The Executive Committee

The objectives of the Grace Carroll Rocky Mountain Labor School is to operate and promote schools, institutes, and other educational activities for the purpose of providing training for officers and leaders of local unions, city central bodies, state central bodies and representatives of national and international unions within the territorial limits of the sponsoring state central bodies.

Al Ekblad was raised in a union household. His father was a member of the Operating Engineers Local #49, and his mother was a member of the Minnesota Education Association. He worked his way through college as a ranch hand, production paint sprayer, carpenter, bouncer and library resource clerk.  He graduated from Montana State University with a Political Science degree.


Al Ekblad’s career in labor has spanned twenty four years including working as a union pipeline and highway laborer. He also served as a Director of a Labor/Management Committee and later worked as a Union Organizer for the Operating Engineers Local #400. He has been a member of the Laborers Union Locals #254, #1334, and #1686 through his employment at the Montana State AFL-CIO.  During his 17 years as staff with the MT AFL-CIO, Ekblad worked as political campaign staff, worker training coordinator, and Staff Director. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Board of the Montana State AFL-CIO. Later that same year he was elected President of the Central Montana Central Labor Council. In May of 2011, Al Ekblad was elected by unanimous vote as the Executive Secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO.


Al is married with two sons. Karla Ekblad is a 20 year member of the Montana Public Employees Association.  Ekblad is as dedicated a family man as he is a labor leader. He believes that working families are at their best when they have access to good benefits in the workplace and social justice in the political system.

Al Ekblad

Executive Director,

Montana AFL-CIO


Joe Maloney is the President of the Idaho AFL-CIO, before he became president he served as an Executive Board member representing the Magic Valley area. Joe has been has been a member of IBEW 449 since 2009. Joe made a promise to his grandfather many years ago promising to join a union so, after he received his Journeyman License through the College of Southern Idaho he joined IBEW 449. Joe enthusiastically participated in his union and his Central Labor Council from day one. From 2012-2017 Joe dedicated his career to his local and became and full time organizer for them. Joe has served as a Executive Board Member for the Filer Parks and Recreation and has also been a Comet Instructor for his local.

Joe has been married to his wife Callie for 17 years, they have twin sons, Kynan and Kayle who are 12.

Joe Maloney




Dennis Dougherty has been a Commissioner with the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (FMCS) since 2007. As a federal mediator covering Colorado and Wyoming, Dennis mediated labor disputes, including collective bargaining negotiations and grievances, for the private, public, non-profit and federal sectors. Dennis also was the past president of the Rocky Mountain Labor and Employment Relations Association LERA, and still serves on the board.  In addition, Dennis is the past Treasurer of the Global Education Fund. 


Prior to his appointment with FMCS, Dennis completed his Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in negotiation analysis and conflict resolution at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  While at the Kennedy School, Dougherty served as the Co-Director of the Office of Public Service.


Dougherty began his career as an elementary school teacher in the Atlanta Public Schools.

Denni Dougherty

Executive Director

Colorado AFL-CIO

Jeff Worthington




On January 1, 2018 Jeff  was sworn in as  President of the UTAH AFL-CIO where he will continue to work with the Utah State Legislature, City and County municipalities, by reaching across the isles to ensure that the rights of Utah Working Families are heard.


For 39 years Jeff Worthington worked as a Locomotive Engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad. He was also an Operation Lifesaver Presenter and sat on numerous Safety Committees. Jeff spent his entire railroad career Representing Locomotive Engineers as a Legislative Representative and then as the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Utah State Legislative Board Chairman. As Chairman of the Utah State Legislative Board, Jeff also sat on the National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen (NASLBC), headquartered in Washington D.C. Jeff worked diligently and was very passionate and determined to represent the rights of the working men and women that he represented...


Jeff sits on the following boards:

Governor’s appointee to the 150th Anniversary, Golden Spike Commission

UOSHA  Advisory Board (Utah Occupational Safety and Health)

Utah State Workforce Development Board 

Workforce Services


Fred Yamashita, a native of Detroit, Michigan, accepted his position at the AZ AFL-CIO in November of 2017.  Prior to that

Fred spent 20 years working for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99, before which he spent 20 years as a worker on the floor in the grocery industry.

Fred served as Chair of the Pima Area Labor Federation from 2015 until moving back to Phoenix to accept the position as Executive Director. He has five children and one grandchild.

Fred Yamashita

Executive Director

Arizona AFL-CIO