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February 2013

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Ross Galbraith

The International Executive Council has appointed Fredericton, New Brunswick, Local 37 Business Manager Ross Galbraith Eighth District IEC member.

"I'm humbled President Hill asked me to fulfill this role," he says. "I'm determined to work hard, not only for all the Canadian locals in the Eighth District, but for the entire Brotherhood."

Brother Galbraith, who was initiated into then-Local 2309 in 1993, graduated from New Brunswick Community College with a degree in chemical engineering technology. An employee at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station — owned by the provincial utility NB Power — Galbraith soon became active in the local, and was elected unit chair in 1994.

He was hired as assistant business manager two years later, serving in that role when Locals 2309 and 1733 merged to form Local 37 in 2000.

In 2006, he was elected business manager.

Galbraith has been active in New Brunswick politics and community affairs, helping to lead a labor-community coalition that stopped NB Power from being taken over by Hydro-Quebec.

He participated in several national Electricity Sector Council committees and was appointed by the Premier of New Brunswick to NB2026, a committee charged with developing ideas to help the province grow and become more prosperous.

At the 38th IBEW Convention in 2011, Galbraith served as secretary of the law committee and is the chairman of the IBEW Atlantic Utility Council.

On behalf of the entire membership and staff of the IBEW, the officers wish Brother Galbraith great success in his new position.


Ross Galbraith

John Malagise

Third District International Representative John Malagise retired effective Jan. 1.

A native of Rochester, Pa., Brother Malagise was initiated into Beaver Local 712 in 1972 and completed an inside journeyman wireman apprenticeship.

"I entered the apprenticeship after a stint in college and a summer working as an electrician's helper. I liked working with my hands and my father-in-law was a Local 712 member," says Malagise, who was handed his first job referral by International President Edwin D. Hill, who was then business manager of the local.

"I started and finished my career working for Ed Hill," says Malagise, who served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1970 to 1976 and attended Penn State University.

In 1991, after serving on several committees, including C.O.P.E., scholarship, joint safety and negotiations, Malagise was elected local vice president. He was elected president a year later and business manager in 1997, serving until 2001 when he was appointed International Representative.

He was assigned to the Third District office, where he assisted Vice President Don Siegel for the past 11 years, also servicing his home local, Pittsburgh Local 5; Erie Local 56, and Pittsburgh Local 1919.

Deeply involved in his community, Malagise coached youth football and served as a member of the Beaver Initiative for Growth. He served on the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Employee Assistance Advisory Board and as chairman of the New Sewickley Township Recreation Board. Malagise was the first labor representative appointed to the executive board of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce. During his six-year tenure as labor chairman of the Beaver County Area Labor Management Committee, he worked with counterparts in Washington and Greene counties to establish the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Labor Management Committee.

Malagise, whose son Matt is a third-year Local 712 apprentice, has two other children, eight grandchildren and one due to be born in April.

"My children live close by and I will spend a lot of time with my wife, Debbie, watching my grandchildren play sports," says Malagise, who also plans to do some traveling.

A cross-country skier, golfer, hunter and fisherman, Malagise has served as a lector, cantor and Holy Name secretary of St. Felix Parish in Freedom, Pa.

Reflecting on his experience in the union, Malagise says, "I know it's never been easy for workers, but it's going to be a tough road ahead and I hope that folks will remain diligent and help the younger generation understand the benefits of being in a union."

On behalf of the officers, staff and members, we wish Brother Malagise a long, happy and healthy retirement.


John Malagise

Gilbert Solano

The IBEW is saddened to report that retired Ninth District International Representative Gilbert Solano passed away Dec. 12, 2012.

A Los Angeles native, Brother Solano was initiated into Local 1710, an electrical manufacturing local, in 1959, becoming its business manager/financial secretary in 1983.

A graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School, he took classes in accounting, labor law and grievance arbitration at Long Beach City College.

A second generation IBEW member, Solano was active in both the Los Angeles labor movement and the Latino community.

He was involved with the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and the Los Angeles/Orange County Organizing Committee, and served as delegate to the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO.

Southern California, with its large number of Latino workers, became a major center for organizing in the 1980s and '90s, and Brother Solano played his part in building the IBEW, participating in some major campaigns along with other AFL-CIO unions.

Solano was appointed Ninth District International Representative by then-President John J. Barry in 1993, with a focus on organizing. A lifelong union activist, he counted bowling and IBEW pin collecting as some of his pastimes. He retired in 2003.

The IBEW officers, staff and members wish Brother Solano's wife, Arlene, and his many friends and family our most heartfelt condolences.


Gilbert Solano