Chapter Corner

The New Year Brings New Opportunities

Posted in: President's Message, January/February 2019

Golka resized 2019.jpgWelcome to 2019, a new year, and hopefully a happy and prosperous one, at your business and at IEC. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be elected by my peers to serve our Association in another capacity; that of National President. Having served on the National A&T Committee as a member and chairman, as a Regional Director, and on the Executive Committee for the past few years, I hope I understand the mission and role that IEC needs to play in the vibrant, thriving construction economy we have today. I feel truly blessed to have beena part of IEC National for many years, for many reasons. I hope that if you are reading this, it is because you have found value in IEC for you and your business. This organization can provide value not found elsewhere. I firmly believe that IEC is the place for you and I to grow our businesses or chapters the right way.
There are the obvious values that IEC brings to you: the contractor education, the amazing apprenticeship program for training employees new to electrical construction, the opportunity to see new products and interact with the manufacturing and distribution segments  of our industry, the opportunity to network with peers at national events or at a deeper level in an IEC Forum. These are well worth the cost of membership and are mostly available from IEC through your local chapter. Our chapters do an amazing job of delivering these values
to contractors and their employees, and every chapter has a unique mix of programs, offerings, functions, parties, fundraisers to deliver. The directors of those chapters are all business-minded in their own right, trying to do as much as they can for their customers with a finite amount of resources, just like in the electrical contracting industry.
Over and above the obvious values is the people you meet and get to know through IEC. I state this as part of a request and a reminder to you: If you want to get the absolute most out of your membership, go meet the people that are in IEC around the country. In my experience, IEC members are among the most professional in their fields, the most industrious in their area, and the most interested in learning about their business, their employees, their futures, their industry and its codes and standards. They are, without a doubt, the most generous people on the planet. I have belonged to many organizations and associations over the years, and not only are IEC folks the most generous with their experiences both good and bad, advice, and time; they are also part of the greatest single group of “characters” assembled in one organization. Every single person that is a part of the Association at the National level has a uniqueness to them, whether it is in their market niche, their faith, the story behind their blossoming as an electrical contractor, their support of an alma mater or another club, their unique perspective on electrical contracting, or just their personality as they share themselves with the Association. That combination of truly generous "characters" is what I have found to be the top reason for me to be involved with IEC.
If you are reading this issue of Insights, then you are probably attracted to, married to, or are a generous “character” yourself, and IEC and its national meetings are a great place for you to get that extra value from your membership. And the other “characters” you meet will change you and your business. 
As we all focus on identifying the emerging leaders that can help a company grow, help an industry grow, provide a new level of management if you are looking to the horizon; please take the time and the opportunity to identify those budding young generous “characters” that exist in your organization and nurture them along for your business and for IEC. If they are “characters” already, help them to be generous with their abilities and time; and if they are generous, encourage them to blossom into full-fledged “characters”. It will help your business, it will help IEC, and it will help the industry of which we are all a part. IEC National meetings will provide a separate and focused track of education and opportunities for these leaders going forward, and we hope to see your emerging "character" attend.
Finally, on behalf of the Association, I would extend many thanks to Lloyd Quinney, our Immediate Past President. He has served our Association and the Foundation well the past year, not only as President, but also as one of those most generous “characters” that continue to fill our membership rolls at IEC.
Gary is the President of Golka Electric, Inc., a family-owned electrical contracting firm located in Mesa, Arizona. Gary has twice served as President of IECA of Arizona. As an advocate for electrical education and training, Gary has served as a Director of the Mountain Southwest Region, and as a member and Chairman of the IEC National A&T Committee. He was elected to the IEC National Executive Committee in 2016 and now serves as President.