John “Jack” Brennan, an early and longtime leader who helped expand the presence and success of the Association of BellTel Retirees into a nationally prominent retiree advocacy organization, passed away on February 5, 2021, due to complications following surgery.
In the late 1990s, Brennan joined a then-fledgling but rapidly growing organization, the Association of NYNEX Retirees, after having spent 38 years at New Jersey Bell and its successor, Bell Atlantic.
Brennan began his Bell System career at only age 17, gradually rising through the ranks. When the Presidents of the United States visited the Garden State where he was based, Brennan was in charge of ensuring all of the White House’s communications needs were met and were flawless!
Deeply committed to advocacy efforts, Brennan was among the retiree leaders from the Bell Atlantic side of the company to join with NYNEX retiree leaders. By consolidating their efforts, they began growing what was to become one of the largest and most respected retiree non-profit organizations in the United States, the Association of BellTel Retirees. It grew to represent over 134,000 Verizon retirees.
The non-profit fought for and won numerous shareowner proxy fights against Verizon. Its 2003 win against the practice of senior executive golden parachutes was the first time any Bell System had been defeated in the proxy vote in the company’s 125-year history.
After serving as the group’s chairman since 2003, Brennan retired in 2018.
Jack Brennan always held immense pride in the important goal and objective of the Association of BellTel Retirees, the ongoing care, advocacy, and protection of fellow retirees and their surviving spouses.