Jon Walters Retires
January 28, 2008
Secretary-Treasurer Jon F. Walters has announced his March 1 retirement, bringing to a close an eminent 48-year IBEW career that culminated with three years as the union’s top financial officer.
“It’s difficult to say goodbye to a friend and a union brother who, at every juncture of his career, stepped up and did the right thing for the membership, but Jon truly has earned a fine retirement. I wish him and his family the very best,” says International President Ed Hill.
An Idaho native and journeyman wireman, Brother Walters was elected business manager of Pocatello Local 449 in 1977 and Eighth District International Vice President five years later. Establishing a reputation for fairness and sound judgment, Walters served as co-chairman of the IBEW-NECA Council on Industrial Relations for 22 years and as the Brotherhood’s liaison to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
Under Walters’ leadership, the Eighth District began the development of the “Code of Excellence,” a commitment to professionalism and quality workmanship that has been expanded and adopted nationally in electrical construction and is spreading to the IBEW’s other branches.
As Secretary-Treasurer, Walters expanded the efforts to put into place the National Electrical Contractors Association/ IBEW Family Health Care Plan. Two years after its rollout, more than 12,000 members, their dependents and retirees are getting comprehensive, cost effective health coverage under the umbrella of the largest health insurance provider in the United States, Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Brother Walters also took powerful stewardship as a trustee of the National Electrical Benefit Fund. Despite a slowing economy, Walters’ efforts have helped to keep the funds in strong shape to pay benefits for tens of thousands of retirees who will be retiring over the next decade.
During Walters’ term, the IBEW’s Political Action Committee remained No. 1 in labor political action committees, raising between $7 and $10 million a year from members.
Joining President Hill at the 37th International Convention in Cleveland, Walters addressed the need for per capita increases to launch a new period of growth through vigorous organizing. “By your bold action here in Cleveland, you can propel our great union into an exciting new era of expansion and prosperity,” said Walters.
“In a Brotherhood, leaders develop by being mentored by others. I have been most fortunate to have followed the path of fine leaders, and I thank President Hill and all IBEW members for blessing me with the opportunity to serve at the highest level of our union,” says Walters. “I wish Brother Lindell Lee the best of luck, and know that our finances are in capable hands.”