May 2015

An Honor to Serve

To everything there is a season. And while it is evident for human beings, it must never be the case for our union. It must always strive to be better; to grow and deliver safer, better lives for future generations of ironworkers. Change is the needed character ensuring our longevity. It must be the dynamo to provide opportunity for future generations who embrace the energy of new ideas and continue to drive us toward success.

Ours is a history of changes; changes have enabled our union to grow and survive, and to grow again while maintaining our commitment to our core beliefs in safety, fair wages, healthcare and a retirement with dignity.

I have had the honor of being an ironworker for over 42 years and the privilege of serving as an officer and representative of ironworkers since 1976. Our union and the brothers and sisters I have known helped to develop the skills and the character of the man before you today. They have shaped my life, a very good life, and one for which I will be eternally grateful.

I am truly a fortunate man to have been able to make a living doing something I love and enjoy, but, at some point, the torch must always be passed. I have decided now is that time for me. At an April 22 meeting of the general executive council, I respectfully submitted my resignation as general president of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, effective June 30, 2015. In accordance with their constitutional duty, the members of the general executive council unanimously elected General Secretary Eric Dean to fulfill the remainder of my term as general president.

Many factors have entered into this decision. I have my health, the love of my beautiful wife, Liz, and daughter, Lauren, and the desire to explore the future, but foremost is the confidence my union – our union – will flourish under the guidance of General Secretary Eric Dean and his leadership team. Eric brings tremendous skills to the office, honed by his extensive experience in all facets of our industry and the commitment and dedication that comes with being a fourth-generation ironworker. We will go far under his leadership.

Looking back from my days as a young apprentice to general president, there has never been a day when I have not been proud to be a union ironworker and that will always be the case. I would like to thank all who have helped, supported and offered guidance throughout my career, especially General President Emeritus Joe Hunt and the incredible staff at headquarters and in the field dedicated to serving our members. 

The brothers and sisters of our union and your safety will always come first. Thank you for your trust and hard work, which have helped to build our union.