After years fighting for thousands of sheet metal workers and their families as the president and business manager of SMART SM Local 19 (Philadelphia, Pa.) — and for SMART members across North America as a general vice president on the SMART General Executive Council — Gary Masino retired in early 2024.

Gary Masino

A third-generation sheet metal worker, Masino’s career began in the field, where he worked with the tools for approximately 20 years before becoming an organizer in September 2002. In 2006, he successfully ran for local office as a business agent, and in July 2011, he became president and business manager of Local 19. Several years later, former General President Joseph Nigro appointed him to serve as a SMART general vice president.

“I was honored to serve in that capacity and represent Local 19 at the table,” Masino said. “But after looking back on everything, by far the proudest moments of my career were when my two sons Gary and Eric decided to join Local 19, where they both served apprenticeships and are now working in the trade as journeymen.”

Masino took on a variety of leadership roles throughout his career: president of the Pennsylvania State Council of Sheet Metal Workers, president of the Mechanical Trades District Council of the Delaware Valley and vice president of the New Jersey State Council of Sheet Metal Workers. He also served as an executive board member of the Pennsylvania State Building Trades and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

His leadership and industry expertise led former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to appoint him to the Philadelphia Department of Licensing and Inspection’s Board of Appeals in 2012, as well as the city’s zoning board in 2014. In 2015, then-Gov. Tom Wolf appointed Masino to his Transition Committee for Labor and Industry, later appointing him as a commissioner of the Delaware River Port Authority Board to lend his expertise in revitalizing the city’s historical ports. Current Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro later named Masino to his transition team as well, on the Workforce Development Subcommittee.

“I believe that everything I have, from the day I was born, wouldn’t have been possible without Local 19.”

Throughout Masino’s time as president and business manager, Local 19 organized aggressively to bring in new members, take on low-road contractors, elect pro-worker champions and pass legislation that benefited SMART members and working-class families. Masino’s tenure included historic, challenging times for workers: the aftermath of the Great Recession, during which Local 19 had 800 members out of work, and the COVID-19 pandemic. But years of organizing, strategic financial decisions and the appointment of full-time Political Director Todd Farally helped achieve membership growth, financial security and legislation that created work for members, putting the local in a position to secure its future.

In a retirement message to Local 19 members, Masino noted several of his proudest accomplishments: establishing a Local 19 holiday fund for out-of-work or injured members, which evolved into a program that offers qualified members a $1,000 benefit; the creation of a retiree family benefit that increased the local’s death benefit; growing the local’s sub-benefit; significantly increasing the contribution into the local’s annuity in some areas; securing the pension fund; and negotiating some of the strongest contracts in the local’s history.

Masino brought the same drive to the SMART General Executive Council, working with fellow leaders at the International to pursue growth and legislative wins that are benefiting SMART members across our two nations.

“I’ve had a great career,” he concluded. “I believe that everything I have, from the day I was born, wouldn’t have been possible without Local 19.”