Tom McCarty was elected by members to a two-year term as SPEEA President in March, 2010 and reelected to a second term in March, 2012.
Born and raised mostly in New Jersey, McCarty earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. He worked for Bell Telephone Laboratories and Frequency Engineering Laboratories prior to joining The Boeing Company in Seattle in 1973. Most of his work since then has been with military aircraft, phased array antennas, electronic warfare and secure communications systems.
McCarty believes in the benefits that union representation and collective bargaining provide employees. He joined SPEEA soon after he started at Boeing on the advice of his lead engineer. He became more active as an Area Rep and then joined the SPEEA Council in April, 1998.
In February 1999, McCarty was elected by the Council to serve on the Professional Unit Negotiation Team. He hoped to preserve for future Boeing employees the excellent pay and benefits that appeared to be under attack by the new corporate culture after the merger with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation. McCarty has served on every Puget Sound Negotiation Team since that time.
During SPEEA’s 40-day strike, McCarty designed and built dozens of environmentally correct burn barrels. Since then, he has helped numerous brothers and sisters in other unions who find themselves out on strike.
Tom and his wife, Dr Sara Arnold, make their home in south Seattle. Between them, they have 7 children, 6 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. In his spare time, McCarty studies country blues guitar.
Bob Wilkerson, a SPEEA-IFPTE, Local 2001 member since joining The Boeing Company in 1986, was elected treasurer in March, 2006 and again in March, 2012. Wilkerson is a Manufacturing Engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplanes working on the 737 Program.
Wilkerson was Northwest Council treasurer, and has also served as an Area Rep, Designated Alternate, and Council Representative. He was a member of the Women’s Advocacy and NW Ombudsman committees and held officer positions on the NW Governing Documents, Organizational Planning, and Leadership Development and Training committees.
Born at Offutt AFB, NE, Wilkerson’s father flew in a number of Boeing products during a 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force. Wilkerson grew up in Sedro Woolley, Wash., where he built plenty of airplane models. He decided he wanted to be an engineer, working on the real things. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering technology and a master’s in engineering technology from Central Washington University.
Wilkerson is no stranger to unions. When he worked at a restaurant during high school, he belonged to a union. He was also a member of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) while working summers fabricating oil-well equipment during college.
Wilkerson is married and has a daughter. His hobbies are reading, gardening, home brewing, traveling and getting away with family to their recreational cabin.
Jimmie Mathis joined SPEEA shortly after starting at The Boeing Company in 1978. He was first elected as a SPEEA Council officer more than 20 years ago and has been elected to almost every Council office.
Mathis wanted to get involved in SPEEA to help support members. He believes in the power of the union to help improve working conditions and protect workers in the bargaining units from unjust disciplne and harassment.
At Boeing, Mathis is a bearing engineer supporting commercial programs and many non-commercial programs. As chairman of the SAE Bearing Standards Group (ACBG), he supports standard parts for commercial, industrial and defense applications. He mentors employees in Boeing and other groups.
Mathis has worked in aluminum alloy development, providing new alloys used on the 757 and 767, as well as upgrading and automating test laboratories. He has also been a principle lead engineer for IT and computing groups in addition to specifying bearing applications and developing new bearings and alloys.
He graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in metallurgical engineering and has a background in mining engineering.
Mathis also likes to be involved in SPEEA’s legislative activities in Washington state and Washington D.C. His outside interests include aviation design and flying, as well as back-country recreation.
MW Regional VP
Earl Carter knows the value of a union. “With SPEEA, we have an opportunity to create great careers and make Spirit and Boeing the best companies in the world. Without SPEEA, we can only accept what they’d like to give us.”
Carter joined SPEEA in 2000, after working on the organizing drive for the Wichita Technical and Professional Unit (WTPU) at The Boeing Company. He’s served as an Area Rep for SPEEA, a Council Rep and secretary of the WTPU Council.
Carter started at Boeing in 1980. He worked as a systems analyst, master scheduler, change board analyst, military operations system analyst, engineering labs manager and production development shop manager. He’s now a business systems analyst at Spirit AeroSystems.
Born in Kansas City, Kansas, Carter grew up in Wichita. He went to Kansas State University and Friends University. He earned a BA in business management.
He wanted to become regional vice president because of what’s at stake with negotiations. “With the contract opener for the two Spirit AeroSystems units, I wanted to be in a position to ensure that everything SPEEA can do to assist the negotiating teams will be done.”
Carter likes to play guitar in his spare time, spend time in the garden and coach Little League football. He and his wife, Diane, have two children and a grandchild.
NW Regional VP
Ryan Rule, a former Council Rep elected to the Executive Board in 2008, follows his own advice when it comes to SPEEA.
“Get involved! Whenever something doesn’t make sense or you don’t like the way things are going, find a way to fix it or a committee to join that can make decisions which will have an impact on your issue or concern,” he said.
In Rule’s case, his colleagues were interested in SPEEA but weren’t up-to-date on the issues. “By becoming a Council Rep, I gained exposure to what’s going on in the union and was better able to provide useful information to the members with whom I work on a daily basis.”
His goals for SPEEA include getting more members involved, particularly newer employees, and keeping waste and excess to a minimum. “I want to make sure members get high value for their dues.”
Since starting at Boeing in 2001, Rule has worked in many areas, including Phantom Works, Connexion by Boeing and Integrated Defense Systems. He’s currently a design and analysis engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Commercial Aviation Services.
Rule earned three Bachelor of Science degrees from Missouri University of Science and Technology in physics, applied mathematics and computer science. He holds two Master of Science degrees from the University of Washington in physics and computer science/engineering.
He was born and raised in California’s central valley. For hobbies, Rule enjoys traveling and scuba diving. His family includes his wife, Carrie, SPEEA NW Council secretary, and her son, who attends Aviation High School.
NW Regional VP
As a former chair of both the SPEEA and Northwest Councils, Joel Funfar brings a unique perspective to the Executive Board.
“From what I learned as a Council Rep and what I learned from others, I hope to help make the union stronger,” he said.
Funfar, who joined SPEEA in 1991, started as an Area Rep, and then served as a co-site coordinator and picket captain at Plant II, Seattle, during the 40-day strike in 2000. He became a Council Rep for Plant II in 2000.
He served two terms as SPEEA Council Chair (2009 and 2011). He was also elected SPEEA Council secretary, Northwest Council chair and Northwest Council secretary.
Funfar, a lab tech in the EO&T engineering labs at Plant II, served on the Tech Negotiation Teams in 2008 and 2012. He’s also been involved in many other committees, including chair of the Legislative and Public Affairs (L&PA) and Organizational Planning.
In addition, Funfar is a SPEEA IFPTE vice president, a delegate to the county and state labor councils and King County Airport Roundtable.
Funfar received the Stephen Pezzini Helping Other People Excel (HOPE) award in 2009 for his work both with SPEEA and the community, including Aviation High School.
Born in Rapid City, S.D., his family moved to the Northwest in 1968. He attended Green River Community College in Auburn, Wash., and lives in Enumclaw, Wash.
In his spare time, he enjoys music and car racing, as well as history – particularly labor and World War II.
NW Regional VP
Mike Hochberg, a Northwest region vice president, didn’t think he needed a union when he first started at The Boeing Company in 1987. “Then I learned a ‘few’ things,” he said, after experiencing firsthand what a union can do.
First, SPEEA helped with an insurance snafu involving a medical emergency. In another case, he received a verbal job offer to transfer to Everett, but waiting for a written offer dragged on for months. “I finally called SPEEA.” Within a week, he had the written offer. “I figured I better join after that.”
He not only joined, he signed up as an Area Rep and then became a Council Rep in 1990.
Hochberg left Boeing for about eight years, and when he came back in 2005 to Kent, he ran for Council Rep. He was Northwest Council treasurer, prior to running for Executive Board.
He wanted to get more involved in SPEEA to help promote the cause of labor. “I wanted to give back.”
At Boeing, he currently works as a software test engineer.
He graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with degrees in electrical and biomedical engineering. When he left Boeing, he worked as a contractor for Panasonic, Real Networks and Microsoft, as well as other places.
Hochberg grew up in New Jersey, before moving to the Puget Sound to work at Boeing. His hobbies include baseball (both playing and watching), bowling and camping.