Meet the Business Representatives

DBR Sam Cicinelli 708-588-7512

Directing Business Representative – Sam Cicinelli

Sam has been a member of Local 701 since 1988. He worked as a Cadillac Technician and served as Shop Steward for 11 years while serving as Vice-President for Local 701 for five years from 1995 to 2000. Sam was then appointed as an Organizer for Local 701 in 2000 before becoming a Business Representative in 2001. Sam serviced the trailer and body industry, automotive and body shop technicians, forklift industry, United Parcel Service and ITLRA General Trucking (ABF, Roadway, USF Holland and Yellow Transportation). He was selected to serve as Assistant Directing Business Representative in 2010 serving in that capacity before being appointed by the Executive Board to serve as the Union’s Directing Business Representative in 2012. Sam was elected by the Local 701 membership in August 2014 to again serve as a Local 701 Business Representative and again confirmed by the Executive Board to serve as the Union’s Directing Business Representative. Sam continues to serve as the Directing Business Representative of Local 701 and also serves as the Chairman and Trustee on the Local 701 Health and Welfare and Pension Funds. He is also the Chairman of the Union’s Apprenticeship Training Fund and the Chairman of the Local 701 401(k) Defined Contribution Plan. Sam also assists with the Local 701 Newsletter and Union’s Website. SEE MORE



ADBR Terry Kimmel 708-724-1464

Assistant Directing Business Representative- Terry Kimmel

Terry is a 32-year member of Local 701.  He was appointed to the position of Business Representative in 2012.  Prior to becoming a full time Business Representative, Terry worked for UPS for 22 years where he served as Chief Steward and as a delegate for contract negotiations. Terry also spent a year as a Trustee on the Local 701 Executive Board and has been active with the Guide Dogs of America for over fifteen years.  Terry currently services several automotive dealerships, various specialty shops and United Parcel Service (UPS). SEE MORE







Bob Lessmann 708-752-3437

Business Representative/Automotive Coordinator – Bob Lessmann

Bob is a 41-year member of Local 701 as of May this year. He previously worked for over 26 years, first for Witte Chevrolet and then O’Connor Chevy where he also served as the Union Steward. Bob was appointed a Business Representative in 2003 after serving as Vice-President for two terms and a trustee for two terms. Bob services automotive dealerships, fleet bus maintenance, body shops, the heavy equipment industry, the light equipment industry, tool and die-makers, emergency vehicle repair, ornamental iron specialty, manufacturing and remanufacturing industry, secretaries, machinists, and various other specialty shops. Bob also assists in negotiating most automotive agreements, processing grievances, presents arbitrations and works with the organizing department to grow Local 701. Bob also assists and helps organize the Skills USA competition held in Springfield, Illinois every spring since 2001. Bob facilitates the Steward Training program through the Midwest Territory Education Representative for all current and upcoming Stewards.





Mark Grassecschi 708-269-1543

Business Representative – Mark Grasseschi 

Mark is a 31-year member of Local 701. He worked in the Automotive industry throughout his career and served as a shop Steward at Phillips Chevrolet. While serving as shop steward he was also appointed to the Board as a Trustee in 2014. In July 2015 Mark was then appointed as a Business Representative where he services various specialty shops including automotive dealerships, bakery, trucking, machine shops, MARBA and the forklift industry. Mark also is the editor for the Local 701 Newsletter, assists in the local’s Website, Facebook page and was appointed in 2019 to be a Trustee on the Will/Grundy County Trades Association Board.







Anthony Albergo 708-846-0880

Business RepresentativeAnthony Albergo 

Anthony is a 13-year member. For eight years Tony was employed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory as a Local 701 electrician. Tony Albergo was a shop Steward and was involved in several successful contract egotiations at Fermi Lab. In 2015 he was appointed to the Executive Board. He served as a trustee and conductor sentinel. In 2016 Tony was appointed to the position of Business Representative/Organizer.








Ken Thomas 815-685-9423

Business Representative – Ken Thomas 

Ken has been a member of Local 701 since 1979. He has spent over 37 years as a technician at various locations covered under the Standard Automotive Agreement. He started as an apprentice with Pontiac, moving on to Cadillac, then Saturn and finally switching over to Lexus in 2005. He served as Shop Steward at several of the locations where he worked.








Walter Emerson 815-219-0438

Business Representative – Walter Emerson 

Walter is a 18-year member of Automobile Mechanics’ Local 701. He worked at Downers Grove Imports (Pugi) in 2000, when they organized and became a part of Local 701. He later served as a shop steward with that company starting in 2013. He was elected to the Local’s Executive Board as a Trustee in 2015 where he served until he was appointed to the position Business Representative/Organizer in November of 2017. Wally also serves as the 701 Communicator and maintains the Website and Twitter account. Wally services the automotive, special equipment, ready mix and trucking industries.







Rich Handler 708-296-1291

Business Representative – Rich Handler

Rich has been a member of Local 701 since 1984 working under the Standard Automotive Agreement and was appointed to the position of Organizer in 2011. Prior to becoming an Organizer, Rich served as a Trustee and Vice-President for the Local, assisted in the Pit Crew Competitions and served on the Audit and Bylaws Committees. In addition to organizing shops Rich serves the Local in other capacities by Chairing the Organizing and Legislative Committees, performs New Member Orientation and participates as a representative for the Standard Automotive Agreement. He also sits on the FMCS Grant Oversight Committee for Local 701’s Training Department, Automotive Advisory Boards for Technical College of DuPage, Truman College and Schurz High School NATEF Programs.  He serves as a Delegate to the Chicago Federation of Labor and sits on their Cook County Cooperative Organizing Committee and the Committee on Industrial Unions.





Ronnie Gonzalez 708-728-5708

Business Representative – Ronnie Gonzalez

Ronnie Gonzalez has been a member of Local 701 since 1994. He spent the first 25 years in the Automotive Industry working at Mt. Prospect Cadillac, Williams Cadillac and worked 19 years at Cadillac of Naperville. During the 2017 Standard Automotive Agreement Strike, Ronnie served as Strike Captain in one of our more turbulent picket lines in recent history. After being recalled following a contract ratification, Ronnie served as Shop Steward and was instrumental in winning multiple labor grievances, arbitrations and NLRB charges that all stemmed from employer retaliations related to the Strike. Ronnie has spent the last year and a half at Equipment Depot as a Field Service Technician in the Forklift Industry, before being appointed to serve as Business Representative for Local 701.