SMART General Secretary-Treasurer Powell transitions to directorial role; Local 265 President/Business Manager John Daniel assumes position

June 30, 2024

When Joseph Powell first began working as SMART general secretary-treasurer following his election in 2019, our union – and our two nations – was in a vastly different position. Nationally, both the United States and Canada were in the midst of tenuous and chaotic political climates that tested working families across states, provinces and territories. And SMART faced a variety of challenges, including a pension that was still considered “endangered,” the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) scheme from the Trump administration, attacks on two-person crews and much more.

Today, we have met those challenges, with the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund certified in the Green Zone, IRAPs soundly defeated, a federal two-person crew regulation and pro-union legislation at the federal and state levels. And on June 4, 2024, Powell informed the General Executive Council that he would not seek re-election for the office of general secretary-treasurer at the 3rd SMART General Convention in August.  

“After 10 years of dedicated service, I have decided to step down as of June 30, 2024,” Powell said. “I will continue in my commitment to SMART and our members in a director capacity.”

“Joe has been a steadfast leader from day one; someone sheet metal and transportation workers know they can count on, from his days at Local 206 in San Diego, to his years serving our members across North America at the International,” added SMART General President Michael Coleman. “I have no doubt that he will continue that service as a director.”

Daniel to bring decades of experience to Washington, DC

Following Powell’s announcement on June 4, the SMART General Executive Council appointed John Daniel, outgoing president and business manager of Local 265 (Carol Stream, Ill.) and current SMART general vice president, to assume the remainder of the general secretary-treasurer’s term. Powell is working closely with Daniel during the changeover to ensure a smooth transition.

“I know our union will be in good hands with John as general secretary-treasurer,” Coleman said. “Congratulations to him on this achievement.”

Daniel has loyally served SMART members for more than 30 years. Since entering the industry in 1991, he has been a sheet metal fabricator and installer, an instructor, organizer, business representative, financial secretary-treasurer and most recently the president/business manager for Local 265.

Daniel said his career path has provided him with a well-rounded perspective of the sheet metal industry and the challenges facing the unionized sector. Having an open mind and being an active listener, leveraging assets both financial and relational, employing technology to not only capture more work opportunities but to attract the next generation of tradesmen and women — these are only a few of his priorities.

“I have some big shoes to fill, but I’m excited to serve the members of our great union, in every craft, every trade and every industry, from Canada to the United States,” Daniel said. “This is a crucial time for our organization, and I’m ready to do the work.”