George "Ronnie" Bentley
Although my membership into the Operating Engineers began in June 1972, my education in the industry started much earlier. My father was a sixty-year member of the IUOE and taught me the lessons of dependability, responsibility and the meaning of" a fair day's wages for a fair day's work". In 1998 I was elected and served as Local 178 president until becoming the business manager in January 2007. As I strive to serve the local and its membership to the best of my ability, I have not forgotten my roots or the thirty plus years of crane operating experiences.
My first jobs after becoming a member of Local 178 were with multiple building and trade contractors at various locations in the DFW area including General Motors and American Airline Center. Prior to becoming a business representative, I served as an organizer with the International's Hispanic Outreach Program. Seven years ago I was brought on staff to serve as Local 178's organizer to activate organizing in the public and private sector; subsequently I was assigned as the building and trade business representative. As business representative I have continued my education by attending the Harvard Trade Union Program and classes at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to assist me in my duties with organizing, negotiations, dispatch and servicing the membership.
Bill E. Williams
As a second-generation pipeliner, my career as an operating engineer began July 1980 operating a boring machine on a pipeline project in Amarillo, Texas. Our trade has taken me to every state in the United States except Hawaii and allowed me the opportunity to meet and work with some fine people. I have served as a foreman and steward on several jobs. Currently, I am Local 178's business representative for pipeline.
My father's thirty-two year career as an operating engineer with Local 66 was instrumental in my enrolling in the Apprenticeship Program in 1982. My completion in the apprenticeship program in 1985 gave me the opportunity to work in crane rental on hydraulic motor cranes. My experiences in the crane rental industry over the last twenty-six years have been immeasurable. My continuing education has included computer technology, teaching techniques and OSHA programs. This additional education has been beneficial and essential in instructing apprentices as well as testing and certifying members as Local 178's Apprenticeship Coordinator.