All The Latest News from NECA

Oct 09

WIN Leaders Hear From PR Guru on Communication at 2016 Roundtable

Approximately 60 attendees gathered for the 2016 Women In NECA Roundtable, an annual event that brings together leaders in the industry from around the country.

Marie Arcidiacono presented on “Let’s Talk About It: Communication, Gender & Powerful Speech.”

Later, Women In NECA combined forces with NECA Future Leaders to host a reception for female and young members of the community.

Oct 21

Women In NECA: Unique Leadership

Women In NECA opened their roundtable discussion at NECA 2013 DC with a reminder of the growth opportunities presented by change. “We had many new faces at our Women In NECA Summit in St. Louis earlier this year, and it is tremendous to see how WIN has grown in just a few years,” said WIN chair Rachel Barber, VEC Inc., Girard, Oh. “WIN’s membership has become much more diverse in the work the members do and the work our companies do. And that makes it even more important that we spend time together learning from each other and making connections.”

Like most WIN programs, this year’s Roundtable started with a question: What does it take to become a leader in NECA? “We know when we look around the office or a chapter meeting that women are under-represented in both NECA membership and leadership roles. So what can we do about that?” Barber asked.

Frank Piatt, NECA Field Representative, Eastern Region and a former chapter manager, shared his observations for how member leaders move through the ranks. His fundamental messages – show up; show interest; show your cards; show restraint; and show what you can offer – urged WIN members to demonstrate their desire to serve their chapter and association. “Let other members know you’re interested and aware. Even if you think a speaker at a chapter meeting has nothing to do with your work, go to the meeting. You never know who else will be there.”

Carolyn Fazio described how ELECTRI International and the Electrical Construction Political Action Committee (ECPAC) can put WIN members on a leadership fast-track. “When you get involved with ELECTRI or ECPAC, or encourage your chapter to participate, you get a seat at the table with the leading industry organizations. Your voice will be heard,” she said. Fazio also discussed how the Foundation is encouraging more women to pursue careers in electrical contracting through the Green Energy Challenge and Student Initiative.

The keynote speaker was Diane Brown, Vice President of Organizational Development for Thomas & Betts, a NECA Premier Partner. Tapping into her human resources expertise, Brown pulled together data demonstrating the leadership traits women naturally possess – and the pitfalls they encounter when they use those skills.

“I used to have a boss who would tell me during every annual review that I needed to do a better job,” she said. “So I would ramp up and tap into that stamina, creative-thinking and multitasking skills women possess. And the next year, it would be the same: ‘you need to do a better job, Diane.’ I finally figured out what he was saying – I needed to slow down. I didn’t need to do everything. I needed to be more careful with my work, rather than doing more. Women do more. But that wasn’t the right answer for this situation. The good news is, women are excellent at listening and adapting. We make changes happen very quickly when the situation calls for them.”

Brown’s presentation can be downloaded here.

Aug 19

“Inspiring Leaderships” at 2013 Women In NECA Roundtable

Women In NECA Roundtable

Monday, October 14 • 2:00–4:00 pm

“Inspiring Leadership” at the 2013 Women In NECA Roundtable will focus on leadership opportunities and strategies for industry women now and in the future. If you’re a woman involved within the electrical contracting industry, WIN wants you to join us for this once-a-year event!

The aim of “Inspiring Leadership” is for women to see that there is a rewarding place for them in electrical contracting and NECA, and they don’t have to change who they are to achieve it. They simply have to be true to their best self.  

Join us for three distinct discussions on leadership at this year’s WIN Roundtable:

  • The Pathways for NECA Leadership

Frank Piatt, NECA Field Representative, Eastern Region
The basics of how NECA members move through leadership roles on the chapter and national level and the “gender-blind” characteristics that can help you serve as a NECA leader.

  • Industry Influence

Carolyn Fazio, Chair & Chief Executive, Fazio International Ltd.
How women are shaping the business of electrical construction and inspiring students to consider careers in electrical construction.

  • Keynote: Leadership and How it Differs from Management

Stephane McShane, Senior Consultant, Maxim Consulting Group
Women in construction have unique strengths suited to help them excel in both management and leadership roles.  We will explain how leadership and management differ, what effective leadership looks like, how to lead with greater success, and the benefits of great leadership to your career.

A joint reception with NECA Business Development and Future Leaders will be held immediately after the WIN Roundtable.

About Women In NECA: WIN supports the professional development of women working in the electrical contracting industry through educational and networking events; promotes diversity in the industry; and encourages women to explore careers in the electrical contracting industry. WIN works to make NECA and our industry stronger by advancing women’s goals for professional growth.

Oct 02

Women In NECA Roundtable: Being the Best You

Three of NECA’s top contractors made up the panel for Women In NECA’s (WIN) annual roundtable yesterday, taking questions from over 80 WIN members about how they built successful companies, without compromising or apologizing and by focusing on being the best at who they really are.

And who they are is proud Women In NECA contractors, who have been lauded by their peers, recognized by their state governors, and loved by their employees.

Gloria Ashford, Susan Ernst and Lynne Harker opened the session by sharing how they entered the industry. Ashford and Ernst established their companies with their IBEW-electrician husbands; Ernst, a self-described “serial entrepreneur,” bought her company after selling her computer-training business. Download 2012 Roundtable Panelist Bios >>

The women described how they’ve adjusted company operations during the economic downturn. Each has made significant changes, with Ernst moving into a completely new market. “We started from scratch. We threw out the old way of doing things, and it forced us to make necessary changes,” she said.

“It’s another way of ‘being the best you’,” Ashford said. “You become more selective. You focus on what you know how to do really well. And you do it better than anyone else.”

When discussing field workforce management and technical knowledge, the women echoed the need to be true to their professional goals and identities. “My door is always open,” Harker said. “Everyone at Placer knows they can come in any time. And I have zero problem with asking someone to explain how something works. People like to talk about their work – I make sure to give them that chance.”

“It’s an attitude,” Ashford said. “I let my employees know that I’m no different from them: I have a family to support and a mortgage to pay. That’s why I’m doing this.

“I’ve worked hard to be a contractor and to be myself,” Ashford continued. “I’m not going to pretend I’m ‘one of the guys,’ because I’m not. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. What would be wrong is for me to act like I was. I’m Gloria, and I’m an electrical contractor.”

“I’ve gravitated to what I do best,” Ernst said. “Sure, sometimes you have to attitude. You have to fake it until you make it. But you will make it.”

Graybar CEO and constant WIN-booster Kathy Mazzarella joined the roundtable audience, and offered her encouragement to the women in the session. “The best revenge is success,” she told the group. “And you don’t have to broadcast what you’ve done. Just exist. You know what you’ve accomplished.”

Aug 14

Women In NECA Launch Special Tool Promotion

Come see the ladies of Women In NECA (WIN) wield the finest products from Milwaukee Electric Tools at the NECA Show as part of their special promotion.

Together with NECA Premier Partners Milwaukee Tools and Graybar, WIN is bringing the best in tools and apparel from Milwaukee’s latest product line, inscribed with the WIN logo August 15 through October 15, at the same price as standard items.

Best of all, WIN members will be sharing space on the NECA Show floor with Milwaukee and Graybar’s booths. Stop by to check out the special screwdriver kit, hammer drill kit and heated jackets, and learn how WIN is supporting the professional development of industry women. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of WIN promo tools will go to the American Heart Association.

Check out the WIN tools in NECA’s online store now, or place your order at the NECA Show!