Oregon AFSCME members, family, staff and guests gathered Sept

About 150 Oregon AFSCME members, family, staff and guests gathered Sept. 28-30 at Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon for the Council 75 2012 Leadership Training Conference.


The Leadership Conference is held each year and alternates east and west side of the Cascades; the 2013 event is scheduled for Lincoln City. Participants at Sunriver were greeted at Friday night's opening session by Oregon AFSCME Executive Director Ken Allen.


"This is always one of my favorite union events because I see so many faces I don't know — new people becoming involved with our union," said Allen. "That's a very good thing."


The feature session included Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men on "Creative Campaigning." Bonanno led attendees through a discussion of his group's tricks of the trade, plus exercises designed to serve as brainstorming for local union actions. The event wrapped up with Marcus Widenor of the University of Oregon's Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) leading an interactive session on building the union through emphasizing its history and telling our stories.


On a side note, Sept. 30 was also Widenor's last official workday before retirement. At his session's close, Oregon AFSCME President Gary Gillespie presented Widenor with a card, gift and a large retirement cake shared by all.


In between Bonanno and Widenor, Leadership Conference participants chose from four workshop topics: a political workshop with Council 75 Political Director Joe Baessler; building local unions while involving new members with Oregon AFSCME Organizer Dan Abernathy and Council 75 Staff Representative Becky Steward; identifying leaders in the workplace with Council 75 Organizer Sushma Raghavan; and a social media workshop team-taught by AFSCME International Communications Department staffers Blaine Rummel and Chuck Westover, assisted by national union trainer Debra Kidney.


Participants also had the opportunity to grill Allen with questions during what has become an annual "Q & A with the Executive Director" session during the Saturday luncheon.


You can click here to jump to a photo gallery of the event. Once there, make sure you are in the "Details View" (the link should take you there). It's then easiest to click on the first picture on the upper right and, once that picture opens, use the arrow buttons to navigate through the rest of the photo gallery.





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