Chapter Corner

Why Come to IECCon?

Posted in: President's Message, September/October 2017

Why indeed!?... Independence!!
 
seilhammer.jpgOur chapter was founded in 1991 by four contractor members that had a vision of training professional  electricians. They came together back in the days when contractors did not talk to one another for fear of losing their “trade secrets.” Fortunately, they saw past that and figured out how to build something bigger than any of their own companies – a rising tide that would float all boats.
 
The contractors founding the Central Pennsylvania chapter opened up a wealth of opportunities to their local electrical contractors. One such opportunity is attending IECCon. I am eternally grateful to these four individuals for what they have done for my career.
 
I attended my first IECCon in 2001. I had no idea what I was going to see, nor did I have any clue of where it would lead. I have always been a fan of learning and sharing, and I was introduced to some of the best educational sessions that I gleaned a wealth of knowledge from. As the week went on, the surprises just kept coming.
 
There was the tradeshow on the Expo Floor and a group of superstars competing for the Apprentice of the Year award. Well, that provoked the question – why doesn’t our Central Pennsylvania chapter have a competitor here!? This was idea number one that I shared when I returned. It took some work, but I knew if I could get Mike Gaffney and a few others on board with me, we too could have a competitor at IECCon someday… and we did. In the years past, we have had competitors from various members of our chapter that have done very well – so far, we even had a podium finish of #2. We are still in search of the brass ring – to bring home a first place. All good things come in time.
 
I was never at a function as fun as the Platinum Partner Party before. Our National staff and our industry partners put on a fantastic night for everyone to enjoy. It’s always family friendly. You might even see one of your friendly competitors get thrown off a mechanical bull sometime. You could even be lucky enough to take home an impressive prize. There have been drones, iPads, and even vacations given away. Who doesn’t like free sh… stuff?
 
Next among the educational sessions is the Great Idea Swap Meet. Probably the best idea ever was having this program. Our good friend and past National President, Mike Kallmeyer, I believe, was the founder of this event. If you want to get your money’s worth for attending the convention this will do it. You can come away with so many ideas to help enhance your own businesses at just the cost of you sharing one of your great ideas. Think about it, all the trade secrets of our industry out on the table in the same room at the same time. Heck, neither Siri nor Google could come up with so much useful information to us all.
 
And of course, there is the Awards Gala the final evening of the week. What a superior event! We get to see and recognize some of the best and brightest of our apprentices, our contractor members, our executive directors, our industry partners, and our amazing volunteers. This is not just about enhancing your career and your company, it’s about adding a new dimension to your life. I have learned so much more from networking with my peers about
business and leadership than I could from any class or work experience. The amount of knowledge that is in any one of the meetings or events is immeasurable. The question is not, “Can I afford to come to the convention?” it’s really, “Can I afford not to!?” What better venue offers the opportunity to be with a group of industry leaders that are willing to share all they have?
 
There is no better feeling than that of independence. Having the knowledge is having the power to be independent.
IECCon is truly the place to get and keep that feeling. So come get connected and make some new lifelong friends
at our biggest event of the year!
 
I hope to see you, and as many of your friends as you can bring, at our 60th IEC celebration this year in Phoenix!
 
Bruce Seilhammer is IEC’s 2017 National President. He is also the Electrical Construction Group Manager and Warehouse Operations Manager at SECCO, Inc. SECCO was one of the founding members of the Central PA IEC Chapter, and holds the award as one of the Best Places to Work five years in a row. With over 30 years in the electrical industry, Bruce started as an apprentice electrician in the U.S. Air Force, obtained his Connecticut and Pennsylvania Journeyman’s licenses, and currently holds a Pennsylvania Master Electrician’s License. He is an instructor for Leadership, Train the Trainer, and the Master Electrician’s exam preparation classes.