Robert Walter Pierson
Robert W. Pierson was appointed Chairman of the International Executive Council effective November 1, 2005, to replace Milton Foster, who resigned and will assist in the organizing effort in the Ninth District.
Brother Pierson had been appointed on October 1 to represent the IEC Fifth District replacing Lyle Keith Querry, who retired.
Brother Pierson, currently business manager of Chicago Local 9, was initiated into the IBEW in 1966. After serving as a local representative and assistant business manager, Pierson was elected business manager of Local 9 in 1997. In his new role, he took charge of negotiations on behalf of hundreds of Chicago employees, including electrical workers in the city’s transit, park and water reclamation departments, contractors and line clearance tree trimmers. He also served on the executive board of the Illinois Electrical Conference and as co-chairman of the Inside/Outside Jurisdictional Dispute Committee and chairman of the Outside Task Force created by the International Office.
A Chicago native, Pierson and his wife, Shirley, have been married for 39 years. They have four children and five granddaughters. Three of their sons are members of Chicago Local 9.
The officers and members of the IBEW congratulate Brother Pierson on his new appointment.
Norman “Ray” Cobb
Norman “Ray” Cobb, Director of IBEW’s Railroad Department, retired on October 1, 2005, ending a 43-year career.
Brother Cobb was initiated into Hamlet, North Carolina, Local 1923 in 1962. Cobb completed his inside wireman apprenticeship while employed at Seaboard Airlines Railroad, the precursor of CSX Transportation.
First elected to the Local 1923 executive board in 1969, Cobb became business manager of Local 1923 in 1973, serving for six years, and another term from 1983 to 1985. Cobb was selected to leading positions in railroad System Councils 32 and 9, rising to general chairman and assistant general chairman, respectively, before being appointed as an international representative in 1994.
Assigned to what was the Tenth District, covering all IBEW railroad locals, Cobb traveled across the United States organizing and representing railroad workers.
In 2001, Cobb was appointed Director of the Railroad Department by IBEW President Edwin D. Hill.
Since his appointment, Brother Cobb has participated in ongoing negotiations with numerous Class I rail carriers and has worked hard to defeat the current administration’s plan to deny Amtrak adequate funding.
“I wish the brothers and sisters of the Brotherhood the best,” says Cobb, who will relocate to Rockingham, North Carolina, where he plans to spend more time with his wife, Lela, and his family and attending church. He expects to enjoy golf and to make frequent visits to his beach home at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The officers and members of the IBEW wish Brother Cobb and his family good health, happiness and a fulfilling retirement.
Bernard G. “Buck” Williamson
The IBEW is saddened to announce the September 23, 2005, death of retired Fourth District Vice President B.G. “Buck” Williamson. He was 79.
Brother Williamson served 16 years as vice president, retiring in 1988. An early love for electricity and electronics led to his 1947 initiation into Marietta, Ohio, Local 972, shortly after a two-year stint as an electronic technician in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He became active in the local, serving on various committees and as a member of the examining board. He was elected business manager-financial secretary in 1951. During his tenure as Local 972 leader, he served on the bylaws and JATC committee, and taught in the apprenticeship school.
Five years later, Brother Williamson was appointed Fourth District international representative, serving Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Appointed Vice President in 1972, he was re-elected at international conventions in 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1986. He was active in the labor community serving as Ohio AFL-CIO vice president, co-chairman of the Council on Industrial Relations, Cincinnati chapter president of the Industrial Relations Research Association, and on the steering committee of the Ohio Citizens for Safe, Lower-Cost Electricity.
He attended Marietta College, and completed labor courses at the University of Wisconsin, University of Cincinnati, Cornell University, Ohio State and University of Illinois, among others. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Masonic Lodge.
The IBEW extends sincere sympathies to wife, Irene, and family.
Changes in IEC
Stephen Schoemehl, business manager of St. Louis Local 1 was appointed IEC member from the Fifth District, effective November 1, 2005, to replace Robert Pierson who has become IEC Chairman.
Myles Calvey, business manager of Boston Local 2222 and of Telephone System Council T-6, has been appointed to the IEC representing the Second District, effective November 1, 2005. Brother Calvey replaces Rui Carrinho who has been appointed to the International staff and assigned to the IVP Second District.
Profiles of Brothers Foster, Schoemehl and Calvey will appear in the December issue.