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Event Details

2021 Women in NECA & Future Leaders (WINFL) Leadership Conference (virtual)

03/ 09 - 10 /2021

  • Location: Virtually through Zoom
  • Email: live@necanet.org
  • Phone: (202) 991-6318


If you have registered, click here to access the live Women in NECA and Future Leaders (WINFL) Leadership Conference.

If you have not yet registered, register here.

Two half-day of meetings beginning at 1:00pm EST

The Women in NECA and Future Leaders (WINFL) Leadership Conference will be held March 9-10, 2021.


WINFL Leadership Conference registration fee is $250 and covers the cost of the following events:

  • Two keynote speakers
  • Three breakout sessions
  • Two roundtable discussions with peers and taskforce
  • Two networking receptions with live entertainment

2021 WINFL Agenda:

Tuesday, March 9

 1:00 – 2:00 pm Networking: Build Relationships, Not Contacts in Today's World
Laura Okmin, GALvanize
 2:00 – 2:10 pm Break
 2:10 – 2:55 pm  Breakout Sessions (Choose 1):
  • TakeCaraU® Session 1 - The Four-Step Process
    Moderated by: Maureen O’Brien, Business Leader/Strategist/Speaker
  • Managing Up—Forging a Successful Relationship with Your Supervisor 
    Moderated by: Alex Willis, Leadership Surge
 2:55 – 3:05 pm  Break
 3:05 – 4:05 pm  Roundtable Sessions (Choose 1):
  • TakeCaraU® Session 2 - Peer Discussion
    Moderated by: Maureen O'Brien, Business Leader/Strategist/Speaker
  • Developing the Have It All Lifestyle:  Winning at work and home 
    Moderated by: Alex Willis, Leadership Surge
 4:05 – 4:15 pm  Break
 4:15 – 4:50 pm  NECA Update by David Long, NECA CEO
 5:00 – 6:00 pm  Gatherly Networking & Rockstar Bingo Reception


Wednesday, March 10 

 1:00 – 1:45 pm  Breakout Sessions (Choose 1):
  • Achieving Results through Strategic Planning 
    Moderated by: Tauhira Ali, NECA
  • Innovative Technologies Transforming the Electrical Construction Industry
    Moderated by: Josh Bone, ELECTRI International
 1:45 - 1:55 pm Break
 1:55 – 2:55 pm  Roundtable Sessions (Choose 1):
  • Strategic Planning Application Workshop
    Moderated by: Tauhira Ali, NECA
  • Performing a Technology Audit
    Moderated by: Josh Bone, ELECTRI International
 2:55 - 3:05 pm  Break
 3:05 – 3:50 pm  Breakout Sessions (Choose 1):
  • The Language of Leadership: Using Your Communication to Drive Positive Change
    Amanda King, Wired Leadership
  • Beyond Bias
    Dushaw Hockett, SPACES
 3:50 - 4:00 pm Break
 4:00 - 5:00 pm  Stop Being A Leader. Start Being THE Leader
Ryan Avery
 5:00 – 6:00 pm  Networking, Dueling Piano's, and 'Founding Drinkers' Mixology Demonstrations
graybar-trans Our closing reception will be held in Zoom and feature a return performance from
the Shake, Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos. The event will also feature a mixology
demonstration from the Chief Spirits Advisor to the National Archives Foundation.
You’ll learn about the Founding Father’s favorite drinks and how to make them yourself!
Sponsored by NECA Premier Partner Graybar


About the Sessions:

Networking: Building Relationships Not Contacts in today's World

Laura Okmin, GALvanize

Laura uses her most valuable lessons that come from some of the greatest athletes in sports to explain how she built relationships -not sources -throughout her nearly 30 year career as a sports journalist. Learning as a young reporter from the likes of Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, Laura took those life lessons as a reporter -and a person – and continues to apply them to cultivate relationships she continues to build three decades later. You’ll hear essential lessons and insight that will make you become an expert at building – and sustaining – relationships in work and in life whether in person or virtually where connections are now more important than ever. 

Laura Okmin

About Laura Okmin:

Laura Okmin, GALvanize. Once fearful of her second act, Laura Okmin has turned it into her favorite act. After 25 years of telling other people’s stories, Laura has focused on her own; still reporting from the sidelines but broadening her playing field. People Laura have covered over the years have now turned into trusted clients—coaching communication to Super Bowl coaches, Gold Medal Olympians, and professional sports leagues while helping hundreds of women succeed in the sports world through her company GALvanize. Laura remains a storyteller in work and in life, whether it’s in a broadcast, a speaking engagement, or her own production company.

TakeCaraU® Session 1 - The Four-Step Process

Maureen O'Brien, Business Leader/Strategist/Speaker

It is difficult to be your most effective when you feel over worked, over stressed, and under-appreciated. While you are so busy taking care of everyone else, what are the things that you can do to take care of yourself, so that you are best able to handle all the demands in your day? Join us in this two-part session of TakeCaraU®. 

Session 1 - You will learn a four-step process that you can utilize in both your professional and personal life.

Through the Curriculum of C.A.R.E.©, you will learn how to get unstuck, to move 
forward, and to focus on what matters. 

About Maureen O'Brien

Maureen O'BrienMaureen O’Brien, CEO, MOF, is a non-traditional leader. Her first post-college job was selling building products to contractors in the Chicago area. Following the birth of her first son in 1986, O’Brien launched her own exterior remodeling company called O’Brien & Son, Inc. Four children later, that business is in its 36th year.
Intrigued by the story of this engaging woman and her choice to play with the"big boys,” speaking requests came for O’Brien to share her story. Armed with a degree in education and the equivalent of a Ph.D. in hard knocks, O’Brien is a highly sought-after business strategist, speaker and author, and is considered an expert in transformational leadership, entrepreneurial thinking, and relationship selling. She is certified in the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, a tool that measures whole brain thinking and diversity of thought.

In 2009, O’Brien launched the Global Women’s Leadership Forum® (www.globalwlf.com), a certified WBE, focused on equipping women with the competencies, confidence, and courage to lead. In 2017, the company made an intentional, strategic pivot, identifying as the Global Wisdom & Leadership Forum, to increase the engagement of men in the conversation.

O’Brien is a recipient of the Dr. MLK Award for the Acceleration of Women in Leadership by the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations. She has been named “One of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Illinois” by the National Diversity Council.

O’Brien has authored three books: “And the Children Watched—A Reflection on the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Get Your Big Girl Pants on and SELL Someth
ing: A Handbook for Women (and Really Progressive Men) In Sales,” and “Oneness. Wellness. Wholeness: 4 Ways to TAKECARA U®!” Books available for purchase on Amazon.com. She is currently working on a new book called, “With the Time We Have Left,” for release in early 2021. O’Brien’s greatest success came in 2016. She fought Stage IV Lymphoma … and WON. Brand Promise: Information. Inspiration. Tools for Implementation.


Managing Up—Forging a Successful Relationship with Your Supervisor

Alex Willis, CEO, Leadership Surge

The reality of today’s workplace is that individual success depends not just on how well you do your job, but on how well your supervisor does theirs.

A supervisor’s role is not one of command and control, but of collaboration—just as much as your efforts influence theirs, theirs influence yours. When they’re unable to meet deadlines, accomplish goals, and fulfill expectations, those unmet obligations inevitably become yours, and the communication between you can suffer greatly. The principles of managing up are designed to make your supervisor’s life easier. However, you’ll find that becoming in tune with their needs and supporting their daily obligations in turn, benefits you. Your work life will run smoother, you’ll encounter less conflict, and you’ll make a positive impression on your supervisor, ultimately forging a successful relationship.

About Alex Willis:

Willis_AlexAlex Willis is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. He has a beautiful wife, Sabrina Willis of fifteen years and two little girls, Alexis and Aubrey. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration. He also received a Master’s degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University, where he was the Salutatorian of his class. Alex was a walk-on player for the Florida Gators and member of the 1996 National Championship football team. He later received a full scholarship and was elected team captain in 2000. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Coach Tony Dungy.

Alex has excelled in Financial Services, Pharmaceutical Sales and Business Development. At Northwestern Mutual, Alex ranked 3rd in sales production for the Southern Region. He ranked 5th in the nation for Eli Lilly in marketing total portfolio sales. Alex has successfully raised over $1.5 million for startup companies and has been instrumental in setting strategy and vision for leadership within these companies. He has spent the last 15 years working with companies to improve the leadership culture within organizations. His company Leadership Surge values people over process, and focuses on a holistic, strengths-based approach to leadership. They create a fun, interactive, experiential learning environment for emerging leaders.

TakeCaraU® Session 2 - Peer Discussions

Maureen O'Brien, Business Leader/Strategist/Speaker

You will have the opportunity to join a small group/roundtable of your peers to connect, to share, and to learn. This is a session you DON’T want to miss! 

Developing the Have It All Lifestyle:  Winning at work and home

Alex Willis, CEO, Leadership Surge
In our increasingly competitive world, we all need to be more productive than ever. Not only must we do our jobs in less time and with fewer resources, we often work for more than one boss and on more than one team.  To add to this, we often have conflicting priorities when it comes to winning at home.

As a result, we may face conflicting tasks, deadlines, and expectations, making it difficult to identify what’s most important. Furthermore, the transformations in our workplaces brought about by technology have, in addition to the many benefits, increased the speed and complexity of our work. This has also caused our work to bleed over into our home life. Often working more while at home with family.

This course will enable you to properly prioritize your obligations, allowing you to improve performance and productivity, while increasing your impact at home. As a result, you’ll also achieve a better work/life balance, minimize the stress related to managing your tasks efficiently, and, ultimately, improve work and home relationships.


Achieving Results through Strategic Planning 

Tauhira Ali, Executive Director, Industry Innovation, NECA
In our increasingly competitive world, we all need to be more productive than ever. Not only must we do our jobs in less time and with fewer resources, we often work for more than one boss and on more than one team. To add to this, we often have conflicting priorities when it comes to winning at home.

About Tauhira Ali:

Tauhira Ali Tauhira Ali is a highly skilled technology strategist with more than 16 years of R&D and product design experience. As NECA’s Executive Director of Industry Innovation, she gathers insights from end users, industry experts, and tech providers to deliver awareness, education, and implementation strategies to specialty contractors. These efforts serve to empower contractors to strategically leverage technical innovations and industry trends to drive process and productivity and increase market share.

Tauhira has held R&D positions in the computing, automotive, aerospace, robotics, construction, and public relations industries. Her product development work has influenced thousands of physical and digital solutions found on the jobsite. In addition to her passion for driving new solutions, Tauhira is deeply committed to expanding and empowering all voices within technical industries and has been honored to work closely with many affinity and mentorship groups to advocate and elevate all members of the workforce.


Innovative Technologies Transforming the Electrical Construction Industry

Josh Bone, Executive Director, ELECTRI International. 

Project delivery methods and building’s systems are growing increasingly complex, while owners and GCs push to keep schedules short and cost down. How do electrical contractors meet the growing demands and stay ahead of the competition? In this presentation we will discuss the ever-changing landscape of construction and identify new opportunities that help electrical contractors shift from low bidder to a project consultant. We will discuss emerging technologies that are transforming buildings through data collection to increase their efficiency throughout the building’s life cycle. We will discuss how these new technologies are providing ECs with specialized skills that generate new revenue streams that are far less cyclical and commoditized than traditional transmission and distribution of power.

About Josh Bone

Josh BoneFor more than two decades, Josh Bone has been implementing, training and presenting construction technology solutions to AEC&O (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owners) professionals. Having worked with some of the top technology leaders in the industry, Josh specializes in identifying best practices and methodologies for integrating construction technology into everyday workflows.

Strategic Planning Application Workshop

Tauhira Ali, Executive Director, Industry Innovation, NECA

Building on the Strategic Planning breakout session, this workshop will empower you to discuss and directly apply techniques for creating an unbiased situational assessment and explore how this knowledge can create a measurable strategy personalized for your organization. Join us as we prepare for the challenges facing construction today and position your business for future resilience and continued competitive advantage. 


Performing a Technology Audit

Josh Bone, Executive Director, ELECTRI International. 

This roundtable session will be led by construction technology specialists that work for NECA members across the country. We will discuss how to conduct a technology audit and why every NECA contractors needs to take stock of their annual spend on software and hardware. We will explore the importance of software integrations and how electrical contractors can get the most out of the software solutions you currently own.

The Language of Leadership: Using Your Communication to Drive Positive Change

Amanda King, Wired Leadership

With our daily interactions, relationships are either being built or torn down with our communication. Leadership is not what you do, but who you are. It doesn't matter what your role is within your organization, you are a leader, a person of influence. This workshop is designed to help you take a closer look at your current leadership language and its impact. Become a more effective leader and drive positive change in your organization, by learning to speak the right leadership language with behavioral integrity. 

About Amanda King

Amanda KingAmanda King, a Stockton, Calif., native, is a motivational speaker, professional leadership coach, and owner of Wired Leadership. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Education, with a concentration in Administration and Leadership, from University of the Pacific. In addition, Amanda is a certified Energy Leadership Index, Master Practitioner. She has a unique approach that inspires people to move forward to establish and achieve their goals. Her focus is to assist you in identifying what’s keeping you from reaching your full potential. More importantly, Amanda’s Energy

Leadership program will support you in developing self-awareness, with knowledge and skills to lead confidently with a sustainable plan for you and your team.

Amanda has a passion for working with electrical contractors who are ready to create the climate they want and have the culture they need to be successful. As a leadership coach, Amanda creates workshops designed to support executive leadership teams, top tier managers, field supervisors, project managers and frontline leaders as they evaluate their leadership style. The Energy Leadership Program will provide tools to transform you into a coach, and less of a boss. These leadership classes will enable you to lead more and manage less.


Beyond Bias

Dushaw Hockett, Executive Director, SPACES

Beyond Bias is an interactive session focused on the science of implicit bias and strategies for how to reduce and interrupt bias.  Learn how to have a deeper understanding of the science of implicit bias; with an overview of the strategies and interventions for reducing and interrupting implicit bias. We invite you to get inspired to make bias-reduction work part of your daily practice.

About Dushaw Hockett

Dushaw HockettDushaw Hockett is the founder and Executive Director of Safe Places for the Advancement of Community and Equity (SPACEs), a Washington, DC-based leadership development and community building organization dedicated to bridging the gap between what people imagine and what they achieve.

A native New Yorker who now resides in Maryland, Dushaw has over 20 years of experience in community building and organizational development.

He's the former Director of Special Initiatives for the Center for Community Change (CCC), a 40-plus year old national organization founded in the memory of the late Robert F. Kennedy.  During is 12-year tenure at CCC, Dushaw led projects focused on affordable housing, immigration and race.

He’s also a former aide to Representative Nydia M. Velazquez (NY), the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. Congress. 

Dushaw has written several publications focused on community building and conflict transformation.  They include Not Part of the Plan, Crossing Borders and A Hope Unseen.

He has served on the boards of numerous local and national organizations including the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC).  He currently serves as an advisor and partner to the Perception Institute (www.perception.org).

Dushaw has served as a consultant to numerous labor organizations including AFL-CIO, AFSCME, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).  

Stop Being A Leader. Start Being THE Leader.

Ryan Avery

Today’s world is competitive, innovative, and seriously fast-paced. When we are serious about growing our business, it is no longer acceptable to offer A product, A solution or even be A Leader. Today’s consumers, employees, and followers want THE product, THE solution and THE leader to follow. When we want to eliminate our competition, set record sales, motivate others to action and produce solutions that actually matter, it’s time to go from A to THE. Ryan Avery is the right speaker to deliver these game- changing, life-magnifying strategies that allow audience members to step up to achieve next-level results. 

About Ryan Avery


Ryan Avery is one of the most profound keynote speakers on strategic communication and leadership. At age 25, Ryan became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history, competing against more than 30,000 contestants from 116 countries to claim the 2012 World Championship for Toastmasters International. As an Emmy-award winning journalist, two-time best-selling author and world record holder, Ryan has delivered more than 500 keynotes in 33 countries around the globe. Ryan currently lives in the United States with his family and is on the mission to show leaders how to Go From A to THE® in their industry! Learn more at www.RyanAvery.com.