IBEW 1245 organizing staffers Charlotte Stevens, Rick Thompson and Rene Cruz Martinez, along with Organizing Stewards Maria Renteria, Michael Tilden, Gordon Young, and Brandon Fosselman, represented Local 1245 at the IBEW International’s 2022 Membership Development Conference in San Antonio, TX.
The conference was preceded by a three-day pre-conference organizing training, with options for newer and more experienced organizers.
“In the new organizing training, they expounded on the fundamentals of planning and preparing for a campaign,” 1245 Organizer Charlotte Stevens reported. “I appreciated learning with organizers from different locals and sharing best practices. It was a great opportunity to further develop my skills as an organizer.”
On Tuesday, August 30, the general Membership Development conference was called to order by IBEW 1245’s own Jammi Ouellete, who is now overseeing membership development for IBEW International. The conference was packed with training sessions, seminars, workshops and guest speakers.
“The classes and presentations we attended were educational and enlightening,” said Organizing Steward Michael Tilden. “Being extremely new to organizing and the strategies involved, I felt like I was being inundated with lots of new terms and concepts, but in a good way. Just like at the Ninth District Progress Meeting earlier this year, I was inspired by the level of camaraderie, solidarity, and spirited energy amongst the Members at each of the classes and presentations.”
“The breakout sessions were more targeted and provided insight on specific processes for organizers,” reported Organizing Steward Brandon Fosselman. “I personally attended a training on the NLRB and submitting petitions to the NLRB. On day two, I attended a training on marketing your campaign and unfair labor practices. All of the sessions were detailed and important to the overall training.”
“The conference courses were rewarding and engaging. I attended sessions dedicated to practicing real-world scenarios where organizers practiced active listening, practical ‘dos and don’ts,’ and tips for facilitating organizing conversations,” Organizing Steward Gordon Young said. “I also learned about the use of data and information when analyzing and gathering information for strategic campaigning. And I was able to engage with hundreds of members from across the country, reflecting on best practices for membership development.”
“Fired up and ready to go! This last week of trainings, conferences and classes has definitely sparked up a new fuse for me in working with our union,” added Organizing Steward Maria Renteria. “We were taught and reminded basic skills to engage with our fellow brothers and sisters. We were instilled information to help us reach our audience. Most importantly, we were awarded with lessons that we will not only use while on the job, but in our day-to-day life as well.”
Rene Cruz Martinez contributed to this report.