Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Director of Strategic Partnerships
773-728-8400, ext. 21
Sung Yeon leads IWJ collaborative work with various partner organizations, unions and faith communities on worker organizing and worker justice public policy. Sung Yeon also provides support to Interfaith Groups and Worker Centers across the country by connecting local religious, academia and labor communities. Sung Yeon studied Political Science and Urban Studies at Wheaton College and earned an M.Div from McCormick Theological Seminary. Sung Yeon is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church. Before working at IWJ, Sung Yeon was a Community Organizer at Asian American Institute working on immigration reform, the state budget, redistricting and voting. Sung Yeon lives on the north side of Chicago with her partner, Joseph Morrow and their daughter Ella.
Cathy Junia, Director of Communications and 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. A journalist by training and education, Cathy is responsible for developing IWJ's communication strategy and managing the communications department. Previously, Cathy served as the Individual Outreach Coordinator in IWJ's development department and 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).
Marién Casillas Pabellón, Director of Organizing
Marién works with IWJ’s National Worker Center network. She is the former Executive Director of New Labor, a New Jersey worker center and community-based organization. Before leading New Labor, she's worked as a union representative both in Puerto Rico and in the United States before completing a Master’s in Labor Relations at Rutgers’ University. Marién grew up in Puerto Rico, the daughter of a Baptist pastor and a progressive librarian. She credits her church as the first place she learned about politics.
Ian Pajer-Rogers, Digital Advocacy and Fundraising Strategist
Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 24
Ian manages Interfaith Worker Justice's digital communications and online fundraising. 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
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, Grants Manager
Phone: 773-728-8400, ext. 27
Ryan writes and manages all grant proposals and reports for IWJ. 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.