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January 2015

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C. James Spellane

Carmine James "Jim" Spellane, media advisor to the International President, retired effective Jan. 1.

Prior to assuming his most recent position in November 2013, Brother Spellane, a native of Bucks County, Pa., and a member of Philadelphia Local 98, served as director of the Media Department, formerly the Journal Department, for 18 years.

Under Brother Spellane's leadership, the department grew into one of the labor movement's most-respected communications operations and the frequent recipient of awards for excellence by the International Labor Communications Association.

"There is no branch or local union of the IBEW that hasn't been made stronger by the consistent, thoughtful and hard work of Jim Spellane," says International President Edwin D. Hill.

Spellane began working at the IBEW in 1993 as international representative for Public Relations, appointed by International President J.J. Barry. He became the director of the Journal Department in 1995, and immediately began to expand the scope of the department's activities to give the IBEW a more active public voice.

Spellane oversaw the IBEW Journal through several redesigns and its eventual replacement with The Electrical Worker in 2007. The Electrical Worker takes the name of the union's original newspaper, first published in 1893.

He led the IBEW into the digital age of online and social media and helped bring high-level video production in-house, including launching the IBEW into living rooms nationwide through the national ad campaign. Spellane was also instrumental in moving the IBEW museum and archives into their newest quarters in 2005, modernizing the preservation of the union's history.

"Jim Spellane's contributions to the IBEW are indelible," says Mark Brueggenjohann, his successor as media director. "His legacy crosses all platforms of communication and is underscored daily by the quality of the union's informational tools."

Spellane had previously served as director of communications for the Laborers' International Union of North America and as research director at the National Treasury Employees Union. He also was vice president of the Kamber Group, a Washington D.C.-based public relations firm where he developed communications strategies for several union clients and wrote major speeches for a number of labor leaders.

Brother Spellane, who holds a B.A. in communications from American University in Washington, D.C., lives in Washington with his wife Susan Noon. His daughter, Nora, is a college student in Minnesota.

"Working for the IBEW, starting with International President J.J. Barry, who hired me, then helping International President Hill institute additional visionary programs has been a tremendous honor and an amazing experience," says Spellane, who will be teaching a course in public relations writing at the D.C. campus of Johns Hopkins University.

"I hope I can give something back to others and help them develop their talents," Spellane says. In retirement, he also hopes to visit Ireland and Italy to seek out family roots and plans to spend time on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, one of his favorite destinations. "I look forward, too, to having more time to visit friends and extended family."

The IBEW officers, staff and membership wish Brother Spellane a long, healthy and satisfying retirement.


C. James Spellane