Elevator Constructors Local 23 elects new business rep

Mike Bodendorfer has been elected business representative of Portland-based Elevator Constructors Local 23. He defeated three others in a race to succeed Frank Regalado, who did not run for re-election.

The business rep is the only full-time position at the local, which represents 266 workers who build and service elevators and escalators in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

A native of Chicago, Bodendorfer, 62, entered the trade as an apprentice in 1972. At that time, the city was just coming off a weeks-long elevator strike and work was backed up. His wife was a secretary at a company that manufactured freight elevator doors, and one day her boss asked if her husband wanted a job working on elevators. He took it, joining the apprenticeship program of Chicago Elevator Constructors Local 2.

He transferred his card to Local 23 in 1999 after accepting a job with Sound Elevator, which later was bought out by ThyssenKrupp Elevator. “It was a time in my life to make a change, an opportunity came up to work in the Pacific Northwest, so we (his wife and daughter) made the move,” Bodendorfer said.

Bodendorfer has served on Local 23’s Executive Board for the past six years and as an instructor to first- and second-term apprentices at the National Elevator Industry Educational Program (NEIEP) for the last decade.

He said the Great Recession has taken its toll on the local, with nearly one-third of its membership — mostly on the construction side — out of work, some for as long as two years.

“I’ve been through recessions before, but this is definitely the worst I’ve ever experienced,” he said.

But Bodendorfer sees light at the end of the tunnel. “It doesn’t appear to be getting any worse at this point. Our work is industry driven — Intel, high-rises, hospitals. I’m optimistic.”

Bodendorfer defeated Dan Coyle, Bobby Dukes, Jr., and Tom Jodry for the job. His term of office is three years.

In other voting results, Russ Vollendorf ran unopposed for president; Dave Tremain defeated Randy Carmony for vice president; Bob Pyne ran unopposed for treasurer, as did Reo Anderson for recording secretary, and Dan Garrett for warden.

Steve King and Lance Martin were elected to the six-person Executive Board, having received the most votes out of five candidates. Others running were Scott Augst, Greg Biornstad and Eric Lindquist. Currently serving terms on the Board are Randy Carmony, Jeff Dunford, Don Hickman, and Brian Jenkins.

Les Johns defeated James John for a seat on the three-member Board of Trustees. Other trustees are Perry Cooper and Don Springer.

Bodendorfer succeeds Regalado, who has served as business representative since August 2007, first under an interim appointment, then elected in a special election in April 2008. Regalado previously served as business representative from 1997 to 2003.

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