GENERAL PRESIDENT JOSEPH SELLERS, JR.
Joseph Sellers, Jr., is a second-generation sheet metal worker who has risen steadily in his 39 years as an industry professional and union official.
Sellers began his apprenticeship in 1980 at Local 19 in Philadelphia, becoming a journeyperson four years later. He was elected to the local’s executive board in 1994 and appointed to be training coordinator in 1996. In 2002, after serving as a business representative for two years, he became Local 19’s president and business manager.
In August 2009, Sellers was elected to the international leadership as 11th general vice president. The General Executive Council elected him to serve as the union’s general secretary-treasurer (GST) in July 2011, and he was unanimously re-elected as GST by delegates to the first SMART General Convention in August 2014. Sellers became SMART’s general president May 1, 2015.
As SMART general secretary-treasurer and continuing as general president, Sellers developed and led special campaigns to increase outreach and awareness for construction, production and transportation industries members, union industry officials and policy makers on key issues including pensions, health care, and apprenticeships. He implemented and continues to lead enhancements to the union’s information technology, professional skills training and lifelong learning curricula.
GENERAL SECRETARY-TREASURER JOSEPH POWELL
Joseph Powell began his career in the sheet metal industry in 1988 with his entrance into the four-year apprenticeship program in Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 206 in San Diego, Calif.
He worked for University Mechanical and attended classes in the evenings, a dedication to advancement through education he has remained true to throughout his career. In 1992, he turned out as a journeyperson and worked as a foreman with University Mechanical until 2000. Along with his responsibilities as a foreman, he was also an instructor with the JATC.
Powell began his union political service in 1994, when he was elected conductor, a position he held until 1997. He was a trustee from 1997 until Jun, 2000. In 2004, after serving as business representative for four years, he became the business manager/financial secretary treasurer of Local 206. In 2012, he was appointed 9th general vice president on the international’s General Executive Council. In January 2015, he became assistant to the general president. Powell was elected to the position of general secretary-treasurer on August 14, 2019, at the 2nd SMART General Convention.
He has served in numerous capacities with Local 206 affiliates. He was a trustee for the Sheet Metal Workers’ Trust Fund, chairman of the San Diego Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), executive board member for the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, co-chairman for Local 206’s 401(a) plan, and president of the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council. In addition to his four-year apprenticeship schooling, Powell completed ITI Advanced Instructors Training Programs and attended the National Labor College at the George Meany Center, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Labor Education in 2006.
He has played a key role in leading and directing SMART’s grassroots member engagement programs, including the SMART Army and its organizing initiatives in the sheet metal industry.
JEREMY R. FERGUSON, PRESIDENT — TRANSPORTATION DIVISION
Jeremy Ferguson, a member of TD Local 313 in Grand Rapids, Mich., was elected Sunday, August 11, 2019, at the Second SMART Transportation Division Convention.
After serving in the U.S. Army and attending college, he started railroading in 1994 as a conductor on CSX in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was promoted to engineer in 1995.
Ferguson was elected local legislative representative in 1995; local chairperson in 1996, and secretary of the CSX/B&O General Committee, GO 049, in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2007. He was elected second vice general chairperson in 2008 and first vice general chairperson in 2011. At the first SMART Transportation Division Convention in 2014, Ferguson was elected to the position of vice president.
Derek Evans, business manager and financial secretary-treasurer of Local 540, South Central Ontario, Canada, was originally appointed by the General Executive Council to serve as 11th general vice president. His career spans a 27-year period, beginning with his admission as a production worker on July 1, 1983. He became a steward in his shop shortly thereafter. In 1989, he was elected warden and has served in his current position since 1991, having been elected in six successive elections. Evans has also held the position of vice president of the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers and Roofers Conference since 1991.
A graduate of Ohio State University, Arthur Tolentino commenced his career in the sheet metal industry as an apprentice with Au’s Plumbing in 1986. From 1992 through 1997, he served as an instructor for the Hawaii Joint Apprenticeship Committee for the Sheet Metal Industry. He was appointed shop steward in 1994 and served through 2002, when he became a Local 293 organizer. He served as a labor representative on the Hawaii Joint Apprenticeship Committee, beginning in March 2000, and became Local 293 business representative/president in January 2003, along with becoming a labor trustee for the Hawaii Sheet Metal Workers’ Trust Fund. A member of the Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council since his election as Local 293 business manager in 2007, Tolentino became building and construction trades treasurer in 2009. In 2010, he began serving as a commissioner on the city and county of Honolulu’s Planning Commission. Prior to his appointment as SMART’s then-10th general vice president, he served as a trustee on the National Energy Management Institute Committee (NEMIC).
Gary Masino represents over 4,000 sheet metal workers as the president and business manager of SMART SM Local 19.
A third-generation sheet metal worker with 35 years’ experience in the industry, Masino served as an organizer and business representative for the union before being elected president and business manager in 2011. He is the current president of the Pennsylvania State Council of Sheet Metal Workers, president of the Mechanical Trades District Council of the Delaware Valley, and vice president of the New Jersey State Council of Sheet Metal Workers. He also serves as an executive board member of the Pennsylvania State Building Trades and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.
His leadership and industry expertise led former Mayor Michael Nutter to appoint him to the Philadelphia Department of Licensing and Inspection’s Board of Appeals in 2012, as well as the city’s Zoning Board in 2014. In 2015, Gov. Tom Wolf appointed Masino to his Transition Committee for Labor and Industry, and recently appointed him as a commissioner of the Delaware River Port Authority Board to lend his expertise in revitalizing the city’s historical ports.
Rick Werner has been in the sheet metal industry since 1984. He began his SM Local 104 apprenticeship program in the spring of 1985 and completed his service in January 1990. He became a business representative on January 1, 2000, and assumed his present position of president/business manager in 2015. During his long sheet metal career, Werner served as trustee and executive board member for his home local before becoming a business representative in 2000. In May 2006, he became the assistant to Local 104 President/Business Manager Bruce Word and served as Local 104 District 1 (San Francisco/Bay Area) assistant business manager. He took over as president/business manager of Local 104 upon Word’s retirement and currently serves as president of the Sheet Metal Western States Council.
Chris Griffey began his career in sheet metal after graduating from Jefferson County High School in Danbridge, Tenn. He entered into the Local 5 (Eastern TN/North Carolina) apprenticeship program in 1993. After serving a four-year apprenticeship, he worked in the sheet metal industry as a journeyperson, foreman, general foreman and job steward for a number of signatory companies. In addition, Griffey served on the Local 5 Executive Board from 2002–2005 and as an organizer and apprentice instructor until 2008, when he became president/business manager and financial secretary-treasurer of his home local.
Tim Carter started his apprenticeship in 1980 with Seattle Local 99 (which later merged to become SM Local 66). After his four-year schooling, he became a field foreman for MacDonald Miller Facility Solutions, working on several major projects in the Puget Sound area.
With nearly two decades in leadership positions at Local 66, Carter has been at the forefront of efforts to provide services and support for a diversifying sheet metal membership. Carter served as Local 66 business agent from 2002–2015, when he was elected by the Local 66 membership to serve as their business manager.
Since 2015, he has served as the head of the Northwest District Council.Carter has also served as secretary on the Northwest Sheet Metal Workers Pension, secretary on the Northwest Sheet Metal Workers Healthcare Trust, and chairman of the Western Washington Sheet Metal Training & Apprenticeship Program.
Southwest Gulf Coast Regional Council of Sheet Metal Workers President Bill Kenyon was appointed by the SMART General Executive Council on February 1, 2021.
Kenyon began his career doing a six-month pre-apprenticeship, prior to serving a four-year apprenticeship at SMART Sheet Metal Local 54 in Houston, Texas. In a harbinger of things to come, he was awarded the outstanding apprentice award when he completed the program in 1996.
At the start of his journey in the trade, he was employed by various contractors, starting at an HVAC shop, then working at a spiral pipe shop, then finally moving to a heavy industrial shop where he continued working as a journeyperson.
In 2000, Local 54 was accepting applications for an organizing/marketing representative, so Kenyon applied and was appointed to the position. He served the local as an organizer for the next nine years.In June 2009, Brother Kenyon was elected by the Local 54 membership to the position of business representative. While in that position, he also served on the Harris County AFL-CIO Executive Board from 2012 to 2019. In 2012, he was elected to serve as Local 54’s business manager/financial secretary treasurer and continued in that position until 2018. During that time, he was elected president of the Southwest District Council, where he served until the formation of the Southwest Gulf Coast Regional Council in 2016.
He continues to serve as a trustee on the Sheet Metal Workers National Health Fund and for the SMART International Training Institute.
Jack Wall began his career with Local 56 Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1986. He started as the Recording Secretary from 1990 to 2005 when he left that office to become business manager, a position he continues to hold to this day. Along the way he sat on the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council from 2006 to the present day. He has been on the executive board of the Canadian Council of Sheet Metal Workers and Roofers since 2008 and last year became the President. He sits as a Committee Member on the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Board, a position he has held for the last 16 years. He is also President of the Cape Breton Building Trades Unions, which he held since 2012 and sits as a Trustee to Local Union & Council Pension Fund. He also serves as a board member of the Nova Scotia Labour Board, listening to Hearings since 2019.
John Daniel has steadfastly served SMART members for more than 30 years. Since entering the industry in 1991, John has been a sheet metal fabricator and installer, an instructor, organizer, business representative, financial secretary-treasurer and most recently the president/business manager for Local 265. John’s career path has provided him with a well-rounded perspective of the sheet metal industry and the challenges facing the unionized sector. Having an open mind and being an active listener, leveraging assets both financial and relational, employing technology to not only capture more work opportunities but to attract the next generation of trades men and women — these are only a few of John’s priorities. John is a trustee on both local and national plans, and he received his bachelor’s degree in labor studies from the National Labor College.
Robert Butler has dedicated his entire career to SMART, starting with SM Local 17 in Boston. After entering the apprenticeship program at the Local 17 JATC in Dorchester, Mass. in 1986 and graduating into journeyperson status in 1991, Butler became a trustee of the Local 17 General Fund in 1997, and then was elected to the Local 17 Executive Board in 1999. Butler successfully ran for the positions of Local 17 JATC trustee and Local 17 business agent in 2000 and 2002, respectively; after serving as a business agent for 10 years, he was elected Local 17 business manager and vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO in 2012. Butler became a NEMIC trustee in 2017, and in 2020 he was elected as president of the Metro Association of Presidents. Since 2021, he has served as the president of the SMART Northeast Regional Council.
Tim Miller started his apprenticeship in 1985 with SM Local 65, which merged as part of Local 33 in 1988, and became a journeyperson in 1989. He was elected Local 33 business agent in the Cleveland District in 2003 and Local 33 business manager/president in 2019. He currently serves as chairman of the Local Pension and Annuity Funds, co-chairman of the ICB, recording secretary-treasurer of the Great Lakes State Council, and was appointed by Ohio Governor DeWine to Serve Ohio – the state’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism created to empower local communities to mobilize AmeriCorps members and volunteer resources for the purpose of building a stronger Ohio – in 2019.
Gregory Hynes is a fifth-generation railroader who hired out with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in Los Angeles, Calif., in 1995. He transferred to Phoenix, Ariz., in 1997. Hynes was elected legislative representative of Local 1081 at Glendale, Ariz., in 2003. He was elected Arizona assistant state legislative director in 2004, was elevated to Arizona State Legislative Director in 2009, and was re-elected to that office in 2011.
Hynes was appointed chairperson of the Rail Safety Task Force in 2009, until being elected TD alternate national legislative director at the First Transportation Division Convention in 2014. He has also served on the TD Transportation Safety Team. He was elected national legislative director August 11, 2019.
Calvin Studivant is a member of Local 759 in Newark, N.J. He served in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 1986 and then moved to Clifton, N.J. He has been employed at Community Coach since June 1993.
Studivant serves his union as general chairperson, a position he has held since 2001, and as a delegate. He also serves as chairperson of the District 3 general chairpersons’ committee. He was named alternate vice president – bus – East by the union’s Board of Directors in August 2009 and re-elected to that office in 2011. He was elevated to the position vice president – bus by the TD Board of Directors Oct. 1, 2014 and was re-elected by acclamation August 11, 2019.
A member of Local 202 in Denver, Brent Leonard started railroading in 1997 on Union Pacific as a conductor/switchman. He was promoted to engineer in 1998. He was elected local chairperson in 2001; vice general chairperson of his general committee, GO 953, in 2003; senior vice general chairperson in 2007 and general chairperson in 2011. He was elevated to vice president in 2018 and elected by acclamation August 11, 2019. As vice president and general chairperson, Leonard has been assigned to the federal Rail Safety Advisory Committee and the 2017 National Wage & Rules Coordinated Bargaining Team.
John D. Whitaker III began his railroad career in 1997 as a conductor with CSX Transportation. He was promoted to engineer in 2002. A member of TD Local 1106 in Rocky Mount, N.C., he was elected to the position of local chairperson for engineers in 2002. He ran for the office of vice general chairperson for CSX General Committee of Adjustment GO 851 and was elected effective January 2006. Whitaker maintained that position through March 2011, at which time he was elected general chairperson for GO 851.
In October 2013, Whitaker was appointed alternate to the Executive Board and was elected by Transportation Division delegates for another term in 2014. In December 2014, he was elevated to the position of Transportation Division alternate vice president. He was then elevated to the position of vice president in April 2019, upon the retirement of Dave Wier. He was elected vice president by acclamation August 11, 2019.
Chadrick Adams began his railroad career in 1997 with BNSF. He was promoted to engineer in 2002.A member of Local 331 in Temple, Texas, Adams became interested in becoming a union officer early in his career. He has served as a vice president in his local as well as local chairman, delegate and secretary/treasurer. Adams was elected as general chairperson of General Committee GO 393 in 2011. In 2013, he became alternate to the executive board and was further elevated to alternate vice president. In 2014, Adams was elected by delegates to the position of alternate vice president. He was elected vice president by acclamation August 11, 2019.