Actors’ Equity Association Names Alvin Vincent, Jr. New Executive Director

Vincent to be Equity's First Black Executive Director, Bringing Decades of Organizing and Advocacy Experience to Labor Union

New York -- Actors’ Equity Association, the national union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has named Alvin Vincent, Jr. to be its 12th executive director. He assumes the role on February 1.

Vincent joins Equity from the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, where he most recently served as International Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Region Director since 2005. Since joining UFCW as a member in 1988 and then as an organizer on staff in 1990, Vincent has been a tireless advocate for workers and social justice. He was identified by executive leadership for crucial projects due to his adept ability to quickly build strong labor organizations, grow dynamic teams and maximize the power of workers’ voices.

“I am honored to be joining Actors’ Equity Association, an organization where members’ voices truly matter, as its executive director,” Vincent said. “I look forward to building an organization that continues to be at the forefront of workers’ rights, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion for not only its members but the industry at large.”

“When we started this process, I expected that we would hire a new ED from within our industry. But Al Vincent won me over as soon as we met him,” said Actors’ Equity Association President Kate Shindle. “I am incredibly compelled by his passion for effective, targeted communication and messaging, commitment to organizational transparency and accountability, creative approach to problem solving, and above all, his desire to create true belonging, inclusion, safety and fairness. He believes to his marrow in the dignity of workers, and the inherent respect that artist workers deserve. I truly believe that we are about to enter a momentous era, and that we are incredibly fortunate to welcome Al Vincent to Equity.”

During his time at UFCW, Vincent established a growth-minded culture within local unions, coaching leaders to embrace organizational change. He also launched a labor management partnership with Smithfield Foods and local food banks to donate 25 million servings of food to underserved communities and founded a hybrid political action committee focused on engaging energetic candidates for change.

Hailing from a multi-generation family of union members, Vincent rose through the ranks of UFCW leadership building expertise as a skilled and innovative organizer, negotiator, mobilizer and labor policy strategist. A longtime board member and advisor to the Keystone Research Center for Public Policy, he advises on economic development, income inequality, wages and education.

Vincent joins Equity at a critical moment in the union’s history. As Equity undergoes a transformative effort to respond to the pandemic, be more inclusive, increase its impact and modernize its technology, infrastructure and processes, Vincent enters the organization at an inflection point to shape its future. As executive director, Vincent will be responsible for the leadership of the organization (including operational and financial management of Equity's nationally-based professional staff) and the collective bargaining and contract oversight process for more than 40 national and regional contracts.

Equity partnered with executive search firm Stanton Chase International to conduct the process that led to Vincent's hiring. A committee of Equity councilors led by First Vice President Wydetta Carter selected finalist candidates to be interviewed by the full national council. Council voted unanimously to offer the position to Vincent.

“As the theatre industry experiences challenging times, Equity is making the changes necessary to move onward with strength, diversity and inclusion,'' said Actors’ Equity Association First Vice President Wydetta Carter. “As one of three officers of color in the history of Actor’s Equity Association, I am thrilled to see Al Vincent, Jr. become the first Black Executive Director of our union. As our membership and labor leaders across the country build their relationship with Al, they will come to know an organizer of work and workers, a strong negotiator, a trust builder, a strategic planner, a listener and a labor leader committed to change, for whom diversity and inclusion is never an afterthought but a part of every action.”

Vincent received his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Baltimore and his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He will split his time between New York City and Washington, D.C. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Christyne Neff, and their two children. Vincent will be available to the press for interviews in February.

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA.  #EquityWorks 

December 22, 2021

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