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Lexington, KY, 40517

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About Us


 United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities.


USMWF offers support, guidance and resources to those affected by preventable work-related deaths or serious injuries.



USMWF will be a highly visible, organized community of dedicated people, and nationally recognized non-profit leader driving the transformation of the work environment to safe and healthy conditions for all workers – both today and tomorrow.

USMWF Awards

Our Board


peopleTammy Miser, Board President

Ms. Miser resides in Lexington, KY and is the Assistant Executive Director of USMWF. Ms. Miser started USMWF in 2003 after her 32-year-old brother, Shawn Boone, was killed at Hayes-Lemmerz in Huntington, Indiana. Tammy has appeared on 60 Minutes, been interviewed and quoted in local and national newspapers and magazines, given numerous congressional testimonies, given feedback to OSHA on several occasions, spoke in many forums, given training and received multiple awards for her grassroots efforts, and is on the USW Tony Mazzocchi Center Advisory Board.

Contact Tammy >> About Tammy >>

peopleTonya Ford, Board

Ms. Ford resides in Lincoln, NE and is the Executive Director of USMWF. Ms. Ford became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2009 after her 51-year-old Uncle Robert (Bobby) Fitch was killed at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company in Lincoln, Nebraska. Tonya has testified at Congressional Hearings, OSHA Listens, hosted the first Worker Safety Awareness Expo in NE and hosts a longstanding Workers Memorial Day Vigil.

Contact Tonya >> About Tonya >>

peopleAllison Weston, Board Secretary

Ms. Weston resides in Hayland, NE and became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2018 after her husband husband Jason Weston. Mr. Weston was killed in March 2016 while working for CPI in Hayland, Nebraska. The incident is still under investigation but it is believed that he died due to asphyxiation caused by the safety harness.

Since her loss Allison has been a strong safety advocate gaining attention to workplace safety by joining USMWF at conferences, purchasing billboards, and have testified at State and/or Federal hearings sharing her story trying to turn something negative into something positive. Allison was employed by Grain Plain Safety and Health and assisted in hosting a large safety conference.


peopleIrma Miller MBA, CPA, Board Treasure

Ms. Miller resides in Lexington, KY and is a MBA, CPA owning her own business. Ms. Miller is very active in the community and currently serving on serving with the Tax Committee at Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountant, Group Leader Woodard (Previously The National Advisor Network) Lexington Group, Hospitality Ministry at University of Kentucky Newman Center, Eucharistic Ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and in the past with Leadership Council at Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountant, Small Business Committee at Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountant, New CPA Committee at Kentucky Society Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Miller’s most recent publications and speaking engagements were Using Financial Forecasts to Advise Businesses, National Business Institute, Louisville, Kentucky, Accounting Basics for Attorneys, National Business Institute, Lexington, Kentucky, and Accounting and Tax Workshop, Construction Industry Training Program, LFUCG-KSBDC-Bluegrass Airport.

peopleSusan L Martin, Board Member

Ms. Susan L Martin resides in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sue is the President/Secretary-TreasurerState AFL-CIO, which represents 23,000 members across the state of Nebraska. She was elected at the Nebraska State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention in September, 2015 and re-elected for another four year term in September, 2017. Martin, the first woman to serve as Nebraska State AFL-CIO’s President/Secretary-Treasurer, has served on the Nebraska State AFL-CIO executive board from September, 2004 to September, 2015. Sue received the Nebraska Labor Leader Hall of Fame award in 2015. Martin retired after 26 years with the Nebraska Department of Education when elected to the President/Secretary-Treasurer position with the Nebraska State AFL-CIO in 2015. During her employment with the state of Nebraska, she was an applications developer working with K-12 schools on data collection and research. Martin has been a member of NAPE/AFSCME Local 61 since 1996. During her time with AFSCME, she served on the Executive Board as Secretary, then Treasurer, resigning that position in 2015. She was also a delegate to the Lincoln Central Labor Union, serving on the Executive Board as Treasurer from 2008 to 2015. In 2013, Martin received the Al Bauer Labor Leader award through the LCLU. Martin’s involvement in the Labor Movement began when meeting her future husband who was President of CWA 7470 in Lincoln, Nebraska. His passion for working men and women’s issues was infatuating and engaged her immediately. Recognizing that the Labor Movement has a great opportunity for strength, Martin has made a focus on involving young workers in the Labor Movement, building our future leaders and tackling issues that face all working men, women and their families. Sue and her husband Denny live in Lincoln, Nebraska.

peopleJohn Newquist, Board Member

Mr. John Newquist, Board Member, resides in Chicago, IL and has had 29 years in Health and safety. Mr. Newquist became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2012 but had worked beside family-member victims for years previously. Among a few accomplishments John is was a Assistant Regional Administrator OSHA, founding Member of ANSI Z359 Fall Arrest Standards, Certified Safety Professional and Fire Inspector, created the OSHA Fall Arrest Course 3110 and OSHA PSM Classes 3300 and 3400. John was also as a proud member of the US Navy Atlantic Intelligence Command with an Honorable Discharge.

iconDebi Fergen, Board Member

Ms. Fergen resides in Las Vegas, NV and is the Outreach Coordinator for USMWF. Ms. Fergen became involved with USMWF in 2007after her 26-year-old son, Travis Koehler, was killed at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Debi has testified before the Nevada Senate, participated the Nevada Legislative process, given congressional testimony, spoken in many forums.

About Debi >>


Danielle Dole,
Board Member

Ms. Dole resides in Alexandria, VA and became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2012 after her father Sherman Lynn Holmes, 55 killed in February 2011 while working at K&K Forest Products in Evart, Michigan. He died when struck by a felled tree.

iconJohnathen Karmel, Board Member

Attorney Jon Karmel resides in Chicago, Illinois. He has extensive experience in the labor and employment fields. He is AV Preeminent peer review rated,* the highest rating through Martindale-Hubbell. Jon has been named among Chicago's Top Rated Lawyers, and he was selected for inclusion in the 2013-2016 Illinois Super Lawyers. He serves as an adjunct professor at Emory University School of Law, where he teaches trial advocacy skills. Jon has taught trial advocacy to lawyers and judges in Mexico as their legal system changes to oral advocacy. Recently, Jon lectured to members of the legal profession in Shanghai, China, on cross-border employment issues and the role of arbitration in resolving disputes. Joh, is the author of Dying to Work-Death and Injury in the American Workplace. Bar Admissions Illinois, 1982 Michigan, 2013 U.S. Supreme Court, 1992 U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1986 U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1998 U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1999 U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1983 U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, 1997 U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 1999 U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 2003 U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 2005 Education John Marshall Law School, Chicago, Illinois University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1978 Honors: With Honors Major: Political Science Yale University, Graduate School, Political Science, New Haven, Connecticut - 1979 Classes/Seminars Instructor, John Marshall Law School, 1984 - 1986 Chapter Author/Lecturer, Labor Law, Illinois Institute Continuing Legal Education, 1986 - 2000 Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, May Session, Emory University School of Law, 2010 - Present Honors and Awards 2014 Illinois Super Lawyers - Employment & Labor, January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers - Employment & Labor, January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers - Employment & Labor, January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016 Professional Associations and Memberships College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow

Danielle Dole,
Board Member

Ms. Dole resides in Alexandria, VA and became an active volunteer for USMWF in 2012 after her father Sherman Lynn Holmes, 55 killed in February 2011 while working at K&K Forest Products in Evart, Michigan. He died when struck by a felled tree.

iconKaren Backman Burkhalter, Board Member

Ms. Burkhalter resides in Brillion, WI. She became involved with USMWF in 2008 after her 50-year-old Husband, Derrick, was killed on Highway 114 while on duty in a work zone for the Calumet County High Department. She is now a strong advocate for work zone safety and reaches out gaining awareness about following the speed limit, not driving distracted, and moving over for emergency or maintenance vehicles through work zones. She has held her current jobs for 16 years. Karen has a BS in Child development and Family Life Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI. and she is currently enrolled at Fox Valley Technical Collage in Appleton WI for Business management. Karen has worked for 16 years at works at Para Professional, Chilton Public School District. Working with students and assisting them as needed throughout the day. Creating and maintaining needed materials for adapted classroom instruction. She has also worked as a GM Support Manager, Walmart for the same amount of time.


Kathy Ashworth,
Board Member

Ms. Ashworth currently resideds in Ashland, Virginia. She works for the Virginia Department of Labor & Industry. Ms. Ashworth has been in charge of research and analysis for all work related fatalities in the state of Virginia for the past 10 years. Ms. Ashworth recently has been hired as an Independent Contract Research and Data Entry for USMWF.