IBEW 1245 Assistant Business Manager Jennifer Gray has accepted a new position as an international representative in the membership development department for the professional and industrial branch of the IBEW. She will be working out of the IBEW International Office (IO) in Washington DC.
“This is a great honor for Local 1245, to have the International recognize (again) what a good job we do in identifying talent and developing it,” said IBEW 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell. “I am grateful for all that Jennifer brought to the Local. We wish her success and happiness in the next chapter.”
A 12-year member of IBEW 1245, Gray has been active with the union ever since she hired on with PG&E in 2006. She served as a shop steward, unit recorder and bargaining committee member, and she also volunteered on numerous union-backed campaigns. Dalzell recognized Gray’s enthusiasm and innate skills, and brought her on staff as an organizer in 2013. From there, she became a business rep, working with Local 1245 clerical members at PG&E, as well as public sector members in Roseville, CA, the town she’s called home for more than a decade. She was ultimately promoted to assistant business manager, which is the position she held until she moved to DC to work for the IO in July of 2018.
“Leaving IBEW 1245 is bittersweet,” Gray said. “I’ve loved representing the members from PG&E to the public sector, and will miss the one-on-one contact and relationships the most. But I am excited for this new chapter, especially my role in growing the IBEW.”
“It’s great to see Jen return to her organizing roots,” said IBEW 1245 Organizer Fred Ross Jr. “During the 2013-2014 organizing campaign at Sunoptics, I saw Jen’s determination and commitment to build a strong Volunteer Organizing Committee that was motivated to fight for basic dignity and respect … and because of the unity that the VOC built, the Sunoptics workers won their union election!”
“Jen’s biggest asset has always been her unflappable patience,” said Local 1245 Assistant Business Manager Bob Gerstle. “This opportunity in DC is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to really make a difference for current and future IBEW members. She won’t disappoint.”
“Jennifer is strong, smart and dedicated,” remarked Senior Assistant Business Manager Bob Dean. “Our loss is definitely the IO’s gain.”
“Jen has always been committed to achieving the best result she could for our membership, and she has a strong and professional work ethic in all of her endeavors,” said Senior Assistant Business Manager Ray Thomas. “I hate to see Jennifer go, but I am happy that she has the opportunity to advance her career within the IBEW.”
“Although a loss for 1245, Jen Gray’s decision to join the IO organizing team and bring the 1245 organizing model with her is a big win for unorganized workers who want to form a union with IBEW,“ added Organizer Eileen Purcell.
For Gray, who grew up in Fairfield and has lived in Roseville since she graduated high school, moving all the way across the country to start a new phase of her career is a truly life-changing experience. She knows that this is an opportunity that she never could have even dreamed of if not for the doors that Local 1245 opened for her. Gray credits Local 1245’s leadership development program for giving her new skills and opportunities that have enabled her to pursue a career in the labor movement.
As she bids farewell to 1245, Gray would be remiss if she didn’t express her appreciation to all of the 1245 union activists and leaders that have helped to grow and shape her home local.
“IBEW 1245 has an amazing network of shop stewards, organizing stewards and safety stewards. I thank them for their passion and commitment every day on the job that keeps IBEW 1245 strong,” said Gray. “I commend Business Manager Tom Dalzell for his vision over the years as well as the years to come. There will be continued challenges and change in the utility industry but with his leadership, staff and stewards I have no doubt in my mind that IBEW 1245 will prevail.”