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October 2014

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Jack Heyer

International Representative Jack Heyer was appointed Director of the IBEW Personnel Department at the International Office in Washington, D.C., effective Sept. 1. Heyer replaces Howard "Howdy" Ritchie, who has been appointed Director of the union's Pension and Reciprocity Department.

"It's a challenging opportunity," Heyer said. "It's something that will give me a chance to meet IBEW personnel I haven't met and to work with them to make them successful in their IBEW roles."

Heyer will interpret contracts, manage staff benefits, and help ensure solid labor/management relations between the IBEW leadership and the 200 employees at the International Office who comprise three separate unions — the Operating Engineers, the Office and Professional Employees International Union and the IBEW. The employees perform clerical, information technologies, administrative, research, education, media and other services for the IBEW.

"It's always a pleasure working with people who are part of the IBEW," Heyer said. "I've always worked for the betterment of the union, and this is another step in helping to make the IBEW successful."

Heyer served for seven years as an international representative in the Construction and Maintenance Department, working extensively on nuclear, renewable and community action issues. He helped lead the ADT Coordinating Council, which represents 1,800 security workers in the U.S. and Canada. Heyer assisted in planning the annual Construction and Maintenance Department conference in Washington, D.C., and serviced national agreements in various industries, among other duties.

Heyer started his union career in 1977 as a member of Green Bay, Wis., Local 158. After topping out from his inside wireman apprenticeship, he worked his way up on job sites to serve as a foreman.

Union activism quickly became a way of life for Heyer, who served on numerous local union committees and was a member of the executive board. Other roles as union treasurer, recording secretary, and business agent prepared him for his position as business manager at the local. Heyer served on numerous labor-related committees in Wisconsin to help strengthen the electrical industry and the building trades as a whole.

At that time, the 600-member local union serviced contracts for construction employees, shipyard workers, municipal employees and more. The need to adapt quickly to different situations and work in multiple facets will help in his new position, Heyer said. "My experiences with this diverse group have given me a down-to-earth perspective when communicating and working together with people."

Heyer attended the University of Wisconsin campus in Green Bay and the School for Workers in Madison. He studied arbitration at the University of Illinois and attended the National Training Institute at the University of Tennessee.

In his spare time, Heyer enjoys hunting and fishing, riding his motorcycle, golfing, gardening and watching football and baseball games.

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


Jack Heyer

Howard Ritchie Jr.

International President Edwin D. Hill has appointed Howard "Howdy" Ritchie Jr. Director of the Pension and Reciprocity Department, effective Sept. 1.

Brother Ritchie was born in Washington, D.C., where he attended St. John's College High School. He joined Local 26 in 1972, topping out of his apprenticeship in 1975.

In 1986, he was elected to Local 26's examining board. Among other duties, he interviewed candidates for foreman positions.

In 1990, Ritchie was appointed to Local 26's staff by then-Business Manager John Widener, servicing and organizing workers in the federal government sector. He continued on staff after the election of Cecil "Buddy" Satterfield as business manager in 1992. Ritchie also served as a trustee on the pension and annuity, health and welfare and joint apprenticeship training funds and on labor-management committees.

When Satterfield was elevated to international representative in 1998, Ritchie was appointed to serve out his term. He was then elected in 2001.

Brother Ritchie joined the International staff in 2003, being appointed International Representative in the Construction and Maintenance Department. He helped support the IBEW's efforts to break into the burgeoning renewable energy market, including wind and solar.

He also assisted then-director Mark Ayers on several major projects, including the administration of national construction and specialty agreements, Helmets-to-Hardhats and the transmission and Maintenance agreement.

In 2006, he was appointed director of the Personnel Department, where he was responsible for managing employee relations and administering the collective bargaining agreement at the International Office.

"I got to work with employees in every department, which gave me a good understanding of the full depth of what the IBEW does," he said.

Brother Ritchie says he is looking forward to his new position. "This gives me the opportunity to learn about another side of this union," he said. "I'm excited about to servicing our members and locals in this vital area."

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


Howard Ritchie Jr.

Joseph M. Carrillo

We are saddened to report that retired Seventh District International Representative Joe M. Carrillo died on July 26.

Brother Carrillo, a native of Globe, Ariz., was a lifelong community and political activist whose roots in the labor movement went back to the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union, later the United Steelworkers, organizing workers against stiff company opposition in the copper mines of the Southwest.

An electrician, Carrillo was initiated into Globe Local 518 in 1952, serving as business manager from 1958 to 1970. Local 518's effectiveness led to the International increasing its jurisdiction to three counties. Under Carrillo's leadership, the local grew its construction and maintenance membership, organized a pulp and paper mill and negotiated an agreement with the White Mountain Apache Tribe to train workers at a timber plant run by the tribe.

In 1970, Carrillo was appointed Seventh District International Representative, retiring in 1989.

"My father was a kind and generous man who was a really tough guy when it came to standing up for the rights of people to be treated fairly," says Joseph Carrillo, his son, a pediatrician in Napa, Calif.

A World War II U.S. Navy veteran who enlisted at age 16, Carrillo served aboard the USS Tennessee (BB-43) and participated in the fierce bombardments of Tarawa. He later attended LaSalle Extension University and took courses at the University of Arizona.

Carrillo led a joint union negotiating committee in the copper mining industry. A chairman of his county's Democratic Party, Carrillo waged a campaign for state representative and was active in the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. After his retirement from the IBEW, Carrillo worked as a building inspector in Globe.

"My father helped revitalize the Globe historic district, supporting the preservation of buildings in the city he loved," says his daughter, Catherine Covarrubias, whose husband, Reynaldo, serves as assistant business manager of Phoenix Local 266.

"Joe had a big heart and walked the walk," says Reynaldo Covarrubias. Overcome by emotion, he recalled his father-in-law encouraging his union activism, saying that one of his proudest moments was telling Carrillo that he had been chosen to serve in union office.

Horace Bounds was a new business manager of Tucson, Ariz., Local 570 when he first met Carrillo. "Joe gave me so much help manning jobs building Titan II missile silos," says Bounds. "We worked almost like we were one local and ended up setting up a joint pension plan."

The son of a "man-of-all-trades," Carrillo accompanied his father on trips to farmers' markets during the Great Depression where his father would load a truck with vegetables, distributing them to community members, asking only for gas money in return, his son said. Carrillo's son remembers helping his parents put together food baskets and toys to be given to copper workers during a particularly difficult strike.

"My family will always be so grateful to the IBEW. We were comforted knowing that my parents were well taken care of in their later years," says his son.

Brother Carrillo cared for his wife, Lillian, who suffered for years at home from Alzheimer's disease before her death in 2012. He was active in Holy Angels Catholic Church in Globe.

On behalf of the staff and the entire membership, the officers send our deep condolences to Brother Carrillo's family.


Joseph M. Carrillo