A closer look at SPEEA’s newly elected Council officers
The following elected officers were nominated and elected by their peers to serve as leaders of the regional and national Councils. As officers, they facilitate debate on motions, oversee Council budgets and document Council business. They also serve as Council Reps for their districts.

SPEEA Council (Northwest/Midwest)

“The best part about SPEEA is that we have a lot of people – whether Council Rep, officer, Executive Board or member – who really care about the future of employees. They make sure we do what’s best for everyone – the employee and their company.”

Theryl Johnson, SPEEA Council chair
Real-time software engineer (Plant II, Seattle)

Theryl Johnson
, who grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, decided to step up from Area Rep to Council Rep because of an email she sent to SPEEA leaders. They responded to her concerns and invited her to get more involved. Now she urges others to make their voices heard. “If you don’t like something, it’s not an invisible process,” Johnson said. “Come to a meeting or send me an email. We want your feedback.”


Emily Brent-Fulps, SPEEA Council treasurer




Benjamin T. Blankley, SPEEA Council secretary



Northwest Council

“What I’ve learned from SPEEA is that activism is all about the conversation. As long as people are talking, there’s a fighting chance for bringing people around to correct point of view.”

Tony Hickerson, Northwest Council chair
Tech designer (Developmental Center)

Tony Hickerson, who grew up in Washington, D.C., served in the military prior to working at The Boeing Company. He remembers when he came into the SPEEA Tech bargaining unit, members gave him a SPEEA cup, a pocket protector, a SPEEA pin and a sense of belonging. “They came around me and said: Now, you’re one of us. What I got was invaluable. That team was like the Army team that I truly missed. Someone’s got my back.”


James Raskob, NW Council treasurer




Douglas Brazeal, NW Council secretary


Midwest Council

What I like best part about SPEEA is the employees have some kind of recourse when the company doesn’t follow its policies and procedures – employees wouldn’t have that otherwise.”

Matthew Joyce, Midwest Council chair
Systems Design engineer (Wichita)

Matthew Joyce, who grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, goes to new-hire orientation to talk about SPEEA. He starts by pointing to the SPEEA-Spirit collective bargaining agreement which states the company has the right to grant more favorable terms. “When managers have bad news, they usually try to blame the union or the contract. When they tell you this, point to section 2.1(b) as stated above.”



Chris Streckfus, Midwest Council treasurer



“Some really believe office people don’t need a union. They might think they can just plead their case. But when the company starts managing you by ‘policy,’ you’re just one person. With a union, you’re part of thousands.”

Emily Forest, Midwest Council secretary
Supplier quality representative (Wichita)

Emily Forest, who grew up in Wellington, Kansas, appreciates being able to help people in her role as Council Rep. She calls that the ‘best part’ of SPEEA. She puts her master’s in conflict management, dispute resolution and negotiations, to use every day – in her work and in helping people who for whatever reason need to talk to someone. “It’s the ability to empower people.”