Unequaled expertise, respect, achievement

MAFF’s staff of labor relations professionals is acknowledged as number one in experience and proven expertise in Michigan. MAFF has earned this recognition by achieving an unequaled record of success in all phases of union representation.

Experience serves as an invaluable resource within the field of labor relations, perhaps even more so within firefighters' representation. Experience reflects not only longevity - many years of performing highly specialized work -  but also steady growth and adaptability to an ever-changing profession. Expertise is similarly valuable attribute. Except for documented credentials, however, it is largely a matter of esteem afforded by other prominent figures in areas of labor relations. As the following individual profiles will clearly illustrate, each MAFF Labor Relations Specialist has accumulated years of experience in all aspects of representation, established superb credentials, and has gained unsurpassed respect throughout Mchigan's labor relations community.

Most importantly, however, these personal biographies demonstrate the proof of achievement made in MAFF bargaining agreements throughout the years, paying dividends to the hundreds of members who wisely invested their futures in the Michigan Association of Fire Fighters.




Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Union Executive Directors oversee their labor staff and day-to-day operations, but Executive Director Fred Timpner leads MAFF Labor Relations Specialists by example, also taking a seat at the bargaining table. The former President of Southfield Police Officers’ Association (SPOA) has over five decades of experience as a law enforcement labor leader, staying fully immersed in the ever changing labor relations field. Within a year of joining Southfield PD in 1971, he was chosen as Shift Steward for SPOA. Soon after, he was elected Vice President and then President of the 100-member group. Prepared with his considerable labor relations studies and noteworthy leadership qualities, he began his new career as a full-time union service professional just a few years into the modern era of the law enforcement movement. Timpner rapidly demonstrated his talents in labor relations, earning a reputation as an expert in contract negotiations, grievances and grievance arbitrations. He negotiated two “breakthrough” collective bargaining agreements: In Sterling Heights, he brought base wages to over $92,000 per year – a first for Michigan Officers. Years prior, he smashed the $30,000 a year barrier. He is one of a select few professionals experienced in presenting Act 312 arbitration cases. Timpner has a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree from University of Detroit. His credentials are such that the former student of the discipline has been called upon to teach college courses in the labor relations field.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jerald James has represented City of Detroit EMS workers for over two decades. He began his career as a licensed paramedic/EMT in 1989 and was hired by the City of Detroit in 1991. His union career track began in 1995 as Union Steward with International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). He served as EMS Officers Association (EMSOA) Local President from 1998-2003. In 2003, he was promoted to Lieutenant, and several years later Captain. He was promoted to EMS Superintendent in 2010, the highest position in the organization, where he remained until 2014, when he became a Captain and President of EMSOA again, this time a unit of MAFF. After 25 years of public service, he retired in 2016 and was subsequently hired full time by MAFF. James made history, leading the way to the largest settlement with the City of Detroit EMS, a $220,000 pay increase for newly hired Paramedics. In fact, he’s been instrumental in recovering over $400,000 in lost wages and benefits for members. From Employee to high-ranking administrator, he has unique insight into contract negotiations and enforcement, grievances and grievance arbitrations, mediation, employee rights, the Michigan Public Employee Relations Act, and the National Labor Relations Act. He’s worked with or across the table from some of the largest labor unions in Southeast Michigan and served on both sides of the table bargaining during the City of Detroit Bankruptcy. James graduated from Eastern Michigan University Fire Staff and Command Academy.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IMG 5066GreggAllenHeadshot4Gregg Allen retired as a Waterford Township Police Detective in July 2022 after 21 years of service. The last two years he held the position of Local Union President. Prior to that, he was Secretary for 2 years and Union Trustee for 5 years, with experience in negotiations, grievances and discipline matters. He served as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, Accident Investigator, Honor Guard member and investigated suspicious fires, working with Waterford Township Fire Department to bring criminals to prosecution. He also worked for Oakland County Sheriff’s Department Auto Theft Unit for 3 years. Gregg is a Paid-on-Call (POC) Firefighter with North Oakland County Fire Authority, protecting his hometown of Holly the past 12 years. A former POC Sergeant for 3 years, he represented North Oakland County Firefighters Association members as Executive Board Sergeant At Arms and Secretary for one term each. Through the Association he’s helped with many local fundraisers for area children. A MAP member nearly his entire public safety career, he served as a Grosse Pointe Park Public Safety Officer for 7 years prior to his career at Waterford. Gregg began representing MAP members as a Local Union Trustee in Grosse Pointe Park. He’s a graduate of Wayne County Regional Police Academy and Detroit Fire Academy with Firefighter I and II and Company Officer I and II certifications and a Hazardous Materials Operation certificate. The licensed EMT was a Walled Lake POC Firefighter from 1987 to 1995, serving as Team Leader, the equivalent of a Lieutenant, his last 3 years with the department. Gregg has an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Oakland Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Colorado State University.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CHRIS BELLINGBioPix2Chris Belling served a decade on the Waterford Township Police Officers Association Board. A MAP member for 20 years, he began representing co-workers as a Local Union Steward, before he was elected to the Local Board as Secretary. He ran unopposed every election after his first, serving as Vice President and President of the board. In 2019, he was honored by MAP as the first Richard C. Heins Outstanding Service Award recipient for his exceptional representation skills. He retired as a Waterford Township Sergeant in 2020. During his 21-years with Waterford Township Police, he was a member of the Honor Guard, a firearms instructor and a Detective for 7-1/2 years. He was also a sniper with the Waterford Township Special Response Team. Belling served as a Highland Park Department of Public Safety Officer in 1999 and he was on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1992 to 1996. Dubbed Triple B “By the Book Belling” by his Waterford co-workers, he was known for following rules and procedures and holding himself, coworkers and supervisors to the same standard. He negotiated several contracts and was involved in many discipline hearings and grievances for Waterford Township’s Patrol’s Local Union. With a high standard of ethics and honesty, Belling has made it his mission to ensure fellow Union members are treated fairly and their rights are not violated when they’re being disciplined. 


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Joseph O’Connor has a wealth of union experience, both on the job and in his personal life, growing up the son of a United Auto Workers Committeeman. The retired Sterling Heights Police Sergeant served 31 years with the department, 17 of which he was a dues-paying MAP member. But his union experience really began at age 10, when O'Connor started attending UAW meetings with his father. This influence and experience provided him with a solid background using a diplomatic approach to resolve issues. As Grievance Committee Chairman for Sterling Heights Police Officers Association for 8 years, O’Connor's goal was to resolve issues at the lowest level possible. He attended several seminars and training sessions dealing with internal affairs investigations, enhancing service to members. As a member of the contract negotiation team for Sterling Heights Police Officers Association, he was instrumental in settling multi-year contracts for his Local. O'Connor is not afraid to take a hardline stance when necessary, representing MAFF members in disciplinary matters.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

James Steffes was a Local Executive Board official with Sterling Heights Police Department when he became part of the team breaking statewide barriers in wage and benefit packages with the help of MAP’s Executive Director Fred Timpner. While serving as a Patrolman, he was active with the Grievance Committee for eight years, representing Officers during internal investigations and handling grievances on behalf of the Patrolman’s Association, including testifying in grievance arbitrations. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1996 and served as Afternoon Shift Road Patrol Sergeant, handling scheduling, district assignments, and overtime equalization for 24 patrol officers until his retirement in 1999. The 26-year police veteran, moved to Florida in 2003, working as a Building Inspector and later a Commercial Structural Inspector, receiving his Florida structural inspections license in 2004. He inspected several large expansions at Hillsborough Community College Ruskin Campus. However, the time spent helping fellow employees resolve their concerns with management made a lasting impression on Steffes, who returned to Michigan and joined MAFF as a Labor Relations Specialist in 2008. He found his personality and disposition were a perfect fit for successfully handling difficult contract situations including negotiations, grievances and grievance arbitrations for MAFF.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LtChadTrusslerBio2Chad Trussler served 15 years combined as Local Union President for Beverly Hills Public Safety Command and a Steward and Treasurer of Beverly Hills Public Safety Officers Association. The retired Beverly Hills Public Safety Lieutenant was cross-trained, working in firefighting and EMS during his 20 years with the department. As a Patrol Officer, he worked as a Field Training Officer, School Resource Officer and Detective. He was promoted to Command as a Patrol Sergeant and reassigned as a Detective Sergeant. In 2017, Trussler was promoted to Lieutenant, managing the entire Patrol Division with over 20 public safety personnel, until his retirement in 2021. His assignments included Field Training Supervisor, Background Investigator, Police Training Coordinator, Fire Officer, grant writer and Internal Investigator. As Union President and a Labor Relations Specialist, Trussler has negotiated significant wage increases and pension improvements in collective bargaining agreements. His severance agreement negotiations have landed members over $500,000. He is heavily involved in recruiting and educating members of new local units. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Madonna University and graduated Eastern Michigan University’s School of Police Staff & Command. Trussler teaches at Oakland Police Academy, including Labor Relations courses. He’s also an instructor at Eastern Michigan University School of Police Staff & Command on various labor topics, including contract negotiations, discipline issues, Garrity, Weingarten, and management and union relations.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ed Wertz accumulated two decades of labor experience serving on the Detroit Police Officers Association (DPOA) Executive Board, chairing their Finance Committee and Bylaws Committee, and serving on the Election Committee. The retired Detroit Police Officer served 32 years with the department, 28 of which with the prestigious Mounted Police Section. He personally handled over 100 grievances and was instrumental in providing goals and direction for the DPOA membership in the collective bargaining process. Wertz served as Retired Detroit Police and Firefighter Association Vice President for two years and President for three years. He was a board member of Police Benefit and Protective Association, also affiliated with Detroit Police. He volunteered as a member of Detroit Police Athletic League and remains active as a Knights of Columbus member. Wertz earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Henry Ford Community College. He takes his responsibilities to the membership seriously, serving as a MAFF Labor Relations Specialist since October 2007.


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BryanDavisHeadshotWebMAFF’s new In-house Legal Counsel Bryan Davis, Jr. comes from a union background with family in the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters (MRCC). This background played a significant role in his pursuit of a legal career advocating for labor organizations. His legal education and experience in labor and employment law far exceeds what many would expect from someone so young. By age 26, Davis earned a bachelor’s degree, two master’s degrees and a law degree from Michigan State University (MSU). Davis was a Law Clerk for Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC), working on issues surrounding Act 312, union dues and agency fees, Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act, and researching the Supreme Court’s Janus decision. Highly recommended by MERC officials, Davis began working part-time with MAFF in October 2019. After receiving his Juris Doctorate, with a concentration in labor and employment law, he began working full-time for MAFF in March 2020, moving to In-House Legal Counsel in May 2020. He holds a bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling and a Master’s of Jurisprudence in Legal Doctrine and Analysis. Davis is working toward his third Master’s in Human Resources and Labor Relations at MSU. Prior to his work in the legal field, Davis served in the Career Planning and Consultation Department for Peckham, Inc., a community rehabilitation organization helping disabled individuals find employment. He also served with Spartan Project SEARCH at MSU, an employment readiness program for individuals with developmental disabilities.