IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson has announced his retirement effective January 4, 2023. The International Executive Council (IEC) accepted his resignation and elected International Secretary-Treasurer Kenneth W. Cooper to fill the remainder of Stephenson’s term and Sixth District International Vice President Paul Noble to fill the remainder of Cooper’s term.
Stephenson, who succeeded the late Ed Hill on June 1, 2015, as the 18th International President of the IBEW, was from Moline, Illinois, where he joined the apprenticeship of Local 145 in 1975. Stephenson went on to be elected his local’s vice president in 1984, president, assistant business manager, and business manager in 1991, serving two terms. In 2002, he was appointed international representative of the Sixth District encompassing the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. When he announced his own retirement, Hill personally recommended Stephenson, then vice president of the Sixth District, to be his successor leading the IBEW during the long recovery from the Great Recession and the embattled years of the Trump presidency. Under the current Biden administration, the IBEW’s impact and outlook have taken a turn for the better.
Cooper, a first-generation journeyman inside wireman who started his career as an apprentice in Local 688 out of Mansfield, Ohio, will become the 19th International President of the IBEW. As the International Secretary-Treasurer for the last six years, Cooper has stewarded the IBEW’s financial resources, pension, and health and welfare funds.
Let’s thank International President Stephenson and Secretary-Treasurer Cooper for their leadership and continuing commitment to each and every member of the IBEW across North America.