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Andy Stern
Andy Stern
Q: Why step down now?

A: There's never a perfect time for any long-term leader to depart or organizations to make transitions. I've seen too many leaders stay on too long … I have no intention of being one of them.

Q: While listing successes, you also acknowledge there's been “sorrow.” Such as?

A: The loss of my daughter, Cassie, and the 24/7 responsibilities of this job have left me at times not paying enough attention to the personal dimensions of my life.

Q: Besides boosting the membership base, including adding many healthcare workers, what do you see as key achievements?

A: Our members and allies have held accountable some of the largest players. [They also voted] for four strategic plans: They restructured our local unions to add new strength, raised new resources, organized on an unprecedented scale and put members first. I've [also] made alliances with one-time adversaries, like Kaiser-Permanente.

Q: What guides your thinking now?

A: A line from a Dr. Seuss book: “Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” Our members understand that change is inevitable. It's progress that's optional.