Outstanding Industry Leaders Honored at NECA 2016 Boston
NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION
The annual NECA Convention and Trade Show is about education, networking, new products and exciting speakers. But the NECA
Convention is also where NECA and ELEC TRI International recognize outstanding leadership among our members. Here is a brief
look at what the national award winners did to earn accolades for their work in areas of labor relations, technical and training,
service to the industry, to ELEC TRI International, and to the association. The awards were presented at the Closing General Session
on Monday, October 10, 2016. More information can be found at
McGraw Award: Sonja L. Rheaume
The James H. McGraw
Award recognizes a person
who has contributed some new
or useful idea to the electrical contracting industry or has
performed an industry service
over and above normal responsibility to personal or company
progress. Sonja L. Rheaume,
of Christenson Electrical and
Technology Services in Portland, Oregon, is recognized for
her contributions to the success of the electrical construction industry.
Rheaume has been a remarkably active contractor within
NECA, both at the chapter and the national levels. She has
served as co-chair of Future Leaders since 2014, helping cultivate the next generation of electrical contractors. She chaired
Women In NECA from 2015-2016, supporting the professional
development of women through educational and networking
events, and promoting diversity in the industry. On the Chapter level, she been involved in legislative and apprenticeship
committees for the Oregon-Columbia Chapter.
In addition, she serves on the National Training Institute Advisory Committee, where she offers valuable input
on a consistent basis. She currently serves on the electrical
training ALLIANCE’s Core Curriculum Committee and is a
participant in the first VOLT class.
Rheaume’s service extends to ELECTRI International
as well. She regularly attends and is an active participant at
ELECTRI Council meetings. For the past two years, she has
been a member of the ELECTRI Program Review Committee.
She has also served as a judge for the Green Energy Challenge
and the Student Passport Competition and is multiple-year
attendee of the Cross-Border meetings.
Comstock Award: Hermon Milton
The Comstock Award, which
was established by the National
Electrical Contractors Association’s Board of Governors in 1959
in memory of industry pioneer
L.K. Comstock, is the association’s highest honor recognizing
contributions in the complex
field of labor relations. Hermon
Milton has earned this honor for
the contributions he has made
throughout his illustrious career.
Milton entered the electrical construction industry as an
apprentice in 1945. He later worked for Buffalo Electric, which
joined the Baton Rouge Chapter in 1972. Since then, he has
served on the Chapter’s Board of Directors for 38 years and as
Governor for 31 years.
In a heavy industrial marketplace, Milton has been the
strongest voice for unionized electrical work among the industrial plant managers and owners along the Gulf Coast and the
lower Mississippi River. He has been a leader on the Chapter
negotiating committee through good times and bad. He has
always maintained a positive relationship with the IBEW and
is respected by workers, industry professionals and the contractors for his efforts. He was selected to serve on the Council
of Industrial Relations and is recognized as a stabilizing force
in NECA with a vision to improve labor relations at all levels.
Milton has held a position on the Louisiana Statewide
Apprenticeship Council and served as Chairman of the JATC,
and his emphasis on quality training, apprentices and equipment never wavered. He was instrumental in securing donated
high-tech equipment to train apprentices and journeymen for
specific jobs, including industrial plants and nuclear facilities.
Throughout Louisiana, he is regarded as the trend-setter in