Six New International General Executive Board Members, One Trustee Elected to Serve IATSE Membership

NASHVILLE, TN — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced the election of six new members to its International General Executive Board, Monday. This follows the retirement of six esteemed Vice Presidents, marking a significant transition in the union’s leadership.

The retiring Vice Presidents, Thomas Davis, John Ford, Phil LoCicero, Joanne M. Sanders, C. Faye Harper, and Daniel DiTolla are commended for their decades of dedicated service to the IATSE membership. Their unwavering commitment significantly contributed to the advancement of entertainment workers across North America.

“We thank the outgoing board members for their decades of service to the membership of this alliance. Their work has paved the way forward for entertainment workers across North America,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb. “Now, we welcome a new set of executive board members that are arguably the most accomplished, forward-thinking, experienced, diverse, respected, and qualified labor leaders this union has to serve behind the scenes entertainment workers across this alliance.”

The newly elected Vice Presidents, Carlos Cota, Vanessa Holtgrewe, Carl Mulert, Apple Thorne, Toni Burns, and Chris O’Donnell bring a wealth of experience and fresh perspectives to the board. Additionally, Tuia’ana Scanlan joins the board as the newest trustee to fill the vacancy left by Carlos Cota, and is poised to uphold the high standards of governance and accountability.

About the New IATSE International Officers:

Carlos Cota
Cota’s career in the entertainment and labor sectors began in 1990 as a Stagehand with IATSE Local 122, advancing to an apprenticeship in 1995 and earning the “Apprentice of the Year” award in 1996. He joined the Executive Board in 1998, serving for seven years before being elected as Business Agent in 2006, a role he held for four consecutive terms, culminating in his position as an International Representative in the IATSE Trade Show Department. During his tenure, Cota gained significant recognition in the San Diego Labor and Entertainment communities, receiving multiple awards including the “Lester J. Fluno” Outstanding Service Award and being named “Labor Leader of the Year” twice. He also holds various influential positions, including Executive Board Member roles at the San Diego Convention Center Corporation and the Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, and a Directorship at the San Diego Food Bank.

Vanessa Holtgrewe
Vanessa Holtgrewe has been an Assistant Department Director of Motion Picture and Television Production since 2014. Before that, as an International Representative since 2012, Vanessa organized non-union productions and negotiated contracts for scripted and non-scripted television and streaming projects, as well as feature film agreements.

Prior to her career with the union, she spent a decade as a Director of Photography and Camera Operator on documentary features, reality series and competition shows. Her credits include many cable and network shows, including NBC’s The Biggest Loser and The X Factor on FOX. Vanessa also serves as an executive board member of Local 600, The International Cinematographers Guild, and is a Trustee for the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan.

Carl Mulert
Carl Mulert is the National Business Agent at United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829.  He has worked in the entertainment industry for 42 years in a sustained career that has focused on supporting artists and providing better working conditions, healthcare, and a dignified retirement for those artists and their families.  He has worked for non-profits as a theatre manager and as a literary and designer’s agent prior to joining USA 829 in 2010.  From negotiating contracts across multiple industries, bolstering DEI initiatives, and organizing workers, he also serves the broader IA community through his work on the Pride Committee as well as the Pay TV and Area Standards Agreement Negotiation Committees.

Apple Thorne
Marielle “Apple” Thorne joined IATSE after voting to unionize her job at Blue Man Group in Las Vegas. She spent the next several years touring with Broadway shows, and working in the conventions and showrooms in Las Vegas. Apple currently serves as the Business Representative Local 720 in Las Vegas, and on the Executive Board for District 2.

Toni Burns
Toni Burns has been a stagehand for Local 27 in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1994. He is a second-generation stagehand. Toni started his career as a high rigger, downrigger, head flyman and rose to a union steward. Toni was elected business manager for local B27 from 2007 to the present. He is serving as an IATSE DEI member at large and a board member for Local 27 stagehands. Toni was recently elected as the 9th International Vice President in 2024.

Chris O’Donnell
Chris O’Donnell has been a member of IATSE Local 481, New England Studio Mechanics, since 1990 and the Business Manager of the Local since 2003. Chris also served on the Local’s Executive Board and as a Trustee of the Local. Before being the Business Manager, Chris worked as a location sound technician for 15 years and was also an active member of IATSE Local 695. He has been a Special International Representative in the Motion Picture & Television department since 2022.

Tuia’ana Scanlan
Hailing from the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i, Tuia’ana Scanlan (he/him) began his career with Mixed Local 665 in 2007 as a rigger and a grip. After attending the Young Workers Conference in 2012, he has served as the Local’s Executive Board Member, Vice President, District Delegate, and currently serves as the Local 665 President.

In 2023, Scanlan was appointed by Governor Josh Green, M.D. to the State Workforce Development Council, was elected to the Hawai’i State AFL-CIO Executive Board, and became a proud parent of two children with his lovely wife.

Full biographies for the new executive board members will be forthcoming at https://iatse.net/about/leadership/

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The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees or IATSE (full name: International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada), is a labor union representing over 170,000 technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live events, motion picture and television production, broadcast, and trade shows in the United States and Canada.

For more information please contact:
General: comms@iatse.net
Press: press@iatse.net


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