March 13, 2007
James Andrews served as the North Carolina State’s AFL-CIO’s Secretary-Treasurer for 13 years before being elected President. Originally from Warren County, NC, he helped organize a union at his plant in Henderson before becoming Director of NC Frontlash in 1974. With a special grant from the national A. Philip Randolph Institute, he became Outreach Director for the state AFL-CIO prior to becoming Secretary-Treasurer.
A Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Purple Heart, James is the first full-time elected African-American state federation president in the country’s history. He is a member of OPEIU.
MaryBe McMillan is Secretary-Treasurer of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO. With her initial election to this position in 2005, she became the first female officer in the history of the organization. She is currently serving her third term as Secretary-Treasurer.
Prior to working for the NC State AFL-CIO, she worked for the national AFL-CIO’s Union Community Fund, as Research Director for the Common Sense Foundation, and as State Policy Analyst for the Rural School & Community Trust.
MaryBe grew up in Hickory, North Carolina. She became involved with union organizing as a student and is passionate about organizing workers in the South. MaryBe frequently speaks to groups around the country about the importance of building a strong labor movement in the South. She is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 465 in Durham, North Carolina.
A partner in the law firm of Patterson Harkavy LLP, Mike Okun has served as General Counsel for more than two decades. An honors graduate of the University of North Carolina Law School, Mike clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and worked in the Appellate Court Branch of the Enforcement Division of the National Labor Relations Board before entering practice.
Mike is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, in Business Carolina’s Legal Elite, and in North Carolina Superlawyers published by Law and Politics magazine. Mike is one of two North Carolinians to be elected a Fellow of the national College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He has served as chair of the N.C. Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, on the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO’s Lawyer Coordinating Committee’s Advisory Board, on the Board of Directors of the National Employment Lawyers Association. He has done consulting work in the former Soviet Republics for the ABA and for Solidarity House. His work has been honored by, among others, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, NCOSH, the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, the N.C. Justice Center, the N.C. Association of Retired Americans, the Triangle Native American Association, and Southerners for Economic Justice. Formerly an ironworker, he is still a member of the Ironworkers’ union.
Communications Director / Operations Manager
Jeremy Sprinkle started out here as an intern when he was a political science student at UNC Greensboro. Jeremy worked on our Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride and Justice @ Smithfield campaigns. After graduating, Jeremy explored union organizing under the AFL-CIO’s Organizing Institute. During the 2004 election, Jeremy worked as a field organizer for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign.
In March 2005, Jeremy returned to us on a temporary basis as our office manager but became full-time staff soon thereafter. In January 2006, he was promoted to General Operations Manager, for which he manages our office and keeps our books, plans our major meetings – annual convention, Carolina Labor School, Labor Legislative Conference, and COPE Screening – serves as our IT technician, and manages our website.
In July 2010, thanks to a Solidarity Grant from the national AFL-CIO, Jeremy took on new communications duties, and the Executive Board promoted Jeremy to Communications Director in January 2011. Jeremy is a member of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, TNG-CWA Local 32035.
Campaign Manager / Field Program Coordinator