Our Central Region Officers

Note: Our current elected officers term began on March 1, 2016.
They serve four-year terms.

Click on an officer’s photo to send her/him an e-mail.



Region President
Colleen Wheaton

Now serving in her third term, Region President Colleen Wheaton was elected to serve her first four-year term as president in February 2008. Prior to that, she served as our Region Recording Secretary. She is a Secretary at SUNY Potsdam, where she has been employed since 1984.

Her involvement in CSEA began in the late 1980’s when she was elected to the position of 2nd Vice President of Local 613. The following term, she was elected as President, a position she held until 2008.

Colleen has also served as our Region’s Program Chair, as well as serving on the Region Political Action, PEOPLE and Education Committees. She also served on the St. Lawrence County Political Action Coalition, as a Federal Political Action Liaison (PAL), and as a delegate to the Jefferson/Lewis/St. Lawrence Counties AFL-CIO Labor Council. She was a member of the CSEA Statewide Board of Directors and former Chair of the Statewide SUNY Labor/Management Committee. She currently serves as Executive Vice President of the Central New York Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.

In 2004, Colleen received CSEA’s State Division Mission Achievement Award for giving tirelessly of her time, energy and spirit, putting a positive face on our union and making a difference in the lives of working men and women.

In 2005, she graduated from the CSEA’s first Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) Program class and in Summer 2006 graduated the New York State AFL-CIO Cornell University Labor Institute. In 2011, Colleen graduated from the prestigious Trade Union Program at Harvard University.

Colleen says she believes in organized Labor and this great union, and she enjoys doing what she does. Her main focus will always be helping the members of CSEA.



First Vice President Kenny Greenleaf

Executive Vice President Kenny Greenleaf

Executive Vice President Kenneth “Kenny” Greenleaf works for the Hannibal Central School District as Cleaning Supervisor where he has been employed since 1984. Kenny completed a supervisory course through Clemson University. At HCS Kenny has been the advisor to the International Student Organization, Key Club, since 2000. He has also just been asked to participate in a student mentoring program by his district.

In 1996 the building and grounds department at HCS became a part of CSEA joining other departments that were already affiliated. Kenny joined as a CSEA member then and was elected President of his unit in 1998, a position he continues to hold.

In 2000 Kenny was appointed by then Oswego County Local 838 President Charlotte Adkins to fill the unexpired term of 4th Vice President.  In 2001 he was elected as Local treasurer a position he held until his election as president in 2009.  Also in 2009 he was selected by his Local to fill the Statewide Board of Directors Seat for Oswego County left vacant by the retirement of Charlotte Adkins. Upon this recommendation to President Donohue he appointed Ken to the board, a position he still holds.

Kenny started his activism with Region 5 when he was instrumental in starting the Region Scholarship Fund. Ken is a member of the Schools, Scholarship and Program Committees. In 2008 Region President Colleen Wheaton selected him to be vice-chair of the Program Committee. Kenny also served as a past chair of the Schools Committee.

In 2009 Kenny was asked by Statewide President Danny Donohue to participate on the Statewide Schools Committee and in 2010 was selected to be chair.

In 2010 Kenny was selected to participate in the CSEA Leadership Education and Development Program. In August 2011 he completed the program and was a graduate of the 4th CSEA LEAD Class.

Kenny is an honorary member of Kiwanis International and a member of the National Education Association.

Kenny has taken on an active role in CSEA and other venues as a leader. He feels that his experiences have made him a good leader and activist for the most important people in CSEA, the members. Kenny looks forward to the challenges that we will face as a union and is eager to further represent our members as an officer for great Region 5!



Second Vice President Casey Walpole

First Vice President Casey Walpole

First Vice President Casey Walpole started at SUNY Oswego in 1981 and by 1984 was a grievance representative and co-chair of the Local 611 Social Committee. In 1988 she was elected Local vice president and the next year became president. She served two terms as president, 19 years as vice president and currently serves as secretary. She sits on numerous College and Local committees. Casey also serves as president of the Oswego County Labor Council and as a vice president of the Central New York Area Labor Federation.

At the Region level, she is in her 15th year as a Region officer, having served previously as treasurer and vice president. She serves as an advisor to our Constitution & Bylaws, PEOPLE and Next Wave Committees and serves as a member of the Region Political Action Committee. On the Statewide level she is chair of the Constitution & Bylaws and SUNY Labor Management Committees and serves on the Statewide Political Action Committee. She served on our union’s Statewide Negotiating Team for three contracts.




Third Vice President John Brown

Second Vice President John Brown

Second Vice President John Brown was appointed in September 2017 by Region President Colleen Wheaton to fill out the remainder of the term for the vacancy created upon the retirement of former First Vice President Bob Timpano.

John has been a CSEA member since 1989 when he started working for the Holland Patent Central School District.  He is currently employed as the High School Head Custodian.  He has served as HPCS Non-Instructional Unit President since 2004 and as VP for one term prior to that.  He is currently in his second term as Oneida County Educational Local 869 President.  Prior to taking over as president, he had served in several positions in the Local. He currently represents both his Local and Unit as union representative on the BOCES health insurance consortium. He has also served in several capacities in local government, currently serving as a commissioner for the newly-formed Trenton Joint Fire District.




Third Vice President Tom Hingher

Third Vice President Tom Hingher

Third Vice President Tom Hingher was appointed in October 2018 by Region President Colleen Wheaton to fill out the remainder of the term for the vacancy created upon the resignation of former Executive Vice President Tammy Witteman.

Tom started at SUNY Cortland in 1998 as a temporary snow shoveler and worked his way up the ranks from cleaner, mail man, grounds worker, and plant utilities engineer, to his current position as plant utilities engineer two, where he is responsible for supervising the campus’ HVAC crew.

Tom has served as Local 605’s president for five years and vice president four years prior.  He’s been active with the union’s Next Wave program, including serving on the Region committee since its inception.  He’s attended many other Local picnics and meetings representing Next Wave.  He’s also an active grievance and interrogation representative and union steward.  Tom also serves as a vice president for the AFL/CIO Central Labor Council for the past two years, has volunteered as a CSEA Occupational Safety and Health peer trainer for over ten years, and served on our Region Health and Safety, Education/Program and Veterans Committees for many years. Up until his appointment to our Region Executive Board, he served as chair of our Region Budget Committee and was selected to serve on CSEA’s Board of Directors in April 2018.  Tom will also graduate CSEA’s seventh Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program in November 2018.
As a veteran of the Air Force, Tom currently is a member of Cortland’s VFW and American Legion and was instrumental in arranging a neighborhood watch program.
He is also responsible for organizing the biggest team building tailgate parties at the region conferences where you will often see him slaving away at the grill!




Secretary Chantalise DeMarco

Secretary Chantalise DeMarco

Secretary Chantalise DeMarco is serving her second term as a Region Officer, having been elected in 2008.

She works as a Casework Assistant for the Tompkins County Mental Health Department, and serves as Local 855 First Vice-President. She has worked for Tompkins County since 1994.

She has also served as a Negotiating Team member for the County White Collar Unit since 1998, and has been a member of the Region 5 Human Rights Committee.

Since 2006, she has been a member of the Tompkins County Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Legislative Advisory Committee.



Treasurer Nicole Meeks

Treasurer Nicole Meeks

Treasurer Nicole Meeks is serving her first term as Treasurer of CSEA Region 5, having been appointed in September 2017.  Prior to accepting this position, 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 is serving 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.