LERA chapters were feted for excellence at the 64th Annual Meeting in Chicago. There were four winners of the Chapter Star 2011 Awards awarded at the Annual Meeting: DC LERA, TERRA (Tennessee Employment Relations Association) in Murfreesboro, Orange Co. (Calif.) and Oregon chapters. In photo, above right, are representatives of Star Chapter Award winners: (from left) Cyndi Furseth of the Portland LERA Chapter; Marion Knappe of the DC LERA Chapter; Cameron Bennett and Van Tenpenny of TERRA; Ami Silverman and Thomas Lenz of the Orange County LERA Chapter.
Four LERA chapters achieved Outstanding Chapter status: Atlanta, Northwest (Seattle) and Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Boston and Alabama (Montgomery) chapters. Chapters receiving Merit awards were Rocky Mountain (Colorado Springs), Hawaii (Honolulu), Maryland (Baltimore), Greater Detroit (West Bloomfield) and Philadelphia.
As a refresher or new information for recent LERA chapter joinees: Chapters progress to the top Star status by demonstrating excellence in the following merit categories analogous to Boy/Girl Scout merit badges (see list below). Star chapters have received at least six of the eight merit categories in the last five years. Outstanding chapters have received at least four of the eight categories in a five-year period. Merit award recipients have received at least one merit category award in a given year.
The awards are administered by the National Chapter Advisory Council currently chaired by William Canak (above, right, with Alabama LERA Outstanding Chapter's Patrick Rasco; photo courtesy of TERRA Chapter, taken by Van Tenpenny of the TN AFL-CIO). Canak is a sociology-anthropology professor at Middle Tennessee State University and is president-elect of the TERRA chapter. LERA Chapter Representatives (pictured left at the LERA 64th Annual Meeting, 2012, Chicago) come from all major LERA constituencies: union, management, law, arbitration/mediation and higher education.