All The Latest News from NECA

Oct 09

NECA President Focuses on Future in Convention Address

National Electrical Contractors Association President David Hardt put his focus squarely on the future during his address at the Opening General Session on NECA 2016 Boston on Saturday.

“We need to do more to prepare for the future,” Hardt said. “The war for talent is impacting all aspects of the industry.”

He said it starts with the people of NECA, which is “what we’re all about.” That includes NECA members, Chapter staff and committees and task forces.

Most consequentially, Hardt outlined a new initiative called NECA Vision 2020. Vision 2020 will be the NECA plan to guide the association into the next decade. It will assess the future of the electrical construction industry in the United States as it is impacted by changes in technology, the evolving construction process, the viability of construction labor unions, the shift in generational leadership and the role of trade associations in society.

“The leadership of NECA is preparing for the future and planning for that success,” he said.

Hardt said he is proud of NECA’s longstanding relationship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

“I see us continuing that relationship if we can individually grow,” Hardt said. “The better we are, the better we’ll be able to serve our customers.”

Later, former NECA President Dennis Quebe reviewed the last year’s activities of the Academy of Electrical Contracting, which included two events since NECA 2015 San Francisco.

Thirteen new Fellows were introduced, including Wes Anderson, Susan Ernst, Glenn W. Kingsbury, Jim Laub, Terry Lette, James McDonald, Lindsay T. Mills, Earl C. Restine Jr., Sonja L. Rheaume, David I. Samuels, Steve R. Washburn, James P. Young and Russ Zimmerman.

Also, Alex Owen, National Chairman of the NECA Political Leadership Council, spoke to the convention, thanking contributors to NECAPAC and encouraging new contributors to get involved in the political process.

“NECAPAC is funded by your contributions, but the energy it runs on is your participation,” Owen said.


Oct 08

Doris Kearns Goodwin Talks History


Renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin recounted her experiences with presidents past and present – and possibly future — and touched on the 2016 race for the White House during the keynote speech at NECA 2016 Boston on Saturday.

Chatting with Doris Kearns Goodwin at NECA16 from NECAnet on Vimeo.

About Republican nominee Donald Trump, she said: “We’ve never seen anything like him.”

A former White House intern who worked closely with President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s, Goodwin said, in a sense, she “lives with” these presidents when she reads about their lives, studies their work and writes about them.

Her book “Team of Rivals,” about President Abraham Lincoln, was hailed and had a profound impact on the relationship between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who is running to become the first female president in American history.

Among the changes she said she has noticed in the political discourse include:

  • The change in the relationship between the White House and the press
  • The “magic” of television and how they have affected debates
  • The increasing use of personal attacks and negative invective
  • The increasing use of public opinion polling
  • The escalating role of money in elections
  • The decreasing number of young people who want to enter public service

Finally, Goodwin lamented the deterioration in the relationship between the presidency and Congress.

“You’ve got to make that link,” she said. “Bring people to the White House, and get out of Washington.”

Goodwin signed copies of her books on the Convention Show Floor after her remarks.

Oct 08

Emerging Tech Leaders Gather for BizDev Meeting

Tommaso Deserti, of growing tech company Nest, led a discussion on Friday at the #NECA16 Business Development Meeting. Deserti talked about how he feels the world is becoming even more connected and noted the prevalence conversation related to the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Fast is the new normal,” he said.

Deserti noted how many products installed in the home can also be installed in an office space and that one in seven Nest customers actually have a “works with Nest” integration.

“They start with a product and then try to figure out what they can build around,” he said. “Nest is progressive and doing great things.”

Jason Potterf, with Cisco, and Jon Zelinsky, with Philips, continued the discussion citing figures estimating that 50 billion to 200 billion devices could be connected to the internet by 2020.

Lighting is one of those things, he added.

“It’s also a way for companies to transform their brand – using LED controls,” he said.

Among the things Potterf discussed was network-powered lighting and its key drivers, which include energy savings and building analytics, and the benefits of Power over Ethernet (PoE).

Bob May, Chairman of the Business Development Task Force, spoke at the beginning of the meeting, saying his work with the committee was a joy.

“The forward-looking ideas that came out were energizing,” he said.

May also talked about the Energy Study Mission, a new initiative that brings together NECA members interested in the energy sector. The first ESM took place in Colorado earlier this year.

“I encourage you to come out next year,” he said. He added that new awards have been established by NECA to recognize important projects around the country.

Finally, the meeting closed with a panel discussion of the Business Development Task Force members including: Dan Henrich of PDE Energy Solutions, who discussed practices for complying with NFPA 70E, and Lindsay Millls of John Mills Electric, who talked about the preparation of change orders and construction claims. Mike Doyle of Danard Electric and Anton Mikec of Lighthouse Electric Company spoke about the benefits of utilizing the NECA Store and the resources that are available there, such as the “Blueprint for Electrical Contracting Firm, Business Development.”

“You get connections through connections,” Mikec said. “A culture of business development is created in connections.”


Oct 08

Students Make Their Case at the NECA 2016 GEC

Three NECA Student Chapters presented their impressive proposals at the 2016 Green Energy Challenge on Friday as NECA 2016 Boston opened at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center.

Teams from the University of Toronto, the University of Washington and Iowa State University made presentations on projects focused on energy efficiency and savings to buildings for their respective clients. Each team developed a plan for a local elementary or secondary school:

  • University of Toronto (working as Northern Lights Solutions) – University of Toronto Schools
  • University of Washington (Cascadia Electric) – St. Joseph School
  • Iowa State University (Cyclone Electric) – Edwards Elementary School

The jury for this year’s Challenge included a host of electrical contractors and industry partners.

After each presentation, which lasted about 15 minutes, the Student Chapters fielded questions from the jury. They jury held deliberations directly after the presentations, and a winner will be announced at the Opening General Session on Saturday.

Poster presentations were also displayed at the Challenge. They came from two of today’s finalists, Iowa State and the University of Toronto, as well as Kennesaw State University, Oregon State University, Penn State University, Ball State University, Purdue University and the Illinois Institute of Technology.




Oct 08

Revolutionary Discoveries!

Last night, NECA 2016 Boston attendees gained exclusive access to the Museum of Science, a mecca of revolutionary discovery! By popular demand, the Blue Wing’s main stage featured the return of Milwaukee Tool’s Tool Shed Band. Guests visited the Theater of Electricity sponsored by Southwire and an outdoor Oktoberfest, sponsored by Thomas & Betts. And, for those who just couldn’t stop – Milwaukee’s sponsored After Party kept the good times going late into the night.

NECA16 Opening Reception from NECAnet on Vimeo.

NECA members and their guests got exclusive access to the Museum of Science, a mecca of revolutionary discovery, as NECA 2016 Boston hit the ground running and welcomed thousands to New England for a convention filled opportunities for education, inspiration, networking, and fun.

Attendees also got to light up their night with the intriguing Theater of Electricity sponsored by Southwire. Indoor bolts produced by the world’s largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator sparked exciting explorations of lightning, conductors, insulators, electricity, magnetism and storm safety.

By popular demand, the Blue Wing’s main stage featured the return of Milwaukee Tool’s Tool Shed Band.

There was truly something for everyone – interactive exhibits, inspiring encounters and tantalizing cuisine inspired by the regional elements of New England. Heavy hors d’oeuvres were served along with open bars featuring an outdoor Oktoberfest, sponsored by Thomas & Betts.

On Saturday, the NECA Show, the No. 1 trade show of its kind in the electrical construction industry, opened its doors at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center. NECA is proud to present the largest gathering of manufacturers and distributors showcasing thousands of solutions contractors need to save time and money on the job, and grow their business.

The Show Floor will reopen on Sunday and Monday.

Start your day at the Disruptive Technology Pavilion or in the Showstopper Showcase, the industry’s most prominent awards program sponsored by NECA and ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. Check out all the winners while you see the newest products and services available!

Oct 06

Welcome to NECA 2016 Boston!

signphotoneca16You have arrived at the electrical construction industry’s No. 1 event — The NECA Convention and Trade Show — an exciting mix of opportunities for education, inspiration, networking, and fun! Now, through Monday, October 10 at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center.

For all the information you need, go to Or, download the app!

There, you’ll be able to view a full schedule and get to know your way around Boston.


Here are a few things you can look forward to:

NECA will kick things off Friday night by hosting the opening reception at the Museum of Science, a landmark institution known as a mecca of revolutionary discovery. By popular demand, the Blue Wing’s main stage will feature the return of Milwaukee Tool’s Tool Shed Band. There is truly something for everyone – interactive exhibits, inspiring encounters and tantalizing cuisine inspired by the regional elements of New England.

You will also get to hear from several dynamic speakers while you’re here.

The Opening General Session will feature Doris Kearns Goodwin, a world-renowned presidential historian and the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books. Closing General Session speaker Mick Ebeling is a film/television/commercial producer, philanthropist, technology trailblazer, author, entrepreneur and public speaker. He is the CEO of Not Impossible Labs, whose mission is to develop creative solutions to address real-world problems.

Preconvention workshops start Thursday. Other meetings to attend include the Women in NECA Roundtable (Sunday), the NECA Business Development Meeting (Friday) and the ELECTRI International Green Energy Challenge (Friday).

And don’t miss an incredible evening of music featuring a private concert by the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra at the famed Symphony Hall for our Closing Celebration. It starts at 7 p.m. on Monday.

We hope you enjoy your stay in Boston and get the most out of #NECA16!


Sep 28

Latest Newscast Shares What You Can Expect at NECA 2016 Boston

The NECA Convention and Trade Show is right around the corner. And it’s not the first time it has been held in Boston. “We’re really excited to be back in Boston because the last time we were in Boston was in 2010, and we had a great show,” said Katie McCormick, NECA Director of Meetings. McCormick said she thinks it will be a different experience for everyone because of the area where the convention will be held – new shops, bars and restaurants – and location on the water. “We have about 250 vendors on the trade show floor, and we’re pretty close to selling out,” McCormick said. “This is going to be a pretty dynamic show this year. See you in Boston!”



It’s also important to note that the schedule for the convention has changed this year. Everything has shifted forward a day – to Saturday-Monday. The Board of Governors Meeting will be on Friday.

Oct 15

Thank you!

Thank you for attending NECA 2015 San Francisco!

It was a huge success that wouldn’t have happened without you.

We had more than 6,000 convention-goers make their way to the Bay Area for the weeklong activities. From the opening reception at the world-famous Exploratorium — where conventioneers and guests enjoyed over 650 interactive exhibits ranging from mechanical contraptions to “physical phenomenon” artworks — to the closing concert given by Kenny Loggins that had attendees getting Footloose, there was plenty to do and see in San Francisco.

Highlights of NECA 2015 San Francisco included dynamic speakers such as education visionary Sal Khan who shared his global vision of learning and the creation of the Khan Academy. And, in the Closing General Session, endurance swimmer Diana Nyad talked about her historic swim from Cuba to the United States and the importance of having a dynamic team.

NECA 2015 featured 69 educational sessions addressing growth opportunities for electrical contractors, including effective leadership communication, risk management, 2014 NEC Significant Changes and NFPA 70E Updates.

The NECA Show included over 300 exhibitors presenting thousands of solutions. The Showstopper Showcase boasted 23 winners this year, including NECA premier partners Milwaukee Tools and Southwire. The first-ever Selfie Station, sponsored by Graybar, was a huge hit!

Here are a few things we heard during #NECA15:

“If you’re in the electrical business, you need to be here.”

— Chris Jensen, JM Electric

“Every year, [it] gets better and better!”

— Sonja Rheaume, Christenson Electric

“The NECA Show is a great place to learn about, and meet, the industry leaders.”

 Robert Zahn

“Best opening party venue EVER!”

— Daniel Santon

“As a first-year premier partner, I appreciate the opportunity to support NECA Contractors and identify opportunities to be successful and grow their business. We look forward to finding ways to create value here at the show and carry over the success to NECA 2016 Boston.”

— Jon Zelinsky, Philips


Save the Date for NECA 2016 Boston — Oct. 7-10, at the Boston Exposition Center

More information will be available at

See you there!