AGENTS & STAFF
Caleen Carter-Patton earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. After college, the Bethany, Mo., native completed an internship with Chicago Jobs with Justice, and then went on to do political work for the Chicago Teachers’ Union. Before joining Teamsters Local 727 in March 2014, she was a lead organizer for the Fight for 15 campaign, which aims to organize fast food and retail workers across the Chicago area and the nation. She also serves on the Board of Trustees and as a docent for the Illinois Labor History Society, giving labor tours throughout the city. Caleen represents members in the parking, hotel, soft drink, paratransit and transportation industries.
Mike DeGard has been Teamster for 20 years and has more than 10 years of experience as a business representative, contract administrator and union officer. He previously worked for Teamsters Local 705 and joined Local 727 in December 2013. A DePaul University graduate, he joined the Teamsters in 1997 as a driver for USF Holland. Mike has a strong background in collective bargaining and organizing, and as a business representative for Local 727, he represents members from the trade show, soft drink and parking industries. He has served as a Trustee for the Teamsters Local 727 Benefit Funds since 2016.
Zach Frankenbach, a Chicago native, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School. Prior to joining Local 727 as a business representative in August 2014, he worked as a law clerk for Illinois Advocates, LLC, the firm that provides legal assistance to Local 727 members through the Legal & Educational Assistance Fund. Zach comes from a union family; his father is a boilermaker/welder and a member of Boilermakers Local 1. Zach represents pharmacists, funeral directors, embalmers and livery drivers.
David Glass was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side. He attended Northern Illinois University and spent several years working in retail sales and customer service before joining Local 727’s organizing team in April 2012. David went on to work as an organizer for Teamsters Joint Council 25 and returned to Local 727 to serve as a business representative in July 2014. He represents members in the paratransit industry.
Nicholas Micaletti, a 2004 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been with Local 727 since 2007. Before coming to the local, he worked for System Parking for eight years, working in every bargaining unit position under the parking industry contract. He currently represents members in the parking, funeral and soft drink industries as well as members at Brookfield Zoo and Chicago-area racetracks. Nick also has served as a Trustee for the Teamsters Local 727 Benefit Funds since 2016.
Christopher Owoyemi is a Chicago native and began working as a business representative for Local 727 in June 2015. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Morehouse College in Atlanta before graduating from DePaul University College of Law in Chicago. Chris has completed internships with the Chicago Board of Education Law Department’s Labor Division and the Illinois Department of Labor, and he also completed a fellowship with the Labor Division of the City of Chicago Corporation Counsel’s Office. Chris represents members in the paratransit, parking and hotel industries.
Benjamin “Benny” Rodriguez is a second-generation Teamster who began as a rank-and-file member of Teamsters Local 726 in the trade show industry and as a laborer with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. After attending college and working in the communications and design field, he joined Joint Council 25 as an organizer in 2006 and became a business representative for Local 727 in May 2009. Benny represents parking, valet and hotel workers.
Melissa Senatore is a graduate of Colorado State University and Chicago-Kent College of Law. The Libertyville, Ill., native joined the local union in November 2013. Before attending law school, she worked as a casting director in Los Angeles and was a part of the original bargaining unit that was organized by Teamsters Local 399. Her experience helped her earn a labor law scholarship to Chicago-Kent, and she is now putting that knowledge and experience to further use as a business representative for Local 727 motion picture, parking, media and pharmacy members.
Donnie Von Moore
Donnie Von Moore has decades of experience as a union officer, business representative and organizer, and he joined the Local 727 team in August 2016 as a business representative. A lifelong Chicagoan, Donnie attended Kenwood Academy High School and was a college basketball star the University of Kansas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education and became the first member of his family to receive a college degree. He began his career with the Teamsters Union in 1991 as an organizer and assistant business agent for Teamsters Local 743, eventually working his way up to business agent, Secretary-Treasurer and then President and Principal Officer of Local 743 in 2011. Donnie also served as a Trustee for the Local 743 Health & Welfare Trust Fund and Local 743 Pension Trust Fund.
Teamsters Local 727 Legal Department
Stephanie Brinson, General Counsel
Stephanie Brinson, a Houston, Texas, native, has served as Local 727’s general counsel since June 2009. She earned her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law after earning bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and English from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in English from the University of Tennessee. Before joining Local 727, she worked as an associate attorney at Asher, Gittler, Greenfield & D’Alba — a union-side law firm — for four years. As general counsel, Stephanie is the in-house legal advisor to the union, working on contract negotiations, arbitration hearings, hearings before the National Labor Relations Board, the Illinois Department of Labor and other governmental agencies, while also handling union compliance matters.
Jayna Brown, Staff Attorney
Jayna Brown joined Local 727 as a staff attorney in February 2013. The Bay City, Mich., native received bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political law theory from DePaul University before going on to earn her Juris Doctor from DePaul. Jayna previously worked as a law clerk for Hogan Marren — a union-side law firm — and as an associate attorney for Children’s Law Group. Her father, a former General Motors employee, is a lifelong member of the UAW and her grandfather and two uncles were Teamster drivers.
Teamsters Local 727 Organizing Department
Donaldo Leiva, Organizer
Donaldo Leiva began working as an organizer with Local 727 in April 2012. The Chicago native honed his interpersonal and communication skills while working for many years as a retail store manager. Since joining the union, Donaldo has spearheaded many of Local 727’s largest organizing campaigns in the paratransit, hotel and parking industries. Interested in joining Teamsters Local 727? Contact Don.
Teamsters Local 727 Communications Department
Michael Brandfon, Communications Director
Michael Brandfon became communications director of Teamsters Local 727 in February 2017. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in English, Michael spent more than 10 years in public relations primarily working at small- to- mid-sized agencies. Prior to his career in PR, Michael was a high school social studies teacher employed by Chicago Public Schools. As communications director, he creates newsletters, maintains several websites and handles media relations for Local 727. Contact Michael.