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Presidential view Signing off

As her hectic year as ECA president comes to an end, Diane Johnson refl ects on a rewarding opportunity to promote the electrical industry


id someone hit the fast-forward button? This year has absolutely fl own by – it only seems like fi ve minutes ago I was appointed president.

During my travels throughout the year I have met many

people from many different walks of life and this has given me an insight into the turbulence that businesses fi nd themselves in in the current climate. I could in my fi nal piece for ECA Today from the point

of view of your president, talk about the lack of work, how bad the prices are and how tight the margins are, but you already know this. And I know this too because, like you, I am a contractor, so I know how diffi cult it is. Instead, I am going to give you a snapshot of my year in offi ce.

Serving It has been an honour and a privilege to serve this amazing association of ours. As the fi rst female president, I have been overwhelmed by the great warmth that I have received from members up and down the country, who have accepted me as their president and as a fellow contractor. Being the president has opened my eyes to the

massive amount of work and enormous complexities that the association deals with on a daily basis. I set out to become an ambassador for the ECA, and

I have travelled the length and breadth of the country, getting to know and understand our members and the issues close to their hearts. The executive and myself have listened closely and

taken action. We have looked at many issues relevant to the association, such as the structure, the governance and the further development of member services, to ensure that we have an association fi t for purpose – and for the 21st century.

Lobbying Anyone who knows me knows that the skills agenda is close to my heart, and the president’s position has given

About the author

Diane Johnson Diane Johnson is president of the ECA, and a director of family fi rm Eric Johnson of Northwich.

me a fi rm platform on which to lobby government. It has also resulted in an unbelievable amount of ongoing press coverage. I have met with MPs and leading civil servants to put

forward members’ views and concerns on matters such as skills, sustainability and current business issues. In Europe we are part of the AIE, the European

Association of Electrical Contractors, and last September I attended their conference in Nice, where I took part in panel discussions and forums debating the electrical Industry of the future, including everything from sustainable homes to electric cars.

The sustainability agenda

plays to the core strengths of what we do as an industry

Support To do the job of president effectively requires support from many areas. I am not somebody who works in isolation and this year I have, with others, successfully brought together electrical contractors, manufacturers and distributors, collaborating and drawing on each others strengths for the good of the industry on all kinds of topics, from sustainability to the issue of counterfeit cables.

There are many people I would like to thank – far too

many to name individually – so I would just like to thank you all for the wonderful support you have all given me.

Looking ahead As far as the economic situation is concerned, we all know we are not out of the woods yet and things could get worse before they get better, but on a positive note the sustainability agenda plays to the core strengths of what we do as an industry, from new renewable technology to energy saving. Therefore, we need to move with the times, broaden our horizons and embrace the new opportunities that will arise as a result of the Carbon Reduction Commitment, the Green Deal and future initiatives. May I take this opportunity to wish our incoming president,

Alun Pearson, every success, and from me to you I’d like to say ‘thank you’ – it has been a pleasure.

May 2011 ECA Today 13

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