CN-IC General Chairman John Koonce reelected by acclamation

General Chairman John R. Koonce was reelected by acclamation at the quadrennial session of the Canadian National-Illinois Central (CN-IC) Central General Committee of Adjustment in Tunica, Miss.

Brother Koonce is a member of BLET Division 512 (Belleville, Ill.) and has been a member of the Brotherhood since July 1, 1974. This is his third time winning reelection to the General Chairman position since he assumed that office on July 1, 1996.

"I thank all the Local Chairmen and members for their support," Koonce said. "They are great people and an enjoyable group to work with. They make it a pleasure to be a General Chairman."

Other officers elected were: Mark Whitchurch, 1st Vice General Chairman and GCA Secretary-Treasurer (Division 24, Centralia, Ill.); Clay Craddock, 2nd Vice Chairman (Division 762, Memphis, Tenn.); Billy Evans, 3rd Vice Chairman (Division 203, Jackson, Miss.); and Charlie Lough, 4th Vice Chairman and Alternate GCA S-T (Division 131, Chicago).

Alternate officers elected were: Gary Reno, 1st Alternate Vice Chairman (Division 577, Mattoon, Ill.); Mike Walters, 2nd Alternate Vice Chairman (Division 512, Belleville, Ill.); Steve Lott, 3rd Alternate Vice Chairman (Division 326, Bossier City, La.) and Billy Scarbrough, 4th Alternate Vice Chairman (Division 450, Columbus, Miss.).

The General Committee represents about 615 members in 21 divisions from eight different states (Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana). The GCofA also represents multiple railroads, including CN properties (Illinois Central, Chicago Central & Pacific, Cedar River Railway), Kansas City Southern properties (MidSouth Rail Corp., SouthRail Corp, Gateway & Western), and the IC Electric Division of Metra in Chicago.

BLET National Vice Presidents Richard K. Radek and Merle W. Geiger Jr. were in attendance to represent the National Division. VP Radek is assigned to the General Committee's CN-IC properties while VP Geiger is assigned to the KCS properties.

"It is a pleasure to work with Vice Presidents of their caliber," Koonce said.

Retired First Vice President Jim McCoy, a former Illinois Central General Chairman, also attended the meeting. Brother McCoy was an International Vice President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers from 1996 to 1999, and served as First Vice President - the union's second highest office - from 1999 until his retirement in 2001. Koonce assumed General Chairman duties in 1996 when McCoy won election to Vice President.

Koonce reported that in addition to McCoy, several other retired Local Chairmen and members attended the General Committee meeting. In addition to the election of officers, the delegates handled on-property business during closed meetings.

Seated, from left: Billy Evans (203); Mark Whitchurch (24); Karen Brasfield (Office secretary); John Koonce (General Chairman); and Clay Craddock (762).

Second row, from left: Joe Hunt (guest 762); Mike Walters (512); Merle Geiger (VP guest), Dallas Harken (114), John Thompson (827), Tommy Street (914), Tony Belscamper (602), Bill Clayton (315), Shawn Early (8), Charles Lough (131), Fred Herndon (23); Rick Radek (VP and guest); Ron Marshall (10); C. Edward Way (512 & Illinois State Legislative Board Chairman; Jim McCoy (guest 762 and former BLE First Vice President); and Billy Ray Davis (326)

Back row, from left: Larry Dickerson (196); Billy Scarbrough (450); Gary Reno (577); Larry Washam (508); Charles Browning (109); Lannie Keith (593); Steve Lott (326); John Wood (99); Zeke Jourdan (guest 593); and Billy Harry (guest 450)

All of the above are members and/or former members along with being former Local Chairmen of the identified Division of the CN/IC GCA (except for Merle Geiger).



© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen