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July/August 2004 IBEW Journal


Glenda Thomason

IBEW International Office Personnel Director Glenda G. Thomason retires this summer after a pioneering quarter-century in the labor movement. Her retirement is effective August 1, 2004.

Sister Thomason was initiated into IBEW Local 396 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1979 as an employee of Nevada Power Company. She started at the utility as a clerical worker, but bid into the apprentice metering electrician program. She was one of the few women to journey out in 1982. Sister Thomason worked as a field metering electrician for nine years and was involved with the administration of the union from the beginning, first serving on the safety and negotiating committees, then becoming job steward. She served as assistant business manager for more than two years.

In 1994, then-President J.J. Barry appointed her as an International Representative in the Utility Department at the International Office, where she helped spearhead the IBEW's policy response to the burgeoning electricity deregulation movement.

In 2002, Sister Thomason was promoted to Personnel Director. "It has been my privilege to serve the membership and officers of the IBEW," Sister Thomason said.  "I leave with the satisfaction of having done my best."

Sister Thomason attended Linfield College in Oregon and continued her education at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. She enjoys beach combing, sewing, rehabilitating houses and spending time with her two children and four grandchildren.

The officers, staff and members of the IBEW wish Sister Thomason a long and healthy retirement.


Jimmy G. Russ

Fifth District International Representative Jimmy G. Russ retired on July 1, 2004, after 42 years of dedicated service to the IBEW.

Brother Russ was initiated into Local 903 in Gulfport, Mississippi, on February 27, 1962. He diligently served on the local's Apprenticeship Committee and Health and Welfare Committee and as Trustee of the Pension and Vacation Fund. His extensive career included service on the NJATC, the local's COPE and Safety Committees and four years as President of the Mississippi Electrical Workers Association.

Russ served on the Local 903 Executive Board and Examining Board from 1967 to 1969. In 1971, he was elected business manager-financial secretary and served in that capacity for seven and one-half years.

Appointed to the International Staff on January 1, 1979, he served in the field for two years before his appointment as administrative assistant to then-Fifth District International Vice President Dan Waters. He later returned to the field.

Carrying his skills and experience into the area labor movement and community, Brother Russ served as both president and secretary of the Building and Construction Trades Council and as a member of the Harrison County Planning Committee and Gulfport City Licensing Board.

Brother Russ served in the United States Army Reserves from March 1959 to May 1966. He took classes at Southern Mississippi University.

A former horse trainer and president of the Southern Mississippi Horse and Rodeo Association, Brother Russ, who now resides in Wilsonville, Alabama, is looking forward to spending time with his wife, Ann, his four children and 11 grandchildren.

Brother Russ worked under three International presidents and three vice presidents during his career. "Each one moved our union forward, but now the members need to help our leaders step up our organizing efforts," says Russ. "I'm from the old school-you couldn't get in my local unless you were kin to somebody. Now those barriers are down. And that's a real good thing, because we are not a club, we're a people organization that exists to improve the lives of people, whatever their backgrounds."

The officers, staff and members of the IBEW extend congratulations to Brother Russ and his family.


Neil Tyree

More than 40 years of IBEW work in Wyoming and other Rocky Mountain states closed out July 1, 2004, with the retirement of Eighth District International Representative Erwin C. Neil Tyree.

Brother Tyree joined Local 357 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1963-soon after completing a three-year hitch in the Marine Corps-and subsequently moved his card to Local 322, Casper, Wyoming.

He began his local union service on such committees as organizing and as press secretary before becoming recording secretary of Local 322 in 1975, then was elected to the local's executive board in 1978. His extensive service to the local included a wide array of union education roles-instructing stewards, classes on internal organizing and the arbitration process and "train-the-trainer" projects to extend the reach of the local's education projects.

He was elected business manager and financial secretary of Local 322 in 1981 and served in that capacity until appointed International Representative by then-President J.J. Barry in 1989. As a District Eight International Representative, his interest in and service to union education continued, including the Wyoming Electrical JATC, the Wyoming Training Directors Association and the CIR.

He has also served on building trades and state and local AFL-CIO councils, again in union education projects like the AFL-CIO's Rocky Mountain Labor School. He has also attended Western Wyoming College.

He and his wife, Virginia, have two sons, Tim and Greg. He lists golf, hunting and fishing among his primary interests. The IBEW extends best wishes for a rewarding retirement.



Elizabeth H. Shuler

James L. Hunter


James L. Dushaw

Glenda Thomason

Jimmy G. Russ

Neil Tyree