SAG-AFTRA National Convention Summary

October 21, 2023 - Under the banner theme “Future Forward Union Power,” SAG-AFTRA kicked off its sixth biennial National Convention Friday afternoon. SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher officially opened the event by inviting first responders, active duty and veteran delegates to lead the pledge of allegiance.

Although originally scheduled to run October 20-23, the convention was adjourned this evening in order to free the TV/Theatrical Negotiating Committee and key staff to prepare for resuming TV/Theatrical/Streaming negotiations.

Rescheduled convention dates will be set by the SAG-AFTRA National Board at a later date.

“While it’s disappointing to have to adjourn the convention early, the Negotiating Committee must immediately get back to the hard work of preparing to secure a fair contract,” said President Drescher.

During the convention session, delegates nominated and elected the union’s eight national vice presidents, including the executive vice president.

Linda Powell, who previously served as SAG-AFTRA New York Local First Vice President, was elected Executive Vice President. Her two-year term begins immediately.

“I’m so honored to have been elected by the membership to serve as SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President. I am looking forward to working with President Drescher and the rest of our dedicated leadership team at this pivotal time for our union. We will work to build on the solidarity of this moment to serve our members while exploring new opportunities for growth and innovation,” said Powell.

The following vice presidential candidates were elected to two-year terms, effective immediately (an asterisk indicates candidates who ran unopposed):

Jodi Long, National Vice President, Los Angeles*
Ezra Knight, National Vice President, New York*
Michelle Proude, National Vice President, Mid-Sized Locals
Suzanne Burkhead, National Vice President, Small Locals
Shari Belafonte, National Vice President, Actors/Performers
Bob Butler, National Vice President, Broadcasters*
Janice Pendarvis, National Vice President, Recording Artists/Singers*

“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Linda over the past several years and know her to be one of our most intelligent and thoughtful leaders in our union. She will make an exceptional Executive Vice President. I would also like to extend my congratulations to our newly and re-elected national vice presidents. The SAG-AFTRA membership and I are lucky to have such strong national officers leading and representing our union. Congratulations again to all, and I look forward to continuing our work together,” said Drescher.

Secretary-Treasurer Joely Fisher began her report by expressing her gratitude to the SAG-AFTRA TV/Theatrical negotiating committee for their work and congratulating all of the newly elected national vice presidents and expressed her excitement in working with them in the future. She also spoke about the importance of mental health and shared updates on key financial gains the union has made over the past few years, including the purchase of a building to serve as SAG-AFTRA’s future headquarters.

"We now own a North Hollywood office building, finally achieving a vision that was started decades ago by my mother and former Secretary-Treasurer, Connie Stevens. We accomplished this under budget and at just the right time where we can look forward to enjoying a future where our membership will benefit from this important investment income," said Fisher.

Newly elected Executive Vice President Linda Powell shared her eagerness to get back to the negotiating table. Powell assured the delegates of her commitment to representing members around the country and understanding their individual needs. She also stressed her plan to leverage the solidarity built through the TV/Theatrical strike in order to increase engagement throughout SAG-AFTRA’s membership.

President Drescher reflected on the past two years noting accomplishments including the union’s partnership with IMDb and introduction of Green Council. She thanked the delegates and members for their service to the union and their support in the leadership. Drawing attention to SAG-AFTRA’s 100th day on strike, Drescher reminded everyone that they are a part of history, they are on strike for a reason and they are going to get a fair deal.

National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland opened his report by acknowledging elected members.

“Let me just say congratulations to everyone who's elected to serve including the people who were elected to their offices today: our vice presidents, our executive vice president Linda Powell, our secretary treasurer, Joely Fisher, and of course, President Fran Drescher–it has been a true honor to get to know you and work side by side with you in this battle that we're fighting together. “

Crabtree-Ireland also reported on a variety of SAG-AFTRA achievements and shared updates on the current TV/Theatrical strike. He shared the success of the interim agreement and the SAG-AFTRA foundation. He also acknowledged the strike captains and applauded their continued efforts along with the solidarity that members have shown on the picket lines, representing the extraordinary commitment of members across the country from the union’s 25 locals.

The George Heller Memorial Award, which is bestowed based on contributions and years of service to SAG-AFTRA or its predecessor unions, and the American Scene Awards, which are bestowed on union productions that most intelligently and progressively employ the talents of misrepresented or under-represented groups to realistically portray the American Scene, were originally scheduled to be presented this weekend but will also be postponed until the SAG-AFTRA National Board sets rescheduled dates.

TV/Theatrical/Streaming negotiations are scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 24 at SAG-AFTRA Plaza. Several executives from AMPTP member companies will be in attendance.


SAG-AFTRA’s sixth national convention is taking place virtually Oct. 21–23. With the theme "Future Forward – Union Power," this will be the second convention to take place online. Convention delegates from all 25 locals and national elected leaders will convene to discuss the major issues concerning the union, elect national vice presidents, and consider resolutions and amendments to the union’s constitution.

What to know for the 2023 SAG-AFTRA National Convention

*Reference the agenda below for event times.

  • Only SAG-AFTRA 2023 elected delegates and officers are invited to attend the 2023 SAG-AFTRA National Convention.
  • The Resolution period ends on Thursday, September 21 at 11:59 pm PT.
  • Registration closes on Wednesday, October 18 at 5 pm PT/8 pm ET.
  • Join us for an Open House on Friday, October 20 at Noon PT/3 pm ET.
  • A Virtual Mixer will be held on Friday, October 20 from 5-6 pm PT/8-9 pm ET.
  • The Convention Lobby will not be accessible until October 20, 2023.
  • Convention begins daily at 9 am PT/Noon ET.
  • For the optimum convention experience, use a desktop or laptop computer.
  • You will only be able to login from one device at a time.
  • Only the email you registered with will work for logging in.
  • Your password is your Registration ID (password) received in your registration confirmation email.
  • Delegate-only documents will be available at

Maximize Your Convention Experience

We’ll see you for our virtual National Convention starting on Friday, October 20, 2023. We’ve got lots of great experiences in store, so don’t miss a thing!

*Reference the agenda below for event times.

  • Participate in voting on a number of resolutions.
  • The Honors and Tributes Committee recognizes a select few with the George Heller Memorial Award(s). Honoree(s) will be presented with gold SAG-AFTRA cards on Saturday, October 21.
  • Join us Sunday, October 22 for the American Scene Awards, celebrating employers who honor the importance of Diversity and Inclusion.
  • Dress to virtually impress! There will be a virtual photo booth.

The photo booth is operated by Pixelated and you will be asked to accept their standard Terms of Use upon adding your photo to the gallery. SAG-AFTRA has negotiated language that limits Pixelated's use of SAG-AFTRA images to only be displayed at this event. By participating in the photo booth, you are agreeing to allow SAG-AFTRA to use your image for promotional purposes.