The Electrical Worker online
October 2020

The IBEW Remembers
International Vice President
Brian Malloy

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The officers of the IBEW are deeply saddened to announce the Aug. 22 death of Fourth District International Vice President Brian Malloy, who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer late last year. He was 60.

"The IBEW has lost a great leader far too soon," said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. "Brian loved this union and he worked so hard to help it live up to every bit of its potential. He knew that our strength was in our members, and he showed his commitment to them in everything he did at every stage of his career. He'll be dearly missed."

"Brother Malloy leaves a legacy filled with accomplishment and faithful stewardship at the local, district and international levels of the IBEW," said International Secretary-Treasurer Kenneth W. Cooper, who Malloy replaced as Fourth District IVP in 2017. "More importantly, Brian was a man who loved his family and stood by his friends, and I'm so happy to have counted myself among them. He was a great leader, a trusted friend and I truly appreciate the time that I had with him and his friendship — I will never forget him."

Brother Malloy grew up in Mount Savage, Md., a tiny blue-collar community in an Appalachian valley near the Pennsylvania border. As a senior in high school, he enrolled in a career education course and spent time on a hospital job site shadowing members of Cumberland, Md., Local 307. He applied to the apprenticeship shortly after graduating, and on his second try, he was accepted. In 1979, he was initiated into Local 307, where he went on to serve as president, assistant business manager and from 1991 to 2001 as business manager.

In 2001, he was appointed an international representative in the Fourth District, which covers Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. There, he served under three international vice presidents, always learning, always listening. "I like to listen a lot," he said when he was appointed International Vice President. "I'm more of a listener than a talker."

So, when he was asked to take the reins of the district by Stephenson in 2017, he was well-prepared. As International Vice President, he made organizing his calling card, setting ambitious goals and working hard to grow the union. He also guided contract negotiations for more than 1,400 new members at Baltimore Gas & Electric and oversaw major state legislative victories for working families in Ohio and Virginia.

"Brian and I came on as IVPs within a month of one another," said Third District International Vice President Mike Welsh. "With neighboring districts, we had a lot in common — including a connection to Cumberland where my parents grew up — and we learned on the job together and through regular conversations and occasional lunches halfway between our homes. He was just a great asset to the IBEW. In meetings, we'd always sit side-by-side, and he was always so thoughtful and really took the time to learn and understand all of the issues up for discussion.

"You might disagree with him, but he was as honest and straightforward a person as you've ever come across, and he always showed he wanted to work with you to find the best solution for the IBEW and its members," Welsh said. "He'll be missed."

But despite his responsibilities at the highest levels of the IBEW, Brother Malloy never lost a special connection with his home local.

Malloy appointed current Local 307 Business Manager Rodney Rice to his first union office, the apprenticeship committee, in 1998 and later made him a steward. Rice recalls near daily phone calls after becoming business manager when the two would talk sometimes for Malloy's entire hour-and-20-minute commute for his first several years on the job. "I didn't always want to hear what he had to say, but Brian was always clear, always fair and a straight shooter. I valued his advice so much. This is a huge loss for Local 307 and for the Fourth District."

What really sticks out for Rice was Malloy's connection to the local's membership. "For nearly 20 years after he left for the district office, Brian remembered everything about our members, who their families were, what was important to them. Until he got sick, he'd show up to funerals and memorial services. He'd see an obituary in the paper and remember whose brother or uncle it was and send it to me. He cared about people, and it showed," Rice said.

And they cared about him back, said Local 307 President, Malloy's cousin and lifelong friend, George Koontz. "He meant so much to me, but also to the members of this local. Everyone loved him, especially the retirees, and they asked about him all the time. They all wanted to know how he was doing because he'd spent so many years caring about them. He took his job very seriously, and it was because he cared so much about each and every one of them."

Former Executive Assistant to the International Secretary-Treasurer Jim Combs was Local 307's business manager in the mid-1980s when he hired Malloy to be his assistant on the recommendation of a friend. "Brian came in at a time when I really needed him, and he was great — talented, level-headed, knew when to keep quiet and listen and when to speak up. Hiring him was one of the best choices I made in my entire career."

Fourth District International Representative Gary Griffin replaced Malloy as desk representative on the district staff in 2017, where they worked closely for the last three years. But the two had been close friends for more than 25.

"Brian and I met many years ago when I went to work as a traveler while he was business manager of Local 307," Griffin said. "We became friends there in Cumberland, but our friendship really developed when he came on the district staff as the service rep for [Baltimore] Local 24. We became great friends while I was a business agent there.

"He had such a great sense of humor — very dry. He put people at ease, but he was one of the smartest IBEW guys I ever met. He absorbed everything like a sponge, but he never flaunted it or made anyone feel inferior to him." And he had a moral compass that never faltered, Griffin said. "He was just such a fair, fair guy. Brian always managed to do the right thing."

International Representative Jon Rosenberger first met Malloy in 1989 during his interview to join Local 307. The two hit it off almost immediately and became close friends — a friendship that would last three decades. Rosenberger first ran for union office around the same time Malloy became business manager, and later went on to join the staff as an organizer.

"Brian was one of the kindest, most decent people I've ever met," he said. "He was a perfect role model; the kind you wanted your kids to pattern themselves after." In fact, he said, "I watched him for years from up close, learning how to treat people and how to build a career in the IBEW by working hard on behalf of the membership and always telling it like it was. He could fit in as easily on a job site as in a board room, and he always treated everyone like they were important.

"He represented members, whether it was as business manager or international vice president, and he took that very seriously. I don't believe you could have a better advocate as a union member than Brian Malloy."

His daughter, International Representative Breana Malloy, says her father would want his illness to serve as his final act of service after a career dedicated to members of the IBEW. "My dad never had a cough; he was never sick, never short of breath. He went to the doctor regularly and never had any of the classic symptoms of lung cancer," she said. "When he was diagnosed in December, it was because he had a backache." The cancer had spread undetected to his spine. He'd been a smoker but quit a decade ago.

"The best-case scenario for lung cancer is to catch it early," she said. "A new recommendation is that anyone over 55 with a history of 'heavy smoking' should have a low-dose CT scan to check for cancer as part of their regular health check-ups. A lot of doctors don't know about this yet, but he'd want to make sure his IBEW sisters and brothers knew to ask for themselves and get screened before the cancer spreads."

Brother Malloy is survived by siblings Rae Ann and Patrick, niece Evin, his loving wife Susie, Breana and her husband Brett, and his pride and joy, grandson Carson, whom he introduced to Fourth District members at every opportunity.

Griffin recalled Malloy's first progress meeting as vice president when he got word that Breana was in labor and raced to be there for the birth of his grandson. "Family came first for Brian, and that moment showed it. But the members of the IBEW were a very close second, and we were all lucky to have him."

"My dad was the hardest-working person I know; he often put everyone else and their well-being before his own," Breana said. "He did everything 100%, which made him the best son, husband, dad, father-in-law and poppy."

The officers, staff and entire membership of the IBEW extend our deepest condolences to the Malloy family and thank them for sharing Brother Malloy with us for the last 41 years.

Brother Malloy will be succeeded by Sister Gina Cooper. More on her appointment in Transitions.



International President Lonnie R. Stephenson swore in new IVP Brian Malloy in 2017. Wife Susie and daughter Breana were there in support.


Malloy with grandson Carson, who was a fixture at Fourth District events. "Poppy was the role he enjoyed most," said daughter Breana, an international representative.