INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, October 5 — Brother Chris G. Falaney of BLET Division 683 (Chicago, Ill.) was reelected Chairman of the BLET Illinois State Legislative Board at its 16th quadrennial meeting in Springfield, Ill., August 29-31, 2022.
Brother Falaney hired out in 1994 with the Chicago & Northwestern, which was bought out by the Union Pacific in 1995. He became engineer qualified in 1995, then promoted to fully set up engineer in 1997. He joined the BLET as a member of Division 683 in 1999. Brother Falaney has served as part of the Illinois SLB Executive Committee since 2014. He was elevated to the office of Chairman of the Illinois SLB in February 2020 following the retirement of long-serving Chairman Paul S. Piekarski.
Also elected at the quadrennial meeting were: 1st Vice Chairman Cory J. Martin, Division 135 (Beardstown, Ill.); 2nd Vice Chairman Brandon D. Stewart, Division 96 (Chicago); 3rd Vice Chairwoman Erica S. McVey, Division 45 (Carbondale, Ill.); and Secretary-Treasurer W.D. (Doug) Pope, Division 444 (East St. Louis, Mo.). The above officers constitute the Executive Committee of the Illinois SLB.
Alternate officers elected were: Alternate Secretary-Treasurer Charles A. Grigsby. Division 602 (Champaign, Ill.); 1st Alternate Vice Chairman Chad M. Clayton, Division 644 (Galesburg, Ill.); 2nd Alternate Vice Chairman Cormac Henderson, Division 683 (Chicago, Ill.); and 3rd Alternate Vice Chairman Brandon E. Folsom, Division 665 (Centralia, Ill.). Elected to serve as Trustees were: Charles A. Grigsby. Division 602 (Champaign, Ill.); Richard J. Leschina, Division 32 (Aurora, Ill.); and Richard W. Hooker, Division 315 (Clinton, Ill.).
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce represented the National Division at the meeting, along with BLET Vice President & National Legislative Representative Vincent G. Verna and Director of Political Affairs Brendan P. Sullivan.
“I congratulate Brother Falaney and all officers of the Illinois State Legislative Board,” President Pierce said. “I also thank these hard-working officers for their dedication to the Brotherhood and our members. I know they will do an excellent job representing our Brothers and Sisters in the proud state of Illinois.
Additional guests included: Wisconsin State Legislative Board Chairman Chuck Schultz; Iowa Legislative Board Chairman Mike Walker; and Indiana State Legislative Board Chairman and Chairman of the National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen Shane Hubbard, who also served as parliamentarian. Illinois AFL-CIO Political Director Bill Looby was also in attendance.
Brother Falaney has served the BLET in various roles since joining the union in 1999. He has served Division 683 as Vice President and Legislative Representative and as Safety Coordinator for Union Pacific’s Chicago Freight Terminal District for three years.
The Illinois State Legislative Board represents approximately 2,000 active members in 38 different BLET divisions. All seven Class I railroads operate within the state, and approximately 25% of the nation’s freight passes through Illinois. It is also home to Metra, the nation’s second-largest commuter rail system.