Tom La Grua Named Pact Strategy Head

Tom La Grua has been named the Screen Actors Guild's national director of contract strategy, a newly created position. He will take his post Oct. 1.

La Grua's position enables the guild to further its key mandates by defining negotiation and enforcement strategies for SAG's major collective bargaining agreements in partnership with SAG's elected leadership and senior staff, according to Robert Pisano, SAG's national executive director/chief executive officer.

La Grua will play a pivotal role in next year's commercial contract negotiation as well as the 2004 negotiation of the basic theatrical and television agreements. Further, La Grua will lead development of proactive strategies on issues ranging from the advancement of Global Rule One, the newly formed SAG/AFTRA relations committee addressing shared jurisdiction programming, to addressing runaway production contract issues. La Grua will report to Sallie Weaver, SAG's national executive director for contracts.

"Long term strategic planning is key to formulating bargaining positions which address not only today's issues, but tomorrow's as well," said Pisano. "Through his leadership as a board member and committee chair, Tom La Grua has demonstrated the kind of strategic thinking, analysis and planning capability critical to the negotiation and enforcement of strong collective bargaining agreements."

Weaver added, "In today's rapidly changing business environment, strategic approaches are key to establishing the guild as the most successful representative of performers. Tom La Grua brings rich experience as an actor and as an effective leader. He will bring this focus to the challenges the guild faces."

La Grua, who until this week's board election was the guild's 3rd vice president, has served on the SAG's board for the past three years and is a 25-year SAG and AFTRA member. La Grua led the successful 2001 negotiations on the basic and television agreement as the SAG chair of the negotiating committee.

La Grua has appeared as a regular on three series: "Caroline In The City," "The Boys," and "The Famous Teddy Z." His additional television credits include "NYPD Blue," "The Practice," "ER," and "Home Improvement." In transitioning to guild staff, La Grua will honorably withdraw his union memberships.

SAG Awards Online

Screen Actors Guild Awards is inaugurating a new online submissions process, beginning with requests for consideration for the 9th Annual Awards. Submissions for the 2003 Actor nominations opened Mon., Sept. 23 and continue until 5 pm (PST), Fri., Nov. 22.

"The Screen Actors Guild Awards has always been on the forefront of embracing new technologies to streamline our media relations, credentialing and now our submissions process. We are proud of the increasing industry recognition of the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the significance of an Actor nomination. We are especially pleased to be able to offer our members and the industry the convenience of submitting performances online for the first time," said Yale Summers, the SAG Awards chair.

Submissions can be accepted online at www.sagawards.org or submission forms can be obtained by calling the Screen Actors Guild Awards office at (323) 549-6707.

The Screen Actors Guild Award — The Actor — is presented to actors for outstanding performances in motion pictures and on primetime television. Nominations for The Actor are watched by the industry as a precursor of possible Oscar and Emmy recognition. Nominations for the 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be announced on Tues., Jan. 28, 2003. Nominees in five film categories and eight television categories for performances in 2002, including the unique ensemble awards, will be chosen by two randomly selected panels totaling 4,200 SAG members from across the United States. With the actor's permission, producers, studios/networks, agents, managers, or press representatives may submit a performance for consideration. Actors may also submit their own performances.

Actor recipients will be determined by secret ballot of the guild's 98,000 active members. Of the top industry honors presented to performers, only the Screen Actors Guild Awards are selected entirely by actors' peers. Recipients of the ninth Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will be announced at ceremonies on Sun., March 9, 2003, telecast from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center on TNT at 8 pm.