The Wendt Award is the highest tribute bestowed by ELECTRI International - The Foundation for Electrical Construction. The award recognizes exemplary leadership and service to the electrical industry and is named in honor of the philosophical and financial commitments made to the electrical contracting industry by one of its premier members, the late Albert G. Wendt, former president of Cannon & Wendt Electric in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Northeastern Line Constructors Chapter, NECA has earned this distinction for 2013 based upon its years of participating in ELECTRI’s research, education, and international activities and for providing outstanding financial support to the Foundation. Established in 1956, this chapter represents NECA-member power line contractors throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Taking a broad view of the industry and what will be necessary to survive in the future, the Northeastern Line Constructors Chapter has contributed a total of $300,000 to ELECTRI. Its support for the Foundation began in 1990 with a Chapter Century Circle commitment, grew to ELECTRI Council membership in 2009, and continues today. Individual Northeastern Line members have been very generous to ELECTRI over the years, as well.
When ELECTRI announced a challenge grant to establish the Transmission & Distribution Enterprise, Northeastern Line Chapter contributed $100,000 towards the challenge. Over the years, NECA’s line contractors had expressed their concern that research and education projects that are important to their sector of the industry are not always important to the majority of ELECTRI Council members. In response, the T&D Enterprise was set up to provide a “home” for line constructors inside the ELECTRI International Research Center. Under this initiative, ELECTRI uses contributions from line contractors for projects that are important to transmission and distribution companies.
When a second challenge was initiated by Walter T. Parkes and Michael Parkes, O'Connell Electric, Victor, NY, and Richard W. McBride and Timothy McBride, Southern Contracting, San Diego to build up ELECTRI’s Talent Initiative, Northeastern Line again stepped up with another $100,000. ELECTRI International works closely with NECA chapters and educational institutions to attract the “best and brightest” to our industry from among college Construction Management students and graduates. Through its Talent Initiative, ELECTRI International offers direct support for NECA Student Chapters and facilitates their participation in the annual Green Energy Challenge and International Service Projects.
While Northeastern Line recognizes that financial support is necessary for ELECTRI to keep providing a steady pipeline of tangible benefits for the electrical industry, the chapter is also actively involved in the development of critical research on topics such as line safety, the smart grid, wind energy, productivity, and many other subjects. In addition, the chapter participates in the research process through ELECTRI’s Program Review Committee. Northeastern Line also reaches out to promote the importance of ELECTRI research with the other NECA line chapters.
Finally, Northeastern Line has been instrumental in the growth and popularity of ELECTRI’s Cross Border meetings. These annual events provide an opportunity for NECA contractors to connect with colleagues from around the globe, share ideas, make valuable international business connections, and observe the electrical contracting industry from a new point of view.