Celebrating 40 Years with Pat O'Donnell
Please join me in congratulating our very own Pat O’Donnell for 40 years of service to the members of AFTRA, SAG and now SAG-AFTRA. Pat’s career has been nothing short of remarkable. She began her career on July 6, 1976 in what was then the Washington-Baltimore Local of AFTRA. Her work representing SAG members’ interests as well were instrumental in the local becoming a “caretaker” office for SAG in 1978 and a full-fledged branch of SAG in 1984.
Pat has served both memberships in every single staff capacity available in the local, rising to the role of Assistant Executive Director and Chief Negotiator of the more than 40 station and network contracts negotiated and administered by our local in 1983. In 1994, she became Executive Director of the Washington-Baltimore Local, and in 2012, with the merger of SAG and AFTRA, she became the Executive Director of the new, and now larger, Washington-Mid Atlantic Local of SAG-AFTRA.
Pat is a mentor to many of her staff colleagues, both on her own staff and around the country, and her prowess at the bargaining table has earned her deep respect from those on the other side as well. Most importantly, as those of you know who know Pat, she is a fierce advocate for, and great friend to, the members she serves. Chair of the National Broadcast Steering Committee and elected local leader Joe Krebs put it this way: "I have come to realize that this is not just a job for Pat. It is not even her career. Serving members, staff, the union is her mission in life, her vocation, her calling. She has always put others - us - first. We are most fortunate."
Her service and leadership go beyond the local as well. Pat served on the committees that developed the merger plan of 1998 and the “Consolidation and Affiliation” plan of 2003, and was an important member of the committee that put together the merger plan that was finally successful in 2012.
Her leadership, passion and service were recognized at the first SAG-AFTRA Convention where Pat became the first SAG-AFTRA staff person to receive the Gold Heller Memorial Award gold card.
In the words of National Executive Director David White, “Pat is a beloved union leader who works tirelessly to improve the lives of working professionals. She is a wonderful advocate and we congratulate her on 40 years of dedicated service to our members.”
It is my honor and privilege to salute Pat on a truly amazing 40 years of work; I won’t say career because it’s not over and I know we are all grateful for that!
Pat, we thank you, we love you and we congratulate you!
Washington-Mid Atlantic Local President