by Chrissy L. S. George on NEMA
NEMA's Annual Illuminations Weekend is rightly referred to as a place where leaders and ideas meet. This year's event was the epitome of this claim, connecting industry executives with each other and with insights from thought leaders across business and government.
—Evan R. Gaddis.
NEMA’s 86th annual meeting, Illuminations Weekend, was held November 9–10 at Turnberry Isle Miami in Aventura, Florida, and according to attendees was one of the best yet.
During Saturday morning’s business meeting, the 2012 Kite & Key Award winners were recognized. This year NEMA awarded three influential members of the electroindustry:
- Daniel J. Kissane, Director, Codes and Standards, Legrand Electrical Wiring Systems
- Brian H. Monks, Vice President, Anti-counterfeiting Operations, UL
- David M. Tallman, Vice President—Americas Marketing, Eaton Electrical Sector
The winners were identified as individuals who advanced the interest of the electroindustry through active and sustained involvement in NEMA activities.
Following the Kite & Key Award ceremony was a panel discussion featuring three top distributors:
- John Engel, Chairman, President and CEO, WESCO International, Inc.
- Robert Reynolds, Executive Chairman, Graybar Electric Co., Inc.
- Robert Smith, President and CEO, Imark Group, Inc.
The panel discussed the electroindustry from the perspective of distributors, reviewed where they see the industry heading in the years to come, and described how the relationship between manufacturers and distributors can continue to flourish. Members of the audience asked questions about overcoming technological and logistical obstacles, eliciting thoughtful and enlightening answers from the panelists.
Saturday afternoon was packed with lively, informative seminars. This year’s keynote speaker, Geoff Colvin, senior editor at large of FORTUNE magazine, initiated the seminars by discussing trends impacting manufacturers, noting that they should prepare to adapt to imminent changes and trends.
The second presenter, Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and election analyst, began his presentation with political quips regarding this year’s election. He discussed in detail what the election results mean in the short- and long-term for the nation, but kept it light by occasionally poking fun at both political parties.
Scott Klososky, former CEO of three startup companies and business consultant, closed out the seminars with a presentation focused on harnessing the power of digital marketing technologies. He discussed the importance of embracing new technologies instead of resisting them, and in the end benefiting from free and effective social tools.
During Saturday evening’s Illuminations Dinner & Dessert Reception, NEMA announced its 2012 Bernard H. Falk Award winner. A champagne toast welcomed this year’s winner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. His achievements include opening wholesale electric markets to renewable resources and providing a platform for participation of demand response, energy storage, and energy efficiency—all key components of the Smart Grid.
Illuminations Weekend came to a close with an inaugural dessert reception featuring ten varieties of sweets. This gave attendees one last opportunity to mingle and discuss the weekend’s events before making their journeys home.
Next year’s Illuminations Weekend will be held November 8–9 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida.