The Electrical Worker online
January 2023

From the Officers
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Thank You, Brother

I am so honored to serve as your new international president. It has been the privilege of my life to work for this union in whatever capacity was called for, from steward all the way to president, and I promise you that I will always put our members and their families first.

I plan to talk more about my vision for the IBEW in the next month's Electrical Worker, but I want to take this time to thank my partner and tool buddy, Lonnie Stephenson.

There is no better sign of an effective leader than when they leave things better than they found them.

And Lonnie has left the IBEW bigger, stronger, more diverse and more influential than it was seven years ago.

From the day he first came to Washington, he put organizing at the center of everything the IBEW did. The results speak for themselves: Nearly seven years of consistent growth and the most "A" members in our history.

And we are organizing not just harder but smarter, thanks to his investments into up-to-date technology for the Membership Development Department.

Thanks to his dedication to the Code of Excellence, our union is deeply respected both on the worksite and in the boardrooms of some of North America's biggest companies, creating tens of millions of dollars of work for IBEW members.

And because of his commitment to implementing the IBEW Strong program, diversity, equity and inclusion are now at the top of every local's agenda. And that's bringing more women and people of color into the IBEW than ever before.

Lonnie was always clear that the IBEW was never about one person. It's always been a group effort, and he built an incredible team from the field to the International Office that will continue to ensure a bright future for our union.

I can't thank him enough for inviting me to join his team and serve with him over these past 5 1/2 years as secretary-treasurer.

For me, Lonnie is more than just a co-worker. He's a good friend and a wise leader, and I will miss our daily talks.

But knowing Lonnie as well as I do, I know he won't be a stranger. Once you get the IBEW in your blood, it is there for life.

Here's to a long and enjoyable retirement. On behalf of the officers and staff of the IBEW, thanks for everything you've done for our union, Lonnie.


Also: Stephenson: A Lifetime of Gratitude Read Stephenson's Column

Kenneth W. Cooper

Kenneth W. Cooper
International Secretary-Treasurer