A New Beginning… and Things Will Change

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“This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” Does this quote from Taylor Swift pertain to IAEI? Absolutely!

Before I talk about what is new in 2014, let me reflect on our 2013 IAEI Section Meetings. From August 23 to October 9, 2013, I had the privilege of attending all six IAEI meetings. My fourth time attending all six meetings, which started back in 2007 when I was president and for the past three years as your CEO/Executive Director.

For those that have attended this year’s meetings or maybe one in the past you understand what I’m referring too. The value proposition in attending one of the IAEI Section Meetings is second to none.

Let me explain. The educational program at the U.S. Section meetings covered the major changes in the 2014 NEC. The Analysis of Changes presentation and code panel discussions were conducted by highly competent and respected individuals who are directly involved in the development of the NEC. Where else would one have the ability to ask questions, hear the background and rationale for the change, and have direct access to these experts in non-formal setting?

At the Canadian Section Meeting, the educational program consisted of several presentations. Ark Tsisserev, from Stantec Engineering, presented on Section 24 and Z-32 Standard; Randy Hunter, from Bussmann, presented on Fuse Selection; and Pablo Diaz, on GST Grounding. They too are experts in their respective fields and highly regarded and did an excellent job.

In addition, to the educational programs offered at each meeting there were trade shows in which vendors had an opportunity to market their products and services. This year we had a record number of vendors, and many of the vendors participated in all six meetings. Thank you to all the vendors for their continuing support.

Another important feature at the Section meetings is the networking that takes place during break time, lunches and dinners, and during the trade shows. Having the time to talk to your peers, industry leaders, and code experts about similar issues and field problems is a great way to share and learn.

The energy and enthusiasm at these meetings were contagious. I become more and more energized as the meetings went on. I witnessed new members being welcomed, existing members being engaged, and, what is equally impressive, those who are no longer active in the electrical industry after many years of service still coming to the meetings. For these individuals and the partners who attend, the meetings are all about friendship, and socializing, and supporting electrical safety and IAEI’s mission.

So back to the value proposition — I don’t think one could find a better educational offering for the cost of registration, which on average was $285.00. Where else would one go to find this value? Membership certainly has it benefits.

So as stated at the beginning, “This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.” I am very excited about 2014 and the direction IAEI is taking. We are starting the year on a positive note. Membership is on the increase; we will continue to offer premier education at the Section, Chapter and Division levels; the International Office Education Department will be expanding its on-site client base seminars and offerings and developing new ways to deliver training to the industry, such as through webinars; and we are expanding into interactive publications. As to “things will change,” we will be embarking on a realignment of the IAEI brand, a stronger emphasis on marketing and the use of social media, and making enhancements in our technology infrastructure that will assist us in providing the best service and value to our members.

Standing still and thinking about the past is not an option. A consultant that the Board recently hired to conduct an organizational assessment stated, “It’s all right to look back, just don’t stare.” Looking forward will allow us to shape the future of IAEI.

 

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David Clements is CEO/Executive Director of IAEI. He has been an active IAEI member at the local, section and national levels for more than twenty-five years. He served as international board member from 1995 until 2007 when he served as our 2007 international president. In 2010, he retired after twenty-nine years with Nova Scotia Power, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as their chief electrical inspector. During his tenure as chief electrical inspector, he was a voting member on the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Technical Committee on the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, a member of the Regulatory Authority Committee and member of the Canadian Advisory Committee on Electrical Safety. He has served on NFPA Smart Grid Steering Committee, Electrical Infrastructure Training Program and is presently a member of the UL Electrical Council.