call us Call Us 402.326.3107

mapspot  PO Box 206
Hustonville, KY, 40437


About Us

United Support & Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF) established in 2007 is the only grassroots, family based, national, not-for-profit organization that offers support, guidance and resources to families that have been affected by work-related incidents, diseases and illnesses. We know and understand first-hand the devastation that takes place in the mind, body and soul after such a tragic, unexpected death.  Recognizing the overpowering emotions one has during the stages of grief. It is important that no one should feel alone during these times.

Our Board


peopleTammy (Miser) Spivey
Board President

Ms. Spivey resides in Lexington, KY and is the Assistant Executive Director of USMWF. Ms. Spivey started USMWF in 2003 after her 33-year-old brother, Shawn Boone, was killed at Hayes-Lemmerz in Huntington, Indiana.

Tammy has appeared on 60 Minutes, been interviewed and quoted in local and national newspapers and magazines, given numerous congressional testimonies, given feedback to OSHA on several occasions, spoke in many forums, given training and received multiple awards for her grassroots efforts.

Contact Tammy >> About Tammy >>

peopleTonya Ford
Board Vice-President

Ms. Ford resides in Lincoln, NE and is the Executive Director of USMWF. Ms. Ford became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2009 after her 51-year-old Uncle Robert (Bobby) Fitch was killed at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Tonya has testified at Congressional Hearings, OSHA Listens, hosted the first Worker Safety Awareness Expo in NE and hosts a longstanding Workers Memorial Day Vigil.

Contact Tonya >> About Tonya >>

peopleSamantha Wooten,
Board Secretary

Ms. Samantha Wooten resides in Belmont, NH and became an active volunteer of USMWF in 2018 after her father Thomas "Tom" Edward Wooten, 56 was fatally injured in July 2016 while working for Northfield NH Department of Public Works in New Hampshire.

 Since her loss Samantha has been a strong safety advocate gaining attention to workplace safety by testifying at State level for several bills and sharing her account. She was instrumental in helping pass HB406. This bill that puts into statute that the NH Department of Labor may investigate public employees' serious injuries or occupational fatalities. The passing of this bill may allow family member victims to receive the additional answers to the many questions that may otherwise remain unanswered through the investigation of the NH Department of Labor report. The investigation is also important as it can prevent similar incidents from occurring again in the workplace saving lives and limiting injuries.

peopleKelly Bollwahn Meissner
Board Treasure

Ms. Meissner resides in Muskego, WI and is the Board Treasure of USMWF. Ms. Meissner became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2004 after her 36-year-old Husband Scott Heilert was killed at Custom Structural Inc. (iron worker) in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. He died after being struck by a vehicle on a construction site.

She is a Financial/Accounting Professional by trade and responsible for Strategic Analysis, Financial Analysis, Audit Review Procedures, Cost Analysis, Statistical Analysis, Financial Reconciliation, General Ledger, Record and Systems Automation and Financial Research.


peopleKaren Burkhalter
Board Member

Ms. Burkhalter resides in Brillion, WI. She became involved with USMWF in 2008 after her 50-year-old Husband, Derrick, was killed on Highway 114 while on duty in a work zone for the Calumet County High Department. She is now a strong advocate for work zone safety and reaches out gaining awareness about following the speed limit, not driving distracted, and moving over for emergency or maintenance vehicles through work zones. She has held her current jobs for 16 years. Karen has a BS in Child development and Family Life Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI. and she is currently enrolled at Fox Valley Technical Collage in Appleton WI for Business management. Karen has worked for 16 years at works at Para Professional, Chilton Public School District. Working with students and assisting them as needed throughout the day. Creating and maintaining needed materials for adapted classroom instruction. She has also worked as a GM Support Manager, Wal-Mart for the same amount of time.

peopleJohn Newquist, Board Member

Mr. John Newquist, Board Member, resides in Chicago, IL and has had 29 years in Health and safety. Mr. Newquist became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2012 but had worked beside family-member victims for years previously. Among a few accomplishments John is was a Assistant Regional Administrator OSHA, founding Member of ANSI Z359 Fall Arrest Standards, Certified Safety Professional and Fire Inspector, created the OSHA Fall Arrest Course 3110 and OSHA PSM Classes 3300 and 3400. John was also as a proud member of the US Navy Atlantic Intelligence Command with an Honorable Discharge.

peopleMaia Beh,
Board Member

Ms. Beh, resides in Marlborough, NH and became an active member of USMWF after the loss of her husband, Gilbert Menke who sadly was fatally injured due to a work incident in 2016.

    Since her loss she has become a strong advocate connecting with safety organizations and her State Representative researching workers' rights, OSHA regulations standards and citations, workers' compensations, workplace safety and family member victim rights. She is a powerful voice to change for all workers and family member victims.

Maia has a Master of Science, Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis. Bachelor of Science, Plant Sciences, Magna cum laude, Cornell University.



Christopher A. Callihan
Board Member

Mr. Christopher A. Callihan, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 265 Business Manager, resides in Lincoln, NE and has worked closely with USMWF for the past several years simply because he believes in the cause. Mr. Callihan has over 15 years’ experience in the construction industry as well as previous experience in the retail business industry. His most resent accomplishments are: he managed and Planned the Annual NECA/IBEW Local 265 Charity Golf Tournament, was the 2015 Al Bauer Award Recipient from Lincoln Central Labor Union and is a Lincoln/Lancaster County Public Building Commissioner, and Citizen At Large. 


iconJonathan D. Karmel
Board Member

Attorney Jon Karmel resides in Chicago, Illinois. He has extensive experience in the labor and employment fields. He is AV Preeminent peer review rated,* the highest rating through Martindale-Hubbell. Jon has been named among Chicago's Top Rated Lawyers, and he was selected for inclusion in the 2013-2016 Illinois Super Lawyers. He serves as an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law, where he teaches trial advocacy skills. Jon has taught trial advocacy to lawyers and judges in Mexico as their legal system changes to oral advocacy. Recently, Jon lectured to members of the legal profession in Shanghai, China, on cross-border employment issues and the role of arbitration in resolving disputes. Joh, is the author of Dying to Work-Death and Injury in the American Workplace. Bar Admissions Illinois, 1982 Michigan, 2013 U.S. Supreme Court, 1992 U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1986 U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1998 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1999 U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1983 U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, 1997 U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 1999 U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 2003 U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 2005 Education John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1978 Honors: With Honors Major: Political Science Yale University, Graduate School, Political Science, New Haven, Connecticut - 1979 Classes/Seminars Instructor, John Marshall Law School, 1984 - 1986 Chapter Author/Lecturer, Labor Law, Illinois Institute Continuing Legal Education, 1986 - 2000 Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, May Session, Emory University School of Law, 2010 - Present Honors and Awards 2014 Illinois Super Lawyers - Employment & Labor, January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers - Employment & Labor, January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers - Employment & Labor, January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016 Professional Associations and Memberships College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow

peopleSusan L Martin,
Board Member

Ms. Susan L Martin resides in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sue is the President/Secretary-Treasurer State AFL-CIO, which represents 23,000 members across the state of Nebraska. She was elected at the Nebraska State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in September, 2015 and re-elected for another four year term in September, 2017. Martin, the first woman to serve as Nebraska State AFL-CIO’s President/Secretary-Treasurer, has served on the Nebraska State AFL-CIO executive board from September, 2004 to September, 2015. Sue received the Nebraska Labor Leader Hall of Fame award in 2015. Martin retired after 26 years with the Nebraska Department of Education when elected to the President/Secretary-Treasurer position with the Nebraska State AFL-CIO in 2015. During her employment with the state of Nebraska, she was an applications developer working with K-12 schools on data collection and research. Martin has been a member of NAPE/AFSCME Local 61 since 1996. During her time with AFSCME, she served on the Executive Board as Secretary, then Treasurer, resigning that position in 2015. She was also a delegate to the Lincoln Central Labor Union, serving on the Executive Board as Treasurer from 2008 to 2015. In 2013, Martin received the Al Bauer Labor Leader award through the LCLU. Martin’s involvement in the Labor Movement began when meeting her future husband who was President of CWA 7470 in Lincoln, Nebraska. His passion for working men and women’s issues was infatuating and engaged her immediately. Recognizing that the Labor Movement has a great opportunity for strength, Martin has made a focus on involving young workers in the Labor Movement, building our future leaders and tackling issues that face all working men, women and their families. Sue and her husband Denny live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

peopleSteve Sallman,
Board Member

Mr. Steve Sallman resides in Pittsburgh, PA.  Since 2004, Mr. Sallman has been the Assistant Director of United Steelworkers (USW) in the Health, Safety & Environmental Department in Pittsburg, PA.  There he develops, coordinates and provides safety training programs for union members and employers.  He has served on the USW's emergency Response Program to assist local unions after a fatal incident to prevent it from occurring again.  He oversees the USW's Health, Safety & Environment Conference with attendance around 1,600 part pants and proudly complete many more duties with USW.  Prior to 2004, Steve was a Safety and Health Consultant for Iowa Occupational Safety & Health Administration in Des Moines, IA. There he created interactive training materials using various tools, performed a "Tour of Duty" in January of 2002 at the World Trade Centers Ground Zero to assist with the recovery and clean up efforts, performed workplace inspections and audits, conducted both formal and informal safety training and much more.

Workplace safety is a top priority of Mr. Sallman and we are honored to have him share his expertise with USMWF so together we can prevent work related incidents.