Saturday, November 28, 2009

SAG Nevada President's Report

By Nevada SAG Branch President Steve Dressler

Congratulations to Screen Actors Guild new President Ken Howard, Secretary/Treasurer Amy Aquino, and newly appointed National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator, David White.

Nevada National Board member Art Lynch, Nevada Branch Executive Director Steve Clinton, and I attended the October Plenary, and the October 18th National Membership Meeting. Also present at the National Membership Meeting were some of our Nevada members: Rick Rockne, Chris Rogers, Malinda Brozowski, and Quan Yin Colton.

At the Membership Meeting we had the opportunity to hear President Howard speak to the body via videoconference. Since President Howard was not able to Chair the meeting, Amy Aquino sat in his stead and did a spectacular job. There was peace and order in the house. I look forward to the Board accomplishing much in the next two years, especially in our relationship with AFTRA. On President Howard mentioned that his first priority is to reestablish SAG’s relationship with the other unions, the DGA, WGA, and AFTRA. That in the near future he would like to reunite with AFTRA in the upcoming TV/Theatrical negotiations so that we can work as one, and eventually this should lead to the two unions merging, where all actors are under one tent. David White has also pledged to work towards improving relations with AFTRA and the other unions.

Thank you to those who attended the Nevada General Membership Meeting on September 20th. We had a nice turnout, many questions were asked. I believe that answers were attained to member’s satisfaction, especially those answers given by our Branch Executive Steve Clinton. I would like to thank Executive Clinton for his stern love of unionism. He stays true to helping our members and doing what is right. Though he is not a SAG member, he is truly our brother.

Congratulations to our 2009 newly elected Council members Charlie DiPinto, Arttours Weeden, & Scott Mirne. Charlie and Arttours are returning council members, and we welcome Scott to the Nevada Branch Council. This year there were no contested races, so the expense of an actual election has been saved.

I would like to thank Lenny Turner for sharing his time and talent the past four years as a dedicated Council member. Lenny decided not to run this time around because he wanted to give someone else the opportunity to serve. Lenny still will be available to serve the needs of the Branch, volunteering for committees or wherever needed.

Recently I asked Chris Rogers to Chair the Nevada SAG Film Society. Chris responded joyfully with a resounding “yes”. He has been working diligently and making strides to accomplish the beginning stages of this endeavor. The Council and I thank you Chris for taking on such a challenge. I am pleased that we have members that want to get involved to make this Branch successful. Such as fairly new Council member Rick Rockne, who decided to jump in the cold water headfirst. He rolled up his sleeves and went to work. He Chaired the Nominating Committee and is serving on other Committee’s: Film Society, Conservatory, Right to Work, W&W, and wherever he is needed.
National Board member Art Lynch, a true unionist, has served this Branch for 16 years wearing many hats, and presently Chairs the Legislative Committee. Charlie DiPinto, Chair - Organizing Committee. Kim Renee, Chair - Young Performers Committee. All of your Council members and Officers (past & present) are here to serve you, and I thank them all. We are all volunteers, with no pay, putting in a lot of time and effort for the good of the members. We need your help.

For those who want to serve on the Film Society Committee or any of our other Committee’s…. Legislative, Organizing, W&W, Conservatory, please notify me at

Conservatory Chair Barbara Grant (also NV Branch Vice President) has brought in some exceptional people to teach, and share their knowledge and experience with our Conservatory members over the past years. Such names as Don Lewis Barnhart (director), Donn Finn, Shari Rhodes, Bill Dance (casting directors), Paul Napier, Brian Robert Taylor, John Armond, Fawnda McMahan, Carolyne Barry, Dan Decker, Allen & Sandra Robinson, John Milton Branton, Nate Bynum, Helaine Lembeck of The Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop, Marvin Kaplan, Art Lynch and Charlie DiPinto, Carolyne Barry, and many more. Folks, I don’t think some of our members realize the talent that has been presented to us. To attend classes of this caliber in LA or NY would be very expensive. But it only costs our Nevada members $40.00 a year, or $20.00 a visit. If you want to stay fresh and fit in your gifts, keep exercising. The Conservatory is a great workout gym. Thank you Barbara for your dedication. Keep up the good work.

Please check the Nevada SAG Hotline for Conservatory and Event updates, or to contact Steve Clinton, at 702-737-8818.

It’s a little early but by the time you receive this newsletter it will be appropriate.

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may the New Year bring you good health and happiness.

In Solidarity,
Steve Dressler
Nevada Branch President

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