Paul S. Piekarski was reelected by acclamation for the third time, his second full term as Chairman of the Illinois State Legislative Board, at a quadrennial meeting held in St. Louis, Mo., September 8-9, 2014.
Brother Piekarski is a Union Pacific locomotive engineer who is a proud member of Division 683 (Chicago). He joined the Brotherhood on November 1, 1974. He became 1st Vice Chairman in 2004 and was elected by acclamation to that position at the Board’s 2006 quadrennial convention. He was promoted to the Chairman’s position following the retirement of C. Edward Way on May 31, 2010. Brother Piekarski was then elected by acclamation to continue serving as Chairman at the Board’s 2010 quadrennial convention.
Elected to the Executive Committee were: 1st Vice Chairman Tim Dunn, Division 24 (Centralia, Ill.); 2nd Vice Chairman James McGovern IV, Division 644 (Galesburg, Ill.); 3rd Vice Chairman, Pat Randolph, Division 512 (Benton, Ill.); and Secretary-Treasurer Jody Thomas, Division 155, (Decatur, Ill.). Additional Board officers elected were: 1st Vice Alternate Chairman Chris Falaney, Division 683 (Chicago, Ill.); 2nd Alternate Vice Chairman Tim Simmons, Division 294 (Elgin, Ill.); 3rd Alternate Vice Chairman James Wasson, Division 602 (Champaign, Ill.); and Alternate Secretary-Treasurer David Hilligoss, Division 96 (Arlington Heights, Ill.).
Elected by acclamation to serve on the Audit Committee were: Tyrone Hughes, Division 815 (Oak Forest, Ill.); Pat Randolph, Division 512 (Benton, Ill.); and Doug Pope, Division 444, (Granite City, Ill.).
“I thank Brother Piekarski and all officers and members of the Illinois State Legislative Board for their continuing dedication to our Brotherhood,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “I have everyone confidence they will continue doing an excellent job of representing the rights and interests of all BLET members in the proud state of Illinois.”
A number of milestones were celebrated one being Brother Piekarskis’ upcoming 40th anniversary with the BLET, and more importantly, the 125th anniversary of the Illinois State Legislative Board, which was founded in Springfield, Ill., on February 17, 1889.
On September 8, the board held it business meeting with Brother Vince Verna, BLET Director of Regulatory Affairs, giving a presentation.
Also, several legislators from across Illinois addressed the group, including: U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart, (12th District); Illinois State Senator Michael Frerichs (52nd), who is also a candidate for Illinois Treasurer; and Rep. Jay Hoffman (113th), who represented House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.
The Board set the date of their quadrennial convention to coincide with the 79th annual Southwestern Convention Meeting in St. Louis.
“I don”t know if this has ever been done before,” Brother Piekarski said. “It was a decision made by our Executive Committee when planning this meeting. It was all about Unionism — building unity and networking together for not only the members of the Illinois State Legislative Board but all involved with the regional meeting.”
On the morning of September 9, the entire Illinois State Legislative Board delegation assembled and then marched in procession to be seated in the opening ceremony of the SWCM. They did the same for the afternoon’s closed session, where they heard presentations by BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce, First Vice President E. Lee Pruitt, and National Secretary-Treasurer William C. Walpert.
The Illinois State Legislative Board represents nearly 3,400 active and retired members from 40 different BLET Divisions.