For over 28 years, Debra Simmons-Peterson worked for Rush Medical Center as a Patient Transport. She was a union steward for over twenty years, giving her the opportunity to communicate daily with members and work closely to resolve their concerns.
Driven by her deep commitment and passion to the members, Debra became a Business Representative in 2007. In 2010, she was appointed Vice President of Local 743 and was given the honor of being elected Secretary-Treasurer that same year. Never one for shying away from challenges, she was then appointed President of the Joint Council Woman's committee in 2012. In 2013, Debra was officially seated as both the first female and African-American female President of Local 743, following a resounding election victory on the Have A Voice Slate.
Most recently, Joint Council 25 President Terrence Hancock announced the formal appointment of President Simmons-Peterson as trustee to the Joint Council 25’s Executive Board effective July 1, 2019.
Debra has always been a leader; she has always fought for her members—inspiring them to better their lives and pursue greater possibilities. She believes in preserving the opportunities and advancements that have been made during her tenure at Local 743, and continues to unify and energize the Local to face any future challenges that await.
Administrator: Local 743 Health & Welfare Fund
Administrator: Local 743 Severance & Retirement Fund
Administrator: Local 743 Employee Pension Fund
James Thomas first joined Teamsters Local 743 more than 20 years ago when he began working at the Rush University Medical Center. In 2010, he was elected as Trustee to the local executive board and began serving members directly as a business representative. He won election for the second time and was seated as the local's new Secretary-Treasurer on Jan. 1, 2014. James is also a union musician and professional percussionist. His band, The Soul People, has been performing in Chicago since 2001.