Vermont State Employees’ Association welcomes new executive director

For Immediate Release:

December 5, 2011

Contact: Doug Gibson

(802) 223-5247

Vermont State Employees’ Association Welcomes New Executive Director

Today, the Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA) welcomed its new executive director Mark Mitchell, who comes to Vermont from San Francisco where he worked most recently as a Labor Representative for the California Nurses Association (CNA). Mitchell succeeds Jes Kraus, who left the VSEA earlier this year to take a position at the University of Vermont.

“VSEA is very pleased to be welcoming an individual with Mark’s breadth of experience working with both public- and private-sector workers,” said VSEA President John Reese. “The challenges confronting Vermont’s state employees are daunting at times, but Mark has seen—and dealt with—a lot in his labor career, so he should not have a problem hitting the ground running.

Prior to working for the CNA, Mitchell, a labor professional and lawyer, was employed by the Florida Education Association, IFPTE Local 20 (Engineers and Scientists), AFSCME District Council 36, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the Writer’s Guild of America and the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. His duties ran the gamut, from lawyer to organizer to business agent to negotiator to strike coordinator.

“It’s great to be joining the VSEA family, and I look forward to working with Vermont state employees to protect and enhance the historic wage, benefit and working condition victories of all the VSEA members who came before them,” said Mitchell, adding, “Coming from California, I know how hard it is out there for working people in these tough economic times. Vermont has not been immune, and a lot of state employees have been impacted, but, now, working with a Governor and Legislature that VSEA members helped elect, I’m hopeful Vermont can be a model for the rest of the nation, in terms of seeing the results of a respectful and collaborative relationship, as opposed to a combative one.”

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