NETA Turns 40!


NETA wasn't always so well-known. Originally, NETA was founded as the National Electrical Testing Association in 1972 on April 14 at the first recorded meeting, with the first association logo developed by the nine charter members. Wasting no time at getting down to business, NETA published its first Acceptance Testing Specifications document in 1973, followed by the first Maintenance Testing Specifications in 1975. NETA's founding fathers worked hard at forging a path on which today's members continue to travel. They recognized that being small in numbers meant that they would have to work even harder to get the word out about the importance of electrical testing.


NETA World, this beautiful, four-color technical journal that now spans over 124 pages once was a humble newsletter, affectionately titled NETA News. It was fostered over the years by ambitious, technical editors, Rod and Diane Hageman, and championed by Executive Director, Mary Jordan, whose torch is carried today by Jayne Tanz, soon to be celebrating twenty years with NETA. NETA's first, four-page, newspaper-style publication came out in 1979, the same year as the first technical conference.


One way that the association kept up with technology was to begin offering electrical testing and maintenance schools. These programs, started in 1983, have evolved into what is now known as PowerTest, a NETA hosted event. In the 1980's, PCB was a focal point, and as years have passed everything from cables to relays to the new buzz of smart grids have been covered by the talented individuals who volunteer their time and expertise at PowerTest. PowerTest has always served to unite individuals seeking to expand their knowledge of that for which they are passionate.


NETA certification and accreditation are two things that really set this organization apart from many other professional associations in existence today. An emphasis on quality, whether that be the quality of a testing technician, the quality of the company backing that individual, or the quality of the test results and services provided, is a philosophy shared across generations and geography alike. These items, coupled with safety and breadth of service, are what have made the services of NETA Accredited Companies and NETA Certified Technicians highly sought after.


At this time of reflection on the past and looking to the future, it is interesting to read sentiments of a past NETA President, John Moore, from the early days of the organization. From NETA News, Spring 1983, his Letter From the President reads, "NETA has grown... primarily through the unselfish volunteer efforts of several fine testing companies. NETA's presence has clearly been felt by our industry through our testing specifications, technical certification programs, and annual conferences. There is a strong continuing need for NETA's support of our industry in the areas of technical development, safety, governmental support, codes and standards, and market development. These activities can only be accomplished effectively through dedicated committee action.



If you have ever been to a NETA event, you know that the old adage "work hard, play hard" is this group's unofficial motto. Burning the candle at both ends remains a tradition today, with members of the NETA family traveling to help each other on the job site when occasion calls for it, jumping from field work to code panel meetings, and from time to time, celebrating another NETA member's life milestone with those who have become family over the years. There could not be a group of individuals that better embodies growing older with grace, celebrating wisdom and life experience with a healthy dose of laughter. The best part is that there is always room for everyone, and everyone is always welcome.


NETA's Birthday Celebration will officially take place at PowerTest 2012 at the Dallas Cowboy's Stadium on Monday, February 27, 2012. The towering glass and steel stadium will host the party of the year (and the conference will be pretty great as well)! Live music, great food, and lots of fun birthday traditions will ring in the next decade for NETA, and it wouldn't be the same without you being there.