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UTUIA Board of Directors

Officer Directors

John Previsich
North Olmsted, Ohio

John Previsich is the president of the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, formerly the United Transportation Union. He is a member of Local 31 in San Jose, Calif. Previsich began his railroad career with Southern Pacific Transportation Company, where he commenced work as a train service operations employee in San Francisco, Calif. He later transferred to engine service and achieved certification as both a railroad conductor and locomotive engineer. Previsich started doing work as a local union officer in the mid-1980s. Thereafter, he moved into a system-wide position as a general chairperson in the early 1990s, followed by his election to International vice president in 2007. He was re-elected in 2011, elevated to the position of assistant president in 2012 and assumed the responsibilities of the general secretary and treasurer position on Jan. 1, 2013. He was elevated to the position of president effective Oct. 1, 2013. During the course of his career, Previsich has advocated on behalf of his members in mergers and consolidations in the rail and airline industries, 13(c) transactions, divestitures, national and local contract negotiations and countless arbitrations and mediations, securing and defending collective bargaining agreements on properties large and small.
Having a special interest in transportation-industry safety issues, Previsich is the SMART Transportation Division representative on the Federal Railroad Administrationís Rail Safety Advisory Committee and has served on numerous subcommittees associated with RSAC. In addition, he is a cabinet-level appointee to the National Freight Advisory Committee, a group that reports directly to the secretary of transportation on MAP-21, a program charged with assisting in the development of administration policy on a national freight plan for the 21st century.

Bruce Feltmeyer
North Olmsted, Ohio

Bruce Feltmeyer was hired by Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1972, where he worked 35 years as a foreman, conductor, yardmaster, peer-to-peer trainer, remote-control operator and training manager. He was elected local secretary, legislative representative and local chairperson of Local 1402 at Dupo, Ill., and general committee secretary of UP GO 569. He has 10 years of experience working at Union Pacific as a training instructor. Feltmeyer has a bachelorís degree in business administration and a masterís degree in management from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo. He worked four years as an adjunct professor, teaching business software at Southwestern Illinois College. He was licensed in and practiced the sale of insurance and securities products in Illinois and Missouri. He served 11 years as an elected municipal clerk and four years as a school board vice president. Feltmeyer has worked at the UTU International Headquarters since 2008 as an administrative assistant, handling grant writing, arbitration and administrative duties. In 2013, Feltmeyer was elected general secretary and treasurer of UTUIA by the association's board of directors. He also holds the position of director of staff at the UTU headquarters in North Olmsted, Ohio.

James A. Stem Jr.
Washington, D.C.

James A. Stem Jr., National Legislative Director of the 125,000-member United Transportation Union was born June 19, 1948 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Stem began his railroad career in 1966 as a trainman for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad in Raleigh and joined the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. He has worked as a trainman, switchman, hostler helper, hostler, fireman and locomotive engineer and currently holds seniority as a locomotive engineer on CSX between Richmond, Va., and Abbeville, S.C. Stem became interested in the union movement and became active in Local 1129 in Raleigh. He worked part-time as a special UTU organizer from 1973 through 1976 and was elected as secretary-treasurer of Local 1129 in 1975. He has also held the elected positions of local chairman and legislative representative and has served as a delegate to five UTU International Conventions from 1979 to 1995. Stem was elected as North Carolina State Legislative Director in 1984 following the retirement of Woodrow Gunter, and served in that position through September 1999. He was appointed Alternate National Legislative Director following the retirement of Gene Plourd in April 1998 and was reelected to that position at the UTU Conventions in 1999, 2003 and 2007. He was elevated to the office of national legislative director in January 2009 following the death of James M. Brunkenhoefer. Stem is active in the Baptist Church, the Masonic Lodge and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He and his wife Bonnie have two daughters and a son and reside in Alexandria, Virginia.

Independent Directors

Nicholas J. DiCicco Jr.
Orange, Ohio

Nicholas J. DiCicco Jr., who has a Bachelor of Science degree from John Carroll University (1955), is a Life Insurance Management and Research Association (LIMRA) Leadership Institute Fellow, a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), and a Registered Principal with the National Association of Securities Dealers. Nick is the retired President of Midwest Life Insurance Company.

Frank J. Riha, CPA
Aurora, Ohio

Frank J. Riha, holding a Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University (1962), is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) whose 30 years of experience have been concentrated on the areas of financial reporting and treasury. Frank spent most of his career in accounting and finance for life insurance companies, including as the Chief Financial Officer. He spent five years as an Insurance Examiner Supervisor with the State of Ohio Insurance Department, is a Life Management Institute Fellow, a Certified Financial Examiner, and a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.

William J. Thompson
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

William J. Thompson, retired, a former Ohio State Legislative Director and conductor, has been elected to the United Transportation Union Insurance Association Board of Directors following his nomination to the post by the UTUIA board. He is a member of Local 792 at Cleveland, Ohio. Thompson, a member of the UTU Alumni Association, held the posts of assistant Ohio state legislative director and then state legislative director from 1981 through his retirement in 2002. He hired out with the Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railroad in 1961, before it was acquired by Norfolk & Western Railway (now part of Norfolk Southern), and was elected to posts of general chairperson, local chairperson and legislative representative of UTU predecessor Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Local 432.

Billy Ryan, Attorney
Memphis, Tennessee

Billy Ryan, who has a B.A. in history from the University of Tennessee -- Knoxville, and a J.D. Law from the University of Mississippi, is a lawyer for the Donati Law Firm, L.L.P., in Memphis, Tenn. He is recognized in the 2009 and 2010 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Labor and Employment Law. Ryan is currently serving as past president of the Federal Bar Association's Memphis Mid-South Chapter. He is also a past president of the Memphis Bar Association's Labor & Employment Section.