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47th Annual NWSEO National Convention Wrap-Up

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

(November 23, 2022) — More than 75 NWSEO members and guests came together in solidarity for two days of learning, relationship building, and networking at the 47th Annual National Convention in New Orleans, LA. Led by NWSEO President John Werner and NWSEO Executive Vice President JoAnn Becker, the convention offered guest speakers from both inside and outside NOAA, operational union updates, and engaging workshops for all members. Read more about the highlights below:

Guest Speakers

Top left: Dr. Neil Jacobs; top right: JoAnn Becker, Dr. Michael Moran, and John Werner; bottom left: Joann Becker, Cmdr. Valarie Gardner, and John Werner; bottom right: Ken Graham.

Monday, November 7 included a presentation by Dr. Neil Jacobs, former Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere & NOAA Administration. Tuesday, November 8 offered presentations by: Dr. Michael Moran, NOAA Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction; Ken Graham, National Weather Service Director; and Commander Valarie Gardner, NWS Behavioral Health/Wellness Officer.


Convention attendees participate in a number of engaging workshops.

For the second time, NWSEO offered workshops to all convention attendees. Topics included: Basic Training for Stewards; National Weather Service Grievances & Arbitrations; National Weather Service Local Office Teams & Negotiations; and Understanding the National Weather Service Collective Bargaining Agreement. Attendees walked away with a deeper understanding of several important union topics, as well as actionable strategies to bring back to their local branches.

Kip Robinson Award

Brandon Dunstan shakes hands with President John Werner. Kip Robinson Award recipient Brandon Dunstan.

Eastern Region Chair Brandon Dunstan was named the recipient of the 2022 Kip Robinson Award. Named after the late Kip Robinson, an invaluable and diligent NWSEO lobbyist, this annual award recognizes members who volunteer their time and talents to make NWSEO a stronger union. Past winners include Aaron Stevens, Chris Jacobson, Bill Proenza, Bill Hirt, John Stansfield, Barry Hirshorn, Chris Sisko, DeLyne Kirkham, Steve Pritchett, Shannon White, David Marsalek, Steve Wannebo, Mitch MacDonald, John Werner, Jason B. Wright, JoAnn Becker, Michael Dion, Mark Pellerito, and Karleisa Rogacheski.

Special Recognition

Executive Vice President JoAnn Becker presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Pacific Region Vice Chair Ken Kleeschulte.

Pacific Region Vice Chair Ken Kleeschulte received a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of his tremendous support and contributions to the NWSEO Political Action Committee.

Welcome Regional Officers

From left to right: President John Werner, Alaska Region Chair John Cowen, Executive Vice President JoAnn Becker, Alaska Region Vice Chair Kimberly Vaughan, Western Region Vice Chair Brooke Bingaman, and Eastern Region Vice Chair Alicia Miller. Not pictured: NOAA Attorneys Guild Vice Chair, Jonelle Dilley.

To conclude the 2022 convention, the NWSEO Executive Council welcomed one newly-elected Regional Chair and three Vice Chairs to the National Council: John Cowen, Alaska Region Chair; Kimberly Vaughan, Alaska Region Vice Chair; Alicia Miller, Eastern Region Vice Chair; and Brooke Bingaman, Western Region Vice Chair. Though not present at the convention, Jonelle Dilley was chosen to be the new NOAA Attorneys Guild Vice Chair.

Congratulations to all — We hope to see you next year for the 2023 National Convention, taking place November 6-7 at the Colorado Springs Marriott in Colorado Springs, CO!


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