UTUIA Awards Volunteer of the Year Award

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Thomas J Schmitt honored by President John Previsich in Providence,  RI

Cleveland OH –  UTUIA has awarded it’s prestigious Volunteer of the Year award to Thomas J Schmitt.  Mr. Schmitt works currently as  Yardmaster for Kansas City Southern Railway  out of local 1974.  He has 33 years of service as a Conductor.  He was selected over other candidates based on his conviction to rail safety and the many hours of dedicated service he has provided to the community with Operation Lifesaver.  Through Operation Lifesaver , Schmitt educates school children, truck drivers, bus drivers, first responders and fire fighters about rail and rail crossing safety.  Recently promoted to coach and trainer, he is quick to tell you that, since OL was formed in 1972, there has been an 83 percent reduction in highway/rail fatalities.

Schmitt achieved a personal best when he made 148 presentations last year and was the top presenter for the KCS railway.  He was nominated for the F Tom Roberts award for top volunteer in the US.  He also serves as a National Park Ranger and volunteer with Trails and Rails.  Mr. Schmitt is passionate about delivering the message of safety to all who will listen and encourages others to do the same.

Despite all these accomplishments, it was clear to those attending that Tom’s greatest accomplishments and his biggest fans were his loving children, Madison 17 and Matthew 14, and his wife of 19 years, all of whom were there to see him receive his award.

Mr. Schmitt was awarded a plaque along with a $1,000.00 Annuity from UTUIA.


Cleveland OH-  UTUIA Field Supervisors and Regional Insurance Representatives attended both SMART TD Regional Meetings where they provided advice and assistance to fellow Union members and their families.  Many new members, as well as old friends, learned about the new offerings that UTUIA was planning to introduce over the next year.  “It was a success for all involved as we were able to reach out to so many members and their families at the same time” , said UTUIA Executive Director Ken Laugel , who was attending his first Regional meetings as Executive Director.  ” I learned a lot and received excellent feedback from our membership and our Field Supervisors as well.  All in all it was a huge success.” said Laugel.


Field Supervisors Steve White, Chris Fly and Joe Solito    

Dedicated to providing the best possible benefits and services to the membership, we constantly look for ways to bring greater offerings to the brotherhood of the UTUIA and SMART TD.  Our Field Supervisors understand your  unique needs and your desire to protect what you’ve worked so hard for.  We thank you all for the many years of support you have shown to the Association and look forward to building even stronger bonds in the future

300Field Supervisors T-Bone Morrison, Serge Decoste, Chris Fly and Regional Insurance Representative  Cookie Doyle

Cleveland OH- UTUIA announces that it has donated a total of $5,880.00 to the Ronald McDonald House foundation supporting the local houses in both Phoenix, AZ and Providence RI.  Each year, as SMART TD members and families attend the Regional meetings, UTUIA is there to provide insurance information and service to its members.  As part of our commitment to charity and our Fraternal mission, we conduct fund raisers to support a local charity where the meetings are held.  Many volunteers manned the booth and SMART TD brothers and Sisters donated generously.  Over $5800 was raised and donated which included matched funds from the UTUIA.  The awards were presented by Executive Director, Ken Laugel and Director of Updating/Auditing, Marilyn Spangler.  to learn more about the Ronald McDonald house, click here.629

Madison Schmitt assists Marilyn Spangler in drawing the lucky winner

All across the country, our fellow brothers and sisters of the UTUIA are making a difference in the communities in which they live and work.  Through coordinated efforts of our local units, we are actively involved in helping fellow members of the UTUIA and the charities they support.  Here are  just a few of the many activities that our members have organized:

  • Coats for Kids drive
  • Leukemia / Lymphoma Society
  • SEPTA Yuletoy drive
  • Easter basket raffle
  • Hot dog lunch fund raiser
  • Golf Outing fund raiser
  • Thanksgiving meals
  • Christmas meals
  • Food Pantry donation drive
  • Christmas basket raffle
  • Mystery bag raffle
  • Dress For Success clothing drive

Donating our time to provide benefit to those less fortunate is a rewarding experience.  If you would like to learn more about participating in activities, becoming a member of a UTUIA unit or even starting a UTUIA unit, please contact either Ken Laugel at klaugel@utuia.org or Marilyn Spangler at mspangler@utuia.org.

Our team of Field Supervisors will be attending the  2015  SMART TD Regional Meeting in Providence RI  July 13th- 15th.  Please take the time to stop by our booth and learn more about the UTUIA , our products and the improvements we are making in your Fraternal Benefit Society.  We look forward to seeing you there!