Department of Labor and Industry

Past Conference Agendas

2005 Labor Conference


SEPTEMBER 21 & 22, 2005
Ruby's Inn and Convention Center, Missoula Montana

Co-Sponsors: Montana Arbitrators Association, Montana Board of Personnel Appeals, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service, Montana Department of Labor & Industry, National Labor Relations Board


Ruby's Inn and Convention Center is located in Missoula, Montana, just 1.5 blocks off Interstate 90, Exit 101. Visit MapQuest to view map.


4825 North Reserve Street
Missoula, MT 59808
Phone: 406-541-7829
Toll Free: 800-221-2057
Fax: 406-721-0990

Conference and government rates are available with proper identification until September 9, 2002, after which rooms and rates are subject to availability

Continuing Education Credits will be available.


Richard Ahearn
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Henry M. Jackson Federal Building, Room 2948
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174-1078
Telephone 206-220-6310

Richard L. Ahearn was appointed Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board's Regional Office in Seattle, WA (Region 19), in 2003. Mr. Ahearn joined the NLRB in 1973 as a student assistant in the Boston, MA Regional Office (Region 1) and became a legal assistant in the agency's Buffalo, NY Regional Office (Region 3) in 1974 after graduating from Northeastern University School of Law. Upon passing the bar, Mr. Ahearn was promoted to a Field Attorney in Region 3 in 1975. He was assigned to the Albany, NY Resident Office in 1976 and transferred as a Supervisory Attorney in 1979 to the Baltimore, MD Regional Office (Region 5). He was promoted to Deputy Regional Attorney in 1979, to Regional Attorney in 1981, and Regional Director in the Buffalo office in 1987. Mr. Ahearn had been serving since April 1995 as Regional Director of the NLRB's Regional Office in Cincinnati, OH (Region 9). A native of Northampton, MA, Mr. Ahearn received a B.A. degree in 1968 from Columbia College, New York City and a J.D. degree in 1974 from Northeastern University School of Law. Before entering law school in 1971, he taught American History at the Dalton School in New York City from 1968-70, and was director of the Neighborhood Youth Corps for Hampshire County, MA from 1970-71. Mr. Ahearn and his wife Susan have two daughters.

John Andrew, Bureau Chief
Montana Department of Labor and Industry
Labor Standards Bureau
P.O. Box 6518
Helena, MT 59604-6518
Telephone: 406-444-4619
Fax: 406-444-7071

John Andrew is the Bureau Chief of the Labor Standards Bureau of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. The bureau is responsible for enforcement of a variety of labor laws including minimum wage, overtime, collective bargaining for the public sector, wage payment, child labor and prevailing wage (Little Davis-Bacon). John has been employed with the Department for 25 years in a variety of positions including wage and hour compliance specialist and hearing examiner. As a hearing examiner John conducted hundreds of contested case hearings involving a variety of employment related issues including wage and hour, workers' compensation and collective bargaining in the public sector. Prior to assuming his current management position John worked for the Board of Personnel Appeals as a labor mediator where he mediated numerous disputes involving public sector employers and labor organizations. John is a Helena native who graduated from Carroll College in 1977 with degree in Political Science and had a successful, but brief, career as a gravedigger prior to joining the Department.

Kimberly Beg
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)
International and Dispute Resolution Services
2100 K Street, NW, Room 201
Washington, DC 20427
Telephone 202-606-8099 Fax: 202-606-3679
FMCS website:

Kimberly Beg is a Commissioner with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in the Office of International and Dispute Resolution Services. She is responsible for developing FMCS' international and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs, and for providing a wide range of mediation, facilitation, training, and systems design services. Prior to joining the department, Ms. Beg served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Director and as the Designated Agency Ethics Officer for the agency. Her background as a litigator with the District of Columbia's Bar Association's Office of Bar Counsel provides another framework for the analysis of both conflict development and resolution. Ms. Beg holds a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College, a Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and a Juris Doctorate from The Washington College of Law at American University.

Maggie Copeland
MEA-MFT Field Representative
PO Box 1008
Glendive, MT 59330
Telephone: 406-365-4051
Fax: 406-365-4022

Maggie Copeland graduated from Utah State University in Logan, Utah in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Maggie then taught in Moab, Utah for several years and while teaching became involved in local and statewide union activities. Copeland served the local teacher's union as a head negotiator and grievance chair. At the state level, she served as a Director on the Utah Education Association's Board of Directors and as President of the Council of Local Presidents. Maggie decided to make a full time job out of union work and in 1989 took a job with the Montana Education Association in their Glendive office as a labor consultant--a position she holds to date. Currently, Copeland provides bargaining services, training and consultation to approximately 1100 Bargaining unit members in 33 locals scattered about 17 counties in Eastern Montana. She also serves the National Education Association as a member of NEA's national facilitation training team. In the past five years she has been active in promoting labor management committees, grievance mediation (prior to engaging in arbitration) and interest-based bargaining. In her 13 year career with MEA-MFT, Maggie has successfully represented bargaining unit members in arbitration cases spanning a wide variety of issues including contract termination without cause, possession of firearms, insubordination charges, union rights and contract interpretation cases.

William L. Corbett
Professor, University of Montana
PO Box 1143
Missoula, MT 59812
Telephone: 406-243-4741

William L. Corbett is a Law Professor, Attorney and Arbitrator. To his students, Professor Corbett brings a wealth of practice experience, having been an arbitrator and trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. Bill represented the National Labor Relations Board before the U.S. Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts from 1971-74 and served as Legal Counsel to the United State Senate from 1974-76. A native of Wyoming, Corbett obtained his J.D. degree from the University of Wyoming School of Law and his LL.M. from Harvard University School of Law. He joined the University of Montana School of Law in 1976 and currently teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution, Administrative Law, Labor Law, and Employment Discrimination . He is the author of numerous articles on arbitration, including an article regarding the rules of evidence in the arbitration hearing. Corbett is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and various permanent arbitration panels. Professor Corbett is the author of Dispute Resolution Handbook , State Bar of Montana and Non-Jury Trial Handbook: Bench Trials, Administrative Hearings and Arbitrations (forthcoming).

Michael Dahlem
Attorney at Law
215 Eddy Avenue
Missoula, MT 59801
Telephone 406-721-1940

Michael Dahlem is a Missoula attorney who specializes in school, labor and employment law. Michael received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Iowa State University in 1975, a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Montana in 1986, and a J.D. and Ph.D. in philosophy from Rutgers University in 1991. Since returning to Montana in 1991, Michael has been employed as staff director by the Montana Federation of Teachers and staff attorney by the Montana School Boards Association. He has maintained a private law practice since 1996 and has recently represented the Indian Impact Schools of Montana in state and federal court in Impact Aid funding litigation. He is chair of the School Law Section of the State Bar of Montana and edits a quarterly newsletter entitled School Law News .

Joe Dwyer, Secretary Treasurer
Teamsters Local Union 190
437 Kuhlman Drive
PO Box 50969
Billings, MT 59105
Telephone 406-248-2658
Board of Personnel Appeals

Joe Dwyer has been Secretary Treasurer for Teamsters Local #190 since 1996. Prior to that he was a Business Representative for Local #190. Local 190 is a general local union covering a variety of industry in southeastern Montana. Dwyer has served as chairman of the IUF/NA Tate and Lyle workers council, is currently an alternate labor member of the Montana Board of Personnel Appeals, and was the President of the Interstate Council of Teamster Sugar Workers.

Karl J. Englund
Attorney at Law
401 North Washington
PO Box 8358
Missoula, MT 59807
Telephone: 406-721-2729
Fax: 406-728-8878

Karl Englund is a 1974 graduate of the University of Montana and a 1982 graduate of the University of Montana Law School. He practices law in Missoula where his practice is limited to labor, environmental and personal injury law and litigation. He has represented, among others, the Montana AFL-CIO, the Montana District Council of Laborers, Local 400 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Montana Education Association-Montana Federation of Teachers, the Montana Nurses' Association, the Missoula County Deputy Sheriff's Association, and police and firefighter unions in Kalispell, Missoula and Butte. Before attending law school Karl worked for the Northern Plains Resource Council, the Environmental Policy Institute of Washington D.C., Max Baucus and the late Senator Lee Metcalf.

Jack Flagler, Arbitrator
American Arbitration Association
2812 Sunset Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416
Telephone: 612-374-1505

John 'Jack' Flagler is a labor arbitrator with extensive experience in labor relations from the practical and academic viewpoints. Before teaching at universities in this country and abroad, he was a chief steward and then president of a local union in a foundry. He is recently retired from his tenured position at the University of Minnesota where he also served as director of the University's Industrial Relations Center. He has written several publications on the subject of labor relations including the arbitrator's decision-making process. He is a member of the following arbitration panels: Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, National Mediation Board, American Arbitration Association. In 1996 Jack was awarded the AAA Crystal Owl for distinguished service and is a former governor of the National Academy of Arbitrators.

Eileen B. Hoffman, FMCS Commissioner
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)
International and Dispute Resolution Services
2100 K Street, NW, Room 201
Washington, DC 20427
Telephone 202-606-5447; Fax: 202/606-3679
FMCS website:

Eileen B. Hoffman has served as a mediator and project director with FMCS's International and Dispute Resolution Section in Washington, DC since 1997. In that capacity, she has trained numerous labor, management, and government officials in dispute resolution skills in Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, and the Far East and in the USA, has developed new workshops on problem-solving and generational conflict, and mediated labor and workplace disputes. From 1991-1997, she served as the agency's General Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs and from 1985-1991, she was a District Director supervising 17 mediators in a ten-state area. She joined FMCS in 1975 as an intern was later stationed in the New York City field office where she became a Commissioner, responsible for mediating major hospital and health care disputes and training labor and management in interest based problem solving. In 1978, she represented FMCS in a six-month detail to the British Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). A native of Queens, New York, she received a B.S. degree from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, an M.A. in political science from Columbia University, and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. As an adjunct professor, she teaches alternative dispute resolution at George Washington University Law School, and collective bargaining and organizational communication courses at George Washington University Graduate School. A past president of the DC Chapter of the IRRA, she has been selected to become President Elect of the Labor and Employment Association (LERA).

Jack Holstrom, Personnel Services Administrator
Montana Association of County Officials
2715 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59602
Telephone: 406-442-5209
Fax: 406-442-8783
Board of Personnel Appeals, Chairman

Jack Holstrom is the Personnel Services Administrator for the MACo/JPIA Property and Casualty Insurance Trust, where he consults with county elected officials on human resource issues. Previous to his present employment, Jack represented the Montana Department of Transportation and other agencies in collective bargaining and other human resource issues for 22 years. Jack received his undergraduate and then completed his J.D. from the University of Montana in 1968. Since 1999 Jack has been the Presiding Officer for the Montana Board of Personnel Appeals.

Steve Johnson, Director of Human Resources
Missoula County
200 West Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802
Telephone: 406-721-5700, ext 3298
Fax: 406-523-4863
Board of Personnel Appeals, Member

Steve Johnson has been a management member of the Board of Personnel Appeals since 2001. He currently works as the Director of Human Resources for Missoula County, a position he has held since 1996. Missoula County currently has ten collective bargaining units. Steve also worked for eight years in the State of Montana's Personnel Division, as the state's chief labor negotiator, and as a labor relations specialist and a personnel specialist. He is a Missoula native and graduated from the University of Montana. He is married to Beth Johnson. They have four children and live in Missoula's Rattlesnake Valley.

David B. Lipsky, Professor of Collective Bargaining
Director of the Cornell/PERC Institute on Conflict Resolution
School of Industrial & Labor Relations
621 Catherwood Library Tower
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901

David B. Lipsky is Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Director of the Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University.  This year he is the President-Elect of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (formerly the Industrial Relations Research Association).  He will become President of LERA in January 2006.  In his research and teaching activities he primarily focuses on negotiation, conflict resolution, and collective bargaining. Dr. Lipsky served as dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell from 1988 until 1997 and has been a member of the Cornell faculty since 1969.  He received his B.S. in 1961 from the ILR School at Cornell and his Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. in 1967.  Dr. Lipsky has had a long-standing interest in distance learning.  From 2000 to 2004 he served in a part-time capacity as Director of Educational Planning and Review for eCornell, Cornell University's distance learning subsidiary.  Between 1997 and 1999 he established and served as the first director of Cornell's Office of Distance Learning, the predecessor organization of eCornell. 

Dr. Lipsky is the author of over forty-five articles and the author or editor of nineteen books and monographs.  He is the co-author (with Ronald L. Seeber and Richard D. Fincher) of Emerging Systems for Managing Workplace Conflict, published by Jossey-Bass in April 2003.  He is the co-editor, with Jonathan Brock, of the IRRA's 2003 annual research volume, Going Public:  The Role of Labor-Management Relations in Delivering Quality Government Services published by the Industrial Relations Research Association in September 2003.  He is also the co-editor (with Thomas A. Kochan) of Negotiations and Change:  From the Workplace to Society, which was published by the Cornell University Press in February 2003. 

Jeff Minckler
Management Representative
PO Box 1776
Missoula, MT 59806
Telephone: 406-544-2321
Fax: 406-542-2321
jeff @

Jeff Minckler is an independent management representative who has offered comprehensive representation of Montana employers in all aspects of labor relations, including negotiations, consultation, hearings, policy development and training since 1986. Clients include school districts, cities and counties, trucking, sheet metal and other private sector employers. He began his career in labor relations in 1973 when he became the business manager and chief spokesperson for the United Paperworkers International Union for Local 1145 in Missoula, Montana. From 1975 to 1978, Jeff worked for the State of Montana, first as a labor relations specialist in the Labor Relations Bureau, then as Chief of that Bureau and governor's designee for collective bargaining, where he was responsible to the Governor for all state labor relations activities for 76 bargaining units and acted as the Chair of State Pay Committee. Jeff was the chief negotiator and regional manager of the Montana Public Employees Association (MPEA) until 1982. He was director of labor relations for the Montana School Boards Association (MSBA) from 1982 until 1986. Prior to working in labor relations, Jeff was an instructor at the University of Montana for several years. He resides in Missoula with his wife, and is an avid Grizzly fan.

Paul E. Polzin, Director
Bureau of Economic Research
University of Montana
Gallagher Business Building
32 Campus Drive #6840
Missoula, MT 59812-6840
Telephone: (406) 243-5113
Fax: (406) 243-2086

Professor Paul E. Polzin is Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research and a Professor in the Department of Management.  Dr. Polzin has been at the University of Montana since 1968. Professor Polzin grew up in Detroit, Michigan.  He attended the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.  He was granted a Ph.D. in Economics by Michigan State University in 1968. Professor Polzin has extensively studied the Montana economy during the past thirty years.  He has published numerous studies of the long-term and short-term economic trends in Montana, and for certain areas within the state.  He has also made economic projections for the future.  Each year, Professor Polzin is a featured speaker at the Montana Economic Outlook Seminars, which are presented at various locations throughout the state.  He is frequently quoted by newspapers, television and radio stations.

Beth Schindler, Director of Mediation Services
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)
2001 6th Ave, Suite 1100
Seattle, WA 98121
Telephone: 206-553-5800
Fax: 206-553-6653

Beth Schindler is currently the Director of Mediation Services for the Western Region of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS). Prior to this appointment, Beth served as Commissioner of Mediation for FMCS beginning in 1996, where she became known as an exceptional trainer in areas such as Interest Based Bargaining and Labor Management Cooperative Committees. Beth's additional experience in labor relations has been as a representative for employees of professional, clerical, insurance, health care and social service employers. She also has extensive experience working with the administration and development of Taft-Hartley Health, Welfare and Pension trust funds. Beth attended the George Meany Center for Labor Studies/Antioch University to complete a B.A. degree in Labor Studies.

LeRoy H. Schramm
Arbitrator – Factfinder – Mediator
1900 Dry Gulch Drive
Helena, MT 59601
Telephone 406-443-5033

LeRoy H. Schramm was Chief Legal Counsel for the Montana University System from 1981 to August 2004, and has been diligently attempting to retire since that date. Prior to 1981 he was state director of labor relations and responsible for collective bargaining for all Montana executive branch agencies. He holds a B.A. from Valparaiso University, an M.A. from the State University of New York at Albany; a Ph.D. from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, and a J.D. from the William Mitchell School of Law. LeRoy plans to work as a neutral arbitrator, factfinder and mediator once he completes all pending cases relating to his extensive time with the Montana University System. He resides in Helena, Montana, with his wife.

David W. Stiteler
Arbitrator – Factfinder – Mediator
PMB 364, 4676 Commercial Street SE
Salem OR 97302-1902
Telephone: 503-371-8152
Fax: 503-949-5681

David W. Stiteler, former long-time Montana resident, has been involved in labor relations for nearly 30 years. He has a B.A. in Political Science (1972) and J.D. (1975), both from the University of Wyoming. After graduating from law school, he went to work as a labor relations specialist for the Montana State Department of Administration, later becoming the State's legal counsel for labor relations matters. David was then hired by the Montana Public Employees Association as its in-house counsel. In 1992, after representing both sides, he went to work for the Oregon Employment Relations Board as an administrative law judge. In 1996, the Governor appointed him to a full-time position as an ERB member. As an ALJ and ERB member, he authored over 200 opinions on a wide variety of labor relations and personnel issues. He was a frequent speaker at labor relations conferences in Oregon and Washington in the last six years. After serving two terms on the ERB, most of it as the chair, David left in September 2003 to become a full-time arbitrator. He is on labor arbitrations panels of the FMCS and the states of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Hawaii, Nevada, and California. He is glad to have the opportunity to visit Montana again.

Kathryn T. Whalen
PMB 125, 25 NW 23 RD Place, STE. 6
Portland, OR 97210
Telephone: 503.221.3098
Fax: 503.228.8397

Kathryn Whalen is a labor arbitrator. She has worked in labor relations since 1981. She has a B.A. in Psychology, a M.A. in Special Education, and a J.D. in Law all from the University of Oregon. From May of 1997 through May of 2003, Ms. Whalen served as a Board Member on the Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB). ERB administers Oregon's public sector collective bargaining law, a civil service law for state employees, and a limited private sector collective bargaining law. Prior to her service with ERB, Ms. Whalen practiced labor and employment law for over 15 years, representing labor organizations in the public and private sector, as well as individuals. Ms. Whalen is a member of the Oregon State Bar (OSB) and the 2003 Chair of the OSB Labor and Employment Section. She is a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. She has given many educational talks and has written articles, primarily about collective bargaining. She also has co-taught a seminar on international labor relations (global labor markets) at Lewis & Clark College of Law. Ms. Whalen is on labor arbitration panels for FMCS, AAA, and various state panels, such as Montana, Oregon, Washington and California.