Honoring Nancy J Schiffer, ’68

Plainwell Community Schools is proud to announce that Nancy J. Schiffer, ‘68, has been given the honor of the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award for her hard work as a student and an educator, her achievement in a forty-plus year career in labor law, her dedication to the rights of American workers, and the duty of serving a Presidential appointment. Nancy epitomizes the word “outstanding” and clearly deserves this recognition.

In the summer of 2013, Nancy was asked to accept an appointment by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board and appeared before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for a confirmation hearing. Her appointment was confirmed and she was named Board Member Schiffer. The National Labor Relations Board is in independent Federal Agency that works to assure fair labor practices and workplace democracy nationwide. While holding this position, Nancy reviews judgements, hears appeals to cases and issues decisions with other board members.

Beginning at Plainwell High School, Nancy’s education and career has taken her from Plainwell to Detroit to Washington, D.C. in the field of labor law. During her years at Plainwell High School, she excelled both academically and in extracurricular activities, such as the Debate team, French club, Girls Basketball, GAA, Student Council, and the National Honor Society. She was a National Merit Semifinalist and Valedictorian of the class of 1968. Nancy flew her first solo flight and received her pilot license at the age of 16.

Nancy graduated from Michigan State University in 1972 with a Bachelors of Arts with high honors. While at MSU, she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the MSU Tower Guard. Her dream of attending law school became reality when she entered the University of Michigan Law School in 1972. She was a “ground-breaker” as only a very few women entered law school at that time. While at U of M, Nancy fell in love with labor law when she won two separate cases that resulted in equal pay for one woman and a promotion for the other. She began a career in the Detroit Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board, continued into private practice, then moved on to Deputy General Counsel for the United Auto Workers (UAW). From there, she made the move to General Counsel’s Office of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. and on to her appointment to the National Labor Relations Board.

Nancy will be honored at Plainwell High School’s 142nd Commencement Ceremony, on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the evening.