I’d like to start by thanking everyone for the opportunity to serve as your 2020 IEC National President. To say 2020 has been a challenging year may be a bit of an understatement. Still, from my vantage point, I’ve watched IEC face its challenges and do an exceptional job of rising above!
Throughout the year, I’ve seen IEC members helping each other stay positive, focus on solutions rather than problems and, instead of just settling for whatever we were dealt, I’ve seen IEC succeed more than I think most of us thought possible. I know our IEC family is stronger because of what we’ve faced in 2020 and what we’ll continue to face into 2021. I’m extremely proud to be part of this very special family.
Our recent virtual Convention and Expo is a great example of IEC rising to the occasion. IEC, like many other national associations, could have easily said, “We’re skipping 2020.” Instead, in true IEC fashion, we got creative and built a virtual experience that offered our members much of what we’ve grown to love at IEC’s in-person Convention and Expo—all “from the safety of your home.”
I especially liked our Industry Partners’ virtual expo presentations and thank each company for the time and effort to make this year’s IEC Expo a huge success. I took away much from Steve Farber’s keynote address on risk management. I enjoyed chatting with many of you at the Platinum Partner Happy Hour and I thought our Industry Recognition Committee and National staff did an exceptional job with this year’s Awards Gala. IEC’s Excellence in Electrical Construction Awards never cease to amaze me. The size, scope, and quality of this year’s submittals were outstanding. Congratulations to all IEC 2020 award winners!
I’m excited to share that many of this year’s 2020 Convention attendees took advantage of its virtual opportunity and attended their first IEC National committee meeting, Regional Caucus Meeting, House of Delegates Meeting, and National Board of Directors Meeting, which provided these members their first glimpse of:
- The important work that IEC National committees do, which in turn, benefits all merit shop electrical and systems contractors.
- How a region elects the individuals who represent its members on our IEC National Board of Directors and how regions communicate valuable information through their regional meetings and conference calls.
- How IEC National Officers are elected at our annual House of Delegates meeting.
- How the IEC National Board of Directors conducts the association’s business and stewards its mission, vision, and goals for the future.
In addition to the success of our virtual Convention and Expo, IEC has succeeded in facing many of this year’s challenges and met many of its 2020 National goals. Here’s a short list of IEC’s 2020 accomplishments:
- NFPA appoints IEC contractor member Larry Ayer as chairman of the NEC Correlating Committee. This position has always been chaired by NECA or IAEI. Larry is NFPA’s first IEC merit shop representative to receive this prestigious assignment.
- United States Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia addressed IEC members at our 2020 Business Summit and discussed our country’s urgent necessity to train its construction industry’s future workforce and highlighted the important role IEC plays in this training.
- When COVID made in-person training of IEC apprentices impractical, IEC National and ATP quickly increased the bandwidth and digital assets of IEC’s CMS to accommodate the increased demand for virtual learning. This allowed all IEC training facilities to continue classes and complete the 2019-2020 schoolyear.
- From March 12 through the end of May, IEC National emailed weekly Coronavirus updates to all IEC members. Beginning June 1, weekly updates changed to biweekly.
- IEC National hosted more than 25 webinars giving IEC members access to much needed intel on legislation, compliance, and other COVID-19 related issues.
- Numerous “IEC Votes Action Alerts” were emailed to IEC members. These alerts offer a quick, easy, and reliable means of contacting our members of Congress to make our merit shop voices heard on important issues, such as PPP loans and other legislation affecting IEC contractors.
- Started IEC National’s Chapter Ambassador Program where IEC leaders have agreed to be an ambassador and work with chapters who request assistance in growing membership and developing other essential services.
- Conducted monthly roundtable meetings with IEC National Industry Partners to identify supply chain disruptions and develop solutions.
- Introduced an Emerging Leaders program designed to develop and prepare IEC’s next generation of leaders.
Our 2020-21 apprenticeship classes are enjoying an updated National curriculum incorporating all 2020 NEC revisions, a new one-person voice, as well as many advancements to IEC’s CMS platform. These advances include IEC’s New Workers Program, Fire Alarm Course with updates to the 2019 code, and a complete set of audio books being incorporated in our CMS platform.
The first quarter of 2021 will see the results of IEC National’s re-messaging campaign efforts via the launch of a new website and marketing material utilizing taglines that incorporate the word “power” to reflect our industry.
IEC’s National Education and Training Department is scheduled to release a new Limited Energy Module I – Introduction to Limited Energy Systems and a new Print Reading 1 in Q1 of 2021.
Even though 2020 has been a challenging year, IEC has done an exceptional job of meeting its challenges and achieving so much more. Thanks to all for your continued support and
commitment to IEC, and best wishes for a productive and prosperous 2021. Candy Branham owns Branham Electric based in St. Peters, Missouri. Branham Electric is a family owned business servicing the St. Louis Metropolitan area for 29 years. Branham’s niche is multi-family and custom residential new construction, commercial and industrial service, and energy efficient lighting.