Collaborative, honest, with an openness to learning

February 14, 2013 · by Alvarez Porter Group · Filed Under Choices, Lives of Leaders · Leave a Comment

Valarie LongValarie Long

b. 1962 in Lorain, Ohio

The Executive Vice President of the 2-million member union SEIU sees collaboration as the most important route to a better life for her granddaughter and all future generations.


 1. What three words describe your leadership style?

Collaborative, honest, with an openness to learning

 2. What are you best at?

Bringing people together to work for a common goal. The collective is most important.

 3. What is the most important thing you do?

Work to improve the lives of working people, protect and expand on standards of living, unify workers to collective action to improve their own lives, develop leadership in others.

 4. What do you know to be true about leadership?

Leaders have followers, leaders come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and diverse opinions. It makes for a better outcome when there is unity of purpose

 5. What is your earliest memory of injustice?

My father’s bitter disappointment when he tried to get into the IBEW and was not able to because of his race.

 6. What traits do you possess that are typical for your family?

Active in union. (grandfather was a ctteeman for United Steel Workers in a steel mill, father was a union member when he worked in the mills also). Our family members speak up for what they believe, rarely take no for an answer. Have perseverance.

7. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Being a good grandparent.

8. What are you afraid of?

A progressive movement in the country shrinking to irrelevance

9. What is the last thing that made you really angry?

ICE ran an I-9 audit of workers right before bargaining started. Result was that many workers were afraid to participate in contract campaign.

 10. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to become a more inspirational speaker. I would like to be more strategic and analytical.

 11. What do you do for fun?

Garden, spend time with my granddaughter.

 12. What is the best advice you ever got?

“Keep the workers interests in your heart always as a moral compass as you make decisions”

 13. What failure or success taught you the most?

Successful leadership of Local 82 (Trustee then President).

14. How would you like to be remembered?

“She worked hard, was honest and because she lived, made a contribution in improving the lives of many.”




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