2022 DGA Membership Meeting in Chicago

2022 DGA Membership Meeting in Chicago

November 17, 2022

On November 17, 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 DGA President Lesli Linka Glatter, who served as the keynote speaker. The gathering was also attended by DGA National Executive Director Russell Hollander, Eastern Executive Director Neil Dudich, Associate Western Executive Director Lisa Layer and DGA Director of Local Stations Vincent Torregiano, who serves as the liaison to the Committee.

Following a cocktail reception, Glatter, thanked the Committee — which is co-chaired by Director Thomas Wekony, Jr. and UPM Richard S. Lederer— for their work on behalf of the membership. She also acknowledged the work of Hollander, Dudich and the rest of the DGA staff in supporting DGA members both there in Chicago and around the globe.

“Over this past year, I have appreciated the opportunity to hear from and learn from members directly about what they think about their Guild – what you love and appreciate – and what you would like to see changed,” said Glatter. “I’m pleased to report that your Guild is doing exceptionally well here at the end of 2022. Together, we have achieved groundbreaking gains impacting every aspect of your working lives, including retirement and health benefits, wage increases, work rules and particularly important for many of you here tonight — exclusive jurisdiction over the Location Manager position in Chicago!”

Diving into more area-specific details, Glatter said, “I’m pleased to report that production has been thriving. Last year, the film and TV industry supported nearly 20,000 jobs and spent $630 million in Illinois.” She went on to detail how the Guild’s efforts in passing the Illinois Tax Incentive and its recent extension has resulted keeping production stable and thriving and how the Guild has joined the Illinois Production Alliance as a full board member with that UPM James McCallister serving as the DGA’s representative; and how the DGA will continue to work with the Chicago Entertainment Industry Labor Council to monitor changes in the local political landscape.

“It’s taken a lot to get to this point. Today, with a healthy local production landscape, and a team of DGA staff members working on behalf of our Chicago members, the right pieces are falling into place. There’s a lot of work here left to do, and more improvements to be made. And to get there, we look forward to expanding our high level of service for our Chicago members, now and into the future.

After looking to the future and the upcoming BA/FLTTA negotiations, the currently ongoing Network Negotiations, and the recently successful Commercial Negotiations where the Guild achieved significant gains for our members, Glatter called upon her fellow members to answer the call to serve.

“My dad was a labor organizer and a very long ago when past presidents Michael Apted and Taylor Hackford called me up and said, ‘It’s time to give back”, I said yes. When I went to my first meeting, I’ll admit, I was nervous. But I saw the dedication to serve others and what I found was a community and I was inspired. I invite you to be a part of changing our future for the next generation. We welcome and want your feedback, advice and counsel as we move forward.”

The meeting concluded with a dinner where Glatter, Hollander, Dudich, Layer and Torregiano mingled with the attendees and were able to address questions.

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 Co-Chaired by Director Thomas Wekony, Jr. and UPM Richard S. Lederer.

photos by Jeff Kash