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EmblemHealth and LaborPress Host 2012 Heroes of Labor Awards Honoring 15 Advocates Who Have Performed Remarkable Acts of Community Service

NEW YORK CITY (June 6, 2012) — In keeping with its 75-year commitment to the health and wellbeing of New York’s working men and women, EmblemHealth joined LaborPress, a news information and advocacy resource for the labor movement, in presenting 15 individuals with the 2012 Heroes of Labor Awards. The awards honored advocates who have performed remarkable acts of community service.

The event, which honored the great labor heroes of New York City, highlighted men and women whose contributions included advocating for access to decent working conditions, wages, medical care and pensions, as well as giving a voice to children and minorities.

“We are proud to partner with LaborPress to honor these outstanding Heroes of Labor,” said EmblemHealth Executive Vice President Dan Finke. “EmblemHealth's long history with organized labor began 75 years ago when its companies Group Health Incorporated (GHI) and HIP Health Plan of New York (HIP) were created to provide affordable health care for working New Yorkers. Continuing this legacy, we are committed to providing high-quality and comprehensive health insurance to New Yorkers.”

LaborPress publisher Neal Tepel delivered opening remarks, and Lee Saunders, Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME, delivered the keynote address. Presenters included Jerry Gallo, Director of Labor and Large Group, EmblemHealth; Vincent Alvarez, President of NYC Central Labor Council; John Durso, President, Local 338, RWDSU/UFCW; and George Gresham, President, 1199SEIU.

Raglan George Jr., Executive Director, District Council 1707, AFSCME, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Lillian Roberts, four-term Executive Director of District Council 37, AFSCME, Vice President of the New York State AFL-CIO, Vice President of the NYC Central Labor Council and Co-Chair of the Municipal Labor Committee, and was named one of the Network Journal’s 25 most influential black women in business.

The following people were named Heroes of Labor:

  • Patricia Baker, Vice President of the New York State Public Employees Federation
  • Arthur Boyland, Member of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 94
  • Fernando Cruz, Union Advocate, Con Edison Employee
  • Stu Leibowitz, President of DC 37 Retiree’s Association
  • Joseph Maneggio, Member of Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association Local 831
  • Lonway Moy, President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, NYC Chapter
  • Semi Nkozi, Member of Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association Local 831
  • Veronica Peaks, Member of the Election Committee for CWA Local 1182
  • Desmond Pennant, Member of SEIU Local 32BJ
  • Betty Powell, President of DC 1707 Local 95-Head Start
  • Damaris Samolinski, Member of VOICE/CSEA Local 100A
  • Roxanne Savage, Member of VOICE/CSEA Local 100A
  • Ahmed Shakir, Secretary of DC 37, Civil Service Technical Guild Local 375
  • John Vazquez, Member of International Union of Operating Engineers Local 94

Front Row Left to Right: Patricia Baker, Vice President PEF (Public Employees Federation); Lillian Roberts, Executive Director DC 37; Kim Medina, President DC 1707 and Local 389; Neal Tepel, Publisher LaborPress.
Back Row Left to Right: Jerry Gallo, Director of Labor EmblemHealth; Lee Saunders, Secretary Treasurer AFSCME; Raglan George, Executive Director DC 1707, AFSCME; Shawn McLoughlin, Director Labor Operations EmblemHealth.

About EmblemHealth
EmblemHealth, Inc., through its companies Group Health Incorporated (GHI) and HIP Health Plan of New York (HIP), provides quality health care coverage and administrative services to approximately 2.8 million people. Groups and individuals can choose from a variety of PPO, EPO and HMO plans, as well as coverage for prescription drugs and dental and vision care. We offer a choice of networks, including quality doctors and other health care professionals throughout the region, leading acute care hospitals across the tristate area, and physicians and hospitals across all 50 states.

About LaborPress
LaborPress is a news information and advocacy resource for the labor movement, reporting on stories affecting working New Yorkers through its magazine, Web site, e-newsletter and radio programs to union officials, community leaders and union members in the five boroughs and on Long Island. For more information, visit www.laborpress.org.

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