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Nomination Process for Fellowship

Welcome to the Academy Nomination portion of the Academy website. The Academy of Electrical Contracting is always seeking to add qualified nominees to Academy Fellowship - thereby giving recognition to deserving individuals for their exceptional and outstanding services rendered to the electrical contracting industry. 

The first six sections of these instructions address the selection and installation of a Fellow into the Academy of Electrical Contracting. Following this overview of the process, specific instructions are offered to successfully navigate through the electronic submission of the required nomination package. 

Hint: When beginning the nomination process, we recommend that you click the orange block below and print the 8-page document for your review prior to attempting the electronic submission in their entirety.

Academy Nomination Instructions (PDF)

Table of Contents

Who's eligible for nomination?

The requirements for nomination eligibility are specifically explained in Article II, Section 1 of the Rules of the Academy of Electrical Contracting (Bold added for emphasis): 

Pursuant to the procedures herein provided for, any person meeting the following requirements may be nominated for Fellowship in the Academy: 

(a) The nominee must have served for at least ten (10) consecutive years (computed to the date of becoming a Fellow of the Academy or to the date of retirement from the electrical contracting industry) in an executive position or positions with a member firm or NECA Chapter, or with the Association itself, or with any two or more of these. 

(b) Unless retired, the nominee must be associated with an organization which is affiliated with the Association. 

(c) Each organization with which the nominee is associated as an officer, director, employee or agent, or has an ownership interest, must be affiliated with the Association, if eligible for affiliation. 

(d) The nominee must have rendered to the industry, either nationally or locally, services so outstanding and exceptional as to be beyond any normal call of duty or loyalty

Who may submit a nomination?

There are several options to nominating someone for Fellowship, as identified in Article II, Section 2 of the Rules of the Academy of Electrical Contracting (Bold added for emphasis):

“A nomination for Fellowship in the Academy may be prepared and submitted at any time by: 

(a) “Any two Fellows of the Academy. Each Fellow endorsing the nomination form must be well acquainted with the nominee and with the services performed by the nominee. In addition, each Fellow must write a letter of recommendation that acknowledges the history of the relationship. 

(b) “By a majority of the members of the Board of Directors of any Chapter. Such a nomination must be endorsed by the Chapter President or Chapter Governor.

(c) “Nominations must be submitted using the forms provided by the Academy and must be forwarded to the Secretary of the Jury of Fellows, in accordance with instructions provided. Nominations submitted by March 1 will be reviewed at the next annual meeting.” 

NOTE: current members of the Jury of Fellows and current NECA officers (including the NECA President, Vice Presidents and Chairman of the Academy) are prohibited from counter-signing a nomination initiated by a chapter. However, a current NECA officer may write a letter in support of someone from their chapter who is nominated for Fellowship. Such letter must meet the requirements referenced in “Letters from Academy Fellows.”

As opposed to endorsing a nominee, however, should one (or more) current NECA officers decide that an individual is worthy of Fellowship and nomination, one (or more) such officers may initiate a nomination for that individual. However, a current NECA Officer should not counter-sign a nomination initiated by another chapter

The rationale for these regulations is that current NECA officers should not feel pressured or obliged to endorse a candidate with which they may not be familiar or feel are worth candidates for Fellowship.

Current members of the Jury of Fellows, however, do not have the same privilege and should neither initiate, nor endorse, any individual for Fellowship. However, jurors are permitted to speak to a candidate’s qualifications at the Jury of Fellows meeting.

As noted in Section (c), the forms provided are now available on the Academy website and must be submitted electronically (as further described in this document). 

Importance of Confidentiality: It is strongly recommended that nominations for Academy Fellowship be kept confidential. Obviously, taking a vote at a meeting of a chapter’s Board of Directors makes secrecy difficult, especially if notice is included in the minutes of the meeting that are widely distributed. A secret ballot taken outside of a regular meeting might be a better way to achieve the requirement offered in option (b) above. 

As noted above, the deadline for receiving completed nomination forms each year is March 1

Knowing that people are often rushed trying to gather and complete all the parts of the nomination package, we allow some flexibility with the March 1 deadline. However, in order to earn this flexibility, the completed form and a draft of the distinguished service narrative must be received by the March 1 deadline in the Academy office. Any remaining information must be submitted no later than March 15, unless a specific written exemption allows for a later date. 

What are the nomination package requirements?

A completed nomination package includes the following four parts:

  1. The completed online Nomination for Fellowship form
  2. A distinguished service narrative demonstrating to the Jury of Fellows that the nominee has “rendered to the industry, either nationally or locally, services so outstanding and exceptional as to be beyond any normal call of duty or loyalty”. The Distinguished Service Narrative is submitted electronically.
  3. Letters from nominators. As noted in the previous section, depending upon who endorses a nomination, certain letters are required.
  4. A current photo of the nominee.

Note: the four parts of the completed package do not have to be submitted together.

Help: As Secretary of the Jury of Fellows, Mike Thompson will work with nominators to achieve their goal of completing and submitting an acceptable nomination package for their nominee. Experience tells us that completing a detailed distinguished service narrative - beginning with a blank sheet of paper - is a challenging assignment.

Thompson is charged with the assignment of initial review and verification of the accuracy of certain information on the form (examples include membership in the Association, service on National committees, etc.) He also reviews nominations for “evidence of exceptional service”. Should he find situations where the distinguished service narrative does not appear to adequately present such “service”, he will contact the nominator to discuss how the contents might be improved.

It is suggested that you submit a draft of your nomination form to Mike Thompson in advance of the March 1 deadline for review and comment.

Questions? Contact Mike at 301-806-1109 or jmt@necanet.org.

What's the election process?

The review and acceptance by the Jury of Fellows was specifically designed to be a thoughtful and deliberate process. From the time of the decision to nominate someone through the induction ceremony takes a minimum of 20 months! Here are the specifics from Article II, Section 3 of the Rules of the Academy of Electrical Contracting (Bold added for emphasis):

“Each nomination for Fellowship shall be reviewed and acted upon by the Jury of Fellows, a committee of twelve Fellows of the Academy. Election of a nominee to Fellowship in the Academy shall be by:

(a) “Vote of the Jury of Fellows (which vote must be unanimous and must have been conducted at two Annual Meetings of the Jury of Fellows) and
(b) “Subsequent approval, by majority vote of the Board of Directors.”

How are individuals notified?

Caution: About one-third of the time, a nomination will not receive unanimous approval on the first review. Often the Jury will suggest that a nomination be re-submitted - with additional information to be included (or explained). When a nomination does not receive unanimous approval at its first review, and is subsequently re-submitted (generally with revisions to the distinguished service narrative portion or more specific letters) the subsequent submission is still considered to be the “first review” - as far as the requirement for being approved twice (at consecutive meetings). In other words, a nomination cannot be considered for a “second review” until it has successfully passed a first review by the Jury.

Because a critical part of the review and selection process is avoiding any potential embarrassment of a nominee not unanimously selected by the Jury, correspondence (electronic or otherwise) is kept at a minimum.

Confirmation of Receipt:

Following receipt and review of the nomination package, the Secretary of the Jury will send an acknowledgement letter to the nominee(s) advising of receipt of nomination information. The letter will also indicate the promise to submit the nominee to the Jury of Fellows at the next meeting. If all parts have not been properly submitted, such letter might also indicate additional requirements (with appropriate deadlines for submission).

The Academy office is charged with assembling a consistent “package” of nominees for the Jury. Accordingly we may have to re-format or make other adjustments to parts of the package and we will request confirmation of such changes, etc. to be sure the nominator agrees with the package to be submitted to the Jury. Accordingly when all parts of the Nomination Package have been received and reviewed, the Academy office will mail a letter with the full nomination package.

Phone Contact:

Following the first review by the Jury of Fellows, the Secretary of the Jury will contact the nominator of anyone who does not receive unanimous approval. The Secretary can advise any nominator of the outcome of any nominee, but no communication regarding the outcome of the Jury process will be in writing. While the Secretary does not communicate with the nominator of successful nominees, any nominator may contact the Secretary via email (or phone) and he will advise of the results of the jury by phone.

Notice of Acceptance:

When the nominee has successfully passed the review process at two consecutive meetings (at least 15 months after the process was begun), the Chairman of the Academy will notify the nominee by overnight mail of their acceptance. Copies of the letter are also mailed to the nominators (chapters and Academy Fellows). These copies are mailed later (by regular mail) so as not to interfere with the direct communication between the Chairman of the Academy and the new Fellow.

We continue to believe that receipt of this special handling letter is the best way a nominee can learn of their acceptance into the Academy - especially when they are unaware of their nomination!

When are new fellows installed?

Note the process for the installation of Nominees Elected to Fellowship from Article II, Section 4 of the Rules of the Academy of Electrical Contracting:

“New Fellows will be invited to join the Academy, will be advised of the requirements for Fellowship, and will be asked to acknowledge their understanding and acceptance of such requirements via a signed statement prior to induction. The candidate must appear in person to be inducted and receive this honor.”

The Secretary will follow the Chairman’s notification with further information about the responsibilities of a Fellow, the induction, etc.

Electronic Submission Instructions

Remember the second excerpt from the Rules of the Academy referenced “Nominations must be submitted using the form provided by the Academy . . .”

This is where you'll learn about the electronic form (on the Academy website) that you must use, as well as how to submit additional information:

Specific instructions for the form and additional information submission process follow.

Nomination for Fellowship Form Instructions

The online nomination form has four tabs where you should enter information about the nominee.

  • Personal Information

  • Employment Information

  • Committees & Offices

  • Certification

Required Fields:

Please note that an Asterisk (*) denotes a required field that must be completed or the form cannot be submitted. Click here for a direct link to the online Nomination for Fellowship Form.

View Online Nomination for Fellowship Form


Once you begin the process of completing the form online, you must enter all of the information to transmit the form. You cannot save and go back to the form at a later time.

Hint: Before trying to complete the form online, we suggest that you print each tab of the form
so you may review all of the information you must collect before you begin to complete the form online.

NOTE: users will need to login using their NECA user ID and password to gain access to the form. If you need assistance logging in or obtaining your user ID or password, contact Vivian Brown at 301.215.4535 or vivian@necanet.org.


Note each tab includes buttons at the bottom for “Next” and “Previous”. There are also “Print” and “Submit” buttons on the Certification Tab. When you have completed your input, we suggest you print the form for review before pressing the Submit button. The “Print” button will print all four tabs for your review. When you’re satisfied with your review of the information, press “Submit” and the information will be transmitted electronically to the Academy office.

Here is further information about the four tabs:

  1. Personal Information identifies:
    • the nominee and his home address (where the special handling letter will be sent upon acceptance into the Academy)
    • relationship with NECA
  2. Employment Information demonstrates that the nominee meets the criteria to have served for at least ten consecutive years in an executive position(s) with a member firm or chapter. If your nominee has been affiliated with more than one NECA member firm, you are encouraged to list all with dates and positions.
  3. Committees & Offices is divided into four categories:
    • National Committee or Task Force
    • Chapter Offices Held – If a nominee has served the same office for different (non-successive) terms, please show the more recent term in this section and show previous term(s) in the next section.
    • Other Chapter Committees (and whether they were chairman or not) or Positions (which provides an opportunity to elaborate where a nominee might have served a committee or office on more than one non-consecutive term).
      Remember that service as a chapter officer or committee chairman, while indicative of industry interest, does not, by itself, constitute “outstanding and exceptional service”. More important to the Jury of Fellows is what was personally accomplished, and at what personal sacrifice, by the nominee. Such accomplishments and sacrifices should be specifically addressed in the distinguished service narrative.
      Also remember that the Jury will have reviewed the list of committees and offices before reviewing the narrative so you should NOT include a redundant recap of this list in the narrative. 
    • While Civic or Public Service may enhance the nominee’s fitness for Fellowship in the Academy, this is an optional section and you should only include the most significant examples of civic, fraternal or philanthropic service. Positions that demonstrate leadership are more significant than merely belonging. The Jury is instructed that the lack of such service shall not be held against the nominee.
  4. Certification identifies the people making the nomination

Questions about any online issues? Contact Diane Jacobson at 301-215-4555 or dsj@necanet.org.

Submitting Additional Information

This section provides a procedure to transmit the other files necessary to complete the nomination process and attach them to the Nomination for Fellowship Form. This section also provides an opportunity to correct or add information to the narrative or form. You can submit this additional information by sending an email to dsj@necanet.org or clicking the button below, which will open your email client.

Submit Additional Information

Distinguished Service Narrative

Goal of the Narrative - a distinguished service narrative must be submitted because a form (with a series of questions) cannot adequately anticipate the right questions to identify (and elaborate upon) the achievements that merit fellowship in the Academy of Electrical Contracting. The purpose of the distinguished service narrative is to convince the Jury of Fellows that the nominee has “rendered to the industry, either nationally or locally, services so outstanding and exceptional as to be beyond any normal call of duty or loyalty.

The Distinguished Service Narrative is submitted in an MS Word document (not a pdf) via email to dsj@necanet.org. The Word document permits the Academy staff to edit the “look and feel” of the narrative so that the presentations are consistent for the Jury.

Suggestions You Might Consider in the Distinguished Service Narrative:

  • It should not be on letterhead
  • The only “Title” should be the full name of the nominee
  • You might consider beginning the distinguished service narrative with the source of the nomination. For example, “the XYZ Chapter is pleased to nominate . . .”.
  • You should avoid a redundant recap of the positions and offices identified on the “Committees & Positions” tab unless you want to further explain the circumstances, accomplishments, etc., during such service or term.
  • Rather than presenting the distinguished service narrative in chronological order, it is recommended that you include the most obvious example of “services so outstanding and exceptional as to be beyond any normal call of duty or loyalty” in the beginning of the distinguished service narrative. You don’t want to hide the nominee’s most outstanding accomplishment in the middle or at the end of the distinguished service narrative. You want to make it easy for the jury to identify these outstanding services.
  • You should be concise in your specifics, but do not assume that all readers will understand any local specifics and terminology. You may need to include some historical background or perspective to demonstrate the relevance, i.e. what made it so “outstanding and exceptional?”
  • Use action words and avoid broad or general statements. It is not enough to state that the nominee “performed exceptional service” or is “a world-class individual”. The distinguished service narrative must make this fact clear through the inclusion of specific examples.
  • Here are some examples of topics that you might consider including within your distinguished service narrative:
    • Labor Relations
    • Establishing or Maintaining a Chapter (during difficult times)
    • Membership Recruitment and/or Retention
    • New Program at the Chapter Level
    • JATC Involvement
    • Government Affairs, ECPAC, Political Leadership Council
    • Electrical Inspection and Code Development
    • Electrical Contracting Foundation
    • Other National Programs
    • Personal Sacrifice
    • Community Service on behalf of the Electrical Industry (not self)

The Distinguished Services Narrative should be completed in MS Word format (with a file extension of .doc or .docx) and should be “attached” to an email sent to dsj@necanet.org.

Letters from Nominators

Here are some general rules pertaining to all letters:

  • The letter should be prepared on letterhead (NECA member firm, NECA chapter or personal letterhead).
  • The inside address on the letter should be to “Jury of Fellows, Academy of Electrical Contracting” with an address of “3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814”
  • The salutation is suggested as: “Dear Jury of Fellows”
  • Signature of person making the endorsement
  • The letter should be converted to a .pdf format and submitted via email to dsj@necanet.org

Letters from Academy Fellows

When a Fellow of the Academy signs a nomination form, the Fellow must send a letter to the Jury of Fellows.

This is required either because:

  • Two Fellows are making the nomination, or
  • A Fellow wants to supplement (lend credibility) to a nomination initiated by a chapter.

Here are some helpful hints to make these letters from Fellows acceptable and credible:

  • A hand-written letter is acceptable, but legibility is important
  • The letter must include the following information/certification:
    • That the Fellow has personally known the nominee ~ and for what length of time
    • That the Fellow has specific knowledge of the qualifications noted on the nomination form
    • That the Fellow certifies: “I have read the entire form and know of no misstatements included therein.”
    • In addition to the above items that must be included in the letter, the Fellow should elaborate on some portion of the narrative in which the Fellow has specific knowledge and/or provide additional information about the nominee not included in the narrative. In other words, it must be clear that the Fellow is not just doing someone a favor by agreeing to support a nominee, but instead has specific personal knowledge.

Letters from Chapter Officer

When a chapter initiates the nomination, the chapter governor or president must submit a letter on either his company or the chapter letterhead. The General Rules above apply to the letter format.

  • The signature by the chapter governor or president is the important part of this letter.
  • Unlike the Fellow letters, there is no information/certification required for such letters.

Letters are submitted electronically in a .pdf format. Letters may be “attached” to the Nomination Package by emailing them to dsj@necanet.org.

Photo Submission

It doesn't need to be a portrait photo - a casual one is acceptable. The photo is intended to help refresh the memory of the Jury of Fellows in case they may know the nominee by sight, if not by name. Photos are submitted electronically in a .jpg or .jpeg format by emailing them to dsj@necanet.org.