Joseph H Mason Community Service Award

Every Year, United Way partners with organized labor to select one of its own to receive the Joseph H. Mason Award.  It honors the memory of Mr. Mason and what he did for our community.
The Joseph H. Mason Award: History and Background 
Joe Mason was the Directing Business Representative of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District 65, representing southwestern New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. 
Joe’s reputation for standing up for the causes of labor, most importantly impacting the day-to-day lives of working men and women of our area, is well known. He was recognized nationally for serving as the first Co-Chair of the labor management committee, a locally initiated revolutionary approach to labor relations. A long-standing member of the United Way Board of Directors, Joe exemplified labor’s commitment to serving our community through his devotion to the United Way campaign. 
After Joe’s passing, the United Way Board of Directors created this award in recognition of labor’s critical contribution to the success of the United Way. What followed was 40 years of the United Way recognizing the critical role that local labor leaders play in serving our community, in addition to serving the interests of the union members they represent.
Nominations for the 2022 Joseph H. Mason Award are due June 8, 2022 and are currently being accepted. Organizations and individuals are asked to select a representative that meets the criteria of outstanding volunteer service in our community for the award. The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County Labor Committee and past recipients of the award will review the nominations and the honoree will be recognized at the United Way Salute to Labor Dinner, scheduled for August 10, 2022 at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel.
Burl Swanson with Family

United Way of Southern Chautauqua County is pleased to announce Burl Swanson as the 2021 Joseph H. Mason Community Service Award Recipient. 

Burl Swanson, a member of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) 1115 Union, has volunteered for many organizations throughout the county. Nominated by both Jim Kurtz and Don Emhardt, Swanson spent almost 35 years with the telephone company in Westfield, NY and was a member of Communication Workers of America Local 1115 (CWA Local 1115). He belonged to the Dewittville Fire Department for 44 years, serving in different positions with 19 years as the Fire Chief. This included working with a group of Firefighters to maintain the facilities of the Fire Service through the county and assistance in remodeling both of the County Training Centers to aid in training the county Firefighters In addition, Swanson worked on the Mayville Ice Castle construction crew for the last 8 castles. He is also a member of the Dewittville Cemetery Association and spent many years as a volunteer at the Children’s Safety Village, where he educated more than 15,000 children over the course of his tenure. Burl and his wife Vicky live in Dewittville, NY, and are extremely proud of their two adult married children, both of whom are career army soldiers.


1981: SMW 439 Dennis Ewing Sr.
1982: IAMAW 1888 Milton Roberg
1983: IBFO 27 Anthony Raffa
1984: UAW 338  Russ Love 
1985: UAW 338 Pete Thorstenson
1986: AFSCME 418 George Spitale  
1987: Musicians 134 Dorothy Brooks
1988: NYSUT Steve Maggio 

1989: UAW 338 Mike Piazza
1990: IAFF 1772 Bruce A Rhinehardt
1991: IAM 2105 Dana Ericson
1992: IAMAW 2495 Helen Sischo
1993: Teamsters 649 Mike Berg
1994: IBEW 1124 Gary Sorenson
1995: UAW 338 Jim Ventura
1996: AFSCME 418 Tony Purpura
1997: IAFF 1772 Vinnie Capizzi 
1998: UB of C & J 66 Mike Dye 
1999: IAMAW Dist 65 Clarence "Pete" Peterson
2000: IAFF 1772 Dan Butera   
2001: NYSUT Bob Jurewicz 
2002: CSEA 807 Jim Kurtz 
2003: UB of C & J 66 Jeff Aiken
2004: IAM 2105 Paul Whitford
2005: Kendall Club PBA  Joe Genco 
2006: UAW 338 Charlie Gesing
2007: IAFF 1772 Vincent Ognibene 
2008: CSEA 903 Jack Rudy 
2009: Road Sprinkler Fitters Bill Servis
2010: Carpenters Local 66 Robert L Peterson
2011: UAW 338 Karen Frucella-Olson  
2012: CSEA 807 Rodney Kolstee
2013: AFM 134 - Kendall Club PBA Robert Servis
2014: IBEW 106 Don Emhardt  
2015: Jamestown Teachers Association Christopher Maggio
2016: IAFF 772 Jamestown Fire Department  Shawn Tibbetts
           IAFF 772 Jamestown Fire Department  Kyle Sholl
2017: NYSUT - Panama Faculty Association Loren Smith
2018: IBEW 106 Steve Nowell
2019: NYSUT Resa Rosen-Murray
2020: CSEA Steve Skidmore