All The Latest News from NECA

Oct 14

Endurance Swimmer Diana Nyad Speaks About Her Journey at NECA 2015


Endurance swimmer shared her insights and a firsthand account of her record-breaking swim, after four failed attempts, from Cuba to Florida during the Closing General Session at NECA 2015 San Francisco last week.

“It looks like a solitary sport, but it takes a team,” she said, adding: “Never give up on your dreams.”

Nyad’s dreams from an early age involved swimming. Her Greek-Egyptian father and French mother supported her, but her focus eventually became very intense after that.

“That’s how people get ahead in life – they’re fanatics,” she said.

Words of wisdom came from a fellow teenage swimmer, who talked about this importance of discipline and focus. “It’s the moment that produces the dream, not the big picture,” she said.

Nyad implored NECA members to embrace life as if they could not have done it “a fingernail better.”

And that’s what she did from that point forward.

After failing to qualify for the Olympics, Nyad was introduced to the world of endurance swimming, which would take her around the world. The Cuba swim represented Mount Everest to Nyad.

For about three decades, Nyad focused on other ventures such as broadcasting, but she always kept her eye on Cuba. Feeling more like a spectator than a doer and having turned 60, and despite some very public failures, she set her sights on the island nation again.

Support and attention ebbed after her fourth failed attempt, but she kept telling herself to remember the importance of the power of the human spirit. That carried her until Labor 2013, when she finally reached her 110-mile goal in about 53 hours.

“It was never about the sport,” he said. “It was bigger than that.”

Before Nyad took the stage, NECA CEO John M. Grau talked about the value of NECA membership and cited the conventions as one of the benefits.

“We’re really one big family, and this is our over-the-top reunion,” he said.

He emphasized that members don’t necessarily buy things from NECA, but they belong to NEC. “Working together makes us special,” Grau said, pointing to issues such as workforce shortages and multiemployer pensions.

“We’re becoming more proactive and less reactive,” he said. “2015 is turning out to be a great year, and we are ready to take on the challenges of 2016.”

ELECTRI Council Chairman Greg Long also presented an update on the group’s research progress.

NECA later recognized several award winners after before Grau spoke, including George Adams (McGraw Award), Dennis Quebe (Comstock Award), Wilson Yancey (Coggeshall Award), David Mackay (Wendt Award), and Brian Damant (Distinguished Service Award). Federated Insurance won the Industry Partner Award.

Jul 07

Chicago’s Must-See Sights: Part 4

Historic Water Tower

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Built in 1869, the Chicago water tower is 154 feet high.  The building was originally commissioned to hold the 138 foot tall standpipe that would help the water flow and pressure for the pumping station.  While the standpipe was removed in 1911, the pumping station is still in use.  The importance of the water tower and pumping station is that they are two of the only buildings in the city that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  The water tower’s importance is that it stands as a symbol for the rebuild of the city of Chicago which gave it the nickname “Second City”.

More “Second City” Happenings:

Join NECA for a very special lifestyle program presenting the best of the Second City, Monday September 29 at 10:00pm.


Celebrating 50 Years of Funny

The Second City, America’s first improvisational theater troupe, has helped launch the careers of countless stars, including Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, John Candy, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, just to name a few. This year’s Lifestyles program is a revue featuring the best sketches from their stages, along with improv games that will allow the audience to make suggestions that the performers will spin into comedy gold.

May 29

Registration for NECA 2014 Chicago Opens

NECA 2014 Chicago Registration is Now Open!

credit: wikipediaRegistration for NECA 2014 Chicago is now open.  The NECA 2014 Chicago  convention and trade show is headed back to the Windy City for the first time since 2008 and this year it’s bigger and better than ever.  NECA 2014 Chicago has brought back some of your favorite events and added new ones that will help your business.  You can choose one two packages to make the most of this year’s NECA convention.

NECA 2014 Chicago will be returning many popular events from the NECA 2013 Washington D.C. convention including: the Opening Reception, Lifestyle Program, Showstopper Showcase, NECA Show, and the Closing Celebration. While NECA looks to bring back popular events, they also look to add new events that will help members and their businesses. This year we’re adding a new education system where each event will be categorized by track, or related topic, to help attendees better plan their schedule. Another exciting new event will be the job fair which will bring NECA’s student chapters to NECA members.

There are two ways that you can enjoy NECA 2014 Chicago, the best way is to sign up for full registration. Full registration is your all-access pass to everything that the 2014 NECA convention has to offer.  With full registration, you’ll have access to the opening reception at the famous Field Museum, two general sessions featuring famous stockbroker Chris Gardner and former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, convention education, labor relations session, chapter job fair, lifestyle program featuring Second City, nineteen technical workshops, Showstopper Showcase, daily prize ticket drawings, member spouse gift, three days of NECA Show including lunch, and the Closing Celebration featuring Jim Belushi and Sacred Hearts Band. The second way you can experience NECA 2014 Chicago is to sign up for the weekend package.  The weekend package will give you access to the Opening Reception, the Business Development Session, the NECA Show, nineteen technical workshops, the Showstopper Showcase, and the daily prize drawings.

NECA 2014 Chicago will be the biggest and best NECA convention yet, so don’t wait. Registration is now open so make sure to reserve your spot at the premier event of the year for the electrical construction industry.

Register Now >>

Apr 29

Chicago’s Must-See Sights: Part 3

On April 25, we started a series of Chicago’s must-see sights to highlight a few of our favorite attractions and historical landmarks. Chicago is home to many significant historical sites that have created the rich traditions among the city and its people. Attending NECA 2014 Chicago gives attendees the opportunity to see some of the places that make Chicago a city a place to remember.

What Chicago skyscraper housed the headquarters of world-wide retailer Sears Roebuck and Company ?

photo credit: wikipedia

Today’s feature is all about the Willis Tower.

In 1969 worlds largest retailer, Sears Roebuck and Company, wanting a more centralized location for their whopping 350,000+  employees, hired Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill to design and build what would become the largest and most recognizable office building in the world, the Sears Tower.

Construction of the iconic skyscraper began in 1970, ending 3 years later when the final beam was put in place in 1973. Signed by the 2,000 construction workers and thousands of Sears employees and Chicagoans, 12,000 people autographed the final beam completing the then tallest building in the world. Clocking in at a massive 108-stories or 1,451-feet, construction of the Sears Tower used enough concrete to build an eight-lane, five-mile long highway. In 1988 Sears Roebuck and Company sold its corporate headquarters and in 2009, global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings bought the then Sears Tower renaming it: the Willis Tower.

theskydeck.comphoto credit: theskydeck.comStepping out on the ledge, In 2009 Willis invested in a multi-million dollar renovation to the Chicago Sky Deck, adding a new innovative feature called The Ledge to the building. Featuring a series of glass bay windows nested 103 stories high, the Ledge is a popular spot among tourists looking to capture daring selfies and a must-see attraction for 2014 NECA Chicago attendees.

Sep 26

101 Reasons to Thank Charlie Trout at the NECA Show

Get your copy of 101 Code Questions Of The Day and meet Code-guru Charlie Trout at the NECA Booth!

Get your copy of 101 Code Questions Of The Day and meet Code-guru Charlie Trout at the NECA Booth!

Charles M. “Charlie” Trout has for many years distinguished himself as the premier source of National Electrical Code knowledge for thousands within our industry. Charlie is now concluding his service on NECA’s Codes and Standards Committee and his involvement in the NEC code-making process. Charlie had reached thousands of participants in the electrical industry as the author of NECA’s popular Code Question of the Day.

To recognize Charlie for his many contributions, NECA has compiled 101 of Charlie’s best Code questions and classic responses from the past two years into a special booklet that will be distributed during Charlie’s guest appearances at the NECA booth during the 2013 NECA Convention in Washington, D.C. Please stop by to thank Charlie for all he’s done to improve industry understanding of the Code!

To receive a guest pass for FREE admission to the 2013 NECA Show and your chance to meet Charlie Trout at the NECA Booth, go to

Oct 01

“Prison doesn’t work for everyone, but it worked for me:” Chef Jeff at Lifestyle Session

“Prison doesn’t work for everyone,” Chef Jeff Henderson likes to say. “But it worked for me.” Henderson shared his inspirational story during the Lifestyle Session on Monday morning at NECA 2012 Las Vegas to about 200 people.

Born in Los Angeles to a single mother, Henderson was a drug dealer and went to prison at the age of 24. It was while he was sulking away in prison that his true calling in life was revealed to him. It wasn’t on the streets – it was in the kitchen.

“I discovered my gift in prison … once you know who you are, you can become anything you want to be,” he said.

His talk, a high-energy mix of inspiration and business principles, emphasized the realizing the power of potential. Henderson is undoubtedly a commanding presence and was alternately funny and poignant in his portrayal of a life, once lost, and now found.

Henderson is a best-selling author and continues to cook as the star of “The Chef Jeff Project” on Food Network. But he isn’t only passionate about food; he’s passionate about reaching out to young people who might be facing the same issues he did. He knows that he can help them out – because he was them.

“I’m not going to (play) the victim card,” he said. “I don’t justify my poor decisions because I grew up poor. I grew up with a dream.”

Watch Chef Jeff Henderson at 2012 Lifestyle

Sep 30

Rex Ferry Introduces 13 New Academy Fellows

Rex Ferry, NECA past president and current Chairman of the Academy of Electrical Contracting, reported on the activities of the Academy over the past year during Sunday’s General Session.

Ferry reported on the Academy’s 44th annual meeting held in June in Colorado Springs. He described the keynote address by former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, whose presentation focused on leading with strength and compassion through adverse circumstances.  He also noted that two papers presented at the meeting are now available for download at the Academy’s website.

Ferry then introduced the 13 new Academy fellows selected during the annual meeting:

  • Joseph S Boddiford, Jr. (Lee’s Electrical Contracting, Baltimore, Maryland)
  • Jimmy D. Coker (Coker Electric, Pine Bluff, Arkansas)
  • Thomas Demcsak (Scholes Electric & Communications, Piscataway, New Jersey)
  • Michael T. Glasman (Groff Electric, Tacoma, Washington)
  • Douglas Hague (Shelley Electric, Wichita, Kansas)
  • Jarret D. (Jerry) Hayes (United Electric, Marietta, Georgia)
  • David Long (Miller Electric, Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Anthony J. Maloney, III (Koontz-Wagner Electric, South Bend, Indiana)
  • Gregory A. Rick (Rick Electric, Moorhead, Minnesota)
  • Daniel B. Walsh (United Electric, Louisville, Kentucky)
  • Wally Hook (Northern Indiana Chapter, NECA)
  • Gerald W. Schulz (Michels Power Division of Michels Corp.,Neenah, Wis.)
  • Tom Wolden (New River Electrical, Cloverdale, Virginia)

Ferry congratulated the new Fellows with, “Your presence here makes clear your commitment to furthering the horizons of the construction industry.”

Sep 26

Gotta Sync It to Get It!

If you’ve downloaded the NECA 2012 Las Vegas app for your smart phone or tablet, you’re nearly ready for the NECA convention and trade show. Only one reminder – you’ll need to sync or update the app periodically to get complete information about education sessions and last-minute changes. Sessions are listed two ways: under the Schedule icon by date, or you can search for specific sessions by Track.

So don’t worry if you don’t see a session you know should be there. Simply sync the app, and all the information will be added!

Still need to get the app before you go? Here’s how.>>

Sep 18

Attention: Media Attending NECA 2012 Las Vegas

Credentialed members of the press and industry freelancers receive complementary registration to attend NECA 2012 Las Vegas. Please email Beth Margulies, with your full name, title, media organization, mailing address, telephone number and email to process your registration before Sept. 25. If you need to register on-site, please contact Beth Margulies in the NECA Press Room on the Show floor by phoning 240-461-4769 from the registration desk. You will need to present your credentials or business card at the registration desk.

Press kits from NECA Show exhibitors will be in the Press Room, so please stop to pick up the latest information from exhibitors and event news. You can also follow updates from NECA 2012 Las Vegas on the convention blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. Live feeds from social media tagged with #NECA12 will be posted on the Social Media Walls at the NECA Show.

Sep 12

There’s an App for That: NEW NECA 2012 Las Vegas

The first-ever mobile app for the NECA convention and trade show is now available. Sponsored by Graybar, the app includes the full convention schedule and listing of speakers, plus an interactive map of the NECA Show floor, access to #NECA12 social media posts and a customizable on-site planner. You can get the app three ways:

·         For iPhone & iPad • iTunes Store: Search for “NECA 2012” or download now >>

·         For Android Visit Google Play Store: Search for “NECA 2012” or download now >>

·         For web-based access •

Get the NECA 2012 app for fast access to updates and news!