Meet our Executive Board
In July of 2018, ten women were elected by their Coalition peers to serve on the Executive Board for a 2-year term. Please consult our Bylaws for information regarding their roles and responsibilities.
Leah Rambo is the Director of Training for SMART Local 28 and has been serving in this capacity since 2011. She began her career as a sheet metal worker in 1988 and after working 10 years in the field, she was appointed as a full-time instructor, becoming the first woman to hold this position. Through her joint efforts and stewardship with Local 28, the participation of females joining Sheet Metal Local 28 has increased from three percent in 2011 to sixteen percent in 2017. Leah teaches instructor development classes for the International Training Institute (ITI) and currently serves on the New York City Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education Advisory Council and Gender Equity Committee. She has a BA in Labor Education and several trade certifications.
Rudy Mulligan is a union carpenter in New York City. As a co-founder of the NYC Coalition for Women in Construction, she is firmly committed to grassroots organizing that aims to support and promote women in the building trades. She holds office in the NYC Council of Carpenters, representing 25,000 members, and the NYC Pride at Work chapter, an LGBT constituency group of the AFL-CIO. A Florida native, she graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2005 with a Political Science degree and moved to NYC to serve the homeless population with the Partnership for the Homeless. She is tirelessly devoted to advancing the Labor Movement and smashing the patriarchy.
Debra Inwald is a licensed architect and received her Masters in Architecture from Columbia University and a B.S. in Architecture and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan. She has worked at nationally acclaimed architectural design firms and in the public sector at the Division of Design and Construction for the City of New York. Ms. Inwald has taught architecture at Columbia University and to children at the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning. She has sat on various boards throughout the city and is a common guest lecturer to nonprofit organizations undergoing capital development projects.
Judaline Cassidy was the first woman accepted into Plumbers Local Union 371 in Staten Island, NY, and the first woman elected to the Examining Board of Plumbers Local Union 1. Under her leadership, she founded the first Women’s Committee within her union. In 2017, she founded Tools & Tiaras, a nonprofit organization focused on inspiring, mentoring, and exposing girls and young women to the building trades and joined the Women’s Building Advisory Circle as a fierce advocate for women in the trades. Judaline’s dedication to equality extends beyond her own industry; she brings her devoted passion to social and political issues that affect low-income and marginalized people across all communities and has been featured at the Makers Conference, the Megyn Kelly Show, BBC’s The Conversation, and is national spokeswoman for these issues.
Thelma-Louise Fernandes is a seventh-term apprentice with Local 28 of the Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Union. Fernandes has worked in a number of industries while searching for her true calling in construction. She ultimately decided that she would thrive in a job that was more hands-on. After graduating from an eight-week program on the construction trades at Non-Traditional Employment for Women, she was accepted into the apprenticeship program. She is a workshop facilitator for Tools and Tiaras. She also helped found the Local 28 Women's Committee and is the former Vice President of the Committee, whose latest project raised money to send members to the Women Build Nations Conference in Seattle. Most recently, Ms. Fernandes worked with Heart 9/11 and the NYC Building Trades Council in 2018 assessing, repairing, and installing metal roofs on Hurricane Maria-ravaged homes in Puerto Rico.
Françoise Jacobsohn has been working in women's rights and community building for more than thirty years both in Europe and in the United States. A former president of NOW-NYC, her work prior to working at Legal Momentum included working on an institutional and community-building project for public education in Upper Manhattan. She served as a member of the New York City Mayor's Commission on Construction Opportunity, to ensure that women and minorities gain access to work in the construction trades. In 2009, she was appointed to the NYC Department of Education’s CTE Advisory Council, and served as Vice Chair of the Council through 2015. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She currently works with Local 28 SMART as their Court Compliance Officer, helping put into place many of the measures she learned about while working with tradeswomen.
Amanda Johnson has worked in construction for the last 6 years and is currently employed as a second year apprentice with the NYC District Council of Carpenters in Local Union 157. In her time as an apprentice, she has been part of multiple committees in her union, including the Sisters in the Brotherhood and Bylaws Subcommittee, and participated in the AFL-CIO’s Women’s Global Leadership Program (NYC), Women In Leadership Development Conference (Massachusetts), Manila Tradeswomen Conference (Philippines), and the Women Build Nations Conference (Chicago & Seattle). She earned her Masters Degree in Civil Engineering and Construction Management from NJ Inst. Of Technology. She has served on the Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals Board and AmeriCorps Member Council. She enjoys traveling and nature, writing poetry and music, spending time with family, and propelling the international tradeswoman movement forward.
Esther Minton is a proud first year apprentice of the Local 28 Sheet Metal Worker's union. She has extensive experience as an educator inside and outside the classroom, working with children with special needs and organizing cultural and educational tours. She has worked in Youth Ministry for several years as a Counselor and provided supportive services to individuals with special needs, and designed and opened an Adult Family Home for young adults, while developing and implementing assessment plans for her clients. Raised in Brooklyn, Esther has dedicated her life in service to others, working with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, and New York Common Pantry and spent the five years before entering construction as her mother's primary caregiver.
Tammy Rivera is a 24-year member of the NYC District Council of Carpenters. She is the first female hired as a Council Representative working in the Area Standards Department. She is dedicated to her members and is tirelessly active in community boards throughout Manhattan and the Bronx. A Community Board Member for 7 years, Tammy knows that giving back to the communities is crucial when it comes to union labor. In her capacity as Community Board member, she has developed relationships with key Bronx local officials. She has also been an instructor for Nontraditional Employment for Women, the NYCDCC Training Center, and the Consortium for Worker Education. The Bronx honored her several times including the Bronx Borough Presidents Labor Breakfast, for her passion and dedication to her union. She proudly sits on the NYC Carpenters’ Sisters in the Brotherhood Steering Committee.
Maria Espinal was born in the Dominican Republic, into a conservative, patriarchal family, which started her fight for women’s issues very early on in life. After graduating from Nontraditional Employment for Women in 2005, she was accepted into the Millwrights Local 740 Apprenticeship program. She holds welder’s certifications with the NYC Department of Buildings and Department of Transportation and worked as Shop Steward on multiple jobsites. Espinal has actively participated in numerous citywide campaigns for responsible development of NYC and anti-poverty issues. She has represented her local at the international Sisters in the Brotherhood and Women Build Nations Conferences.
Any current member of the CWC may run for an Executive Board position. We strongly encourage leadership from within our rank-and-file membership, so if you’re interested in joining the board, we recommend attending our meetings. All CWC members may attend Executive Board meetings, but may not participate in discussion or cast a vote. The Executive Board meetings are held on the first Monday of each month (reach out to our Administrative Officer for location and time.) If you’re interested in holding office, please consult with the NYCCWC Bylaws for rules governing elections and ensure your membership status is current.