November 2009

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Sherilyn Wright

International Representative Sherilyn Wright has been appointed Executive Assistant to the International President. She succeeds Liz Shuler, who was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO in September.

"Now is the best opportunity we've had in a long time to make change happen for the union movement," said Wright, who, as part of the Political and Legislative Affairs Department, coordinated a nationwide grassroots campaign during the historic 2008 election campaign. "This is the time when we can make a real difference."

Born and raised in Denver, Wright faced a tough job market when she graduated in 1983 with a business degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. A friend encouraged her to apply as a meter reader. She took the job, joining the Public Service Company of Colorado and Denver Local 111.

A turning point in Wright's career came nearly ten years later, when the company tried to break the union with a painful round of firings. "When I saw them harassing and intimidating my co-workers, I'd had enough," she said. "The union was there to stand up for us and eventually won everyone their jobs back." Following the year-long fight, she became the chief shop steward and treasurer of the local union.

Wright joined the local staff in 1999 as a business representative, also serving on the human rights committee. In 2000, she took the job of political coordinator, helping labor-friendly candidates win the Colorado Senate for the first time in nearly four decades. "At first, I was hesitant about politics, but I quickly realized that getting out and talking to people about issues important to the union was really what I loved to do."

In 2005, International President Edwin D. Hill appointed Wright to her position at the International Office in Washington. She spent two years lobbying legislators on Capitol Hill before overseeing the IBEW grassroots campaign that helped put a labor-friendly administration in the White House.

"The IBEW's role in that victory makes me very proud," she said. "I'm excited about the opportunity we have now to make real progress for working people."

The officers and members wish Sister Wright great success in her new position.