We Are Council 66

Council 66 is a labor union representing over 8,500 public and nonprofit sector workers in Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley. We are here to fight for good-paying jobs with benefits for working men and women. Our members build the roads, keep the hospitals and schools running, and make our neighborhoods safe and clean. We work hard to deliver the vital public services that grow and sustain our communities. You count on us every day and we never quit.

How We Work

Our Council is a part of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees), the largest and fastest growing public employee labor union in the country with over 1.4 million members nationwide. Council 66 works closely with our Local affiliate unions. We have over 80 Local unions throughout Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley. Every Local is responsible for creating their own structure, electing officers, and setting membership dues.

Council 66 coordinates contract negotiations, arbitration and grievances, organizing, political action, issue advocacy, and communications on behalf of our members. We provide resources and support to our members to ensure that they continue to succeed in their workplaces and communities. Every two years, we meet at convention to decide the direction of the Council, our leadership, and our rules.

We are headquartered in Rochester and have four other offices in Syracuse, Buffalo, Albany, and the Hudson Valley.


Working Class Heroes

Our members are some of the hardest-working people in New York State. Because of our members, you get to work on time, your kids attend safer and cleaner schools, and your neighborhoods are better. We keep New York State running.

Our 8,500 members come from many different professions, including electricians, road crews, student support staff, librarians, sanitation workers, and police officers. We come from different backgrounds, but we all share one thing in common: a desire to improve the communities where we live and work. We are the public service workers you count on every day.


Meet Our Union Affiliates

Ensuring that our Local union affiliates thrive and succeed is at the heart of everything we do. Council 66 helps coordinate the activities of 81 Local union affiliates across New York State, from Yonkers to Plattsburgh to Buffalo. Each of these unions elects their own executive board, takes a lead role in contract negotiations, and organizes our members. Every Local affiliate plays a critical part in fighting for our workers to get fair contracts and representation in workplace disputes.

The Locals also work closely with Council staff to achieve fair terms and working conditions, set political and legislative priorities, and engage in public outreach. Our Locals are divided into regions. You can see a map of the regions here.

Our three biggest affiliates are Local 1095 (Erie County employees), BENTE Local 2419 (Rochester City School District support staff), and Local 1635 (Rochester City employees). These three Locals each have over 1,000 members. Under the leadership of Council President Dan DiClemente, every Local is listened to and their concerns are acted upon.


Dan DiClemente

Email: ddiclemente@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 585-594-0753

Dan was elected President of the Council in 2017. In this senior position, he manages the daily operations and sets the long-term vision for the Council. A lifelong union member and a glazier by trade, Dan is a passionate advocate for working families. He has also served as President of BENTE Local 2419, which represents 1,250 support staff at the Rochester City School District, since 2002. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his family, travelling and watching baseball.

Robert Leonard

Labor Relations Specialist
Email: rleonard@afscmecouncil66.org Office: 585-488-2268 | Cell: 585-703-1376

Robert is the Labor Relations Specialist for the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. He manages contract negotiations, arbitrations, internal organizing, and local affiliate operations. Robert joined the Council 66 team in 2017 after a distinguished and successful tenure serving in a similar capacity with CSEA. He lives in Ontario County and previously served as a Town Councilman. Robert’s passion for the labor movement is matched by his love for family, friends, and the Buffalo Bills.


Maria Fisher

Director of Communications & Political Action Coordinator
Email: mfisher@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 585-594-0753

Maria is the Council’s Director of Communications/Political Action Coordinator. She manages messaging, public relations and political operations for Council 66. Prior to working for the Council, Maria was the Director of Community Development and Community Outreach for Senator Samra Brouk. Prior to that she worked for PEF as the Field Representative representing members with contract and disciplinary grievances. She also served as the Chief of Staff at the Rochester & Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Maria grew up in a union family with a father who had two household rules never lie & never cross a union picket line. In her spare time, Maria volunteers in the community promoting organ donation.

Danielle Fasso

Administrative Assistant (Rochester Office)
Email: dfasso@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 585-594-0753

Danielle serves as the Administrative Assistant to President DiClemente. In this position, she supports the work of Council staff and maintains close relationships with our Locals across New York. She brings with her to Council 66 over 15 years of experience in providing high-level executive support to a wide range of businesses and law firms. Danielle grew up in Spencerport and now lives in Greece. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to all types of live music and going to concerts (especially country), watching her sons play soccer, and going on walks with her rescue dog, Rosie.

Yvonne Morici-Forte

Accounting Department
Email: ymorici-forte@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 585-594-0753

Yvonne has worked at the Council’s accounting department since 2004 and she oversees payroll, taxes, and accounts payable. She has over 25 years of experience as an accounting professional. She is working with the current leadership to continue to move the Council in a positive direction. Yvonne lives in the Town of Gates, and enjoys spending Sundays with her mother and three kids and going to her son’s lacrosse games.

Lisa Bauer

Accounting Department
Email: lbauer@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 585-594-0753

Lisa works in the Council’s accounting department where she processes membership dues. She started in this position in 2012. After several years of working for the Council, she left to pursue her Associate’s Degree in Office Technology at Monroe Community College and later served as a permits and applications administrator for Lightower Fiber Networks. Lisa came back to Council 66 in March 2017 and she enjoys working with President Dan DiClemente, who genuinely cares about our members. A native of Rochester, Lisa lives with her family in Spencerport. When she’s not hard at work for our members, she loves travelling and cheering on her son’s hockey team.

Jeffrey N. Mis, Esq.

Council Attorney
Email: jmis@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 716-634-6204 | Cell: 716-770-6395

Jeff serves as the Council’s Attorney for the Buffalo/Rochester areas, and he has been in this position since December 2014. He is a former City Attorney and City Court Judge. Jeff represents the Council and its unions in PERB conferences and hearings, provides legal advice to staff representatives and Local presidents, handles any litigation filed against the Council and/or its Locals, and performs legal research and renders opinions on contract and labor issues. Jeff most enjoys protecting the rights of the rank-and-file AFSCME union members who are hardworking and deserve fair representations under the collective bargaining agreements and Taylor Law. Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, going to sporting events and concerts, and playing a little basketball on the side.

John Mooney

Labor Relations Specialist
Email: jmooney@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 716-634-6204 | Cell: 716-770-6297

John is a Labor Relations Specialist for the Buffalo region. He manages contract negotiations, arbitrations and assists locals with internal organizing, and local affiliate operations. John joined the Council 66 team in 2016 after a long career with the Ken-Ton School District. John has been a labor leader since 1980 serving in several capacity’s including 20 years as President for NEA/NYUST local KTSEA.  He lives in Erie County with his wife of 38 years and enjoys spending time with his family. In addition to his passion for the labor movement he enjoys playing the piano and fishing.


Ryan Card

Labor Relations Specialist
Email: rcard@afscmecouncil66.org   | Office: 716-634-6204

Ryan is a Labor Relations Specialist for the Buffalo Region. He manages contract negotiations, arbitrations, and assists locals with their operations. Ryan joined as an LRS in 2022, after serving as a trustee on the executive board. He worked at the City of Jamestown DPW for over 25 years, serving as chief steward since 2007, and dislikes management that has no accountability. His labor roots run deep as his father was president of the local at Crescent Tool Manufacturing in Jamestown for many years, a long time ago. Ryan resides in Jamestown with his wife of 15 years, and enjoys traveling. He is also very involved in community organizations in his spare time, such as the Elks and Freemasons. He is also an avid sports fan.

Amy Smardz

Administrative Assistant (Buffalo Office)
Email: asmardz@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 716-634-6204

Amy has been the Administrative Assistant at the Council’s Buffalo office since 2001. She assists the Council Attorney and Labor Relations Specialists with preparing documents, getting ready for cases, and processing requests for arbitrations. She loves the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of working at the Council, and enjoys helping our members. When she’s not on the job, you can find Amy teaching fitness classes, taking care of her many rescue pets, or organizing folklore events for a Polish cultural organization. She is a native of Buffalo.

Kerry M. Lightcap, Esq.

Council Attorney
Email: klightcap@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 315-682-9198

Kerry is an attorney and has been working at Council 66 since 1990. He previously served as our Labor Relations Specialist in the Central New York region. In his current role as Attorney for the Council, he conducts negotiations, handles arbitrations and improper practice hearings, drafts court pleadings, performs legal research, renders advisory opinions to staff representatives in Regions 2, 3 and 4, and answers legal queries from officers of affiliated Locals. Kerry fights diligently to get a fair deal for our members, and he especially enjoys achieving favorable contract terms and winning wrongful termination cases. In his spare time, Kerry likes to ski, bike, play tennis, and coach football.

Alex Catello

Labor Relations Specialist
Email: acatello@afscmecouncil66.org | Office: 518-446-9356 | Cell: 518-949-9751

Alex is the Labor Relations Specialist for the Capital Region, stretching from Plattsburgh to Albany to the Hudson Valley. He is a lifetime resident of the Albany area growing up in Amsterdam.  Alex now resides with his Wife and family in Clifton Park.

Alex has over 20 years’ experience as a Union Representative.  He has held CSEA positions in the Department of Tax and Finance, SUNY Administration System and NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.  He arrives with extensive experience gained while working as the NYS Representative and Albany Branch President for the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 309.  In that role he served as an executive board and council member, managed local contract negotiations, labor-management meetings, arbitrations, and membership meetings across the area.   Outside of work, Alex enjoys spending time with family & friends, traveling and Football with his favorite team being the Oakland (now Las Vegas) Raiders.

Adam Garfield

Labor Relations Specialist
Email: agarfield@afscmecouncil66.org | Cell: 845-596-8394

Adam is the Labor Relations Specialist for the Hudson Valley and Westchester/Rockland regions. He is a seasoned community organizer, previously spending years with the environmental and consumer advocacy organization NYPIRG (New York Public Interest Research Group). He has joined us after completing his Master’s degree in Labor Studies from the UMASS Amherst Labor Center. During his time there he was very active with the teachers and researcher’s assistants union Graduate Employees Organization (GEO/UAW 2322), in which he was a department steward and eventually elected Membership Mobilization Coordinator. Adam currently lives in Dutchess County. In his free time, he is passionate fan of hiking and road bicycling.


Trey Johnson

Labor Relations Specialist
Email: tjohnson@afscmecouncil66.orgOffice: 315-883-1980
Trey is the Paralegal/Labor Relations Specialist for the Syracuse region. He assists with arbitrations, contract negotiations and legal research. Originally from North Carolina, Trey is a graduate of Wofford College and the Charleston School of Law. Prior to joining Council 66, Trey coached collegiate football at Division I and II levels. He is excited to be back in the legal space working with Council 66. In his spare time, Trey enjoys exploring the outdoors and the City of Syracuse.


Our Leaders

The Council 66 Executive Board is the chief leadership body that oversees our union. The Board is responsible for setting the direction of the Council and leading our members. It is comprised of the President, Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Sergeant-at-Arms, Trustees, Regional Vice Presidents, and Members-at-Large. Each member of the Board carries out their duties and responsibilities in accordance with the Council’s constitution and bylaws. Executive Board members are elected every two years at our biennial convention.

Dan DiClemente


Rich Canazzi

Vice President

Mike Rivera

2nd Vice President

Mike O’Brien


Barbara Zarpentine

Recording Secretary

Ange Palmerini

Ange Palmerini


Ryan Card


Elizabeth Gugino



Ricky Fernandez


Regional Vice Presidents

Steve Clausen, Region 2 (Westchester/NYC Suburbs)
Frank Coons, Region 3 (Albany/Hudson Valley)
Peter Persico, Region 4 (Schenectady/North Country)
Robert Brandt,
 Region 5 (Syracuse/Central NY)
Matt PadburyRegion 6 (Binghamton/Southern Tier)
Wilbert NavedoRegion 7 (Rochester/Finger Lakes)
Sean Lauck,
 Region 8 (Buffalo/Western NY)


Joe D’Ercole, Local 1635 (City of Rochester)
Demitris Graham
Local 1095 (Erie Community College)
Steve Barnum
Local 400 (City of Syracuse)
Zelder Bice, Local 2419 (BENTE)
Tawanda Ciccone, Local 1635 (City of Rochester)
Paul ColemanLocal 3124 (Auburn Community Hospital)
Gary HylaLocal 2567 (Erie 1 BOCES)
Paul Mason, Local 1095 (Erie County Medical Center)
Angelo PalmeriniLocal 2419 (BENTE)
Kevin RandleLocal 1095 (ECMC)
Orlando TorresLocal 1635 (City of Rochester)