Don W. Jhonson, president of Interior Electric in North Miami Beach, Florida, has earned NECA’s 2013 Coggeshall Award in recognition of his long-time service in the continual development of the National Electrical Code. Presently annually at NECA’s national convention, this award was established in 1956 as a result of a bequest to the association by Allan Coggeshall to honor a NECA contractor who is adjudged to have made an outstanding contribution to the progress of the electrical industry in the technical and training service field.
The National Electrical Code is one of the world’s most widely used regulatory standards. It is developed by more than 450 volunteer experts serving on 19 technical committees, called code-making panels (CMPs), and published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The code is revised every three years to keep it up-to-date with the latest electrical products, construction methods, and safety techniques. NECA is one of the few organizations represented on every NEC code-making panel.
Jhonson has been a member of NECA’s Codes & Standards Committee since 1997. From 1999 to 2002, he served on NFPA’s CMP 10, which addresses overcurrent protection. Since then, he has been serving on CMP 15 (concerning special occupancies, such as health care facilities, places of assembly, and installations for temporary events). Jhonson has also been serving on CMP 17 since 2002. He chaired CMP 17 (dealing with appliances, heating equipment, and pools) for the 2005 and 2008 editions of the National Electrical Code. Since 2010, he has also served on the Electrical Systems Committee for NFPA 99, the Health Care Facilities Code.
Providing technical expertise and professional advice in the development of workable codes, standards and supporting documents requires a significant investment of energy and time away from his own business and pursuits. Nevertheless, Don Jhonson has expended extra effort serving on several special task groups dedicated to keeping the NEC up to date.
Jhonson began his career in the electrical industry in his teenage years as a summer-time helper with NECA/IBEW contractors. Subsequently, through his service to the United States Airforce during the Vietnam War Era, he received extensive training in electronics and became a technical sergeant providing quality control evaluations and training for air-to-ground communication sites. Upon his return to South Florida, he underwent electrical training as an IBEW Local 349 apprentice and became a Journeyman wireman in 1979.
Over the next five years, he rose from apprentice, to journeyman, foreman, general foreman and project manager while working for James P. Driscoll, a Chicago-based electrical contractor, while simultaneously accumulating his Master Electrician Certificate of Competency in Miami, his State Certified Electrical Contractor’s License in Florida and a Master Electrician License in Gary Indiana. In 1984 he founded Interior Electric, Inc. a union-signatory NECA/IBEW contractor in South Florida.
Jhonson brought Interior Electric into the Miami Chapter of NECA where he subsequently served on the board of directors and assisted during the consolidation of the Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami NECA Chapters into the now South Florida NECA Chapter. He has served effectively on various chapter committees over the years, including those concerned with codes and standards, membership, political action and labor negotiations.
Don Jhonson, a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors, is also Florida-State certified as chief electrical inspector, electrical plans reviewer and building code administrator. In addition, he serves as chief electrical inspector, plans reviewer for the town of Golden Beach in Miami Dade County.