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October 2018

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Joseph A. "Tony" McCafferty

The Brotherhood is saddened to announce the death of former secretary of the International Executive Council and retired Third District International Representative Joseph A. "Tony" McCafferty.

Brother McCafferty, who died on July 17, was a 47-year member of the IBEW. He was initiated into Norristown, Pa., Local 380 in 1961 as the local was entering a banner-era of work, said retired Third District International Vice President Donald Siegel.

Businesses were escaping high city rents in Philadelphia and building offices and factories across Local 380's jurisdiction, and in 1974 construction began on two nuclear reactors at the Limerick Generating Station 25 miles northwest of the city.

"Tony's local had about 300 to 400 members in the late '60s and early '70s with as many as 1,000 travelers at times. With so much work and so many travelers, it was not uncommon for an apprentice to become a foreman in their last six months. When Limerick peaked at about 1,200 electricians, the number of travelers working in 380 increased substantially."

It was a role McCafferty did well in. "Everybody liked Tony," Siegel said.

In 1968, McCafferty joined the Montgomery County AFL-CIO Council, a position he'd hold for nearly 40 years. He joined Local 380's Executive Board in 1971, the same year he was named recording secretary. It wasn't until 1974 that he missed his first local meeting, because he was a delegate to the 1974 IBEW convention in Kansas City, Mo.

He went on staff at Local 380 as a business representative in 1981 and served until he was elected to his first term as business manager - financial secretary in 1985.

Six years later, Siegel, a new business manager himself at Reading Local 743, was asked by then-Third District International Vice President Don Funk to run McCafferty's campaign for International Executive Council.

"That was when we got to really be close. I went everywhere with him," Siegel said. "Tony was a really easy-going guy who didn't get upset about much; a team player and dedicated leader of the IBEW."

At the 34th International Convention in St. Louis, McCafferty won without a runoff in a three-way race. He was appointed secretary that same year and served on the council for 14 years, including two years after he retired as business manager of Local 380 (now amalgamated into Philadelphia Local 98.)

When he left the IEC in 2005, Siegel brought McCafferty on staff in the Third District as a temporary international representative to assist with organizing campaigns. He officially retired from the Brotherhood two years later.

"His concern was always the welfare of the IBEW," Siegel said. "He wasn't going to walk over anyone; that wasn't his way. But you could always count on Tony and his deep love of this institution."

Brother McCafferty is survived by his wife of 55 years, Eleanor, and his three children, Nora Maples; Local 98 journeyman wireman Joe McCafferty; and Dawn Hoffman, who works for Local 98's Health and Welfare Trust Fund.

On behalf of the entire IBEW membership and staff, the officers send our condolences to Brother McCafferty's family and friends.


Joseph A. "Tony" McCafferty

Tarn Goelling

Tarn Goelling was appointed director of the Civic and Community Engagement Department Aug. 1, replacing Carolyn Williams, who retired.

When Goelling was initiated into Washington, D.C., Local 26 in 2006, she thought she'd start her own business after topping out, maybe focus on green building. But that's not what happened.

"I realized there was this universe of the labor movement that I didn't know existed before," Goelling said. "It was addictive."

It didn't take long for Goelling, who was born in Thailand, to become active in her local, joining the Electrical Workers Minority Caucus and the young workers club. She also joined AFL-CIO-affiliated organizations like the Asian Pacific-American Labor Alliance; Pride at Work, which focuses on LGBT issues; and the Coalition of Labor Union Women.

Goelling also taught classes in alternative energy, motor repair and boot camp. Her engagement led her to long conversations with Local 26 Vice President Larry Greenhill, Sr. about politics, activism and labor issues, to name a few.

"We gravitated toward one another," Greenhill said. "She's a people person like me. I have nothing but applause for her."

The more Goelling got involved, the more she saw the benefits the union offered.

"I loved helping my brothers and sisters," she said. "I thought I'd be at the local for the rest of my career."

It wasn't long, though, before the International Office called. In 2013, Goelling was appointed international representative to a new role in the Civic and Community Engagement Department, where she helped grow Reach Out and Engage Next-gen Electrical Workers, an initiative that focuses on younger IBEW members.

From there she moved to the Political Department in 2015, where she led grassroots organizing efforts. Then, when Williams announced her retirement, Goelling saw an opportunity to return to her original terrain.

"My roots are here," Goelling said of her new post.

Goelling says she wants to bring her grassroots political experience to her new role and work with all constituency groups to give them the support and training they need, and to make sure they know that the international office is here to help.

"It's about helping our members become the activists they want to be," Goelling said. "There's a lot of energy out there. They want to be more active, they just don't always know what options are available. That's really exciting for me."

Goelling says she wants to continue the work of her predecessors, work that includes the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the Women's Committee, which came out of resolutions passed at the International Convention in 2016, as well as RENEW/NextGen.

"The Civic and Community Engagement Department director is a challenging position," Greenhill said. "But Tarn is a smart and personable young woman. I think she'll do us good. I'm delighted she was chosen."

Another goal of Goelling's is to help the Brotherhood be allies for one another, to welcome the multitude of identities in the union while also recognizing the shared distinction of being an IBEW member. She recognizes that building these bridges will require a lot of work, and a lot of difficult conversations, but in the end, she says, it will be worth it.

"I want to get to a million strong," Goelling said. "The Civic and Community Engagement Department will play a really big role in that. That's how we get to a place of higher understanding."


Tarn Goelling

Arthur Perry Jr.

Retired Telecommunications Director Art Perry, who led the department through uncertain times following the breakup of AT&T, died July 21 at his home in Calabash, N.C. He was 85.

A native of Trenton, N.J., Brother Perry served four years in the U.S. Navy before being hired by New Jersey Telephone. He was initiated into Newark, N.J., Local 827 (now based in East Windsor, N.J.) in 1955. He was elected to its executive board in 1962 and as president and business manager in 1974.

As business manager, Perry oversaw the construction of Local 827's offices off the New Jersey Turnpike. Putting them in a highly visible location increased the profile of the IBEW and Local 827 throughout the state, said retired Third District International Representative John Amodeo, a former Local 827 vice president.

Local 827 members didn't receive IBEW representation until 1954 and Perry "wanted that IBEW name big and bold on the New Jersey Turnpike," Amodeo said.

"That was Art's baby," he said. "He took on that vision."

Perry also was chairman of System Council TCC-1 — often referred to as the National Bell Council — and was chairman of the IBEW's AT&T National Bargaining Committee. During the 1977 negotiations, he pushed for the Savings and Security Plan, in which the company would match a portion of IBEW members' contributions.

AT&T agreed, and while some of the terms have changed due to disruption in the telecommunications industry, the plan remains in effect to this day.

"To me, Art was the most dynamic and progressive leader in the union movement at the time," said Denis Cardone, president of the Scarborough Alliance Group, the plan's administrator from the beginning. "He really, really cared for the members and he pushed hard to get the best deal possible. I know before he dealt with us, he did a lot of due diligence to make sure what we promised was true."

Mary Ann Van Meter, former business manager of Philadelphia Local 1944 (which amalgamated into Local 827 in 2015), first met Perry at the 1962 International Convention in Montreal. She later worked for him as an international representative in the Telecommunications Department and remained a friend until his death.

"Art had great leadership skills," said Van Meter, who also served as Journal (now Media) Director before retiring in 1995. "He wasn't bashful to ask someone for help. If someone knew something more than he did, he wasn't ashamed to say, 'Buddy, can you help me out?'"

Perry moved to Washington, D.C., in 1981 when he was named an international representative. He was promoted to telecommunications director in March 1983 — just nine months before AT&T was required to turn its monopoly of local phone service throughout the United States over to seven newly-formed regional companies.

It was an anxious time for telecommunications unions, which now had to protect members' interests in a new environment.

"He did a lot of work on that not only with the companies, but legislatively," said Bill Davis, an international representative who later succeeded Perry as telecommunications director. "We were quite active up on [Capitol] Hill making sure our members' benefits and pensions were protected."

Despite all the changes in the industry, the telecommunications branch added about 6,000 new members during Perry's tenure, which ended with his retirement in 1995.

"Art had lots of integrity," Van Meter said. "If he said he was going to do something, he did it. He was not going to string you along."

Brother Perry was a graduate of Rutgers University's Union Leadership Academy and was one of the most active members of IROAR, the International Retired Officers and Representatives of the IBEW. He moved to North Carolina following his retirement and volunteered in several local organizations, notably being named Brunswick County's Volunteer of the Year in 2005 for his work with groups involved in aging adults' care.

That was no surprise to Amodeo, who remembered once stopping for gas along the New Jersey Turnpike with him. Perry slipped the station attendant an extra $20 because it was obvious the man was going through a difficult period.

"Art did things like that all the time," Amodeo said. "He really cared for people who didn't have a voice."

Perry had been in failing health since suffering a serious leg infection during knee-replacement surgery two years ago. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Eloise Steward Perry, along with three sons, two stepdaughters and a stepson, 17 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

"Art was a good man," said current Telecommunications Director Martha Pultar. "He worked hard through the breakup of the Bell system to secure jobs for our members."

The IBEW's grateful officers and staff send their condolences to Brother Perry's family and many friends during this difficult time.


Arthur Perry Jr.

James Ayrer

International Representative James Ayrer retired, effective July 1.

"Jim is probably the nicest person you'll ever meet," said Education Department Director Amanda Pacheco, who's known Ayrer for over a decade. "He's true to his family, true to his union and true to working people."

An inside wireman initiated into Williamsport, Pa., Local 812 in Sept. 1986, Ayrer credits then-Business Manager Larry Neidig, Jr. with getting him into the union by organizing Ayrer's shop.

He soon rose through the ranks, serving as recording secretary in 1992 as well as an apprentice instructor. In 2002, Ayrer was asked to take over as business manager when his predecessor took a position with the National Electrical Contractors Association. Ayrer was re-elected twice afterward.

In 2006, then-International President Edwin D. Hill appointed Ayrer an international representative in the Education Department. His main role was to develop the new business manager training, a task that took him on the road for up to 22 weeks of the year alongside Pacheco.

"We were tool buddies," Pacheco said of their time traveling together. "He's the best brother you could have on your side."

Brother Ayrer is laid-back, Pacheco said. Things don't really ruffle him. He does, however, leave a fashionable impression, she said.

"Definitely the best dressed. He's super dapper," Pacheco said of Ayrer's clothing style. "People would stop him in the street and say, 'You're looking sharp today!'"

Ayrer could also be counted on for his political activism, Pacheco said.

"He was always writing letters to the editor in his community," she said. "He'd address any attack on working people and unions."

In 2010, Brother Ayrer moved to the Construction Department to assist in the startup of its business development arm, which focuses on organizing from the contractor side.

"Jim was always available and genuinely interested in helping others, just doing whatever he could to help the IBEW and its membership," said Ed Hill, Jr., an international representative who worked with Ayrer on business development. "He was instrumental in helping me and the others who joined the department during that time."

After four years there, Ayrer returned to Education, where he conducted trainings with rank-and-file members for positions including business manager and steward in his home region, which encompassed Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

"He's a great presenter. People responded really well to him," Pacheco said. "He was seen as a trusted voice of the IBEW."

Ayrer says he's enjoying spending more time with his family now that he's retired and is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his first grandchild, due in December.

"There's always rest and relaxation, too, but family is most important," Ayrer said.

He does, however, miss his IBEW family.

"The highlights of my career are all the great people I've worked with and the relationships that were formed, in both the U.S. and Canada," Ayrer said.

"A special shout out to Director Pacheco, the education team, the officers of the IBEW, everyone who helped me through my career, and Larry Neidig for giving me my shot in Local 812 back in 1986," Ayrer said. "It doesn't seem that long ago, but that just means I had fun."


James Ayrer