The International Cinematographers Guild (ICG, IATSE Local 600) is undergoing major staff changes in both their Western and Eastern Region offices, it was announced by national executive director Rebecca Rhine.
Alexander Tonisson, a 14-year veteran of the labor movement, has been hired as the Guild’s new Western Region director. He most recently served as director of field services to the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE, LOCAL 21) running the day-to-day field staff operations in all four regional offices, including all representation, legal work, bargaining and internal/external organizing. Tonisson is accomplished in program development, coalition building, labor organizing, campaign planning and directing, contract negotiations, directing labor communications, managing union staff and research and legal strategy.
Joining him at Local 600’s Los Angeles office as assistant Western Region director is Xiomara Comrie, until now the Guild’s lead business representative and acting Western Region director. She originally joined the ICG in 2008 as a business representative after a 20-year career as a camera assistant. As the national diversity officer of the ICG, Comrie also works alongside the diversity and women’s committees to increase awareness and promote inclusion and access within the membership and the industry.
Heather Pearson will become the new in-house legal counsel, succeeding the retiring David Adelstein. Pearson was most recently sr. counsel at the Writers Guild of America West. She graduated from UC Davis Law School and was a captain in the United States Army.
Also joining the International Cinematographers Guild in its New York office as an Eastern Region business representative is Anna Nowlan, a second generation of labor and community organizers in her family, with more than 15 years of experience. She was most recently lead organizer for New Jersey Communities United in Newark, NJ.
Rhine described these and other staffing changes as being “on a scale we have not experienced before.” She added, “It feels to me as if we are at a pivotal moment in our development. This presents an opportunity to move into a higher gear to meet and exceed our members’ expectations.”
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