Meet our Board and Staff

Executive Secretary

Al Ekblad (IUOE)

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-eight 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 25-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.


Randy Tocci (IBB)

Vice President-Treasurer

Quint Nyman (MPEA)

Vicky Byrd (MNA)

Rich Aarstad (MFPE)

KaCee Ballou (MFPE)

Colette Campbell (MFPE)

Mike Kenison (MFPE)

Kate Haegele (AFGE)

Timm Twardoski (AFSCME)

Clint Penny (IBB/IW)

Jerry Rukavina (CLC)

Scott DeMarois (IAFF) 

Mario Martinez (UBC)

James Holbrook (IBEW)

Steve Gross (IUOE)

Kim Rickard-Smeltzer (LiUNA)

Dusty Deering (UAC)

Jim Larson (Teamsters) 

Darrell Johnson (USW)

Jacquie Helt (SEIU)



Political Director

Adam Haight


Communications Director

James Burrows

Executive Assistant to the Executive Secretary

Lorri Nisbet


2711Airport Road

Helena, MT 59601


T: (406) 442-1708

© 2017 Montana AFL-CIO