Mark Doble, a two year member of Local 49, has made a difference in his local community and beyond. He has impacted communities across the country by volunteering for the Red Cross for the past 11 years and being deployed to 22 different disasters.
Doble has worked for the Metropolitan Council (MET Council) as a wastewater treatment operator at the Seneca Plant in Eagan for the past four years. Doble was formerly a member of Local 49’s sister Local – Local 35 – before they merged with Local 49 two years ago.
Being a union operator is something Doble says has been in the family for generations.
“I am a fourth generation union operator, and my grandfather helped start Local 35,” Doble said.
Now being a part of Local 49, he said it is a unique experience going from a small local to one of the largest unions in the state of Minnesota.
“It’s great having a lot of brothers and sisters,” Doble said. “I try to stay involved and attend every meeting, and last year I was also involved in the Day at the Capitol.”
Doble originally obtained his culinary degree. Prior to his time at the MET Council, he was a sous-chef at Target Field’s Champion’s Club restaurant, which is also a union restaurant.
“Being from a union family has had a very strong influence in my life, and I try my best to support the union as much as I can,” Doble said. “It’s part of the reason I got the job at Target Field because I knew it was union and I try to stay within the union with the jobs I’ve had.”
Being a part of the union is not the only passion Doble has, volunteering for the Red Cross has taken him across the country helping thousands of people in need. Doble’s first experience volunteering for the Red Cross was responding to the 2007 Interstate-35W Bridge collapse.
“The I-35W Bridge collapse was my very first response, and it was a very traumatic experience,” Doble stated. “But we (Red Cross) have a great support system around us.”
Doble said one of the more memorable volunteer experiences he had was responding to the recent Flint, Michigan water crisis.
“I was senior leadership during this time and I was responsible for planning how we distributed water to the residents of Flint,” he said.
Doble estimated that there was more than a million gallons of water to be distributed, and they are still giving out water to this day.
“If we weren’t there to help the people in those communities, they would have never gotten water,” Doble said. “There was such a distrust there that certain communities would only take water from the Red Cross and no one else.”
In addition to the Flint, Michigan water crisis, Doble responded to the 2010 Memphis, Tennessee flood, which flooded the Grand Ole Opry. He was in charge of distributing food during that disaster.
2010 was a memorable year for Doble as he was the recipient of the highly distinguished Red Cross Volunteer of the Year award and through that award he met President Obama.
“I really feel that I need to give back to my community, and it’s an important part of being a member of a community,” Doble stated.
Doble has no plans of stopping his volunteering, and was even asked to help with the recent Georgia floods, but due to timing was unable to.
“When I first joined the Red Cross I was never a hugger, well I became one again because that’s just what it does to you,” Doble said with a laugh.
For more stories on members of Local 49 please visit www.local49.org