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August 2021

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Greg Logan

After 40 years in the IBEW, Eleventh District International Representative Greg Logan retired at the end of June.

Logan started his apprenticeship in 1981 and joined St. Joseph, Mo., Local 545 a year later, right as the economy cratered. Unimaginable now, he was laid off as an apprentice, along with more than two-thirds of the local. He topped out in 1985, and, he says, it wasn't a month before he was asked to sit on the apprenticeship committee.

"My brothers and I volunteered for everything. It was the way my dad did it: 'This is your union. You help out,'" Logan said.

Logan's father, Martin, was president of the local in the 1950s then left the trade for a few years, but he kept his membership and returned in 1975 before his retirement in 1982. Logan's brothers served multiple terms on the Executive Board, and he joined them, first in 1986 and, in 1989, was re-elected and made chairman.

At the time, Logan said he was an organizing skeptic, a view held by much of the membership. They all had reasons, Logan said, some better than others.

The 1987 Membership Development Conference in Las Vegas changed everything.

"I came to find out I was wrong," he said with a laugh. "That's all it took: one conference and I could see us in big trouble if we didn't organize."

The message that convinced him wasn't complex. It was simply that the IBEW would be better off with more people in it than outside.

"If a jurisdiction is 80% IBEW, we dictate what goes on: Better wages, benefits and working conditions for our members," he said.

Standing in front of the folks who elected him and admitting he was wrong was hard, he said, but it was a small price to pay, and he jumped into organizing with both feet. In 1989, Logan was hired by then-Business Manager Charlie Castle as the local's organizer, a role he held on and off until 1995, when he was elected business manager.

As the opposition to his organizing efforts got louder, his father gave him some advice.

"My dad told me when I was getting hell, 'What makes them think that they shouldn't be members? When I started there was no apprenticeship. Organizing was the only way we got members, and we were at our strongest,'" Logan said. "He said, 'Just keep pushing.'"

Logan took some things for granted in his reelection, he said, and lost. It was 1998, and after almost a decade in the hall, he went back to the tools.

"There is nothing nobler in life than helping working people get the salary and benefits they deserve, but I love working with the tools and was happy to get back to it," Logan said. "The best part of the job was just being out there with your brothers and sisters and seeing what you got done each day."

He still volunteered as an instructor two nights a week, and that would have been enough, he said. But although the brother who replaced him was very capable, Logan said, they just had different visions for the local.

"I swear if it weren't for [International Presidents] Barry, Hill and now Stephenson making organizing our focus, I think this brotherhood would be lost," he said.

In 2001, "I ran like I was losing," and that is how he says he won that and two more terms as business manager until International President Ed Hill appointed him an Eleventh District international representative in 2010.

Logan said what he loved about being a business manager was still a part of the new job servicing locals.

"It's like being a bartender: sometimes you're a friend, sometimes a preacher, sometimes a psychologist and sometimes you got to be a dad and say, 'Dude, you will not be able to keep a job if you keep on like this,'" he said.

"I am with the folks who love the day-to-day stuff. Sure, you want to leave the local better off than when you got it. But the day-to-day stuff and helping people is all I ever wanted to do," he said.

There is one highlight that stuck out, when he handed his father his 70-year pin with his brothers and a nephew, all members, in attendance. A year later, Martin Logan died.

"It was a moment among many to be grateful for," he said.

Logan retires with that greatest of treasures for a man who spent so many days away from home: a 40-year marriage with kids close by and an armful of grandkids.

"It was nothing to be gone three, four nights a week. Connie made it so I could have this career. We stayed married because she held it down. She is pretty great," he said.

Please join the officers in wishing Connie and Brother Logan a long and healthy retirement.


Greg Logan

Johnny Simpson

Johnny Simpson, the Ninth District's first international representative assigned exclusively to focus on gaining renewable energy work for IBEW members, retired effective July 1.

Simpson was born in Hobbs, N.M., a small town near the state's southeast border with Texas. "My grandpa was both an IBEW lineman and a Teamster," Simpson said. "He died before I was born. Dad was an inside wireman in New Mexico." His father moved his family around the Southwest following work for a while, Simpson said, "but when we got to L.A., Mom said, 'Enough.'"

The family eventually settled in San Diego, where Simpson attended Kearny High School. After graduating, he took some college courses and worked various construction jobs. But as the son and grandson of IBEW members, "there was never any doubt that I would go into the trade," Simpson said. "My dad had a really good life, and the IBEW is a proud tradition."

Sure enough, Simpson started an apprenticeship with San Diego Local 569 in 1977 and he was initiated into the local a year later.

Once Simpson completed his apprenticeship, "I followed the sun and bummed around," he said, following the example of his father's younger years when it came to looking for work. He found employment at the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon nuclear power plants, among other gigs, before finally settling down to work in San Diego for good.

He hadn't planned to become a union activist until he spoke up and said something at a union meeting. "I don't remember what it was that I said, but someone said to me, 'Instead of complaining, why don't you run for office?'" Simpson took that advice and wound up successfully running in 1986 for the first of three consecutive terms on Local 569's Executive Board.

In 1992, two months into his third term, he was asked to come on staff as an organizer, Simpson said. "We had lots of organizing wins and lots of friends were brought into the union."

Simpson held that position until 2004, when he became Local 569's assistant business manager. During his time with the local, he also served terms as president of the San Diego Building Trades Council, on the Executive Board of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, and as vice president of National City Parks Apartments, a low- to moderate-income community owned by the California AFL-CIO.

In 2010, Simpson was elected business manager of Local 569, an office he held until International President Lonnie R. Stephenson, on Ninth District International Vice President John O'Rourke's recommendation, appointed him in 2016 as an international representative in the district office.

"He's an old and dear friend, and when I was able to create a position that dealt directly with green energy jobs, Johnny took it and ran with it," O'Rourke said. "Jurisdictional issues, jobsite or developer issues — countless times, Johnny would say, 'Let me see what I can do,' and he just took care of it."

"He's extremely calm in the way he takes a task and meets with principals," said Ninth District International Representative Dominic Nolan. "Johnny gets through it in an agreeable manner — makes a couple phone calls, taps some shoulders, and it's solved."

"For me, it was about thinking outside the box," Simpson said. "There's always a way forward."

"It's been an incredible run for Johnny," O'Rourke said. "We're all friends, truly family, in this office. I miss him already."

Simpson's replacement, former Local 569 environmental organizer Micah Mitrosky, said she valued her predecessor's friendship and mentorship. "Johnny's a true leader who lifts everybody up around him," Mitrosky said. "He's a really progressive leader with an eye to the future, on the cutting edge of clean energy jobs while making sure those jobs were union jobs that put IBEW members to work.

"Johnny's very skilled at working with partners to get a win-win everyone can be proud of," she said. "He never worried about who gets the credit for it."

Simpson said one of the biggest accomplishments during his time in the district office was the multi-trade solar agreement O'Rourke assigned Nolan and him to work on. "Since then, we've worked over 65-million-man hours on solar, with 65% of the work being done by IBEW members."

He also worked out an agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric that became the basis for agreements with multiple California utilities to recognize and use the IBEW-developed Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program, which provides training and certification for electricians installing electric vehicle supply equipment and is taught at IBEW training centers across the country.

Although he is retiring from the IBEW, Simpson said he has two more years remaining on a term with the California Contractors State Licensing Board.

"I'll also sit on some advisory boards in San Diego and play some golf with IBEW buddies I've known since our apprenticeships," he said. He plans to spend as much time as he can with his wife, Xema, who also remains active with various concerns around the area, as well as with his son, Cody — also a Local 569 member — and his family and, when able, with his daughter, Alex, who lives with her family in Montana.

"I'm a workaholic, so letting go is hard for me," Simpson said. "It's been the greatest honor of my life to represent IBEW members. Working around people of integrity, honor, ethics and quality made me a better person.

"It's also been kind of cool to work with your pals," he said.


Johnny Simpson

Edward C. Troy

Edward C. Troy, who retired as a Third District international representative in 1993 after 46 years with the IBEW, died March 2. He was 93.

Known as "Big Ed" to his friends and family, Troy always felt fortunate to be part of the IBEW brotherhood. He gave a shout out to his union on Twitter in 2019.

"I am a 91-year-old retired IBEW member living in a senior living community," he said. "Thanks to the union I live very comfortably."

Daughter Susanne Overton said her dad "made remarks like that all the time."

"He was not bashful about talking to people about the union," she said. "We heard it our whole lives. He shared his love of the union and how valuable he felt it was for the workers."

She said he marveled at "how someone who didn't go to college was able to do what he wanted without having to worry about money or dental and health care benefits, because it was all covered."

Troy, who was born in Port Chester, N.Y., and raised in Stamford, Conn., served in the U.S. Navy before being initiated into then-Local 501, now part of New York City Local 3.

After 20 years as a wireman, he was hired as a Local 501 business representative in 1967. Nine years later, he was plucked away by then-Third District Vice President J.J. Barry, who made Troy his assistant.

"He was a big guy, very friendly, great to be around, very loyal to the IBEW," said friend and union brother, Don Funk, who led the Third District after Barry was elected international president in 1986.

Funk, who retired in 1994, said Troy was anxious to get out of the office and serve members directly. "He generally worked in the eastern Pennsylvania area," he said. "He was an excellent representative, and also a lot of fun."

Overton described her gregarious 6-foot-6 dad as "larger than life," a sentiment echoed by people who have reached out to her since Troy's death.

"The stories that coworkers and old friends have been sharing, their interactions with Big Ed, it's a good feeling to know that he really touched a lot of people's lives," she said. "That's his legacy, the relationships he built."

But he was also meticulous about his work. Overton remembers seeing him go over blueprints at night and said he always showed up early for the next day's job.

"Way back when I was a young girl, on a Saturday, my dad would want to take a look at a jobsite and he would take me with him," she said. "He'd explain, 'here's the electrical work and here's what we have to check.'"

When he got home in the evenings, she said, "he and my mom would sit down and have a beverage and he'd share stories of his day."

The union was never far from his mind. "Matter of fact, my sister was a schoolteacher until she retired and part of the union," Overton said. "He'd give her all kinds of advice, like 'this is how you handle a grievance.'"

Above all, she said, "his biggest focus was family." He eagerly flew all over the United States to visit far-flung offspring, and once joined Overton's family for a cross-country motor home adventure.

In addition to his two daughters, he is survived by five grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and in-laws that he treated like blood relatives, said Overton's husband, Dave.

They gathered in June to celebrate Troy's life with a memorial and weeklong reunion at Lake George in upstate New York, one of his favorite summer vacation spots.

An avid golfer, Troy retired to Florida with his wife, Bernadette, who died in 1997. Ten years ago he headed west, moving to a senior community five minutes from Overton's home in Monterey, Calif.

The pandemic limited visits with family the last year of his life. But Overton and her husband were able to spend a Sunday with him at the end of February.

"We were sitting in the area of some really beautiful gardens. It was warm and sunny, we just had this wonderful afternoon together," she said.

That night, Troy fell and hit his head. He died two days later. "It was sad," she said. "But it helps to know that he lived such a good life."

The officers and staff send sincere condolences to Brother Troy's large and loving family, with gratitude for his decades of dedicated service.


Edward C. Troy