Friends of FMCS History Foundation

The history of dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration


Here is the late spring early summer Update:

Dear Friends of FMCS History Foundation,
Here is the late spring early summer 2023 update.  As of today June 9, 2023 the FMCS Director nomination continues to be held up in the Senate.  The FMCS has not had a Senate confirmed Director since January of 2021.
Friends Board of Directors want to know if any of our readers and former FMCS Commissioners would like to see an in person event in the future.  Locations for the reunion could be Arizona or any other suggested retiree friendly location.  We would love to know if any of you would be interested in such an event.  Please respond to this email with your thoughts. 
If you have been on the website lately you may have noticed that we are no longer soliciting donations.  Our bank account is sufficient for now to cover all the associated non-profit expenses.
On a sad note two former FMCS Commissioners have recently passed away, Chuck Gamble and Bill McFadden.  Below you will find Commissioner Gamble’s Obituary and an article in the Baltimore Sun Newspaper highlighting the life of Commissioner McFadden.
Charles Clyde Gamble  Commissioner # 922  
December 12, 1946 – December 13, 2022
Charles Clyde Gamble, 76, formerly of Williamsport and a resident of Loyalsock Twp. since 2016, passed away at home on Dec. 13, 2022, while surrounded by family.
Charles was born in Williamsport on Dec. 12, 1946, a son of the late Charles H. and Mildred (English) Gamble.
He was a graduate of the former St. Joseph High School and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree attending; Bloomsburg University, Antioch University and Pennsylvania College of Technology. He worked at Bethlehem Steel for almost 20 years serving as shop steward and president of the union, after leaving Bethlehem Steel he became a federal mediator for 18 years.
Charles was a long-time member of the YMCA. A member for 65 years, it was a big part of his life. Charles felt it important to be active in the community and went out of his way to help others and give to many charities. He was a long-time member of AA and was a sponsor to many in the community.
He was an avid Philadelphia sports fan; he was a huge fan of both the Eagles and the Phillies.
He is survived by his daughter Kelly Gamble-Maggs (Jason) of Loyalsock Twp.; step children, Dan Smith of Tenn., Joy Smith of Philadelphia; step daughter-in-law, Tammy Smith (Red Lion); grandchildren, Christian Maggs, with whom he lived, L.J. Robinson III, Allison Smith Holmes, Mickayla Smith, Marena Smith; great grandchildren, Nora Holmes; siblings, Patricia Wolpert of Dayton, Ohio, Denice Caswell of Fredericksburg, Virginia; four nieces and two nephews & several great-nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, a step-son, Jon Smith, preceded him in death.
A celebration of Charles’ life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of his mother Mildred Gamble may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at
Arrangements have been entrusted to Crouse Funeral Home & Cremation Services, please visit Charles memorial page at to share a memory or sign a register.
William McFadden Commissioner # 1001 Obituary  
Baltimore Sun Article
William P. ‘Bill’ McFadden Jr.
Federal mediator and president of the Washington Duke Ellington Society
By Frederick N. Rasmussen
William P. “Bill” McFadden Jr., a federal mediator and president of the Washington Duke Ellington Society, died of a heart attack May 16 at his Annapolis home. He was 69.
“Bill was a very good communicator, had a great sense of humor, and was very smart when it came to labor relations and collective bargaining, and he was always fun to hang out with,” said Jimmy Kenny, who retired from the New York office of the Commission of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services and was trained by Mr. McFadden. The agency’s mission is to “preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation,” according to its website.
“To become a federal mediator is the cherry on the cake,” said Mr. Kenny, who now works for the New Jersey State Board of Mediation. “The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services is the premier agency in the United States, if not the world.”
William Paul McFadden Jr., son of William P. McFadden Sr., a union representative, and Dolores McFadden, a homemaker, was born in Philadelphia and raised in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.
After graduating in 1971 from Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, he attended Temple University and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1976 in journalism and political science from the George Washington University.
Following college, Mr. McFadden moved to Manhattan for nearly a decade and held various roles in the nonprofit, professional and association world while immersing himself in the city’s jazz scene.
Born into a strong union family, from 1990 to 1996, Mr. McFadden was executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he oversaw six separate agreements involving the Steamfitters Local 420 and Plumbers Local 690.
In 1994, he was a trainer, on behalf of the Department of Labor, to Poland’s Solidarity, a labor movement.
In 1997, he was appointed a commissioner in the Baltimore field office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services.
In his role as a commissioner, he mediated private, public and federal bargaining disputes until his retirement in 2014.
“During a trades mediation, someone asked Bill how he framed an issue, and he said, ‘What’s your problem?’ in that Philly voice of his,” Mr. Kenny recalled. “It was a classic example of how down-to-earth he was. When you’re doing negotiations with the trades, they’re never easy, and it takes a special type of person to do them like Bill.”
“He was a great communicator and an active listener,” his wife of 31 years, the former Kathy Hay, CEO of the Harford County Association of Realtors, said.
Mr. McFadden discovered jazz during his high school and college years, his wife said, and ultimately amassed a collection of more than 1,500 vinyl and CD recordings.
A particular interest of his was the music of Duke Ellington and his frequent collaborator, Billy Strayhorn. Mr. McFadden was president of the Washington Duke Ellington Society from 2011 to 2018, and had been editor of its publication, Ellingtonia. He was also a member of the New York Ellington Society and the International Ellington Society.
“When we were growing up and interested in jazz, Ellington was still alive and we saw him live,” said Art Luby, a member of the society and a close friend. “He was the premier jazz composer and had one of the great premier big bands.”
He said Mr. McFadden’s knowledge of Duke Ellington, who was born in Washington in 1899 and by the 1920s was a jazz sensation, had “depth.”
“Bill was an intelligent and sophisticated guy and very friendly. He shared his knowledge and never gave off the aura that he knew more than anyone else,” Mr. Luby said. “He understood the music and studied the times and circumstances of it.”
Mr. McFadden gave several lectures on Mr. Strayhorn’s life, who was also a noted jazz pianist.
An inveterate reader of books and newspapers, Mr. McFadden followed politics and was a concerned environmentalist. He enjoyed horror and foreign films in addition to being an ardent student of classic magic with a room in his home filled with various tricks, his wife said.
Mr. McFadden, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, was sober for the past 33 years.
“Bill never kept it a secret about his drinking and used to say, ‘I’ve spilled more drinks than you ever drank,’ ” Ms. McFadden said.
His philanthropic interests included the Annapolis Immigration Justice Network and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A celebration-of-life gathering built around the jazz he so loved, according to his wife, will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. July 15 at the United Church of Christ of Annapolis at 6 Carvel Circle in Edgewater.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his mother, Dolores McFadden of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania; a brother, Robert McFadden of Alexandria, Virginia; and several nieces and nephews.
Take care and please feel free to pass this email along to others who may be interested in Friends.
Richard Giacolone
Executive Director
Friends of FMCS History Foundation
19th Director FMCS  


Here is the Winter 2023 Update of news and activities at FMCS.
March 24, 2023
Ms. Kiran A. Ahuja
Office of Personnel Management
Ms. Laquetta D. Jones-Bigelow
Director, Equal Employment Opportunity
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Dear Ms. Ahuja and Ms. Bigelow:
It has come to our attention that several Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
complaints have been filed in the wake of a reorganization of the Federal Mediation and
Conciliation Service (FMCS). Any EEO complaint must be thoroughly investigated with the
utmost urgency and seriousness. These particular EEO complaints are all the more important,
however, as they relate to the pending nomination of President Joe Biden’s nominee, Javier
Ramirez to be FMCS Director.
Several whistleblowers have alleged to my staff that Acting Director Gregory Goldstein,
at the direction of Javier Ramirez, engaged in a reorganization effort at the FMCS despite Mr.
Ramirez lacking the authority of either an Acting or Senate-confirmed presidential appointee to
make such a fundamental change to FMCS’s structure. Whistleblowers have also alleged that
this restructuring effort led to the ouster and/or demotion of several people of color in senior
management roles in favor of individuals more supportive of Mr. Ramirez’s restructuring efforts.
If true, these allegations not only call into question Mr. Ramirez’s nomination before the U.S.
Senate, but also call into question whether FMCS and its senior leadership are fostering a hostile
workplace that discourages diversity and inclusion.
It is critical that FMCS produce information regarding these allegations so that the
Committee may fulfill its constitutional role and properly assess the merits of Mr. Ramirez’s
nomination, as well as his fitness to serve as Director. Given the time-sensitive nature and
urgency of this request, we request unredacted copies of all EEO complaints and affidavits filed
against Mr. Ramirez and Acting Director Gregory Goldstein. We also ask that you answer the
following questions on a question-by-question basis by April 7, 2023:
Page 2 of 2
1. When did FMCS inform the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) of its restructuring
2. Did OPM formally approve FMCS’s restructuring? If so, please also furnish all official
documents transmitted by FMCS leadership to OPM regarding this restructuring.
3. Does FMCS have a method of tracking EEO complaints? If so, what is that process? How
many EEO complaints have been filed against Mr. Goldstein and Mr. Ramirez?
4. Does FMCS report EEO complaints to OPM? If so, was OPM made aware of these EEO
complaints and to what extent is OPM coordinating with FMCS to resolve the
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Bill Cassidy, M.D.
Ranking Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions
Mike Braun
U.S. Senator
FMCS Celebrates its 75th Anniversary
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) welcomed almost 3,000 registrants for its week-long webinar series during National Conflict Resolution Week last week marking the Agency’s 75th anniversary as the nation’s premier public agency for dispute resolution and conflict management.
FMCS offered a range of twice-daily online presentations and workshops on a variety of topics including exploring the history of alternative dispute resolution and its future, workplace communication, cognitive bias in negotiations, technology in mediation, creating effective labor-management partnerships in small bargaining units, and other subjects of significance to practitioners and professionals dedicated to resolving conflict in the workplace and beyond.
“As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, we are delighted to share many of the tools, insights, and lessons we’ve learned throughout our rich history with this audience of industrial relations practitioners from both management and labor, academics, and career neutrals,” said FMCS Deputy Director of Field Operations Javier Ramirez during his welcoming remarks to attendees during the opening session.
Although government-provided industrial relations mediation and conciliation services in the U.S. date back almost to the turn of the 20th century, the founding of FMCS by Congress in 1947 sets it apart as is an independent agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation.
During its 75-year history, FMCS has solidified its role as the premier non-partisan governmental organization for helping parties engaged in difficult situations improve their joint problem-solving abilities, get support to avoid work stoppages, create healthier workplaces and resolve major public policy issues.
2022 Reorganization and Selections for Key Positions
Field Operations Managers
Region 1
Pete Donatello, Field Operations Manager
 Region 2
Kathy Hall, Field Operations Manager
 Region 3
Tammy Poole, Field Operations Manager
 Region 4
Shane Davis, Field Operations Manager
 Region 5
Walter Darr, Field Operations Manager
 Region 6
Jennifer Disotell, Field Operations Manager
Associate Deputy Director
National Office
Sarah Cudahy
Associate Deputy Director
Field Operations
Beth Schindler
Office of Policy and Strategy
Josh Flax
Office of Client Services
Kevin Buffington
FMCS Retirements 2022
Laura Shepard          # 1095
George Lovell           # 1170
Donna Filosa
Dennis Teal               #1046
Bobby Thompson      #1000
Carolyn Bromer         #1003
Denise McKenney     #  944
Linda Gonzalez         #  940
Sad News
Passing of Earle Leonhardt and Howard Soloman
Earl C. (Buddy) Leonhardt (76) passed away Friday, November 4, 2022, in his home in Madeira, Ohio. He graduated from Roger Bacon High School in 1965. He married his high school sweetheart, best friend, and love of his life, Mary Pamela Calder in 1966.
His cherished children are Stephen (Amy Compston), Laura Lienhart (Devin), Craig [deceased] (Carrie Russell), and Michael. He was the adored “Papa” to Blake and Ryan Lienhart, Ian and Claire Leonhardt, Meg and David Leonhardt, and Millie Leonhardt. He was the devoted brother to siblings Daniel [deceased] (Janet), Karen Brothers (LeRoy), Kerry [deceased] (Andrea), Peggy Remke (Chuck) and Mark (Pam). He is also survived by many amazing nieces, nephews, and a multitude of friends.
Earl started his career working at the Kroger Company Warehouse in Woodlawn, Ohio. His interest in “working people” began when he became a union steward at the Kroger Company. He then ran for a position in the Teamster Union and was elected business agent for Teamster Local 661. Several years later in 1977, Earl applied for a position as a Federal Mediator. He was commissioned to be a mediator with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in the United States government. He retired after 34 rewarding years. Earl had a gift. He could listen to both sides – union and management, find common ground, and reach settlements between them. He often referred to himself as a “peacemaker”.
Family and friends were paramount in his life. Raising the children in Madeira, he coached soccer, was involved with scouting, and supported his church, school, and all community endeavors. He provided mediation services for the Archdioceses of Cincinnati as a volunteer since 2012. His passion was golf. He never passed up an opportunity to play, especially with the men he’s remained friends with since grade school.
Buddy was a lover of candid photography, compiling hundreds of albums loaded with shots of friends and family over the years. He could often be seen on the sidelines of his children and grandchildren’s sporting events and school activities with his camera in hand.
In 2020, Buddy faced COVID-19 and cancer simultaneously. A year later, the cancer returned. He fought a valiant fight but lost the battle to this horrible disease. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Congenital Heart Alliance of Cincinnati, 4010 Executive Park Drive, Suite 100, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241. Phone number: 513-554-3075
Howard W. Solomon
Oct 5, 2022 Updated Nov 14, 2022
 Howard W. Solomon of Bar Harbor and Bethesda, Md., laid down his gavel for the last time Sept. 27 at the age of 91. A retired federal arbitrator and mediator, Solomon was known as thoughtful and fair, bringing a warm smile into day-to-day life. Unafraid to defy convention, Solomon could get the most bitter disputants to compromise, with clear reasoning, principled compassion and a well-timed joke. The son of prominent New York internist Dr. Harry A. Solomon and Ruth Solomon (née Wulfsohn), Solomon was born on the upper east side of Manhattan in 1931. He attended Friends Seminary, a Quaker institution, and was graduated from Yale in 1952. His patrician upbringing notwithstanding, Solomon defied convention with wide-ranging interests. An avid amateur athlete, basketball coach and American Youth Hostels bicycle trip leader of multiple groups to Europe in his late teens and early 20s, Solomon freely admitted that he joined the U.S. Army after earning his juris doctor from Columbia Law School in order to avoid having to pass the New York bar exam (passage was automatically granted after two years of military service). Solomon excelled in his service and received awards for marksmanship as well as the Good Conduct Medal. After the Army, Solomon joined the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service as a junior attorney, resolving labor disputes between unions and corporations through negotiation and compromise. In a letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson, a union president representing 23,000 workers in a 1967 dispute with tire manufacturer Uniroyal Inc. wrote that Solomon “worked feverishly in the public interest in attempting to aid the parties in resolving their problems and arriving at an equitable settlement” involving pay and worker protections. Uniroyal’s management also commended the young mediator in a letter. “Your quiet, unobtrusive and persistent involvement was a significant catalyst to resolving the hardcore and appearingly unsolvable issues remaining between the union and company.” Promoted from a field attorney in St. Louis to a federal commissioner in the Midwestern heart of manufacturing, Dayton, Ohio, Solomon met Dolores (“Dee”) Stuerenberg, a Cincinnati native who was society editor of the Dayton Journal-Herald and a former nationally ranked tennis player. They married in 1965. Dee urged Howard to accept an assignment with the U.S. State Department’s Agency for International Development in New Delhi, India, in 1968. The couple embraced the rich culture and kindness of their Indian friends and colleagues. Dee relished embassy social life on and off the tennis court while the couple raised their young daughter Beth and welcomed their son Harrison, who was born in New Delhi. Returning with the family to Washington, D.C., in the early 1970s, Solomon was given assignments of increasing responsibility in the federal labor relations sector, rising to helm the Federal Service Impasses Panel, a presidential commission charged with adjudicating major labor disputes. While the forward- thinking Solomon privately supported many progressive organizations such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, he was respected by colleagues across the political spectrum. Reagan Administration Secretary of Labor William E. Brock commended Solomon, writing, “You are indeed a credit to this Administration.” Tall and sinewy, Solomon was a lifelong environmentalist, taking public transportation to the office every day from the family home in Bethesda to downtown Washington, a lengthy trip. Howard drew barbs from his wife and his two sisters Nina S. Hyde, the longtime fashion editor of The Washington Post, and Loire Valley, France-based Marquise Suzanne de Brantes, for wearing running shorts during his commute to the office during hot summers. Solomon met those grimaces with a laugh. After retiring in his late 50s, Solomon began spending more time in Bar Harbor, eventually luring Dee first to a tent on the beautiful coast inside Acadia National Park, and later a house they built nearby, looking out on Frenchman Bay. The couple not only enjoyed Acadia’s natural treasures but actively worked to protect and enhance them for others. Indeed, Solomon and others founded the volunteer corps that built and maintained park trails alongside the National Park Service. Later, Solomon served on the board of directors of Friends of Acadia, supporting initiatives such as the launch of a substantial natural-gas-powered bus fleet to reduce car traffic in the park. Bar Harbor was Howard’s Eden. In his “retirement,” Howard studied jazz piano, eventually filling the lounge of the Balance Rock Inn in Bar Harbor several nights each week with the beautiful melodies of jazz standards sung by Sinatra, Ella and Rosemary Clooney. Later in life, Howard’s favorite Sunday activities were listening to Donnie McKethan’s landmark radio jazz show “The American Songbook” on public radio station WPFW while reading the New York Times with Dee on the granite rocks of Sand Beach in Acadia. After Dee died in 2016, Howard shuttled between Bethesda and Bar Harbor, spending more time at the piano than on the hiking trails and bike paths of Acadia. In his last days, when he needed the assistance of nurses at Suburban Hospital, he kept a twinkle in his eye. “How are you feeling today, Howard?” asked a nurse two days before he drew his last breath. “Fantastic,” he smiled. Trying to make Solomon as comfortable as possible, the nurse said, “Howard, I’m going to put my arm on your shoulder and pull you toward me, OK?” “I really like that idea,” he quipped. Near his last day, Howard was told by his family that his nurse’s name was Ryan, and that Ryan was doing a great job. “This is my lucky day,” he said. Howard took his last breaths with his family at his side. He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth (“Beth”) Solomon (Gero Geilenbruegge) of Naples, Fla., and Washington, D.C., son Dr. Harrison Solomon, beloved grandchildren Jessica, Sam and James Solomon, cousins Bill and Pat Middlemiss, brother-in-law Richard Stuerenberg and sister-in-law Linda Stuerenberg, and nieces and nephews Jennifer Hyde (David) Bronstein, Andrea Hyde (Andrew Weinberg), Roger (Nikola) de Brantes, Flore de Brantes, John (Marianne) Meyer, Steve (Maria) Meyer (d.), Mike (Melissa Huddleston) Meyer, Jay D. (Jena) Thacker, James (Sarah) Thacker and Tara (C.J.) Petrou.
FMCS Nomination News
This article outlined the status of Nominiations for the Biden Administration including FMCS.  Javier’s nomination which was sent back to the President for the second time (under Senate rules it must be returned to the President if not confirmed by the end of the Senate term) making Javier Ramirez a record holder as a three time nominee for the FMCS Directors position.  He was renominated in January of 2023.  Let’s hope 2023 is the year the 20th Director is confirmed.
Time running out to confirm Biden nominees this Congress  WP Article
Analysis by Theodoric Meyer and Leigh Ann Caldwell
with research by Tobi Raji
December 15, 2022 at 6:17 a.m. EST
On the Hill
Time running out to confirm long-suffering Biden nominees this Congress
Gigi Sohn is still waiting to be confirmed for a seat on the Federal Communications Commission. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
More than 500 days after President Biden nominated him, the Senate on Wednesday evening finally confirmed Francisco Mora as ambassador to the Organization of American States. The vote was 51-45, with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) joining 48 Democrats to confirm him.
While a flurry of last-minute negotiations and horse-trading in the waning days of a Congress usually leads to a large spate of confirmations, not every nominee will be lucky.
Especially as more than 200 nominees are still awaiting Senate confirmation.
They include nominees for positions prominent (including IRS commissioner and U.S. ambassador to Russia) and obscure (the director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service) as well as dozens of nominees for federal judgeships.
The rush to confirm these nominees isn’t nearly as intense as it would’ve been if Republicans had won control of the Senate, threatening Democrats’ ability to get Biden’s nominees through. But, all other things being equal, it would still be easier to do it before the 117th Congress is kaput.
That’s because Senate rules dictate that nominations are sent back to the White House at the close of each session of Congress, except for those for which senators agree to make an exception. Absent such agreement, nominees must update and resubmit all the forms they filled out months before.
FMCS EVS Score drops significantly, proving change is hard to accept
‘Best Places to Work’ Rankings Have Familiar Look, but Many Scores Slip
Published: July 19, 2022
More in: 
Highly-ranked agencies commonly tout their status in their public outreach, including for recruiting purposes, while lower-ranked ones often find themselves called to Congress to explain why. Image: Prostock-studio/
The new version of the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” report has familiar names at the top and bottom, although overall many agencies slipped in the index the Partnership for Public Service uses to create those rankings.
NASA now has a 10-year winning streak as the most desirable among large agencies, with a rating of 85.1 in the index, which is largely based on selected questions from the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Following in order among large agencies were HHS, Commerce, the intelligence community and VA.
GAO topped the midsized agencies with an 89.8 percent score, followed by NSF, FERC, GSA and SEC. Among small agencies the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation with an 85.6 score was followed by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Office of Special Counsel, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Surface Transportation Board.
The bottom three in each category were, in ascending order, DHS (also for the 10th consecutive year), Justice and SSA; NLRB, Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, U.S. Agency for Global Media; and FEC, International Boundary and Water Commission and National Gallery of Art.
Highly-ranked agencies commonly tout their status in their public outreach, including for recruiting purposes, while lower-ranked ones often find themselves called to Congress to explain why.
The VA was the only large agency to improve its score over 2020—and by just two tenths of a point, from 70 to 70.2. While those agencies are just 17 of the 71 ranked, they account for the vast majority of federal employees.
On the plus side, “The U.S. Agency for Global Media improved by 11.7 points for a score of 64.7, the largest increase among midsize agencies, while the National Endowment for the Humanities was the most improved small agency in 2021, jumping from 25th to second place,” it said.
However, the FTC fell from second to 22nd place in the midsize rankings and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service dropped from 11th to 24th place, the largest drop among small agencies.
Working to drag down scores was a fall in a major component of those rankings, an “employee engagement and satisfaction score” which government-wide fell by 4.5 points to 64.5.
“This downturn came as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt the federal workforce during the survey period in November and December 2021. During this time, tens of thousands of civil servants faced uncertainty about returning to the office after more than a year and a half working remotely part or full time, while a sizable portion of the workforce remained on the front lines performing critical public services as the health crisis persisted,” it said.
However, it added that the figure is 14.6 points below an engagement index from the Mercer employee research firm for the private sector, which “faced many of the same workplace issues as the government.”
Richard Giacolone
Executive Director
Friends of FMCS History Foundation
19th Director FMCS  


Hello Friends,

Much has taken place since the last “Friends” email.   A major reorganization and realignment were announced by Acting Director Greg Goldstein and Deputy Director Javier Ramirez on June 10th, 2022. 

All field managers positions have been announced and require current managers to reapply for the now reduced number of field manager slots.  As you can see many other changes are visible in the above chart.

The reorganization of FMCS is scheduled to be completed by Sunday, September 25, 2022. 


Tragically another active field mediator, Commissioner Stephen Kessler # 1042 has passed away.  He was preceded by the passing of Commissioner Catanzariti in 2020, and Commissioner Brady in 2018, all while still on FMCS rolls.   

Here is Commissioner Kessler’s Obituary: 


Stephen, 57 of Salinas, CA passed on June 16, 2022, at his home from an aggressive rare neuromuscular disease. His recent diagnosis progressed suddenly, and his loss was unexpected. The family is shocked and deeply saddened.

Stephen was born on March 21, 1965, to Leonard and Celeste Kessler in Grand Rapids Michigan . Stephen loved California and after graduating high school, Stephen moved to California where he attended school and graduated from UCSC. Later he received his law degree from Monterey College of Law. Stephen worked as a Federal Mediator at FMCS for the last 20 years. He loved his job and found joy in finding new ways to incorporate technology and innovative skills in his training.

Stephen also spent time volunteering and coaching for the different sport organizations that his grandchildren were involved with as well as volunteering for polling stations in local elections.

Anyone who knew Stephen, knew that he was brilliant yet humble, had a huge love for his family, wasn’t afraid to be silly and bring humor into life and always remained grateful.

He had an immense passion for sports, in particular those his grandchildren played. He loved watching and coaching them in baseball and was always there to cheer them on.

Stephen was grateful for having a great life and was always looking at ways to give back to the community. He frequently reminded everyone to choose kindness and he personally practiced that every day. Stephen’s positivity was contagious and radiated to everyone around him.

Stephen’s family and friends will miss him more than words can say.


Call for Mediator Class Pictures 

We are looking for mediator class pictures for the 2009 through the 1995 class.  For some reason these years are not in the NARA archives or in the public affairs office at FMCS.  If you have a class picture from that time frame, please send, or scan a copy of the picture and send it to  You can mail the picture to Friends of FMCS History Foundation at PO Box 9517, Chesapeake, VA 23321.  I will scan it and send it back to you quickly. 


Visit to the George Washington University FMCS Archive


I visited the George Washington University Library on July 27th to review the Friends Archive.

I ordered 5 boxes for review from the vast collection of 325 boxes donated by Jerry Barrett, but also spent significant time talking to the archive caretaker about the collection and its future.

He was as interested in the collection as I was since he was not part of GWU when the collection arrived from Jerry.  I asked why they accepted the extremely large collection, and his best guess was, “it had some historical value”.  The five boxes I reviewed had a mix of items.  One had photographs (some of which can be found in the National Archives).  Others had files about the FMCS Mediator union organizing effort dating back to 1966. One box had disciplinary actions and reprimands (this should have been red flagged and should not have been made public).  Another had various artifacts like a hat from the cool school program and many bags from the various NMLC and National Conferences.  Vakil (the archive caretaker) when seeing some of the old stuff, (like the bags and hat) said this has no historical significance or value. 

I also contributed to the collection by cutting my finger on broken glass found in the box with the artifacts, so a blood sample from the 19th Director of FMCS can be researched in box 283.

All kidding aside, (my blood was not a joke) the small sample review led to this finding.  The stuff Jerry donated does have some significant FMCS historical value, some questionable legal implications (like personnel records), and some stuff of little to no value.  I’m pretty sure that the rest of the collection if examined in detail, which you are free to do would lead to the same conclusion. 

In my discussion with Vakil I learned that the Teamsters Archives which he leads is housed at GW including a large classroom decorated with Teamsters history and is available for visits and possible new mediator classes to view FMCS and Teamsters history.  He said he could also put together a traveling exhibit of FMCS history and label it properly and set it up at the NMLC or other events.  He said he had a budget to do things like that and would love to do more with the collection. 

I mentioned that the Friends Board discussed the possibility of another location for the collection which might allow for more visibility and access to the collection.  (To see the collection currently if you are not a student or faculty member, you must request a box # and wait a week for it to arrive in the reading room at the Gellman Library, show ID, be escorted, and wear a mask to view the items).

I mentioned that Cornell ILR School may have an interest in the collection.  He was fine with talking to the ILR folks but did say “we don’t normally give or take from other collections out of professional courtesy”.  

Article about the 1966 attempt to organize FMCS Commissioners found in the GW Archives. 


2024 NLMC Scheduled

Please visit our website for interesting articles which are updated often.


Executive Director of “Friends” and 19th Director of FMCS,

Rich Giacolone

As of August 29, 2022 no movement on the FMCS Nomination has taken place.


Today, President Biden designated Gregory Goldstein as Acting Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and we call on the Senate to quickly confirm Javier Ramirez to serve as the permanent FMCS Director.
Goldstein is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and has served as the Chief Operating Officer for FMCS since 2018. Ramirez began his FMCS career as a Commissioner in 2005 and is currently the Executive Manager of the Division of Agency Initiatives. He has mediated disputes in almost all sectors of the American economy, including multi-party disputes in manufacturing, construction, and education. 
Because of the President’s American Rescue Plan and Build Back Better agenda, our economy has recovered more rapidly than predicted from the COVID-19 pandemic downturn. With tighter labor markets and more money in their pockets, workers have greater power to demand their fair share from employers in collective bargaining with unions across the country. These conditions have put a spotlight on the important role of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.


LEADING FMCS — The administration announced it will make GREGORY GOLDSTEIN the acting director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Wednesday, as its nominee to be the permanent director, JAVIER RAMIREZ, awaits confirmation in the Senate.

Goldstein has served as the chief operating Officer for the federal agency, which helps to resolve labor disputes, since 2018. Ramirez was nominated for the post in June, but his nomination has been stuck in committee.

ice in facilitating productive collective bargaining relationships and labor-management partnerships.
The President’s designation of Gregory Goldstein, and his urging of the Senate to confirm Javier Ramirez, should help the FMCS play an even more proactive role in helping unions and employers successfully negotiate collective bargaining agreements, including where there are strikes or lockouts currently underway.



Obituary for Former Director Moffett from Washington Post 11/28/21

Ken Moffett, a former federal mediator and union leader, died on November 19, 2021, of natural causes. He is survived by his wife of 24-years Mary (Taddeo) Moffett; his children, Laura Tornell, Olney, Maryland, Ken Jr., Alexandria, VA and John (Antioch, CA); three grandchildren (Brian, Scott and Melanie) and three great-grandchildren (Isabella, Oliver and Eva). A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday December 10, 2021 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church at 2700 South 19th Street, Arlington, VA 22204. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to one of these charities: Jobs With Justice, at: The Alzheimer’s Association;https://alz.orgOur Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church:
Published by The Washington Post on Nov. 28, 2021.


What is currently happening at FMCS? Who is in charge? Good questions, here is the news.



Rich Giacolone the 19 Director of FMCS retired on January 2, 2021, after leading the Agency for 3 years. His vacancy will remain until the next Director is confirmed by the Senate (See news on the situation below).

Deputy Director Gary Hattal was in charge until his retirement in December 2021, his title was Deputy Director with the duties of the Director. Gary had 26 years of experience with FMCS and was Director Giacolone’s Deputy Director during his entire term.

We do have developing news impacting FMCS: Javier Ramirez was announced by the Biden Administration as the FMCS nominee on June 9th, 2021.  He was voted favorably out of the Senate HELP Committee on August 3rd and was placed on the Senate Executive Calendar, No. 300.  He now awaits a vote in the full Senate.

Here is the White House Announcement:

Javier Ramirez, Nominee for Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service

Javier Ramirez began his FMCS career as a Commissioner in 2005 and is currently the Executive Manager of the Division of Agency Initiatives.  This office bears responsibility for the Office of Conflict Management & Prevention, Office of Strategy & Development, the Center for Conflict Resolution and Education, the FMCS Institute for Conflict Management, and the DC and Northern Virginia (HQ) Commissioners. 

Javier mediated disputes in all sectors of the economy (except air and rail) in professions such as the performing arts, public safety, professors, hospitality, hospitals, manufacturing, and packing houses.  Javier facilitated and mediated multi-party disputes in manufacturing, construction, and education.  He was on the facilitation team for several regulatory negotiations, including the Department of Energy (DOE) negotiations that resulted in the largest energy-saving rule in DOE history.  Javier also trained and successfully facilitated parties in various collaborative bargaining models.  Notably, Javier collaborated with colleagues to create the FMCS Affinity Bargaining model.  He represented the agency in international tri-partite training efforts in Bangladesh and trained all New Zealand labor mediators on collaborative bargaining. Javier has been the recipient of multiple FMCS performance awards in recognition of his work, including the Director’s Award.

Additionally, Javier is regularly asked to present at national and regional conferences on conflict management topics.  He guest lectured on labor relations and dispute management at the University of Illinois, University of Colorado Boulder, National Defense University, Cornell, and other universities.

Prior to FMCS, Javier spent over fourteen years in labor relations, negotiating contracts and resolving disputes in areas such as immigration, contract administration, communication, staffing, and politics at the federal, state, and local level.  His efforts have been featured in Rolling Stone, Chicago Tribune Magazine, and Chicago Lawyer Magazine; cited in the New York Times Best Seller Fast Food Nation; and recognized by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Javier enjoys the performing arts or exploring the great outdoors with his wife and two adult children.

This is great news for FMCS, and if his nomination is confirmed by the Senate (as I expect it to be), he will be the second consecutive FMCS commissioner to be nominated and confirmed.

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