Ohio-Pittsburgh 2014:06

days since last accident 181
The Official E-Newsletter of the Ohio-Pittsburgh Local
The Official E-Newsletter of the Ohio-Pittsburgh Local
June 2014


By Rick Pfeiffer
Local Board Member, Buffalo-Rochester

Ohio-Pittsburgh members who reside in the Buffalo and Rochester geographic locations will look to meet in the coming months to form a Buffalo-Rochester Council within the Ohio-Pittsburgh Local.

Such councils are provided for under the Ohio-Pittsburgh Local Constitution and are viewed as a means to keep the members of the former free-standing AFTRA locals connected to their new, and far larger, local.

The local councils will also provide a voice for members in those areas to the Ohio-Pittsburgh Local Board of Directors.

Please be on the look-out for a meeting notice coming to your email inbox or home soon.


625 Stanwix St.
Suite 2007
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412.281.2444 fax

Brian Lysell
Ohio-Pittsburgh Local Executive Director

Chelsea Danley
Contract Administrator

Susanne Pearson
Membership, Office Manager 

Tim Williams
National Broadcast Rep.

Message from Local President Paul Martino

Brothers and Sisters,

This message, this newsletter, is long overdue. Let me assure you, your newly seated board in this newly formed local in our newly merged union has been hard at work. I salute our board members.

Breaking headline: We have hired a new executive director! It was a long and sometimes frustrating process. We interviewed many candidates, but in the end, it was worth it because we got a good one.

Brian Lysell took the reins of the Ohio-Pittsburgh local on April 15. Brian is running our Pittsburgh office and will administer and negotiate some 20-plus broadcast contracts over our vast geography. He’s more than qualified for this gig. Brian has represented hotel workers in New York City, served on the New York City Central Labor Council and he’s spent hundreds of hours at the bargaining table.

Before coming to our union, Brian worked as a labor attorney in South Carolina, where he earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina. But Brian is a Pittsburgh guy. He grew up in Pittsburgh and has two degrees from Penn State. He and his family are excited to be able return to the area. I am certain you will enjoy meeting Brian.

A big shout-out to the search committee members who devoted countless hours to finding a new exec. Mark Roberts, Joe Gunderman, Mike Kraft, Rick Pfeiffer, Lisa Ann Goldsmith, Stoney Richards, Jeff Hirsh, June Baller and I all took part. We conducted interviews in the Pittsburgh office. Committee members in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Buffalo took part by teleconference.

Big props go out to SAG-AFTRA staff members Linda Dowell and Mary Cavallaro, who weeded through dozens of candidates to help us find Brian.

This process is the new reality of our local. We have to take great strides to reach out to our brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Rochester and elsewhere to make this regional local function. But our members are dedicated to making this work. We meet monthly by teleconference. Baillie Breaux even drove from Cincinnati one night for a meeting in Pittsburgh and then drove back after the meeting. Great job, Baillie.

This is what makes us a union: the dedication and determination of you, the members.

In my view, no one was happy with the way our new local was set up. Or with the closure of offices in Cleveland and Cincinnati. Or with the loss of staff. But you know what? We are making it work. And I thank everyone who has given their time and their love to SAG-AFTRA Ohio-Pittsburgh.

In solidarity,

President Martino