Tom Lee Wins Federation Presidency by Narrow Margin

The AFM's 94th Convention

Volume CI, No. 7/8July, 2001

For only the second time in the 105-year history of the AFM, delegates to its biennial convention have turned down the reelection bid of an incumbent President. AFM Secretary-Treasurer Tom Lee, a former officer of Local 161-710 in Washington, D.C., and previously Vice-President and International Executive officer of the Federation, was elected by a slim 11-vote margin over three-term incumbent Steve Young. The Convention, the AFM’s 94th, was held at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas on June 25-27.

The presidency was only one of five changes made among the nine elected Federation officers.

AFM Symphonic Services Director Florence Nelson, a former Local 802 Vice-President and Treasurer, was elected to take Lee’s place as Secretary-Treasurer by a wide margin over perennial office-seeker Sam Folio of Local 368 in Reno.

Local 47 (Los Angeles) President Hal Espinosa, Local 65-699 (Houston) Secretary-Treasurer Bob McGrew and Local 92 (Buffalo) President Mark Jones were newly elected to the IEB. IEB incumbents Ed Ward, President of Local 10-208 (Chicago), and Ken Shirk, Secretary of Local 99 (Portland, Ore.), were reelected, but incumbents Tom Bailey, Tammy Kirk and Tim Shea were unsuccessful in their bids to remain in office. Vice-President Harold Bradley, President of Local 257 (Nashville), and Vice-President from Canada David Jandrisch were returned to office by acclamation.

In other important actions, the delegates unanimously endorsed a resolution to create a committee to explore merger possibilities with other international unions – a report is to be issued no later than the next convention – and, in a close standing vote, expanded the prohibitions on activities by locally elected officers to include serving as a contractor in the musical theatre field. The 1999 Convention had prohibited activities as an orchestra personnel manager. An IEB recommendation to increase Federation per capita payments (that portion of a member’s annual dues that is passed on to the AFM) by $2 was referred back to the IEB.

Other matters acted on included a raising of the cap for bylaw violations from $10,000 to $50,000, and a re-institution of the freelance, casual and club date co-funding program for “developing and maintaining programs and services beneficial” to members working in these fields. The amount set aside for this was approximately $25,000 annually. A previous program had been discontinued in 1999 due to underutilization. A more complete report on Convention activities will appear in an upcoming issue of the AFM’s journal, The International Musician.

Local 802 delegates to the Convention were President Bill Moriarity, Vice-Presidents Tine Hafemeister and Erwin Price, Executive Board member Maura Giannini, Trial Board member Al Hood, and former Executive Board member Richard Simon. Executive Board member Jay Blumenthal was an ICSOM delegate.

Also attending were Assistant to the President Bill Dennison, Assistant Supervisor of Recording Jay Schaffner and legal counsel Leonard Leibowitz. NY RMA President Mark Shuman attended the International RMA Conference held on June 23-24, just prior to the convention, along with Schaffner.