Recap of Academy Annual Meeting in Colonial Williamsburg
June 27, 2013
The 45th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Electrical Contracting concluded just over a week ago in historic Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia). Rex Ferry
(’02) chaired the meeting that included 84 Fellows and 73 guests. All arrived in the “colonial capital” to find hot, steamy weather that yielded a tremendous storm that, not only changed our outdoor opening reception into an indoor event, but also wreaked havoc on the colonial city (and did I mention the golf courses?). This didn’t dampen the spirit of the attendees, however, who appreciated an excellent program of education and entertainment. Another result of the storm was the very pleasant weather that followed and stayed with us for the remainder of the meeting.
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There were so many highlights that it’s hard to know where to start. But here are several memories to choose from and I’ll elaborate on them below:
- Despite the storm’s impact upon the opening reception, the opening dinner at King’s Arms Tavern reminded us about the colonial spirit
- This theme continued with a walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg and a visit to Jamestown. Both were well attended and educational.
- Our featured speaker, Patrick Henry, shared a lot of information about the colonial period
- The Formal Dinner entertainment was by the Unexpected Boys (the same group that entertained us two years ago at the Greenbrier). Instead of the Jersey Boys theme, however, we enjoyed a tribute to the Beach Boys.
- The Working Group discussed business development from several perspectives
The Board of Directors approved two significant proposals:
- Recommend a revision to the Rules of the Academy. The purpose of the changes (last revised in 1999) is to better organize the Rules. There are no significant changes to the procedures and policies.
- Adopted a recommendation by the Jury of Fellows to eliminate the requirement for a signature on nomination forms. Signatures on letters of nomination and endorsement, however, continue to be required.
Recognizing that Business Development has become a popular business activity for many NECA members and chapters recently, a program was presented to the Fellows that provided three perspectives on the issue. Working Group Chairman Stan Lazarian (‘05) provided the contractor perspective. Stan described how business development has been implemented in his company and he provided examples of small changes that have had good results.
Mir Mustafa, NECA’s Director of Market Development delivered the national association perspective. He discussed several of the opportunities that have been presented to NECA contractors because of relationships developed with businesses looking for electrical contractors to perform work. He also discussed the cooperative activities that have been undertaken with IBEW under the banner of business development.
Finally, Ken MacDougall, Director of Business Development for the Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter, NECA, discussed how building relationships has brought many new opportunities to the members of his chapter. Some of the opportunities arose from chance meetings or seemly unrelated activities that evolved in to an opening for him to talk about the services that his members provide.
Recognition is an important component at the annual meeting. The Jury of Fellows selected the following 15 individuals for induction into the Academy at the NECA convention in Washington, DC on October 13:
|Gina M Addeo |
GMA Electrical Corporation
Staten Island, New York
B David Roberts
Southern Region NECA
|Orvil Anthony |
San Antonio, Texas
Schetter Electric Company
Aschinger Electric Company
Service Electric Company
|Ted H Brady |
Progressive Electric Inc
Charleston, West Virginia
James Strange Jr
Advanced Electrical Systems Inc
Michael D Toman
Mega Power Electrical Services
Turner Electric Co
|Michael McPhee |
McPhee Electric Ltd
|Bradley Weir |
Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Nelson Electric Inc
During the General Meeting, the Fellows elected the following to the Academy Board of Directors for the term ending in 2016: Mel Buttrum (’06), Dave Dickey (’04), Tim Gauthier (’98) and Jon Negro (’99).
Three Academy papers were presented. The first discussed the advantages of incorporating sustainability into our businesses. It was presented by Fred Sargent (‘81) and was entitled “Sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line in Electrical Service Work”. Tim Gauthier (’98) presented a paper based upon the chapter’s research into the 100th Anniversary of the Oregon-Columbia Chapter. It tracks what Gauthier calls “An Uncommonly Harmonious Relationship” with the local union over a hundred year period. Bob Daoust (‘01) discussed the perils of entering the electrical contracting business in his paper entitled: “Contractor Startups: Training for a Fast-Changing World”. The papers for 2013 can be seen at the Academy website.
Download Academy Papers
Patrick Henry was our speaker and he provided an historical perspective. He discussed the preliminary findings by Benjamin Franklin regarding “electrical fluids”; Mr. Henry indicated that, while he doubted the value of such experiments, he hoped we might be able to “harness the electrical fluids into some useful form”. He talked about “homeland security”, especially the move of the capital from Williamsburg to Richmond because Williamsburg was on a narrow peninsula and Richmond was more defensible.
Henry discussed his view of the pending discussion between “states’ rights” and a federal government. He argued that the states are very different, using examples of currency, religion and economy. Accordingly he is not in favor of a federal government. He closed by informing us that the birthplace of liberty was in Williamsburg, not in Philadelphia!
Bill Powell (‘09) and Jed Wilson (’69) of Chewning & Wilmer in Richmond, VA talk with Patrick Henry about their company’s involvement in the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg.
At the formal dinner, Chairman Ferry recognized all of the Fellows and guests attending their first annual Academy meeting, including the following: Joe & Anne Boddiford (’12), Tom & Gail Demcsak (’12), Doug & Kim Hague (’12), Jerry & Judy Hayes(’12), Wally & Sylvia Hook (’12), David & Judy Long (’12), Tony & Mary Maloney (’12), David & Debbie Morse (’10), Greg & Stacy Rick (’12), Jerry & Mary Schulz (’12), Dan & Debra Walsh (’12) and Tom & Gayla Wolden(’12).
Chairman Rex Ferry at the formal dinner!
Now back to some of the memories and photos:
We invited the Unexpected Boys back for a show following dinner at the closing event. If you were at the Greenbrier meeting you saw their tribute to the “Jersey Boys” show (Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons). This year they offered a tribute to the “Beach Boys” that had most folks singing along to California Girls, Surfer Girl, In My Room, I Get Around, Good Vibrations and some car songs (remember Little Deuce Coupe, 409, etc.). Even with some early departures the next morning, I didn’t see anyone leaving before the end of the show.
Hilah Autrey, Linda Quebe and Kim Hague assist the Unexpected Boys with their show!
A dessert fit for a Fellow!
And speaking of photos: We’ll be printing and mailing the customary photos of the formal dinner tables later this summer, but if you would like to see the photos taken (by the professional photographer).
View and Download Photos
Mike Thompson (’92)