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Richard Passarelli

Rick enlisted in the United States Navy in 1982, where he was deployed for 2 tours of active duty 1982-1985, and 2 years active reserve duty 1985-87. During his first 2 deployments, he served combat theater of operations Beirut Lebanon, along with his western pacific deployment. Some of the awards Rick received are.  Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Battle “E” Ribbon second award special designation, Navy Sea Service Deployment ribbon with silver star 2nd award. Rick was awarded certificate of recognition from Secretary of Defense for promoting peace and stability for this nation. In 2015 Rick was awarded the first ever Easter Seals Donnie Dixon award for enabling our veterans to succeed where they live in the veteran’s community. He was awarded the Helmets to Hardhats Veterans in Excellence award. And after his enlistment and Honorable Discharge Rick started his career with Peoples Gas where he is on leave currently with 30 years of service to Peoples Gas, and holds the position of Business Manger of Local 18007 Chicago Gas Workers Union where he represents 1200 members with 2 employers.

In 2003 Rick was recommended to become a National Safety trainer assigned to the UWUA safety training program UWUA under the Susan Harwood Grant by UWUA National President . Rick continued in that roll until 2008 when he became the Midwest regional training coordinator for the UWUA under Director John Develin. Rick started his Union career in 1998 at the local as steward and has held positions of Chief Steward, Trustee, Interim Financial Secretary Treasurer as well as Vice President Local 18007, and then President of Local 18007. In March 2009 Rick stepped down from the Presidency to take the job as principal officer and Business Manager of Local 18007. March of 2009 Rick was also voted to the National Executive Board UWUA Washington D.C where he currently represents Local 18007 and its over 1200 members for a second term. In 2015 Rick graduated from the Labor Arbitration Service School with his certificate. By action of the National Executive Board Rick Chairs the UWUA Veterans committee and is the current UMAP Director. In 2011 Rick founded the Utility Workers Military Assistance Program which was formed to address returning veterans job opportunities within the utility industry by serving the needs of OIF and OEF veterans returning from war with the establishment of training to placement in the utility industry at Peoples Gas Utility in Chicago. In 2013 with help of friend and American war hero Col David Sutherland special assistant to the joint chiefs of staff, and Lt. Commander Kim Mitchell they moved the program off to national prominence and is currently recognized as best practice by several federal agencies like DOD, DVA, DOE and DOL and employers all over the country. To date Rick has trained and placed over 300 veterans in the career field of utility worker. Hybrid programs are now up in running in Michigan and Californian.  Rick is current board member of the Washington D.C  AFL-CIO veteran’s council, CEWD veterans in energy board and a long-time member of the American Legion and Patriot Guard riders and many more veterans’ organizations.