Autumn has been a child care provider since 1996 and runs a certified child care home in Salem. In 2003, she received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice. She thought she would want to go into the Criminal Justice field after graduation but was mentored by another provider to grow her child care business which she decided would be my a life-long career. Like many in the field, she enjoys being a provider because she is able to be with her child care children as well as her own grandchildren in care.
Autumn has a husband, four children and six grandchildren. Her husband is from the Pacific Islands and their family plans and participates in Pacific Islander cultural events in the community.
As the President for AFSCME Local 132 Child Care Providers Together, she participates in many State level meetings to provide the voice for her fellow providers and keep up to date as to what is going on in our field. She has mentored many providers to grow their business and grow their professionalism. Her program is Spark 5-Star rated and a Preschool Promise site. She has an Oregon Registry step 10, a Director Credential and is a Master Trainer.
Autumn joined AFSCME because she had experienced first hand how much our union helped providers. She loves being part of our union because of the support and sense of solidarity. Autumn believes it is important to be involved and to know what is going on it the child care field. Our union is the strong voice that directly impacts her business.
1ST VICE PRESIDENT
2ND VICE PRESIDENT
My name is Sabi Velasco and I am originally from Mexico from the state of Oaxaca. I have 5 children and I am proud to have a large family. I have more than 26 years working in early education. In 2012 I became a member of local 132 with our childcare provider union. I have more than 12 years running my child care program. One of the reasons I am part of this field is because today's children need socio-emotional help and being in my program we can work with the family and the children. When children are emotionally regulated they are successful in school and in their lives. One of the main reasons I am on the board is so that all providers from all different languages have representation and have a voice each and every one of us is the union should be heard.
Hi, my name is Renee Wehrend. I have been happily married to my husband, Bill, for 27 years and we have two amazing children (Katie, who is 25 and Brandon who is 23). Katie will be making us first time grandparents in January, 2012. I have been involved in the wonderful world of child care for over 25 years. While still in college, I worked in a child care center and did practicums in early childhood education at both Lane Community College and Oregon State University. After graduation, I was director/program coordinator of two large child care centers in California for five years. When we moved back to Oregon, I wanted to be my own boss and be home with my children, so I started my own child care business in 1991. We have both a certified family child care and a registered family child care called Home Away From Home Child Care. My daughter, Katie, recently graduated from Oregon State with a degree in Early Childhood Education and is now my business partner. We enjoy the special bond we establish while working with children and their families. Our specialty is taking infants at a young age and continuing to provide quality care for them until they start middle school. Several of our kids, who grew up with us are now in high school and work for our program. I have taught child care classes for Chemeketa Community College and Child Care Information Service. I have been involved in Portland State University’s mentoring program and served as President and/or Treasurer for both Salem OAEYC and Salem Home Child Care Association. I think our union provides many important advantages for our providers, including: strength in numbers, support, and a unified voice.
Hello, my name is Nicole Handel. I am a Registered Family Provider in Roseburg. I have been married to my husband Dave for 29 years. We have 3 adult son’s and 3 grandchildren. I have been doing childcare for 14 years. I have a step 8.5 on the Oregon Registry and have a 3 Star QRIS/SPARK program. I truly feel blessed to be able to care for, teach, and love children every day. I also am fortunate to be a Union Board Member with AFSCME for the last year. I have enjoyed learning about our Union, and all the benefits it has to offer. I am committed to my union and am looking forward to the experiences yet to come.
SOUTH VALLEY REGIONAL DIRECTOR
Michelle Newman has worked in the Health field for 16 years including: HIV/Cancer hospice in Venice, CA, 2 hospitals (1 was in the top 100 hospitals in the US), sanitariums and 2 Alzheimer’s facilities. The last 5 of those years she was also working in childcare providing in- home care in the Eugene/Springfield area that specializes in providing care for children that are on the spectrum and have special needs. In her tenure as a child care provider she has raised 5 children and provided care for over 200 children in all. She joined the Union at age 23 while living in Ohio and became very active. She joined ASFCME Local 132 9 years ago and became a board member in 2016 as the Southern Regional Director.
CENTRAL REGIONAL DIRECTOR
My name is Kim Hess. I live in Klamath Falls. I worked at a local child care center for 13 years before I decided to do family child care in 2005. I have been doing family child care ever since. I am a CF provider. I have achieved a step 10 on the Oregon Registry, and have a 5 star ORIS/Spark rated program. I have a strong heart for animals of all kinds but teaching children is my passion in life.
EASTERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR
NORTHERN REGIONAL DIRECTOR
Lisa Duffield is a certified family preschool/childcare provider located in Beaverton. She has always loved working with children, and after graduating High School started working in a nonprofit preschool and child care center. Through work experience and community based training she became a lead preschool teacher. In 2006 she opened her own in-home Preschool/Childcare business, which has run successfully for 14 years. She participates in the QRIS/Spark program (3 star rated) and runs her business with her husband
NORTH VALLEY REGIONAL DIRECTOR
VALLEY REGIONAL DIRECTOR
My name is Shanna Aldis-Rose I am a Certified Child Care in Salem since 1995. I started volunteering in 2005 from the beginning to fight for our rights to form a child care union in Oregon. When we won and became a local I was voted in to become the Valley Regional Director and currently still hold the same position. I am very proud to be a part of this union. Because of all the staff and volunteers working together in the union, I have seen the child care field being thought of as just babysitters to Professional Educators and business owners.
My achievements include receiving my Infant/Toddler and Preschool Completion of Certificates from Chemeketa Community College. I have also achieved Step 10 on the Oregon Registry and Star 3 in the SPARKS Program. I am continuing my education to receive my ECE Associates Degree.
In m y personal life my husband and I enjoy spending time with my 7 adult children and my many grandchildren. We like to go camping, BBQing, going to the grandchildren's sporting events, and spending time with our church family. I believe it is very important to be a strong committed person in my family as it is in my child care families to help with our families futures.
Nichole Gruszie has run Nic Nacs Quality licensed Certified childcare in Klamath Falls since 2008. Nic Nacs Quality Childcare specializes in serving rural families and children from single parent homes, grand parents with custody, as well as over 3/4 of our program directed towards children with physical,emotional and social delays and barriers (special needs).
Hola, my name is Heather Schones. I have been a child care provider for 8 years. I am a step 10 in the Oregon registry and working on my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at OSU. I run a dual language certified in-home childcare is South Salem and am 5-star rated. I work with Early Head Start and Preschool Promise.
I became a child care provider to be able to stay home with my children and over the years the business has continued to grow. I have 4 children of my own ranging from age 19 to 3 years old. I love watching them play sports. My son is actively involved in football and my baby is soon to start sports. My oldest has finished school and is working and my 16-year-old is working on her IB level classes before she heads off to college. I volunteer at my children’s school and enjoy helping out in the class.
I joined AFSCME to be a part of the change. To work with amazing people that go to work every day to better the lives and careers of childcare providers. They help fight for our rights and wages to make a living taking care life’s greatest treasures. Over the last few years we have made progress by leaps and bounds, and I am honored to be a part of it.
Anneliese Sheahan, Licensed Family CF Child Care Gladstone, OR. Specializing in infant and toddler care for children under 2. In the early childhood field since 1994. Graduate of UWSP. Opened my first licensed family child care in 2002. Advocate at the state and federal level since 2004. I moved to Oregon in March of 2016, and was the staff rep for the local for just over 3 years before transitioning back into owning a licensed family child care. My passion is helping family child care providers -- any way I can! Please give me a call anytime -- I am always here to chat, to assist, to provide training, to lend an empathetic ear and do whatever I can for my fellow family child care providers. I have been a child care union member of CCPT in Wisconsin and Oregon since 2005. I believe a strong child care union makes a significant impact in our lives, our businesses and our child care industry -- it is because we have a strong child care union that we have a strong family child care workforce.
Aimee Olin is originally from New England and moved to Portland OR in 2007 to become the Northwest Regional Director of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a membership organization of low and moderate income working families working to improve access to housing, healthcare, quality education and basic needs. As an organizer with ACORN, Aimee worked with the leadership and members to win key victories including preventing $4 million in cuts to early learning, nurses, and guidance counselor programs in schools in Providence RI and the passage of a consumer protection law in Oregon giving more rights to families who were struggling with mortgage default and foreclosure. Before joining AFSCME Council 75, Aimee was the Community Engagement Manager for 211info where she conducted community presentations to service providers and community members on how to find resources, programs and services for individuals and families in need in Oregon. Before moving to the Northwest, Aimee worked and volunteered in a childcare center and a family based childcare home. Aimee is excited to join all her past experience and put it to good use recruiting new members to the child care union and supporting childcare providers in the region.
Aimee joined AFSCME in 2018 as a community organizer whose role was to recruit new members to our Child Care local, identify and develop new leaders and turnout members to events. Last year she became the staff representative for CCPT as well adding to her role assisting members with any issues they have with state agencies and working on overall policy changes that are needed to support all family child care providers. She has over ten years of experience as a community organizer. As a Regional Director for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), for nine years, she has built and been part of several community-labor coalitions that served both rural and urban communities in states that include: California, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington. Nine years of experience in legislative policy work in Oregon and several other states, counties and municipalities. Thirteen years of field work experience including legislative and political campaign coordination, door-to-door canvassing and member recruitment. Most importantly, she is c ommitted to developing autonomous community groups led by the people affected by the issues they choose to address.