Our Leaders


Steven CookSteven B. Cook, President

Mail: PO Box 2573, East Lansing, MI
Phone: 800-292-1934
E-mail: stcook@mea.org

Steven B. Cook assumed his position as President of the 155,000-member Michigan Education Association on September 1, 2011.  He had served as Vice President of the association since 2006.  Prior to that, he had served as Secretary-Treasurer of the association since 1991.  His term as President expires August 31, 2014.

President of the Lansing Educational Assistants from 1981 to 1993, Cook was a paraprofessional for 15 years in the Lansing Public Schools, working as a community school coordinator, home/school liaison in the elementary attendance project and in alternative education.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University with emphasis in history, economics and political science.

Cook is the first non-teacher in the history of MEA to be elected President.

Nancy StrachanNancy Strachan, Vice President

Mail: PO Box 2573, East Lansing, MI
Phone: 800-292-1934
E-mail: nstrachan@mea.org

Nancy Strachan assumed her position as Vice President of MEA September 1, 2011.  Her term expires August 31, 2014.  Nancy began her teaching career in the Wayne-Westland school district in 1975 and was President of the WWEA prior to her election as MEA Vice President.  In 2008, Nancy and her local gained statewide attention when she led her membership on a four day walk-out, eventually achieving a favorable contract settlement.

As President, Nancy presided over the Executive Board, Governing Board, Grievance Committee and the Negotiations Team.  She successfully negotiated four contracts during her term of office.  In addition to her WWEA responsibilities, Nancy assisted on three crisis teams:  Trenton EA, West Bloomfield EA and the Port Huron EA.

Nancy received her bachelor’s in physical education and master’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Michigan University.    

Rick TrainorRick Trainor, Secretary-Treasurer

Mail: PO Box 2573, East Lansing, MI
Phone: 800-292-1934
E-mail: rtrainor@mea.org

Rick Trainor assumed his position as secretary-treasurer of MEA September 1, 2011.  His term expires August 31, 2014.  Trainor comes to MEA statewide leadership from his previous position as President of the Mt. Pleasant Education Association (2002-2011).  A teacher since 1977, Trainor has taught English and Physical Education in Mt. Pleasant for the past 21 years.

Trainor brings a wealth of experience to his new position as MEA Secretary-Treasurer, having served on numerous MEA boards and commissions, including the Local Affiliates Commission, the Legislative Commission, the Budget and Finance Committee and the MEA PAC Governing Board.  He served as President of the Statewide Local Presidents Caucus (2005-2011) as well.

Trainor is a graduate of Central Michigan University and a former soccer coach at the high school and collegiate level.

Gretchen Dziadosz, Executive Director

Mail: PO Box 2573, East Lansing, MI
Phone: 800-292-1934
E-mail: gdziadosz@mea.org

Executive Director Gretchen Dziadosz has spent most of her career working on behalf of public school students and the Michigan Education Association (MEA). She was exposed to unionism and association advocacy at an early age as the daughter of two teachers, Barbara and Richard Buccos, who both taught for Ypsilanti Public Schools. Her father, Richard Buccos, was a long-time advocate for teachers and school support professionals throughout Michigan; holding many leadership roles within the MEA.

Dziadosz received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications Arts from Michigan State University, her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Arts from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She then taught as a lecturer for the university.

Dziadosz joined MEA in 1979, first serving as a field representative for Educational Support Professionals (ESP) and then a UniServ Director for more than 25 years; which was then followed by another 3 years as the Statewide Bargaining Consultant. Thereafter, she held a number of management positions, including Northern Zone Director, Professional Development and Human Rights Director, Director of Research and Bargaining, and prior to becoming MEA Executive Director, she supervised all MEA field operations as Director of Field Services.

Dziadosz was appointed MEA Executive Director in April 2012. At the time of her appointment she stated, “I’m honored that I have the confidence of the MEA Board to help lead this organization in these challenging times. I’ve dedicated my career to Michigan’s students and to this union’s efforts to advocate for them and the school employees who serve them. I’m excited to serve in this new role.”