New officers at IBEW Local 48

Dave Jacobsen was elected president of IBEW Local 48.


In recent union officer elections, IBEW Local 48 business manager Garth Bachman ran unopposed and was reelected to a new three-year term. Members also elected other officers, including a new president. Dave Jacobsen, who was serving as vice president, outpolled Kennitha Wade, who was serving as recording secretary. Wayne Chow, who served as president the last two three-year terms, has been working full time for the state and local building trades council, and opted not to run for a third term.

Jacobsen, 66, grew up in Southeast Portland in a union family. His father was a union machinist, and his uncle a union electrician. Working around the country as a construction supervisor for a retail chain, he says he was always impressed by the quality of work union electricians put in. So in 1994, he signed up as an apprentice, and in 1999 completed Local 48’s training program to become a journeyman. 

Working as an inside wireman electrician for EC company and others, Jacobsen developed a passion for safety. He became a union safety steward, taught safety courses at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center (NIETC), and in 2012 went to work as safety director for the union-signatory contractor Stoner Electric. 

Jacobsen says being in the union has been wonderful for him and his family, giving him the stability, income, and flexibility to be able to coach youth sports, put his two kids through college, and participate in his church, Gresham United Methodist.

As president, he says his goals will be to increase the transparency of union business, and look for more opportunities for rank-and-file members to participate, for example in group volunteer projects for groups like Habitat for Humanity and Wounded Warriors.

Also elected were:

  • Business Manager: Garth Bachman
  • Vice President: Paul New
  • Treasurer: Susan Rodway
  • Executive Board: Amanda Swan, Kat Smith, Darrell Bell, Ed Drapeau, Nick Mitchell, and John Wilson

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