New International President Lonnie Stephenson talks about the future of the IBEW and the core values for which we must continue to stand:
- Providing unmatched skill.
- A dedication to being productive professionals on the job-site.
- Embrace efforts to grow our number.
- And many more…
TRANSCRIPT – President’s Message: Continuing Under New Leadership
IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson – “Things are moving, in the economy, new construction, and in opportunities for the IBEW. Hello brothers and sisters, I’m Lonnie Stephenson, as I begin serving as your new International President, I come in with a background that is not unlike many of you.
I was initiated into the brotherhood in 1976 and worked as an inside wireman for Local 145 in Rock Island, IL. I’d worked on jobs large and small. I had worked alongside quite a diverse, talented collection of my IBEW brothers and sisters.
After years in the field, I was elected business manager in 1996 and became an international representative, serving the 6th District in 2000. 8 years after that, I was appointed International Vice President. Over the years, I have been active in organizing; I have sat on the executive boards for labor, business, and charity organizations. I have lead efforts to bring in new development and to revitalize old ones in the communities where I have lived.
So, like you, I am no stranger to hard work and to doing whatever it takes to make sure the IBEW stands for leadership. Leadership not only in the electrical industry, but throughout the labor movement as well.
As I begin my travels, hopefully I will get the chance to meet with many of you to get a first hand and personal view of your work and your local. While there are challenges that vary from city to city, from region to region, we all must continue to stand for a few core values. We must continue to provide unmatched skill at the workplace; something that is not just a reality, as far as our competition is concerned. We must continue to be the most productive professionals on the jobsite, and never forget that performance counts. Let’s make sure that any 20 of us is better than 40 of them. We have to continue to embrace efforts to grow our numbers. Our long-term success will depend on our efforts to welcome in and train thousands of new members.
The math is the math, and if we want to continue to be the go to organization in the electrical industry, we must replace our retiring brothers and sisters in the pipeline. Not only that, we need thousands more. You can’t grow market share if you don’t have the people to do the work.
We are going to ramp up organizing, we are going to ramp up apprentice recruitment, let’s all move forward together. There will be some natural changes along the way, that’s just inevitable, but I want you to know this – the IBEW is on the move.
Until we meet again, stay safe and remember that every hour counts. Thank you.”