Leading the fight for safe and healthy workplaces

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Board of Directors

Rosanna Coto-Batres, Director, North East New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

Rossana Coto-Batres is the Director at the Northeast New York Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (NENYCOSH). She has a background in social work and has worked to train refugees and immigrants around nutrition, health and safety topics. As an immigrant and children of immigrants, she has first-hand experience understanding the struggles many Latino and immigrant workers face in the U.S. In the summer of 2016, she completed the Occupational Health Internship Program, where she assisted in the coordination of a Trainers Exchange for 40 Spanish-speaking OSHA 10 trainers. She has experience training workers following natural disasters, and traveled with a team of COSH trainers to Houston to facilitate a Disaster Relief Train-the-Trainer program. Using her background in social work and as a yoga instructor, Rossana integrates elements of self-care and resiliency into trainings and conferences. Rossana serves on the Board of Directors of National COSH.

Thais Forneret, Director of Development & Operations, Worksafe

Thais has been involved in several social justice causes for many years: urban poverty and homelessness, food deserts, and child poverty. She is currently part of a homeless resources center, a community garden, and a children’s ministry. Through this labor of love, Thais has assisted unhoused individuals to obtain resources and nutritional foods, and secured school supplies for children in her community. Workers spend a great deal of time at their places of employment and Thais believes that that time spent should not be detrimental to the employees’ health and life chances. Thais fundamentally believes in the humanity of all workers, regardless of hierarchical structures. As such, she has advocated for equal pay for equal work, safety at the workplace, and has implemented anti-harassment and grievance processes so that workers feel safe in their work environments.

Cecelia Gilligan Leto, Project Director, New Jersey Work Environment Council

Cecelia Gilligan Leto is the Work Environment Council of New Jersey (WEC) Project Director focusing on safer and healthier workplaces.  Leto is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of grant funded projects and the production of deliverables. She acts as the lead health and safety training specialist for onsite participatory trainings, Train the Trainer workshops, and public programs. Leto has provided participatory safety and health training and strategic advice to over 9,500 workers from over 130 unions, employers, and organizations.  She is an authorized OSHA trainer for 10-hour and 30-hour courses and holds a bachelor’s degree in Labor Safety and Health from the National Labor College.  Cecelia currently serves as the Vice-President of the Greater NJ Coalition of Labor Union Women, United Steelworkers Local 4-397 Unit Chair and NJ Women of Steel Coordinator.  In 2016, Leto received the National COSH Educator of the Year Award and in 2008, she received the Hero of Healthcare Award from the Health Professionals and Allied Employees union for exceptional training of their members.

Jaribu Hill, Founder and Executive Director, Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights

Jaribu Hill is a Civil and Human Rights Attorney and community organizer.  She is Founder and Executive Director of the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.  Hill is an author and an international spokesperson on Civil and Human Rights topics.  A former safety and health specialist with NYCOSH, Hill advocates for safe workplaces and humane treatment of workers in Mississippi. Through her organization, Attorney Hill has provided legal representation and advocacy for hundreds of workers in the state.  Hill and the Center have successfully joined with Mississippi workers to improve workplace conditions and force employers to adopt and enforce policies against racial harassment and all forms of discrimination.  Joining workers in their fight against workplace human rights abuses is at the very core of the work! To date, the Center has successfully represented victims of workplace sexual and race harassment and retaliation and joined with workers to provide trainings and listening sessions.

Brian Mitchell, Executive Director, New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

Brian Mitchell was a public employee for the City of Manchester [NH] for 25 years. At that time, he served on the City Safety Review Board. He is a retired local union officer for ASFCME Local 298 and AFSCME Council 93. He worked for the State Employee Association SEA SEIU Local 1984 for over 10 years. In 1999 Brian became a member of NH COSH; he wore many hats and held many positions. He was promoted to director of NH COSH in 2009 and still currently holds this position. He also volunteers at Smith Road School helping to organize extra-curricular activities. Hearing the stories of individuals who are injured or killed in workplace fatalities and meeting their families really drives his passion to keep people safe and educated.

Jim Schultz, Director, Wisconsin Committee on Occupational Safety and Health

Jim Schultz was born and raised in a Steelworker family (USW Local 3740) and is a third generation foundry worker with 20 years’ experience in all aspects of foundry work. He received much of his early OHS training through his local union and the USW International OHS Dept. Jim began working in agricultural work on farms and ranches in Wisconsin. He has over 30 years of kitchen experience in restaurants, hotels, catering, private clubs, retirement communities and nursing homes. He has also worked construction/demolition, landscaping, machine shops, spice packaging plant, customer service, trench digger for county electrical services department, community organizer, painter, graphic artist and many others. Jim has found there are no jobs without hazards and that often workers have the best solutions once they've been trained on what hazards are, how they hurt you and how to eliminate, or minimize exposure to them. He has been on WisCOSH's Board of Directors for 20 years and was Executive Director for 6 years, an OHS trainer for 24 years.

Holly Shaw-HollisBoard Member, Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health

Holly Shaw-Hollis lost her husband, Scott Shaw, on September 7, 2002. He was working on a barge in Philadelphia and because there were not safety regulations in place, he fell into the river and died. Holly became involved in advocating for worker safety so other families would not feel the pain her family has. She is on currently on the Executive Board of Philaposh, as well as Recording Secretary. She also is on the Board of National COSH, and has been involved with USMWF since 2003. Holly has been a PFT member (AFT local 3) since 1989, and is now part of the PFT Retirees. She has remarried and her husband, Bill, is also involved with fighting for worker safety. Holly has two sons, two step-daughters, and two granddaughters.

Al Vega, Director of Policy & Programs, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health

Al Vega is Director of Policy and Programs at MassCOSH (the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health), where he focuses on building relationships to support MassCOSH and its allies' policy initiatives and push for systemic change to ensure better working conditions for all workers.  Al started his work in the social justice movement when he was just 17, working for a youth development organization which built the skills and leadership of Boston’s teenagers through history while becoming more engaged citizens in their communities. In 2009, he joined MassCOSH in an administrative role and quickly became involved in many of MassCOSH’s programs (Teens Lead at Work, Healthy Schools Initiative and the Immigrant Workers’ Center) through health and safety trainings and supporting campaigns that impact the most vulnerable workers.  Al is the Unit 1 President of United Steelworkers Local 9358, and serves on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the Greater Boston Labor Council, representing young trade unionists throughout the state.

Alejandro Zuñiga, Safety and Health Organizer, Fe y Justicia Worker Center

Alejandro Zuniga is from Mexico and has lived in the United States for more than 30 years. Since his arrival in this country, he has been involved in different struggles for human rights in the community, specifically helping the immigrant community inside and outside the United states. He is part of the NDLON team of national health and safety trainers. He is a staff member of Faith and Justice Workers Houston as a health and safety organizer. His experience as an immigrant worker, and as someone who suffered monoxide poisoning in the workplace, has given him more strength to fight for other workers to prevent others from harm's way. He now runs national trainings that educate and empower workers to advocate for safe working conditions.