Don Hahs reelected National President
1st VP Rodzwicz, NST Walpert reelected by acclamation
Delegates attending the BLET's First Quadrennial Convention reelected Don Hahs as National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen on June 21.
He is the first incumbent president to win reelection since BLE delegates reelected John Sytsma in 1981.
In addition, First Vice-President Ed Rodzwicz and National Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert were reelected by acclamation to four-year terms.
Under the leadership of President Hahs, BLET members ratified a national contract that he helped negotiate in 2003 and the BLE formed an historic partnership with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Jan. 1, 2004.
President Hahs was first elected to the office of BLE International President at the Seventh Quinquennial International Convention in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sept. 27, 2001.
Advisory Board adds two
All members of the Advisory Board were reelected in Las Vegas, with the exception of two who retired.
Vice President Paul Sorrow, Vice President Rick Radek, Vice President Dale McPherson and Vice President Lee Pruitt were all reelected by acclamation during the convention.
Vice President Merle Geiger and Vice President Steve Speagle were able to fend off challenges and were reelected to four-year terms.
The two newest members of the Advisory Board are John P. Tolman and Marcus J. Ruef.
Vice President Tolman, who replaces the retired Raymond Holmes, will serve the membership as Vice President and National Legislative Representative from the BLET's office in Washington, D.C.
Vice President Ruef, who replaces the retired Paul Wingo, has been assigned to assist numerous passenger rail General Committees of Adjustment including Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road, Norfolk Southern, and several shortline properties.
"Congratulations to all these Brothers," NST Walpert said. "I am proud to welcome Brother Tolman and Brother Ruef to the Advisory Board and look forward to four years of working together with our returning Advisory Board members."
More on President Hahs
As International President of the BLE, President Hahs worked with IBT General President James Hoffa to oversee the merger of the BLE with the IBT.
As Vice-President, he coordinated activities with various BLE General Committees on the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe System and Union Pacific. He also assisted with the Union Pacific-Southern Pacific merger. Immediately prior to his election to vice-president, he served, since 1980, in the post of BLE General Chairman on the Southern Pacific Railroad-Eastern Lines.
President Hahs began his professional rail career in 1961, as a clerk and, later, manager of special services in the traffic department of the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, also known as the "Cotton Belt." In 1974, he earned his promotion to locomotive engineer for the SP.
President Hahs joined BLE Division 366 in 1975, where he served as Local Chairman from 1977-80. In 1980, he was elected to General Chairman of the BLE General Committee of Adjustment for the SP-Eastern. He also chaired the Western General Chairmen's Association, and the 1983 Soutwestern Convention Meeting Association. At the BLE's international convention in 1986, he was appointed to the Constitution & Bylaws Committee.
Since 1991, he has been a member of BLE Del Rio, Texas Division 566. He is a voluntary contributor to and member of BLET-PAC, which supports our union's legislative goals at various levels of government.
His father E. D. "Gene" Hahs was a member of BLE Division 442. Brother Hahs was born Dec. 17, 1942, in Cape Girardeau, Mo. He and wife Janice have three children - Von, Michelle and Sonya. Von is a BLET member in Houston Division 139. Two of his brothers-in-law, G. M Scheper and R.D. Scheper, belong to the BLET Division 442 (Scott City, Mo.). A third brother-in-law belongs to BLET Division 62 (Houston).
© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen