On July 1, 2013, Machinists Union International President Tom Buffenbarger re-assigned Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez to IAM Headquarters to fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of former GVP Rich Mchalski, and assigned newly-elected GVP Mark Blondin to take the helm as General Vice President of the Southern Territory.
GVP Martinez spent a decade as the Southern Territory GVP, having assumed the office after the untimely passing of GVP George Hooper in July 2003.
GVP Mark Blondin joined the Executive Council in 2012 as the Aerospace Territory General Vice President. Blondin's IAM career started in 1978 while working at an IAM-represented machine shop in Seattle, Washington. He hired on at the Boeing Company in 1979, and worked in the tooling department at the Renton facility. As a member of IAM Local 751C, he held numerous Local Lodge 751C positions through the years, including Shop Steward, Auditor, Trustee, Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Vice President, and Local 751C Delegate to the District Council. Blondin has always been a champion for workplace health and safety and served for many years on the Renton Site Safety Committee.
In 1996, Blondin was elected as a Business Representative for District Lodge 751, and later elected President and Directing Business Representative in 2000. Blondin has been the chief IAM negotiator for Boeing contracts at District Lodge 751 since 2002. Blondin was also elected to the IAM Law Committee and served during the 2004 Grand Lodge Convention. In addition to serving as President and Directing Business Representative at DL 751, Blondin also held the position of Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Machinists Council.
Blondin was assigned as an IAM Aerospace Coordinator in 2007, with the primary responsibility of negotiating agreements between the IAM and Boeing throughout the United States and Canada. Blondin became the General Vice President assigned to the Aerospace Territory in 2012. As of July 1, 2013, Blondin will lead the Southern Territory, which has nearly 100,000 aerospace industry workers.
Blondin assists the community as a board member and fundraiser for the Guide Dogs of America, the Salvation Army and Families and Friends of Violent Crime Victims.
"It will be tough leaving the Southern Territory," said GVP Martinez. "The last decade has been one of great change, and our territory has moved forward and progressed through it all. I'm so proud of the men and women of this territory. Mark Blondin is a smart and capable leader, a strong colleague on the Executive Council, and a personal friend of mine for many years. Mark will be a great fit to keep this territory moving forward, and I urge everyone to do everything they can to support GVP Blondin."
"It's exciting to be given the opportunity to lead the Southern Territory," said GVP Blondin. "GVP Martinez assembled a great team with a strong work ethic, and I look forward to working with the staff, representatives and membership throughout the territory."