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2014 Academy Annual Meeting

Academy of Electrical Contracting Annual Meeting

Santa Barbara, California - June 5 to 7, 2014

Four Seasons Biltmore Resort

Read full meeting recap

This event has already passed, view a full meeting recap via he link above.

Chairman Rex Ferry invites you to consider a visit to Santa Barbara, California. This section of the Academy website will help you with the three things you need to do:

  1. Register for the meeting
  2. Select some optional activities (tours, golf, etc.)
  3. Reserve your hotel room

The following will provide you with an overview of the Academy 2014 plan. Click on the links below for further information:

What about Santa Barbara?

Here are some quick facts about Santa Barbara:

  • Often called the “American Riviera” Santa Barbara offers beautiful oceanfront views, cinematic festivals and fine wine. Combined with a unique cultural experience, Santa Barbara is known as a premier resort destination.
  • Weather: Santa Barbara enjoys a pleasant climate that is mild and sunny all 12 months of the year, with relatively stable temperatures around 70-73 degrees daily, and 53-56 degrees at night.
  • Did you see the 2004 film Sideways? It was a surprise hit that garnered a number of Oscar nominations (and won an Oscar for the Best Writing and the American Film Institute selected Sideways as the Movie of the Year). The movie featured the wine country of the Santa Ynez Valley (located near Santa Barbara).
  • If you were in Colonial Williamsburg, you heard Tim Gauthier (’98) invite you to his hometown. Not only did Tim grow up in Santa Barbara, he and Tina spent their honeymoon at the Biltmore.

Schedule of Events:

See the tentative schedule of events

About Our Speaker: Monty Roberts

(Known as the “Man Who Listens to Horses”)

Monty Roberts has led an extraordinary life. He is an award-winning trainer of championship horses, a best-selling author, Hollywood stunt man, and creator of the world-renowned and revolutionary equine training technique called “Join Up”.

Roberts has won countless awards, received immense worldwide press coverage, put three books on the New York Times best-seller list and trained some of Queen Elizabeth II’s equestrian team in London.

After you’ve heard Monty speak on Saturday morning, we’re taking a bus to his ranch Flag Is Up Farm, where you’ll have an opportunity to see his unusual training methods. We’ll have a BBQ lunch and you’ll have more of an opportunity to talk with him. He is a most interesting “cowboy”. See more about this optional tour below >

Additional information about Monty Roberts

Opening Reception at the Four Seasons

Our opening reception will be on the grounds at the Four Seasons Biltmore in order to accompany anyone arriving later in the day.  The theme of the evening will be a Mexican-fiesta style reception with plenty of margaritas!

We will also be taking couples photos for the Academy Directory during this reception.

Friday Evening: Dine on your own in Santa Barbara

We will be kicking off Friday evening with a reception and then you and your friends will have the opportunity to enjoy the many fabulous dining options Santa Barbara and Mendocino have to offer. Friday evening will be an open night for you to enjoy the unique culinary experiences of this area.

To find out what culinary experience you might enjoy, please click here to see a list of recommended restaurants to try!

View Recommended Restaurants List

Our partners at Precision Meetings & Events will act as your dining concierge. Complete the enclosed restaurant reservation form with all required information and send it to Michelle Mannino at Should you have any questions regarding restaurant reservations you may call Precision Meetings & Events at 703-739-4480.

Formal Reception & Dinner

You will be treated with beautiful views and a spectacular dining experience for the formal dinner and reception. The La Pacifica Terrace is conveniently located just across the street from the Biltmore, welcoming you with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.

Following dinner, we have a “Hollywood-themed” show planned for you. From 1910-1922, Santa Barbara was the primary location for all American-made silent movies. Santa Barbara is also known for The Flying A Studio, which was the largest movie studio in the world.

You won’t want to miss this spectacular show!

Working Group Topic Determined

Market-Driven Contracting

How-to Training & Follow-up Coaching For Prospective Union Electrical Contractors. Fred Sargent ('81), President of SGT LLC, will report on a new development in the training of IBEW electricians as noted below.

In May a highly-motivated group of union electricians participated in Week #1 of the inaugural session of Market-Driven Contracting, a program designed and developed by SGT LLC in close conjunction with the Education Department of the IBEW, to provide how-to training and follow-up coaching on the fundamentals of starting their own contracting business.

This contingent of prospective contractors is being pointed towards underserved-and abandoned-segments of the electrical contracting marketplace. While incumbent firms may balk at the notion of encouraging new entrants into the seemingly over-populated electrical industry, the fact is, these new firms will be directing their competitive energies to market segments that traditional participants have left unchallenged.

The Market-Driven Contracting program will feature a Week #1 of on-campus schooling in business administration and legal concepts; a back-home interim period in which to complete a number of assignments, including actual incorporation; and a Week #1 return to campus in August for pre-construction and construction curricula.

On-campus classes will be taught by subject matter experts whos professional practices are primarily centered on construction industry involvement.

Spouse/Guest Breakfast and Program

A continental breakfast for spouses and guests will begin at 9:00 am in La Marina (meeting room at the Four Seasons). At 10:00 am the program described below will commence.

Inside Oprah's Estate Auction

In November 2013, a very special auction  took place in Santa Barbara. It was tagged “The Mother of All Yard Sales”!  Last fall Oprah auctioned off hundreds of her belongings - you will never believe what Oprah got rid of… (armoires, electric bikes, olive green sofas). We will have a lively and insightful presentation by the auctioneers from Kaminski Auctions. They will share their experience working with Oprah, what was sold and how Oprah learned what possessions really say about us and how liberating it can be to set them free. You will not want to miss the event!

Travel: Getting to Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA)

  • 14 miles, or 20 minutes away from the resort. This option may be better if you do not wish to rent a car.
  • The following carriers fly into SBA: Alaska/Sky West, American, Frontier, United and US Airways. There are many direct flights from: Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland and San Francisco.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

  • 90 miles, or about 2 hours away from the resort depending on the time of day and traffic. This airport may be a better option if you plan on renting a car.

Car Service:

  • You may arrange a rental car, taxi or limousine pickup through the Biltmore’s Concierge with applicable fee. You may reach them at 805-565-8291.

Hotel Information:

The Four Seasons Hotel is sold out.

We have secured additional rooms at a nearby hotel, the Montecito Inn.  The distance between the two hotels is a 10-minute walk.

Our room block consists of two different options:

Option #1:  Queen bedroom ($145 for Wednesday and Thursday; $325 for Friday and Saturday)

Option #2:  King bedroom ($155 for Wednesday and Thursday; $355 for Friday and Saturday)

Please contact Peggy Marilley, NECA’s partner at Precision Meetings & Events by calling 703-739-4480 or emailing her at  Please provide your arrival and departure, room preference from the options listed above along with your credit card information.  She and her team will be happy to handle your arrangements at the Montecito Inn or at the Four Seasons should rooms become available.

We have arranged for Superior sleeping rooms at the Four Seasons Biltmore. These rooms are $325 per night, plus a 10.08% tax and a $2.00 per night fee.



Our contract with the Biltmore calls for “run of house” rooms (meaning you get whatever room the hotel has available when you arrive), but you can make sure that your room has a balcony or patio by requesting a Deluxe room. The hotel can advise of the additional cost of these rooms.

A limited number of Deluxe/Executive Suites are available at a group rate of $650 per night, plus all applicable taxes and $2.00 per night fee.

All rooms will have complimentary wireless internet access, and are available at the group rates from June 2- June 9.

You should call the Four Seasons Biltmore (toll-free) at 1-888-424-5866 to make your hotel reservation.

The hotel reservations deadline is May 13 to obtain the above rates. You will need a credit card at the time of your reservation and a one-night deposit will be collected. Should you need to cancel, refunds may be requested up to three business days before your planned arrival.

*Be sure to mention NECA and/or the Academy of Electrical Contracting to receive the Academy room rate.

Optional Activities: Tours & Golf on Friday Afternoon (June 6)

The Academy is pleased to offer exclusive optional activities for Fellows of the Academy and their guests including two unique tour experiences and golf.

View complete descriptions

Golf at Sandpiper Golf Club:

Because of the visit on Saturday afternoon to

Flag Is Up Farm

to hear (and see) more from our speaker, Monty Roberts, we’re

only offering Academy golf on Friday afternoon

. But we’re happy to arrange golf for anyone wanting to play on Saturday.


Golf Digest has rated the Sandpiper golf course in the top 25 golf courses in the country. With breathtaking ocean and mountain views from every hole, Sandpiper is truly a memorable experience.

The Sandpiper Golf Club is located only 15 minutes from the Biltmore. It is a public course beautifully situated along the Pacific Ocean with breath-taking views on many holes.

Buses will leave the Biltmore at 12:15 for the 1:00 pm Shotgun Start.

Click here for more information and pricing.

Two Tour Opportunities:

Wine Tasting:

Santa Barbara offers a lovely experience for everyone. From 12:30 pm- 5:30 pm on Friday, we will offer a Wine Tasting Tour to some of Santa Barbara’s beautiful wineries including Melville Vineyards & Winery.

Complimentary Shuttle Bus Service

In addition to the wine tour on Friday, we are also offering

complimentary shuttle bus service between the Biltmore and the city of Santa Barbara from 1:00pm- 4:00 pm

where you may have lunch, do some shopping and explore America’s Riviera on your own!



Click here for more information about these tours

Field Trip on Saturday Afternoon:

Visit the Flag Is Up Farm

After hearing Monty Roberts speak on Saturday morning, we have a unique opportunity to visit the

Flag Is Up Farm

on Saturday afternoon and see a demonstration of his “Join Up” technique.



There will be time between the general session and boarding the bus for the trip up the Santa Ynez Valley. Upon arriving at Flag is Up Farms, we will be treated to a Santa Barbara Style Barbeque lunch overlooking the ranch.

We will be returning to the Biltmore no later than 5:00 pm, allowing plenty of time to prepare for the formal dinner and reception starting at 7:00 pm on Saturday evening.

Note: this is an optional event that you may deduct if you’re not interested in this field trip!

Learn more about the Flag is Up Farms Field Trip

Optional Post Meeting Tour:

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Tour: Sunday, June 8

Offered as an additional tour for those who plan to stay on Sunday, we will be visiting the “must-see” Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Located 60 minutes from Santa Barbara, the museum is filled with artifacts from President Reagan’s childhood and professional career and offers a special view into the life of this extraordinary man. You will be able to board Air Force One, which served as the “Flying White House”, for President Reagan and six other U.S. presidents from 1973-2001.

More information about this post meeting trip

Meeting Registration Fees:

Fees for the meeting are as follows:

  • Early Registration Fee (through May 14) = $700 per person
  • Registration Fee (after May 14) = $750 per person
  • Cancellation Fee (after May 23) = $100 per person

Because we believe the Saturday afternoon lunch and tour to Flag Is Up Farm will be memorable, we have included that event in the registration price. You do have the option to reduce your registration fee by $150 per person during the registration process.

When you’re ready to register for the meeting, click Register Now below.

Register Now

If you have any issues with this online registration process, please don’t hesitate to call Diane Jacobson (301-215-4555). She can help you over the phone. Of course, you’ll need to use your own credit card to “seal the deal”.

Registration Checklist

  • Determine your travel arrangements so you know what nights you need a hotel room at the Biltmore.
  • Are you OK with a “run of house” room (meaning you get whatever room the hotel has available when you arrive) or do you want to make sure you have a room with balcony or patio? The “run of house” rooms are called Superior and are $325 per night. If you want the upgrade you should request a Deluxe room or Executive Suite.
  • Decide if you want to opt out of the trip to Monty Robert’s Flag Is Up Farm (which includes BBQ lunch, tour and demonstration by our speaker Monty Roberts). You may reduce your fee (by $150 per person) during the registration process. Because we have to guarantee numbers for this event, it likely will be too late to decide (after hearing Monty) that you’d like to be included.
  • Determine what other afternoon optional events (golf and other tours) you and your guest want to do.
  • Register for the meeting and pay online with your credit card for the meeting and optional activities.
  • When you’re ready to make your hotel reservation, you should call The Biltmore at 1-888-424-5866. Be sure to mention NECA and/or the Academy of Electrical Contracting to get our contracted rates. Remember the deadline is May 13!
  • Diane Jacobson can help you with any questions you may have. If you have a few minutes, Diane can handle the meeting registration for you (using your credit card, of course). You may call her at 301-215-4555 or you can reach her at
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