All The Latest News from NECA

Oct 02

ELECTRI Events at NECA 2014 Chicago

ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction hosted several events during the annual NECA Convention in Chicago on September 27-30, 2014:

Wendt Award

Dennis F Quebe, NECA President and Daniel J. Divane, 2013-2014 ELECTRI Council Chair; Photo by Chuck FazioAt the NECA Convention Opening General Session, ELECTRI Council Chair Dan Divane (Divane Bros. Electric, Chicago) was honored by the Foundation with its prestigious Wendt Award. This annual recognition is named in honor of Albert G. Wendt (Canon & Wendt, Phoenix, AZ) and recognizes outstanding leadership and commitment to the electrical construction industry.

ELECTRI Council Meeting

Due to the unanticipated flight delays/cancellations into Chicago, the ELECTRI Council meeting was shortened to accommodate the rescheduled Green Energy Challenge final presentations. Greg Long (Long Electric, Napa, CA) was nominated by Dan Divane as the 2015-2016 ELECTRI Council Chair. The full Council affirmed the nomination. Research reports originally scheduled for this Council meeting will be presented at the Council’s January meeting in San Diego. The CalPoly San Luis Obispo faculty advisors gave a report about their Ecuador Student Passport Competition entry. (The project had not been selected for the Passport finals.)

2014 Green Energy Challenge Finals

LtR: Doug Hague, NECA Executive Committee, with Iowa State University NECA Student Chapter Team; Photo by Chuck FazioThis year, ELECTRI challenged each NECA Student chapter 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. Competition judges evaluated 15 entries from top universities throughout the United States. The three finalist teams made their final oral presentations at the NECA Convention. ELECTRI awarded Iowa State $4,000 for the win. 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.

2014 Green Energy Challenge Poster Competition

San Diego State University NECA Student Chapter; Photo by Chuck FazioNine teams entered the 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).

ELECTRI’s special thanks goes to all judges of both events for supporting ELECTRI’s Talent Initiative.

ELECTRI International Reception

LtR: Gustavo Varela (Comptel Ingenieria, Costa Rica), Russell J. Alessi (ELECTRI International), Kenneth MacDougall (Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter NECA); Photo by Chuck FazioA standing-room-only crowd enjoyed the by-invitation ELECTRI International reception at the historic Union League Club. Current Council members welcomed contractors and industry allies who are considering joining the Council.

High Priority Topics Committee (HPTC)

This newly-formed group met jointly with ELECTRI’s Kitchen Cabinet. Together, these industry leaders discussed programmatic ideas that they believe are essential to the future of electrical construction. The goal is to turn these topics into proposals and projects that ELECTRI can commission as part of its research agenda each year. The HPTC reviewed thirty topic suggestions and narrowed the list to five. The Program Review Committee will now select two initiative concepts and include them in the next Request for Proposal that goes out to investigators at leading universities.

General Session Presentation

Daniel J. Divane, 2013-2014 ELECTRI Council Chair; Photo by Chuck FazioCouncil Chair Dan Divane addressed the closing day General Session and gave a full report on ELECTRI’s growth and expansion during the past year. He highlighted new commitments to the Foundation, especially the increase in commitments made by NECA Chapters across the country.

The next ELECTRI Council Meeting will take place at Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, from 21-23 January, 2015. To find out more, please contact Sylvia Selwood at or 301-215-4539.

Oct 13

International Electrical Contractors Gather at NECA 2012 Las Vegas

International companies held a special briefing during the recent NECA Convention in Las Vegas to learn more about cross-border happenings in the electrical industry and to network with colleagues from around the world.

Ivan-Malo, UNCE-Mexico, speaks to members of NECA’s International Chapters at NECA 2012 Las Vegas.

Russ Alessi, NECA’s Executive Director of International Development, welcomed participants, especially new NECA members RGTS Power Systems from Saudi Arabia and Olea Controls from Mexico.  Alessi noted that NECA now has 67 international members from 15 countries, with Canada at the forefront boasting 39 companies that have joined NECA.

In addition to individual international members, NECA now has 11 International Chapters. Bermuda, Canada, Honduras, and Korea each have one chapter.  Mexico has three NECA chapters, and Australia hosts four.

The group had the opportunity to learn more about the state of electrical construction through a series of industry reports:

Industry Report Australia_NECA 2012
Oliver Judd, Executive Director, NECA New South Wales Chapter, Australia

Industry Report Honduras_NECA 2012
Charles H. George, Governor, NECA ACEH Honduras

MEXICO National Electrical Contractors UNCE Report
Ivan Malo, President, UNCE Mexico

Report on the ELECTRI International Student Service Project, Belize PV Project Update_NECA2012
Thomas E. Glavinich, University of Kansas

Alessi encouraged participants to sign up for the next ELECTRI International Cross-Border Meeting in Quito, Ecuador, March 13-15, 2013.

Details on NECA international activities and on ELECTRI International programs and services for the international market are available at and at

Companies interested in joining NECA as an international member or in establishing an international NECA chapter may contact Russ Alessi at or at +1 301-215-4518.

View the ELECTRI International Meeting Presentation 2012 NECA Intl Meeting presentation_Russ Alessi >>

Oct 08

2010 NECA Award Winners and Michael Durant at Closing General Session

The 2010 NECA national award winners were recognized at Tuesday, Oct. 5’s closing general session. Award winners are listed below. Convention-goers also heard from NECA CEO John Grau and ELECTRI Council Chairman Mike Mazzeo. Paul Anthony, the “Voice of NECA” and general session emcee, was also recognized for his tenth appearance at NECA’s annual convention.

Former soldier and acclaimed author Michael Durant offered the event’s keynote speech. He walked the audience step-by-step through the catastrophe that changed his life 17 years ago when the Blackhawk helicopter he was piloting crashed in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Durant shared the insight about how small missteps and miscalculations can lead to great tragedies. He compared the U.S. volunteer armed services to the training and preparation performed by NECA contractors.

“When facing a tough task, practice is all the more important,” Durant said. “Dangerous things should never become routine, but they must be practices to avoid that potentially fatal hesitation – something the workers in your industry can understand.

“There’s a window of opportunity in everything we do,” he concluded. “But we should never sacrifice our credibility to go through that window. It’s a precious asset. I know you see that in your work.”

2010 NECA Award Winners

2010 Coggeshall Award ~ Howard D. Hughes

2010 Comstock Award ~ John Negro

2010 McGraw Award ~ Jonathan “Russ” Borden

2010 Association Executive Distinguished Service Award ~ James Willson, Los Angeles County Chapter

2010 Wendt Award for Exemplary Leadership and Service to the Electrical Industry ~ Michael Mazzeo

Sep 13

Nine New Fellows Inducted into Academy of Electrical Contracting

The 2009 induction ceremony of new Fellows into the Academy of Electrical Contracting at the Opening General Session marks the 41th anniversary of this exceptional organization. Academy Chairman Milner Irvin introduced the nine new Fellows:

Scott Bringmann
Alcan Electrical & Engineering, Inc.
Anchorage, Alaska

Kenneth Hart
Dynalectric Company ~ Washington, DC
Dulles, Virginia

Stephen J. Kohnen
Kay-Bee Electric Company
Florissant, Missouri

Craig Martin
Frost Electric Company, Inc.
Aurora, Illinois

Ben Nevers
Nevers Electric
Bogalusa, Louisiana

William A. Powell, Jr.
Chewning & Wilmer, Inc.
Richmond, Virginia

Daniel G. Schaeffer
Schaeffer Electric Company
St. Louis, Missouri

Chris Schoolcraft
Shawver and Son Inc.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Lanny Thomas
Allison-Smith Company
Atlanta, Georgia

New Fellows Inducted in Academy of Electrical Contracting

Since its founding meeting in 1968, the Academy has served as the “voice of experience” for NECA and ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction, Inc. Fellows of the Academy are invited to join the organization based on their exceptional service to the electrical contracting industry. Each Academy Fellow authors a white page on their area of industry expertise, and they participate in issue analysis to determine trends within the industry and make recommendations.

More information about the Academy’s 2009 annual meeting, a list of Fellows and a complete archive of papers by Academy Fellows is available on NECA’s website.

Sep 13

University of Washington Wins First Green Energy Challenge

Following presentations from the three Green Energy Challenge finalist teams yesterday, the entry from the NECA student chapter at the University of Washington was selected as the winner. The results were announced at the NECA Student Chapter Summit today.

University of Washington 1st Place in Green Energy Challenge

Oregon State University placed second, and The Pennsylvania State University was third.

UW team leader Joey Berger was also recognized for his excellent presentation skills.

“I have a great deal of admiration for all the work the student teams put into their projects,” said Challenge juror Tim Ehmann, a senior project manager with Rochester Solar Technologies. “They brought a fresh perspective to some of the major work going on in electrical construction today.”

Penn State 3rd Place in Green Energy ChallengeOregon State 2nd Place in Green Energy Challenge

A full report of the Green Energy Challenge submissions will be available from ELECTRI International soon. More information about the Green Energy Challenge can be found on NECA’s website.

Oct 14

NECA Transmissions Blog Features 2008 Chicago

What I Brought Back From Chicago
by John Grau

The just-completed NECA Convention in Chicago was my 31st. That doesn’t even come close to the record set by former NECA President Bob Colgan of Toledo, Ohio. This was his 57th!

Bob was recognized at both the Convention Opening General Session and at a special Academy of Electrical Contracting Reception marking its 40th anniversary. Bob Colgan and Bob Higgins, my predecessor as NECA’s Executive Vice President, are the only founding members of…

To Read more of John’s recent post featuring the NECA 2008 Chicago Convention, visit or Click here.

Oct 07

NECA NewsCast “Live from Chicago” – Day 4

Jennifer Brice, NECA NewsCast host, brings us an exclusive peak into the Labor Relations focused general session. On stage were IBEW International President, Ed Hill and NECA’s VP of Labor Relations, Geary Higgins – together they highlighted the future of the NECA/IBEW working relationship. Also in the spotlight of this broadcast were NECA’s general sessions, green alley and the International Lunch hosted by ELECTRI International.