Executive Board Election 2018

Position Statement Questions from candidates

1. Why are you running for this position?
2. What can you contribute to the membership in this position?
3. What do you perceive to be SPEEA’s primary challenges and what are your solutions?
4. Problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution skills are critical for the position.
5. How have you helped an organization achieve an important goal?

4. Problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution skills are critical for the position.

Mehmet Ugur Koksu (for President)

As District P-3 CR – I ensure their member’s contractual rights are protected. On this one occasion a member employee disputed that his contractual right to work was violated. I engaged a SPEEA Contract administrator and we scheduled time with HR and documented several deferent occasions where management was not responsive to the employee’s needs. When the employee confronted his manager, he felt his work load was diminished and tasks he had in his PM BG&O reassigned to other teammates. He also expressed concern that his retention level had not improved over a two year period. HR reviewed alleged miss treatment of the employee. The manager and employee re visited the employee’s personal goals and development plan. In the end: the employee was given leadership and overtime opportunities and the opportunity to work remotely, as requested.

Joel Funfar (for President)

Contract negotiation is a process requiring problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution. Keeping the membership needs as my highest priority helped me through the process as a three time negotiation team member. Thanks in part to my understanding and forewarning, tactics by the company to rush through their agenda ultimately proved a failure when attempted against our negotiating teams.

I have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to ask company leaders the tough questions. For example, as Northwest Council Chairman in 2006, I asked Scott Carson about 787 issues and if Boeing would be honest with customers on problems the program was having. We all know the answer now.

As a Council Representative, I represented members in disciplinary actions and argued for a just outcome when the company did not have all the facts or were not following their own procedures.

I chaired councils and committees through some difficult times and kept those groups focused on the tasks at hand. I have stayed the course while others dropped away.

As a Council Officer from 2004 to 2013, was involved in the yearly Council and SPEEA Budget preparation and acceptance activities. I have provided a historical perspective on this process each year and mentored newer activists participating in this process.

Keith A. Covert (for President)

Active listening is a technique employed to understand another individual’s position. Our ability to listen and understand positions other than our own is important to SPEEA and its committees. While we cannot know the situations that will arise, the leaders will need to listen to the people that SPEEA represents. Only through an exchange of ideas can we come together and reach an agreement on the future of SPEEA.

In SPEEA, I have been involved with the WEU JOC, for performance management and gain share, working as a team to discuss and reach consensus for the betterment of those who are represented by SPEEA. As the Midwest Vice President, I have worked with the council representatives and committees to get the SPEEA paid time or money needed to provide opportunities for the members to participate and I sat in the discussions for the Wichita Technical Professional Unit when they were able to save several jobs from outsourcing.

Jimmie Mathis (for Treasurer)

I am known in Industry, Boeing, SPEEA, SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), and DoD (Department of Defense) as a bottom up person who listens to everybody and works to bring everybody to a consensus.

This was critical when we develop new materials and processes for use on our aircraft. As we work towards the best solution, we had times where we have had extremely different views that erupt into vocal disagreements. Each time, I worked to find a direction
to start everybody in and helped them to a solution that either was supported or eliminated descent.

I have had to resolve conflicts where one of the first steps was to impose myself between people in tense situations. Each time, there was an immediate need to defuse the disagreement and then to work on a long term solution.

Working for you as a SPEEA Representative for over 30 years has given me a lot of experience in this field.

Michelle L. Cooper (for Treasurer)

It seems that every day at work is an example of teamwork to solve a problem while working with diverse individuals. I am very adamant each person should be able to voice their opinion and suggestions, no matter their education level, or their current title. A collaborative environment is what gets tasks completed and designs built. Being open is to new ideas, being able to listen to people, being able to use my skills to help all come to a decision enables problem solving, teamwork and conflict resolution.

An explicit example was when a manager asked two persons to do basically the same task. Mind you not a long drawn out task, but a task that would take more than 15 minutes. One person, myself completed the task within an hour or two the other person didn’t complete it until the next day and we had come to completely different paths forward. Imagine that! That’s when the manager asked that we compare notes. What I found was the other person was offended at this request. So after a short time I approached the other person and started asking questions about their process and sources and invited this person to tell their story. Turns out it the path forward was all based on prior experience and it did not quite fit what we had available today. So we collaborated and came to what others would be called a compromise. It didn’t matter by then. We had the path forward. It was only by listening and learning from each other were we able to reach a successful and final solution.

Ryan Rule (for Secretary)
Over the last nine years I have been an advocate for members’ issues, both on the SPEEA Executive Board and while on the negotiation team. As an engineer, I can’t help but research the details before making a decision; when approached by a concerned member I make sure to understand their issue so I can convey it myself. On many occasions at work and at SPEEA I have helped pull a team together to focus on the real problem instead of getting wrapped up in extreme corner cases that do not actually represent real-world scenarios. My experiences at Boeing, in SPEEA, and during my education have all helped me focus on problem solving and ensuring that people understand each other.
Stanley Huang (for Secretary)

Having worked for Boeing over 5 years as a Flight Test Manufacturing Engineer has led me to face challenges with partner and supplier integration. One year, I worked on a program where engine work was partially being done in Boeing South Carolina, before it was brought into Puget Sound. The problem with the work being done in South Carolina was that there was no accepted support from Puget Sound due to South Carolina being a right-to-work state.

This conflict caused South Carolina to have limited support from both SPEEA and IAM. Work that was taking place would generally be done by IAM, had to be accomplished by another Boeing approved mechanic. In most cases, as a regular SPEEA member, I could simply “do my job” and let Boeing take the reins on who would be performing the work, determine who needed access to what system and training. However, the impact of that could be two or three-tier.

I contacted South Carolina and Boeing to collaborate the requirements and discussed to the necessary individuals who would be responsible for performing the work. Later, St. Louis Mechanics and Engineering were selected to take this responsibility. Once we had all the right people identified, I was selected to travel to South Carolina on short notice to tie in with the team and help them understand the build plan. Although many SPEEA members may be upset at a story based on the loss of work (regardless of that work being in a right-to-work state), I have to do what’s right and remain professional about the engineering that still has a schedule to follow.

Dan Nowlin (for Secretary)

I have been assigned to represent Engineering on three significant Everett teams and one Enterprise team.

I was assigned to the team that relocated Propulsion from Seattle to Everett. My next assignment was the Equipment Engineering representative to the 767 relocation team. This was a significant challenge as we fundamentally changed everything about the 767 build. We were changing buildings and the build process.

Then I was assigned to the Everett site “Go 4 Zero” safety team. I was asked to assess the current Machine Safety Guarding and Fall Protection across the Enterprise and specifically the Everett site and implement a plan to address our deficiencies. Along with several colleagues from Manufacturing, EHS, and Engineering, we assessed the health of Machine Guarding and Fall Protection and made recommendations for improvements. Across the Enterprise we found opportunities to reduce our risk and increase our overall safety.

I was nominated as the Boeing partner for a National Safety Council Green Cross award for Fall Protection. Our project, the X-Rail, is moving through the process. We were named as a semi-finalist for the Innovation Award and will continue to advance.

I learned the value of listening to my partners and incorporating their suggestions into the process. The best advice for equipment I received was from those closest to the build process. I listened to our manufacturing partners as we developed the specifications for equipment that helped us significantly improve the equipment selection to support the manufacturing teams. As we implemented the suggested changes, we acquired better products and developed additional suppliers.