Meet the Education Team

Dave Cann, Director Field Services and Education

Dave Cann has spent the past fifteen years working as a labor advocate, organizer, labor lawyer, negotiator and educator. He has negotiated dozens of collective bargaining agreements in the private, public and federal sector, and developed training for union members, staff and officers.

Julie Mendez-de Leon, Deputy Director Field Services and Education

Julie comes to AFGE from by way of the National Labor College, where she spent the last 17 years, teaching, advising and mentoring union members from all across the country. A seasoned labor educator and creative facilitator she enjoys discovering new ways to engage members and leaders in their unions. She feels lucky to have landed at AFGE where she continues to learn, teach and advocate for federal workers.  

Suzanne Snurpus, Program Coordinator for Mentorship Institute

The decision to join AFGE given the opportunity to create and build a mentorship program was an easy decision to make and a natural progression for Suzanne.   Coming from a labor family and a deep-rooted belief that organized labor is a must along with the desire to build deep long lasting relationships and a true sense of community, Suzanne is thrilled to be a part of the FSED team and excited to chart new territory both in AFGE and across the labor movement as a whole where she is committed to engaging new members, developing leaders, and paying it forward for the next generation of union leaders.

Kalin Petkov, Assistant to the Program Coordinator

Kalin comes to AFGE from a career with an international non-profit organization in Washington, DC and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He spent 15 years in different roles providing senior management support. An experienced administrative professional, he enjoys working for organizations and causes that he admires and supports. Kalin received a B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in EU Integration and Development.    

Rob Morriss, Education Technology Specialist

After receiving a degree in computer science, Rob began teaching programming skills in a Maryland high school. He has continued to blend his teaching skills and computer skills throughout his career. In 2000 he obtained a degree in instructional design and shortly afterwards began work at the National Labor College, as administrator of their learning management system. While teaching and developing distance classes, he saw first-hand how online technologies can increase opportunities for union education. Rob has lived in the Washington DC metropolitan area for quite a while now, but still likes that small town feeling when you greet someone on the street, whether you know them or not.  

Shara Smith, Labor Education Specialist

One of the newest members to join the team, Shara works alongside fellow education staff in the area instructional design, training development and facilitation. Prior to joining the AFGE team, Shara worked with SEIU in their Political Department developing and implementing programs to engage members in politics. 

Milly Rodriguez, Labor Safety and Health Specialist 

Milly has been the Occupational Health and Safety Specialist at AFGE for more than 15 years. She is responsible for developing and implementing AFGE’s health and safety program featuring education, information, training, and advocacy. Ms. Rodríguez provides guidance in the technical aspects of detecting, preventing, and correcting health and safety hazards involved in a variety of occupations. The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I’ve helped members and local union officers learn to resolve health and safety issues or get the WC benefits they are entitled to. 

Megan Fissell

Megan is fairly new to the Labor Movement, but was drawn to AFGE's commitment to social justice and improving the lives of workers and their families. Prior to earning her M.S. in Instructional Science and Technology, she worked as a teacher in California and in northern Mexico. She also has experience as an instructional designer in the nonprofit, higher education, and government sectors. 

Annie (Hong) Li

Annie joined in the education team of the department as the Technological Educational Specialist in November 2015. She decided to pursue her professional career in the e-learning field during her graduate study in US. She holds Master of Art in interactive multimedia and Master of Science in Education in instructional design and technology. She has developed the e-learning projects for Kaiser Permanente, National Labor College, UFCW and other organizations. She has won the award in the Mobile Learning Division issued by the International E-learning Association in 2012. During her spare time, she likes practicing yoga, hiking, doing some volunteering works in education and charity.   

Lynee Bennet, Administrative Assistant

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