LOS ANGELES, CA — Ninth International Vice President William Gearns announced that he would step down from the General Executive Board and retire from his position as Director of the Trade Show and Display Work Department on February 1, 2018, at the IATSE General Executive Board Meeting in Los Angeles.
International President Matthew Loeb promoted International Representative Joanne M. Sanders to Director of the Tradeshow Department. The General Executive Board then unanimously elected her to the board. She will serve as 13th International Vice President.
“The General Executive Board is excited to welcome Joanne Sanders as Thirteenth International Vice President. She has proved again and again how valuable organizing-driven strategic thinking can be for our union. I know she’ll be an invaluable Executive Board member,” said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. “Bill Gearns has been a powerful force in our union, and the IATSE Executive Board will miss his leadership. He has guided the Trade Show Department since its creation, creating corporate campaigns that changed the way we negotiate with companies in the trade show industry.”
“The most gratifying part of the last fifty years has been working with hundreds of officers and members of local unions to conduct campaigns and negotiate contracts, and knowing that I played some small part in changing a lot of people’s lives for the better,” said outgoing International Vice President William Gearns. “I’d like to thank the International Representatives who have worked with me in the Trade Show Department, and I wish Joanne the best of luck.”
William Gearns has served as a member of the Executive Board since February of 2012. Gearns, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, started his career as a stagehand in IATSE Local 30, and has been a member of the IATSE for fifty years. He became an International Representative in 1988, and was appointed to lead the newly created Trade Show and Display Work Department in 2000. Through his efforts and dedication, the IATSE has made great strides to provide the best possible representation to those working in that aspect of the industry.
Joanne M. Sanders is an International Representative for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, representing workers in the entertainment industry. Joanne is a member of IATSE Locals 30 and 893, serving as Business Representative of 893. She is a delegate to the Indiana AFL-CIO, and is Financial Secretary-Treasurer of the Central Indiana AFL-CIO and the Hoosier Heartland Area Labor Federation. Over the past twenty years, Joanne has been instrumental in advocating for workers’ rights, women’s issues and overall civil rights. She organized the Central Indiana Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and served as Indiana’s CLUW State Vice President for seven years. She was elected as CLUW National Secretary in September 2017.