The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, awarded its 2013 Humanitarian Award to longtime United Way staff member Elizabeth “Biz” O’Mara. President Bobby Kasper presented O’Mara with the award at the RLF’s May delegate meeting.
O’Mara, who retired from Greater Twin Cities United Way over the winter, embodied the connection between area unions and the charitable organization, Kasper said.
“Biz truly understands us and has worked toward educating folks at United Way about us and our partnership both locally and nationally,” Kasper said.
O’Mara has been working to engage union members in United Way’s annual fundraising campaign since 1982, a year after she joined the staff of United Way of the St. Paul Area. She continued as the liaison to labor after the Minneapolis and St. Paul chapters merged, and O’Mara became a fixture in union halls during United Way’s campaign drive and at labor events throughout the year.
“She has always participated in our events – our Labor Day parade in the fall and our Winter Carnival parade in the dead of winter,” Kasper said. “Biz has been a constant help to us, we will miss her and her friendship, and we wish her all the best in retirement.”
The St. Paul RLF has a longstanding partnership with United Way through the AFL-CIO Community Services Program. Community Services liaisons on staff with the RLF’s non-profit arm, the St. Paul Labor Studies and Resource Center, assist union members facing financial crises as a result of strikes, layoffs or other economic factors.