FAREWELL BUT NOT GOODBYE
Congratulations to the new SAG-AFTRA Nashville Board of Directors and our new officers. Though I’m not currently serving this term, I won’t be far away. After serving on the AFTRA and SAG-AFTRA Local Boards for 30 years and the AFTRA and SAG-AFTRA National Boards for 27 (if memory serves me correctly), union work will be a hard habit to break, indeed. I may just show up for a cup of coffee from time to time. Seriously, I’ll do my best to be available should anyone need anything from me.
It’s been an honor and privilege to serve our members all these years. It’s also been an honor to work with such a devoted local staff in Nashville and a great national staff, as well. I hope my small contribution has meant something in the long run for raising the level of dignity and respect that I’ve always believed union members in the performing arts are due. Best of luck to everyone in the coming months and years.
I have been a member of the union for 32 years, and most recently served as a vice president during the merger. I am also a 25-year member of the local AF of M chapter. As the incoming president, I will be trying to fill the leadership role established by our long-serving past-president and advocate Cece DuBois. Our local has always had strong leadership and great membership participation, and my goal is to ensure that any changes we initiate in the future are in the service of the members.
I have been a jingle singer, recording artist and lifelong songwriter. I am a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. In the community, I have served as president of The Nashville Songwriters Association International and as an officer of NARAS and CMA, and I am the current chairman of the Nashville Songwriters Foundation. The union has been an important part of my life for most of my career and I consider this chance to serve the union an honor.
Here in Nashville, our members work under many different contracts. We consider this the hub of the sound recording industry, due not only to our successful members, but also because of our incredibly knowledgeable staff. Randy Himes has been one of the main reasons this local has remained strong, and the creative staff he leads has made the union viable in a sometimes-difficult so-called “right-to-work” environment.
More and more, Nashville is becoming a fruitful place for actors, and one of our goals will be to reach out and let the non-union players and their employers know that the union is good for everyone’s business, period. Cece DuBois and Mike Montgomery, along with several other board members, are experienced leaders in the industry and I will be learning from them in the coming months.
Nashville is growing like a field of wildflowers in a sunny spot, and we intend to grow with it. It’s a good time to be in the right place and we intend to keep the future of the union safe here.
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