All The Latest News from NECA

Aug 30

Special Event: Sunday Prayer Breakfast in San Diego

NECA members have organized a special prayer breakfast on Sunday morning, Oct. 23, at the San Diego Convention Center before convention management workshops begin. The doors will open at 6:45 a.m., and the program will begin at 7 a.m., ending at 7:45 a.m. This prayer breakfast will be the first time we have offered this event at the national convention, and all faiths are welcome to participate.

Speakers have been invited to share their experiences on balancing work, family and faith. There will also be music and time of prayer for our business, our county and our families. This event is not part of the NECA 2011 San Diego Convention registration, so you must register separately online or on-site at the registration desk in San Diego. The registration desk will open on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 6:30 a.m. for those that want to register before the breakfast.

The prayer breakfast is open to anyone attending NECA 2011 San Diego.  There is a charge of $25 per breakfast attendee to cover food and meeting facilities costs.

“NECA’s 2011 convention comes at a time when the construction industry is still struggling to recover from the economic recession,” said NECA President Rex Ferry. “NECA contractors frequently cite their faith as a source of comfort and strength during difficult and uncertain times. We all belong to many different faiths, but we share the belief in treating each other, our employees, and our customers with kindness and respect. I hope the prayer breakfast will be an inspiring way to start your time at the Convention in San Diego.”

Aug 26

Early Registration Extended – Take Advantage Now!

Early registration for NECA 2011 San Diego has been extended by one week, to Monday, Sept. 5, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got time to spare!

Register now to make sure you’ve got a place with your fellow industry leaders to share best practices, new market intelligence and scope out new tools and technology, all in one location, all for the year’s most affordable event!

Spaces are nearly filled, and San Diego hotel blocks will close soon. You need to be with NECA in San Diego, Oct. 22-25! So don’t delay – register now!


Aug 26

Labor Relations Special Session Announced!

NECA 2011 San Diego’s Labor Relations session is all about pension plan burden and liability.

Join us for an in depth presentation on the future of the Pension Protection Act (set to expire in 2014); actuarial considerations in the light of the recent Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) efforts to impose more stringent reporting requirements on contractors; and an update from president-elect Dennis Quebe, chairman of NECA’s Labor Relations Task Force, on what NECA is doing to educate and prepare member contractors about the current and future state of local pension funds and potential options and actions that can be taken to remain competitive.

The Labor Relations Special General Session at NECA 2011 San Diego will be presented Monday, October 24, 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the San Diego Convention and Exposition Center. It’s open to everyone who is registered for the full Convention.  Early registration ends Monday, September 5!

Aug 24

Early Registration Extended Until Sept. 5!

Recent phone and service outages at NECA’s national office means a little good news for procrastinators – the Early Registration deadline for NECA 2011 San Diego has been extended by one week, from Monday, Aug. 29 to Monday, Sept. 5.

Registrants who have not booked hotel accommodations for NECA 2011 San Diego should do so immediately. CMR, NECA’s only housing agent for the events in San Diego, will release any rooms that have not been reserved on Sept. 5.

“We know Monday, Sept. 5 is the Labor Day holiday, so I hope that everyone will take advantage of the extra days the week before the new deadline,” said Beth Ellis, NECA Executive Director, Convention/Exposition. “We’re doing our best to remain available to people who may have questions about registration and housing.”

The best way to reach NECA’s convention staff is a direct email to Beth Ellis at or Katie Nolan, CMR staff can also assist with NECA 2011 San Diego registration and housing registrations by email to or phone, 1-800-368-6322 or 415-979-2291 for international calls. You can also comment on this post, our Facebook page or on Twitter.

NOTE: Early registration rates do not apply to pre-convention workshops,Weekend Passes, or the Energy Forum.


Aug 23

A Walk on the Wild Side


NECA’s 2011 lifestyle session features Joan Embery –  renowned environmentalist, animal activist, preservationist, TV star and spokeswoman for the Zoological Society of San Diego – plus, some of her favorite friends, the exotic animals she cares for!

Joan, a regular on the Tonight Show, made numerous appearances with Johnny Carson, allowing viewers to meet and share in her love of the animal kingdom, all from their living room sofa. From sneaky snakes and albino koalas to Johnny singing to an endangered bush dog, millions of Americans have learned about the importance of wild life conservation from Joan and her furry friends.

Watch a short video montage of Joan and friends visiting Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show and make your plans today to hear Joan speak about her latest adventures at NECA 2011 San Diego’s Lifestyle Session! >>

NOTE: This special event is a fabulous opportunity for kids and parents to meet-and-greet exotic animals, take photos, and learn about the animal kingdom. Child registration is available for all NECA 2011 San Diego events, click this link to learn more >>

Aug 22

Are You Trying to Reach Us?

NECA’s phone system is currently down — if you need immediate assistance, or need to make a request to convention staff, please contact Katie ( or Beth ( via email. We will publish an immediate update when our phone system is back up and running. We apologize for any inconvenience — thank you for your patience.

Aug 15

4 Reasons to Attend the 2011 NECA Energy Forum

There’s never been anything like the Energy Forum for the electrical construction industry that kicks off NECA’s 2011 Convention and Trade Show in San Diego. Making sense of the range of opportunities in green energy will be the focus of this all-new event which will be held on Saturday, October 22, 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Speakers and session leaders will discuss the many ways electrical contractors can enter this market and what questions they need to ask.

In addition to hearing an exciting keynote address from Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Energy Forum participants will hear from industry experts on energy economic modeling, the electric vehicle market, and innovative energy storage technology. An informational brochure is provided through the link to “Related Documents” at the end of this article.

Here are four good reasons to attend:

1. To Understand What the Opportunities Are

According to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine, alternative power and energy efficiency upgrades are the next boom market for contractors. We don’t want to lose what could be the largest game-changing trend to hit our industry in the past two decades. Right now, there is tremendous momentum and incentives for sustainable construction. With those new energy markets come services like installing and maintaining electric vehicle supply equipment, designing “net-zero energy” buildings with integrated systems, and energy storage.

Energy work is “counter-cyclical” — meaning, that in tough economic times, your customers want and need to save money on operating costs. Energy work is a revenue opportunity independent of the construction market. For building owners and operators, the savings and tax credits energy solutions deliver are very desirable. When an electrical contractor can help them save money, it doesn’t matter how healthy the rest of the construction market may be.

Whether it’s utility-grade wind power, solar PV installations or helping a customer save on his electric bill by swapping out old ballasts for energy-efficient LED drivers, NECA’s 2011 Energy Forum will cover all the options and opportunities in the new energy economy.

2. To Hear from Colleagues about the Different Ways They’ve Reached Out For Business in These New Markets

The good news is that many electrical contractors already have the technical knowledge to engage with these markets — but most don’t know how to integrate energy services into their existing businesses or market their capabilities to existing and potential customers.

There isn’t one right way to incorporate energy efficiency, conservation and renewable power into an electrical contracting company. Moderators and presenters at the Energy Forum all come from the front lines of the industry to help contractors answer when and how they can add new energy services to their traditional business models.

3. Because NECA’s 2011 Energy Forum Is the Most Comprehensive Energy Education Forum Available, at the Lowest Cost in the Least Amount of Time

These days, everyone is doing more with less. If you want to minimize the time and money you spend away from the office, while maximizing your education and experiences in San Diego, the Energy Forum will give you the biggest potential gain for your business.

4. Because NECA’s 2011 Energy Forum Was Created Specifically for NECA Contractors by NECA Contractors

The Energy Forum was proposed by NECA’s Energy Solution Task Force members who are electrical contractors just like you. And like you, we are each trying to determine what our place in the emerging energy solutions market can and should be.

The Energy Forum was developed to help contractors answer some of those questions. We understand that there isn’t a single path of entry for all NECA member companies to pursue this work. But we also know that if we don’t begin immediately offering our expertise and services, customers will go elsewhere to get their renewable and energy-efficiency needs met.

The Energy Forum will discuss concrete examples of how to become an energy solutions contractor by addressing some fundamental questions, such as:

“Electrical contractors are the vital link between energy-efficient technology and cost-efficient construction,” said Stan Lazarian, President, Electric Service & Supply Co., Pasadena, California, and chair of NECA’s Energy Solution Task Force. “Our goal at the Energy Forum is to provide contractors and their customers with an opportunity to share what they’ve learned about working on renewable energy, energy conservation and energy efficiency projects.”

“How and where we get our energy has become a serious question for building owners, government leaders and developers. Rising energy prices and energy inefficiencies have everyone thinking about what the smart alternatives could be, but those alternatives have to make financial sense, both for the customer and the electrical contractor,” said Rob Colgan, NECA executive director, Market Development.

Alternative power and energy efficiency upgrades are the next boom market for contractors, Lazarian said. “But it’s hard for electrical contractors to know when it’s the right time for them to add new services to their traditional business model,” he said.


Aug 10

Places to Go, Sights to See and Things to Do

Looking for some great ideas to fill up your time while in San Diego for the NECA Convention & Trade Show? The San Diego Convention Center has put together a handy pocket guide filled with the best places to go, things to do and exciting sights to see!  View area maps, tourism tips, find restaurants and much more!

To download a copy of the “Visit San Diego Guide” or have it mailed to you for free, visit the San Diego Convention Center website!

Aug 08

Industry Leaders and Academy Fellows Recognized at 2011 San Deigo

NECA’s 2011 national awards for outstanding industry leaders have been approved and will be recognized at the Closing General Session of NECA’s 2011 National Convention. Click on the award name below to learn more about this year’s award winners:

1)     Coggeshall Award: Wayne Brinkmeyer (Britain Electric, Houston, Texas)

2)     Comstock Award: John R. Colson (Quanta Services, Houston, Texas)

3)     James H. McGraw Award: Daniel Palmer (Tri-City Electric, Davenport, Iowa)

4)     Association Executive Distinguished Service Award: Danal W. Neal (Western Ohio Chapter, NECA)

5)     Industry Partner Award: Robert M. Gasperow (CLRC)

The following NECA-member contractors will be inducted into the prestigious Academy of Electrical Contracting during NECA 2011 San Diego:

  • Gregory Davis (Bob Davis Electric, Shreveport, Louisiana)
  • Thomas Driscoll (E.S. Boulos Company, Westbrook, Maine)
  • Charles Ewton (Lawson Electric, Chattanooga, Tennessee)
  • John S. Frantz (Sidney Electrical, Sidney, Ohio)
  • Bradley S. Giles (Giles Electric, South Daytona, Florida)
  • Thomas Ispas (Daniel’s Electrical Construction, Fontana, California)
  • Thomas G. Moore, Jr. (J P Rainey & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Alex Owen (Brooks-Berry-Haynie & Associates, Mableton, Georgia)
  • Daniel Palmer (Tri-City Electric, Davenport, Iowa)

Aug 02

Children Welcome at the NECA Show!

Children are welcome at the 2011 NECA Show, just as long as they have a badge for admission and are accompanied by an adult.

But this year, kids aren’t just welcome to check out all the cool exhibits on the Show floor. We’re also opening other NECA Convention activities to kids who are registered with badges and accompanied by an adult.

“We know that kids will want to see the USS Midway up close,” Beth Ellis, NECA executive director, convention/exposition, said, smiling. “If I was a kid who came with my parents to San Diego and found out that I was going to miss out on seeing the most famous aircraft carrier in the world, I’d be a little irritated.”

Ellis said that 2011 marks the 100th anniversary for naval flight, so there will be special exhibits and areas for exploring at the Opening Reception, Oct. 22. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and we want everyone in our NECA family to experience it,” Ellis said.

Registration rates for children at NECA 2011 San Diego are:

  • Age 0-6: free
  • Age 7-15: $75
  • Age 16 and up: $360 before August 29; $400 after August 29 (early registration closed)

For kids age 16 and up who simply want to attend the Opening Reception abroad the USS Midway, individual event tickets are $200. The full convention registration for age 16 and up includes admission to all General Sessions, daily lunch at the NECA Show, management and technical workshops, and the Closing CelebrationTo learn more about the 2011 NECA San Diego Convention and Trade Show download the brochure »

>>Register yourself or your children for the 2011 NECA Convention and Show now!