By SHERI GASSAWAY
Jefferson City – Cindy Frank, a journeywoman carpenter with 40 years of experience, has been elected as the first female president of Carpenters Local 945 here. She will serve a three-year term.
She’s also the first woman to serve as president of a local union within the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, which was formed in 2010. Local 945 has about 350 members, three of whom are women, including Frank.
“It’s a really good feeling that the local guys have respect for me to have voted me in for this position,” she said. “I’m looking forward to serving our members and helping to lead the way for the local.”
Prior to being elected president, Frank served as Local 945’s recording secretary, a position she held since 2013. She is also the coordinator for the Sisters in the Brotherhood (SIB) of the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council.
WELL KNOWN IN ST. LOUIS AREA
Although she lives and works in Jefferson City, Frank is well known among tradeswomen in the St. Louis area. She’s helped with many SIB fundraisers as well as SIB Habitat for Humanity home builds in the area over the years.
Additionally, she is a member of Missouri Women in Trades and never hesitates to lend a helping hand to that organization, which is dedicated to helping women enter and succeed in the building trades.
MoWIT president Beth Barton, a 15-year journeywoman carpenter with Carpenters Local 1596, said she was thrilled to learn that Frank was elected as the first female president of her union.
HONORED TO WORK WITH HER
“I’m so proud that Cindy has achieved this milestone,” Barton said. “She has worked tirelessly to build the SIB committee and has participated in her Local for years. She is an exemplary union member, and I’ve been honored to work with her over the years on various projects.”
Frank said she’s always liked working with her hands and enjoys the satisfaction of working on a project and seeing the end result. Plus, she gets the benefit of an eight-hour-a-day workout.
“It’s been a great career,” Frank said. “I can do most things when it comes to building, and it’s always so awesome seeing a job when it’s complete and knowing you worked hard on it.”
FROM ICE CAPADES TO CARPENTRY
Frank skated as an amateur while in high school and decided to try out for the St. Louis Ice Capades in March of 1976. She tried out and made it, joining the company in Los Angeles after her high school graduation. But after a year of skating, she was ready to move back home to Jefferson City.
She moved back home and, while working at a local restaurant, she met a carpenter’s organizer who often asked her, “Don’t you want to make the same money you made in the Ice Capades?”
She did, of course, and after a couple months of his badgering, she went to the Carpenters Union Hall, filled out an application, took the apprenticeship test and started in the program.
YOU CAN DO IT!
“It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made,” Frank said. “And for any women considering a career in the building trades, ‘You can do it – just go for it.’”
Frank says still skates on occasion when her granddaughter asks her to go.