Actors' Equity Association has named Alvin Vincent, Jr. as its new executive director, making him the national labor union's 12th executive director and the first Black person to carry the title. Vincent takes the position in February 2022, succeeding Mary McColl, who announced this summer that she would step down when her contract ends in January.
Vincent comes to AEA from the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, where he joined as a member in 1988 and most recently served as International Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Region Director since 2005.
“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.”
Vincent is heralded for his work at UFCW, not only for his work within local unions and labor management, but for his role in launching community service and political action campaigns.
“I am honored to be joining Actors’ Equity Association, an organization where members’ voices truly matter," Vincent said. “As its executive director, 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."
As executive director, Vincent will be responsible for the leadership of the organization, including operational and financial management of AEA's professional staff, and the collective bargaining and contract oversight process for more than 40 national and regional contracts.
“As the theatre industry experiences challenging times, Equity is making the changes necessary to move onward with strength, diversity, and inclusion,” said 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.”