John August Kaiser

John August Cornell - Associate Director at Cornell

A leader in social movements and labor-management relations, John August joined Cornell University as an associate director in September 2013. He utilizes his years of experience representing employees to collaborate with union members and leaders, as well as coworkers at Cornell, to improve healthcare. Recently, John August and his colleagues wrote a white paper detailing the role of union members in the improvement of New York City's public healthcare, a patient-first system.

In 2008, while serving as executive director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions, he was the coalition's chief negotiator in the National Bargaining, the largest interest-based bargaining in the nation's private sector. He took on the same responsibility in National Bargaining held in 2010 and 2012.

From 2006 until joining Cornell in 2013, in tandem with union leaders and Kaiser Permanente executives and managers, he headed the design and implementation of education, mobilization, and resource deployment for the entirety of the frontline workforce of Coalition unions and their management counterparts. The job entailed representing 100,000 union members, 15,000 physicians, and 15,000 managers. Thanks to his work and the work of his partners, Kaiser Permanente became one of the highest-rated performers in the United States.

John August studied political science at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Continuing at the university, he completed graduate work in European social history and educational policy studies.

John August- RAGBRAI

The former executive director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Union, John August co-chaired one of American history's most complex labor-management partnerships. Since relinquishing his post with Kaiser, he performs as the associate director of one of Cornell University's health-care programs. Also a long-distance road cycling enthusiast during his spare time, John August participated in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).

In existence for more than 40 years, RAGBRAI is the world's longest-running bicycle touring event. Started by two Des Moines journalists in 1973 as a ride (not a race) across the state, RAGBRAI now welcomes people from all 50 states, as well as from foreign countries. This 468-mile trek lasts for seven days and runs from the Missouri River to the Mississippi River. Moreover, many towns across the route become host communities for the contestants. The 2015 event will run from July 19-25.

Along with the race, RAGBRAI features an expo where vendors showcase their latest in gear and equipment. Free to attend, the RAGBRAI Expo hosts representatives from local and international bicycle shops, component manufacturers, retailers, and tour operators. Nearly 100 different groups, including some that teach about proper nutrition and health, attend the event. The 2015 expo will be held at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, on July 18, from noon to 9 p.m.

The 39th Annual Tour of Napa Valley

John August serves at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations as associate director of its Healthcare Transformation Project. With an extensive background in the field of labor relations, he was previously the executive director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions and co-lead of its national labor management partnership. When serving with the Kaiser coalition in Oakland, California, John August enjoyed long-distance road cycling, completing the Tour of Napa Valley.

Organized by the Eagle Cycling Club, the Tour of Napa Valley bike ride is entering its 39th year, with the 2015 ride occurring on August 16. Registration is currently open at, and riders may choose to complete 35, 40, 65, or 100 miles.

The tour begins at Bicycle Works in Napa and ends at the Yountville Veteran’s Home, where finishers may enjoy the beautiful grounds, take a swim in the pool, and eat the BBQ lunch, which is served from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. There are rest stops every 20 miles, stocked with refreshments, including bagels, cookies, and fresh fruit. These rest stops also offer water.

The Tour of Napa Valley is not a race. It is meant to encourage a leisurely, fun ride through the Northern California Wine Country. All riders are required to wear helmets and bike single file on all roads.