All The Latest News from NECA

Oct 02

2014 Showstopper Awards Announced; Best New Products of the Year

BETHESDA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Electrical Contractor magazine has recognized 20 outstanding new products at the 2014 NECA Convention and Trade Show in Chicago with its annual Showstopper Awards.

“This year’s diverse Showstopper winners represent the best of new product ingenuity for the growing $130B electrical community”

“This year’s diverse Showstopper winners represent the best of new product ingenuity for the growing $130B electrical community,” said Electrical Contractor Publisher John Maisel.

The 2014 Showstopper winners include:

Bridgeport Fittings Mighty-Rite steel split grounding bushings
Cree, Inc. LED T8 tube
DeWALT Gyroscope screwdriver
Eaton POW-R-Command intelligent panel boards
Flir Systems, Inc. Digital multimeter
Fluke Corp. Fluorescent light tester
Garvin Industries Universal square-to-round raised ring
Greenlee CLM-1000 cable length meter
Hilti Cordless combihammer
Legrand AV ceiling box
Leviton Omnitouch touchscreen monitor and control
M.K. Morse Co. 811 portable band saw blade
Orbit Industries, Inc. Easy access lighting box with swivel
Project DocControl Automated daily field reports
Schneider Electric Q) and Homeline dual function circuit breakers
Siemens Industry Dual function AFCI/GFCI combined in one device
Southwire SIMpull reel
Werner KNAACK StorageMaster
Westex UltraSoft line of arc-rated, flame-resistant fabrics

Electrical Contractor will cover the Showstopper winners in its January 2015 issue.

In addition to awarding the Showstoppers, Electrical Contractor magazine introduced its new monthly e-newsletter and a new app available through the iTunes Store, Google Play and the Amazon App Store in iOS, Android and Kindle versions.

In recent issues, Electrical Contractor reported the findings of its 2014 Profile of the Electrical Contractor, a biennial, independent industry survey that offers the most detailed, current data on electrical contractors’ growing involvement in the design, specification and integration of a broad spectrum of building operating systems.

The survey shows that more than 2,700 owner- and top-management level U.S. electrical contractors report a high influence in electrical system design and brand specification – maintaining a steady gain over the past decade. The top three reasons for original brand selection and substitution are availability, price and compatibility with existing systems.

Published by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Bethesda, Md., Electrical Contractor magazine delivers 80,0 00+ electrical contractors 61,000+ electrical contracting locations, more than any other industry publication. Telephone: (301) 657-3110. Website: Twitter: @ecmagdotcom / App: iTunes Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store in iOS, Android and Kindle versions.

Oct 01

Closing General Session: Rob O’Neill

Former Navy SEAL Team Leader  •  Tuesday, September 30 1:15 pm

Decorated military veteran and Navy Seal Rob O’Neill closed out NECA Chicago 2014 with a detailed account of various combat missions and his recipe for success in life.

O’Neill, who grew up in Montana, served for more than 16 years as a Team Leader on the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.

He spoke about a range of topics including making informed decisions and teamwork. A common theme was never quitting.

“Success is not attained or purchased,” he explained. “It is rented. And rent is due every day.”

O’Neill took pride in saying no member of his team was ever killed in more than 400 combat missions. He said they improved each day because they were trying to stay on par with each other. They also learned how to face their fears.

“Fear is healthy but panic will breed and it will get you killed,” he said.

O’Neill also told the audience not to be afraid of chasing success and to stick around successful people who have learned from failure. Finally, he said, effective communication is paramount.

Earlier in the program, NECA CEO John Grau shared his thoughts on the association’s progress and addressed problems facing the electrical contracting industry.

“Our members are more optimistic, and we’re on the right track,” Grau said.

Grau also said the a shortage of skilled workers will dominate the national discussion moving forward.

Later, outgoing President Dennis Quebe presented awards to several people connected to the industry, For a full list of recipients, visit

Dan Divane, chairman of ELECTRI International, gave an update on organization’s activities. He also announced that Iowa State University was the winner of the 6th Green Energy Challenge.

Sep 29

The Academy of Electrical Contracting Welcomes 16 New Fellows

Fellowship in the Academy of Electrical Contracting is one of the highest honors bestowed upon an individual in this industry. The following 16 individuals were honored for their exceptional service and leadership as they were installed into the Academy of Electrical Contracting on Sunday, September 28, 2014 during the General Session of the NECA Convention. Congratulations!










Craig Clark
Dynalectric – Colorado
Lakewood, Colorado

Johnny C. Dyke
D C Electric Company
Benton, Kentucky

Paul A. Guarracino
J.M. Electrical Company, Inc.
Lynnfield, Massachusetts

Thomas G. Halpin
Haughland Energy, LLC
Plainview, New York

Timothy G. Homer
Wasatch Electric
Salt Lake City, Utah

Mark A. Huston
Lone Star Electric
Fort Worth, Texas

Michael B. Joyce
Zenith Systems LLC
Bedford Heights, Ohio

Blair Mahan
Benson Electric Company
Superior, Wisconsin

Thomas McClure
McClure Electric, Inc
San Francisco, California

Todd A. Mikec
Lighthouse Electric Company
Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Mark A. Nemshick
Chicago & Cook County Chapter, NECA
Westchester, Illinois

Jeffrey C. Ohman
Minneapolis Chapter, NECA
St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Rocky Sharp
Madsen Electric
Tacoma, Washington

Edward J. Shikany
Sweney Electric Company Inc.
Merrillville, Indiana

Thomas F. Theirheimer
Britain Electric Company
Houston, Texas

Jim Wilson
Los Angeles County Chapter, NECA
Pasedena, California

Sep 28

Opening General Session: Chris Gardner on the Pursuit of Happyness

Philanthropist and best-selling author Chris Gardner spoke powerfully about his hardships and dealings with homelessness during Sunday morning’s Opening General Session at NECA Chicago 2014.


Gardner, the subject of book and blockbuster movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” told the audience he was the leading authority on a concept he called “spiritual genetics.” He talked about his background and his relationships with his parents and grandmother.

Gardner paid credit to his mother for telling him he could go anything in life.

“The wit, the wisdoms, the lessons she shared with me made everything else possible,” he said.

Gardner said film based on his life, in which he is portrayed by Will Smith, was about a man wanting to give his son what he never had had. “And, to me, that’s priceless,” he said, detailing his involvement in the project, which grossed more than $300 million worldwide.

Gardner, currently working on a new book, recalled meeting Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali and conversations with Oprah Winfrey and President Clinton.

“Find your button,” the thing that ignites a passion in your life, he urged the audience. “You can’t change something until you own it.”

Hope is great, Gardner added, but having a plan is what’s important. And a person’s ultimate asset is time.

Gardner now has a 28-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old granddaughter. He counts himself among the biggest supporters of food banks.

“The greatest honor that you will have in your life is to have someone say, ‘I’ll be here,’” Gardner said. “If you’ve been there for me, I’ll be there for you.”

Before Gardner spoke, NECA President Dennis Quebe summarized the association’s accomplishments. It was his final address to NECA in the post saying, “NECA continues to be well-connected to what is happening around the country. It is up to the industry to wisely implement the tools at its disposal.”

Later, NECA 2014 Political Leadership Council National Chairman David Nielson gave a brief update on the activities of the PLC and the Electrical Construction Political Action Committee (ECPAC).

Finally, former President Rex Ferry, chair of the Academy of Electrical Contracting, updated the session on the academy’s progress. Sixteen new fellows also were introduced. Look out for a special blog post highlighting the new inductees shortly!

Sep 28

Showstopper Showcase is Now Open!

Check out the Latest and Greatest Electrical Products of 2014

showstopper 14

The NECA Showstopper Showcase offers a select sampling of the latest and greatest in electrical product innovations which will be on display in the New and Featured Product Room at the 2014 NECA Show.

Showstopper_2014 final

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine has presented the annual NECA SHOWSTOPPER winners for the past 15+ years.

The NECA SHOWSTOPPER Showcase and Awards is the most prestigious recognition event in the electrical construction industry. The Showcase is designed to highlight new products and services that will help electrical contractors on the job. This highly effective and cost efficient area opens one hour before the NECA Show each day. A blue ribbon will be placed on the winning products and services, and a trophy will be presented to the winning company.

Available Dates & Times

10:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Monday, September 29, 2014
10:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Sep 28

Exciting Finish for ELECTRI’s Green Energy Challenge 

The results are in for ELECTRI International’s 2014 Green Energy Challenge and the winner is Iowa State University.

Iowa State University NECA Student Chapter, Photo by Chuck FazioThis year, ELECTRI challenged each college team to select a student use facility, conduct an energy audit of the building’s power and lighting systems, and design and propose a retrofit for both. The teams entered in the competition included construction management and engineering students who actively participate in their university’s Student Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association.

Competition judges, including contractors and industry partners, evaluated 15 entries from top universities throughout the United States. The three finalist teams were hosted by ELECTRI International at NECA’s National Convention in Chicago where they made their final oral presentations.

Best Presenter, Maggie Holt, Iowa State University, Photo by Chuck FazioELECTRI awarded Iowa State $4,000 for the win. Iowa State proposed updating the on-campus Memorial Union by improving the multi-use facility’s lighting, adding solar technology, and sub-metering. San Diego State placed second and received $3,000.Colorado State was third with a grant of $2,000. Iowa State team member Maggie Holt was selected as the competition’s Best Presenter and received an ELECTRI award of $500.

Poster Competition Results

San Diego State NECA Student Chapter, Photo by Chuck FazioNine teams entered the Green Energy Challenge Poster Competition. The top schools receiving awards for their posters included: San Diego State ($1,000); Iowa State ($750); and Illinois Institute of Technology ($350).


For additional information about ELECTRI International and its Green Energy Challenge, contact Sylvia Selwood, ELECTRI Director of Operations and University Relations, at 301-215-4539 or


Sep 17

Stop by the NECA Booth #1038 for your NECA 2014 Chicago polo and wind shirt

Stop by the NECA Booth # 1038 on the show floor to check out our NECA 2014 Chicago polo and wind shirt.  We will also be selling the most up-to-date NECA publications.

NECA 2014 Chicago Apparel Hours

Sunday, September 28
11:30 am to 5:00 pm

Monday, September 29
11:30 am to 4:00 pm

Tuesday, September 30
9:00 am to 1:00 pm

2014 NECA Convention Store (Booth #1038)

  • 2014 NECA Navy Polo (SM-XL)……………..$50
  • 2014 NECA Navy Polo (2XL)………………….$53
  • 2014 NECA Navy Polo (3XL)…………………$56
  • 2014 NECA Cream Wind Shirt (SM-XL)…………$60
  • 2014 NECA Cream Wind Shirt (2XL)…………….$63
  • 2014 NECA Cream Wind Shirt (3XL)……………..$66

All orders and requests for custom embroidery quotes should be placed with Kara Melenez , Summit Group at 1-800-560-0088 or emailed to

Sep 09

Avoid Lines and Save an Trip to the Convention Center

Satellite Registration Areas Offer Extra Convenience for NECA 2014 Chicago Attendees

Avoid lines and save an extra trip to the convention center!

Arriving early for NECA 2014 ChicagoHere’s some great news! If you have already registered online by then, you won’t have to trek to all the way to the convention center at McCormick West and wait in long lines to pick up your badge, tickets and convention bag. We are offering satellite registration areas at two hotels where you can grab these items and be on your way. 

Temporary satellite registration will be available on Friday, September 26, and Saturday, September 27between the hours of 7:30am and 5:00pm both days, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago (at 131 E. Wacker Drive) and Palmer House (at 17 E. Monroe Street). We have selected these two locations because they are in close proximity to other 2014 NECA Chicago Hotels. That means, every NECA 2014 Chicago registrant who arrives early can take advantage of this offer of extra convenience! 

Our satellite registration area at the Hyatt Regency Chicago will be located at Skyway 261, Blue Level, East Tower. To collect your badge, tickets and convention bag at Palmer House, go to Bay 3 & 4.

  • FYI 1: Nothing beats the convenience of having immediate access to a one-stop shop for NECA 2014 Chicago information. Get the FREE NECA 2014 Chicago mobile app.
  • FYI 2: Our registration area at McCormick West first opens at 7:30am Friday, September 26. For hours of operation (and details on anything related to NECA 2014 Chicago), check the full schedule.
  • FYI 3: Complimentary shuttle service begins Saturday morning, September 27. Get full shuttle information. – See more at: