News & Media

Mark Watson Takes on New Role as Executive Assistant to James Barry

January 24, 2020

As of February 1, 2020, IBEW Local 804 Business Manager Mark Watson will step down to take on a new role with the IBEW CCO as Executive Assistant to the Executive Secretary Treasurer, James Barry.

“While I wasn’t actively seeking a new role, I was honoured to have been chosen,” said Watson. “I’m very excited to join James and the Construction Council of Ontario team. James has a vision for the Council and I think it will be very good for our members.”

Commented Barry, “I am very much looking forward to partnering with Mark as he takes on his new role as my executive assistant. Mark is a highly motivated, intelligent, strategic thinker. I am extremely confident that he will bring new ideas with a creative and balanced approach to the various new initiatives underway at the IBEW Construction Council of Ontario.”

“Mark has great ideas for moving the council forward in a positive way,” said Council President Lorne Newick. “His appointment was very well received by the business managers, and the Council is looking forward to working with him and stands ready to support him.”

A Mandate to Foster Continued Growth

Watson will be assisting Barry on a number of files, but the current plan is for Watson to focus primarily on the Electrical Power Systems Construction Association (EPSCA).

Mark has worked both for and with EPSCA in the past for over fifteen years. This includes work at Bruce Power under an EPSCA agreement starting in 2002. Watson, in a number of roles for Local 804, has developed an intimate knowledge of the history and agreements as well fostering important relationships with prominent members of EPSCA.

As part of his role, Mark also hopes to continue to strengthen ties between the IBEW CCO and the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO).

“I recognize that we’re in a symbiotic relationship,” said Watson. “When our contractor-partners are successful, we’re successful. Local 804 has had a great relationship with our local contractors and their customers like Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation. I know that we’ll continue to make it work at a provincial level too.”

A Bittersweet Transition

Brian Jacobs, Local 804’s organizer since 2011, has been appointed to take over for Watson as business manager by the Executive Board of Local 804 until elections can be held in June 2020.

“As I’ve told our members, James is getting the best the province has to offer to assist him in the Construction Council of Ontario’s office,” said Jacobs. “I know Mark will have the same positive and progressive impact for the province as he has had for us here at Local 804.”

Jacobs is confident about the current direction for Local 804. “Mark and I have been working together in the 804 office since 2012, and since 2008 if you include the Executive Board. Mark has always used the team in the office as a sounding board when major decisions are being considered and I intend to do the same. We have a fantastic team here.

Mark’s put us on a great path and we are going to continue on that path, facing any obstacles as they arise.”

“Moving out of my role in Local 804 was a difficult decision to make,” comments Watson. “I consulted my family, Brian, and the 804 team. There’s more that I wanted to do, but as the business manager I was always looking to add value and create more work. It’s definitely bittersweet to leave my coworkers and staff but I know they will be able to carry on what we have started and I look forward to the new challenges I will face as a member of James’ staff.”

Watson has a long history of serving IBEW Local 804, and has held office continuously since 2008. He has served on the executive board, and has also served as the training director and assistant business manager. From 2010 until 2017 he served as president, and was elected as business manager and financial secretary from 2017 until 2020.

“It’s been a great 12 years,” said Watson. “I leave 804 with total confidence in the team we’ve built, because they were involved at every level. I have no doubt that they will move forward under Brian’s leadership seamlessly.”

“We’ve seen a lot of growth and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, especially in the last few years. All of the changes we’ve made have been done with the long term prosperity of Local 804 in mind, and the positive impact of those changes will continue to benefit the membership for decades to come.”

“I’d like to thank my local for electing me and for all the support I have received over the years as we implemented new programs. I will miss the daily interactions with many of the friends I have made, but I can rest easy knowing that I will be continuing to represent them along with all the other IBEW members across the province. It’s an honour and a privilege that I take very seriously.”

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