Leadership

In April 1199SEIU members voted to re-elect Pres. George Gresham and Sec. Treas Maria Castaneda to a third three-year term leading the Union. Reflecting the Union’s continued growth, members cast their ballots in this election for a newly-structured leadership, which is designed to meet the challenges of a changing healthcare industry. The changes are largely in the New York Region; they reflect the growth and evolution of the long-term care industry and hospitals into mega-health systems.

An Election Board comprised of 20 members and 20 alternates was appointed by the Executive Council. Executive Officers, Organizers and Delegates were sworn in at a Joint Delegate Assembly in New York City in June. Delegates were also sworn in at Regional Delegate Assemblies.

The American Arbitration Association counted a total of 21,819 votes in the mail-ballot election.

Leadership | Executive Vice Presidents | Vice Presidents | Union Wide Vice Presidents At Large | Organizers | Elected Rank & File Executive Council Members


George Gresham

President, 1199SEIU

George Gresham was was born in Virginia and his family moved north to New York City when he was young. His mother was a homecare worker, and his father eventually got a union job as a truck driver, which helped provide some stability for their family.
Mr. Gresham began his career in the housekeeping department at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. He soon moved up to become a clerk in the radiology department and then – through the 1199 Training Fund – studied to become an MRI Technologist. Over four decades, he has held nearly every position in the union, including member delegate, organizer, vice president, executive vice president and secretary-treasurer, and was elected president in 2007.
Mr. Gresham’s leadership has secured the highest standards for healthcare workers in the nation, including fair wages, affordable health benefits, dignified retirement, continuing education, childcare, safe staffing and a real voice on the job. He has also led the union’s growth to over 400,000 members throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida.
Mr. Gresham has built a powerful voice for healthcare workers in local, state and federal government, and is a national leader for social justice. He believes strongly that the union movement must work together with coalitions to advance progressive causes, including access to quality healthcare, living wages, environmental protection and the rights of women, immigrants, the LGBT community and people of color. Gresham is on the boards of the NAACP; Children’s Defense Fund; A. Philip Randolph Institute; Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Murphy Institute Labor Advisory Board; Consortium for Worker Education; Partnership for Quality Care; and SEIU, which is the largest union in the U.S. with over 2 million members.
He is married and the proud father of three children and one granddaughter and lives in the Bronx, New York.
Read President Gresham's latest op-ed in the New York Daily News on making labor unions stronger so we can grow and help working families.

Maria Castaneda

Secretary-Treasurer, 1199SEIU

Maria Castaneda has served as secretary treasurer of 1199SEIU United Health Care Workers East since 2007. The union represents over 400,000 healthcare workers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Maria holds the union’s second highest rank after Pres. George Gresham and among labor leaders in the U.S. she is the highest-ranking woman of Asian descent.
Born in the Philippines, Maria immigrated to the U.S. in 1984. She became a volunteer community organizer in New York City where she assisted Filipino nurses with immigration issues and promoted Filipino culture. During that time, she also lobbied for the Nursing Relief Act, which gave permanent resident status to thousands of Filipino nurses employed in the U.S.
She began working for 1199SEIU in 1985, starting as an organizer in the union’s RN Division and later serving as a vice president and executive vice president. Over her career she’s represented tens of thousands of workers at New York City’s Mount Sinai Health System (including the former Continuum Health Partners), NYU Lutheran Health System and Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
Among her many contributions is the institution of a new labor-management relations model: the strategic partnership. This relationship is built on quality patient care and worker engagement. Under her leadership and guidance, frontline workers have acted as quality coaches and helped facilities reduce acquired infections and clinic wait times, improve patient satisfaction, and carry out a host of other successful initiatives. She believes when caregivers have input in labor-management efforts, they promote safe care for their patients and more job satisfaction for their co-workers.
Maria is passionately dedicated to educational advancement and equal access to health and wellness services. In her role, she’s sought expansion of the 1199SEIU’s Training and Upgrading program to ensure greater availability to more union members of these world-renowned worker training programs. She has sparked greater member participation in 1199SEIU’s worksite wellness programs and health fairs. She champions a healthful lifestyle including exercise, smoking cessation and nutrition choices to combat obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
In times of disaster or international crisis, she spearheads 1199’s relief efforts. Most recently she was the driving force behind 1199SEIU’s fundraising campaign for victims of the Nepal earthquake. In 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, Maria and other SEIU leaders raised almost $600,000 in relief funds and another $1.3 million for other necessities like food, medicines and infant formula. She also led the massive outreach after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which included coordinating donations from Americares, a fundraising drive and mobile outreach to members in affected areas. She also oversaw 1199SEIU’s We Care for Haiti committee, which helped donate over $1 million through UNICEF after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Maria Castaneda is also a vice president of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union.

Executive Vice Presidents


Laurie Vallone
CBO / Pharmacy
Executive Vice President

Rona Shairo
Home Care
Executive Vice President

Gregory Speller
Hudson Valley / Capital
Executive Vice President

Estela Vazquez
Montefiore
Executive Vice President

Maria Kercado
Mt. Sinai
Executive Vice President


Steve Kramer
NSLIJ (Northwell)
Executive Vice President

Joyce Neil
NYU
Executive Vice President

Jacqueline Alleyne
Presbyterian
Executive Vice President

Norma Amsterdam
Registered Nurses
Executive Vice President

Ruth Heller
Upstate / Western New York
Central NY
Executive Vice President


Monica Russo


Florida Region
Executive Vice President

Lisa Brown
Maryland/DC Region
Executive Vice President

Tyrek Lee
Massachusetts Region
Executive Vice President

Milly Silva
Nursing Home & New Jersey Region
Executive Vice President

Veronica Turner
Downstate Health Systems
Sr. Executive Vice President

Yvonne Armstrong
Downstate Long Term Care
Sr. Executive Vice President

Back to top

Vice Presidents


Winslow Luna
CBO 1
Dialysis / FQHC / MD
Vice President

Donald Crosswell
CBO 2
Mental Health / DD / MISC.
Vice President


Berta Silva
CBO / Pharmacy
Pharmacy
Vice President


Vladimir Fortunny
Home Care A
Vice President


Leah Nelson
Home Care B
Vice President


Keith Joseph
Home Care C
Vice President


Kwai Ho (David)
Home Care D
Vice President


Rene Ruiz
Home Care E
Vice President


Ana Vazquez
NY / Hudson Valley / Capital
Hudson Valley
Vice President


Patrick Forde
Montefiore
Off Sites
Vice President




Sui Ling Xu
Montefiore
Bronx Independents
Vice President

Gladys Wrenick
Montefiore
Montefiore
Vice President


Saily Cabral
Mt. Sinai
Upper Manhattan
Vice President


Manuel Leon
Mt. Sinai
BI Petrie Bklyn/Queens
Vice President


Eunice Forde
NSLIJ (Northwell)
Lenox/ Westchester/ Queens
Vice President


Brian Joseph
NSLIJ (Northwell)
Independents / Off Sites
Vice President


Coraminita Mahr
NSLIJ (Northwell)
Maimonides SIUH SI
Vice President



Margaret West-Allen
NSLIJ (Northwell)
LIJ /Northshore (Northwell)
Vice President


Gerard Cadet
NYU
NYU / HHC
Vice President


Victor Rivera
NYU / Lutheran
Brooklyn Independent
Vice President



Michael Ashby
Presbyterian
NY Presbyterian / SSA
Vice President


Antonio Howell
Presbyterian
Presbyterian / Other Off Sites
Vice President

Patricia Marthone
Registered Nurses
Area A
Vice President


Nadine Williamson
Registered Nurses
Area B
Vice President

Kevin Lockhart
Upstate / Western New York
Central NY
Vice President


Todd Hobler
Upstate / Western New York
Western NY Nursing Homes
Vice President

Bruce Popper
Upstate / Western New York
Rochester/Corning
Vice President


James Scordato
Upstate / Western New York
Western NY Hospitals
Vice President


Kathy Tucker
Upstate / Western New York
North Country
Vice President

Stephanie Shaw
Florida Region
HCA East
Vice President


Robert Gibson
Florida Region
HCA West
Vice President

Margarette Nerette
Florida Region
Long Term Care
Vice President


Jude Derisme
Florida Region
Tenet
Vice President


DeQuasia Canales
Florida Region
UMH
Vice President


Raymond Dorsey
Maryland / DC Region
Baltimore Hospitals
Vice President



Jennifer Epps

Maryland / DC Region
Registered Nurses
Vice President


Donta Marshall
Maryland / DC Region
Long Term Care
Vice President


Antoinette Turner

Maryland / DC Region
DC/PG
Vice President

Jerry Fishbein
Massachusetts Region
Cape/Southeast
Vice President


Filanine Deronnette
Massachusetts Region
BMC / Community
Vice President


Herbert Jean Baptiste
Massachusetts Region
LTC Nursing Home
Vice President


Rebecca Gutman
Massachusetts Region
PCA
Vice President

Mary Ellen Levelle
Massachusetts Region
Steward Health Systems
Vice President


Clauvice St. Hilaire
New Jersey Region
Area A
Vice President

Roy Garcia
New Jersey Region
Area B
Vice President

Julio Vives
Nursing Home
Area A
Vice President

Shaywaal Amin
Nursing Home Division
Area B
Vice President

Noreen Wray
Nursing Home Division
Area C
Vice President


Patricia Smith
Nursing Home Division
Area D
Vice President


Frances Gentle
Nursing Home Division
Area E
Vice President

Joseph Chinea
Nursing Home Division
Area F
Vice President


Dalton Mayfield
Nursing Home Division
Area H
Vice President
Timothy Rodgers
Nursing Home Division
Area I
Vice President

William Kee
Nursing Home Division
Area J
Vice President

Back to top

Union Wide Vice Presidents at Large


Mark Bergen

Dale Ewart


Tim Foley


David Greenberg


Patricia Lippold


Ron McCalla

Rhina Molina-Munck Barbara Rosenthal

Helen Schaub


Onika Shepherd


Allan Sherman

Katherine Taylor


Daine Williams

Back to top

Organizers


Lystra Campbell
Union Wide Organizers At Large


Joseph Comer
Florida

Cletus Gay
Political Action

Jerusha Jacobs
NH-CA

Elise Laviscount
Nursing Home B

Damon McGee
Nursing Homes
Kathy Ville
Upstate New York
Sheron Whitter
Nursing Homes

Anicia Nelson
Unlimited Staff Representative

Back to top

Rank and File Members


Clifton Barker
CBO Area 1
Dialysis / FQMD

Michael Mack
CBO Area 2
Mental Health / DD / Misc

Carmen Schaefer
CBO Pharmacy
Pharmacy


Carmen Lopez
Home Care A

Phyllis Smith
Home Care A


Patricia Ohara
Home Care B


Kim Thompson-Werekoh
Home Care B

Sukoya Charles
Home Care C


Norva Morris Lewis
Home Care C

Michelle Wang
Home Care D

Irma Miller
Home Care E


Natalie Denise King
NY / Hudson Valley
Capital

Nancy Stokes
NY / Hudson Valley
Hudson

Thomas Cloutier
Montefiore
Bronx Independents

Maurice Depalo
Montefiore


Carmenta Dawkins
Montefiore
Off-Site

Jacnyth Stewart
Mt. Sinai BI Petrie
Brooklyn / Queens

Felix Quinones
Mt. Sinai Upper Manhattan

Margaret Paul
NSLIJ (Northwell)
Lenox Hill / Westchester / Queens

Frazier Dudley-Gaines
NSLIJ (Northwell)
LI Independents Off-Site

Denise Dawkins
NSLIJ (Northwell)
LIJ / North Shore

Berthelia Robinson
NSLIJ (Northwell)
Maimonides / SIUH / SI

Dennese Wray
Nursing Home A



Shirley Young
Nursing Home B


Kervin Campbell
Nursing Home C

Leah Holland
Nursing Home D


Fred Hicks
Nursing Home E


Opal Townsend
Nursing Home F


Millicent Peterkin
Nursing Home H

Judy Sadeli
Nursing Home I


Maurice Mintz
Nursing Home J


Paulatte Forbes
NYU/Lutheran/Brooklyn Independents

Marie James
NYU / HHC

Eduardo Santiago
NY Presbyterian / SSA

Shaquanna King
Presbyterian / Other Offsites


Debra Friedland
Registered Nurses A

Allys Ansah-Arkorful
Registered Nurses B

Roanna Abborino
Upstate / Western NY / Central NY

Hatisha Holmes
Upstate / Western NY / Central NY

Sue Hayes
Upstate / Western NY / North Country

Marguerite Clarkson
Upstate / Western NY /
Rochester/ Corning

Ruth Johnson
Upstate /Western NY/
WNY Nursing Homes

William English
Upstate / Western NY / WNY Hospitals

Victoria Owens
Retired Members Division

Patricia Sherran Diaz
Florida
HCA East

Leora Stirrat
Florida
HCA West

Brenda Young
Florida
Long Term Care

Phil King
Florida
Tenet

Elizabeth Jazon
Florida
University of Miami Hospital

Renee Neal
Maryland / DC
Baltimore Hospitals

Alma Ames
Maryland / DC
DC/PG

Sheldale Washington
Maryland / DC
Long Term Care

Ionis Riley
Maryland / DC
RN

Jeanie Oliver
Massachusetts
BMC / Community

Lisa Murphy
Massachusetts
Cape / Southeast

Rosie Cantave
Massachusetts
LTC Nursing

Kindalay Cummings Akers
Massachusetts
Steward Health Systems

Jeanitha Louigene
New Jersey A

Cheryl Roberts
New Jersey B

Back to top