by David Robb
December 12, 2018 4:36pm
Four longtime SAG-AFTRA staffers – all women – have been promoted to executive director roles. Olga Rodriguez-Aguirre, Beth Millman, Jennifer Gaudy and Lori Hunt have all been given the new titles and will report to Ray Rodriguez, the union’s chief contract’s officer.
They join Rebecca Greenberg, recently hired as executive director of the guild’s music department, who reports to Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the union’s chief operating officer and general counsel.
“These new leadership roles will improve our capacity for strategic thinking and action around enforcement and negotiations,” Rodriguez said. “Along with other structural changes, these moves are designed to better facilitate coordination, improve our internal staff development and training, and recognize the growth and importance of several roles within the department.”
As part of the guild’s restructuring, its Theatrical Contracts and TV and New Media departments will merge into a single Entertainment Contracts Department, with Rodriguez-Aguirre and Millman serving as co-heads. Rodriguez-Aguirre was previously the national director of theatrical contracts and Millman was the national director of TV and new media entertainment contracts.
“Olga and Beth are seasoned negotiators and labor relations professionals who bring with them years of experience leading two of our largest and busiest departments,” Rodriguez said. “They hold primary day-to-day responsibility for our oldest and most remunerative collective bargaining relationships and have played a major role in preparing for and conducting negotiations with the AMPTP and other employer groups. Beth and Olga already coordinate closely in their current roles and we will leverage their close working relationship and complementary areas of expertise in a newly combined department.”
Gaudry, formerly the national director of residuals claims, is now the executive director of contract enforcement and strategy. According to SAG-AFTRA, she will work “to improve the union’s ability to address chronic enforcement challenges by strategizing and managing interdepartmental enforcement initiatives and integrating those initiatives with the development of bargaining strategy. In addition, she will coordinate to ensure that contract interpretations and arbitration referrals are consistent with and supportive of the union’s initiatives and broader objectives.” Her new post also includes a significant negotiating component, both independently and in support of other negotiators within contracts, as well as other functions designed to improve coordination.
“Jennifer has distinguished herself in her current capacity, demonstrating not only deep knowledge of our contracts, but exceptional strategic thinking and problem-solving skills,” Rodriguez said. “She is an invaluable contributor and leader within the department, in particular during negotiations.”
Hunt, who was previously national director of commercials contracts, is now the executive director of commercials and corporate, educational and non-broadcast agreements, which will see her administering one of SAG-AFTRA’s most important multiemployer collective bargaining relationships: the Commercials Contracts, which represents more than $1 billion in annual earnings for union members.
“The advertising industry is among the most challenged, disrupted industries in which our members work,” Rodriguez said, “and that has necessitated a high-priority effort to recapture employment in this space. In addition to her excellent work administering the Commercials Contracts, Lori leads a team within her department focused on the ‘Ads Go Union’ organizing campaign and holds key responsibility for other important initiatives including the union’s current strike against advertising agency BBH.”
Greenberg oversees SAG-AFTRA’s activities in the music industry, including the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements with the major and independent record labels, artist and performer relations, as well as collaboration with the organizing and government affairs departments.
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*Headline photo was featured in Mr. Robb’s article