Delegates at the Virginia AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention Elect Doris Crouse-Mays the first female President of the Virginia ALF-CIO and Ray Davenport as new Secretary-Treasurer

Doris-Crouse Mays was elected by acclamation this morning to become the first female President of the Virginia AFL-CIO.

“I can’t express how honored I am to be elected by the delegates of the Virginia AFL-CIO to take on this role. To make history as the first woman to lead the organization is an honor and responsibility I promise to never take lightly. It’s been a humbling experience to see what this means to so many terrific leaders and activists whom I respect so much.”

On Feb. 12, 2006, Doris was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Virginia AFL-CIO, the first woman to serve as an executive officer of the Virginia AFL-CIO. In August 2006, Doris was re-elected for a 4 year term.

Doris grew up in Rural Retreat, Virginia and worked for the ILGWU (now UNITE/HERE) and then at CWA as an International Organizer. While at CWA, under her leadership, CWA had 4 organizing elections in one year, winning 3 of the 4. As a result, CWA District 2 received the Joe Beirne Award, CWA’s highest award for organizing.

At the Virginia AFL-CIO, Doris has managed the organization’s political program, electing worker-friendly candidates to local, state and federal office. In 2001, Doris was the statewide coordinator for the labor program when Mark Warner was elected Governor and Tim Kaine, as Lt. Governor. Doris led the labor programs that helped elect Tim Kaine Governor of Virginia, won the State Senate back in 2007, and delivered Virginia’s electoral votes for Barack Obama in 2008.

Doris takes over the position for Jim Leaman who has decided to enjoy a well-deserved retirement in sunny Florida following 20 years of dedicated service as an executive officer of the State Federation. Prior to becoming President in 2006, Jim served as Secretary-Treasurer for 16 years.

During his time with the Virginia AFL-CIO, Jim has lobbied the Virginia General Assembly and members of Virginia’s congressional delegation and worked tirelessly to elect lawmakers who share the concerns of Virginia’s working men and women. Over the years, Jim has also served on various state boards and commissions relating to labor and employment.

“It’s time for new blood, new energy and new ideas for where the organization needs to go. Doris and I have been friends and colleagues for a long time and I know I’m leaving the Virginia AFL-CIO in incredible hands. I can’t wait to see the great work that she and Ray will do on behalf of Virginia’s working families.”

“I’m thankful for all the support that’s been shown to me over the years. Anyone who has worked in the labor movement, especially here in Virginia, understands that it’s been a lot more than doing a job with co-workers; it’s been a labor of love alongside great friends.”

Ray Davenport was elected to serve as Secretary Treasurer. Ray is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 147 and served as Business Manager there for 14 years. Ray began work in the construction industry as an apprentice crane operator, graduating as a journeyman in February of 1977 and worked as a crane operator for 12 years. Ray also served as President of the Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council.

In addition to his leadership within the labor movement, Ray brings a wealth of experience in state government. In March of 2002, Ray was appointed by Governor Mark Warner as Virginia’s Commissioner of Labor and Industry. He was reappointed to his position by Governor Tim Kaine in January, 2006. Following the change in administrations in 2010 and before his election today, Ray chose to pick up his tools again and returned to his trade for the last 7 months.

“I know Doris and I are people who will never forget where we came from and who take enormous pride in coming up through the ranks of our local unions. It’s the rank and file members who lie at the heart of why we do what we do. I just hope to carry on the spirited legacy that Jim left: a relentless fight that sought fairness for Virginia’s working families.“

The Virginia AFL-CIO represents 150,000 union members in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia AFL-CIO speaks for labor collectively in Virginia and advances labor’s political and public positions. It represents a consensus of labor’s priorities, policy and opinions.

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