"We are committed to promote qualified electrical services to the community, by educating our members and associate members facilitating communications and maintaining professional relationships with legislative, utility and inspection authorities."
THE GREATER CINCINNATI ELECTRICAL ASSOCIATION:
In 1910, a group of visionary people involved in the infancy of the electrical industry formed a local chapter of “Sons of Jove”, which was a national organization of people involved in the electrical industry. This local chapter was called “Cincinnati Jovian Electrical Club”.
The purpose of this club was to function as an information source for all facets of the electrical industry: manufacturers, distributors, contractors, industrials, architects, engineers, utility companies, and any other business or service involved in this field.
The “Cincinnati Jovian Electrical Club” also served as a liaison between the public and the electrical industry by dispensing information regarding electrical products and their worth to the community in general. The idea of electricity was new at the time and the average citizen had to be sold on the safety, convenience, and merits of this “new way of life”.
Progress, growth, and the rapidly changing electrical industry needs were responsible for the “Cincinnati Jovian Electrical Club” to change its name several times over the next century. On August 1, 1929 “Cincinnati Jovian Electrical Club” became the “Cincinnati Electric Club” and again on August 30, 1934 the name was changed to “Cincinnati Electrical Association”. On January 24, 1989 the members responded to the recognition that the Cincinnati area was one regional economy and that the organization has Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio members. This prompted them to rename the organization “Greater Cincinnati Electrical Association” (GCEA).
1910 – 1928
Unfortunately there are no records from this period. We can only speculate on the activities of the organization using future recorded events. The members of the “Club” were clearly energetically focused on activities promoting the electrical industry and sharing information on the rapidly changing industry.
1929 - 1949
It was during these two decades that the “Cincinnati Electric Club” was officially established and incorporated in the State of Ohio on August 1, 1929 as a “not-for-profit” organization, Number 137748. The articles of incorporation include this paragraph:
“The purpose or purposes for which said corporation is formed are to establish a central and responsible body representative of the electrical industry in Cincinnati, Ohio and vicinity: Provide facilities for securing concerted action by all branches of the electrical industry in matters of common interest; Promote fair dealing and sincere cooperation within the industry; bring about public understanding of the correct use of electricity so that proper use and care of electrical equipment will afford continuous satisfaction; foster goodwill on the part of the public toward the electrical industry; encourage a high standard of business ethics to the end that the electrical industry may better serve the public; and to do all things necessary and incidental thereto.”
In 1934 an amendment to the Articles of Incorporation changed the name to “Cincinnati Electrical Association”. A 1937 roster records 202 electrical industry company members and includes a Woman's Division.
In the late 1930's and 1940's a national movement promoting adequate wiring was formed. The “Cincinnati Electrical Association” and The Cincinnati Gas and Electric Co. took an active part to promote the program. Its success was a boost to the overall electrical industry since the aim of the effort was to promote better and more comprehensive use of electricity.
NEMA recognized “Cincinnati Electrical Association” as an approved electrical industry association in a written letter to the association in 1936. This approval verified that their principles and policies of cooperative business development were “sound and worthy”.
1950 - 1979
During this period the association initiated or greatly expanded many activities in both social and industry related areas. Dedicated people from all facets of the industry were active in the association. There were 223 active member companies in 1968.
An Annual Dinner Meeting and the Annual Golf Outing were initiated during this period, both of which continue today. A social, the Annual Dinner Dance was also held every year and it was open to all divisions. (On February 12, 1977 the association's Dinner Dance was attended by 272 and held at the Beverly Hills Country Club, in the Garden Room. Three months later a tragic fire at Beverly Hills took 169 lives.)
In 1968 the annual budget was $6,932.62 compared to today's almost $100,000.
1980 - Present
In the last quarter of a century the association undertook some of its greatest challenges.
In 1981 the first product “Table Top Show” was held.
This era found that the business and social environment in the community in general was changing. The social programs began to wane and a thirst for education became evident by member companies for their employees. For this reason the association formed an Education Committee in 1982 with the purpose of providing low cost, high caliber training classes to the electrical industry. The early success of this committee showed that there was, as the association perceived, a gap in learning opportunities available in the community verses the association member needs. In 1983 the Education Committee launched its first program and the committee's offerings have grown exponentially since then.
In 1989 the association changed it name to its present form, “The Greater Cincinnati Electrical Association” or informally GCEA.
A Scholarship program was initiated by the GCEA. All employees of member companies were eligible. This has grown to three scholarships a year.
In 1994 a “Code of Ethics” for GCEA members was adopted. This document outlines the professional and business practices that are expected of members to maintain their good standing in the association.
The predominant challenge for the association in the present era is providing quality education programs for its members. State wide electrical licensing programs were initiated in both the states of Ohio and Kentucky in recent years. The GCEA is presently an approved provider of education programs in both states.