The Electrical Worker online
January 2023

index.html Home    print Print    email Email

Go to
Jeff Miller

IBEW Accounting Department Director Jeff Miller retired Jan. 1 after three decades of dedicated service at the International Office in Washington, D.C.

Brother Miller began his IBEW career in 1994. He came to the Accounting Department as a manager after many years in the public accounting field as a certified public accountant. A year later, he became the director. In 2010, he was also appointed to the position of international representative by then-International President Edwin D. Hill.

"He's seen everything," said Mark Cerulla, who replaced Miller as department director. "Jeff is extremely knowledgeable and brought a lot of industry knowledge with him."

Miller served in many capacities throughout his years advising the IBEW officers on operations and financial decisions.

"I was honored to be at the table during important decisions and worked to implement the programs that affected the IBEW and its members," he said.

A member of Washington, D.C., Local 121, Brother Miller served under seven international secretary-treasurers, directly responsible for the financial controls and reporting to the IBEW leadership.

"I always took seriously my responsibilities as a vital part of running a large international union and gave the officers the timely information they needed to lead the IBEW forward," Miller said.

In retirement, he says he looks forward to more quality time with his family and traveling.

On behalf of the officers and staff of the IBEW, we wish Brother Miller a long and happy retirement for his many years of service.


Jeff Miller

Mark Cerulla

Mark Cerulla, who worked with the IBEW for years as comptroller at the Electrical Training Alliance, has moved to the union's staff as head of the Accounting Department.

Newly retired Accounting Department Director Jeff Miller, who held the job since 1994, began training Cerulla in October to ensure a smooth transition.

"Mark has stepped in full speed and has been picking up the responsibilities quickly," Miller said. "His background and experience have been and will be a great addition to the department and the IBEW as a whole. He will take the department to new levels, and I feel good about leaving it in his hands."

A lifelong Marylander, Cerulla graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Maryland in 1995. He was hired as a senior accountant at the Electrical Training Alliance the following January and promoted to comptroller four years later. In addition to those duties, he was named director of operations in 2011.

Cerulla's aptitude for accounting came as a surprise to him as a young adult. Growing up, the only numbers that interested him were on a scoreboard.

A star guard on his high school's basketball team, he went on to practice with pros from the Washington Bullets — now the Wizards — and followed friends into Europe's semipro leagues, playing in Portugal. At 6'4" tall, he said, "I was the second shortest on the team."

When he returned home, he started a landscaping business and signed up for an accounting class.

"When I took that class, it kind of clicked," Cerulla said. "It seemed like second nature to me, the math and numbers and organization of it."

Cerulla will lead a staff of six who oversee the IBEW's financial operations and prepare the annual audit. "We reconcile all the money that comes in and goes out," he said, listing some of the department's myriad duties.

Saying he's "huge into technology," he's excited about the evolving ways it can create efficiencies and assist staff. "I'm going to learn all that it can do and put that to use," he said. "We'll take a fresh look at how we gather and process our numbers."

While leaving a job he loved was a tough decision, Cerulla said he's been bowled over by the IBEW's warm welcome.

"I feel like I left one family for another family," he said. "It's been a nice transition."


Mark Cerulla

Adrian Sauceda

Adrian Sauceda, who's been organizing with the IBEW for nearly 20 years, has been assigned to be director of inside construction organizing in the Membership Development Department, effective Nov. 1.

"Adrian has a caring and creative mind, and he brings fresh ideas and concepts to the team every day," said Assistant to the International President for Membership Development Jammi Ouellette. "We are extremely lucky to have someone of his caliber on the team."

Born and raised in Houston, Sauceda joined Local 716 right out of high school. He topped out in 2000 as a journeyman wireman and says he would have been content to stay in that career, but others got him involved in the union, attending meetings and even serving as a steward.

"It's why I'm such a big proponent of mentoring," Sauceda said. "Because my own mentors and other people saw potential in me and helped me get to where I am today."

In 2003, Sauceda was hired on as an organizer at Local 716 by then-Business Manager John Easton. Easton now serves as an international representative in the IBEW's Seventh District.

"John went out on a limb for me. He saw something in me," said Sauceda, who's a first-generation IBEW member. "He told me that he wanted someone young and bilingual. He believed that you needed to look like the people you were organizing, and about 80% of construction sites in Texas are Latino."

Sauceda, who is the first Latino director of inside construction organizing, came to the International Office in 2015 as an international representative who split his time between the Manufacturing and Membership Development Departments. He then moved exclusively to Membership Development in 2017. And while he misses being on the tools, he says nothing compares to organizing.

"We change people's lives with organizing," Sauceda said. "It's addicting. Once you change someone's life for the better, you want to do it for everybody. It's like I found my calling."

Among Sauceda's accomplishments is the organizing tool Action Builder, which he worked with the AFL-CIO to develop.

"Adrian is one of the foremost experts on the AFL-CIO's cutting-edge tool Action Builder," Ouellette said.

Action Builder builds on other organizing tools but is designed specifically for labor and puts everything an organizer needs in one shared database that can be accessed from a person's phone or other device. It keeps track of everything, not just people but employers, permits and whatever else might come up.

"I just used my own real-life organizing experience," Sauceda said. "It's what I would've wanted in the field to make my job easier. I used to carry around a bunch of binders. Now it's all at my fingertips."

Sauceda says Action Builder has exploded across the field and now has about 1,200 IBEW users in the U.S. and Canada.

As for what he hopes to accomplish in his new role, Sauceda says that he sees the IBEW's current challenge as its opportunity.

"With a labor-friendly administration in the White House, some mega projects on the horizon and our IBEW leadership focused on organizing, there's a big opportunity to grow the IBEW," he said. "We have to meet the manpower demands. It's exciting and it's motivating. I see it as a tough but good challenge to have, and I'm proud to be a part of it."


Adrian Sauceda

Miller Ross Hudson

Retired Tenth District International Representative Miller Ross Hudson, a passionate advocate for the IBEW and all unions in the South, died in Joelton, Tenn., on Oct. 29. He was 77.

Brother Hudson, who went by his middle name, was raised by a single mother on Nashville's East Side. He served as a Navy Seabee for 18 months during the Vietnam War before returning to the Music City, where he became a member of Nashville Local 429 in 1965 and topped out as an inside wireman four years later.

Mike Hudson, one of Ross' three sons, said his father had an opportunity to attend college because of his athletic ability. But he decided on another path after watching his mother fight to provide for him and his three brothers.

"He told me he went into the trades because he would never be poor," said Mike Hudson, a graduate of Local 429's apprenticeship program who now works at Nashville International Airport and installs home entertainment systems. "He would always have something to fall back on and that people needed."

The elder Hudson got involved in his local union almost immediately, serving in various positions. He was elected business manager in 1975, just short of his 30th birthday, making him Local 429's youngest-ever business manager. He was reelected once before being brought on to the then-Twelfth District staff in 1981, where he served as an international representative until his retirement in 2003. (Tennessee became part of the current Tenth District after a legislative realignment in 1998.)

Brother Hudson served as a service representative to IBEW local unions in all branches. Mike Hudson noted that it wasn't the easiest time to do it. Not only was the South an area that was historically hostile toward unions, but the federal government during the Reagan administration was becoming increasingly hostile toward them, too.

"He let everyone know that unions were a great thing when everyone was saying they were a bad thing," he said. "They allowed you to put food on your table. You might go home tired and dirty at the end of the day, but you have a way of life."

Bobby Emery, who later served as a Local 429 business manager, has known Hudson nearly his entire life. Hudson was a close friend of Emery's father, also a Local 429 member.

Even in retirement, Hudson was quick to help at Local 429. Emery said he was especially valuable on arbitration and grievance cases, helping members who were unfairly disciplined win back lost wages and other benefits.

"Ross was very giving, very kind," said Emery, who now works for Rosendin Electric, a longtime IBEW signatory contractor. "He was always wanting to help people provide a better life for themselves. He was very dedicated to standing up for people who couldn't quite stand up for themselves — not just in the IBEW, but all the building trades."

In addition to his IBEW duties, Brother Hudson served as president of the Nashville Central Labor Council. He was a member of the Tennessee Prevailing Wage Commission and Metro Nashville Building Trades Appeals Board. He also was a longtime member of the Shriners.

In retirement, he enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid fan of the NFL's Tennessee Titans and Vanderbilt University's football team. He enjoyed talking politics and remained a loyal Democrat until his death. He also was a self-confessed prankster who enjoyed having a good time.

"He was so jovial, and it was really later in life where I saw that," Emery said. "He was always so happy and had a crooked little smile like he was up to something. But he was a great guy who would give you the shirt off his back. If he cared about you, there was nothing he wouldn't do for you."

Besides his son Mike, Hudson is survived by his wife of 37 years, Sandra; sons Jeff and Mark; stepsons Carroll and James Moore; and five grandchildren. Scott Hudson is employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority and is a member of New Johnsonville, Tenn., Local 1749.

The officers and staff send their condolences to Brother Hudson's family and loved ones during this difficult time.


Miller Ross Hudson

James G. Stuart

Retired Fifth District International Representative James Stuart, who remained as active through 25 years of retirement as he had been during his 51-year IBEW career, died on Nov. 10. He was 94.

In 1945, shortly after his graduation from Mary Persons High School, Stuart went to work for Georgia Power, working first at the Arkwright Plant and later at the Plant Harley Branch. He was initiated into Macon Local 896 in 1946.

Stuart's career in the electrical trades was put on hold, however, when he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. From 1950 to 1953, he was a member of the 27th Infantry Regiment in the Army's 25th Infantry Division.

A story in the Monroe County Reporter noted that Stuart was wounded twice while he was fighting overseas — first, by a hand-grenade booby trap, and then later, by a 50-caliber machine gun hit. He was awarded Purple Hearts for each incident.

After recovering from his injuries and returning stateside, Stuart resumed his work as an IBEW activist in Macon, serving on Local 896's safety and negotiations committees and joining its executive board in 1954. Three years later, he became vice president, and then, in 1957, he began an 11-year run as business manager.

Stuart also served on the Macon Federation of Trades and Labor Council, and he was a member of the committee that managed the pensions of IBEW members who worked for the Southern Company.

In 1968, then-International President Charles Pillard appointed Stuart as an international representative for the union's Fifth District, which services members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Puerto Rico. Stuart's first year in this role was spent working on the temporary organizing staff in Louisiana and Texas as part of the IBEW's Gulf States Organizing Campaign. (Shortly after Stuart's appointment as an international representative, Local 896 merged with Atlanta Local 84.)

"He did have a big hand in organizing at the local," said retired Local 84 Assistant Business Manager Mark Spivey, who came to know Stuart well after Stuart's appointment as international representative. "He was real easygoing; he could talk you into doing almost anything."

When Stuart was home from district work on weekends, he raised hybrid tea roses. His family wrote that he would often give away vegetables he grew at home and would plow patches for people who wanted a garden of their own. "He really loved to garden," said Spivey, remembering his friend fondly.

Throughout his life, Stuart was active in several organizations, such as Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Woodmen of the World and Habitat for Humanity.

He was also busy politically, having worked on candidates' campaigns with the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party of Georgia as well as chairing Monroe County's Democratic Committee.

A devout Baptist, Stuart was a leader in his local church, serving as a deacon and singing in the choir, and he also worked with Gideons International.

Even in his down time, he could scarcely sit still, enjoying baseball, football, quail hunting and golf.

"You almost never caught him in a bad way," said Spivey — noting, however, that Stuart was an effective leader who could be stern when he needed to be.

Following Stuart's retirement from the IBEW in 1997, he became active with Georgia Power Ambassadors; the Lions, Kiwanis and Exchange clubs; the American Legion; and Meals on Wheels.

Stuart's family wrote in his obituary that he even made himself available to drive people to dialysis and cancer treatments.

"He was big time in his community," Spivey said. "Anybody needed help, he was there. I think it was his life's hobby" to do that, he said.

People noticed. Stuart's obituary notes that, in 2004, he was named a "Straight from the Heart" honoree by Macon's WMAZ-TV. He was awarded a plaque by the Central Georgia Council Ocmulgee District of the Boy Scouts of America in 2014, and, in 2017, the Monroe County Chamber of Commerce named him "Citizen of the Year."

The Reporter wrote that, most recently, Stuart led efforts to place a memorial to Monroe County military veterans near the county courthouse.

Stuart is survived by his wife of 71 years, Evelyn, as well as four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Please join the entire IBEW membership in sending condolences and best wishes to Stuart's family during this difficult time.


James G. Stuart