BLET United Slate 2022
Executive Committee Officers
Candidate for National President
Dennis R. Pierce has served as National President of the 57,000-member Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, since July 1, 2010. He is the first BLET president to win election by direct vote of the membership since the Organization was founded in 1863, and was relected as President by acclimation in 2014 and 2018. President Pierce has also served as President of the Teamsters Rail Conference since June 24, 2010 and was elected by acclimation to his 4th Term in March of 2022.
President Pierce began his railroad career as a Burlington Northern Maintenance of Way employee in 1977 in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1979, he transferred to a clerical position with Burlington Northern. In 1980, he transferred again to the firemen’s craft and earned promotion to locomotive engineer in 1981.
President Pierce started as a union officer at the grassroots level, working his way up through all of the levels of the Organization. Brother Pierce joined BLET Division 98 in Lincoln, Nebraska, on April 1, 1981 and became Local Chairman of Division 98 in 1991. In 1995, he was elected as a full time Vice General Chairman for the largest Bargaining group on Burlington Northern, now BNSF Railway. He became the General Chairman and Principal Officer of that Bargaining Unit in 2001, which represents over 3500 members in 45 different Local Divisions, serving in that position until 2008 when he became an Officer of the BLET’s National Division.
As BLET National President, Pierce has led the Union’s National Negotiating team for two previous rounds of bargaining resulting in national freight agreements for BLET members in 2012 and 2017 that were each ratified by over 70% of the voting members in 2012 and 85% of the voting members in 2017.
Pierce is BLET’s lead negotiator in the current round of negotiations that began on January 1, 2020, and also serves as one of the spokesmen for the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition, a coalition representing over 80% of the railroad workers in national negotiations.
Pierce was also recently elected by all Rail Union Principal Offices to serve as Chairman of the Cooperating Railway Labor Organization, a group responsible for the administration of the health care benefits for all railworkers covered by the Rail Unions’ National Health and Welfare plan.
Candidate for 1st Vice President / Alternate President
Mark Wallace is the new BLET United Slate’s candidate for First Vice President and Alternate President. Mark is a Norfolk Southern engineer and trainmen, and has served our Union as Local Chairman, Vice General Chairman, General Chairman, and National Division Trustee, and National Division Vice President.
David P. Estes
Candidate for National Secretary Treasurer
David Estes is the new BLET United Slate’s candidate for National Secretary Treasurer. Dave is a working Amtrak engineer in the seat every day, and has served our Union as Local Chairman, Vice General Chairman, Division Secretary Treasurer, General Committee Secretary Treasurer, and National Division Trustee.
Advisory Board Officers
Vince G. Verna
Candidate for Vice President and National Legislative Representative
Vince Verna began his railroad career in 1994 at Southern Pacific Railroad in Los Angeles, CA. He is a proud member of Division 28, Tucson Arizona where he formerly served as its Local Chairman and Legislative Representative, as well as serving as the Arizona State Legislative Board Chairman.
In 2011, he relocated his family from Tucson, Arizona to the Washington DC area in order to accept a job working for the BLET as Director of Regulatory Affairs in BLET’s Washington Office at The Teamsters Building.
In 2014 and 2018, Vince was elected to serve as Alternate VP and NLR and elevated to the position of Vice President and National Legislative Representative in 2020.
William P. Lyons
Candidate for Vice President #1
Billy Lyons is a new BLET United Slate for Vice President. Bill is a CSX engineer and trainmen, who has served as Local Chairman, Vice General Chairman, General Chairman and National Division Trustee.
L. Randy Fannon
Candidate for Vice President #2
I am a first generation railroader. I hired on as a brakeman for Norfolk Southern in July 1988 and promoted to locomotive Engineer in November 1990. I joined the BLET in 1988.
I was elected to Local Chairman of BLET Division 37 in 2009. I was elected to be the 1st Vice General Chairman of BLET GCA 580 in 2012, General Chairman in May 2016 and 2020 by acclamation. I was appointed to the Safety Task Force in 2013 and appointed to the Assistant Coordinator of the Safety Task Force in 2020. I have served the National Division as a ND Bylaws Committee member at the 2014 Convention and served as the Chairman of the Bylaws Committee at the 2018 and 2022 convention.
The BLET United Slate represents the best of the BLET to move the BLET into the future. The BLET United Slate is committed to representing the membership of the BLET.
Candidate for Vice President #3
Pete Semenek is a new BLET United Slate candidate for Vice President. Pete is a CP engineer and trainmen, who has served as Local Chairman, Vice General Chairman and General Chairman.
Richard C. Gibbons
Candidate for Vice President #4
Rick Gibbons is presently a BLET National Vice President.
He was elected by acclamation to serve as First Alternate National Vice President in the first-ever membership election of National Division officers in December of 2010. Effective July 1, 2013, he was elevated to National Vice President. He was elected by acclamation to his first term at the BLET’s Third National Convention in 2014. He was elected by acclamation to his second full term of office on October 3, 2018, at the BLET’s Fourth National Convention in Las Vegas.
Immediately prior to his elevation to the Advisory Board, Gibbons served as General Chairman of the BLET’s Burlington Northern Frisco (former SL-SF)/MNA General Committee of Adjustment, a position he held for 12 years.
Brother Gibbons’ railroad career began in 1972 on the former Illinois Central Gulf in Slater, Mo. He earned promotion to locomotive engineer in 1973 and joined the Brotherhood that same year. He was a member of BLE Division 8 in Slater until 1993, when he moved to Kansas City, Mo. and joined BLE Division 502. Since joining the Brotherhood, he has been elected to numerous offices over his career, including Division President, Local Chairman, Legislative Representative, and First Vice General Chairman.
Brother Gibbons also served the Brotherhood as a delegate to the 2001 BLE International Convention in Miami Beach, and served on the Arrangements Committee during the 2006 First National Convention in Las Vegas and the 2010 Second National Convention in Reno, Nevada.
During his tenure as General Chairman, Vice President Gibbons was privileged to be the Western General Chairman’s Association (WGCA) Secretary-Treasurer from 2009 through 2011. He was then elected Chairman of the WGCA in 2012. In 2003, he was appointed to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters / Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Merger Committee on Bylaws, and also a position on the Rail Safety Advisory Committee’s (RSAC) Risk Reduction and Fatigue Management Working Groups.
Upon being elevated to National Vice President on July 1st, 2013, he was assigned to the three Norfolk Southern BLET General Committees, the Indiana & Ohio Railway, and the Chicago Fort Wayne Eastern Railway.
He is presently assigned as Board Member on numerous Public Law Boards and Special Board of Adjustments and has been signatory to virtually hundreds of awards and opinions. Also, throughout his tenure as both General Chairman and National Vice President, he has been involved in negotiations and finalized agreements which have greatly helped our membership.
Rick is very proud to be a member of the strong BLET United Slate 2022 and looks forward to continue moving the Organization forward.
James P. Louis
Candidate for Vice President #5
With 46 years of rail service, Jim has worked in both freight and commuter service. With over 30+ years as a BLET member and Officer at the Local, State Legislative, GCA and National level, his working knowledge has been a great asset in securing the numerous contracts, successful arbitration and teaching numerous Division and Legislative Officers.
Candidate for Vice President #6
Gary Best is a new BLET United Slate candidate for Vice President. Gary is a CSX engineer and trainman who has served as Local Chairman, Vice General Chairman and General Chairman.
Candidate for Vice President #7
Alan Holdcraft is a National Vice President for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. He started my career in 1977 when he was hired out on the Santa Fe RR in Galveston, TX. He soon became interested in the Union and was elected Local Chairman of my Division. After serving several terms in that position, he was elected to serve as Vice General Chairman of our General Committee of Adjustment and was later elected to serve as General Chairman, a position he held until 2018, when he was elected to his current role.
He joined the BLET United Slate because all of the chosen candidates bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Brotherhood. Every candidate has served the Organization in various leadership roles for years, if not decades.
He is extremely proud to be part of a team of Officers who have committed so much of their time and effort to assuring our members are treated with dignity and respect and their contractual rights are protected and enforced.
He is convinced that this is the team who, during these difficult and challenging times, will take the fight to railroad management – and win. He is a proud to be a candidate on the BLET United Slate.
Candidate for Trustee #1
Pat Driscoll is a new BLET United Slate candidate for Trustee. Pat is a CSX engineer and trainman who has served as a Local Chairman, Vice General Chairman and General Chairman.
Candidate for Trustee #2
Kyle J. Bagby is currently serving the Brotherhood as First Vice General Chairman for the Union Pacific Central Region General Committee of Adjustment which represents 19 Divisions comprised of more than 1,200 members.
Kyle began his railroad career on April 15, 1993, as a MOW Trackman between Kansas City and St. Louis during the worst flooding in Missouri history. He transferred to TE&Y on May 11, 1994, with Zone 100 seniority as a trainman and became an FIT in June of 1994. Kyle joined the BLET on October 1, 1994, and he became a Locomotive Engineer February 7, 1995, with seniority from Kansas City to Marysville, KS.
Kyle began his service to the union in 2004 when he was elected Local Chairman for Division 81, where he served until 2012. He was elected in 2004 as UPRR Central Region GCA Alternate General Secretary/Treasurer. In 2008 he was elected to the position of 4th Vice General Chairman for UPCR GCA and was stepped up to 3rd Vice General Chairman in 2011 with the retirement of General Chairman Rightnowar. In 2012, Kyle began serving in the position of Administrative Assistant at the request of General Chairman Rhodes which he continues to hold. In 2012, 2015 and in 2019 Kyle was elected by acclamation to the position of First Vice General Chairman.
During his tenure in the BLET he was instrumental in negotiating the $11 million settlement between the UPCRGCA and Union Pacific Railroad for claims filed regarding guaranteed extra board regulation and drop turns violations. This was one of the largest claim settlements to date made in the rail industry with some claims originating as far back as 1998 being paid.
In 2020, he also negotiated an additional $1.25 million settlement for targeting violations.
Kyle was instrumental in the 2010-13 Vacation Agreement Settlement negotiations, including testifying in Federal Court, resulting in one of the preeminent vacation agreements in the country. This agreement now prevents the carrier from forcing the youngest engineer into a vacation earlier than April 15 unless requested. Per Kyle “never again will the youngest engineer be forced to take vacation in January and February unless they want it”. This vacation agreement also secured the right of the members to bank up to 200 personal leave days to be used as needed or paid upon retirement.
He also assisted in and was signatory to the following agreements:
- New Standing Bid Agreement that included pool regulation by starts and a requirement for the carrier to provide lodging for our membership who are forced out of town to follow their seniority.
- Successfully argued the Rules Exam Arbitration, that resulted in the Carrier limited to only retesting on questions missed and not the entire test. Additionally, there is now no limit to the number of retests given, thereby removing the stress associated with the test.
- Secured a new field vision test agreement. This resulted in the Carrier now having to allow the BLET Local Chairman to oversee the process wherein they ensure the member gets a fair and impartial test.
- Voluntary Rest-Reset agreement. This agreement allows the engineer to deiced whether it is best for their fatigue to rest and take 24 hours off or continue to work.
Other key negotiations he was involved in include the 2004-2006 Alternative Forms of Compensation, 2008-2010 RSIA issues, 2010-2012 UP On-Property, 2009 BLET vs Union Pacific Railroad argued before the United States Supreme Court (docket 08-604) case which resulted in a 9-0 ruling in favor of the BLET. Kyle also represented the National Division during the EAB COTS teardown of GE locomotives from 2009-2013.
Kyle is a second-generation railroader and is proud of his strong union heritage. His Father, Larry, worked 39 years as an engineer on the MKT and Union Pacific Railroad and served as Local Chairman for BLET Division 556 1st District from 1976-1989. Some of his earliest memories are traveling with his father to GCA meetings in Denison, Texas and National Conventions is Cleveland, Ohio.
Kyle was born November 21, 1971, in Boonville, MO and now resides in Lee’s Summit, MO. Kyle has two daughters Aliyah and Niya and enjoys spending time with them watching movies, attending their sporting, music events and traveling.
“I am honored to be asked to run on the Unity Slate as a National Division Trustee and the opportunity to continue my service to an organization and a cause I believe in. I joined the Unity Slate because it is the perfect combination of experience, youth, and diversity to lead this brotherhood into the future.” – Kyle
Richard E. Crow
Candidate for Trustee #3
Richard E Crow is a Locomotive Engineer and member of BLET Local Division 404. He began his railroad career in 1996, when he hired out as a trainman with the Union Pacific in Chicago. He was promoted to locomotive engineer in June of 1999. He has held continuous membership in BLET Division 404 since June 1, 1999.
In 2003, he was elected Vice Local Chairman of Division 404, winning election to the office of Local Chairman in 2006 and again in 2009. In 2010, Brother Crow was elected 2nd Vice Chairman of the UP-NR GCA. He was elevated to the office of 1st Vice Chairman in September of 2012. He was elevated to the office of General Chairman in December of 2012 and was reelected General Chairman at the GCA’s quadrennial meetings in 2014 and 2018.
Brother Crow represented Division 404 as their delegate to the BLET Second National Convention in 2010. He has served on the Executive Board of the former BLET Western General Chairman’s Association (WGCA) from 2013-2020. He was a BLET delegate to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters International Convention in 2016 and 2021. He is also a National Division Trustee and 2nd Alternate Vice President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.
While serving as a Local Chairman, Brother Crow participated in the successful negotiation of a New York Dock Implementing Agreement from 2007-2010. He also successfully completed grievance mediation training in April of 2017.
Brother Crow is a proud member of the BLET United 2022 Slate – We have the experience, knowledge, and perseverance to lead this Organization for the next four years and beyond!
Alternate Advisory Board Officers
Candidate for Alternate National Secretery-Treasurer
Sister Mead began her Railroad career in May 1990 on the Union Pacific Railroad in San Antonio, TX as a brakeman. In June 1993, she was promoted to Engineer.
Sister Mead has been a member of the BLE&T for 27 years. She joined Division 307 in November 1994 and in 1998 was elected to Secretary–Treasurer of the Division. When Division 307 and 197 merged in 2003 she was elected to serve as Secretary–Treasurer of Division 197 and served in that position until January 2013.
In 2010 she became the first woman to become a General Committee Secretary–Treasurer, when she was elevated to Secretary–Treasurer of the Union Pacific Southern Region General Committee of Adjustment. She was reelected by acclamation in 2012.
When President Pierce appointed Sister Mead as Special Representative in July 2013, she became the first woman to hold that position. Her assignments included auditing and Liaison of the BLE&T Short Term Disability program.
Upon the retirement of Dr. Elaine Reese in July 2015, Sister Mead became the first member to be the Director of the Compliance Department. Sister Mead became the Director of the Record and Compliance Department in November 2019 when the two departments were merged.
Sister Mead has served on the BLE&T’s National Convention Arrangements Committee since 2006. As well as the IBT’s Diversity Committee in 2016 and 2021.
Sister Mead is the first woman to run for a National Office of the BLE&T.
Candidate for 1st Alternate Vice President National Legislative Representative
I am extremely proud to be a part of this experienced and diverse 2022 United Slate.
An Indiana Hoosier by birth, I was born in southern Indiana in Princeton. I hired onto Norfolk Southern railway in 1992 after attending Vincennes University, and was promoted to Locomotive Engineer shortly thereafter, with seniority between Louisville, KY and St. Louis, MO. I am a 4th generation Locomotive Engineer, following in my father and grandfather’s footsteps by joining the BLE. I got active in my local division as soon as possible.
I currently serve the Brotherhood as the Chairman of the National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen. In 2018, I was elected as the Indiana State Legislative Board Chairman, which I still serve. I have also been elected by acclamation multiple times as the Local Chairman of Division 343 in Princeton, Indiana as well as currently serving as the Fifth Vice General Chairman of the Norfolk Southern – Southern Lines General Committee of Adjustment. I’ve also previously served Division 343 as Vice Local Chairman, Legislative Representative and President. In 2018, I was appointed to the Indiana State AFL-CIO executive board, and was elected as Vice President of the AFL-CIO state federation in 2021.
My deep commitment to the BLET and our hard working members has been proven year after year. The years and years of diverse experience on the 2022 United Slate make it the easy choice for leading our membership forward into the future.
Candidate for 2nd Alternate Vice President National Legislative Representative
Brendan Sullivan currently serves the Brotherhood as The Director of Political Affairs, he was appointed by BLET President Dennis Pierce on October 1st 2021 after the retirement of Brother Bob Hagan. Brother Sullivan spent Twenty years working on the CSXT Eastern Lines in Florida and is a 5th generation railroader. He gives credit to his family’s generations of union wages for all of the opportunities that he had growing up.
Brendan spent four years “on the ground” in train service until being called for engine service. Upon moving to engine service in 2004, Brendan immediately joined the BLET and became involved in his local division #769. Brother Sullivan has held the positions of Division President, Division Legislative Representative, National Delegate, Local Chairman, Vice State Legislative Chairman, and Florida State Legislative Chairman prior to his move to Washington DC to lobby on behalf of the brotherhood.
Brother Sullivan is married with two young daughters and enjoys almost all outdoor activities.
Candidate for 1st Alternate Vice President
James Logan Jr. is General Chairman of the UP Southern Region GCA representing approximately 1700 members on that railroad. Brother Logan has territories that include Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and parts of Kansas, representing 32 Local Committees of Adjustments. Brother Logan was elected by acclamation following the retirement of General Chairman Marlow in December of 2020, whose mentorship allowed him to gain valuable experience in every facet of the General Committees’ duties, preparing him for the role of General Chairman.
Before his elevation to General Chairman, Brother Logan was the Third Vice General Chairman of the Southern Region. He was elected in 2012. Brother Logan worked on the GCA as the third Vice General Chairman until his elevation to First Vice General Chairman in 2017. While serving as First Vice General Chairman, he managed time claims, discipline issues, and employee protection, including arbitration.
Shortly after graduating college, Brother Logan began his career in 1995 on the Union Pacific Railroad and earned a promotion to Locomotive Engineer in 1998. Once promoted to Locomotive Engineer, Brother Logan joined Local Division 620 in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1999. As a 23-year member of the BLET, Brother Logan served as a Local Chairman from 2009 until 2017 in Division 620. He also currently serves as the National Delegate for Division 620. While representing the members of Division 620, Brother Logan had the honor of being mentored by three General Chairmen, Brother Gil Gore, Brother Warren Dent, and Brother Dana Marlow, all passing down their vast labor union knowledge along with their great union pride and strong union work ethic.
Brother Logan makes his home in Fort Worth, TX, with his wife of 20 years, Cynthia, who has supported his ‘Union’ work with grace and dignity. Brother Logan’s two sons, James III, a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, and Reid, a 7th grader at Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, understand the value of being sons and grandsons of proud union families. They developed this understanding as Brother Logan’s father retired from the Union Pacific Railroad after 47 years of service and vocally supported the labor movement. “I am proud to say my entire life has been sponsored by the tireless work of Labor leaders and the members they represent. I wake up every day grateful that the men and women of the oldest labor organization, BLET, see fit to let me serve them in some capacity.”
Candidate for 2nd Alternate Vice President
Brother Sexton has served the BLET as the General Chairman of the LIRR General Committee of Adjustment since October 2014. He started his railroad career in 1999 in the Maintenance of Equipment Department as a Car Appearance Maintainer. He transferred to the Transportation Department as an Engineer Trainee in November 2001. Brother Sexton qualified as a Locomotive Engineer in January 2003.
Brother Sexton was elected to serve as Division 269’s Alternate Secretary-Treasurer during the 2009 Triennial Elections; he ascended to the position of Secretary-Treasurer in October 2011 for the completion of the 2010-2012 term. Additionally, Brother Sexton was elected by acclamation as Secretary-Treasurer for the subsequent term. In 2013 Brother Sexton was appointed as a Temporary Special Representative by BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce. He has also served as Division 269’s Delegate to the National Division since 2016.
Serving the Brotherhood is a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly; it is truly an honor and privilege to do so. The BLET United Slate 2022 is the most qualified slate to promote and protect the interests of BLET members.
Candidate for 3rd Alternate Vice President
I hire out in February 1994 on the former Burlington Northern Railroad and was promoted to Locomotive Engineer in March of 1995. After joining the BLET in September of 2003, I became Local Chairman the same year, and I am currently the General Chairman on the former Frisco (SLSF) portion of BNSF Railway.
I want to be on the BLET United Slate 2022 to make positive changes for the future of our great organization.
Candidate for 4th Alternate Vice President
Pat Driscoll is a new BLET United Slate candidate for Trustee. Pat is a CSX engineer and trainman who has served as a Local Chairman, Vice General Chairman and General Chairman.
M. Robby Cunningham
Candidate for 5th Alternate Vice President
Robby is a third generation railroader born and raised in Winslow, Az. He was hired on with the ATSF railroad in 1993 and promoted to locomotive Engineer in March of 1995 then joined BLET Division 134 in 1997. After holding the position of Local chairman of Division 134, he was elected to the full time position of First Vice General Chairman in 2011. He remained in that position until 2019, when he became the Chairman of the ATSF/BNSF, GWR,PNR General Committee, a position he still hold today. Robby joined the BLET United Slate because he believe this group is committed to making a difference for our membership.
Candidate for 6th Alternate Vice President
Dewayne L. Dehart was hired by Norfolk & Southern in 1997. In 1999 Brother Dehart was promoted to Locomotive Engineer. Brother Dehart served three terms as local chairman on BLET Division 548 (Peru, Indiana). Brother Dehart has held positions as 4th vice-general chairman, 3rd vice-general chairman and in 2021 was elected to his third term as General Chairman of the NS northern lines/CF&E. In his tenure, Brother Dehart has been involved in/negotiated 4 contracts with three different railroads. 2015 NS agreement, 2011, 2017 CF&E, 2016 Wheeling Lake Erie. I also stood the strike line with the W&LE during the strike.
I was a delegate twice to the national division, can’t remember the years, and served on the Credential Committee in 2014. I was recently put on the Safety Task Force.
Candidate for 7th Alternate Vice President
Hi. I’m Brian Carr and I’m the General Chairman for the Union Pacific Western Lines and PHL, INC. I’ve been a member of the BLET since 1999. I got involved as a Vice Local Chairman in 2006 and then moved up to the position General Chairman.
I take my role seriously as a union officer, and really appreciate the opportunity to serve the membership. The 2022 United Slate will do a great job serving the membership for the upcoming years.
Candidate for 8th Alternate Vice President
I hired on with CSXT railroad in September, 1998 and joined BLET Division 782 in October, 1998. I recognized very early on that the BLET was a more forward-thinking Organization at all levels representing their members. I was promoted to locomotive Engineer in November, 1999, and after completing the Apprentice Engineer program in June, 2000, I was cut back to Conductor until 2001.
I have been very active in Local Division 782 throughout my career and have held various positions. I was elected to serve as Local Chairman in 2009, a position I held until being elected to a fulltime position for the BLET Western Lines as Senior Vice General Chairman in July, 2013. I held the Senior Vice General Chairman position until July, 2017, when I was elevated to General Chairman following former General Chairman Matt Thornton’s retirement.
I was elected to serve as the BLET Western Lines General Chainman the next day, a position I still hold today following my re-election in July, 2021. I believe the BLET United Slate is comprised of a qualified hard-working group committed to facing the challenges while fighting for our members.
Candidate for 9th Alternate Vice President
I am a second-generation railroader, that was raised on a small farm in Northern Kentucky. I was 19 years old when I hired out on the Norfolk Southern Railroad in 1990 as a Brakeman. Then I entered engine service in 1992 and was promoted to Locomotive Engineer in 1993, that is the same year I joined the BLE.
In 2000 I was elected to the Local Chairman of Division 110 in Ludlow, Ky. a position I held until 2012 when I was elected to 1st Vice General Chairman-S/T. A position I served in until 2019 when I was elevated to the BLET General Chairman of the Norfolk Southern-Southern Lines, the same position I currently hold.
I believe the BLET United Slate is a very progressive group that is committed in the betterment of our membership and I am honored to be a part of.