New York, NY — LaborPress recently held its annual Leadership Awards Reception in midtown Manhattan. The honorees included Angelo Angelone, president, New York Concrete Workers District Council, LiUNA, Rebecca Damon, president, New York Local, SAG-AFTRA, Kim Medina, executive director, District Council 1707, AFCSME, Michael Smith, president, Local 810, IBT, and Patricia White, president, Local 764, IATSE. LP publisher Neal Tepel and labor attorney Vincent Pitta served as reception chair members.
Tepel, began the evening by recognizing legislators in the standing-room-only audience. “The attack on unions in social media is real…and has led to the discrediting of labor unions,” he said. The LP publisher also gave an update on LaborPress’s expansion in media, including its recent sixteen-page spreads in the Daily News, and how LaborPress has been working with Sid Paterson Advertising on the supplement. He informed the crowd about the upcoming summer cruise aboard the “Anthem of the Seas,” where passengers will be able to meet and greet union presidents.
Bruce Cooper, partner, Pitta, LLP, honored Angelo Angelone for his “long career in the construction business, where he worked his way through the ranks.”
“Unquestionably, integrity is the word here,” Cooper added. Calling Angelone “highly respected” and “a true role model for the union’s members.”
Legendary NYC broadcaster Jim Kerr, vice president, New York Local, SAG-AFTRA celebrated Rebecca Damon and the “great privilege of knowing her,” how she came to New York, like so many others, with a dream, but knew that “the difference between being a performer and aspiring to be an artist was a union card.”
Kerr cited Damon’s successful work in the merger of SAG and AFTRA as one of her great accomplishments. “She is an understanding labor leader who cares deeply about all her members,” Kerr said, while noting that to be successful, union members must be “one big committed loving family.” Damon, herself, took the podium to stress that “it’s so exciting to be in a room with that labor movement.” She said that, in spite of the difficult times, “you don’t really need labor leaders when the times are easy; you need them when they are hard. We are called to be our better angels.”
LP’s publisher saluted Kim Medina, calling her, “Tremendous, a true lady and a true star.” Medina spoke of her family history as a third generation trade unionist, saying, “The union runs in our family and in our blood. I congratulate my fellow employees and understand it’s the union that gets us where we want to go in the country. From bus drivers to cashiers, you are the social conscience of the world.”
Dan Kane, Jr., president, Local 202, IBT, presented Michael Smith’s award. The Local 202 leader spoke of Smith’s extraordinary energy and ability to look at things differently, noting that young people naturally gravitate to both these things and that unions need them. “They are the hope of tomorrow,” said Kane. Smith said, “God is number one with me, he is not looking for perfection with me, he is looking for progress.” Since the age of 23, Smith also said that he’s been looking for what “solidarity was all about.”
Matthew Loeb, international president, IATSE, presented the LP Labor Leadership award to Patricia White, saying, “we are champions here on behalf of the real champions who are getting the work done.” Loeb went on to call White “a real leader.” White said that though Loeb was her boss, “it is because of his many accomplishments” that the work was getting done. “We are lucky to live in at this moment in time, even though it doesn’t seem like it because all of us, just by doing our job, can connect our principles with what we do every day.”
Angelone took time out to salute LaborPress, saying, “What you do is amazing.”