Gholston-Byrd promoted, CWA 6300’s McCowan hired at United Way

CONGRATS AND WELCOME: Sonja Gholston-Byrd (right) has been named the United Way of Greater St. Louis’ vice president of Labor Engagement/Labor Liaison. CWA Local 6300’s Rose McCowan (left) has been named the new director of Labor Engagement/Labor liaison. – Labor Tribune photo

Sonja Gholston-Byrd has been promoted to vice president of Labor engagement for the United Way of Greater St. Louis, and CWA Local 6300’s Rose McCowan has been named the organization’s new director of Labor Engagement.

Gholston-Byrd, who has served as director of Labor Engagement/Labor Liaison since July 2017, is replacing Roz Sherman-Voellinger, who retired from the position last fall. McCowan will serve in Gholston-Byrd’s previous position.

Sherman-Voellinger sent out an email announcing the changes last month congratulating Gholston-Byrd and welcoming McCowan. Sherman-Voellinger said she will continue to assist in the transition over the next couple of months.

“I’m very pleased to report that after having worked together closely during the past several years, Sonja is now vice president of Labor Engagement/Labor Liaison,” she wrote. “Joining Sonja in the St. Louis office is Rose McCowan, who is already off to a great start. Please help in congratulating Sonja and welcoming Rose.”

In her new position, Gholston-Byrd will work to develop and maintain positive relationships between Organized Labor and the United Way, its agencies and community initiatives for the purpose of helping people live their best lives. Gholston-Byrd also serves as vice president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

Before joining the United Way, McCowan served as Local 6300’s vice president of the St. Louis metro area. She’s been a member of the union for 30 years. In her new position, McCowan will partner with the St. Louis Labor Council and work with St. Louis-area unions to increase United Way support. She will also oversee the United Way’s Labor help line.

Through the partnership of United Way of Greater St. Louis with the St. Louis Labor Council, Madison County Federation of Labor and Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, more than 600 families receive confidential help each year from the United Way staff of Labor liaisons.

Union members in need of assistance can call 314-539-4189.



  1. Sonja,i don`t know if you remember me from St. Louis Labor Concil or not, I`m Bill Dettleff. The ole retired machinist out of lodge #688. The reason i`m here is i`m just wondering if you might know of any groups or people that are looking to come up with a solution to ending this white supremacy crap. After all that stuff at the capital, i really think that somebody needs to figure out what to do before the elections in 2024. If nat this will be worse then


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here