Michael Coleman assumed the position of SMART General President on June 1, 2023, having been elected by the SMART General Executive Council following the retirement of former SMART General President Joseph Sellers. In all, Coleman has more than 20 years of dedicated leadership at the local and international level. He played a crucial role during SMART’s second-ever General Convention in 2019, serving as secretary of the Constitution Committee and shepherding through 114 proposed amendments – helping to facilitate the democratic process of our union and positioning SMART for future success.

Coleman began his career as a SMART sheet metal worker in 1985, when he joined what was then Local 65 in Cleveland, Ohio (Local 65 merged with Local 33 soon after). After graduating into journeyperson status and honing his craft for several years, he ran for election as a member of the local’s executive board. From there, he became business representative, then Local 33 president and business manager in 2012.

At Local 33, Coleman cultivated a reputation for pursuing innovative strategies in order to organize more members, effectively structure benefit and pension plans, provide greater flexibility to members and more. He worked tirelessly to boost the local’s profile throughout northern Ohio and West Virginia and demonstrated a willingness to think outside the box in taking on the challenges our union faces.  

Seven years later, upon the request of the SMART General Executive Council, Coleman moved to Washington, DC to work as SMART’s director of business and management relations. Shortly after that, General President Sellers asked Coleman to become assistant to the general president, a position in which he served until May 31, 2023.


Joseph Powell began his career in the sheet metal industry in 1988 with his entrance into the four-year apprenticeship program in Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 206 in San Diego, Calif.

He worked for University Mechanical and attended classes in the evenings, a dedication to advancement through education he has remained true to throughout his career. In 1992, he turned out as a journeyperson and worked as a foreman with University Mechanical until 2000. Along with his responsibilities as a foreman, he was also an instructor with the JATC.

Powell began his union political service in 1994, when he was elected conductor, a position he held until 1997. He was a trustee from 1997 until Jun, 2000. In 2004, after serving as business representative for four years, he became the business manager/financial secretary treasurer of Local 206. In 2012, he was appointed 9th general vice president on the international’s General Executive Council. In January 2015, he became assistant to the general president. Powell was elected to the position of general secretary-treasurer on August 14, 2019, at the 2nd SMART General Convention.

He has served in numerous capacities with Local 206 affiliates. He was a trustee for the Sheet Metal Workers’ Trust Fund, chairman of the San Diego Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), executive board member for the AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, co-chairman for Local 206’s 401(a) plan, and president of the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council. In addition to his four-year apprenticeship schooling, Powell completed ITI Advanced Instructors Training Programs and attended the National Labor College at the George Meany Center, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Labor Education in 2006.

He has played a key role in leading and directing SMART’s grassroots member engagement programs, including the SMART Army and its organizing initiatives in the sheet metal industry.


Jeremy Ferguson, a member of TD Local 313 in Grand Rapids, Mich., was elected Sunday, August 11, 2019, at the Second SMART Transportation Division Convention.

After serving in the U.S. Army and attending college, he started railroading in 1994 as a conductor on CSX in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was promoted to engineer in 1995.

Ferguson was elected local legislative representative in 1995; local chairperson in 1996, and secretary of the CSX/B&O General Committee, GO 049, in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2007. He was elected second vice general chairperson in 2008 and first vice general chairperson in 2011. At the first SMART Transportation Division Convention in 2014, Ferguson was elected to the position of vice president.

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Member Voices

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Meet Carol Jones

Longtime Amtrak conductor Carol Jones — who is also a local chairperson with SMART-TD Local 1361 out of New Haven, Conn. — shares her story of coming up in the transportation industry and working as a pioneering woman in the passenger rail sector.