Interfaith Worker Justice

This is what religion looks like.



Cathy Junia, Director of Development

Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 40

Born and raised in the Philippines, Cathy moved to the U.S. in 2003 and credits her interest in worker and immigrant issues to her own immigration experience. Cathy is responsible for developing IWJ's development strategy and managing the development department. Previously, Cathy served as the Individual Outreach Coordinator and as a member of the cross-departmental communications team. Before coming to IWJ, she worked as editor of the Northeast Phoenix Independent in Arizona. Outside of work, she enjoys "discovering" hole-in-a-wall eateries and new music.

Julian Medrano, Legal Director

773-728-8400, ext. 34

Julian runs Interfaith Worker Justice’s new wage theft clinic and is committed to providing all individuals access to the justice system. Originally from Argentina, Julian grew up in Toronto, Canada, and has spent the last five years in Chicago. After graduating from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and passing the Illinois Bar exam, Julian has spent time working for law firms and legal aid organizations in Chicago practicing civil rights and employment law. He has also spent time working in South East Asia as a legal consultant for the International Labour Organization. Julian also has degrees in Finance and International Business from Iowa State University.  When not working, he is an avid traveler and music lover.

Doug Mork, Interim Executive Director

Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 13

Rev. Doug Mork began his working life in 1987 in the South as an organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union after graduating from Carleton College in Northfield, MN. Mentored by some extraordinary union and community organizers, he spent six years alongside workers of incredible courage and persistence in the fight for greater workplace justice. Throughout this time, worker leaders taught him firsthand of the deep intersections between faith values and the dignity of work. In addition to staying active in local and national labor struggles, from 2006 to 2012 he worked as the Organizing Director for the largest UFCW local in Minnesota (see extended bio).

Ian Pajer-Rogers, Communications Director

Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 24

Ian manages Interfaith Worker Justice's communications department. Before joining the IWJ team, Ian was most recently the digital director for the campaign to elect Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for Mayor of Chicago and the digital communications strategist for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. Ian was inspired to work on social justice from a young age after attending the progressive and inclusive First United Methodist Church in Pittsburgh, PA. Ian also enjoys writing, making music, and spending time with his dog Omar.

Thom Shellabarger, Public Policy Associate

Phone: 202-525-3055

Formerly a Policy Advisor at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Thom spent more than 40 years advocating on diverse issues from housing and community development, to minimum wage, employment and civil rights with Congress and the Administration. Thom was a founding board member of IWJ. An organizer and advocate who can move an agenda, his colleagues describe Thom as someone who can get an economist to laugh, a politician to vote right, a bureaucrat to act, and a Bishop to issue a statement —tall tasks for anyone. Thom works in IWJ’s Washington, D.C. office.

Mayumi Swanson, Database Manager

Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 17

Mayumi has overseen the development of IWJ’s check processing systems and the complete overhaul of its database system. She holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the Federal University of Goiás in her native Brazil. She and her husband, Christopher Swanson, are the parents of a son named Koichi.

Ryan Wallace, Director of Organizing

Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 27

Before joining IWJ, Ryan held positions in both the Organizing and Public Policy departments at Community Renewal Society, and prior to that he served in several Christian congregations in Chicago and Nashville. Ryan earned undergraduate degrees in Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Spanish from Vanderbilt University. He also holds a Master of Theological Studies from McCormick Theological Seminary. Ryan lives with his wife and daughter in Rogers Park.

Jana Winch, Graphic Designer

Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 10

Jana has been with IWJ since 1999. She is the creative force responsible for the design of most of IWJ's publications. Prior to IWJ, Jana worked for two design/advertising studios in downtown Chicago. She received her B.A. in Art from Luther College. When she is not working, or caring for her two young girls, Jana sleeps.

Allison Zidek, Accounting and HR Manager

Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 22

Allison had a 16-year career as Accounting Manager and IT Director for a retail organization in Chicago before coming to IWJ. She has a BA in accounting and an MBA from DePaul University. Allison has responsibility for a variety of financial and human relations functions at IWJ including accounting, payroll and personnel benefits. Allison was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago and continues to live in Skokie with her daughter. Outside of IWJ, she spends time volunteering on the school PTA and with the Girl Scouts.

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