Dian Palmer, President
Dian was the first person in her family to graduate from college. She is the oldest of eight children, and she wanted a career where she could make a living for her family and also give back to the community. Her career started in a nursing home, and then went on to work for a hospital and a sexual assault treatment center. She found her voice while working as a registered nurse, where she and her co-workers successfully organized the nurses in their facility. There was no looking back. She has been a member of SEIU for 29 years, mother of three sons, and has one grandson. Dian was president of SEIU Healthcare WI before coming to Local 73 where she was asked to serve as co-trustee during the union’s transition period. As a labor leader for over 20 years, her commitment and dedication has never wavered. She is proud to currently serve as president of SEIU Local 73, since November 2018, where she’s committed to building a strong, growing, and politically active union. Palmer holds a B.S. in Nursing from Carroll College/Columbia School of Nursing and is a State of Wisconsin Public Health Nurse specializing in Chronic Diseases in Minority Populations.
Joseph Richert, Secretary-Treasurer
Joseph became an SEIU member 35 years ago when he was a custodian at Cicero School District. In 2000, he accepted an organizer position with Local 73 where he’s had many leadership positions leading to his successful campaign to currently serve as Secretary-Treasurer. He is proud to serve the members of Local 73 and will continue to put members first in the fight for social justice, economic justice, safe working conditions, respect, and dignity for all workers. He is a graduate of DePaul University’s Labor Education Program.
Jeffrey Howard, Executive Vice President
Jeffrey is a third-generation union member with 29 years of experience, serving at all levels of leadership in the union movement. He is a proud veteran of the United States Air Force. In his labor career he has served in many different capacities from shop steward to secretary-treasurer of a 55,000-member local union, has worked for 3 different unions and collaborated with many others across the United States. Those experiences have helped shape his values and taught him how to be an effective leader and advocate for workers. He wants to innovate, inspire, and ignite all Local 73 members in the struggle for workplace and social justice. Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in Union Administration and Leadership from the National Labor College and is the proud father to four successful children.
Science Meles, Executive Vice President
Science has been a member of the SEIU Local 73 family for over 10 years: as an organizer, business representative, assistant director and division director of the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park District divisions representing over 10,000 members. She believes being an organizer is not a job, but a way of life, and she has dedicated herself to the members of Local 73 and the labor movement for her entire career. Her goal has been to help improve members lives through organizing and engaging members in, and winning strong contracts. She is a strong believer that it is through organizing and collective action that workers can have sustainable communities, schools, receive fair wages/benefits and have the opportunity to pursue the “American Dream.” Meles is a graduate of California State University at Long Beach.
Robert Bisbee, Vice President
Robert has been employed with the Chicago Park District for 22 years, currently as a park supervisor. He has been an active member of Local 73 since 2004. He has served as a shop steward, elected to Executive Board and was member of bargaining team for Chicago Park District. He also volunteers his time and service to numerous committees, rallies and trainings throughout the Union, currently serving as a member of the Political Engagement Committee. Bisbee has served 13 years with the Illinois Army National Guard.
Roy Chavadiyil, Vice President
Roy was born in India and immigrated to the US. He completed his Masters in Science at Kerala University, India. After arriving here, he received his diploma in Radiology at the Cook County School of Radiology and later completed a certificate program in Cardiac Interventional Technology at the College of DuPage. He is currently working in the Cath Lab at Cook County Hospital as a Cath Lab Technologist. He serves as Chief Steward for technician and technologist contracts. He has represented his brothers and sisters in many grievances and have provided successful outcomes while serving as the Midwest regional chair person for the SEIU API caucus.
Cathleen Jensen, Vice President
In a home with both parents being city workers, Cathleen did not need to be taught the value of unions. She saw it in the peace of mind job stability, safe working conditions, fair wages and secure pensions brought to her parents. Her firefighter dad and public school secretary mom taught her about the duty of service and gave her the understanding that all should do their part. She has worked as an Occupational Therapist for the past 30 years. Occupational Therapists are trained to analyze tasks, break them down into steps, and figure out the most efficient way to achieve a goal. Goal setting, problem solving, and decision making are core skills for Occupational Therapists. 30 years doing this work, helping people to reach their goals and live lives of value has prepared her to be a leader at Local 73. Being able to listen to members, pinpoint issues, achieve goals and solve problems is what she does best.
Camille Redman, Vice President
Camille comes from a strong union family. She has been a member of Local 73 for over 19 years. She is a Public Service Representative at the Secretary of State in Clinton, Illinois and has been part of the Bargaining Committee for the last 4 contracts. She has been a Chief Steward for 10 years and represented members in grievance hearings, Inspector General investigations and other disciplinary conferences. She was elected to the County Board in Dewitt County and is the co-chairwoman, chairing the Finance Committee. Politics is in her blood. She is a member of the Political Engagement Committee at Local 73.
Alfred Rodriguez, Vice President
Alfred Rodriguez has been a dedicated Special Education Classroom Assistant with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for fourteen years. He currently works at Northside Learning Center and has served as a union steward with Local 73 for five years. He is a committed member of the CPS Contract Action Team and was a crucial voice on the Committee of the Future that helped pave the structure for a new Local 73. When he’s not in the classroom with his students, he is assisting in the annual Special Olympics.
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS