Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I am writing to share with you exciting news from the LIUNA front. On Monday, our two tireless leaders—General President Terry O’Sullivan and General Secretary-Treasurer Armand E. Sabitoni–both announced to the General Executive Board their intention to retire from their respective positions effective April 30, 2023. Throughout their entire careers, and especially as the leaders of this great international union, Terry and Armand have made a tremendous, really historic, impact. If I were to list all of Terry and Armand’s accomplishments, this letter would turn into a book. So instead, let me just thank Terry and Armand for their leadership, service, and support of our International Union and congratulate them on their upcoming retirements!
It speaks to our union’s strength that two amazingly strong, competent, and committed leaders can pass on the duties and responsibilities of office to two equally strong, competent, and committed leaders. To that end, the General Executive Board voted unanimously to appoint LIUNA Vice President Brent Booker to become LIUNA’s eleventh General President and LIUNA Vice-President and Rhode Island Laborers’ District Council Business Manager Michael F. Sabitoni as our next General Secretary-Treasurer. This is great news for LIUNA, and I couldn’t be more optimistic for our future and excited for our Union
Brent is a third-generation Laborer who started his work in LIUNA’s Construction Department and, for past decade, served as General Secretary-Treasurer of the North American Building Trades Union. He comes into office ready and able to lead LIUNA to new heights. Similarly, Michael Sabitoni is also a third-generation laborer who has dedicated his working life to LIUNA and brings the knowledge and experience to ensure LIUNA has the financial resources and organizational strength to succeed and grow. I have worked with both Brent and Michael for many years now and look forward to continuing our work as members of LIUNA’s General Executive Board.
It should be noted that in the 23-years that Terry and Armand led this great Union, we have experienced everything from major economic recessions and global pandemics to all-out legislative and political attacks on our union and our work. We have witnessed major shifts in our industries, growth in others, and have brought the fight to those who would challenge our jurisdiction or threaten our ability to work and organize.
The first principle of leadership is that one leaves their organization in a better place than when they arrived. For all that was already good about LIUNA when Terry and Armand assumed office, they most definitely left things far better off as they prepare to retire. Knowing Brett and Michael as I do, I would expect them to do the very same thing. I hope you will join me in offering our solidarity and support.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Michael E. Hellstrom
Vice President, LIUNA and Eastern Regional Manager