The election of NAPE/AFSCME members to serve on the Board of Directors for the 2023-2025 term is underway! Ballots were mailed to members on March 2, and must be returned and received no later than Noon on March 31, 2023. Ballots may be returned by mail (no postage necessary) or by hand delivery.
2023-2025 Board of Directors Election Candidate Statements
Candidates for Eastern Area Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Vicki Vosler (Game & Parks, Ashland)
Vicki has been a state employee for over thirty years and is currently a Food Service Worker at Mahoney State Park. She also currently serves as the Eastern Area Representative on the NAPE/AFSCME Board of Directors. She would love to continue to serve in this role and continue the positive progress our union has made over the past few years.
Ashley Augustin (DHHS, Nebraska City)
Ashley is a Child/Family Services Specialist. All departments and agencies that provide services for the public have specific issues different from the other agencies. Ashley plans to be sure to voice issues for workers.
Ralph Quick (Electrical Board, Nebraska City)
Ralph has been employed as an Electrical Inspector since 2015. He became a NAPE/AFSCME member in 2016 and is currently a union steward. Ralph was previously elected to the NAPE/AFSCME Board of Directors from Western Nebraska before moving to Nebraska City. He was also part of the negotiating team for the 2020 contract. He would be honored to have your vote!
Gail Mann (DHHS, Beatrice)
Gail is a Developmental Technician II at the Beatrice State Developmental Center. She would like to serve on the Board of Directors in order to be able to help coworkers when they think they are being treated unfairly. She would also like to shape policy to improve on our contract to make jobs more desirable.
Candidates for Western Area Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Cody McSparren (DHHS, North Platte)
Cody has worked as a Child/Family Services Specialist on the Initial Assessment team in North Platte for almost three years. What he loves most about his job is meeting people from all walks of life and advocating for every family he works with. He truly loves what he does in ensuring families are successful, which is also what he would do on the Board. His goal is to help the NAPE members and employees in the Western Area to ensure that they have everything they need to be successful.
Chasity Jenny (Foster Care Review Office, North Platte)
Chasity works as a Systems Oversight Specialist with the Foster Care Review Office. She has worked for the State of Nebraska for almost six years, and prior to her current position, was a case worker with DHHS. Chasity has been a member of the union since she was hired with the State and enjoys keeping informed of matters that have impact on fellow employees of the State. Born and raised in rural Nebraska, Chasity has an appreciation for the advantages and also the challenges that are associated with living in the Western Area. Chasity’s educational background is in the areas of family studies, counseling, and clinical psychology. Aside
from working a job she loves, Chasity stays busy with her active children and pets, and she enjoys reading and traveling.
Kris Rossman (DHHS, Scottsbluff)
Kris has worked for the state of Nebraska for more than a decade and is a Social Services Worker at the Scottsbluff Customer Service Center. She currently serves on the Board of Directors and is the Sergeant-At-Arms. Kris feels that representation from Western Nebraska is needed. She loves advocating for Western Nebraska on the Board and would be honored to continue serving in that capacity.
Gary Lofton (Electrical Board, McCook)
Gary has been a State Electrical Inspector since 2015. A strong union should have strong leadership and representation to be effective. Gary can provide strong local representation in these areas.
Candidates for Southern Area Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Lindsey Eads (Veterans’ Affairs, Kearney)
Lindsey is a five-year veteran Supply Technician II at the Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home in Kearney, yet has experience and institutional knowledge of 20+ years of service with the State at both DHHS and NDVA. Lindsey is an active steward, member of the CNVH Labor Management Committee, friendly face during new employee orientation, elected to the negotiations team and current member of our Board of Directors. She would be honored to have your vote to continue to serve in this leadership capacity.
Robin Smith (DHHS, Kearney)
Robin Smith is a Supply Technician II at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney, where he has worked for more than 38 years. Robin is a long time leader on the NAPE/AFSCME Board of Directors and enjoys serving his fellow union members in this capacity. He would love to continue to serve.
Candidates for Northern Area Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Brian Bierschenk (DHHS, Norfolk)
Brian has worked for the State of Nebraska as a Developmental Disabilities Quality Control Specialist since August 2018. He has also represented the Northern Area on the Board of Directors for the last two years. He is running again to be your Northern Representative on the BOD, and would appreciate your vote.
Carlos Ndirangu (Veterans’ Affairs, Norfolk)
Carlos is a Staff Care Technician II at the Norfolk Veterans’ Home. Carlos has served in the union in many capacities, by serving as a Volunteer Member Organizer, attending educational seminars, serving on the 2022 bargaining team, and serving as steward. He has found satisfaction in participating in the decision making that affects our members, advocating for all! As a member and steward, Carlos has learned the importance of the union and understanding our rights. He would like the opportunity to contribute even further by being elected to this position, so he can continue to advocate for everyone one of us. Thank you for your support!
Jamie Novacek (DHHS, Center)
Jamie is a Social Services Worker in the Northern Service Area at the Center Local Office with an assigned adult caseload. She has been with the agency for almost two years and is a strong believer of employee rights and equality. Thank you for considering her candidacy!
Candidates for Omaha Area Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Jennifer Dreibelbis (Arts Council, Omaha)
Jennifer works for the Nebraska Arts Council as a Federal Aid Administrator II. She is running for Omaha Representative because it is her hometown and her chosen home as an adult. She is dedicated to Omaha’s NAPE membership and presence in its work. She took part in our fall organizing blitz working exclusively with Omaha potential members. As a steward, she has represented employees in pre-discipline meetings. Jennifer stays involved in as many local Omaha meetings and statewide steward trainings as possible. She has attended two Delegate Assemblies and is attending the AFL-CIO Legislative Conference in March. Jennifer’s knowledge of Omaha; her experience as a previous DHHS employee and now a non-code small agency employee; and her current NAPE involvement will be an asset to NAPE’s goals as we move forward. She would appreciate your vote.
Brianne Bushlow (DHHS, Fremont)
Brianne has been a Social Services Worker in Fremont for over seven years. She would love the opportunity to continue efforts for State of Nebraska employees by assisting in establishing a fair contract and continuing to assist with contract violations. She has served on the Board of Directors for the last year and would love to serve her fellow union members for many more!
Candidates for Lincoln Area Representative (Vote for no more than 2)
Avery Hulse (DHHS, Lincoln)
Avery has spent a majority of her three years with DHHS being active in our union and fighting for our rights. Avery is an active union steward and was elected to serve as a delegate to the AFSCME Delegate Assembly in 2022. She is prepared to be an advocate for all workers across the state and wants to ensure everyone’s voices are heard.
Jessica Davis (DHHS, Lincoln)
Jessica is a Behavioral Health Practitioner IV at the Lincoln Regional Center. Her positive attitude and friendly demeanor make her a joy to work with, and she has a unique ability to simplify complex concepts, making them easily understandable for all team members. Her strong communication skills enabled her to effectively collaborate with cross-functional teams, ensuring that everyone was on the same page and working towards a common goal. She currently serves on the NAPE/AFSCME Board of Directors and would like to continue to serve to make sure everyone has a voice in our union.
Sharon Waters (Game & Parks, Lincoln)
Sharon has been a state employee for 13 years and has worked for NDCS, DHHS, NDOL and currently NGPC. She believes having a strong union has given us an opportunity to be better employees and be successful. Overall, NAPE/AFSCME is helping us better serve all Nebraskans at our workplaces. She is excited about the possibilities of serving on the Board of Directors as we move our union forward.
Rene Botts (DHHS, Lincoln)
Rene is a veteran state employee having worked for History Nebraska, the Department of Administrative Services, and now DHHS. She is committed to the success of NAPE and improving the working conditions for state workers. She believes in the power and benefit of organizing with co-workers for mutual benefit. She would be honored to have your vote!
Candidates for Statewide DHHS Representatives (Vote for no more than 2)
Ashlie Thompson (DHHS, Lincoln)
Ashlie has been a Developmental Disabilities Service Coordinator for over 9 years and loves her job. She has been an active member with NAPE for several years. Ashlie is currently a steward and member of the Board of Directors. She has recruited several people in her work location to train as stewards. She interviewed gubernatorial candidates and made recommendations for endorsements. She has done a lot of work organizing new members by doing New Employee Orientations at worksites, making monthly contacts to new employees through our 2, 4, 6 program, trained as a Volunteer Member Organizer with our AFSCME team and went to worksites and door to door to talk with potential members, and attended several ratification meetings. Ashlie was invited to the 2022 AFSCME convention in Philadelphia to speak to over 2,000 delegates about the innovative ways we’re organizing union members in Nebraska. Ashlie wants to be on our NAPE Board of Directors in order to continue advocating for our colleagues and keep our momentum going with growing our membership.
Michael Henry (DHHS, Lincoln)
Michael is an Office Specialist in Medicaid and Long Term Care and believes that joining NAPE/AFSCME is the smartest workplace decision he has ever made. The union is a great learning environment and a solid bonding experience. While NAPE is Michael’s first labor union, he has served on advisory boards in the past, and has experience developing common goals from diverse interests. Michael’s vision for the union, especially in 2023, is to push recruitment by educating teammates on the benefits of membership. He also wants to elevate the importance of contract issues that were not the main focus in our 2022 negotiations. Thank you for your consideration!
Adam Herron (DHHS, Lincoln)
Adam is a IT Business Systems Analyst for DHHS and has been a state employee for over fifteen years.
Toni Bonsera (DHHS, Lincoln)
Toni is a Program Specialist in Child and Family Services. Toni works with employees all across the state and knows so many NAPE members and talks about NAPE to non-members. Toni bleeds NAPE with her support and enthusiasm for this Union. Toni has previous Board experience having served as Vice President. She has been a Union Steward for a decade. She was supporting the Union cry, “GROW OUR UNION” before the NAPE Board picked it up while serving as the Lincoln NAPE Vice President. Toni comes from a strong Union family. Her oldest daughter is a State of Nebraska employee and immediately joined NAPE.
Drew Preston (DHHS, Lincoln)
Drew is a Program Specialist in Medicaid and Long Term Care. He is running for the NAPE Board of Directors because he thinks our union is at the best place it’s been in years to make great gains for our members. What encourages Drew most in his job is serving the people of Nebraska, and he thinks that starts with making sure state employees are treated fairly and have what they need to do their jobs well. Drew wants to thank his coworkers who encouraged him to run for Board of Directors, and he would appreciate your vote.
Candidates for Statewide NDOT Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Ruben Adams (NDOT, Grand Island)
Ruben is a Highway Maintenance Crew Chief and has been a state employee for more than fifteen years. He is a union steward and frequently attends meetings to be knowledgeable about important issues and to be a voice for his colleagues. He appreciates your consideration.
Tim Miller (NDOT, Ravenna)
Tim is a Highway Maintenance Crew Chief with more than a decade of experience. Tim is a union steward and has attended steward seminars to sharpen his skills to advocate for his fellow NAPE members. Tim is passionate about making sure employees’ voices are heard and would be honored to serve on the Board.
Schuyler Schmid (NDOT, Fremont)
Schuyler is a Highway Maintenance Worker/Senior and has been a state employee for more than a year. He is a union steward and is an advocate for his fellow members, especially in the area of contract enforcement. Schuyler was elected to serve as a delegate to the 2022 Bargaining Conference, and would be honored to serve on the Board.
Sean Vilmont (NDOT, Elkhorn)
Sean is a Highway Maintenance Worker/Senior and is a proud NAPE/AFSCME leader. He is a union steward and served as a Delegate to the 2022 Bargaining Conference. Sean is committed to the continued growth of our union and is passionate about providing the best working conditions and compensation to the employees of the State of Nebraska. He would be honored to have your vote!
Candidates for Statewide Agency Representatives (Vote for no more than 3)
Brandon Brown (Revenue, Lincoln)
Brandon Brown is a Revenue Senior Agent and currently serves on the Board of Directors as a Statewide Agency Representative. Brandon also was elected to the 2022 contract negotiations team and was proud to represent our members in our historic contract victory. Brandon also was elected to serve as a delegate to the AFSCME Delegate Assembly. He would be honored to continue to serve on the Board to provide consistent leadership as we continue to grow for more power in the workplace.
John Swigart (History Nebraska, Lincoln)
John is a native Nebraskan, archeologist and GIS professional, and proud member of NAPE.
John wants to serve on the NAPE/AFSCME Board of Directors so he can advocate for state employees like us from all agencies—while supporting and amplifying the union’s mission.
He feels well suited to understand and help solve the challenges unique to public sector
employees, because he has been a government employee for his entire career—including more
than 15 years with the State of Nebraska. The spirit of collective action is at John’s core, and he has long been a student of organized labor movements, so he will bring knowledge of and passion for labor unions to his service on the Board.
Sam Hansen (Environment & Energy, Lincoln)
Sam is a Professional Engineer I and has worked for the NDEE for almost four years. Sam has been actively involved in our union as a steward, worksite leader, and Volunteer Member Organizer. Sam was also elected to serve on our 2022 contract negotiations team and is excited to watch our union continue to grow based on our recent success. Sam would love the opportunity to provide leadership on the Board and keep our momentum going.
Anissa Rasmussen (Economic Development, Lincoln)
Anissa is an Economic Development Consultant II and has been on the Board for two years. It has been a great honor and she would like to serve again. Anissa is a 19 year veteran of DED, and she has had the opportunity to see a variety of projects across the whole state. Her multiple positions in the agency have been working in Operations with payroll, benefits, HR; Housing, Housing and Community Development, and currently, Business Development has given her a well-rounded view to represent all NAPE members. She has seen a lot of change in State government. She is excited that over the past few years NAPE has been stronger than ever. She wants to participate being on the board to keep it strong and growing.
Mary Schmidt-Rodriguez (Military, Lincoln)
Mary is a graphic artist and Marketing & Communications Specialist I for the Nebraska Military Department. Mary is a union steward and has helped with new employee orientation at Joint Force Headquarters. Mary believes that NAPE is important to state employees and that we all need to have our voices heard and stand up for ourselves and each other. She would be honored to be that voice on the Board of Directors.
Blayne Glissman (Environment & Energy, Lincoln)
Blayne is an Environmental Specialist II and has been a State Employee for nearly 25 years. State workers all serve the people of the State of Nebraska. It has been a privilege for Blayne to serve fellow members in our Union, beginning as a steward, then as a delegate helping to determine our priorities for our contract negotiations. Blayne would be honored to serve on the Board of Directors as our Union moves forward and continues to grow and thrive. He promises to listen to the members that he serves and represents. Thank You!
Candidates for Department of Education Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Katherine Knutzen (Columbus)
Katherine works in Vocational Rehabilitation as a Program Associate III and was appointed to the NAPE Board of Directors to fill the unexpired term of Deb Romanek upon her retirement. Katherine would be honored to continue serving on the Board for the next term.
Rebecca Schademann (Lincoln)
Rebecca has been a state employee for over a decade. She has been employed at Department of Labor, Economic Development and most recently transferred to Education as a Program Specialist III. Rebecca currently serves on the Board of Directors as an At-Large Representative, and has served as chair of the NAPE/AFSCME 50th Anniversary Committee. Overall, she has seen how the union has been able to help in my prior experience and wants to make this resource known to everyone. Rebecca is committed to helping NAPE continue to grow and thrive supporting and empowering state employees.
Candidates for State Colleges Representative (Vote for no more than 1)
Brandon Ziska (Wayne)
Brandon has been a Security Officer at Wayne State College for 17 years. He has served as the State Colleges Representative on the Board since 2021, and has been a NAPE member for 10 years. He would love to continue serving and organizing record growth and to keep fighting for the best contracts to come.
Kelly Overshiner (Chadron)
Kelly is a Custodian at Chadron State College. She has served as a union steward and has organized her colleagues at CSC to propel record union membership on campus. Kelly also served on the contract negotiations team and would be honored to represent her colleagues on the Board of Directors.
Candidates for At-Large Representative (Vote for no more than 3)
Rachel Kreifels (DHHS, Lincoln)
Rachel has worked for the state for nearly a decade and is currently a DHHS Program Specialist in the Division of Developmental Disabilities. Rachel is a union steward and has previously been elected to serve as a delegate to both the NAPE Bargaining Conference and the NAPE Delegate Assembly. Rachel would love the opportunity to be a leader on the Board of Directors to encourage policies that continue our priorities of negotiating great contracts, organizing the unorganized, and standing up for all state employees. She would be honored to have your vote!
Daniel Buchanan (Corrections, Lincoln)
Daniel works for Cornhusker State Industries running the laundry shop at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Daniel currently serves on the Board of Directors and is running again to give a voice to members at all state agencies. Daniel is a strong supporter of all state employees no matter what their job is. Every single one of us is essential. Daniel may work for Corrections but he has personal ties to several agencies and job classifications. He is asking for a chance to represent all of our interests and to continue building a stronger organization.
Mari Waid (DHHS, Scottsbluff)
Mari has been a Social Services Worker at the Scottsbluff Customer Service Center since 2015. She wants to help make policy decisions to better represent employees and so that she can be a more active member of the union. She wants to be more knowledgeable and thus can impart this knowledge to her fellow teammates in her area. Mari wants to help shape the future of our union going forward to better serve her fellow members.
Kelly Soderling (DHHS, Fremont))
Kelly is a Program Accuracy Specialist and has been a state employee since 2016. She would love to become a board member and help grow this Union even more! She would appreciate your vote!