By Mark Roberts
The third Biennial SAG-AFTRA convention was held Oct. 6–8 at the Sheraton Universal hotel in Los Angeles.
I headed the Ohio-Pittsburgh delegation in lieu of President Paul Martino. Chris Lacey, our National Board representative, was with us in L.A. Rick Pfeiffer, Stoney Richards and Jay Silvers rounded out our group. Local Executive Director Brian Lysell also attended.
During the convention session, delegates nominated and elected the union’s eight national vice presidents, including the executive vice president. Rebecca Damon was re-elected executive vice president.
The following are the results of the election of the other vice presidents. Candidates who ran unopposed are indicated by an asterisk. Each position is for two years.
• Clyde Kusatsu, national vice president, Los Angeles
• Liz Zazzi, national vice president, New York*
• Ilyssa Fradin, national vice president, mid-sized locals
• Suzanne Burkhead, national vice president, small locals*
• Samantha Mathis, national vice president, actors/performers
• Catherine Brown, national vice president, broadcasters*
• Dan Navarro, national vice president, recording artists/singers*
On Friday night at the union’s A Legendary Evening gala, members Joe Krebs and Ned Vaughn, as well as staff members John McGuire and Marcia Fishman, were recipients of the George Heller Memorial Award gold cards in recognition of their outstanding contributions to SAG-AFTRA and its members.
We particularly congratulate Krebs. He is a dedicated journalist and a true union man. He has decades of union service, first at AFTRA, and then at SAG-AFTRA. He has served as president of AFTRA’s Washington-Baltimore Local, on AFTRA’s National Board, on the SAG-AFTRA National Board, and on countless committees in both unions, including chairing the Broadcast Steering Committee. He was a key member of the merger team and co-authored the merged union’s dues structure, as well as the SAG-AFTRA Constitution. Professionally, Krebs has been informing the public for more than four decades, with the last 30 years at the NBC-owned-and-operated television station WRC-TV, until his retirement in 2012. He has won multiple Emmys for his reporting, in addition to numerous other honors and awards.
Following local tradition, Lysell treated our delegation to dinner on Saturday night. We had a spectacular evening of seafood and fellowship at Gladstone’s, on the beach at Malibu. Thank you, Brian.
The convention concluded Sunday, with members voting on final resolutions and speeches from the union’s top officers, focusing on the convention’s theme, Our Union, Our Strength, Our Future.
Photo: From left, Chris Lacey, National Board member; Rick Pfeiffer, Local Board member Buffalo-Rochester broadcast; Jay Silvers, Local Board member at large; Charles David Richards, Local Board member Pittsburgh; and Mark Roberts, Local Secretary at the third SAG-AFTRA biennial convention.