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Association Bisnow
April 23, 2008



Unlike our government, Evan Gaddis, President of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, doesn’t think you should pay for something you don’t use. That’s why NEMA has an à la carte policy, charging members like GE, Honeywell and Siemens a base fee of just $3,000 per year (plus an additional amount based on domestic sales). Beyond that, NEMA’s 450 electrical and medical-imaging manufacturer members (makers of things like CAT scans), pay an hourly fee only for services used.


Those hours are adding up; from his Arlington office, Evan told us NEMA’s revenue is at $21 million, up from $17 million since he became president in 2005. There are 54 product divisions at NEMA, from light bulbs to batteries to circuit breakers. Members pay only for technological research or lobbying services (if they choose) within their division. Some issues, like intellectual property rights, apply to all NEMA members. The base fee covers those costs.



Evan’s predecessor established the à la carte policy, attractive to members like because it gives them more control over their money—NEMA added 40 new members last year alone. Evan gets his 30-member board together just three times per year, for what he calls “major muscle movements” (just the big stuff), leaving the day-to-day details to the product divisions. He says that one of NEMA’s big strengths is his team of 10 lobbyists, calling them the go-to group for Hill lawmakers on energy issues. According to Evan, NEMA lobbyists had a hand in developing most of the policies in the recent energy bill.    



NEMA hall of famer Thomas Edison poses with Evan, who left the US Army in 2001 as “commanding general of recruitment.” When my people say it’s hard to recruit new companies for NEMA, they’re talking to the wrong guy,” he says. “When you’re selling a military career, you’re convincing people to commit for four years, leave home and get put in harm’s way. Now that’s a tough sell.”   

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