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Our Statewide Union Leadership

CSEA’s statewide officers are democratically elected every four years by our union members to lead our union forward. Their current term runs from March 1, 2024 to February 29, 2028. Meet them here!

CSEA President Mary E. Sullivan
CSEA Executive Vice President Ron Briggs
CSEA Statewide Secretary Richard Bebo
CSEA Statewide Treasurer Nicole Meeks

President Mary E. Sullivan

For more than 35 years, Mary E. Sullivan has fought tirelessly for working people’s interests at the grassroots, statewide, and national levels. By mobilizing workers and encouraging internal communication, Sullivan has helped strengthen CSEA’s position as one of New York’s largest and most influential unions.

Sullivan began her professional career as an employee of the Herkimer County Department of Social Services. She advanced through the union ranks, serving first as president of the Herkimer County employees unit and then as president of Herkimer County Local 822. She also served as treasurer and 1st vice president of CSEA’s Central Region.

Sullivan was the first local government official to serve in CSEA statewide office when she was chosen in 1986 by the CSEA statewide Board of Directors to fill a vacancy as treasurer of the union. She went on to twice win overwhelming re-election. Sullivan was elected Executive Vice President in 1994. On November 1, 2019, she became the second woman president of CSEA, and the very first CSEA member from our Local Government Division to serve in the role of president. In February 2020, she was elected to her first full term as Statewide President.

Sullivan has also served as a founding trustee of CSEA’s Political Action Fund since its inception, and previously served as both Vice-Chair and Chair of CSEA’s Local Government Executive Committee. She has been a driving force behind CSEA’s Labor Education and Development (LEAD) program, helping to mold and mentor the next generation of union leaders.

A key player in CSEA’s International Union, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), she was elected an AFSCME International Vice President (IVP) in 1996. In 2020, she was reelected to continue to serve as an AFSCME IVP, as well as being elected a Vice President of the New York State AFL-CIO.

Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY College at Potsdam and is a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program at Harvard University. She is a member of the Capital District Chapter of Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) and Pride@Work (P@W).

An active community volunteer, Sullivan continues to serve on the United Way of New York State Board and currently is Board Treasurer of 211NY. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her service and achievement. Sullivan also served with distinction for many years as vice president and then president of the Capital District Area Labor Federation.

In 2012, Sullivan received the Frances Perkins Award from Eleanor’s Legacy, an organization named in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated to building a new generation of New York women leaders. The award recognizes the leadership of a New Yorker active in the organized labor movement who is dedicated to improving New Yorkers’ quality of life on and off the job.

Sullivan received the 2018 Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) New York Chapter’s ‘Woman of Valor’ award, which recognizes women in labor unions for outstanding service and leadership qualities. Again, that same year, Sullivan was honored for her ongoing work in urging women to become labor activists and for her own union leadership with the American Labor Studies Center’s Kate Mullany Medal, named for the 19th century Irish immigrant who organized and led the Collar Workers Union in Troy.

In 2020, Sullivan had the honor and privilege of serving as one of 29 members of New York’s Electoral College, casting their ballots on behalf of the majority of New York voters for Joe Biden for president and Kamala Harris for vice president.

In 2022, Sullivan received the Capital District Area Labor Federation’s President’s Award for her union leadership and dedication to the labor movement.

Executive Vice President Ron Briggs

A union activist for more than 30 years, CSEA Executive Vice President Ron Briggs continues to work toward building an inclusive and responsive union.

Before his 2024 election as CSEA’s Statewide Executive Vice President, Briggs served eight years as CSEA Capital Region President. He had previously served for 12 years as Executive Vice President of the CSEA Capital Region. He also served one term as the CSEA Capital Region 1st Vice President from 2004 to 2008.

Briggs began his career in Fulton County, working in the Department of Social Services as a child protective worker. In 1997, Briggs was elected to his first position as 2nd Vice President of CSEA’s Fulton County Local. He later served as the local’s 1st Vice President and then as Fulton County Local President. After 11 years at the Fulton County Department of Social Services, Briggs joined the county’s Probation Department as a probation officer, the work title he continues to hold.

Briggs is involved in numerous CSEA committees and initiatives. He is a CSEA Leadership Education and Development Program (LEAD) program graduate. He has also chaired CSEA’s New Member Orientation Task Force and is officer liaison to our union’s Probation and PEOPLE committees.

Since 2020, Briggs has served as an AFSCME International Vice President.

Before joining CSEA, Briggs was a member of UUP for eight years.

Being an active part of the community is important to Briggs. To that end, he serves as president of the Fulton County Children’s Committee and volunteers at Mohawk Harvest, a local co-operative focused on bringing local products to the marketplace. Briggs resides in Gloversville.

Statewide Secretary Richard Bebo

Rich is a Troy native, who currently resides in Waterford, NY. He started with NYS Department of Transportation in 1999. His activism began in 2006 when he was appointed VP of his local.

Rich was elected to his first term as Statewide Secretary in February of 2020.

Prior to that, he served in various roles including but not limited to Local Vice President, Local President, Capital Region 3rd Vice President and Capital Region Executive Vice President.

In addition, he has served as a member on the region membership committee, PEOPLE committee, Human Rights committee and statewide minority issues Committee. Currently, he serves as officer liaison for the Statewide Minority Issues committee, Membership committee, Resolutions committee and Constitution and Bylaws committee.

 In 2009, Bebo completed CSEA’s third installment of the LEAD program that recruits and mentors members for future leadership roles in the union. In 2019, he was awarded the Capital Region President’s Award for his continued dedicated service to the members of Region 4 and recently, he was the recipient of the Jim Bell Award for his commitment to labor and community.

A father of 3 and grandfather of 2 granddaughters, Rich’s motivation is simple: “Fight so hopefully they won’t have to.”

Statewide Treasurer Nicole Meeks

Treasurer Nicole Meeks is serving her first term as Statewide Treasurer, having been elected to office in February of 2020. Prior to being elected, Nicole served as Central Region Treasurer for two years, having been appointed in September 2017. Prior to that, Nicole served two years as the Region 5 Budget Chair.

Nicole has been employed by the City of Syracuse since 1999 and is currently an Accountant II for the City of Syracuse at the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority. In addition to her duties as the Region 5 Treasurer, Nicole served as Unit President for the City of Syracuse. Previous roles have been Vice President for two years and Treasurer for six years for the City of Syracuse Unit.

Nicole also served four years as the Treasurer of CSEA Local 834, Onondaga County, from 2013-2017 where she oversaw twenty-two units. As Treasurer, she assisted these units when necessary to ensure that their financial commitments were met when reporting to the Local.

In addition, Nicole is a certified Union Steward and Grievance Representative. Over the years, she has served in many capacities, including as a member of the City of Syracuse Unit’s Negotiating Committee and as a Chairperson of the City of Syracuse Deferred Compensation Board.

In 2015, Nicole was selected to participate in the CSEA Leadership Education and Development Program. She completed the program in March 2017 and is a proud graduate of the sixth CSEA LEAD class. Nicole has also attended numerous conventions, conferences, training sessions and community events in order to assist our members and to help make our community stronger.