17th Grand Marshal & Humanitarian

2020 Grand Marshal: James T. Slevin, President the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO


James T. Slevin, President the Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, was elected July, 2019. In that role, he represents around 50,000 active members employed in the energy, electric, gas, steam, water, and related professional, technical and service industries.

Slevin was born and raised in a union household in The Bronx. The son of Irish immigrants and a UWUA Shop Steward, Slevin graduated from Mt. Saint Michael’s High School in The Bronx. From there he began his union career as a carpenter. In 1987 Slevin signed on as a utility worker at Consolidated Edison. Working his way up from helper to cable splicer, Slevin became a Local 1-2 Shop Steward in 1989.

Slevin was elected as a an officer of the Local 1-2 in 2005 until he appointed as President of the Local in December of 2013. He was later elected to that position in March 2014 and re-elected in March 2017. During his years as president, Slevin successfully negotiated dozens of new labor agreements, notably a contract with Con Edison that avoided a labor disruption.

He has studied at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and is a recent graduate of the National Labor Leadership Initiative sponsored by the AFL-CIO. He serves on the AFL-CIO Executive Council. 

He is a married father of three children, with his wife Maureen, a registered nurse

2020 Humanitarian: 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 in support of combat theater of operations Beirut Lebanon, along with his western pacific deployments. Some of the awards Rick received are.  Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Battle “E” Ribbon, 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 by Colonel David Sutherland and Lt. Commander Kim Mitchell. Rick has two distinguished United States Flag designations, one Presented by under Secretary of Labor The honorable Jane Oates and one from the Pentagon presented by Assistant Secretary of defense Mr. Fred Drummond. He was awarded the Helmets to Hardhats Veterans in Excellence Award By decorated US Vietnam Army Veteran, SGT President Michael Yauger and the Teamsters Veteran achievement award by teamster National President James Hoffa. And after his enlistment and Honorable Discharge Rick started his career with Peoples Gas where he recently retired with 32 years of service as Business Manager and National Executive Board member. During Ricks tenure at Peoples Gas and the UWUA he founded the UMAP program in 2011 in partnership with Peoples Gas Executive Team Vice President John Klecynski and Director Sal Arana. Rick most recently joined the UWUA National staff and now holds the position of UWUA National Director Of Veterans affairs and organizing Under National President Michael Langford for the UWUA. Rick is a committee member for veterans in energy Washington D.C, and sits on the committee for veterans in work force innovation Washington D.C. as well as the AFL-CIO National Veterans council in Washington D.C. Rick is Married to his Highschool sweetheart Lynn for 37 years. He as 2 Married sons Dan and Nick and 4 grandchildren Knox.Rocco,Peyton and Jax.


Katie Strompolis


Saint Bridget of Ireland was a determined, faithful Catholic who was responsible for starting convents and monasteries throughout Ireland. Bridget's Celtic name, Brigid, which means “fiery arrow,”

Katie Strompolis is the third of the nine children of the gold star family of Mark and Mary Miller. Mark Miller retired as a Master Sargent after 33 years of service a leading example to the seven of the nine siblings who have answered the nation's call. Four airmen, two soldiers and a sailor. 

        Katie enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in December of 2006 as she was pursuing her bachelors of science in nursing.  In 2008, as a Gunner's Mate 3rd class she was activated to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom where she achieved her Seabee Warfare Combat Specialist Qualification. Selected for the United States Marine Corps Lioness Team, she served with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Division during the 2009 Al-Anbar province elections. Participating in convoy security, humanitarian efforts, and training Iraqi female police counterparts. Inspired by her experiences, she sought to live more deliberately and become an agent of change.

        Shortly after her homecoming, she was appointed to the United States Naval Academy. Volunteer service has always had a deep root in the Miller family as well as the importance of gratitude especially for those that have come before. With this sentiment, she undertook facilitating midshipmen volunteer presence with the Honor Flight Network. She maintained academic standing on the Commandant's list and other various billets in her company and brigade.  However, her Military career was abruptly cut short with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. During her sophomore year, a grapefruit sized tumor was incidentally found and due to the treatment, she was medically retired from the United States Navy at the age of 24.     

         Although devastated with the loss of her career, health and identity, Katie maintained her "can do" spirit. She reflected on her passion to help people and dedicated herself to finish her bachelors of nursing from Millikin University, graduating first in her class. She went on to work in the local intensive care unit, earning her critical care certification. Katie was chosen to join a cohort of Doctorate of Nursing practice in Nurse Anesthesia to begin in January of 2020.  

She is now five years cancer free and lives with her loving husband Scott, a fellow Navy Veteran, and their two beautiful children. They are her inspiration to never give up and go forward, always forward.