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March 2014

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Ted Jensen

Eighth District International Vice President Ted Jensen retired effective March 1 after nearly 45 years of dedicated service to the IBEW.

Brother Jensen was initiated into Pocatello, Idaho, Local 449 in 1970, when he began his inside apprenticeship working at Northwest Electric in nearby Idaho Falls.

After becoming a member of the executive board five years later, Jensen went on to serve as recording secretary, president, JATC instructor and as a member of the negotiations committee. The membership elected him business manager in 1989, a position he held for the next five years.

Then-IBEW International President J.J. Barry appointed Jensen to the Eighth District staff in 1994. In 2005, International President Edwin D. Hill tapped Jensen to lead the Eighth District as its International Vice President.

During his tenure with the Eighth District, Jensen was instrumental in helping develop and implement major initiatives, such as the IBEW-NECA Industry Awareness Program and the Code of Excellence program in the construction sector. He also worked with NECA on developing and implementing the Electrical Project Supervision program, which focused on improving the skill set and efficiency of existing or aspiring job site foremen.

"Ted's legacy is that he was always focused on improving the lives of members," said International Representative Rocky Clark, who worked with Jensen at the Eighth District office. "Everything he did, in his personal life or his IBEW life, was built on making things better for our members." Clark and Jensen first began working together in the 1980s.

Serving the IBEW as International Vice President was "the high point of my working career," Jensen said. "I will miss the friendships formed over a lifetime."

Brother Jensen served on many labor-related committees throughout his career, including as chairman for the Idaho Joint Apprenticeship and Training Trust and as Secretary of the Idaho building trades. He was a representative at a Department of Energy tripartite safety committee. Jensen attended Utah State University and Idaho State University.

He and his wife, Patt, are celebrating 45 years of marriage. They have five children and three grandchildren. Two of their sons have followed their father's footsteps into the IBEW.

In retirement, Jensen looks forward to serving his church through mission work, as well as enjoying more time with family and friends.

"The best days of the IBEW and our members lie ahead, not behind," he said.

On behalf of the entire union membership, the officers and staff wish Brother Jensen a happy, healthy and enjoyable retirement.


Ted Jensen

Jerry Bellah

IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill has appointed Jerry Bellah as Eighth District International Vice President, effective March 1. He succeeds Ted C. Jensen, who retired.

Bellah was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. From 1985 to 1988 he was a U.S. Army cavalry reconnaissance scout and missile gunner in the 5th Infantry Division based at Fort Polk, La. He attended Central Michigan University, Grand Rapids Community College and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in Labor Studies from the National Labor College.

In 1990, Bellah started the outside apprenticeship program in Grand Rapids Local 876, the same local as his father, Denny Bellah, who joined Local 876 in 1969 as a groundman and worked his way up to journeyman lineman before retiring in 2010. Jerry topped out in 1993 and worked as a contract lineman and Municipal Utility Line Foreman over the next seven years.

In 1999 Bellah left Michigan for Colorado, transferring his membership to Pueblo, Colo., Local 667. Within months, he was appointed shop steward.

When the utility employing Local 667 members was going through deregulation and later put up for sale, he was part of a group in the local that wanted to improve communications between the local union office and the membership. In 2002 Jerry won a contested election for business manager. He was re-elected without opposition in 2005, 2008 and 2011.

"I think we brought the energy needed to reconnect with those brothers and sisters who were drifting away from the IBEW," he said. "Keeping that connection strong is still the most important part of my job."

In addition to his duties as business manager, Bellah sat on the executive boards of the Colorado State Conference of Electrical Workers and the Southern Colorado Labor Council. He was also appointed to the Governor's Task Force on Reliable Electricity Infrastructure and has coached football, volleyball and baseball teams for his children: Jace, Nicole and Samantha.

Bellah was appointed International Representative for the Eighth District in 2012, after 10 years as business manager. He ran business development outreach for transmission construction, helping secure labor agreements with several multibillion-dollar projects. He also ran organizing campaigns at regional rural electric associations, mainly in Colorado. He was the lead organizer for Denver Local 111's winning campaign at the San Miguel Power Association, which now has a successful first contract.

Bellah was also sent to Nashville in 2013 to oversee the implementation of a Code of Excellence program during the construction of a large hotel development.

As the new Eighth District Vice President, Bellah will oversee IBEW operations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

"There are remarkable opportunities for the IBEW in the Eighth District today. I am honored to have been given this chance by President Hill," Bellah said.

The IBEW officers, staff and membership wish Brother Bellah great success in his new position.


Jerry Bellah

Doyle T. Burnett

We regret to report that retired Fifth District International Representative Doyle Burnett died on Jan. 22. He was 83.

A U.S. Air Force veteran and Florida native, he was initiated into Jacksonville Local 982 in 1956. Elected to the executive board two years later, he became president and business manager in 1965. He later moved his card to Selma, Ala., Local 2363 and finally to Cedar Springs, Ga., Local 1980.

Appointed by then International President Charles Pillard as International Representative in the Fifth District in 1970, he serviced construction and utility locals throughout the South.

He retired in 1994.

He enjoyed the outdoors, spending his retirement hunting and fishing.

He is survived by his companion Virginia Carmichael, son Allen, daughter Sarita, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

On behalf of the members and staff, the officers send our condolences to Brother Burnett's family and friends.


Doyle T. Burnett