The National Labor-Community Awards, presented by the Instituto Laboral de la Raza, brings together the highest ranking leaders of labor, business, government and community organizations to create a true summit-like atmosphere for building and strengthening relationships.
President James Boland, a member of the Executive Board since 1995, became President in February 2010, and was elected to a five-year term in September 2010. Boland served first as an Executive Vice President until June 1999, when he was named Secretary-Treasurer, a position to which he was elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2005.
After becoming a BAC member in 1977, Boland spent the next decade working on commercial projects in the San Francisco Bay area in brick, block, stone, and marble. He became Business Agent in 1988 and then President in 1992 of BAC Local 3 California. One year later he was appointed to serve as a member of the International Union’s highest advisory body, the BAC Executive Council.
In 1994 Boland was named to the International Union’s headquarters staff as Assistant to the Vice President for Operations overseeing trade jurisdiction matters. Later that year, he was asked to take on the added field responsibilities of BAC Regional Director for California and Nevada, a position he held until his election to the Executive Board in 1995.
As International Union President, Boland's responsibilities include formulating and supervising the IU's programs and activities consistent with the policies established by the IU Convention and in accordance with the Union's Constitution.
In addition to his Executive Board responsibilities, Boland serves as Co-Chair of the International Masonry Institute (IMI), the training and industry development arm of the organized masonry industry. He is a Trustee of both the International Trowel Trades Pension Fund (IPF) and the International Health Fund (IHF), and serves as Co-Chair of the BAC Canadian Congress.
President Boland is a Vice President of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, and serves on these AFL-CIO Committees: International Affairs; Legislation / Policy; Political; and Immigration. He is a member of the Governing Board of Presidents of the Building and Construction Trades (BCTD) Department, AFL-CIO. In addition, he serves on the General Presidents’ Committee on Contract Maintenance and the National Joint Heavy and Highway Committee. He is also on the Boards of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, ULLICO, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the National Labor College.
He studied at University College Dublin and is a 1996 graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program.
Eliseo Medina is described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most successful labor organizers in the country" and was named one of the "Top 50 Most Powerful Latino Leaders" in Poder Magazine. He is Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and also leads the union's efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that rebuilds the nation's economy, secures equal labor- and civil-rights protections for workers and provides legal channels and a path to citizenship.