2019 Featured Speakers
Presented in alphabetical order
Executive Director, UFCW Western States Council
“Foresight for 2020: How Politics Affect Working People and the Unions Representing Them”
Amber is the executive director of the United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, which is the regional coordinating body of 11 UFCW Local Unions representing over 200,000 workers in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
Prior to becoming executive director in February 2019, she served as the council’s political director, helping elect pro-worker candidates and pursuing legislative solutions for the safety and welfare of working people and their families.
Before joining the UFCW, she was political director of the San Francisco Labor Council, where she was instrumental in increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and passing laws to ensure predictable schedules for workers and access to full-time employment.
“The Four Chord Member Experience:
Turning Members into Fans and Fans Into Advocates”
Patrick believes if you can’t create an emotional connection with member, prospective members and staff, you’ll lose them.
The former Nashville songwriter and performer agrees with Shakespeare that “life is a stage,” and the same principles that make great artists will enable you to become a star in the eyes of your members.
Patrick has spoken to and performed for more than 1,000 audiences in 50 states and many foreign countries, delivering a blend of humor, music and message to create an event full of energy and actionable ideas. He is the author of The Pancake Principle: 17 Sticky Ways to Make Your Customers Flip for You and a collaborator on a comedy album with Jeff Foxworthy, Steve Martin, Larry the Cable Guy and Jeanne Robertson.
One of Patrick’s audience members described him as “what happens when keynotes, comedy and concerts…collide.”
Director of Collective Bargaining, UFCW International Union
“Trends in National Contract Negotiations”
Milton is director of collective bargaining for the 1.3 million-member UFCW International Union. He has served the International Union for nearly 30 years and has been a labor activist for more than 40 years.
He began his career with Kroger in Florence, Ala., where he worked as courtesy clerk when he was in high school. After graduating, he served four years in the U.S. Navy before returning to Kroger. In 1986, he became a steward after transferring to a Kroger store in Nashville and served as a VOC (now a SPUR) with Local 1557 (now Local 1995).
In 1990, he joined the UFCW International in Atlanta, Ga., working as an organizer, general organizer and international representative. He made his way up the ranks, and in the past 15 years he has served as executive assistant to the regional director of Region 2 in Philadelphia; assistant and executive assistant to the international organizing director; and executive assistant to the international collective bargaining director in Washington, D.C.
In 2015, he was promoted to director of Region 5 (Southern) and elected an international vice president. In June 2018, he was promoted to director of national bargaining. In April 2019, he was elected executive vice president of the UFCW.
Operations Director, Perfect Union Northside
“Insights into the Cannabis Industry: How to Succeed in a Budding Industry”
David is the operations director of Perfect Union Northside, an organization which sets standards for quality and service for cannabis dispensaries in Oakland. His record of creating compliant business structures has resuted in jobs for hundreds of workers.
As a student at Oaksterdam University, he gained knowledge of the history of the cannabis industry, as well as California’s cannabis laws, policies and procedures. David has used this knowledge to work with local and national charitable organizations while advancing Perfect Union’s mission of providing customers with a well-run, financially sound and professional organization on which they can depend.
His close work with the UFCW has given him insight on how to serve the needs of cannabis workers from all walks of life, ensuring they have the tools to be assets to employers and consumers. Notably, his collective bargaining agreements have offered defined-benefit pension plans and other benefits to employees.