For “tireless efforts to rally fellow union members for conservation,” the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance honored Washington, D.C., Local 26 Business Manager George Hogan this spring for accomplishments that include restoring a popular Potomac River fishing pier.
| George Hogan, left, AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, center, and Vance Ayer, an Elevator Constructors Local 10 business agent, on the restored pier beneath the Woodrow Wilson Bridge connecting Virginia and Maryland.
Executive Director Scott Vance presented Hogan with its 2018 IBEW Conservation Steward of the Year Award at the Construction and Maintenance Conference in April. The award honors exceptional volunteers from each of USA’s charter unions who donate their time and skills in the preservation of North America’s outdoor heritage.
Hogan, a fourth-generation IBEW member, raised funds and enlisted more than 100 highly-skilled volunteers last fall to repair the decaying Jones Point Park fishing pier on the Potomac River in Alexandria, Va. It marked USA’s 100th Work Boots on the Ground project, a program which last year alone provided skilled labor for 27 conservation infrastructure projects in 15 states.
The award also recognizes Hogan’s leadership roles in events that support USA’s good works. Those include chairing the Capital Area Conservation Dinner the past two years, assisted by Local 26 Business Agent Rich Murphy. One of USA’s most successful fundraisers, the dinner helped pay for timber and other materials to restore the pier.
“George Hogan exemplifies the spirit, hard work and solidarity that makes us stronger together and helps us change lives through our mission,” Vance said in presenting the award.
Accepting it, Hogan recalled helping eager children learn to fish the day the pier reopened. “Some of these kids had never held a rod or caught a fish. We taught them a little about fishing and they were super elated,” he said to a ballroom filled with IBEW members. “If you’re not involved with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, get involved because it’s the greatest thing we have ever gotten involved with.”
Local 26 electricians and other building trades volunteers – including brick layers, stone masons, elevator constructors and steel workers -- rebuilt the pier and made it compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act regulations over six weekends last September and October.
“It’s been a combined trade effort to replace this well-used pier and give it back to community,” Hogan said in October. “I guarantee you could probably drive a tank on it with no problem.”