Posted on Feb 19, 2008
John M Grau
Jon Walters is hanging up his boots, and I mean that quite literally. Jon may be the last in a long line of IBEW Secretary-Treasurers who favors wearing cowboy boots, and he recently announced that he is retiring at the end of this month.
Jon was serving as the IBEW Vice President for the 8th District when I became NECA’s CEO in 1986. He’s currently the only IBEW officer still serving from that time, so for me, his retirement marks the passing of another chapter of our industry’s history.
Jon exemplifies the best of IBEW leadership. He always dealt with problems directly and honestly. He took personal responsibility for getting things done, and his objective was to do what is best for the industry, not just for his constituents.
Jon Walters is appropriately credited with creating the Code of Excellence program. He first tried out his ideas in his own district and then worked to implement them on a national basis. He understood that every IBEW worker should show up to work each day with a good work ethic and a good attitude. He also had a clear understanding that both IBEW members and NECA contractors have a customer and it is our job to give that customer what he paid for.
The IBEW has appointed Lindell Lee, currently the IBEW Vice President for the 11th District, as the new International Secretary-Treasurer. Lindell comes from Local 124 in Kansas City. When Bob Doran was NECA’s President, Lindell was his local union business agent. Bob often told me what a great person Lindell was to work with. It’s good to know we can expect that same positive working relationship on the national level.
In addition to all his experience with IBEW, Lindell also earned a master’s degree in business administration. That accomplishment may not be on the typical resume for a union leader, and it speaks well to the changing face of labor and the increasing acumen of the IBEW.