Kent J. Psota was elected to the office of General Chairman at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe/Montana Rail Link (BNSF/MRL) General Committee of Adjustment’s 15th triennial meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 8-11, 2019.
A member of BLET Division 623 (McCook, Neb.), Brother Psota served for several years as Vice Local Chairman and then Local Chairman of Division 623. He was elected 1st Alternate Chairman at the GCA’s 2007 meeting and was elevated to a full time VGC in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2008. He was reelected by acclamation to VGC spots in 2010, 2013, and 2016, prior to his election as General Chairman in 2019.
Also elected were: 1st Vice Chairman Matt Brandt, Division 727 (Sterling, Colo.); 2nd Vice Chairman Jess Nelson, Division 842 (Klamath Falls, Ore.); 3rd Vice Chairman Vern Gordon, Division 98 (Lincoln, Neb.); 4th Vice Chairman Brian Fransen, Division 207 (Casper, Wyo.); and Secretary-Treasurer Luke Myers, Division 727 (Sterling, Colo.).
Elected to serve as alternate officers were: 1st Alternate Vice Chairman, Jason Scanlan, Division 107 (St. Joseph Mo.); 2nd Alternate Vice Chairman Rick Lear, Division 290 (Superior, Wisc.); 3rd Alternate Vice Chairman Neal Schipper, Division 940 (Denver, Colo.); 4th Alternate Vice Chairman Jeff Grimes, Division 402 (Pasco, Wash.); and Alternate Secretary-Treasurer Cordell Booke, Division 746 (Mandan, N.D.).
Elected to serve as Trustees were: Brandon Folsom, Division 665 (Centralia, Ill.); Lance Thomas, Division 622 (Alliance, Neb.); and Tyler Simard, Division 195 (Forsyth, Mont.).
Representing the National Division at the meeting were: National President Dennis R. Pierce and National Vice President Michael D. Priester.
“I would like to congratulate Brother Kent and all officers of the BNSF/MRL General Committee of Adjustment,” President Pierce said. “I am proud to thank these Brothers for their hard work in serving our great Brotherhood.”
President Pierce served as General Chairman of the BNSF/MRL GCA from 2001-2008. He recognized outgoing General Chairman E. G. “Jerry” LaPrath and GCA Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Foley, who did not seek reelection due to their upcoming retirements. “I wish both Brothers a happy and healthy retirement,” President Pierce said.
In addition to the election of officers, the delegates in attendance heard reports from their cab committee as well as their safety coordinators. The delegates also addressed Bylaws issues, including the decision to hold future meetings on a quadrennial basis (once every four years) instead of triennially.
The BNSF/MRL GCA is the largest GCA in the BLET in terms of the number of members represented and the number of Divisions. The GCA represents nearly 6,800 active and retired members from 44 different Divisions.