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LHSFNA Management Co-Chairman Noel C. Borck

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LIUNA General Secretary-Treasurer and LHSFNA Labor Co-Chairman
Armand E. Sabitoni

This New Year begins with an unexpected change in leadership at the LHSFNA.

Joe Fowler’s death on November 6 was sudden, and it created an immense void for us. Last month, as the Trustees convened for our Board meeting, finding Joe’s replacement was chief among our issues. Fortunately, we did not have to look far. Lisa Sabitoni was sitting at the table.

It made perfect sense to promote Lisa. She is the well-trained graduate of both the University of Rhode Island (B.A. in English and psychology) and the New England School of Law in Boston. She is a member of the Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Washington, DC Bars. More significantly, for more than ten years she served as Joe’s Assistant Executive Director, previously serving three years as the Fund’s legal counsel. She knows the Fund inside and out. Moreover, as many readers know, she comes from a family of Laborers and knows LIUNA well. She is broadly experienced in labor-management cooperation, program administration and staff management. And, of course, she has worked directly with most our Trustees for many years. We know her personally and professionally. We have complete confidence in her ability to advance the Fund’s mission, creating her own style of leadership and outreach in the process.

The Fund’s mission is a broad one, as demonstrated by the breadth of topics addressed in this issue of LIFELINES. Our cover story makes the point that LIUNA signatory contractors can lower their workers’ compensation costs and protect their workers by enhancing their company safety programs; we explain how the system works and where to focus attention to achieve the greatest results. We review ANSI’s new voluntary standard on setting up and maintaining safer work zones. Several stories address the regulatory changes emerging from the revitalized U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA. Others focus on personal health – offering ways to make New Year’s resolutions stick, ways to ensure adequate dietary protein while controlling calories and ways to shop more healthily at the grocery store. Our trustee education series takes up the issue of fund mergers. Another piece looks into workplace violence prevention, and a last one examines the recent uproar over mammogram and Pap smear guidelines, asking what is – or is not – essential to good health.

These are the kinds of topics that our Fund’s staff works on every day. In each, we are guided by specific concerns raised by Laborers and LIUNA signatory employers. We always welcome and encourage your input.

Now, the New Year begins. Though we know times are tough for Laborers throughout the United States and Canada, we look ahead assured that our Fund, under Lisa’s leadership, will continue to make a difference in the lives and livelihoods of LIUNA members and signatory employers. While we will do everything we can to help, we wish you the very best in 2010.