Loeb in for Short as IA head

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For the first time in 14 years, IATSE has had a change in leadership.

President Thomas Short stepped down Thursday and fifth vp Matthew Loeb was unanimously elected to take the reins.

Short announced his retirement, as expected, at the group's annual midsummer general executive board meeting in San Diego.

"As hard as it is for me to believe that this time has come, I am now prepared to move on," Short said. "I am not leaving for political reasons or for health reasons but rather because I have learned that life is short and there is a great deal that I have yet to experience and enjoy."

Although talk of his decision to step aside has been swirling since the beginning of the year, some thought he would negotiate one last contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. IATSE's contract with the AMPTP expires in July 2009.

Loeb credited Short for making "desperately needed institutional changes that will allow me to continue to build on a solid foundation."

Short has been a member of the IA — which represents employees in stagecraft, motion picture and TV productions, trade shows and various allied crafts — for more than 40 years, serving the last 21 as an elected official. He became president in 1994.

Under Short, the IA has increased its membership by more than 50% and covers 400 locals and more than 110,000 members in the U.S., its territories and Canada.

Short is credited with the increasing benefits for IA members, bringing back into the fold the 3,100-member United Scenic Artists Local 829 (of which Loeb has been a member since 1989) and regaining a seat on the AFL-CIO executive council.
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