February 20, 2009 Volume 110 Number 4

Al Panek retires; Wyden names Smith Warner new labor liaison

Barbara Smith Warner has been hired as a field staff representative and labor liaison for Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. She succeeds Al Panek, who is retiring at the end of February after serving 12 years in that position.

Smith Warner is well known in labor circles. She worked for the national AFL-CIO as a state legislative issues coordinator and as a campaign directing against several anti-union ballot measures sponsored by Bill Sizemore.

Smith Warner was the campaign director for former Labor Commissioner and IBEW Local 48 member Dan Gardner. From 1993 to 1996 she was the Western Regional field coordinator for the National Association of Letter Carriers. She also has worked as campaign director for Forward Oregon and Future PAC.

More recently, Smith Warner has worked as a consultant for E.G. Enterprises, where she has assisted in the re-election campaigns of Wyden, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer.

Her first day as a Wyden staffer will be March 1.

Panek, 63, is a 34-year member of the Teamsters Union. He served as president of Teamsters Joint Council 37 and as secretary-treasurer of Local 162. He retired in 1997.

Smith Warner can be reached at 503 326-7525.

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