Actors' Equity Association (Equity) announced today the appointment of Thomas Carpenter to the position of Eastern Regional Director/Assistant Executive Director and General Counsel. Mr. Carpenter joins the Equity staff on August 27, 2012.
As the Eastern Regional Director, Mr. Carpenter will oversee the region’s operations, collective bargaining and contracts and will lead the New York and Orlando staffs. Additionally, he will serve as lead staff for Public Policy. He joins the executive team as an Assistant Executive Director and, as General Counsel for Equity Mr. Carpenter will oversee arbitrations and manage the Union’s relationships with external legal counsel for labor relations.
“We are very pleased to have Tom join our Equity staff,” said Executive Director Mary McColl. “Tom brings a breadth of experience to the table and his leadership skills complement our staff and support our mission. He will quickly become the go-to guy for our Eastern Region.”
Mr. Carpenter joins Equity from his current position as the Assistant National Executive Director and Chief Labor Counsel for SAG-AFTRA where his portfolio of responsibilities includes oversight of legal work supporting collective bargaining and organizing, as well as oversight of the Equal Employment and Diversity Department and the Government Affairs and Public Policy Department. Prior to the merger of SAG and AFTRA, Mr. Carpenter served as AFTRA’s General Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs, coordinating national legal strategies and administering all of AFTRA’s legislative and policy initiatives. He also served as chief negotiator for national collective bargaining agreements.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to be part of the Equity staff as the Union approaches its 100th anniversary,” said Mr. Carpenter. “I look forward to working on behalf of the membership in all areas of contract administration, public policy and strategic planning. As live performance increasingly intersects with recorded media, I will work closely with Equity’s leadership to develop new strategies to protect the intellectual property rights and integrity of our members’ performances.”
Prior to joining AFTRA’s staff, Carpenter was Legal Counsel for Teamsters Local 705 in Chicago where he assisted in the administration of reforming one of the largest Teamster locals in the U.S., as part of a government-mandated trusteeship.
Mr. Carpenter received his Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and his undergraduate degree in Radio, Television and Film from Northwestern University. He serves on the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalists, and is Treasurer of the International News Safety Institute. He is also a member of the AFL-CIO’s Lawyers Coordinating Committee and Lawyers Advisory Panel.
Actors' Equity Association represents more than 49,000 professional stage actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits including health and pension plans, and is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. Actors' Equity Association will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2013.