September 25, 2009

Screen Actors Guild elects new president

The U.S. Screen Actors Guild says its members have elected Ken Howard president and Amy Aquino secretary-treasurer.

Both began serving their two-year terms Friday.

Ballots were mailed to 99,485 paid-up SAG members Aug. 25, and 27,295 were tabulated Thursday for a return of 27.44 percent.

Howard received 12,895 votes, with Anne-Marie Johnson coming in second with 8,906 votes. Seymour Cassel was third with 4,838 votes and Asmar Muhammad came in fourth with 402 votes.

I'd like to be among the first to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our newly elected Screen Actors Guild national leadership. I look forward to working closely with our new president, Ken Howard, and new secretary-treasurer, Amy Aquino, as we focus on the wide range of critical issues facing our members in the coming year, SAG Interim National Executive Director David White said in a statement. I also extend my thanks, and the gratitude of SAG members and staff to Alan Rosenberg and Connie Stevens for their service and sacrifice on behalf of our union.

Howard said he is deeply honored to lead the Screen Actors Guild.

I campaigned on the promise that I'd do everything in my power to strengthen our position at the bargaining table by building a greater unity with AFTRA and the other entertainment unions, and that's exactly what I intend to do, Howard said. Despite the sharp differences that those of us active in guild affairs sometimes have over strategy and tactics, we need to continually remind ourselves that we're all on the same team, fighting for the same thing -- and by pulling together, we'll only grow stronger.