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REGIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Job Title: Executive Director, American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists (aftra)

Job Overview

Manage and direct day-to-day administration, public relations, and promotional activities, including contract negotiation, enforcement interpretation, budgets, and staff supervision.

Special Skills

“People skills are the most important above everything else,” says executive director Randy Himes, “because we work with the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are people who default on payments, people who are good payers, and people who are irate because they don't like unions. You've got to be able to think quickly on your feet and you need strong negotiating skills.”

What do you like least about your job?

“What I like the least is the politics that occur in every industry organization.”—Randy Himes

What do you love most about your job?

“I like seeing a need and finding a solution. I'm very goal oriented; I like to see results. A lot of activities we do have closure. You can negotiate a contract, see it through, and then see the performers working under it.”Randy Himes

Advice for Someone Seeking This Job

Volunteering to work on a committee or help with an event will allow you to learn more about the organization, and for the organization to become familiar with your work habits and abilities. Previous experience in the music industry is helpful.

Professional Profile: Randy Himes, Executive Director, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG)

Raised in Rockford, Illinois, Randy Himes's journey to working in the film and television industry began with his love of music. In his youth, he played in rock bands and devoted eight years to the French horn. After high school, he enrolled in the recording industry management program at Middle Tennessee State University with the intention of becoming a recording engineer. Upon graduating, he sent out résumés and worked at a gas station in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, while trying to get a music industry job. A local deejay, who was a regular customer, found out about Himes's interest and recommended him for an interview with the head of the Nashville AFTRA and SAG office. Following a marathon three-hour interview to be sure that he did not want to pursue a performing career, Himes was hired as a local field representative in 1978.

CAREER TIPS

* “You've got to be able to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”Randy Himes

* “You've got to be versatile and flexible. With AFTRA and SAG, there are no black and white lines in many areas. You have to be flexible enough to deal with that and not become frustrated.”Randy Himes

Later promoted to a national representative position, Himes remained stationed in Nashville, but traveled extensively. He found a mentor in an AFTRA attorney who taught him negotiation skills, which proved invaluable as he negotiated contracts at radio and television stations and became involved in troubleshooting operations around the country. When the chapter director left the organization in 1986, Himes was appointed to fill the post of executive director, where he remains today.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareers in Film and TelevisionREGIONAL OPPORTUNITIES - Job Title: Film Commission Or Film Office And Location Manager, Job Title: Executive Director, American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists (aftra)