Chapter Corner

A New Path

Posted in: President's Message, January/February 2014

path_image_insights.pngI could not be happier with the current direction of our great association, the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC). I am extremely honored to be your 2014 IEC National President and will work relentlessly to help improve our industry and promote the merit shop philosophy. This is a job that I will approach with vigor and enthusiasm.

I am thankful for those who have served in this position before me - most recently Dean Kredit (2013), Bobby Tutor (2012), and Mike Kallmeyer (2011). These gentlemen have shown me how to be a true professional and make the decisions that will positively impact the businesses of our member companies. There are many leadership skills that I have gained just by serving alongside them on the Executive Committee. Their enthusiasm and excitement for the industry and for IEC is contagious, and I want to continue that level of energy.

In 2013, one of the primary objectives of the Board of Directors was to establish a new Strategic/Tactical Plan. People have asked me why we use the term "tactical" in the title when most association plans of this nature are simply called a Strategic Plan. We wanted to avoid the pitfalls of most association plans and ensure that the IEC plan was beyond strategic; it also incorporates meaningful and measureable short-and long-term goals.

The goals of the new Strategic/Tactical Plan are based in four areas: Education & Training; Marketing/Development; Advocacy; and Industry Recognition/Public Relations. Based on feedback from our peers, we determined that these are the pillars on which to grow IEC. To view the specific goals of each of these segments, please visit IEC National website at www.ieci.org/member-resources, and click IEC Governance.

It will be the job of the 2014 IEC Board of Directors to work with the National Committees and National Staff to execute the details of this plan. We will continually track our progress and remain focused on the ambitious tasks we have laid out. This will guide our path for the next three years.

The Strategic/Tactical Plan is also a living document. It will be featured as an agenda item at each Board of Directors meeting and regularly updated by committees and staff. Our progress will be measured, and our targets adjusted to ensure that IEC is on a path of dynamic growth and progress. 

The process of putting the plan together was transparent and inclusive. We had input from contractor members, industry partners, chapter staff, and committee chairs. This collection of voices helped guide us throughout this process.

Moving forward, the 2014 IEC National committees have been selected. Thank you to everyone who requested to serve on an IEC committee. We are grateful to have such dedicated individuals who will help create, execute, and evaluate all the activities and programs of IEC. Wonderful things are in store from the committees.

We value your involvement in the process of creating the Strategic/Tactical Plan and in serving on 2014 National Committees. We know that serving the industry and participating with IEC takes dedication and time. Know that your service make this industry better through improved safety standards, advocacy on issues affecting all of us, education for apprentices, and so many other areas. 2014 will be an incredible year for IEC and for the electrical contracting industry.

In that spirit, I want to thank my company, Joe Swartz Electric Company in Houston, Texas. Their support has enabled me to serve IEC on the Executive Committee. The company's participation in IEC through membership and other activities has added to the industry as a whole. Support for IEC is support for the entire electrical contracting industry.

As my year as IEC President begins, I look forward to seeing you at one of the fantastic IEC events throughout the year. Join us at the 2014 IEC Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas, January 28-30.

Learn about the economy and take home solid leadership strategies to position your company for 2014. Sit in on a committee meeting and become more involved in IEC. Network and meet up with colleagues to share knowledge and business ideas. It will all be happening in Austin.

Mark your calendars for the 57th Annual IEC National Convention & Electric Expo, October 22-25, 2014, in Baltimore, Maryland. The theme is Energize Your Future. IEC is planning a stellar slate of educational sessions, networking events, and an expanded expo - not to mention the Awards Gala! You cannot miss this convention.

With all the exciting events and programs occurring with IEC, there is an easy way to stay on top of all the details. Visit the IEC National website at www.ieci.org for information on everything going on with the association and within the industry. Like IEC.National on Facebook, follow @IEC_National on Twitter, and connect up with colleagues in the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) group on LinkedIn. Whether it's on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can access IEC wherever you are.

I was reluctant but have joined the technological movement. It is a critical component of every business. I may need a bit of hand-holding with some of the new devices and outlets but I am now a willing learner and encourage you to do the same.

There are many exciting things happening in 2014 with IEC. I hope that you are taking advantage of all the value IEC membership brings. And pass it along - IEC supports your business and your career. Together, we make the industry a greater place to work.

Gordon Stewart is IEC's 2014 National President. As the principal elected officer of the association, Stewart serves as chair to the Board of Directors, House of Delegates, and Executive Committee. He has been in the electrical industry for 35 years and is currently the General Manager at Joe Swartz Electric in Houston, Texas.