UBC Southern District Vice President
Dennis Donahou is one of the most respected figures in the Southern labor industry, and was unanimously elected as Southern District Vice President at the UBC’s general convention in the summer of 2015.
Mr. Donahou was the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern States Millwright Regional Council when he was called to lead the Southern District. In fact, Mr. Donahou was the founding EST of the SSMRC, taking 5000+ professional millwrights from a startup organization in 2010 to one of the busiest and most in-demand labor resources for America’s Southern states.
By pulling together 11 states under one roof, the SSMRC created a mobility of manpower that allowed contractors to access qualified workers from across the Council, when they were previously limited to local areas. Contractors now have the security of knowing their jobs will be manned when they call upon the SSMRC.
Mr. Donahou also implemented standardized training across the Council, enabling any member to access the same training at any training center throughout the Council. This helped solidify the Council’s reputation for having the most well trained millwrights in the South. Contractors and owners can count on each area to be as well trained as the others in the same classes, some of which were designed with their specific needs in mind.
Union Leadership Since 1976
Mr. Donahou, with the help of a handpicked team from the staff and administration, created a marketing and recruitment campaign that is now being emulated throughout the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. A website, social media, email news alerts, newsletter and other print material now provide real-time information to members and the public alike, combined with a focus on recruiting and expansion. The SSMRC has grown its membership by about 300 members and has added numerous signatory contractors.
Providing resources to individual Locals to help them accomplish their goals is a priority for Mr. Donahou and under his leadership, a Council Roll Back program was established. An incentive system now rolls back money to the Locals each month based on how many members the Local had current on their dues at that time. This allowed several Locals to lower the cost of their dues, and Council wide, the percentage of members in arrears has been cut in half. New offices and training centers were built, and others improved upon, to keep up with the increased demand for union millwright labor in the South.
Prior to his time with the SSMRC, Mr. Donahou led the Arkansas Regional Council of Carpenters for 14 years to equally successful outcomes. When Mr. Donahou took over as EST, the Council had two health and welfare plans that were failing and no longer able to adequately provide for the Council’s members. Those two plans were merged into one, stronger plan, which was able to support the members and add better benefits. The Council also switched to week-long daytime training, affording members more opportunity to train.
A member of the UBC since 1976, Mr. Donahou worked as a journeyman millwright, foreman, general foreman and superintendent on many nuclear and coal-burning power plants and paper mills throughout the United States. In 1991, he was named a business representative for millwright Local 1836 in Russellville until acquiring the EST position upon the creation of the Arkansas Regional Council in 1997. He is a life-long resident of Arkansas and lives in Combs, AR with his wife, Dollie. They are the parents of two daughters, a son and have two grandchildren.