In addition to overseeing their respective Reserve Banks, the regional Fed directors are essential conduits between their local communities and the nation’s central bank, offering insight and counsel on the economy drawn from their own expertise and contacts. The Spring issue of TEN, introduces the directors who began their terms of service in 2020.

In a manner of speaking, Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO President Patrick A. “Duke” Dujakovich literally was born for Kansas City Fed service.

“I was actually born at the Federal Reserve Bank,” Dujakovich said—proudly explaining he actually was born at St. Mary’s Hospital, which stood for nearly 100 years on the ground the Bank’s head office now occupies.

And that’s not the only Federal Reserve connection the lifelong Kansas Citian and retired firefighter brings to the Bank’s Kansas City Board of Directors. From 2015 to 2018 he served as a member of the Community Advisory Council for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

“Serving on the Council was a great experience,” Dujakovich said. “It gave me a chance to learn a lot about the Federal Reserve and see the quality of people who work there.”

Dujakovich has been the Kansas City area’s AFL-CIO leader since 2010. The organization serves as an umbrella for a wide range of labor unions.

“On a day-to-day basis, I look out for the best interests of working men and women,” Dujakovich said. “Our membership ranges from the lowest-paid workers to the National Football League Players Association and everything in between. So I work to address the needs of a very diverse membership.”

Dujakovich retired from the Kansas City Fire Department after more than 30 years of service, and he remains a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). In addition to rising to the rank of Battalion Chief in the Fire Department, he has served in numerous leadership roles in the IAFF, including terms as secretary, treasurer and president of Local #3808.

Dujakovich also serves in numerous civic and philanthropic roles, including the United Way of Greater Kansas City Board of Directors, the Working Families’ Friend Board of Directors, and the Jackson County Employees Pension Board. He also served as a trustee for the Kansas City Fire Fighters Pension Board and the Kansas City, Missouri Deferred Compensation Plan. He is a founding board member of the city’s Employee Health Trust.

He said that joining the Bank’s Kansas City Board allows him to share the insights of the workers that he represents.

“I think that the Fed has a critically important role, and I want to bring a perspective that they don’t always hear,” Dujakovich said. “I want to bring a non-banker, non-economist point of view of what working men and women see in the economy and struggle with day to day. The more information the Fed has, the better job they can do.”