Executive Committee unveils award to honor former president Larry Willis
Washington, DC – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger were unanimously elected today as President and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively, of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), by the organization’s Executive Committee. Regan started at TTD as a legislative representative in 2011, was elected secretary-treasurer in 2017, and subsequently re-elected to that role this past March. Semelsberger began her career with TTD in 1999, and for the past decade, has served as the office administrator, overseeing much of TTD’s operations.
Their election, held virtually, follows the tragic and untimely death of former TTD president Larry Willis who, over a 20-year career, helped establish TTD’s policy leadership, and raised the bar for demanding and enforcing worker protections throughout our nation’s transportation system.
“Larry dedicated his life to the labor movement, working tirelessly to enhance the rights and livelihoods of those who build, operate, and maintain our transportation system. He helped shape many of the policies frontline workers benefit from today, including due process and labor protections that are now standard in federally funded infrastructure projects,” Regan said. “I am committed to carrying forward the work Larry started, and will fight to improve the lives of transportation workers. Along with our unions, I am eager to help steer transportation workers through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and look forward to working with the Biden administration to build back better once the pandemic is behind us.”
Transportation union leaders also unveiled the Larry Willis Leadership Award, which will be given annually to a public servant or community leader who demonstrates commitment, dedication, and advocacy on behalf of transportation workers.
“Millions of people have had their lives improved because of Larry’s work. We see it today in the legislation he helped shape, the policymakers he reached, the colleagues and staff he mentored and inspired, and the working people he dedicated his life to,” Semelsberger said. “The Larry Willis Leadership Award will ensure this legacy lives on by recognizing those who exemplify the work ethic, passion, and mission-driven focus that Larry brought to TTD every day.”
TTD’s Executive Committee also discussed their priorities — including federally mandated COVID-19 workplace protections, emergency transportation funding, and long-term infrastructure investment — with Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
“We have an enormous opportunity in this critical moment to deliver for the American people,” said Secretary Buttigieg. “We need to build our economy back, better than ever, and the Department of Transportation will play a critical role in this by implementing President Biden’s infrastructure vision: revitalizing communities that have been left behind, tackling the climate crisis, and enabling American small businesses, workers and families to compete and win in the global economy. In all of this work, labor will be a key partner in our efforts to build a modern infrastructure that creates good union jobs.”