Local 476 elections reflect unprecedented growth

Bradley Matthys and Mark Hogan

Bradley Matthys and Mark Hogan

The Studio Mechanics’
record-setting year is
is complemented
by growing diversity
in leadership
and membership

The Chicago Studio Mechanics Union Local 476, a chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), designated more than a dozen officers, board members, and trustees after tallying the votes of its December 10 election.

Returning to positions of leadership for three-year terms are Business Manager Mark Hogan, President Bradley Matthys, Vice President Joseph Connelly, and Recording Secretary Dick Oakes. All except for Oakes ran unopposed.

Additionally, the results produced four board members, a Sergeant At Arms, and three trustees.

The 2018 Chicago Local 476 election process started with nominations on October 8, followed by a brief period during which the candidates stated their cases in emails or letters to the membership. Ballots went out by mail roughly twenty days before the union’s December meeting, and on December 10, a third-party professional firm collected the ballots and determined the winners.

“There was quite a lot of competition for the other spots,” notes Matthys, who earned his third consecutive term as President. “It’s great for the future of the union to see more members getting involved in the election.

Hogan, entering his fifth term in over 30 years as a Local 476 Officer, gives a nod to the past while looking ahead.

“I am very grateful to the former members of the board, and their work building the local will never be forgotten,” he says. “It’s great for the future of the union to see more members getting involved in the election.”

The activity comes at a time of unprecedented growth for the union, which represents professionals in a variety of job categories — from gaffer and electrician to hair stylist and script supervisor, with more than five-dozen in between.

“We just had our biggest year ever in our history,” says Matthys, “biggest by a nice margin.”

The members of Studio Mechanics Local 476 work behind the scenes of every Cinespace production including Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, and Empire.

The union is also busy on projects at Chicago Studio City, where the series Redline is filmed, and Essanay Studio and Lighting Company, the legendary Goose Island production facility.

Although obviously pleased with the record-setting level of business, Matthys seems to hold even greater pride for the cultural evolution of 476’s membership.

“We have two women on the board for the first time — Christy Taddeo and Margaret Goddard-Knoop,” he continues. “Our Sergeant At Arms, Jereme Green, is the Local’s second African-American board member.”

“The executive board is starting to resemble the membership of the Local,” he adds.

Together with Wolf Films and NBC Universal, Chicago Local 476 is one of the original partners in the CineCares Foundation, an organization dedicated to placing young adults from neighborhoods surrounding Cinespace Film Studios into paid internships with companies on the Cinespace campus.

Led by Executive Director Sheila Brown and Cinespace President Alex Pissios, CineCares reinforces a mission that the Studio Mechanics Union has pursued for years.

“We’ve been involved with a lot of different organizations like DePaul and Flashpoint,” says Matthys. “When we can, we get some of those students taking our classes to get certain skills that they need.”

In addition to its field office on the Cinespace campus in North Lawndale, Local 476 also boasts a larger facility with a training center on the city’s northwest side. According to Matthys, it’s been very busy over the past two weeks while most of the shows filmed at Cinespace are on hiatus.

“We’re conducting a class right now,” he says. “Twenty of the students are non-members, fifteen are from the neighborhood.”

The training regiment, like the membership criteria, emphasizes skill, work ethic, and attitude. In each of these categories, Matthys is confident that Chicago Local 476 has no equal.

“There’s no place to hide on a TV crew,” he says, “and our people are the best.”

DECEMBER 10, 2018

Business Manager – Secretary / Treasurer
Mark A. Hogan
Ran unopposed (nominated in October)
5th Term, over 30 years as a Local 476 Officer

Bradley T. Matthys
Ran unopposed (nominated in October)
3rd term as President, 5th term as an Officer

Vice President
Joseph Connelly
Ran unopposed (nominated in October)
3rd term as Vice President

Recording Secretary
Dick Oakes
Won Reelection
3rd term as Recording Secretary

Executive Board #1
Anthony Barracca
Ran unopposed
4th term as Executive

Executive Board #2
Christy Taddeo
First term

Executive Board #3
Margaret Goddard-Knoop
First term

Executive Board Member #4
David Chamerski
Won Reelection
3rd term as Executive Board Member #4

Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Christopher Collar
Ran unopposed.
First term as Chairman, 3 terms as Trustee

Sargeant At Arms
Jereme Green
First term as Sargeant At Arms

Chris Hudecek, First term
Ryan Kelly, First term.
Harry Haase, First term as Trustee, 27 years as Executive Board member

Retiring executive board members
Harry Haase
John Kenny
James Dewinski
Timothy Tiedje (lost reelection)

Election Committee
Michael Moyer, Judge
John Kenny, Teller
Drucilla Carlson, Teller
Juan Vela, Guard

Send your news to Reel Chicago Editor Dan Patton, dan@reelchicago.com.