This year’s C&M conference had rousing speeches, recognition of those who rose above the call, invaluable workshops, and an opportunity to engage with leadership on important topics. Director of Construction and Maintenance Department Mike Richard had some thoughts about just how special it is to be an organization like the IBEW.

He said the construction department alone is 370,000 members strong. It’s not just the shear size that makes the IBEW different, but that it’s a brotherhood where the wellbeing of every member matters.

Mike Richard, Director of Construction and Maintenance Department, said, “Our rank and file members have signed up to do their jobs everyday to the best of their ability. Everyone needs to keep one eye on where technology and our industry is headed. We not only have to acknowledge the advances that are right in front of our faces, but we have to be able to read the tea leaves well enough to see how it will impact our industry and our union.”

The brotherhood received an update from the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance.

Walt Ingram, Director of Union Relations, Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, said, “The last 365 days have been a whirlwind, so much good for conservation has been happening all over America. IBEW members are right in the center of it. The IBEW is a huge and significant part of our $1 million in conservation and labor value. Recognizing folks like Bruce Johnson from Local 322 inspire and move people to act.”

In years past, the conference has hosted numerous speakers who inspired members with their stories of hard work and perseverance. This year, instead of hearing from someone outside the IBEW, members had the opportunity to discuss valuable topics with President Lonnie Stephenson and International Secretary-Treasurer, Kenny Cooper during a conference first, Leadership Q&A. Among the topics discussed were how to better engage young members, expectations of leadership, and the idea of mentorship programs.

C&M 2019 has come and gone, but its message will continue to grow in each local across the country. The time is now to construct our future.


Kenny Cooper

IBEW International President Kenny Cooper has been working with the IBEW Hour Power team since he was appointed International President in 2023. President Cooper creates short videos entitled “President’s Message” to bring important announcements and inspirational messages right to your computer screen.

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