Fall 2019

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Page 7 of 118

"We must continue to listen to the members, the marketplace, our employers, industry partners and, most importantly, each other." Dear Member, A s we approach this holiday season, I want to thank you for your extraordinary work and commitment to our members. This last month marked the fourth biennial SAG-AFTRA National Convention. I am always moved by this collective body and reminded of our purpose to each other and our future as performers and media professionals within this industry. I cannot begin to express how honored I am to have met, worked and strategized with our largest body of members from around the country, laying the groundwork for SAG-AFTRA and our future. I was proud and moved to witness the election of our eight national vice presidents; these chosen leaders will help shape SAG-AFTRA's strategic vision for the years ahead, and I would like to congratulate them and all of our newly elected leaders. As you may know, "#Unconventional" was the theme for this convention and it could not have been more apropos because we must be just that as we move into the future. We have all been witnessing the incredible growth of technology and its effect on our work. It is with this knowledge and our need to stay out in front of the rapid changes within our industry that we established a National Innovation and New Technology Committee as well as a National NextGen Performers Committee. These crucial committees will help us to continue navigating through our rapidly changing industry as we plan for the next generation of SAG-AFTRA contracts. Hearing David White, our national executive director, speak about the digitization of our industry and the disruption of our traditional business models — basically the reorganization of what we traditionally have known as studio and network product being siloed into the "walled garden" — was riveting, and I urge you to read his letter on page 12 to understand and consider. It is absolutely clear that as we prepare for our upcoming TV and Theatrical negotiations, we must all become more involved and informed regarding the major shifts that we will continue to experience within our working universe. That being said, we will be traveling the country to share with you the research and strategy of how we are looking to move ahead as a unified membership in these upcoming negotiations. Beyond these negotiations, we are also looking to connect and interface with our members in creative ways. Our members are younger, smarter and more digitally savvy than ever before. And it is for this reason we are launching our national Member Imagination Center at our SAG-AFTRA headquarters in Los Angeles. The center will feature state-of-the-art digital media facilities with an audiovisual studio, an intimate concert stage, a podcast recording suite as well as meeting, screening and event space. Perhaps most importantly, it will be a think-tank space equipped with digital media educational classes and distance learning to give members from around the country a new and dynamic way to hone their abilities and expand their knowledge. It is imperative that we continue to innovate and think strategically, particularly as the entertainment industry undergoes seismic shifts in technology. We must continue to listen to the members, the marketplace, our employers, industry partners and, most importantly, each other. That is how we create the union we want to be. In closing, I would like to wish you all a happy holiday season. Who you are and what you do is meaningful. Strength in unity, Gabrielle Carteris

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