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THE ALABAMA CHAPTER LERA OVER TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS Many of our current members have been with the

Alabama Chapter since the March 1985 Kick-off dinner. The chapter holds four dinner or luncheon meetings in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile and Huntsville each year and a two-day conference in September in Orange Beach. Alabama Chapter members know the reality of employment relations in America and Alabama. They are the first to learn about innovative workplace practices and relationships. Our members look forward to each year as the Chapter continues to fulfill its place for practitioners and scholars to meet, discuss and debate critical issues.

Application for Charter 1984 A planning committee of industrial relations and human resources practitioners, neutrals, and academics met over dinner at Johns Restaurant in Birmingham on September 20, 1984. At that meeting, it was decided to apply for a charter from the national Industrial Relations Research Association (IRRA). The Nationals name has since been changed to the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA). A mailing list was established and the first invitations went out from the Human Resources Institute at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. The chapter office continues to reside there to this date.

First Meeting 1985 The first meeting was held at the Sheraton in Birmingham, April 1985 and over 100 people attended. John Dunlop, labor relations expert from Harvard University and former Secretary of Labor was the Chapters first distinguished speaker. Some members had attended his classes in Cambridge while others used his services as a mediator or arbitrator.

1986 to Present The first annual conference was held at the Holiday Inn, Gulf Shores, Alabama on April 10-12, 1986 and we have been meeting on the Coast for most of the last 27 years. A large number of distinguished speakers have addressed the Chapter including former secretaries of Labor, National Union Presidents, CEOs of Alabama based companies, many state representatives, National LERA presidents, directors of federal agencies and employment specialists. They have come together with the members at our meetings and the annual conference. Past speakers include: Bernard Anderson, Richard Barnes, Craig Becker, Mary Miller Cracroft, John Dunlop, Elmer Harris, Paul Hubbard, Maggie Jacobsen, India Johnson, Tom Kochan, Wilma Liebman, Ray Marshall, John Patrick, Ernie Savoie, John Stepp, and Lynn Williams.

The fall/winter meeting is hosted at the Alabama Power Company offices in Birmingham. The spring meeting, hosted at the Department of Industrial Relations in Montgomery, presents updates on employment related legislation being considered by the Alabama legislature. Presenters often include the Directors of the Alabama Departments of Industrial Relations and Labor. The Chapter also meets in Mobile and in Huntsville with the Area LaborManagement Relations Council.

The Alabama Chapter has received seven awards from the national LERA. These were presented to Chapter officers at the annual January meeting: 1958 (Chapter Merit Awards), 2002 (Outstanding Chapter Award), 2003 (Star Award), 2007 (Outstanding Chapter Award), 2009 (Outstanding Chapter Award), 2010 (Chapter Merit Awards) 2012 (Outstanding Chapter Award).

Support The Chapter has been able to provide services to its members through the support of the Deans office and the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Alabama, Vulcan Materials, Brookwood Hospital, Alabama Power and the Blount Foundation. Law firms representing unions and management continue to sponsor the receptions at the annual conference. A membership directory and certificate of membership is provided each year to members. The chapter has sponsored special activities including the proceedings of the annual conference, research grants and a media award. Past Chapter Presidents in alphabetical order are: Trevor Bain, Hal Ballard, Richard Brooks, Max Bryant, David Carter, David Cooper, David Copeland, Dennis Dearing, David Edge, Bill Frederick, Dennis Gibson, Martin Hardy, Ed Harrison, Ralph Johnson, Judi King, Don Langham, Mary Layton, Doug Marshall, Tom OBrien, Jack Phillips, Joe Pledger, Patrick Rasco, Fred Reebals, Talmage Reynolds, Higdon Roberts, Steve Rohr, L.C. Studdard, and Tami Watson. Apologies if anyone was left out of this list.