New England Local Executive Director Susan Nelson will be leaving SAG-AFTRA effective Oct. 15, 2020. Susan has accepted an opportunity at a law firm to practice union labor and employment law, which coincided with our organizational downsizing.

We are very fortunate that Director, Contracts & Member Services Jessica Maher has agreed to be the interim assistant executive director of the local. Jessica has been part of our staff for more than 12 years. During her time with us, she’s held every actor/performer staff position in the local, and brings to her new role extensive knowledge of SAG-AFTRA contracts, negotiating skills and field rep experience. She will be supported by Ellen Stoolmacher and, together, they will be responsible for the local’s day-to-day operations. 

Jessica will report to Associate National Executive Director Mathis Dunn and the Local Board, and will manage and oversee the local operation during this transition and resource conservation period. 

Please see a personal note from Susan below:

Dear New England Local Members,

I can’t thank you enough for your warm welcome seven years ago and for the privilege of getting to know you throughout my time with SAG-AFTRA. I have enjoyed working with you all tremendously, will think of you often and will look for you proudly when I am watching locally made films. 

While the pandemic has created challenges for us all, our local is fortunate to have Jessica Maher and Ellen Stoolmacher working hard on your behalf. I know you will continue to be kind and supportive as they continue to support our membership through this difficult period. 

Again, thank you for allowing me to be a part of you for a time I will always treasure. 

Warmest regards,


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