NATCA Staff Spotlight: Deputy Director of Labor Relations Akua Brempong-Smith
We have an amazing National Office staff that our membership can be very proud of. They work hard every day and are committed to providing our members with the very best service and representation in organized labor. Today, we feature NATCA’s Deputy Director of Labor Relations Akua Brempong-Smith. Thank you for all you do in helping NATCA’s members, Akua!
Where are you from, or what places have you lived?
I was born in Detroit and have lived in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Maryland. I’m back in Alexandria, Va., and I won’t be moving anytime soon.
Where did you go to school, or what other education do you have?
I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and my law degree from Georgetown University.
How did you come to work at NATCA?
I decided I wanted to practice labor law while I was in law school, but did not find a labor job after graduation. After working for a firm, legal aid, and a disabilities rights organization, I finally landed a job in labor in 2010. I worked as a staff attorney with another union for 10 years before going to work for a federal agency. I quickly realized that I did not like being on the “other” side and came to NATCA soon after. It’s nice to be back on the right side again!
Do you have family members who are involved in unions?
My mom worked for UAW Legal Services when we lived in Ohio.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a member of NATCA’s staff? What’s the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of being a NATCA staff member is working on behalf of union employees to further the labor movement’s mission. I think the most challenging part is starting this position during the pandemic. I like to put faces with names and connecting virtually just isn’t the same.
Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of your work for NATCA?
My hobbies are baking, traveling, and going to concerts.
Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?
I really enjoyed watching the convention. I’ve been to several conventions, but was always tasked with assignments that kept me from the convention floor.
My biggest pet peeve is: Talking around issues. Please get straight to the point.
My parents always told me: You can do whatever you want to do as long as you are willing to deal with the consequences of your decisions.
Candy or Chocolate: Chocolate
Dogs or cats: Cats
NFL or NCAA Football: NCAA — Go Gators!