2019 Chapter Elections

The following are candidate statements written by members running for office for the 2019-2021 term. This is the list of all the members that have accepted nominations for elections.

President and Delegate — Colin Massulik

Colin Massulik
Running for UUP President

I’ve been actively involved in UUP for over a decade since I started at Upstate in 2006. Serving in several capacities, including delegate, webmaster, and your elected Secretary for the past three terms, I also serve at the State level as a member of the Constitution and Governance Committee. In addition, I was appointed to serve in leadership roles such as co-chair of the New York State/UUP Joint Labor-Management Herbert N. Wright Safety and Health and the Campus Grants Committees, responsible for millions of dollars in grant money.

Leadership: My professional career started in the Army as combat soldier and I am now a veteran. These days I coach several youth and adult sports. That means I know good leadership when I see it. Good leadership inspires. Good leadership motivates. Good leadership gets people to stand up and join the fight for what we believe is right. My promise is to bring to our chapter a new kind of leadership that is ready to deal with the issues of today.

Communication: Some of you may recognize me as a technical support member of the Information Management & Technology department. With a Bachelors degree in Art and a Masters degree in Science, those that have worked with me know that I have a well-rounded approach to creatively solving problems. My goal is to bring to the union emerging technologies that allows us to communicate with all of our members, providing avenues of communication allowing us to respond quickly and appropriately.

I thank you for your support and look forward to continuing being of service to you, the member, the most important part of this organization.

— Colin Massulik

President and Delegate — Kimberly Moore

Solidarity shows our leaders we support our union and each other…

Kim Moore
Running for UUP President

I, Kim Moore, want to be your next Upstate Medical Chapter UUP President. I have had the privilege of being a delegate for the past 5+ years. In those years, I have been active with the Disability Rights and Concerns Committee.  My desire is to support people who are disabled. This stems from defending and caring for a service connected Disabled Veteran for 5 years who was discriminated against in the workplace.

I have also been very active with the Women’s Rights and Concerns Committee. I defend those who face gender inequality in the workplace, where men and women are different in behavior, aspirations and have various needs but each have barriers to their rights, responsibilities and opportunities due them.  

As a woman, who raised three successful daughters while earning my Bachelor’s Degree, I know what it means to face challenges. I am a Respiratory Therapist who has worked for Upstate Hospital for 21 years  earning my degree at SUNY Upstate. I understand the pride we all put in our daily work, as an academic or as a professional. I can relate to the long, rigorous hours worked whether, it’s to prepare our students for their future or saving our patients lives. Furthermore, I am an advocate for each of us to be recognized and compensated for our skills and dedication.

As President, my job is to create more unity, to work for what is important for each of you, and to be sure the policies are upheld in light of openness, integrity and honesty.

I am ready to continue the work of building a strong union, assist in bargaining for quality contracts and encouraging our members to be involved in every aspect of our union.

President, Vice-President for Academics & Delegate — Rich Veenstra

Richard Veenstra, PhD, Running for UUP President and Vice President for Academics

I have served as your Vice President for Academics since 2013 when Mike Lyon first became our Chapter President. Now both Carl Pettengill and Mike Lyon have retired or are retiring at the end of the 2017-2019 term and it is time for new Chapter leadership to guide us forward by upholding the provisions of the new 2016-2022 collective bargaining agreement between New York State and United University Professions, i.e. the “UUP contract”, defend the terms and conditions of employment for our bargaining unit members provided by the contract, maintain the working relationships we have developed that have enabled us to accomplish the goals we’ve achieved thus far, and continue to build new relationships to ensure the viability of this Chapter beyond my years of service. I have served as a UUP Delegate since the mid-1990s, Vice President for Academics since 2013, and, most recently, as a UUP Statewide Executive Board member since 2017. My UUP activities now also include serving on the Statewide Joint Labor Management Professional Development Committee, as an Executive Liaison to the Academic Medical Programs Committee, Outreach Committee member and Chapter Political Coordinator, and Region 2 Political Coordinator since Fall 2018. I routinely attend the UUP Delegate Assemblies, participate in the UUP/Health Science Center Advocacy Day in Albany, monthly UUP Executive Board meetings, our local monthly Chapter Officers, Executive Board, and biweekly Labor-Management (L/M) meetings, and the Adopt-a-Highway cleanup every spring and fall. I also currently serve as the Basic Sciences Representative to the Clinical Practice Plan Governing Board and have served as Vice Chair of the Upstate Faculty Council the past 5 years where I provide UUP reports to the monthly Medical College Assembly Executive Committee and bi-monthly Faculty Council meetings. Maintaining a relationship with Shared Faculty Governance and the SUNY Faculty Senate is essential to having a collective voice in Albany and on campus here in Syracuse that affect our professional careers, our work life balance, and our future as educators, researchers, and health care providers. In these post-Janus years, we must constantly work to maintain our membership in UUP, increase our delegate/member representation in every College, Department, and Division of the SUNY Upstate Medical University and University Hospital so that all of the concerns of our members are listened and responded to in a timely and collegial manner. Most importantly, we need to develop new leadership in our UUP Upstate Medical Chapter to preserve the progress we’ve made and to achieve new and future goals to protect the working rights of our members and ensure their well-being beyond their working years on into retirement. 

So I am asking for your vote to serve as your next UUP Upstate Medical Chapter President for a two year term beginning this June 2019. If elected, my first major task will be to recruit a new Vice President for Academics to assist as needed in the performance of the above responsibilities. If I am not elected to be your next Chapter President, my goal will be to serve as your Vice President for Academics for another two year term to continue to achieve the goals and responsibilities of the Upstate Medical Chapter of UUP at the local and state level. I hope I can count on your vote. 

Thank you, Rich Veenstra

Secretary — Deb Tafel

Hi My name is Deb Tafel and I have worked at Upstate for 15 years.  I have worked on both the academic side and in the hospital.  I currently work in Peri-Operative Services Administration at the downtown campus. 

Being involved with UUP has been an eye opening experience and one that I enjoy.  I have been a Delegate and on the Grievance Committee.  The next step is to become a member of the e-board and further my involvement with the UUP union life. This way I can be more helpful to our community here at Upstate.  I have many years of experience as secretary on e-boards for 501c3 organizations.  I know what it entails and yet here I am running for our local chapter’s secretary position. 

I enjoy sharing and answering union questions/answers with the Upstate Community.  Believe it or not, I LOVE to public speak.  Vote for me and I will be your eyes/ears/voice on the e-board.  Get involved and stay involved……….the union is here for YOU!

Delegate – Amber Smith (April Amber Suriani)

The ballot uses my legal name (April Amber Suriani) but you may know me by my professional name: Amber Smith. I’m one person! Please vote for me to become one of your UUP delegates. I’m organized, thorough and willing to do the work that’s required.

Didn’t get your name on the ballot in time? 

You can still run for office as a write-in Candidate but you need at least 10 votes to become a delegate. Contact us at [email protected] and we will add your name to this list.

Write in nominees (Please write these names in on your ballot).

Academic Delegate: Greg Threatte
Professional Delegate: David Peckham