Candidates for the 2021 Election of Board of Directors – Battle of Homestead Foundation

Jacqui Cavalier
Jacqui Cavalier has been a Professor of History at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) since 2000 where she teaches a variety of history courses. She served as the Allegheny Campus Vice President for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 2067 where she also served as the Faculty Coordinator of the Labor & Management Studies Certificate program. Dr. Cavalier received her Doctorate of Education and her Masters of Arts in Social Science from California University of Pennsylvania. Among her publications is a relevant article: “The Impact of Immigration on the Iron and Steel Industry” in The Industrial Revolution in America (2005).

Suzanne Donsky
Suzanne recently retired after serving 31 years as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board.  She began her career with the NLRB in New York City and subsequently transferred to the Pittsburgh office, NLRB Region 6, in 1993.  A graduate of CUNY Law School’s pioneering public interest law program with a special emphasis on social justice issues, while working for the NLRB Suzanne was an active member of the NLRB Union (NLRBU) and served as its president.  She previously worked as a community organizer in her native state of North Carolina, first for PIRG and then for the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).  Suzanne has been an active volunteer for BHF and since early 2020, she has served as the chairperson of the BHF Program Committee.  

John Haer
John Haer worked 25 years in communications, organizing, negotiating, and staff direction for a local union (SEIU) representing service and health care workers and, before retiring in 2012, 10 years as director of a local union (AFTRA) for performers and broadcasters in radio and television. Earlier job experience included welfare casework in New York City; 2 years farm labor at Woodville State Hospital as a Conscientious Objector to the American War in Vietnam; and 6 years as an administrator at an alternative youth health clinic. Currently, John is the volunteer Board President of the Battle of Homestead Foundation, also a Democratic (Bernie-style) Committee Person.

Jay Hornack
Jay is currently working part-time at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law and part-time in private practice as an employment law attorney out of his Uptown Pittsburgh office.  He has lived in Pittsburgh since 1981 and was active throughout the 1980s in the Tri-State Conference on Steel, an advocacy organization committed to stopping plant closings (such as the one that occurred in Homestead) and mass layoffs in manufacturing.  Tri-State was instrumental in the formation of the Steel Valley Authority, a statewide economic development instrumentality of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Jay has served as SVA’s Solicitor since 1986.  He also defended in court the legality of the City of Pittsburgh’s 1983 plant closing notification ordinance. Jay has been an adjunct teaching business law and ethics to undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business since the 1990s.  He has also volunteered previously to be on the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Pennsylvania (formerly Disabilities Rights Network), Avenu (formerly StartUptown), and the Thomas Merton Center.

Charlie McCollester
Charlie McCollester is a founding member of the Battle of Homestead Foundation. He has a Doctor of Philosophy from Louvain, Belgium; and was a Steward, Local 57 Hotel Restaurant Union, and Machinist and Chief Steward (UE 610) at Union Switch & Signal. He retired from the Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Labor Relations at IUP where he was a professor of Industrial and Labor Relations at IUP and director. He is president emeritus of the Pennsylvania Labor History Society.

Brittany Sheets
Brittany Sheets is a multi-talented communications professional and proud Penn State University graduate. She got her start in the progressive movement through her work with The Union Edge, Labor’s Talk Radio. Raised in a labor family, she understands the struggles that face today’s working class, advocating for progressive ideas and social justice.

Rosemary Trump
Rosemary Trump is a retired Vice President of SEIU and President of SEIU, Local 585. She currently is a member of SEIU, USW, and UMWA (retiree locals). Rosemary is currently chairing the Labor Heritage Center Committee for the Battle of Homestead Foundation. She served as Chair of the Committee on Political Education for SEIU, Chair of the Westmoreland County Democratic Committee, and Delegate to the Democratic National Convention six times

Keli Vereb
Keli Vereb was the Coordinator of USW District 10 Women of Steel for 16 years from 2001-2017 where she facilitated Women of Steel and various other trainings for the District. She has been a USW member of Local 2227 since starting work at USS Irvin Plant of the Mon Valley Works in 1995, where she works in the Business Planning Department. Keli was financial secretary for her former Local 1408 for 9 years. She also serves as a Rapid Response Congressional Coordinator for her local District.