INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, March 31 — Megan C. Mead became the first woman in the 160-year history of the BLET to hold a National Division office when she was elected by acclamation to serve as Alternate National Secretary-Treasurer on October 12, 2022.
“As we observe Women’s History Month, I salute Sister Mead for this significant accomplishment,” BLET National President Eddie Hall said. “Our union was founded in 1863, and this is the first time we have had a woman elected to serve at the National Division level. She should be proud of this historic milestone.”
Sister Mead credits hard work, honesty, and integrity for her election to the National Division office. More importantly, she thanks those who served as mentors throughout her career.
The first union officer who guided her was John Siedo, who trained her in her duties as a Division Secretary-Treasurer. While Brother Sideo gave guidance on the ins and outs of union record keeping, Sister Mead provided the computer skills necessary to bring the Division’s books into the 21st Century.
Sister Mead thanked former Union Pacific-Southern Region General Chairman Warren Dent for his kindness and leadership when she was first elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Union Pacific-Southern Region General Committee of Adjustment (GCA). She credits long-time BLET Special Representative Jim Bradford for bringing her under his wing, sharing his knowledge of the BLET’s history, and introducing her to countless other BLET Brothers and Sisters.
Sister Mead also thanked Dr. Elaine Reese for the role she played as a mentor. It was Dr. Reese who trained Sister Mead to take over as the Director of the Compliance Compartment when Dr. Reese retired in 2015.
As she benefited from the guidance of mentors throughout her career, Sister Mead encouraged others to serve as mentors. “Mentoring our next generation of leaders will help make our union stronger,” she said. “We as officers, have that obligation.”
A military veteran, Sister Mead served in the Army prior to the start of her railroad career. She was stationed around the globe from 1983-1987 in numerous countries, including Egypt and Germany. Sister Mead is a Union Pacific locomotive engineer. She hired out as a brakeman with the UP in 1990 and earned promotion to locomotive engineer in July 1993. She first joined the BLE as a member of Division 197 in San Antonio, Texas, on November 1, 1994, and has held continuous membership ever since.
Immediately upon joining the BLE over 30 years ago, Sister Mead began working as the Secretary-Treasurer of Division 197, a position she held for many years. She also was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Union Pacific-Southern Region GCA, one of the larger GCAs in the BLET with nearly 3,000 active and retired members.
Sister Mead began working full-time for the BLET National Division as a Special Representative effective July 1, 2013, becoming the first woman Special Representative in BLET history. On July 7, 2015, she was appointed Director of the BLET’s Record and Compliance Department, a position she still holds today.