NECA TransmissionsNotes from the front lines of the electrical contracting industry
  • Meet Rich Parenti

    Posted on May 08, 2008 by John M Grau


    “Get a haircut!” 

    I can still hear former IBEW President Jack Barry as he teased Rich Parenti about his a bit too long hairstyle back when he was director of the Midwest Region. Rich has since trimmed his locks, and Jack is no longer with us, but good-natured banter remains a hallmark of Rich’s business relationships.

    A veteran NECA staffer, Rich has worked effectively with IBEW Vice Presidents and Presidents as well as leaders throughout the electrical construction industry. As Executive Director for the Eastern Region, he is responsible for a territory stretching from Maine to Maryland to Ohio and Eastern Kentucky. The region includes some of our country’s biggest metropolitan areas such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. 

    A native of New Jersey, Rich headed to West Virginia for college. He earned his bachelors degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College, and he holds a master’s degree in industrial relations from West Virginia University. In 1975, he joined the NECA Midwestern Region as a staff associate and was quickly hired as an assistant manager by the Minneapolis Chapter. He became manager of that chapter in 1981.

    Rich effectively saw the Minneapolis Chapter through a number of rough labor conflicts, including two lengthy strikes while he was assistant chapter manager. He bargained all his labor agreements under strike potential. He said that experience has made his belief in the CIR even stronger.

    In 1986, I hired Rich to succeed Gene Kasal as Director of the Midwestern Region After successfully serving in the Midwest Region for many years, a desire to be closer to aging parents spurred him to pursue the job as Eastern Region Executive Director. In 2002, he took over that post from Mike Barry upon his retirement, and he moved the regional office to Rhode Island.

    Rich is assisted in his duties by his wife, Linda, who is the Eastern Region office manager. Rich and Linda have three children. Their daughter Jennifer is a registered nurse at the Baylor Medical Center in Houston. She is engaged to be married in September. Son Jonathan is a graduate of the construction management program at Colorado State University and is employed as a project manager in California. Justin, their youngest, was recently accepted into the IBEW-NECA NEAT program as an electrical line apprentice.

    Rich Parenti is devoted to NECA and its members, and he’s proven his commitment time and time again. His hard work continues to better our industry in the Eastern Region and throughout the country.



  • NFPA 70E Seminars: Not Just Preaching to the Choir

    Posted on Jun 05, 2007 by John M Grau

    NECA contractors and IBEW workers have long been aware of the hazards of our industry. Recently, the NFPA 70E standard and its requirements regarding personal protective equipment and safety precautions for working on energized circuits has generated even more attention to electrical safety. One of the most interesting consequences of NFPA 70E has been the involvement of building owners and customers in these safety issues.

    Take a look at the latest edition of The “Spotlight on Skill” report about preventing arc flash includes interviews of attendees at a recent NFPA 70E seminar in Canton, Ohio. NECA’s North Central Ohio Chapter, along with the NJATC, put on this seminar for contractors and customers, and several hundred people showed up. This report drives home the fact that our customers need to be as concerned about the safety of the jobs on their property as we are. Owners and builders are a critical component in a team effort toward a safe construction job. 

    This report also points to an opportunity for NECA and NECA chapters. The fact that a similar electrical safety seminar in Philadelphia also drew a large crowd of customers shows that we provide a vital industry service when we educate building owners and contractors alike on protecting workers from electrical accidents. In Philadelphia and in Canton, customers left with a favorable impression of NECA and NECA contractors. They see that we are actively working to prevent and mitigate such accidents, and it helps them understand the difference in quality and safety that our contractors provide.

    We need to expand on the Philadelphia and Canton experiences and provide this information to thousands of customers at seminars across the nation. Not only will we have a dramatic impact on reducing injuries and saving lives, but we can show our customers how our investment in training and safe management practices is worth the price.

    Please use the link below to let me know how you think NECA can bring this information to your community.


About NECA Transmissions

NECA Transmissions is a collaborative effort from CEO John Grau and NECA staff to provide insight and feedback on key issues from the front lines of the electrical contracting industry.


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