Sister Gail Karstetter is a 30 year member of the IAM Local Lodge 2269, which is affiliated with District Lodge 121. She has been the Secretary-Treasurer for the past 12 years, but has held previous positions as Trustee, Vice President, Auditor and Conductor Sentinel in either her local or her district lodge.
Sister Gail’s involvement in the union is truly a story of mentoring and encouragement. Two of her friends were already active in the union and recognized the untapped leadership qualities within her and strongly urged her to become a District Delegate. Those same two friends were instrumental in encouraging and supporting her in a successful election campaign. Sister Gail’s union dedication and commitment has grown stronger with each passing year.
Her ultimate goal has always been to do a good job fulfilling the duties of whatever office she holds. Sister Gail encourages anyone even thinking about running for office to give it a try and adds, “Once you are in the job you will like the challenges and growth that comes with it. The IAM resources at the Winpisinger Education Center, the Grand Lodge Reps and Auditors, as well as your sisters and brothers are always there to help and guide you through the difficulties.”
Sister Gail has received the Volunteer Organizer Award from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, has participated in numerous educational classes and twice served as IAM Convention Delegate. She serves on multiple committees, is the Treasurer for her local Harley Owners Group Chapter and plays on a community dart league.
Sister Karene V. Strachan has been and IAM member for over 17 years and has held Executive Board positions ranging from Education, Secretary-Treasurer, Trustee and Shop Committee Chair. She is a member of IAM Local Lodge 2603 affiliated with District Lodge 140.
A Finance Agent with Air Canada, Sister Karene has seen first hand the differences between unionized and unorganized jobs. Sister Karene is glad to be in a unionized shop and wanted to be active in her union to keep it strong. She sees union involvement as a “give and take” relationship. She uses her skills obtained through education and experience to work for the betterment of the membership and in turn feels she’s developing into a strong and dedicated trade unionist.
Raised by her parents to believe her gender should never prevent her from succeeding in her endeavors, Sister Karene says all sisters should believe in themselves and not be afraid to, “Reach for the stars.” Many years ago, Sister Karene received support and encouragement from her shop chairperson and since has been grateful to the continued guidance she’s received from others in her local and district. She strives to return the favor by mentoring other sisters along in the hopes that one day women will be equally represented in all areas of leadership and politics.