Richard “Dick” Peck started his sheet metal apprenticeship in 1958 and became a journey worker in 1962 at Sheet Metal Workers Local 20 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. A former administrator for the National Energy Management Institute (NEMI), he was asked to take the role as Funds Administrator — which included the International Training Institute, NEMI and the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT) — in 1995 before returning to lead NEMI again at the end of his career. In the last few years, he earned his 60-year pin and certificate and now resides in Fishers, Indiana.What is your fondest memory of your time as administrator?
At the time, I believe I was called “Fund Administrator.” The general president was considering bringing NTF, SMOHIT and NEMI under one umbrella. But the memory — meeting members and hearing their thoughts on going more high-tech in computers, welding, etc. They were right as usual.
What was the largest hurdle you had to face as administrator, and what is the largest step the ITI has taken since that time?
I was moved from being NEMI administrator to a three-fund administrator. In my short time there, it was difficult trying to achieve a meeting of the minds.
Since you left the position, how has the ITI progressed the most?
It has become more high-tech, diversified and continues to evolve, offering more opportunities to members.
What is your vision for the future of the unionized sheet metal industry?
ITI must continue its good work — diversify and evolve to stay in tune with the times so members can have job opportunities as the future unfolds.
What is a good piece of advice for those who would like their careers in the industry to include leadership positions?
Listen to the members and get as much education as you can.