Leadership

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 and became a journeyman 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, San Diego, California.

He worked for University Mechanical and attended classes in the evenings, a dedication to advancement through education which he has remained true to throughout his career. In 1992 he turned out as a journeyman 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 June, 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, Joe 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 like the SMART Army and its organizing initiatives in the sheet metal industry.

JEREMY R. FERGUSON, PRESIDENT — TRANSPORTATION DIVISION

Ferguson, a member of TD Local 313 in Grand Rapids, Mich., was elected Sunday, Aug. 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 at 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.

RONALD WHATLEY, FIRST GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Whatley has been the business manager/financial secretary-treasurer of Local 85 in Atlanta, Ga., since February 1, 2005. He served his apprenticeship at George W. Rice Sheet Metal, Inc. from 1972 to 1976 and continued working there until 1980. He represented Local 85 in the National Contest in 1976 as a 4th-year apprentice. He worked for Lewis and Lambert from 1980 to 1981, BHW Sheet Metal from 1981 to 1982, Strickland Sheet Metal in 1983, and R.F. Knox, Co. from 1983 until 1994, when he was elected business representative of Local 85. He has been a member of Local 85 since 1972 including his apprenticeship, an OSHA instructor from 1981–1987, apprentice instructor from 1984–1995 and an ITI instructor at Ohio State University 1990–1995. He was ordained as a deacon in 1978.

DEREK EVANS, SECOND GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

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.

JOHN HELAK, THIRD GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Helak, business manager/FST of Local 71, Buffalo, New York, was appointed to SMART’s General Executive Council as a general vice president, effective August 14, 2013. Helak began his career in the sheet metal industry as an apprentice in 1978. He served as a benefits trustee from 1992–1994 and E-board member from March 1995 until his appointment as an organizer in June 1995. He was elected as business representative in 1997, serving in that position until his election as business manager/FST in 2003. Helak served as a trustee of the Niagara County Building trades from 1998 to 2003 and a trustee of the Buffalo Building Trades from 2003 to present. In 2011, he was appointed to the Partners in Progress Best Practices Committee and in 2012 was elected president of the Metropolitan Association.

ARTHUR TOLENTINO, FOURTH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

A graduate of Ohio State University, 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, FIFTH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

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, Gary served as an organizer and business representative for the union before being elected president and business manager in 2011. Masino 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 a Commissioner of the Delaware River Port Authority Board to lend his expertise in revitalizing the city’s historical ports.

RICK WERNER, SIXTH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

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, SEVENTH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Griffey began his career in sheet metal after graduating from Jefferson County High School in Danbridge, Tennessee. 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 journeyman, foreman, general foreman, and job steward for a number of signatory companies. In addition to the above, 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.

JAMES PAQUETTE, EIGHTH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

As a second-generation sheet metal worker, Paquette started in the trade working as an apprentice shortly after his high school graduation in 1978. Completing a four-year apprenticeship in 1982, he has had the opportunity over the years to work in most trade areas—from shop fabrication to the installation of all types of HVAC products, as well as siding and roof decking. He served as a job site steward for several large industrial projects sites including job site foreman.

Following successful completion of a Labour Management Studies program at British Columbia Institute of Technologies, he was first elected business representative in 1997 and attended the new business agents class held that year at the National Labour College. He was re-elected as a business representative and in 2003 was nominated and elected to serve the SM Local 28 membership (Vancouver) as the business manager / financial secretary treasurer and has been consistently re-elected afterwards.

LUTHER MEDINA, NINTH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Medina’s career in the sheet metal industry began in 1987 as an apprentice with Local 108. He was elected a business representative of Local 105 in June 2004 and assumed his present position of president/business manager in 2012. Medina also served in the following positions: trustee for SM Local 108 (1996–1998); executive board member for SM Local Union 108 (1998–1999); local organizer in Locals 108 & 105 (1999–2004) and Local 105 business representative (2004–2012). Since 2012, he has served as president/business manager of Local 105 in Los Angeles, Calif.

Medina’s depth of experience also touches outside of the sheet metal industry as well and across the labor movement. He serves as chairman for the Southern California, Arizona and Nevada Health & Pension Trust Funds in Manhattan Beach, Calif.; labor chairman for the Local 105 Southern California JATC; Executive Board member of the California State Building & Construction Trades Council; a trustee of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council; a vice president on the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; and as a commissioner on the City of Los Angeles Workforce Development Board.

TIM CARTER, 10TH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Carter started his apprenticeship in 1980 with Seattle Local 99 (which later merged to become SM Local 66). After his four-year schooling, he was a field foreman for MacDonald Miller Facility Solutions working on several major projects in the Puget Sound area. Carter, since assuming the helm of Local 66, has been at the forefront of efforts providing 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 that time he has served as a trustee on 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.

SCOTT PARKS, 11TH GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Parks completed his apprenticeship and became a journeyman in 1995. He was elected as Local 20’s business representative in 2001. In July 2010, he was elected to become the local’s business manager and served as financial secretary/treasurer. His duties include responsibility for the supervision and direction of 13 business agents and one organizer whose jurisdiction includes Indiana and portions of Kentucky, Illinois and Michigan.

He is an AFL-CIO delegate, president of the Indiana State Building Trades organization and secretary/treasurer of the Great Lakes State Council. He has been active in building a bottom-up social media presence for the Local 20 membership.

GREGORY HYNES, TRANSPORTATION DIVISION NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR

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 J. STUDIVANT, VICE PRESIDENT/INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Studivant is a member of Local 759, Newark, N.J. He served in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 1986 and 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 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.

BRENT C. LEONARD, VICE PRESIDENT/INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

A member of Local 202 in Denver, 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, VICE PRESIDENT/INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

Whitaker began his railroad career in 1997 with CSX Transportation as a conductor. 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 J. ADAMS, VICE PRESIDENT/INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND GENERAL VICE PRESIDENT

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.