CLEVELAND, July 29 — BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce announced today that Vincent G. Verna has been named the organization’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, effective August 1, 2011.
Brother Verna, 41, joined BLET Division 28 (Tucson, Ariz.) on November 17, 1995. Immediately prior to his appointment, Brother Verna served as Local Chairman of Division 28 and Chairman of the Arizona State Legislative Board.
“I am proud to welcome Brother Verna on board and I know he will do an excellent job representing our members in this important position,” President Pierce said. “I have every confidence that our Brotherhood will benefit from the high level of professionalism, enthusiasm and experience he brings to the position.”
In his new role, Verna will represent the BLET on numerous collaborative endeavors, such as the Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) with the Federal Railroad Administration. He will also represent the interests of BLET members in all regulatory matters, including those before the Department of Transportation, National Mediation Board, National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Security Administration, among others. He will also prepare the union’s responses to various agencies’ proposals for rulemakings and proposed rules, and will prepare responses to petitions for waiver from compliance with FRA regulations. He will be headquartered at the BLET’s National Legislative Office in Washington, D.C.
Brother Verna fills the position previously held by Stephen J. Bruno, who was elected BLET National Vice President effective January 1, 2011.
Brother Verna hired out in 1994 as a brakeman for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Los Angeles, Calif. He transferred to engine service in March of 1995 in Tucson, Ariz.
He became actively involved in the Brotherhood almost immediately, serving as Alternate Legislative Representative of Division 28 in 1995, and as Vice Local Chairman in 1999. He continued in both positions until becoming Division 28’s Legislative Representative in 2006 and full-time Local Chairman in 2008. He was reelected Local Chairman in 2009
Brother Verna also began serving as Chairman of the Arizona State Legislative Board in 2008, a position he was reelected to in 2009.
Since 2006, Brother Verna has been active on the RSAC Locomotive Standards and Operating Practices Working Groups. He has worked with past Regulatory Affairs Directors Bob Harvey, Tom Pontolillo and Steve Bruno to help formulate regulatory positions that address the needs of BLET members.
In August 2008, he gave a presentation to the Locomotive Standards Working Group to address extreme cab temperatures inside the locomotive cab.
Brother Verna is proud to be a third generation railroader. His father Fred retired as a conductor from UP in 2010 after 48 years of service. Also, his great uncle was a conductor for the Penn Central and Southern Pacific.
He holds a Bachelors Degree in History from California State University at San Bernardino (1994) and a Master’s Degree in Legal and Ethical Studies from The University of Baltimore (2003).
Brother Verna currently lives in Tucson, Ariz., with his wife, Julie. The couple will be relocating to Washington D.C., in the coming months. When he has spare time, he enjoys reading, art, writing and recording music and traveling.