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.

General Counsel

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 is the Communications Director and Operations Manager for the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, where he has worked since 2005. Prior to being hired, Jeremy interned with our state fed on the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride and Justice @ Smithfield campaigns and worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Jeremy is responsible for developing and implementing an external and internal communications plan using traditional and online media outreach, available digital platforms, and creative special events – as well as for planning state federation conferences and maintaining day-to-day operations at our headquarters. Jeremy is a political science graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jeremy is a proud member of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, TNG-CWA Local 32035, and lives in Raleigh, NC, with his husband, Ziggy.

Campaign Manager / Field Program Coordinator

Aiden Graham is the Campaign Manager and Field Program Coordinator for the North Carolina State AFL-CIO.