Catherine York, who established the Screen Actors Guild’s governmental relations department in 1996, has announced she is leaving the union for an executive post at a startup online venture.
York will depart from SAG this month to become exec VP of and a principal at GalaxyBid.com, which will offer niche auction services. She will continue her oversight of SAG’s legislative agenda as a nonexclusive consultant until the late summer to help find a successor and assure a smooth transition.
“The new company made an outstanding offer to leave, but I want to make certain that our agenda is in good shape before I leave,” York said of her decision to continue as a consultant.
York joined SAG in mid-1996 and became the guild’s principal negotiator on legislative, regulatory and political issues. She said her two biggest accomplishments were the passage of the California personal privacy law and the federal residuals transfer legislation. She also worked on child labor, runaway production, copyright protection and tax relief.
Greg Moore, chief of staff of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), said York has been effective at reaching legislators. “She has been extremely helpful at finding ways to make SAG’s voice heard,” he added. “It’s very effective to get a Hollywood luminary like Michael J. Fox to come to the nation’s capital to testify.”