Cori Anne Gambini, RN
Cori began her career in 1985 at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital, She has spent her entire nursing career with Kaleida in all different capacities. From SICU at Gates to SICU at BGH to nursing supervisor to nurse manager…she has done it all. Currently, she works in the PACU at Millard Suburban Hospital.
Cori got involved with the Union in 1999 as a Steward when she was elected to bargain the first Millard Fillmore RN contract. She was then immediately elected to the position of District Director for her bargaining unit, a position now known as Area Vice President. Eventually she was elected to the role of Executive Vice President, and now President.
Cori went into nursing, as so many people do, to help people. She found that becoming involved in the Union allowed to her continue helping people. Representing health care workers through fighting for strong contract language allows her to help ensure that those working at the bedside can give patients the best care possible. With Union protection, members can advocate for patients without fear of retaliation from the employer. Cori also enjoys teaching members to advocate for themselves. Cori believes that we work to increase wages and benefits to improve the lives of our members and their families. We can push the employer to do the right thing to keep patients and staff safe. Cori is proud that our Local fights for fair treatment of our members by the employer.
Cori loves spending time with her children, Philip, Nicholas, and Mara, and her extended family. Her relationships with loved ones are of the utmost importance in her life. She loves life by the water; boating and beaches. However, since she chooses to live in Buffalo, more of her free time is spent reading, watching movies, and traveling.
Executive Vice President
Robert V. Andruszko, RN
Bob is an RN at BGMC in CT/MRI. He began his nursing career at Millard Fillmore Hospital Gates Circle in the float pool followed by over 20 years in critical care. Bob really got involved in contract negotiations for Millard RNs in 1999. Since then he has bargained several Master Agreements for Kaleida as well as other bargaining units including St. Joes RNs and Service, Planned Parenthood Clerks and Professionals, Millard Fillmore Surgery Center, and Absolut of Gasport. After serving as a Steward, Chief Steward, and AVP, Bob is now the Executive Vice President.
Bob comes from a strong Union family. Both his father and grandfather were members of the UAW and his mother was a member of the Graphic Communication International Union. The Andruszkos feel they have been able to achieve the American Dream due in large part to the good jobs they had through Union advocacy. Bob finds that a lot of his motivation for the work he does here at the Local comes from the idea that “A voice in the workplace is no accident! Many before us have fought for the rights we currently enjoy. The struggle continues and we need more involvement. We are at risk of losing more ground all the time.”
When Bob is not working he enjoys, laughing , learning, going to the beach, playing volleyball and hockey, kayaking and skiing, traveling, attending sporting events and concerts, parks and nature, working on home projects, animals, and watching mysteries and comedies. Most of all, he loves spending time with his beautiful wife and best friend Carrie, and his kids Justin, Joshua and Jesse.
Mary Janice Keller, RN
Janice started her hospital career in 1973 as a nurse’s aide at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital. She became an LPN and worked at Deaconess Hospital for five years while also working toward her RN during her latter time as an LPN. She completed her RN at the E.J. Meyer School of Nursing. After graduation she took a job at ECMC in the Trauma Unit. Janice spent more time in critical care at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Brunswick, NJ before making her way back to Buffalo where she accepted a position at BGH in the SICU. After 30 years in Critical care, she transitioned to PACU where she works today.
Anyone who knows Janice can attest to what a great fit her personality is for her position as Vice President of the Local. She commented “It’s great to be able to make a difference on the job where people are working so hard and depend on the Union to support them.”
When Janice is not running to a meeting or working in the PACU, she is likely at home with her best friend and husband, Keith. They have three grown daughters and most weekends are spent with some combination of their four grandchildren. Cheyenne, Aaliyah, Easton and the newest addition, Taylor.
Michael Dunphy, LPN
Michael began working for Kaleida in 1981 as a transport aide. Although it was people outside of his own job title and outside of what would become his bargaining unit, he stood up alongside the RNs in1983 and joined their fight to organize. When he became an LPN, he set his sights on organizing his own job title in what would become BGMC Technical, Clerical, and Clinical. That unit won their fight and organized in 1985. Michael has since served as a Chief Steward and as an Area Vice President. After taking some time off and going back to the hospital full time, Michael was appointed, then elected, to a new Vice President role in 2014.
Michael has a passion for helping others and fighting for the rights of his Union brothers and sisters. He has enjoyed applying his years of experience to bargaining several contracts, not only with Kaleida, but also more recently with Planned Parenthood.
Michael and his husband Andy enjoy camping with friends, gardening, and spending time with their dog!
Kevin Musior, Social Worker
Kevin works at DeGraff Memorial Hospital. He started his career at Bellevue Hospital in New York City as a Discharge Planner and Director of Social Work in 1993. He returned to Buffalo and began working for Kaleida in 2001 in the Financial Counseling Department. Kevin first became active with the Union as a Steward, then Chief Steward. In those roles he really enjoyed helping members. Since being elected to the role of Secretary and Treasurer, Kevin finds being involved with the team here at the Local to be very rewarding.
Area Vice Presidents
Christina Rodriguez, MSN
Christina earned her Masters Degree in Nursing in 2010, but has worked for Kaleida since 2009. She started her career in healthcare at BGH in the CVICU then then transitioned to the PACU in 2011. She recently accepted a position as a Clinical Nurse Educator at BGMC on the night shift.
Christina decided to get involved with the Union in early in 2016 after working several years with co-worker and current CWA 1168 VP Mary Janice Keller in the recovery room where she was inspired by the impact that MJ and the Union had in her department. She too, wanted to do more to ensure equality and safety in workplace.
Christina’s husband Miguel is a Master Barber and they live on the lake in Evans.. She loves being a mom to her three children; Meghan, Dylan and Gabriella. She earned her first bachelors from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she plans to go back and teach some day. In her not so free time, you can find her at a softball diamond somewhere in WNY as her daughter Gabby catches for her Lake Shore and travel teams.
Deanna M Zolnowski, RN
Dee has been an RN at BGMC since 1985. She has experience in med-surg, the cath lab, procedure lab and vascular lab. She has also worked as a clinical instructor for NCCC and Trocaire, a school nurse, and home health care nurse. Currently, you can find Dee on 16 South.
After being active with the Union for 25 years, Dee became an Area Vice President in 2013. Dee enjoys her work as a nurse and with the Union because of her passion for helping others. As an AVP she can help both patients and fellow Union members by fighting for a better working environment that is conducive to quality patient care.
Dee enjoys camping, traveling, jet skiing and boating with her husband and two wonderful sons.
Charmaine Bowman, Registrar
Charmaine began working for Kaleida in 1991 in Environmental Services. Since then, she has been a PCA on 14 South, a cardiac angiology tech in the cath lab, a Medical Assistant, and is now a Registrar in the ED.
Charmaine was raised in a Union household. Her father, who was a steward at American Brass, taught her how to advocate for her rights. After her dad was unjustly terminated, Charmaine helped him and his attorney prepare the case. That experience opened her eyes to the discrimination and unjust discipline some workers face. She became a chief steward in 2005 then AVP in 2011. When asked about why she does this work, Charmaine said “I believe it is our responsibility to help others in any way we can. On those days when I get discouraged, I try to reflect on the positive things I’ve done as an AVP. Every day I come to work with the hope that I will be able to positively effect change in the workplace for our members. I enjoy meeting people and fighting for causes that will effect my children’s future.”
Charmaine also chairs the Civil Rights and Equity committee. Her responsibilities as chairperson are to participate in other organizations such as Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, NAACP, Coalition of Labor Union Women, and Pride at Work. She has enjoyed meeting other Union members through these organizations.
Charmaine and her husband are very proud of their blended family consisting of eight children and five grandchildren. Charmaine is very involved in her church, has a diploma in ministry and is working toward her college degree through the National School of Theology. She also enjoys traveling, singing, sewing, cooking, and reading.
Michele Murray, Certified Medical Assistant
Michele currently works as a CMA at BGMC. However, she has been on a long and amazing journey since starting her career with Kaleida at the old Columbus Hospital in 1986. Columbus had not joined the Union when the time came to merge with Buffalo General in 1996. Columbus Hospital cut their staff from 300 to a few dozen prior to the merger. Seeing this happen to a place Michele loved was heart breaking. Even worse was watching her long term co-workers not even have a job option or any recourse at all.
The day Columbus Hospital became part of Buffalo General, the staff became part of CWA 1168. Michele fondly reflects “that was a day that forever changed my life. I became a union steward and then a chief union steward.”
When another clinic Michele worked at closed, they were unionized so the story was very different. Workers had contractual rights in the lay-off and recall process. Because of the necessity Michele saw being a Union member, she became an organizer with the Local. She continued to work for the Union cause and became an AVP in 2006.
She is very proud of her family. She and her husband feel their three children and four grandchildren are their legacy. Michele has taught them the importance of the Union and each one (except her youngest grandchild) have joined her on the picket line.
DMH RN & TCCS
Karen Howard, RN
Karen started her career at Degraff in 1986. She worked second shift on 4-west, a medical surgical unit. In 1990 she was persuaded to take a 12 hour night shift position in the ICU by a co-worker. She later moved to the day shift and has been in the ICU ever since.
Karen has been active in the Union since the RNs organized in 1998. She has served as steward, chief steward, and was elected in to her current AVP position in 2014.
Karen is the type of person who loves to help people in any capacity she can. Although she has only been in her position for a short time, she says she has learned a great deal! She loves getting to know the members and enjoys working in the Local office with “all the wonderful people.”
Karen and her husband have three amazing children. She spends a large part of her time at church as the church nurse, a supervisor for youth program, and member of the Health and Wellness Ministry. Karen also enjoys fundraising for several different programs.
David Audino, RN
Dave worked in telecom for 15 years before deciding to return to school to become an RN. In 2002. Dave began as a PCA at Suburban and accepted a position as a nurse upon graduating from NCCC in 2005. He currently works in the interventional float pool.
Dave became a Chief Steward in 2009 and was elected to his position of AVP in the fall of 2014. Dave has enjoyed being involved with the Union because he has seen how he can effect positive change for our members.
Dave’s wife is also an RN. They have two children and two cats. He enjoys camping, traveling and just spending time with his family.
Konya Varner, Histological Assistant
Konya began her career with Kaleida as a PCA in 2001. She soon moved to Flint road where she has worked as a Phlebotomy Technician/Laboratory Processor and is now a Histological Assistant/Grossing Assistant.
Konya has been active with the Union for six years and became an AVP in 2012. She enjoys advocating for members and fighting for better working conditions. Konya also finds a lot of fulfillment in helping members fight for their rights as they seek equality in the workplace.
Konya has two children. Her kids have always been involved in athletics and she loved the role she found as “team mom.” As someone who loves sports herself, she has found great fulfillment in the support she has been able to offer many of her children’s teammates.
Ron Hosinski, Clinical Lab Scientist
Ron is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist at BGMC. He has been employed with Kaleida since 1978. He actively campaigned to organize the professional bargaining unit from the start of the initial campaign. He previously served as a Chief Steward for the BGH Professional Bargaining Unit, an Organizer/Mobilizer and Secretary/Treasurer within the Local. Ron replaced his predecessor as AVP in 2009. In addition to his current areas, he previously covered the DeGraff RNs as AVP as well!
As a Organizer/Mobilizer, Ron enjoyed engaging members and getting them involved with issues facing the Union. Since becoming an AVP, he still enjoys his interactions with members but has found new ways to help them. Ron feels honored to fight for members and their contractual rights so they can focus their attention on patients while at work.
Karleen Bordonaro, RN
Denise Abbott, RN
Denise is an RN in the ED at Degraff. She has been with Kaleida for over 11 years. She started on a med-surg floor and became a float nurse. While floating, she found how much she loved working in the ED and has been there since 2007. She loves the fast pace and enjoys learning new things on a regular basis. Denise is grateful for her fellow nurses that trained her. She continues to work alongside many of them and feels they are part of why she loves her job so much!
Denise started as a steward in 2007 and became a chief steward in 2008. She was also on the bargaining committee for the 2013 contract. She decided to get involved because, at the time, DeGraff was underrepresented and the current chief steward at the time was in need of assistance. Denise was also influenced by being raised in a Union household. Her father was her role model for the importance of getting involved and fighting for safe working conditions. His main goal was to protect his job and his family’s benefits. Denise reflected on her father’s example in a very touching way, “We didn’t have a ton of money growing up but my father was very proud of the benefits he was able to provide us that he didn’t have as a child. It means a tremendous amount to me to follow his lead and not only protect myself, but my fellow Union members. I love my job!” Since being appointed to her Health/Safety role, Denise says she has learned so much every day. She is proud of what has been achieved and the direction that we are going. Denise feels that there is a great energy within the Local and is inspired by the purpose behind our work.
In her free time, Denise loves to bake and design cakes and cupcakes. She is married and has a daughter and three stepsons. Denise also loves spending time with her favorite buddies-her three dogs!
Sarah Buckley, RN
Sarah has been a nurse since 2006 with the majority of the time spent in critical care. As a student at the University at Buffalo she got involved with the Western New York Professional Nurses Association Legislative committee in 2005. She has fought for legislation to enhance patient outcomes and guarantee staff safety since that time.
In 2009, Sarah began to get involved with the Local. She has served as a Legislative Committee member, a chief Steward, and WNY CWA Council Delegate before being appointed to her current role as the Legislative/Political Director. Sarah leads our Local’s fight for the Safe Staffing bill, which would require minimum nurse to patient ratios in NYS acute care facilities and nursing homes.
Her lobbying interests expand beyond the hospital to include ending hydro fracking in NYS and the pursuit for economic equality for all New Yorkers. She is also active in New York State’s Working Families Party.
Sarah and her supportive husband have a preschool age daughter. Their daughter knows exactly what a rally is and can no longer be fooled into believing it is “a kind of party.”
Patrick Weisansal II, Radiology Technician
Patrick began volunteering in Medical Imaging during high school. While he was in college working on his degree in Radiology Technology, he worked in Dietary at a BGMC. In 2012, he became a Radiology Technologist and soon became a chief steward. While in that role, he began working as an organizer for Olean General campaign. When the position of Mobilizer/ Organizer opened up he stepped into the role in 2013. Growing up in a Union household and becoming highly involved in his Union was only logical.
Patrick really enjoyed helping his fellow members and sometimes misses representation work however he finds mobilizing and organizing to be incredibly rewarding. When a non-Union facility organizes, it changes the lives of employees. Patrick sees the value here and feels privileged to mentor others in this process. He has the opportunity to train leaders and help them find their own voices. A lot of the skills people develop in organizing their place of employment are skills that benefit them far beyond work.
When he’s not taking X-rays or mobilizing and organizing others, Patrick can likely be found racing his sailboat in the summer or on the ski slopes in the winter. He is the Membership Coordinator for his professional organization, Niagara Frontier Society of Radiologic Technologists (NFSRT), and the Membership Director for the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club.
Ann Converso, RN
Ann works in a unique capacity in our office. With the exception of our administrative assistants, she is the only person who is not an actual member of CWA 1168. After 35 years as an RN at the VA Hospital, Ann retired, but was not ready to quit building the Union Movement. She has worked as an organizer with CWA since 2011.
During her time at the VA, she served as President of her NYSNA bargaining unit for most of those 35 years. Additionally, she served several terms on the NYSNA Board of Directors, Vice President for the United American Nurses (the labor arm of the American Nurses Association), the Board of Directors of the American Nurses Association, the National AFL-CIO, and served as President of the United American Nurses. Ann was also appointed to the V.A. Commission on the Nursing Shortage.
Ann’s passion for labor comes from her belief that any workers, Union or non-Union, have a right to sit at the table equally and fairly to talk with management. Together they should discuss the many issues that arise in the workplace. It is most beneficial to all parties when they find solutions together. Ann believes that workers are an asset to the employer, not a disposable commodity. She finds very little more gratifying than seeing non-union workers come to understand the power of the Union and solidarity.
Ann and her husband enjoy their dogs and working on their farm.