The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839, has new leadership, including 10 new members of its executive board. Steve Kaplan, running unopposed, recently was elected business rep, and Jeanette Moreno King, the local’s former veep, was elected president. Jason MacLeod, the local’s former business rep, did not seek reelection.
A total of 912 ballots were cast, representing 24% of the guild’s eligible membership. Founded in 1952, the Animation Guild represents more than 5,000 artists, writers and technicians in the animation industry.
Kaplan, the new business rep, served as guild’s in-house organizer from 2010-15 until accepting a position with IATSE, where he was charged with organizing visual effects and non-traditional motion picture and television production work, including animation. During that time, he continued to serve on the guild’s Executive Board and as a trustee before returning to guild as a field representative in early 2019.
President Moreno King is a 25-year veteran of the animation industry. From her first job as a key assistant animator on Space Jam, she has gone on to direct, storyboard and do layout for Futurama, The Simpsons, Scooby-Doo and many other shows for Fox, WB, Disney TV, Cartoon Network, Netflix and more. She has been a member of the guild for 15 years since she helped unionize The Simpsons crew at Film Roman Studios.
Jack Thomas, who was elected vice president, started his career as a lawyer but broke into animation after writing a freelance script for The Fairly OddParents. Currently a DreamWorks showrunner, he won an Emmy for his work on Regular Show, and has previously served as the guild’s vice president and president.
Two incumbent officers – recording secretary Paula Spence and sergeant-at-arms Robert St. Pierre – were returned to their posts. Spence has over two decades of experience in the animation industry and currently works as art director in the Shorts Department at the Cartoon Network. She took part in the last three negotiations for the union’s Master Agreement, has served on the Executive Board since early 2015, and edits The Animation Guild’s long-running newsletter, The Pegboard. St. Pierre is a production designer (Lady and the Tramp 2), visual development and layout artist (Space Jam), and currently works as an associate professor in Animation at Cal State Northridge while continuing to freelance for studios.
“The results of the last election brought 10 new people on the Executive Board – two returning from a brief hiatus,” said Kaplan, the local’s new business rep. “These new leaders are committed to bringing positive change to the Guild and our agreements, and we are looking forward to getting to work.”
Eleven Local 839 members were elected to the Executive Board: Karen Carnegie “KC” Johnson, Carrie Liao, Stephen Silver, Jack Cusumano, Danny Ducker, Laura Hohman, incumbent Brandon Jarratt, Crystal Kan, Mike Milo, Elisa Phillips, and Emily Walus. By virtue of being the highest vote-getters, Johnson, Liao and Silver were also elected trustees.
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