by A.J. Catoline
This month’s Installation Dinner for the Editors Guild was a bittersweet affair, with members not only greeting new Board members but also saying goodbye to two longtime Board denizens, outgoing Secretary Diane Adler, ACE, and veteran Guild presence Jeff Burman.
In one of the video interviews, National Executive Director Cathy Repola said she felt “sadness that Diane won’t be on the Board anymore.
Former National Executive Director Ron Kutak said, “Diane demonstrated how a woman can be both a professional in the craft and be a true union supporter. ”
When lights came up, Adler received resounding a standing ovation for several minutes as she came to the podium to accept her commemorative plaque.Repola addressed the solidarity in the room as the Guild gathered as a union family.
“Diane was sitting next to me, so I watched her watch the video,” said Repola. “The immense surprise, humbleness and joy was so apparent in her face and her eyes. She moved me and many of us to tears.”
“Being a union member and an activist, my desire has been to make our members’ work experience better and better,” Burman told the crowd. “I know that many members are quick to say our benefits and working conditions aren’t good enough. I am absolutely convinced that we are far better off with a union than without one.”
Sharon Smith Holley was installed as the new Secretary of the Guild, replacing Adler. Also installed were new Board members Picture Editor Erik C. Andersen, Assistant Editor Craig Eustis, Sound Editor John Morris, and Andrew Timm representing the Eastern Region.
The Board discussed new plans to engage members on union activism for the new year. The Membership Outreach Committee and Diversity Committee have planned an extensive slate of education panels, screenings and Town Hall Meetings. The goal is to bring Local 700 members together to be aware of the issues on the job, and how to be ever vigilant about protecting union contracts and benefits.
As is tradition, members toasted departing Board members and honored their service with a plaque of commemoration. In addition to Burman, exiting Board members are Dave Barnaby, Chad Birmingham, and Alexa Zimmerman.