Why Communicate, Commit, Deliver?
There is no question that when SMART local unions and SMACNA contractors have good working relationships, market share increases, work opportunities materialize, and day-to-day working relationships improve. Not having a strong labor-management partnership means lost opportunities for our businesses, our workforce, and the industry. SMACNA President Jack Knox and SMART General President Joseph Sellers will reinforce why we need to communicate better, commit to work together, and deliver market opportunities to both our employees and contractors. The stakes are high, our opportunities are great. The best ideas and opportunities are on display this week to help your market recovery efforts achieve mutual commitment.
Joseph Sellers, Jr., SMART General President
Joseph Sellers, Jr., has risen steadily in his 37 years as an industry professional and union official. A second-generation sheet metal worker, his background includes managing the union and its affiliates at every level as well as many years as a leader in education.
Sellers’ foundation in the labor movement reflects values learned from his father, whose deep commitment to the union sheet metal industry spanned 56 years as a member and 30 years as a local union officer.
Sellers started his apprenticeship in 1980 at Local 19 in Philadelphia and became a journeyman four years later. He was elected to the local’s Executive Board in 1994 and was appointed to be Training Coordinator in 1996. In 2002, after serving as a Business Representative for two years, he became Local 19’s President and Business Manager.
In August 2009, Sellers was elected to the international leadership as 11th General Vice President. The General Executive Council elected him to serve as the union’s General Secretary-Treasurer (GST) effective July 1, 2011, was unanimously re-elected as GST by delegates to the first SMART General Convention in August 2014. Sellers became SMART’s General President May 1, 2015.
During his tenure as an officer at Local 19, Joe also held a number of important union and industry posts. He was president of many groups, including the Pennsylvania State and New Jersey State Councils of Sheet Metal Workers; the Mechanical Trades District Council of Delaware Valley; the Metropolitan Association of Presidents and Business Representatives; and the board of directors for the National Energy Management Institute (NEMI). He also was Secretary/Treasurer of the Mechanical and Allied Crafts Council of New Jersey.
As SMART General President and General Secretary-Treasurer, Sellers led special campaigns to increase outreach and awareness for pension and health care issues. He has held several positions with the AFL-CIO and North American Building and Construction Trades Department at the national, state, and local levels.
Jack Knox, SMACNA President
Jack Knox is president of SMACNA National and also president of R.F. Knox Company, in Smyrna, Georgia.
Jack served on SMACNA’s Board of Directors from 2009 to 2014 and then moved on to the Executive Committee where he took office as president in October 2017. Currently, he oversees SMACNA’s new strategic plan that is addressing how to attract more quality people into our companies and local unions.
An advocate for positive legislative change, Jack has been a longtime member of the SMACNA’s legislative and political action committees. A member of SMAC PAC donor clubs for almost 20 years, he currently serves as co-chair of SMAC PAC’s top donor club, the Political Pacesetters Council.
Active in the Georgia-SMACNA chapter, Jack served as president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer, and on the board of directors. In addition, he was on the legislative, negotiating, education, and joint labor/management committees and a trustee of the Local Industry Fund and Local Pension Plan.
The fourth generation to run his family business, Jack grew up working in his father’s sheet metal shop. He officially entered the industry as an estimator, two days after graduating from Auburn University. When his father, Fred Knox, retired in 2007 Jack became president of the 103-year-old firm.
Many R.F. Knox projects dot the Atlanta skyline, from the Peachtree Plaza skyscraper and Georgia Dome to the Georgia State Capitol and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons.