Executive Board Election 2018

Position Statement Questions from candidates

1. Why are you running for this position?
2. What can you contribute to the membership in this position?
3. What do you perceive to be SPEEA’s primary challenges and what are your solutions?
4. Problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution skills are critical for the position.
5. How have you helped an organization achieve an important goal?

5. How have you helped an organization achieve an important goal?

Mehmet Ugur Koksu (for President)

I was the lead systems engineer in charge of integration verification and validation requirements for government contracts. I obtained team and management support; got funding for the project, obtained required licenses from regulatory agencies, in concurrence ensured we were in compliance. We delivered the customer our Integration Test Verification and Validation execution plan on time, presented in PDR; and on budget. As a result the organization has been awarded $4 million award for meeting contractual milestone commitments.

Joel Funfar (for President)


Stood firm in the fight to retain our medical and other existing contractual benefits, despite employers’ efforts to cut these away. I worked to utilize the negotiation teams’ collective strength in dealing with the employer.

Council Meetings

As SPEEA Council Chairman, conducted meetings with over 130 people in multiple locations and time zones, balancing the need to administer business efficiently with the need for full debate of issues so all viewpoints were heard and being respectful of meeting length.

Yearly Budget Board meetings

As SPEEA Council Chairman, took steps to shorten the yearly main budget discussion and approval process. Held a pre-meetings to assure concerns with the budget could be addressed. Had the budget line items clearly explained by the Treasurer.

AIRBUS Subsidies

As Legislative & Public Affairs committee Chair, led a team of SPEEA activists and staff to investigate the Airbus subsidies issues and effects on our member’s jobs. Efforts to push this in various ways led to SPEEA & Boeing convincing the US Government to file the WTO case against the European Union.

Strike Leader

During the 2000 Strike, proudly served as a Plant 2 co-site Picketing Coordinator to ensure operations progressed smoothly. Worked with members experiencing problems during the strike and learned to speak with press reporters visiting the picket line, assuring our issues were clearly conveyed.

With your input, I will tirelessly represent all our members. I will reach out to our many new members, who are our future, and will make myself available to all.

I have done my best to increase my activity in SPEEA and broaden my knowledge about issues affecting us as members and want to proudly lead you as your SPEEA President.

We share a common destiny.

I respectfully ask for your vote.

Keith A. Covert (for President)

The Midwest Council has had many ideas over the last 4 years. Some ideas did not have merit, but other ideas were worth pursuing. I have worked with the Midwest Council to gather cost data and details of each idea, working through issues and concerns. Some ideas took a few days to write up while others took several months. Finally I was able to present these ideas to the executive board for approval.

The idea of purchasing a building and modifying it for SPEEA’s headquarters in Wichita took 20 years to realize. The first issue was finding a suitable property that the Midwest Council thought they could use and met their requirements for space. Over the years many officers would review available properties and were unable to find a suitable one. Shortly after I was elected Midwest Vice President in 2015, a property was found that the Midwest Council thought would meet their requirements in a good location. Over the course of a year and a few months and much discussion with the Executive Board, the Midwest Council was able to gather the information the Executive Board needed for due diligence. After renovations were made, the building opened for business in October 2016. This building provides SPEEA with visibility and access for the members and the Midwest Region.

Jimmie Mathis (for Treasurer)

As an Aircraft Designer, Pilot and Mechanic, I am involved in airport and aviation groups which have divergent views on their direction. These included the “no change” historical group to the “have to change now” group.

By defining a common condition, allowed us to work on smaller solutions and enabled the association as a whole to move forward.

SPEEA needed to find a way to move from a centralist design to a design that allows regions a voice. We found several ways to bring SPEEA to where we are today. Without this change, SPEEA would not be as strong as it is today.

Michelle L. Cooper (for Treasurer)

Every organization has important goals, for myself I sure that I have helped or supported many organizations that I am affiliated with to achieve an important goal.

As a board member and treasurer for the Covington library I was able to establish numerous method of online donations, Boeing included, and tripled our donations for the 2017 year.

Ryan Rule (for Secretary)
SPEEA leaders previously claimed our outreach to new hires had been a big problem. I attended more than 200 new hire orientations over the last few years to meet the new SPEEA-represented employees and talk with them briefly. I tell these new members about important benefits and how significant some of the differences are between being SPEEA represented and being non-union. Upon realizing that many new hires are unfamiliar with their retirement options or how to save efficiently, I crafted and presented an hour long presentation on unusual things that can be done with the Voluntary Investment Plan which was targeted to newer hires in order to get them to think about saving and about SPEEA as a source of information. The new hire committee hosted other topics of interest to newer hires, such as layoff/retention procedures and navigating parental leave. I intend to continue to push for sessions such as these and to interact with new hires at orientation, always being open to answering questions. As a direct result of these efforts, newer hires are more informed and involved than they were just a few years ago.
Stanley Huang (for Secretary)
Since my training on becoming an Area Rep back in August 2016, I’ve started to participate more in activities that help promote the awareness of unions. There are a lot of goals that the unions can strive for, but if no one knows who we are, then we have to learn how to market ourselves. As an Area Rep, I strived to provide the information to members around me by introducing myself to other’s I haven’t met before and to those who come new into my organization.
A few months later, I decided to join two committees: Young Members and New Hire. These committees gave me the chance to promote that awareness and increase membership sign-ups at new hire orientations. Almost every Friday in the Summer of 2017 leading into Winter, there would be a SPEEA orientation. I would attend to help educate new-hires on the benefits of union membership and information for being more involved in the union.
Dan Nowlin (for Secretary)

In all the above examples I have helped organizations to achieve important goals. I help reduce risk and implemented new safety standards, with specific recommendations to advance safety. I heard the voice of manufacturing, and increased our leverage to develop new manufacturing strategies. I worked and lead cross functional teams and take into consideration the needs of every organization. I have worked with and help them to achieve important goals.

One action that helped members advance a goal was a meeting with management to stop bad policy implementation. A member came to me asking for relief from an arbitrary policy requiring a strict dress code that did not have Policy or Executive backing. The member asked me to intervene. I requested Rich Plunket’s counsel and he advised me to contact a local executive. I scheduled the meeting with the executive and after she heard this issue, she had conversations with other leaders and the policy was withdrawn. My engagement with management and leadership has given me the opportunities to work in behalf of our members. I want your support to continue this work. Please vote for me as secretary in the upcoming election.