We Guide You Home

Meet Elisa Muise: New Chair of the National Constitution Committee

Following NATCA’s 19th Biennial Convention, Elisa Muise (Boston Center, ZBW) was elected as the new chair of the National Constitution Committee (NCC). She has been a member of NATCA since 2007 and first joined the NCC in 2012. Learn more about Elisa and her work with NATCA from our interview below: 

How did you first become active in NATCA or what was your first role serving on committees as a rep?

I was lucky to have people at ZBW who really encouraged union activism. Months after certifying, I attended my first NATCA in Washington in 2009. In 2010, I became the New England member of the National Legislative Committee. In 2012, I switched over to the National Constitution Committee, which is where I have been since. Aside from my committee roles, I volunteered for a couple of workgroups including Curriculum Architecture and Web-Based Recurrent Training. I also served a term as an Area Rep at ZBW and as a Director on the board of the NATCA Charitable Foundation for many years.

What do you hope to accomplish as the Chair of the Constitution Committee?

I think one of the most important things is to keep educating people and trying to get them involved. Robert’s Rules is often intimidating to people, but we on the NCC have a weird nerd passion for it and want to help people be successful both in running and participating in local meetings. We also try to help people get their ideas and proposals into the Convention booklets. Have your voice heard! To me, encouraging others to find their passion and be successful is one of the biggest services we can provide the Union. 

Who are or have been your role models for leading NATCA’s activism and efforts?

It’s really hard to list just a few. Early on, I would have to say the people who first encouraged me to get involved were the ones at ZBW 一 my area reps Mike Dowd and Kristine Mooso, Jeff Aulbach (who encouraged me to attend NiW and who I eventually replaced on the NLC), and my FacRep Kevin Bianchi. Once I was on the NLC, the people who were on the committee with me were so supportive and knowledgeable, but Steve Weidner went above and beyond. He did everything he could to be a mentor to me. I also had the great honor and privilege to work with Barry Krasner before I knew what a legend he was. He made a comment to me at one point about not wanting to step on my toes for a presentation we were giving together about Robert’s Rules. He never acted like I should feel fortunate to work alongside him. As a woman, two people stand out to me. Obviously, Trish Gilbert has done amazing things for our Union and profession and is someone to be admired. But, when I first joined the NCC, Renae Hultgren was taking over as the chair. It was pretty impressive to see the hard work she did for our committee. 

Honestly, everyone who works hard and gives their time and energy to this Union should be recognized and thanked, no matter what that looks like or what role they have. I have worked with some amazing people (many of whom don’t hold national titles or positions) throughout my career, and I wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t had their friendship and advice.

What has been the most pivotal or standout moment during your time advocating for NATCA members?

I got hired under the White Book. Everything was a battle then. One of the biggest highlights of not just my career, but my life, was doing campaign work in 2008 and the resulting red book. Everything changed for the better. It was amazing how many people suffered through so much and how we all stuck with it and were rewarded for our solidarity. 

What advice do you have for NATCA members who are new to the Union or are just learning about how to serve on behalf of our members and profession? Get involved any way you can. Start by getting involved locally, even if it’s just to support a backpack drive or toy drive for the holidays. People recognize when you are motivated and will want to encourage that. Just get your foot in the door. 

PHOTO: Elisa Muise with her family. 

Jump to top of page