A Fond Farewell — David Clements, Outgoing IAEI President & CEO

From the Chairman
By Mike Hofkin

David “Dave” Clements, our outgoing CEO, has been involved with the association for over 37 years within the sections, chapters, divisions, and International Board of Directors. For the last ten years, David has served as corporate President and CEO at our headquarters in Richardson, Texas.

David has distinguished himself as a strong leader capable of adapting to the changing dynamics of the business environment while staying focused on the needs of our membership. His exemplary guidance and direction have placed the IAEI at the forefront of the electrical industry. The team that he has nurtured and assembled at the International Office is second to none.

David oversaw the one-million-dollar renovation to our corporate headquarters. The staff has new offices and updated technology. There are modern desks, new meeting and task areas, a modernized warehouse, and a new kitchen. The mechanical and electrical systems have been upgraded. During the construction, David established a seamless working model that allowed the office staff to continue their duties while working remotely. Thanks to David’s dedication and selflessness, all operations continued successfully and the project was accomplished on time and on budget. In addition, David’s successful remote working model transitioned the staff flawlessly when COVID-19 distancing requirements were mandated.

David leaves the association in a sound financial position. His stalwart oversight of the members’ money resulted in a business that operated within budget while significantly growing our reserve funds — a move that has paid huge dividends in light of the COVID-19 crises.

Throughout my years serving on the International Board of Directors, I have found David to be an invaluable resource. He is a hard-working, dedicated executive, a trusted advisor, a mentor, and a good friend. The IAEI is fortunate to have hired him ten years ago. The selection committee at that time is to be praised for making a very wise decision. I am going to miss his counsel, his wit, and his drive for excellence.

My personal experiences with David have reinforced my sense of the passion he has for the IAEI as an association, and to delivering constant exceptional service to the members that are its backbone. Our friendship began in May 2014 when I picked up David at Philadelphia International Airport. You see, after months and months of pestering from me, David was finally able to visit Philadelphia and attend a meeting of the Benjamin Franklin Chapter. We had a few hours before the meeting, so I decided to give David a whirlwind tour of the first capital of the United States.

From the airport, we drove through the Italian Market where Rocky Balboa took his famous jog back in the 1970s. Continuing north we swung by Independence National Historic Park that features the Constitution Center, Independence Mall – where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed – and that iconic symbol of American Independence, the Liberty Bell.

We still had some time before the meeting and since no self-respecting Philadelphian allows a friend to visit without having an authentic cheesesteak, we headed over to Tony Luke’s on Oregon Avenue. Sitting in the shadow of Interstate 95, we exchanged pleasantries and got to know each other a little better while enjoying our sandwiches. Our tour ended with me doing laps of Eakins Oval, a traffic circle in Philadelphia, as David jogged up the seventy-two ‘Rocky Stairs’ of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, returned to the bottom, and took a selfie with the Rocky Statue at the base of the stairs. As we drove to the chapter meeting we discussed the history of Philadelphia. It was a day I will never forget.

The International Board of Directors would like to extend our gratitude to David for his many years of selfless service and dedication to the IAEI. David and his wife Jaci have not yet decided where they will live in retirement, but wherever they choose to go we know that they will make an unforgettable impact, just as they have here. David, we congratulate you on your retirement and wish you success in your future endeavors, along with health and many years of happiness.

In the words of our new President/CEO, Rudolph “Rudy” Garza, “I have O’Neal-sized shoes to fill!” I’m not sure I could have said it any better…