2017 DGA Membership Meeting in Chicago

Chi meeting 2017

November 15, 2017

On November 15, DGA members living in the Midwest came together to network with their peers and hear updates about the Guild’s during the general membership meeting in Chicago. Hosted by the Chicago Coordinating Committee (CCC), the evening was part of the Guild’s ongoing efforts to serve members residing outside Los Angeles and New York and provided an opportunity to meet Guild staff, including National Executive Director Russell Hollander who served as the keynote speaker and Eastern Executive Director Neil Dudich. The evening also featured a special presentation to former Chicago Coordinating Committee Co-Chair Jef Kos for his service to the Guild and his dedication to members from this region.

Following a cocktail reception, Hollander expressed his pleasure at being back in Chicago, but this time in his new capacity as National Executive Director. He pledged to bring the same strength and stability to the Guild that his predecessor, Jay Roth, did for over 22 years and eight negotiations cycles. He then gave an overview of some of the gains achieved in the last round of negotiations including a significant increase in residuals for programs made for high budget subscription video on demand services and obtaining critical additional funding for the DGA Basic Pension Plan.

Turning his comments to the local state of affairs in the Midwest, Hollander noted that production has been thriving with film and TV spending in Illinois was nearly $500 million last year, assisted by Dick Wolf’s NBC series, Fox’s Empire, expanded soundstages and the Illinois Tax Incentive which the DGA was instrumental in passing.

For Hollander the outlook remained positive.

“It’s taken a lot to get to this point,” said Hollander. “But with the full cycle of negotiations behind us and the right pieces falling into place here in Chicago – there’s a lot to look forward to.”

After Hollander and Dudich fielded questions from the attendees, Chicago Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs John McNaughton and Thomas Wekony, Jr. stepped to the podium to present a special award to Kos. A 38-year member of the DGA, Kos served as Co-Chair of the Chicago Coordinating Committee for 15 years and also served on six Network Negotiations Committees.

About the Committee:

The Chicago Coordinating Committee was formed in the mid-1960s to coordinate Guild activities in the Chicago Area, including acting as liaison between members and the Guild, disseminating information, and promoting public awareness of the Guild. The Committee is currently Co-Chaired by Directors John McNaughton and Thomas Wekony, Jr.