The IAM Midwest Territory is welcoming longtime IAM leader Rick Mickschl as its Chief of Staff, and bidding farewell to LaToya Egwuekwe-Smith, who has served admirably in the role since July 2020. Both moves are effective March 1, 2023.
Mickschl, the most senior Grand Lodge Representative on the Midwest Territory’s staff, brings a wealth of negotiations, servicing and organizing knowledge to his new role as Chief of Staff.
Before joining the Midwest Territory staff in 2012, Mickschl had served as Directing Business Representative of IAM District 66 in La Crosse, WI since 2005.
His union experience also includes serving as a Local Lodge Steward, Job Rating Committee Chairman, Local Lodge President and District Delegate.
Mickschl, a second-generation member of IAM Local 21, initiated into the IAM in 1980 as a machinist and millwright. He has also served over 15 years as a labor representative on the Workforce Connections Board of Directors of Western Wisconsin and as a board member of the Great Rivers United Way. In 2021, Mickschl graduated from the State University of New York – Empire State College with a bachelor of science degree in labor studies.
“Rick has the lived experience that prepares him to handle any situation on behalf of our members in the Midwest Territory,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “Rick is ready for this increased role and I know that our staff, officers and members will benefit from his leadership.”
Egwuekwe-Smith leaves the IAM after nearly 15 years of exemplary service to the IAM in a variety of high-level roles.
Since 2016, Egwuekwe-Smith has served as Communications Representative and then Chief of Staff in the Midwest Territory. Before that, she had served at IAM Headquarters as a Communications Representative since 2008.
During her time at the IAM, Egwuekwe-Smith became known as a thoughtful, passionate and skilled leader. She developed and implemented cutting edge programs for contract negotiations, organizing and political communications.
Her work, including an animated map that showed the progression of U.S. unemployment during the Great Recession, was featured in major news outlets, including CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and Huff Post.
Egwuekwe-Smith is a former Vice President of the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA) Executive Council and was a Fellow of the Washington, DC chapter of the New Leaders Council.
“LaToya’s contributions to the Midwest Territory and the IAM are immeasurable and will carry on for years to come,” said Galloway. “She has been a vital partner to myself and the entire Midwest Territory in some of our union’s most critical times. We wish LaToya and her family all the best in their next chapter.”