Eugene J Mays was born and raised in Fairmount West Virginia. There he started his career as a coal miner and helped to unionize his co-workers into the United Mine Workers under John l. Lewis.
After Gene's discharge from the Army in 1947, he moved to Buffalo where he was employed at the Western Electric Company. There he became a member of the Communications Workers of America and rose to the Presidency of Local 1162, which represented the Western Electric employees.
In 1951 Mr. Mays became a CWA international Representative and in 1963 was elected to Director of the Union's Upstate New York area. Six years later he was promoted to Assistant Vice President of CWA District 1 and moved to District Headquarters in New York City.
While in Buffalo, Gene was an activist in the Black community and prominent in organizations for improved racial relations.
He was a Buffalo AFL-CIO Council Board Member, a Director of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of WNY, a Director of Community Action Organization of Buffalo and the Black Business Development Corp. He also was a member of the Mayor's Council on youth Opportunity and the Board of Managers, Michigan Ave. Branch YMCA.
His untimely death left many black people with one less effective leader and the CWA with a void that has been difficult to fill. But we remember Gene for what he left behind. His ways taught all of us the real meaning of love, dedication, devotion, understanding, compassion and equality.
He has helped all of us. For those reasons we feel it is appropriate to establish a scholarship fund in his name.
Please visit the WNY CWA Council's website for scholarship information and applications.
Scholarship Winners 2021Scholarship Winner Sponsoring Member Local
Lindsey Mayer Dennis Mayer 1133
Michael Padowski Rhonda Kaiser 1168
Jessica Jonczyk Joanna Jonczyk 1122
Alix Novack Alisa Novack 1122
Casey Swain Amanda Beard 1168
Alica Morrison Nancy Morrison 1168
Amanda Ernst Carl Ernst 1122
Kenya Sanders Cynethia Sanders 1168
Zachory DeCarolis Robert Millich 1115
Alaina Lanthier Kimberly Lanthier 1168
Scholarship Winner Sponsoring Member LocalKelsey Wood Jean Wood 1133Alexander Silfies Timberle Swaydin 1133Devon Crowley Judith Huntington-Crowley 1168Mikayla Howard Karen Howard 1168Victoria Zak Mary Xak 1122Allison Bennett Cheryl Bennett 1122Matthew Kongesor Carla Kongesor 1133Gena Long Gena Long 1133Tyler Ostolski Rene Mortin 1168Cale Silvestry Michelle Silvestri 1168