There is no doubt that 2020 has presented several challenges for our industry. The entire NECA team has performed beyond expectations throughout multiple challenges and changes to our game plan. I cannot express how proud I am of each and every member of our staff.
With 2020 soon to be in our rearview mirror and 2021 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to reflect and adjust our teams on NECA’s staff to continue to streamline our operations and, of course, best serve our members. After our wildly successful and groundbreaking NECA 2020 LIVE event, I asked Marco Giamberardino and Pete Mastrorocco to develop a plan to help meet our future needs specifically with respect to our meetings, sponsorships, advocacy and public affairs, and I thank them for their hard work.
Effective January 1, 2021, NECA will be realigned into several vital functions: Education and Partnerships; Government and Public Affairs; Labor Relations and Field Services; Risk Management; and Innovation. Each area will drive our overall strategy and be charged with improving our core capabilities in their respective areas.
Congratulations to our new team leaders and their respective teams. Once again, all these changes are effective January 1, 2021:
First, I am pleased to announce the creation of a brand-new team – one that will help create more effective relationships between our partners, exhibitors, and our association in the coming years. I have asked Beth Ellis to take over as Executive Director, Sales and Partnerships to build this new initiative. Beth will report to Pete Mastrorocco and will work to transition trade show sales in-house. Beth will also support our Premier Partners, develop new sponsorship opportunities, and strengthen our Value-Added Services program.
Wanessa Alves will now serve as Director of Partnerships, report to Beth Ellis, and continue performing her current duties working with many of our key constituencies, including the Premier Partners, large contractors, international chapters, and student chapters.
The Meetings and Convention team will now be led by Katie McCormick, who has been promoted to Executive Director, Meetings and Convention. In this new role, she will now report to Pete Mastrorocco. Accordingly, all future inquiries concerning meetings and the NECA Convention should be directed to Katie.
With Katie taking the helm, I am also pleased to announce the following changes to the Meetings and Convention staff:
Darrin Crittington, Taylor Kershaw, and Caitlin Mimnaugh will continue to support the Meetings and Convention team and will report directly to Katie McCormick.
Julia Scarpello will have additional responsibilities supporting the Meetings and Convention team as Coordinator, Education and Partnerships.
With these new teams under his portfolio, Pete will now serve as Vice President, Education and Partnerships.
Moving on to ELECTRI International, now that Josh Bone has moved over to serve as Executive Director of ELECTRI, I am very excited to announce that Laura Holmes will now be Director of Operations of ELECTRI.
Amanda Harbison is being promoted to Director of Analytics and will continue to work closely with Josh and report to Tauhira Ali as she joins us in January as Executive Director of Innovation.
I am also pleased to announce that Jessica Cardenas has agreed to take on a new role in our organization as Executive Director, Development and Engagement. In this new role, she will continue her duties as Executive Director of NECAPAC, working with the Government Affairs team, and she will also head up investor relations for ELECTRI.
With this move, I am also pleased to announce the following promotions in Government Affairs, and all will continue to work with Marco Giamberardino in his capacity as Vice President, Government and Public Affairs:
James Farrell has been promoted to Executive Director, Government Affairs;
Trevor Falk has been promoted to Deputy Executive Director, Government Affairs; and,
Hadlea Bothe has been promoted to Government Affairs and NECAPAC Specialist.
James will continue to be the lead advocate for our organization on issues concerning infrastructure investment, tax reform, energy, and the federal budget/appropriations. He will also serve as Secretary to the Government Affairs Committee. Trevor will be our main point of contact with the White House and the Executive Branch and work on critical issues, including pensions, health care, apprenticeships, and contracting reform.
The Public Affairs team will see one change in that Olin Akisoglu will be promoted to Associate Director, Digital Production.
The Standards and Safety team will now fall under Jef Fagan. Mike Johnston will be Executive Director, Codes and Standards, and will report to Jef. Aga Golriz will continue to report to Mike as Director, Codes and Standards. Wes Wheeler will continue as Director of Safety and now report to Jef. Jef will now be General Counsel and Vice President of Risk Management.
Diane Jacobson will now report to Garrison Lindsey and continue to work on her duties supporting the Academy of Electrical Contracting and general administrative duties.
Last but not least, turning to Labor Relations, I want to thank Geary Higgins for his 38 years with NECA – and in reality, a lifetime -- of service to our organization. Under his leadership, NECA has been able to have a unifying labor relations profile for our contractors. Whenever Geary enters a room, he immediately commands respect. Geary has always worked to achieve consensus to build a better industry.
As for the next steps, I would like to announce that Kevin Tighe will be our Vice President, Labor Relations and Field Services. Ryan Courtney, Melissa West, Germaine Wells, and the entire Field Service team will report to Kevin to keep our mission moving forward without interruption. I am happy to report that Geary will continue to work with the team in a consulting capacity through the end of 2021.
These are the next steps of our transformation. Together, we will continue to grow and expand our organization to best serve our members and our chapters all across America.
I thank the staff for all they do for this wonderful industry. As CEO, I would like to personally congratulate everyone for their dedication and hard work!