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July 2015

Ruhmkorff Named Sixth District Vice President
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Former Sixth District International Representative David J. Ruhmkorff is the new Sixth District vice president, following Lonnie R. Stephenson's appointment as international president.

The appointment is effective June 1.

A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Brother Ruhmkorff was initiated into Local 481 in 1979. During his apprenticeship, he wired and laid conduit for high-rises as an employee of Commonwealth Electric.

He began serving on Local 481's apprenticeship committee in the early 1980s and was elected business manager in 1990, serving until his appointment as international representative in 1994.

"I was one of seven children," Ruhmkorff said. "My dad was an IBEW union member and a strong role model for me. He introduced me to the trade and I have always been grateful for that."

Brother Ruhmkorff cited as a mentor former Sixth District Vice President Jeff Lohman, who hired him as an organizer and business representative when Lohman was Local 481 business manager.

"He gave me the opportunity to grow beyond construction," Ruhmkorff said, adding that Local 481 has a diverse membership, in manufacturing, telecommunications and working in motor and sign shops. "He brought me in and I serviced the non-construction side, which he told me would help me in the long run, to learn the different branches. It expanded my knowledge."

As international representative, Ruhmkorff initially worked under then-Vice President James P. Conway, servicing local unions in every branch of the Brotherhood. "He thought it would be best for me and best for the IBEW to get more exposure to the different branches. In my years of servicing, I negotiated contracts in every sector."

From the late 1980s through the early 1990s, Ruhmkorff served as an appointee to the Indianapolis Labor Advisory Committee, composed of labor leaders from different local unions who met monthly with the mayor to discuss issues of concern.

He was a charter member of the Labor Institute for Training, an organization of the state labor federation that worked to assist displaced workers find training and education for new careers following plant closings.

Ruhmkorff sat on the executive board of the Indiana State Building Trades and was secretary-treasurer of the IBEW's Indiana state conference.

He has served the IBEW on the international level as secretary to the finance committee at the 34th convention in 1991 in St. Louis as well as a panel member of the Council on Industrial Relations. He was a delegate to the 20th constitutional convention of the AFL-CIO.

Ruhmkorff expressed gratitude for International President Stephenson's confidence.

"I owe him a lot," Ruhmkorff said. "Because he had enough confidence in my abilities, I was able to grow and gain a larger understanding of what IBEW leadership involves. I am deeply honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the Sixth District vice president."

On behalf of the officers, the staff and members of the IBEW wish Brother Ruhmkorff much success in his new position.


David J. Ruhmkorff