Executive Board Election 2018

Position Statement Questions from candidates

2.  What can you contribute to the Membership in this position?
4.  Problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution skills are critical for the position.
5.  How have you helped an organization achieve an important goal?

Mehmet Ugur Koksu Joel Funfar Keith A. Covert Jimmie Mathis Michelle L. Cooper Ryan Rule Stanley Huang

Dan Nowlin

Candidates for Executive Board - President
Mehmet Ugur Koksu


21 years of Boeing Engineering experience;
Bellevue College board of advisors member; SPEEA activist, ACT committee member.
District P-3 AR; District P-3 CR.

Platform statement:

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and the one of our founding fathers once said “We in America do not have government by Majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

Please vote for Mehmet U. Koksu.

I will do my best to unify us once again; and ensure that our union will grow stronger within the next two years. I would like to lay a strong foundation for the future contract and get commitment from all members to ensure that no bargaining unit is left out. Collaboration with Boeing leadership team, elected representatives of local governments and community leaders can bring back the Aerospace jobs to the Northwest and Midwest where most of us call home for generations to come.

The Aerospace industry and Boeing jobs it provides are the backbone of our community. My goal is to help our union to proactively improve our services and resources for our members and to improve and expand our support for community projects. I recognize our community needs Boeing jobs, and I strongly believe that with the SPEEA Executive board, I will have the skills and power to help fill that need. I have always been an advocate of SPEEA initiatives and causes. I believe that there are specific causes and policies that are affecting our Union and I feel that I can have a real impact on these issues by running for SPEEA President.

Joel Funfar


Current SPEEA Secretary &
IFPTE Vice President Twice

Former SPEEA NW VP & Council Chairman

2008, 2012, 2016 Negotiation Team Member

Council Representative 14 years

Platform statement:

Your Vote is very important!

Do you know me?

A lot of SPEEA members do. You probably saw my name in the SPEEA Newsletter, Spotlight, IFPTE Newsletter or the last three Negotiations communications. You can be assured I will show up and be your advocate.

Our employers attack the benefits of our co-workers without union contracts and feel they can ignore our contracts. I have and will continue to stand firm when dealing with them to enforce our contracts.

Attending Executive Board meetings since 2004 gives me experience, continuity and an insider’s perspective regarding the significant issues SPEEA now faces.
Being a member of the Executive Board, Joint Workforce, and previous Negotiation teams shows my commitment to voicing our issue. In the proper forum, no matter how much our employers may dislike the discussion; this strengthens our position. Working for the long term success of our employers provides long term employment for all of us as members.

Based on my experience, SPEEA must remain vigilant about preserving and improving our members’ jobs and benefits. We have a changing membership with a growing amount of members without benefits like pensions.

An involved membership is the strength of SPEEA, one of the most democratic unions in structure and membership control. I challenge you to get involved.
As President, I will work diligently to ensure a fiscally responsible Executive Board and one which is receptive and responsive to your questions and concerns.

I respectfully ask for your vote.

Joel Funfar

Keith A. Covert


33 years experience with Boeing and Spirit

Lead Engineer, Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.

18 years SPEEA member WEU

MWVP November 2014 - Present

Platform statement:

What is SPEEA? SPEEA is group of people who work every day to hold the companies accountable to the contract benefit agreements we have signed with them. Our members design, review, and support the building of the most complicated machines in use every day.

The talents of SPEEA's members are used for labor agreements, joint committees, communication, and other elements that are needed for a successful union. For the continued success of SPEEA, the employees that SPEEA represents need to participate. Like any organization that uses the ideals of democracy in which we elect our representatives, SPEEA can only remain strong with the participation of those that SPEEA represents.

Some have asked how the SPEEA President or any SPEEA executive board officer can be located outside of the Northwest Region.

While this is rare in SPEEA's history, the continued growth of SPEEA will require members to think through this concern and create a plan. Looking at the Midwest region, we can see how they have approached this situation. The Midwest Council officers and Midwest Vice President operate within the governing documents without the SPEEA President on site. The Midwest Region has video conferencing at its disposal. When the Midwest Council feels it is warranted, they have requested the SPEEA President to travel to the Midwest through the Executive Board. The Northwest region would be placed in a similar situation. As SPEEA continues to grow, we will be able to address this situation and make good decisions.

Candidates for Executive Board - Treasurer
Jimmie Mathis


  • SPEEA Treasurer, Secretary
  • IFPTE Vice President, Chair IFPTE Finances
  • SPEEA Council Officer, Council Representative, Teller
  • Engineering & Technical background

Platform Statement:

– SPEEA needs experienced members to mentor our officers. My experience meets these requirements including 10 years as SPEEA’s Treasurer and Secretary.

I have the budgeting and expenditure management background, deep understanding of our governing documents and IFPTE experience to effectively provide the leadership required of an Executive Board member.

Leadership – Ten years on the Executive Board as SPEEA Treasurer and Secretary are examples of the leadership required of an Executive Board member. My experience in budgeting and expenditure management background, deep understanding of our governing documents and IFPTE experience to effectively provide the leadership that our union needs.

Financial Safeguards – It is my duty to manage your dues and property of the union solely for the benefit of the union and our members.

Dues – Your dues should always be spent on the highest benefit to our members. Enforcing our contracts, protecting our members, training Council Representatives. The strike in 2000 showed our financial reserves were important in supporting SPEEA members and careful budgeting and spending has improved the reserves. All board members should be responsible to the members and not draw on your reserves for expenditures that are of less benefit to our members.

Continuing – Negotiate to add parental leave to our benefits without takeaways.

Michelle L. Cooper


Recent experience as treasurer for an HOA, quilting club and libraries and also experience as a SPEEA council officer characterizes my qualifications for SPEEA Treasurer.

Platform statement:

As Treasurer, I will have the responsibility of safeguarding our organization’s funds by insuring all income is received and all disbursements are made as authorized. I will also provide accurate and timely financial reports to the Council and membership.

Furthermore, as Treasurer and a member of the SPEEA executive board, I will participate in the executive control and administrative responsibility for SPEEA, in additional to processing workplace grievances and investigating and reporting workplace activities that are in violation of the contract.

As the SPEEA treasurer, I will happily fulfill these duties amiably while doing all I can to represent the wishes and needs of the members.

Candidates for Executive Board - Secretary
Ryan Rule


  • Current SPEEA President and IFPTE Executive Council Member
  • Former Negotiation Team Member
  • SPEEA Member and Engineer since 2001
  • Worked in Phantom Works, Connexion, IDS, BCA

Platform statement:

For six of the last nine years I served on the SPEEA Executive Board as the youngest member and although I have a different perspective, I’ve repeatedly shown my dedication to the entire membership. Here are just a few examples of items I have taken on as personal challenges until successful resolution was found:

Restored sick leave to over 300 employees after a computer glitch (took two years).

Corrected sick leave, company-wide, to permanently eliminate the problem (took four years).

Back-pay provided for unearned holiday hours for ~120 part-time employees (took two months).

Improved the Voluntary Investment Plan, company-wide, even though Boeing said they couldn’t per IRS rules.

Personally provided negotiation information to several hundred employees lacking a council representative.

Fixed the communication process so these employees would never be left out again.

Ensured preventative exams for children would be covered by our contract after finding that federal healthcare law does not explicitly protect this.

In many of these situations, I had to dive in and investigate the contract details and/or law myself and provide models or simulated scenarios because I was told that the particular issue was not really a problem by our (or Boeing’s) experts, yet, I had directly observed the actual consequences of these problems. Following through to the actual implementation has been a key item for me, something that does not happen just by looking at the agreement and/or law, but by looking at the results and actually talking with people.

Stanley Huang


  • Secretary of Young Member Committee
  • Secretary of New Hire Committee
  • Area Rep and Designated Alternate for District P3 Council Rep
  • 5 years with Boeing

Platform statement:

I believe in the cause of keeping the union membership and activism alive. I genuinely care about the welfare of each individual in the union. The Boeing Company will not guarantee benefits and reserves the right to change their policies at any moments notice. But when it comes to unions, our benefits, our privileges, and rights are all dictated and governed under the SPEEA collective bargaining agreements.

Being more active in the union is not an easy task. It doesn’t pay. It’s voluntary. It’s not exactly career enhancing. But all those things won’t matter if we don’t know about our rights. If no one fights for you, none of that matters. If you vote for me as SPEEA secretary, I promise to serve the Executive board fairly and honestly. I promise to deliver the message that SPEEA deserves. And I promise to administer the affairs of SPEEA according to this Constitution, By-Laws, and Policies established by the Membership of SPEEA and the Councils.

Dan Nowlin


  • SPEEA Council Representative
  • Chair SPEEA Legislative & Public Affairs (L&PA)
  • Secretary NW L&PA
  • Joint Workforce Committee
  • Ed Well Partnership Leadership
  • 9 year SPEEA Member

Platform statement:

  • Experience – I have been a Council Representative and I am active with SPEEA committees. I encourage members to become activists in the locations where I have served. Many of these members have stepped up to serve and they will be our next generation of leaders. My work with Partnership Teams has given me the opportunity to work with executives to explore paths to work together. My experience qualifies me to effectively provide the leadership that our union needs.

  • Transparency – Our members should know that SPEEA leadership works all of us. Transparency can bridge the gap where our members see themselves as outside of SPEEA. Everyone should recognize themselves as a vital member of our union and to understand the benefits that our union provides. I will continue to be that bridge.

  • Leadership – I am a Partnership Leader, a SPEEA Leader and a Committee Leader. I have demonstrated the leadership needed for an Executive Board member. I have successfully represented our members to management. I have worked with our executive leadership to on Partnership Teams and Initiatives.

  • Commitment - Since joining Boeing, I have been an active member of SPEEA. I have served on the ACT, and BUNS committees to support the 2012 and the 2016 contract negotiations. I have the backing of my wife and my family to continue working together for our common goals. I have the passion to serve our members as the Secretary and I ask for your vote.