AFTRA's president re-elected

Roberta Reardon to serve second two-year term

Roberta Reardon was unanimously re-elected to a second two-year term as national president of the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists at the union's biennial national convention Saturday in Chicago.

Representatives of the union's 32 locals and chapters also approved a $300 increase in the initiation fee to join AFTRA, upping it to $1,600, effective Nov. 1. All revenue raised as a result of the fee increase has been exclusively designated for organizing efforts to increase employment opportunities for union performers and broadcasters.

The three-day 62nd National Convention, held at the Hyatt Regency, also saw the re-election of national first vp Bob Edwards, a satellite radio host from Washington; second national vp Ron Morgan, an actor from Los Angeles; national treasurer Matt Kimbrough, a Los Angeles actor; and national recording secretary Lainie Cooke, a New York actor.

National vps re-elected were Denny Delk, Holter Graham, Bob Butler, Catherine Brown, Jim Ferguson and Shelby Scott. Chicago news broadcaster Craig Dellimore was newly elected as a national vp.

All officers serve two-year terms.

The delegates also passed resolutions urging government to strengthen protections against property theft on the Internet; supporting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, with gender identity protections included; appointing a committee to explore closer cooperation with Actors Equity; and bestowing an honorary AFTRA membership on President Obama.

The George Heller Memorial Gold Card, AFTRA's highest honor, was awarded to Reardon, national executive director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth and Chicago local executive Eileen Willenborg, retiring this year after more than 14 years.

AFTRA's next national convention will be held in 2011 in Seattle, followed by Washington in 2013.