May 2011

Lindell Lee Retires
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International Secretary-Treasurer Lindell K. Lee retired May 1, bringing a career spanning more than 40 years with the IBEW to a close.

Announcing his retirement at this year's Construction and Maintenance Conference in March, Lee told attendees, "I've been your Secretary-Treasurer through very difficult times, but with your support and cooperation, and that of my staff, we have gotten through it. I will leave this job knowing that I have done my best."

A Missouri native and graduate of the University of Missouri, Lee was initiated into Kansas City, Mo., Local 124 in 1969, after four years in the U.S. Navy. He was first elected to Local 124's executive board in 1981.

Serving as business manager for nearly a decade, he was appointed Eleventh District International Representative in 2002. Three years later, he was elevated to district Vice President. Understanding that the top priority of any union leader must be to organize, he spearheaded an aggressive organizing strategy that led to some big wins, including a victory at Milbank Manufacturing which organized more than 150 production workers in his home state.

Appointed Secretary-Treasurer in 2008—just as the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression was settling in—Lee helped keep the IBEW's retirement and health benefits strong, even in the worst of financial times.

"Brother Lee took the helm of Secretary-Treasurer in the midst of very tough times," says International President Edwin D. Hill. "But his steady hand and clear thinking helped the Brotherhood navigate the rough waters of the economy and we were very fortunate to have him on board. I wish him and his family all the best."

As trustee of the National Electrical Benefit Fund, he followed a path of prudent financial investment to secure the retirement funds of tens of thousands of IBEW members—investments which went straight back into projects that created good union jobs.

He also helped to expand saving options for members by working to get the IBEW 401(k) plan off the ground.

Coming to Washington in the midst of the health-care debate, Lee played his part by working to expand the IBEW/NECA Family Medical Care Plan to every member of the Brotherhood.

"The IBEW has been my life's commitment from the moment I first strapped on the tools and there has been no greater opportunity for me than to serve the membership of this union—from the union hall to the International Office," Lee says. "I've been blessed to work with great leaders like President Hill and all our International officers and I know that Fourth District Vice President Sam Chilia has what it takes to carry on the great traditions of my predecessors in this office."

Read more: Salvatore 'Sam' Chilia Named Secretary-Treasurer

International Secretary-Treasurer Lindell Lee retired effective May 1.

Lee served as business manager of Kansas City, Mo., Local 124 in the 1990s.

Lee served secretary of the Grievance and Appeals Committee at the 2001 IBEW Convention in San Francisco.

Lee at his desk at Local 124.

Lee speaking to the crowd at a 1993 fund-raiser for muscular dystrophy.

Lee participating in a Kansas City trades event repairing homes for the needy.