Mar 18

Welcome to NECA 2014 Chicago

I’m Sean Rollins, NECA’s content specialist and official 2014 Chicago blogger, and I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and welcome you to NECA 2014 Chicago!

This year NECA’s annual Convention and Trade Show will be held in one of the most exciting cities in America, Chicago. Home of the blues, Willis Tower and the Chicago River, this will be our most exciting event yet.

New features for 2014 include an extensive series of education courses available in 7-work specific track types.  Led by industry experts, NECA 2014 Chicago education sessions and technical workshops are specifically designed to guide you and your team into being the best you can be in today’s ever-evolving industry, improving your business and keeping you ahead of the curve.

Meet young professionals who are interested in entering the electrical construction industry, and take your company to the next level by hiring the best and brightest at this year’s first-ever Job Fair, Saturday September 27 at 3-5:00pm.

It’s not all work at NECA 2014 – Join us for the opening reception Saturday, September 27, at the Field Museum of Natural History for a night you won’t want to miss. Attendees will get a close up look at Sue, the real Tyrannosaurus Rex, and enjoy one of the world’s premier natural history museums, and the largest. It will be transformed into a lavish Roaring ‘20s scene that would make Jay Gatsby or Al Capone feel right at home, but the tribute to Chicago’s past goes even further back — 65 million years back!

Chicago also boasts some of the best food of any city in America. Be sure to check out our restaurant guide and plan delicious dining into your trip by exploring Chicago’s world-renowned good eats.

All this fun and excitement will lead to the grand finale Tuesday night, September 30, at the world famous House of Blues located in Chicago’s famous Loop. Those who like their rhythm & blues seasoned with a whole lot of soul and Memphis sound are in for a treat at our Closing Celebration. It’s where you can enjoy good friends, good fun, good food — and great musical entertainment provided by Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts Band.

Registration opens May 29, and we’re offering more ways than ever to take advantage of the premier electrical construction event of the year. So join me, Sean Rollins, your NECA 2014 Chicago live blogger and stay up-to-date with the biggest industry event of the year right here, on our exclusive event blog:  Between the city and can’t miss events, everyone will want to say they were there, I know I will.


Mar 17


Make the most out of your 2014 Chicago attendee experience

All sessions for NECA 2014 Chicago are listed on the schedule by related topic, or “track” category. Each track is filled with hours of content. Attendees can customize their agenda by selecting sessions in each track that fit individual and business needs, tracks include: safety, estimating, executive management, ET&D and line construction and more!

NECA course instructors are the leaders in the industry, with unique insight and expertise to customize seminars to the management and business needs of professionals working in all levels of electrical contracting. Their presentations are geared to providing strategic and practical solutions for electrical contractors. If you want to grow your business, make sure to bring additional key personnel, so you can cover all the bases. Streamlined tracks will allow NECA to better serve the ever-evolving needs of the industry.

  • Business Management

  • Estimating

  • Executive Management

  • Leadership and Communications

  • Project Management

  • Standards and Safety

  • Technology, Process, and Innovation

  • Line Construction

View schedule >

Learn more about customizing your education experience at NECA 2014 Chicago >

Oct 29

NECA 2013 DC CEU Certificates Now Available Online

Need CEUs for the Workshops You Attended? Complete Your Evaluations and Print Your Certificate!

Attendees could earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) at many NECA 2013 DC education sessions, including management seminars and technical workshops. If you had your badge scanned at educational events, you can retrieve your CEU certificate online now.  But before you do, you’ll need to complete online evaluations for each session to receive those CEUs and print your certificate. Instructions for completing online evaluations follow.

IACET CEUs are recognized by a wide range of organizations, including professional associations, regulatory boards, corporations and universities. Check with your state and local organizations to see if they accept IACET CEUs. All programs also have the start and end times listed on the certificate for participants that just need a record of contact hours.

All evaluations and certificates are electronic, so all you need to do is follow a few easy steps:

Step 1: Make sure you’ve downloaded the NECA 2013 Washington DC app for your smartphone or tablet or visit

Step 2: If in the app, select “Sessions” icon. The full convention schedule by day will open and you can select the sessions you attended and scroll to the bottom of the session to the “Rate This Session” button. If on the website, just select the date and a session list will appear.

Step 3: Answer the evaluation questions about the session(s) you attended. You will need to do this for every session you attended to receive the CEUs earned for attending.

Step 4:  Enter your full name and email at the end of the form. Hit “Submit” when you’re done.

Step 5: Visit to print your certificate.

Handouts from NECA 2013 DC sessions can be accessed at

Oct 24

from tED Magazine: Graybar CEO Kathy Mazzarella Meets with Contractors at NECA Show

When you go to McDonalds, you don’t expect to see CEO Don Thompson at the drive-thru window.

When you buy a pair of Nike shoes, Phil Knight won’t be there to help with the sizing.

But if you went to the Graybar booth at the recent NECA show, you would find Chairman, President and CEO Kathy Mazzarella, ready and willing to talk with any contractor who came for a visit.

“I’ve participated in the NECA convention for several years now, and have found it to be a great place to connect with our contractor customers,” Mazzarella told tED magazine.  tED is working on a series of stories on how to build relationships with contractors, and this is certainly one way.

The NECA convention provides an excellent opportunity for us to interact with our customers and hear what’s on their minds,” Mazzarella adds. “We design our booth in a way that encourages customers to relax and have a meaningful conversation.  We want customers to visit our booth and enjoy the time they spend with us.”

Read the complete article at >>

Thanks for joining us at NECA 2013 DC, tED Magazine!

Oct 21

NECA 2013 DC Photos Are Posted!

Looking for a photo from NECA 2013 Washington DC? Over 1,200 pictures from this year’s convention and trade show are posted on NECA’s Flickr photo-sharing account in the “NECA 2013 Washington DC” set.

View more photos

Photos are arranged by event title in alphabetical order. The set starts with the Academy of Electrical Contracting Fellow inductions; to Academy of Electrical Contracting/ELECTRI International Reception; to Board of Governors meeting — through the Trade Show and Phil Vassar at the Closing Celebration.

Take a look through the set and let us know your favorites!

Oct 21

Women In NECA: Unique Leadership

Women In NECA opened their roundtable discussion at NECA 2013 DC with a reminder of the growth opportunities presented by change. “We had many new faces at our Women In NECA Summit in St. Louis earlier this year, and it is tremendous to see how WIN has grown in just a few years,” said WIN chair Rachel Barber, VEC Inc., Girard, Oh. “WIN’s membership has become much more diverse in the work the members do and the work our companies do. And that makes it even more important that we spend time together learning from each other and making connections.”

Like most WIN programs, this year’s Roundtable started with a question: What does it take to become a leader in NECA? “We know when we look around the office or a chapter meeting that women are under-represented in both NECA membership and leadership roles. So what can we do about that?” Barber asked.

Frank Piatt, NECA Field Representative, Eastern Region and a former chapter manager, shared his observations for how member leaders move through the ranks. His fundamental messages – show up; show interest; show your cards; show restraint; and show what you can offer – urged WIN members to demonstrate their desire to serve their chapter and association. “Let other members know you’re interested and aware. Even if you think a speaker at a chapter meeting has nothing to do with your work, go to the meeting. You never know who else will be there.”

Carolyn Fazio described how ELECTRI International and the Electrical Construction Political Action Committee (ECPAC) can put WIN members on a leadership fast-track. “When you get involved with ELECTRI or ECPAC, or encourage your chapter to participate, you get a seat at the table with the leading industry organizations. Your voice will be heard,” she said. Fazio also discussed how the Foundation is encouraging more women to pursue careers in electrical contracting through the Green Energy Challenge and Student Initiative.

The keynote speaker was Diane Brown, Vice President of Organizational Development for Thomas & Betts, a NECA Premier Partner. Tapping into her human resources expertise, Brown pulled together data demonstrating the leadership traits women naturally possess – and the pitfalls they encounter when they use those skills.

“I used to have a boss who would tell me during every annual review that I needed to do a better job,” she said. “So I would ramp up and tap into that stamina, creative-thinking and multitasking skills women possess. And the next year, it would be the same: ‘you need to do a better job, Diane.’ I finally figured out what he was saying – I needed to slow down. I didn’t need to do everything. I needed to be more careful with my work, rather than doing more. Women do more. But that wasn’t the right answer for this situation. The good news is, women are excellent at listening and adapting. We make changes happen very quickly when the situation calls for them.”

Brown’s presentation can be downloaded here.

Oct 15

Growth and Excellence at Closing General Session

NECA CEO John M. Grau kicked off the Closing General Session today with an informal discussion of the growth he has seen in the electrical contracting industry and the association. “Look at what has happened with the oil and gas industry. We are now the low-cost energy provider for the world. And this is bringing manufacturing back,” he remarked. “However you look at it, electrical contracting is a growth industry especially with our focus on renewable power and innovative technology. Growth does mean change, and change isn’t always easy. But change and growth are how we thrive.”

NECA President Dennis Quebe then welcomed the winners of five annual association awards, including NECA’s top prize, the McGraw Award. This year’s winners are:

Association Executive Distinguished Service Award – Loyal O’Leary, Executive Director, Wisconsin Chapter, NECA

This award is presented to the staff executive or chapter manager who has made the greatest contribution to the advancement of the association.

ELECTRI International’s Wendt Award Wendt Award Northeastern Line Constructors Chapter, NECA

This is the highest tribute bestowed by ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction to recognize exemplary leadership and service to the electrical industry and is named in honor of the philosophical and financial commitments made to the electrical contracting industry.

Coggeshall Award – Don W. Jhonson, President, Interior Electric, North Miami Beach, Florida

The Coggeshall award was established in 1956 as a result of through a bequest by Allan Coggeshall to honor a NECA contractor who is adjudged to have made an outstanding contribution to the progress of the electrical industry in the technical and training service field, especially in industry safety.

Comstock Award – Timothy J. Gauthier, Executive Director, Oregon-Columbia Chapter, NECA

This award was established in 1959 in honor of L.K. Comstock, who was instrumental in facilitating harmonious labor-management relations in the post-World War I electrical industry.

McGraw Award – Mark Mazur, President/Owner, MJM Electric, Tampa, Florida

NECA bestows the James H. McGraw Award upon a person adjudged to have contributed some new or useful idea to the electrical contracting industry or to have performed an industry service over and above normal responsibility to personal or company progress. -

Oct 15

Need Your CEUs for the Workshops You Attended? Complete Your Evaluations on the App!

All NECA 2013 DC attendees need to complete evaluations for each session they participated in to receive Continuing Education Units. This evaluation is a requirement by the IACET to earn CEUs; session evaluations are now fully integrated with the meeting app. So take a moment now to  rate all the sessions you attended for prompt processing of your CEU credits!

All evaluations are electronic, so all you need to do is follow a few easy steps:

Step 1: Make sure you’ve downloaded the NECA 2013 Washington DC app for your smartphone or tablet.

Step 2: Select “Sessions” icon. The full convention schedule by day will open.

Step 3: Find the sessions you attended each day. Click on the session(s) you attended and scroll to the bottom of the session to the “Rate This Session” button

Step 4: Answer the evaluation questions about the session(s) you attended. You will need to do this for every session you attended to receive the CEUs earned for attending.

Step 5:  Enter your full name and email at the end of the form. Hit “Submit” when you’re done.

That’s it!