Education & Training on the move

Under the direction of National Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert, the BLET's Education & Training Department recently completed a nationwide tour of hands-on training seminars for BLET members.

Based on feedback from the membership, the workshops were incredibly helpful for first time officers and served as a beneficial refresher course for veterans. The Department has conducted the following workshops this year:

"I am extremely proud of the work done by the Education and Training Department staff ," National Secretary-Treasurer Walpert said. "Nearly 200 BLET members have successfully completed valuable training in just a few months, thanks to a dedicated group of hard working individuals."

For their work in presenting and organizing the Secretary-Treasurer workshops, NST Walpert especially thanked: Ken Kroeger, Special Representative and Coordinator of the Education & Training Department; Bob Broka, Director of Records; Dr. Elaine Reese, Director of Tax Compliance; and Walt Schmidt, BLET Director of Online Services.

He also thanked Rick Radek, BLET National Vice President and Director of Arbitration, and Doug Davidson, Assistant Director of Arbitration, for their leadership roles in the workshop for General Chairmen.

He also recognized the efforts of John Tolman, BLET Vice President and National Legislative Representative, his staff and Teamsters personnel for their assistance in directing the training seminar for Legislative Representatives.

"I am especially proud of the workshop for Legislative Representatives primarily because it was the first of its kind," Walpert said. "I hope it is the first of more to come as the workshop was well received by all in attendance."

Walpert said the General Chairman workshop in St. Louis was significant because leaders of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference were in attendance.

In his role as Coordinator of the Education and Training Department, Ken Kroeger scheduled and organized all workshops. He thanked his wife, Sereena Hogan, for her assistance and patience.

Walpert also thanked Phillip J. Sullivan II, Executive Director of the North American Railway Foundation, for providing stipends to all BLET members who successfully completed an Education & Training workshop.

"I believe the membership of the BLET is one of the most highly educated in all of labor thanks to the North American Railway Foundation and our own Education and Training Department," he said. "I thank Phil Sullivan and NARF for their continued support."

Due to the overwhelming success of these sessions, the Education and Training Department is currently planning more workshops for the future. NST Walpert encouraged all officers to attend and advised members to monitor the BLET website,, for announcements regarding dates and locations of future workshops.

ST Workshop: Jacksonville, Fla.

Front from left: John Bove, ST Div 269; Bill Hardbarger S-T CSX GCA; Kenneth Moore, S-T Div 621; William Walpert, NST & Director of Education & Training; Ken Kroeger, Coordinator of Education & Training & Special Representative; and Charles Brown, S-T Div 30.

Second row, from left: Ryan Brown, S-T Div 170; Tom Danner Jr, ST Div 934; John McClanahan, S-T Div 769; Cindy Peterman, S-T Div 332; Jamie Spivey, S-T Div 706; Craig Fack, OK Alt. State Leg. Rep. ST Div 578; Dave McKinney, S-T Div 26

Third row, from left: Robert Olsen, S-T LIRR GCA, Div 269; Daryl Dickey, S-T Div 646; Larris Horton, S-T Div 210; Al Santorelli Jr, S-T Div 495; Lorna Stevens, S-T Div 11; and Andrew Goulet, S-T, Mich. SLB.

Fouth row, from left: Bruce Galloway, S-T Div 286; Charles Owens, S-T Div 37; Robin McLean, S-T Div 140; Ron Liles Jr, S-T Div 786; Jeffrey Valentine, S-T Div 158; and Gerry Hirt, S-T Div 730.

Fifth row, from left: Cecil Dubberly Jr, S-T Div 59; Jonathan Buck, S-T Div 208; Jason Tolley S-T Div 38; David Wyatt, S-T Div 216; Walt Schmidt, Webmaster; and Bob Broka, Records Department Director.


ST Workshop: Dallas, Texas

Front row, from left: David Boiles, S-T Division 523; Scott Piekarski, S-T Division 187; Kenton Hastings, Alt S-T Division 144; William Walpert NST & Director of Education & Training; Diane Ellis, Executive Assistant Texas SLB; Ken Kroeger Coordinator of Education & Training & Special Representative; and Jim Bradford Special Representative.

Second row, from left: Jim Evans, Secretary -Treasurer Division 527; Christopher Riley, S-T; Matt Williams, S-T Division 736; Pat Murphy, S-T Division 141; Bill Stein, S-TDivision 863; Jerry Bullard, S-T Division 212; Fernando Gonzales, S-T Division 871; and James Ussery, Texas SLB ST, S-T Division 834.

Third row, from left: Terry Willingham, S-T Division 500; Tyler Jones, S-T Division 740; Rusty Snell, S-T Division 620; and Cary Qualls, S-T Division 392.

Fourth row, from left: Ty Rickman, Alt S-T Division 172; David Lively, President Division 172; Anthony Lenear, S-T Division 201; Robby Hunt, S-T Division 703; Kenneth Hachtel, S-T Division 206; Richard Dame, Kansas SLB ST Division 587; Curtis O'Neal, S-T Division 107; and James Carlson, S-T Division 77.

Fifth row, from left: Tony Brown, S-T Division 857; Walt Schmidt Webmaster; Bob Broka Records Department Director; and Dr. Elaine Reese Office of Tax Compliance Director.


ST Workshop: Madison, Wisc.

Front row, from left: Brenda Greenman, GTW GCA ST, Div 33; Louie Fernandez ST, Div 383; Mark Whitchurch, CN-IC 1st VGC & GCA ST; Curt Houston, UP Western Lines AGST and Div. 415 ST; Chuck Fleming, UP Western Lines GCA ST, Div 192; Bill Walpert, BLET National Secretary-Treasurer; Jim Nelson, BNSF/MRL GCA ST, Div 644; Jim Thompson, UP Eastern Region GCofA ST; Ken Kroeger, BLET Special Representative and Coordinator, BLET Education & Training Dept.; and Thomas Curran LC & ST, Div 659.

Back row, from left: Thomas Greenman, GTW GCA ST; James Chappelle, NJ Transit GCA ST; Kevin Leyerle, Div. 81 ST and UP-Central Region GSA ST; David Welter, CSX-North Lines GCA ST; Jerry Elmore, NS-Northern Lines GCA ST; David Estes, Amtrak GCA ST; and Mike Pancost, BNSF Northern Lines AGST and Div. 622 ST.

Present but not pictured: Gary Bell UP Central Region GCA ST; Michael Mercer, UP Northern Region GCA ST; Dr. Elaine Reese, Office of Tax Compliance Director; Walt Schmidt, BLET Webmaster; and John Lund, Ph.D Professor, School for Workers University of Wisconsin-Extension.


© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen