Keller Rinaudo knows how to make an impact. And it’s saving lives every day.
On Sunday, the Opening General Session keynote speaker for NECA 2018 Philadelphia used his platform to talk about the company he co-founded after college, Zipline, and how it’s changing the face of global healthcare.
Rinaudo is the CEO of Zipline, which manages a system of custom robotic aircraft specifically designed to carry life-saving medical supplies to areas in need.
“You can think of it like UPS in the United States,” he said.
Rinaudo mainly discussed his experiences In the East African nation of Rwanda, where he hired a team, including many electricians, to put his operation in place. A crew observes all flight operations from the company’s traffic control tower Zipline built.
During his presentation, Rinaudo played several videos showing how the drones take off, travel and land as well as the technology involved. To place an order, any of the 12 million people in Rwanda can send a text message to Zipline.
“As long as you have a phone, you have a lifeline,” Rinaudo said.
Rinaudo emphasized that Zipline is a service, not a technology.
“What we’ve built can fundamentally work at the national level,” he said.
Today, approximately 500 health centers can receive instant access to blood and medical supplies. Rinaudo said some countries viewed as behind the curve such as Rwanda are leaping ahead with this kind of logistics infrastructure.
“Automation will transform logistics,” he said, adding that, ultimately, instant delivery for the planet equals universal access to healthcare.
Earlier in the morning, NECA President David Long opened his remarks by touting NECA’s progress. He has made trips around the country, visiting NECA contractors and chapters as well as industry partners.
“2018 has been a tremendous year for NECA and our industry,” Long said. “I’m excited about the things we’re doing.”
Five past NECA presidents were then introduced as part of a tribute to outgoing CEO John Grau. Grau is retiring in June after 33 years as NECA’s chief executive.
Finally, the Academy of Electrical Contracting, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding, recognized a new class of 19 Fellows. There are now 724 Fellows in the Academy.
Visit NECAConvention.org for full conference and event details.