“Mark’s labor presentation is superb. He covers the past, the present and the future of American unionism in great detail. He left the delegates at our International Convention standing on their feet and truly motivated to go out and fight for the rights of working men and women. This presentation is a must for modern day unionists that are concerned about rebuilding and maintaining the middle class in this country.” – Kinsey Robinson, International President, Roofers Union, November 25, 2013.
“Mark inspired and electrified our Region 9 leadership conference with a clear message of how we, as organized labor and working people in our diverse communities, can once again lead our nation toward greater justice and security for all. He reminded us that we built the American Dream and can do it once again as we find common ground around a shared vision and values and demand a better future for all of us. I strongly recommend Mark to any union wanting to inspire and educate their leaders and activists about the road forward.” – Cindy Estrada, International Vice President, United Auto Workers, Union, August 25, 2015.
“I have used and observed Mark McDermott’s presentation of labor history and I would recommend this program to any labor organization which wants to educate their membership and leadership on the relevancy of labor history for today’s issues. Mark makes his personal and family history a testimony to the need of Unions in the workplace for the past, present and future for working men and women.” – Michael Mowrey, IBEW 9th District International Vice President, June 11, 2013.
“I heard Mark speak at the IBEW’s national Membership Development convention this year. He presents a unique perspective from a historical point of view by comparing labor’s modern day challenges with the overwhelming challenges of workers’ organizing efforts in the 19th and 20th centuries. His personal story of how he became a union activist makes for a very interesting and compelling discussion about not only the labor movement but activism in general. I have attended more conferences and listened to more speakers than I can count in my 43 years in the IBEW. Many were interesting and informative but very few as compelling as Mark. He is one of the best at informing and motivating.” – Don Siegel, IBEW 3rd District International Vice President, December 3, 2013.
“Mark McDermott’s presentation on economic justice does a masterful job of mapping the economic landscape of contemporary America and showing how the dramatic disparities of wealth in this wealthiest of industrialized nations came to be. The power of McDermott’s presentation comes not so much from the presentation of facts—many of which his listeners already know—as from the description of patterns and strategies that have brought us to where we are.” – Peter B. Ely, S.J., Seattle University Vice President, Mission and Ministry. Seattle University Economic Justice Teach-in, December 1, 2012.
“What is most valuable about Mark’s workshops is the recognition that as we remember our history, we get a sense of optimism and hope that when we come together and focus on what we have in common, rather than what divides us, we can overcome seemingly impossible odds and make progressive change.” – Jeff Johnson, President, Washington State Labor Council. WSLC Leadership Development and Candidate School, June 1, 2015.
“Mark’s presentation clearly demonstrates the lessons of history and the fact that those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat their mistakes.” – Rick Bloomingdale, President, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, April 9, 2014.
“Mark McDermott’s speech to our state convention electrified the audience with an inspiring story of how our ancestors built the American Dream and laid the foundation for a long period of shared prosperity. His analysis of Corporate America’s decades-long counterattack to steal the Dream and how we can build the power to create a new era of shared prosperity was very valuable for our organization. I highly recommend Mark and his work for unions that want to energize their members for the challenges facing our movement and ideas about how to build stronger allies in our communities.” – Dave Myers, Executive Secretary, Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, October 21, 2013.
“His workshop was just fantastic! It was very educational, not to mention emotional, and overall it was motivational! This could be the cure for apathy in the labor movement. It felt like a shot in the arm. He gives an exciting history of the labor movement’s wins, losses, struggles and victories like none I’ve ever seen or heard before. I think this would be an invaluable addition to our stewards training.” – Susan Palmer, Secretary-Treasurer, Machinists District Lodge 751. Washington State Labor Council Convention, July 29, 2013.
“Thanks, again, Mark, for a terrific presentation. One thing commented on the next day was the importance of reaching people at the heart level.” – Karen Strickland, President, American Federation of Teachers – Washington, Executive Board retreat, August 2, 2013.
“Thank you for the insightful labor and economic presentation to our Public Policy class. Students felt empowered and appreciated the information. Thanks for sharing your attached presentation with class as requested.” – Maria Batayola, Instructor, Seattle Central College, May 5, 2012.
“The presenter, Mark McDermott, was terrific. He was blunt, informative, energetic, and didn’t dance around the ‘elephant in the room’: our country is being increasingly dominated by a small group of PEOPLE for whom democracy and democratic institutions are treated as obstacles to be destroyed or rendered ineffective. I appreciated how he named names and quoted Milton Freidman, Lewis Powell, and Warren Buffett. These folks, and more, need to be called out personally.” – Rebecca Castilleja, Executive Committee, Sierra Club Cascade Chapter, May 17, 2014.
“Mark’s presentation to the Washington State Machinists Council was very well received with many positive comments from the delegates. His inspiring message of hope based on our own history as unionists and workers that we can build a more optimistic future for working families was a very big plus for our meeting.” – Larry Brown, Political Director, Machinists District 751, December 6, 2013.
“Mark McDermott gives a riveting emotional history lesson on the bravery and solidarity of working people in the United States. His presentation uses both cold facts and personal stories to explain how our country has developed the most unequal distribution of wealth since the 1920’s. He met with us to tailor his presentation to our particular audience—the Casa Latina staff. Our staff then used the knowledge gained in his presentation to educate day laborers and domestic workers about the history of the labor movement in the United States.” – Hilary Stern, Executive Director, Casa Latina, Seattle, April 10, 2013.
“Thanks so much for using your gifts and your passion to educate and energize folks to work together for social justice. I really appreciate the work you do and you’re coming to gift our folks with some of it! I’m glad there will be follow-up work with a number of groups resulting from this. You should do a power point film like Gore did with “An Inconvenient Truth” for those who aren’t fortunate enough to see you in person, and your work can go viral!” – Julia Sterkovsky, Executive Director, Seattle Human Services Coalition, May 8, 2012.
“We completely support Mark’s project. His grasp of Labor History has left our members wanting more and more. I would like to see all apprentices, pre-apprentices and Journey Level workers receive the training someday soon.” – Lee Newgent, Executive Secretary, Seattle King County Building and Construction Trades Council, December 6, 2012.
“Mark’s workshop was fascinating because he made the struggle more real by linking his own family history into the presentation. It really helped to be able to put a face to the struggle.” – Beth Thew, Secretary-Treasurer, Spokane Washington Regional Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Spokane Regional Labor Council workshop, April 26, 2012.
“I have gotten great feedback on your Train the Trainer workshop and will continue to promote as opportunities arise.” – Greg Boyd, Organizing Director, 9th District IBEW, August 12, 2014.
“You were a smash-hit at the rank & file school. I’ll put the evaluations into the mail to you today. There are a few people who give you their contact info for follow up.” – Sarah Laslett, Director, Washington State Labor Education and Research Center. Spokane Regional Labor Council workshop, April 26. 2012.
“Mark has a passion to help us understand how there is no justice without economic justice. We need to take this knowledge and make it an underpinning of every progressive call to action.” – Sharon Maeda, Executive Director, 21 Progress, Seattle – June 13, 2013.
“Your workshop provided a valuable recounting of labor history with a personal and dramatic explanation of our current balance of power. But most importantly, you left us with a glimmer of optimism and hope for the endurance of ordinary people willing to fight for fairness and equality against great odds.” – Cindy Schu, Secretary-Treasurer/Organizing Director, OPEIU 8, April 27, 2013.
“Mark your presentation at the IBEW Progress Meeting in Portland was great. The history from your perspective made it especially heartfelt because your family lived it. What I got from the presentation is that we must unite or the Middle Class boat is going to sink. One last note thanks for talking to us at the airport.” – Rodrigo Flores, IBEW, California, May 20, 2013.
“I loved your presentation today!! It was very informative and motivating. I left Portland inspired and encouraged to do what I can to make the US a better place for all Americans.” – Georgette Carrillo, IBEW, California, May 20, 2013.
“Thank you for an outstanding event, so many participants commented on how great your presentation was and how moved they were.” – Maria Ochoa, Seattle University Alumni Office, December 3, 2012.
“On a personal level I would like to thank you, your workshop stirred my “heart of a lion” in regards to social justice, the patience, persistence, and most importantly the solidarity needed for change.” – Steve Creed, Snohomish County YWCA. Seattle Human Services Coalition Workshop, May 8, 2012.
“It was absolutely fantastic. Your presentation blended perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish. Thanks a lot Mark for being a part. Your presentation, like this story, was inspiring.” – Greg Galusha, IBEW Washington State Organizing Director. IBEW Local 191 Organizing Blitz workshop, May 22. 2012.
“I thought you hit it out of the park and from the responses on the evaluations, it seems the attendees did as well.” – Greg Boyd, Organizing Director for District 9, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. IBEW Local 191 Organizing Blitz workshop, May 22, 2012.
“I wanted to let you know we both thought the program and your presentation yesterday were excellent. Proof of the above statement is that we were still talking about it this morning at breakfast. Good job. Thanks.” – Susan Levy, board member of Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans and former President of Washington Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. PSARA workshop, May 14, 2012.
“I want to thank you for presenting at our convention earlier this month. Our folks were very impressed with your workshop, as I think was evidenced by your evaluations and requests for follow-up workshops. Please send me a copy of the Power Point presentation and notes.” – Jeff Johnson, President, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, August 31, 2012.
“I saw you speak at the UA Political Conference in Hollywood Florida and thought your presentation was great.” – Terry Hayden, Business Manager, Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 434 and President of Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association. Plumbers and Pipefitters Union National Political Action Conference, Hollywood, Florida, September 21, 2012.
“The information you share needs to be heard by as many labor people as possible.” – Terry McCafferty, Business Manager, Pipefitters Local 120, Cleveland, Ohio. Plumbers and Pipefitters Union National Political Action Conference, Hollywood, Florida, September 21, 2012.
“I really enjoyed the workshop, it inspired me to desire a greater grasp of US History. The class struggle that was illuminated by the workshop was a page out of my Union brat upbringing. I grew up hearing about the working man’s struggle throughout my childhood.” – Neal Lampi, Field Organizer, Real Change. Real Change workshop, November 15, 2012.
“I can tell you that Mark’s presentation has been overwhelmingly accepted in a positive manner by all of the IBEW members who have seen it.” – Greg Boyd, Region 9 Organizing Director, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, December 5, 2012.
“Mark is an engaging, well-informed and authentic educator and speaker. And he was truly a delight to work with and inspired me personally and all of us collectively to commit to being lifelong activists, even when our time is limited. The information he presented was not entirely new to me, but the fashion in which it was presented moved me and called me urgently to do something more, in a way I have not experienced before. Also, it’s good to note that Mark can present this information from a faith-based (as he did for us) or more secular/humanistic foundation.” – Brooke Rufo Hill, Director, Magis at Seattle University, December 19, 2012.
“Thank you, Mark. You did a great job at our workshop last Saturday. Those present voiced high praise. Very informative. I look forward to working with you in the future.” – Steven Chandler, Secretary-Treasurer/Business Agent, Teamsters Local 38, Everett, WA, February 14, 2013.
“Thanks to you too Mark for letting us videotape and use your great class. Fantastic experience for our members there at the class as well as those who will be able to catch it later in video form!” – Angela Marshall, Business Rep, IBEW Local 46, December 23, 2012.
“Thanks so much for the presentation. I understand it was fantastic.” – Pete Marsh, IBEW 112 Business Manager, Pasco, WA, October 8, 2012.
“Thanks for putting on a wonderful and educational seminar at Teamsters Local 839 today, hopefully we can have you back in the future it would be great for our membership. Thanks again.” – Bradley Taylor, President Teamsters Local 839. Pasco, WA, March 10, 2013.
“I just heard a presentation by Mark yesterday. He is a gifted speaker and educator. Mark can explain anything in a way that I can easily understand.” – Ginny Hein, UFCW 21 Executive Board member, Spokane WA, March 13, 2013.
“International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Drywall Finishers Local Union 364 invited Mark to our March meeting. Mark facilitated a great workshop which was met with a very positive response by the membership. It was a great evening and we are going to move forward with the ideas and concepts in building progressive coalitions. Thanks Mark! Great job! – Donny Johnson, IUPAT 364, Seattle, March 26, 2013.
“As Labor leaders we have superfluous explanations of the Labor movements rise and decline.The fact is we are so overwhelmed in the fight for justice that we have little time to get information/stories out about the past and current deprivation of society. Mark’s workshop and presentation, was broken down so simply yet so profound. The emotion in the room was extraordinary. In other words we all have stories of trials and tribulations within the Labor movement, but, no one, and I mean no one, can explain past and present events, about Labor, like Mark! Mark has an exceptional ability to deliver that message. Thank you Sir.” – Glen J. Nolte, Business Manager and Financial Secretary-Treasurer, Plumbers Local 582, Santa Ana, CA – May 8, 2013.
“Thank you for building such a great educational piece! I look forward to seeing its expansion into every local.” – Lynne Dodson, Secretary-Treasurer, Washington State Labor Council, WA State Labor Council convention – July 28, 2013
“Thank you very much for the terrific workshop that you presented here at the Los Angeles and Orange County Building Trades Council this past Friday. All through the weekend, in talking with my friends and family about the workshop, and again back at work yesterday and today, I find myself reflecting on the ideas that you put forth and formulating ways to put those ideas in motion pertaining to participating, organizing, mobilizing and having our voices heard in the halls of power. This is great stuff. Your workshop got me to thinking differently, creatively and more concretely about what each one of us can do to help rebuild the middle class and advance the prospects of working people everywhere.” – Barry Garfield, Los Angeles and Orange County Building Trades Council, September 20, 2013.
“Mark, you did a great job with your workshop at Local 763’s Steward/Member training on September 14th. Many of my Shop Stewards felt it was the best training they had ever gotten.” – Jason Powell, Business Representative, Teamsters Local 763, September 27, 2013.
“I wanted to let you know that in reading our evaluations, you were the clear winner under the question “What part of the Assembly did you like best?” Thank you. – Cindy Schu, Secretary-Treasurer, OPEIU Local 8, OPEIU 8 statewide Delegate Assembly, September 30, 2013.
“At the IBEW membership conference in Las Vegas I had the pleasure of sitting through your session titled “Fighting to Make the American Dream Real for Everyone”. I was blown away. I am a proud 2nd generation union member but I realize that even I was not taught the history of the Labor Movement. I would like to change that. If we do not study (or remember) the past we are doomed to repeat it.” – Mark Lauer, Business Manager, IBEW 14, Fall Creek, Wisconsin, October 3, 2013.
I can’t tell you how well received this presentation was. I feel it is a great addition to the Youth to Youth program. We plan to have Mark back next year. My recommendation would be to jump in with both feet.” – Eric Martinson, Business Manager, Sheet Metal 66, Lynnwood WA making a recommendation to another Sheet Metal Union business manager, October 10, 2013.
“You might call justice and labor educator Mark McDermott a union historian. Or a walking champion for the working class. The popular speaker has a gift for bringing past victories to life to inspire constructive action for the future.” – LA Building Trades News, October 2013.
“Mark McDermott gave a presentation for my monthly shop steward’s meeting. Many of my stewards do not have a strong labor background and many are also young. It was great for them to hear Mark’s presentation on the history of labor’s struggles and victories. Relating this history to today was especially helpful. Mark is enthusiastic and passionate and this makes his classes even more interesting. I highly recommend one of Mark’s presentations for any organization or group who wants to learn and be motivated.” – Jo Ann Pyle, President, Branch 79 National Association of Letter Carriers, November 25, 2013.
“I found Mark McDermott’s training energizing. He gave a concise history of the struggle of working people vs. big corporations, to have a decent life for themselves and their families. He also engaged with the audience in a direct and humorous way. I had a hard time not using all the air time with questions and comments. I fought my way into this training as it was filling up and am so glad I did.” – Sharon Harris, Edmonds WA Unitarian Universalist Church, November 30, 2013.
“I’ve talked with a couple of attendees and they had only praise for the workshop. I know for me the workshops have been invigorating and helped me renew my vision of what I am doing here. That is something I needed and I deeply appreciate your help.” – Rabbi Jay Heyman, Chair, Washington State Amend the Constitution (WAMEND) Coalition, March 24, 2014.
“I wanted to thank you for your program at last week’s Pennsylvania State AFL/CIO Constitutional Convention. It was truly one of the most thought provoking speeches I have had the pleasure of attending in quite some time. Your brief labor history lesson was an eye-opener…I especially was pleased that you included some of labor’s recent victories. As I spoke to others in the halls following your fiery calls to action, there was an obvious buzz and many had a reinvigorated motivation to get out and do battle to protect, not only the rights of labor, but to advance the causes of an entire diminishing class of Americans.” – Nick Johanningmeier, Northwest Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation, April 9, 2014.
“I wanted to thank you for your great presentation at the Local 751 meeting in Auburn yesterday. You truly made an impact on me. My family has been in Local 751 since the 40’s. I’m the youngest of us still a member and I really believe that it falls on my generation to make a change and to stand up to corporate America. I’m going to share your videos with my family and friends. I really appreciate what you do.” – Justin Saviers, young Machinist District Lodge 751 member, Auburn WA, April 25, 2014.
“Mark McDermott knows the tangled history of working people inside and out. His sharp and sympathetic presentation of that history – largely absent from our nation’s textbooks – speaks to workers’ present-day travails and points out ways for workers, arm in arm, to reclaim the respect and dignity that millions have lost in the last forty years…Mark’s presentations are accurate and inspiring…highly recommended.” – Ken Winkes, KSVR Radio, Mt. Vernon WA, April 27, 2014.
“Mark made us laugh, cry, and best of all, believe we can win for working families. Mark connected with every member in the room. Many of our immigrant members learned our labor history for the first time. We all know what’s happening to working families isn’t right and Mark made us believe we can repeat history and win. It’s time to make corporations pay their fair share.” – Karen Hart, President, SEIU 925, SeaTac WA, May 31, 2014.
“Thank you for speaking at our Leaders in Action for Justice event this weekend. Your presentation was one of the best I have ever seen. It was educational, emotional, and inspirational. It drove home the message that we come from a great history of labor activists who gave everything so that we can have a better life. And that our work is far from over. We must pick up the torch and carry on the fight for justice and equality for all.” – Jerry Jimenez, Communications Director, SEIU Local 925, SeaTac WA, May 31, 2014.
“Your workshops have been phenomenally successful in restoring a sense of purpose to movement building.” – Stan Sorscher, SPEEA and Huffington Post writer, July 21, 2014.
“Thanks Brother. You did a great job. You have a great message to deliver and you do a wonderful job delivering it. Our delegates sincerely enjoyed and appreciated it. Heard nothing but kudos about you! – Bill Bohne, IBEW Railroad Division National Director, Phoenix AZ, October 16, 2014.
“I just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your presentation at the IBEW conference in Phoenix. It was inspirational.” – Joe McDonald, Local Chairman, IBEW Local 799, Oregon – October 16, 2014.
“As I mentioned at the United for Fair Economy training in Tennessee, your story touched my heart and gave me hope to continue doing this work. I also feel a sense of relief and courage to know that there are amazing people like you as allies.” – Reyna Alfaro, Organizer, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, October 27, 2014.
“I would like to thank you for your workshop at Local 38. I am a shop steward and found this workshop to be very inspiring and informative. There were quite a few points that you touched on that I had no idea of that had to do with our past. I feel like I am a better voice for the employees I represent and can now help educate them on the battle that we are dealing with today with corporate America and big business politics. Thanks again for your time and expertise.” – David Hooker, Shop Steward, Teamsters Local 38, Everett WA, October 7, 2014.
“Thank you Mark for inspiring us and for reminding us that stories move hearts and big hearts change the world.” – Diane Salas, Activist, Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, October 28, 2014.
”I just wanted to thank you personally for your informative and inspiring keynote speech at our Legislative Conference. You educated our members on the lost history of our unions in a personal and touching way that made a positive impact on our members.” – Tom Krabbenhoft, Chair, Legislative Council, Public School Employees of Washington/SEIU Local 1948, Olympia WA, January 18, 2015.
“My students loved your presentation. They think you are a hero. They like your discussion style. Thanks again. We all thought you gave an outstanding presentation that was invaluable.” – Richard Nafziger, Lecturer, Institute for Public Policy, Seattle University, January 29, 2015.
“I am happy that we were able to have you speak to our apprentices. I talked with several of them afterwards and they were excited! They seem to be more motivated and have more pride about our union. I hope our future apprentices will get to experience a workshop of yours. Keep up the good work.” – Greg Lewis, Business Representative, Plumbers Local 761, Burbank CA, February 10, 2015.
“It was awesome to be able to be there today. Thanks so much and keep up the great work!” – Mical Advarado, Organizer, Keep Tucson Together, Pima (Tucson) Area Labor Federation labor/community workshop – February 14, 2015.
“Unfortunately we are not able to bring you to our state council meeting this spring. I will keep your contact information as you make a terrific presentation.” – Russell Wade, President, Machinist Union Virginia State Council, March 9, 2015.
“Thank you for doing an awesome workshop on Saturday! I’ve heard from several folks it was informative as well as uplifting.” – Xochitl Maykovich, Organizer, Washington Citizen Action Network, March 14, 2015.
“Brother Mark McDermott’s presentation at our annual Area Labor Federation meeting educated all on the history of working people and the renewed assault on labor more than three decades. What is often a sad and depressing history was transformed by Brother McDermott into an inspiring, motivational call to action. If you work for a living and/or represent workers, you need to hear Mark McDermott.” – Jim Bertolone, President, Rochester and Genesee Valley Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, Rochester NY, March 21, 2015.
“We have received so many compliments about your presentation…too many to count! Needless to say, we all hold you in the highest regard here in Rochester.” – Erin Young, Executive Director, Rochester and Genesee Valley Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, Rochester NY, March 21, 2015.
“As always your seminar was very informative. I had two delegates there and they both had high praise afterwards.” – Danny Wright, Business Manager, Plumbers Local 246, Fresno CA at California State Pipe Trades Convention, Santa Barbara CA, May 13, 2015.
“Thanks for speaking at our National Heat and Frost Insulators Apprenticeship conference last week. Everyone I talked to enjoyed what you had to say and its sounded like the buzz was to get you back for some work with us in the future. – Doug Steinmetzer, Host Committee Chair, Heat and Frost Insulators Apprenticeship national conference, July 20, 2015.
“Mark’s presentation was straightforward which was so refreshing for our delegates. What appealed the most is he concluded by taking the delegates out of their comfort zones and challenged them to be more for working people all over the country. Using examples of recent victories was reinforcement that we will triumph again when we stand together! I would recommend him to any of our Brothers and Sisters in Labor! – Terry Dittes, Director, UAW Region 9 (NY, PA, NJ) at Region 9 annual leadership conference, Cape May NJ, August 25, 2015.
“Your presentation brought much knowledge to all of those in attendance and was very beneficial in our AFSCME Strong campaign efforts. – Kerri Gallagher, Executive Director, AFSCME District Council 87 (PA) biennial training conference, Mt. Pocono PA – September 27, 2015.
“Thanks again for doing the training for us on Saturday. Improves each time! – Cindy Schu, Secretary-Treasurer, OPEIU Local 8, Seattle WA, October 13, 2015.
“Today was remarkable. Mark, you were brilliant…I want to personally thank you for the fabulous job you did. Thank you also for all that you do. It’s such a pleasure to work with you.” – Amanda DuBois and Roz Solomon, Civil Survival (Works with formerly incarcerated people) workshop, Seattle WA, October 17, 2015.
“Thanks again for everything! I just wanted to let you know that the feedback on your presentation was extremely positive, and that participants seemed to really enjoy the information.” – Nicole Korkolis, Director of Communications, Education and Research, Office and Professional Employees International Union, OPEIU West/Northwest Annual Training Conference, Berkeley CA – October 24, 2015.
“You’re fantastic. I enjoyed your presentation at the Washington State Labor Council’s 2015 candidate training school. I think that this year’s class of the Institute for a Democratic Future here in Washington state would benefit from hearing your presentation. Let me know if you are interested and available.” – Dean Nielsen, Seattle-based political consultant, January 28, 2016.
“It was so incredible to meet you on the plane today! Your story and work is so inspiring, and it gives me hope as a future community organizer. There is so much change that needs to happen, in the U.S. and abroad.” – Rebecca Dean, MSW student, University of Michigan, March 4, 2016.
“Your elevator talk concept was enlightening. I followed your advice today in a phone conversation. It is really easy to frame labor in a positive way. I plan to use your technique throughout my life.” – Bob Blair, IBEW Local 48, Portland OR, March 25, 2016.
“Thanks for coming to Spokane. I know the apprentices enjoyed listening about labor history and how important it is. I look forward to working with you in the future.” – Ethan LeGrand, Apprenticeship Coordinator, Iron Workers Local 14, Spokane WA, April 20, 2016.
“Thank you so much for your dedication to the working families of this country. I enjoyed your presentation at the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Educational Seminar in Spokane. Can I get a copy of your PowerPoint? I would like to use at least parts of it to educate our members.” – Frank Sydor, President, Fire Fighters Local 1433, Pasco WA, April 24, 2016.
“Mark’s presentation to the union fire fighters for our annual Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Educational Seminar was very well received. His history and direct knowledge of being challenged as a labor leader was a surprise to many of our members. Mark’s ability to personalize his life experiences put a face to the story and struggles. Mark painted a fair and accurate picture of what is happening to labor across our great country, a story that is not often told. He did not shy away from the tough realities and was willing to engage with our members. One of the best presenters we have had.” – Dennis Lawson, President, Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, April 25, 2016.
“I want to thank you again for the powerful message you delivered to the delegates of the California State Pipe Trades Convention. I can learn a lot from you and I am excited for the opportunity.” – Devon Reed, Executive Board member, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 342, Concord CA, May 11, 2016.
“I want to thank you for your marvelous work! Your most recent workshop, “Making Retirement Security Real for Everyone,” was a great success, and that is in large part a result of your enormous talents and hard work.” – Robby Stern, President, Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action, May 15, 2016.
“I attended the Wisconsin Pipe Trades convention convention last week and just wanted to let you know how moved I was by your presentation. Thank you very much for coming and speaking for our group.” – Andrew Campeau, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 11, Duluth Minnesota, June 10, 2016.
“Mark McDermott’s presentation was terrifically engaging. Myself and members of the union I work for were all fired up. But especially we were informed, informed with a particular insight. Mark shows clearly why our system is the way it is, how it got there and why it can be changed. His personal asides are touching, their warmth add to the story of the American Dream, they help make it real. I expect our members to put in to practice the ideas that Mark helped them well up inside themselves. I hope I can too.” – Bill Razeto, Staff Representative, Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), national education conference, June 11, 2016.
“Like everyone who saw you speak at the 2016 SPEEA Leadership Conference, I was inspired by your presentation this June on U.S. Union History. I came up to you after your talk, and mentioned how valuable this would be for our general SPEEA membership, and how I would like to get involved.” – Bradley Kibbel, Council Rep, Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), national education conference, June 11, 2016.
“Thank you for a spectacular conference! My staff was still talking about it this morning. You moved a lot of people out of their comfort zone and provided a safe place for them to speak from the heart. I look forward to working with you in the future.” – Denise Jagielo, President, UFCW 367, Tacoma WA, annual stewards conference, October 18, 2016.
“In the midst of our labor struggles, it is crucial to know and understand the history of the labor movement as history often tends to repeat itself. Brother Mark McDermott illustrates the struggles of the middle-class labor workforce of yesterday and incorporates those same themes of today to our new generation of Plumbers & Steamfitters. Our apprentices left his presentation feeling inspired, recognizing the need to fight in the same manner as our brothers and sisters did to pave the way for our future. It is through presentations and seminars like Mark’s, the message of Making the American Dream Real for Everyone can remain a reality.” – Novello, Business Manager, UA Local 582, Orange CA apprenticeship training, November 29, 2016.
“By the end of Mark’s presentation I felt more informed about unfamiliar issues and more connected to an engaged community throughout the state. Thank you for providing critical dialogue and an inclusive space!” – Ayla Favati, young activist, Jefferson County Democrats meeting, Port Townsend WA, January 24, 2017.
“Just a quick note of thanks for your presentation at the 79th Annual Western Conference of Locals of the American Federation of Musicians. It was tremendous and we have received nothing but positive feedback from the delegates.” – Bob Sanders, President, American Federation of Musicians, Orange County CA, February 25, 2017.
“Your presentation was both informative and inspiring. You helped our Convention to crystallize what is important to move forward as a union in these troubling times. We are fired up!! I will talk to the coalition (Disneyland unions) and try to find a time for you to come and give your presentation to them. I’m sure that they will find your talk as stirring and exhilarating as I did. Many thanks! – Edmund Velasco, Executive Board, American Federation of Musicians Local 7, Orange County CA, February 25, 2017.
“Thanks again, Mark, for a fantastic night and presentation…your support is much appreciated.” – Dean Shelton, VP, Washington State Association of Firefighters, Bellingham WA, March 2, 2017.
“Got a couple of phone calls from people who attended the fundraising event for Familias Unidas por la Justicia and were very impressed with your presentation. Thank you again for facilitating this educational fundraiser.” – Janet McKinney, retired Operating Engineer and Chair of Labor-Dems Work Group, Bellingham WA, March 2, 2017.
“It is unbelievable that when we were flat broke, Mark did another free workshop for us and we got more financial and community support for our struggle to organize farm workers. The audience was energized with the will to fight on and we raised money to help us continue to move forward.” – Ramon Torres, President, Familias Unidas por la Justicia (Families United for Justice – Independent farm worker union), Bellingham WA, March 2, 2017.
“Thank you for your informative and entertaining presentation at our General Membership Meeting Thursday. I was impressed that you were able to impart so much information in the relatively short time we allotted you.” – David Yao, Vice-President, American Postal Workers Union Local 28, Burien WA, April 13, 2017.
“I have received great feedback from our para-educator, warehouse and bus drive shop stewards and members present at both the December 3rd and April 15th trainings you provided.” – Jason Powell, Business Agent, Teamster Local 763, Redmond WA, April 15, 2017.
“Thanks for the fine presentation last Saturday. I enjoyed listening and interacting with the group. Great responses from all involved.” – Clay Tschillard, Training Director, Puget Sound Electrical JATC, Kent WA, April 22, 2017.
“Great job yesterday, everyone was impressed.” – Steve Pendergrass, President Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest, Edmonds WA, May 3, 2017.
“Again I wanted to say how awesome your presentation was today. It really brought back the reasons we are union. Thank you.” – Mike Alldritt, Iron Workers Local 29 Organizer, Portland OR, May 3, 2017.
“Thanks for providing a very informative workshop. It worked very well. I have received very good feedback from my instructors.” – Greg Vincelet, Plumbers Local 442 Apprenticeship Director, Modesto CA, May 9, 2017.