Pat Devaney was first elected as President of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois at the 37th Biennial Convention in Peoria. He was re-elected to his fourth term in June of 2016. Devaney is the eighth AFFI President to be elected since the organization’s formation in 1935. He previously served as the Central District Legislative Representative and Political Action Committee Treasurer. Devaney began his fire service career with the Champaign Fire Department in 1995 and has served as a lieutenant since 2006. He is a proud member of the Champaign Firefighters Union, IAFF Local 1260, and served the local as Treasurer, Vice President and President. Devaney first became active in the state association as a member of the Political Education Committee. “Former President Foreman encouraged me to organize the AFFI’s election efforts in several downstate campaigns and I found the experience to be very rewarding.” Devaney says the biggest challenge currently facing the AFFI is the Governor’s relentless efforts to eviscerate organized labor and says, “Our members must continue to be engaged in the political and legislative process to ensure future successes for firefighters and their families.” He feels very fortunate to be given the opportunity to lead the AFFI and is very optimistic about the future of the association. “The AFFI is one of the most respected labor unions in the state because of the strength we draw from our membership. Fire Fighters support each other and their Union with the same focus and commitment they display each day as they protect citizens in communities across our state. You can contact Pat at: President AT affi-iaff.org
Secretary-Treasurer Tom Roate
Secretary-Treasurer Tom Roate was elected to the AFFI at the June 2006 convention in Lisle Woodridge. Roate was hired in Springfield in 1994 and retired in 2016 as a Battalion Chief. He started his fire service career in 1983 with the Air Force and served 7.5 years of active duty and the remainder in the Air Guard. Prior to his service to the AFFI he served as Trustee, Secretary and President of Springfield Fire Fighters Local 37.
His most rewarding Local union event has been coordinating the annual retiree dinner and states: “Our history and our experience are our greatest assets. We can’t lose that.” He also enjoyed the difference he is able to make in people’s lives as a firefighter and that he is able to help brother firefighters as a union leader. Roate says the biggest challenge facing fire service labor is “to truly bond as union firefighters throughout the state, drawing on each others experience and numbers.”
You can contact Tom at: Treasurer AT affi-iaff.org
Vice President at Large Luke Howieson
Luke Howieson currently serves as the AFFI Vice President at Large, having been elected to that position in 2018. Luke began his fire service career in 1995, and has served with the DeKalb Fire Department since 2001 where he is currently a Captain.
Luke is a proud member of DeKalb Fire Fighters Local 1236 in which he has served the local as a Shift Steward, Treasurer, and President. He is also proud of his involvement with the AFFI Wounded Warrior Program and the AFFI Labor History Committee. Luke has been a fire service instructor for multiple institutions across the State of Illinois.
“I am honored to serve the members of the AFFI and look forward to the further development of cutting edge educational programs that will strengthen our great state association.”
You can contact Luke at: VP AT affi-iaff.org
District 1 Vice President Danny Fortuna
Daniel Fortuna is a 30-year member of the Chicago Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 2. Dan has been an active member of the Chicago Fire Department since 1978. Dan Fortuna is currently serving as the State of Illinois First District Vice President of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI). He serves 40 locals in his district. Dan is proud to have served three terms on the Executive Board of the Chicago Fire Fighters Union (CFFU), Local 2 as the Director of Public Relations. His initial involvement with the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 began on February 14, 1980 when Dan Fortuna joined his 4000 union brothers on strike to obtain the Chicago Firefighters Union first labor contract. Soon after the settlement, he was elected as a Union Steward for the newly formed Steward Program. Dan served on the transition team of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. In 2005, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed Dan to serve as a member of the Firefighters Medal of Honor Committee. In addition, he is a current board member sitting on the Illinois Firefighter Memorial Foundation Committee, as appointed by the Illinois State Fire Marshall. Dan is also an elected Executive Board member of NCPERS (National Conference on Public Employee Retirement System). He serves as a member of the Budget, Marketing and By-Laws Committees.
You can contact Dan at: Dist1vp AT affi-iaff.org
District 2 Vice President Chris Coats
Chris Coats was hired by the Pekin Fire Department in August of 1999, and was promoted to engineer in 2008 and Captain in 2012. Chris proudly served on the executive board of Local 524 as a Shift Steward, Secretary-Treasurer, and President. He also served as District 2 PEC Coordinator. Chris as elected District 2 Vice-President at the June 2010 Biennial Convention in Springfield. “It’s an honor to be re-elected twice as I continue to serve you as your District 2 VP. I look forward to many more years serving you, as a member of your AFFI Executive Board, as we continue to move our great organization forward, and meet all of our challenges head on.
You can contact Chris at: Dist2vp AT affi-iaff.org
District 3 Vice President Adam Ruderman
Adam Ruderman was elected as 3rd District Vice-President of the AFFI at the 38th Biennial convention in Springfield and is currently serving his eleventh year. Adam served as President of the Decatur Fire Fighters Local 505 for 6 years and has been a proud participating member since 1996.
He is currently a Captain on the Decatur Fire Department.
Adam enjoys assisting the third district locals in all aspects of collective bargaining, grievances and any other needs that should arise. “Seeking out new membership locals will be a continuous effort in strengthening the AFFI to keep it growing stronger every year!”
You can contact Adam at: Dist3vp AT affi-iaff.org
District 4 Vice President Matt Olson
Matt has been a member of Bolingbrook Fire Department for the past 23 years, currently serving as a Lieutenant since 2007. He was elected to local 3005’s executive board in 1997 as a shift steward and has held the positions of contract negotiator, vice president and since 2006, Local President.
Matt was elected as the AFFI’s District 4 Vice President at the 39th Biennial Convention in Lombard. He believes it is imperative that every local benefit from the unique experiences of our affiliate leaders. His stated goal is to bring together the locals of District 4 so that all can be aware of and understand the issues faced throughout the district and the state and to share the partnership that the AFFI has with the Illinois Firefighter Peer Support team with all AFFI affiliates who request it.
You can contact Matt at: Dist4vp AT affi-iaff.org
District 5 Vice President Art Thompson
Art Thompson was elected District 5 VP at the June2016 Biennial Convention in Bloomingdale. Art washired by the Barrington Fire Department in August of 1996. He is currently serving his 9th term on theexecutive board of Barrington Local 3481 where he has been Shift Steward, Trustee, Local Treasurer and currently President.
Art has been very active in the AFFI since 2008 serving on the Privatization, and Labor History standing committees. He also served as District 5 VP under Steve Horne from 2012 until his election. Art currently serves as Chair for the AFFI Consolidation Committee.
During Art’s career, the Barrington Fire Dept split into two entities, Barrington Fire Dept and Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District. Art was instrumental in rebuilding his local. He recognizes the importance of union members building strong political relationships and standing united.
You can contact Art at: Dist5vp AT affi-iaff.org
Northern District Legislative Representative Eddy Crews
Northern District Legislative Representative Eddy Crews was first elected to the AFFI Executive Board in 1996, and most recently was re-elected at the 2016 AFFI Convention in Bloomingdale. Eddy also serves as Chairman of the AFFI Legislative Committee.He graduated from paramedic school in 1983, served with the Lisle-Woodridge Fire District from 1988 to 2014. He has been an active and proud member of Lisle-Woodridge Fire Fighters Local 2986, serving on the local EMS committee, safety committee and having held the positions of 2nd Vice President and shift steward.
Eddy’s late step-father, Dick Schiferl was a retired Franklin Park Firefighter, and his uncle, Paul Thomson retired from Franklin Park Fire Department after nearly 40 years of service. Two cousins: Tommy Thomson is a Franklin Park Firefighter, and his brother, Mike Thomson, is a Wood Dale Firefighter. Eddy’s daughter, Jamie, graduated University of Illinois majoring in Political Science, and recently received her Master’s Degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Eddy is proud to be a multi-generational, union firefighter and loves representing firefighters in Springfield. You can contact Eddy at: NDLegRep AT affi-iaff.org
Central District Legislative Representative Chuck Sullivan
Chuck Sullivan was elected as Central District Legislative Representative in 2008. Chuck has served in various Executive Board offices within his own Champaign Local 1260, and was also the AFFI 2nd District Political Education Committee Coordinator from 2004 to 2008. Sullivan was hired by CFD in 1995 and is a Captain.
Sullivan said he is “Honored and humbled by the opportunity to represent Illinois firefighters in Springfield. Our AFFI predecessors established an excellent reputation at the Capitol, our goal is to maintain it.” He feels the biggest challenge facing fire service labor is to, “Protect and improve on our pensions ensuring our members are able to enjoy a comfortable retirement after a long and rewarding career.”
He also believes it is “Vital to our continued success to have members at the local level working to elect individuals who understand the importance of our legislative agenda. Without Local participation, the AFFI does not function.”
You can contact Chuck at: CDLegRep AT affi-iaff.org
Southern District Legislative Representative Richard Martin
Richard Martin was elected as Southern District Legislative Representative in May 2005 and has served on the Political Education Committee since 1999. He was hired at the Murphysboro Fire Department in 1984. He helped organize Murphysboro Local 3042 and was elected Treasurer of the Local in 1987 and President in 1996. He still holds that position. Martin states one of his proudest moments was when he negotiated a contract for 24 / 72 shifts which also added two more members to his department. Martin has worked numerous campaigns to elect state and local officials that understand and are supportive of labor issues.
He maintains an ongoing relationship with elected officials to get firefighter issues addressed. “Maintaining our collective bargaining rights and post employment health insurance are two of the biggest issues firefighter’s face,” Martin states. One of the most memorable moments in his tenure as a union firefighter was to represent Southern Illinois at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004 with other union and labor representatives. You can contact Richard at: SDLegRep AT affi-iaff.org