Leadership

SARA NELSON
International President
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

Sara NelsonSara Nelson took office as the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO on June 1, 2014, having served International Vice President from January, 2011 through May, 2014. Sara became a United Airlines Flight Attendant in 1996 and has been a union activist since nearly the beginning of her flying career.

Much of Sara’s union activism has been focused on mobilization, communications and strong union contracts. Early in her union career, Sara served in a variety of positions including CHAOS™ Strike Co-Coordinator, and Local Council Vice President, Local CHAOS Strike Coordinator and Council Rep. (United Airlines, Boston). In those roles she learned first hand how to build the union’s power through collective action.

"The members make our union powerful," Sara said. "When Flight Attendants march on the picket line, engage in CHAOS strikes, or come to Capitol Hill to talk with their representatives, they bring attention to the important issues we face, and build leverage for our union and for our profession. We can raise our voices in many ways, and my job as a union leader is to make sure our voices are heard."

Before her election to international office, Sara spent over eight years directing communications and PR efforts for the union's United Airlines unit. In that role she represented the union in all the major news media in the U.S., including news coverage on all the major networks, CNN, PBS, NPR, as well as the BBC and BBC radio and various overseas news outlets, major newspapers and wire service reports both here and abroad. She also was responsible for internal member communications and mobilization, experience which she has found invaluable for her role as an international officer in directing leadership development, mobilization and organizing of Flight Attendants throughout the industry.

Sara also has extensive government relations experience having testified in Congressional hearings, written congressional testimony, coordinated congressional press conferences, and personally lobbied members of Congress. She also designed and conducted training programs on a wide range of topics for union members.

Whether it's at the bargaining table, in organizing, in communications, or on the picket line, Sara is passionate about her union and what it can mean to the Flight Attendant profession. She believes that building a strong Flight Attendant union is important for workers’ rights around the globe, as the message of workers’ rights and collective bargaining travels throughout the world with every member of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

Sara grew up in Corvallis, Oregon and earned a bachelor's degree from Principia College with majors in English and Education before joining United Airlines as a Flight Attendant. She resides in the DC area with her husband, David Borer. Sara and David are the proud parents of their son Jack, who was born in 2009 and attended his first picket line in support of improving Flight Attendant careers at the age of two months.

 

DEBORA SUTOR

Deborah Sutor

International Vice President
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

Debora Sutor is a 25-year Flight Attendant with Envoy Air, formerly American Eagle, and became AFA’s International Vice President on June 1, 2014.

Debora’s extensive experience within the AFA structure, holding numerous elected positions in local leadership and serving on various International committees, enables her to assist in furthering AFA’s mission for economic and social justice for all Flight Attendants.

Tasked with leading AFA’s training and leadership programs, Debora brings valuable insight into the position and assists in cultivating and mentoring newly elected Flight Attendant union leaders.

“As aviation’s First Responders, Flight Attendant have a crucial role in the safety and security our nation’s air transportation infrastructure. I am proud to work alongside dedicated Flight Attendants who have devoted their careers to raising the standards for all crewmembers. I am excited to be part of such a vital movement and will work tirelessly to ensure that we use our collective strength to make the requisite improvements that AFA members deserve,” said Debora.

Prior to her election as International Vice President, Debora served as Master Executive Council Vice President for Envoy and was most recently instrumental in successfully navigating Flight Attendants through difficult bankruptcy negotiations.

A lifelong resident of Chicago, Debora and her husband Steve have four sons and 2 grandchildren.

 

KEVIN CREIGHAN
International Secretary-Treasurer
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

Kevin CreighanKevin Creighan is a United Airlines Flight Attendant and has held office as AFA's International Secretary-Treasurer since October 2005. First appointed by the AFA International President to fill a vacancy for the unexpired term of the previous Secretary-Treasurer, Creighan has since been voted to three full terms by the delegates to AFA's Board of Directors meeting.

Kevin's skills and experience make him uniquely qualified for the position of Secretary-Treasurer. Prior to his election to international office, Kevin was a local council officer from the time United's London Flight Attendant base opened in 1991, serving as Local Council President of Council 7 for 12 years. Kevin also served on AFA's Finance Committee at the national level for 10 years before taking international office.

"We will continue to protect our collective bargaining rights and use our collective strength to make the improvements our members need," Kevin said.

"Airline passengers and shareholders benefit from the dedication of Flight Attendants. The success of airlines cannot be measured by the stock price or management bonuses alone; it must also be measured by the life it affords the Flight Attendants who are the face of the airlines."

Prior to becoming a Flight Attendant and union activist, Kevin served as a finance officer in the United States Air Force, beginning in 1980. He later served in the Air Force Reserve as a contracting officer, doing financial work and supporting contract negotiations

Kevin grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts. His wife and life partner, Cathy, is also a United Flight Attendant and AFA activist. Kevin has a bachelor's degree in economics from UMass Amherst and a master's degree in Business from Western New England College.

 

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