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  • Officers & Staff
    Local President

    Melanie Broady

    Melanie is currently a Claims Specialist in the WSU at the Auburn Teleservice Center (ATSC), and was formerly a Teleservice Representative. She started her career at Social Security in 2010. Melanie began her Union representational work in AFGE Local 3937's intern program, and was tapped to take over as Local President effective December 2017.  She is also a local representative at the ATSC, and for multiple other office locations. 

    She is a graduate of Whatcom Community College, Western Washington University, and University of Washington. She is married and has two teenage sons. Prior to her employment at SSA, Melanie was an advocate/representative for low income families, for domestic violence victims , homeless youth and indigenous people in crisis.  She also held several positions at a local Credit Union, including branch manager.

    Executive Vice President

    Cassandra Butler

    Cassandra started with SSA in 2006 as a Service Representative in Spokane, WA. Currently she is working in the Office of Quality Review in Seattle, Washington where she serves as the local onsite Union representative as well as Local 3937 EVP and Regional VP for Council 224. Her Union work began with the AFGE Local 3937 Internship program in 2014 and has continued to grow from there. She is active in community organizations in Spokane, WA and hopes to become active in her new town of Seattle. When not at work, Cassandra enjoys spending time with her two beautiful children.

    First Vice-President

    John Pfannenstein

    John started his career at SSA in 2008. He serves as our 1st VP, our Legislative Coordinator, and as the local Primary representative for his home office in Lynnwood, WA where he is a Claims Technical Expert.  He also represents employees at multiple other field office and ODAR locations.  Committed to ensuring fairness in the workplace, John came to us through our AFGE Local 3937 Internship program, and he looks forward to advocating for the rights of his SSA colleagues both within his office and throughout the Agency.

    Second Vice-President
    Steffen Pleiness

    Steffen began employment with SSA in 2001 and has been active with the union in various ways, including serving as an auditor and as a representative, before joining the Executive Board. 

    Prior to working at SSA, he was active in other unions as well,  including the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Washington Education Association (WEA).  He is a graduate of Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and Muskegon Community College. 

    Third Vice-President

    Nicole Duncan

    Nicole began her career with SSA in 2008 in Yucca Valley, CA as a Claims Representative after serving 4 years in the Marine Corps in 29 Palms, CA. She currently works as a T2 Claims Technical Expert in Anchorage, AK where she continues to serve as the primary union representative as well as serving as 3rd VP for Local 3937. In her downtime from work, she has been working hard on finishing her B.A. in Sociology from Southern New Hampshire University and spending time with her husband Michael and son Maxwell. Their favorite activities to do as a family are take their RPOD travel trailer and explore different campgrounds and fishing holes, and snowboard in the winter.


    Laura Novakoski

    Laura began her SSA career in Wisconsin before moving to Oregon.  She volunteered to learn about being a local representative in the Portland NE office in 2003, and took over as Local Secretary for the Executive Board in 2004.  She now works in the Portland Metro office as an SSI Claims Technical Expert, mentors newer local reps, and serves as an off-site local representative for several other SSA offices in her area (when there isn't anyone on-site ready to give it a try themselves, which we always encourage!). 

    She has always been an enthusiastic advocate for employees, and as Secretary, she manages the Local's communications with our bargaining unit, our members and local representatives.  She serves as Primary or Alternate rep in multiple offices, writes and edits Executive Board and Local Business meeting minutes, helps to manage our website and Facebook pages, archives records and handles many other small details that keep the Local running smoothly.


    Jackie Walton

    Jackie began working for Social Security in 2009 at the Auburn Teleservice Center, and after about 5 years transferred to the Tacoma FO, first as a CSR and later as a CS. When the former Tacoma AFGE rep retired she stepped in, and has been an AFGE rep and now officer ever since. In her free time she hangs out with her husband and feline companions.


    Dina Lovenstein

    Dina Lovenstein grew up in Portland, OR. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama and after spending time with us in AFGE for much of this year, in August she moved on from her stint at SSA to attend law school. We wish her the best!

    Lara Kouna


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