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About the Electric Association

The Electric Association is proud of its long and illustrious history in Chicago's electrical industry.

Our History

The Electric Association was organized on September 18, 1925. It’s founder and first President, Mr. John F. Gilchrist (Vice-President, Commonwealth Edison Company), organized a meeting of industry leaders from the Electric Club of Chicago to “arrange the necessary details in connection with the calling of a larger meeting for the purpose of considering the desirability of forming an electrical association in the Chicago area”.

On January 18, 1926, a charter was received from the Secretary of State, authorizing the organization of the Electric Association under the provisions of the Illinois Statute providing for Corporations under the not for profit act.

And so being, the founding fathers developed this mission . . .

The Electric Association Aims & Purposes (1926)

  • To develop and improve the service rendered the public by the electrical industry.
  • To develop a closer cooperation and understanding among electrical supply companies, telephone & electric traction companies, telegraph companies, electrical contractors, manufacturers, manufacturer’s agents, wholesalers, engineers, and other persons involved in the electrical industry.
  • To conduct suitable educational activities with the view to encouraging the public toward a more intelligent use of electricity.
  • To inform as to the importance of the service rendered by electricity.
  • To endeavor to bring about improvements of method in all branches of the industry.

To encourage the practice of good business standards in the industry, and to raise the standards of electrical practice by so informing the public that they will appreciate and demand the best in materials, workmanship, engineering, and applications.

To keep closely in touch with all public matters pertaining to electrical problems, that all business organization, municipal, state and federal authorities may know that this Association is a responsible body and capable of handling intelligently subjects pertaining to electrical matters.

Through much change in our electrical industry over the years, many of these goals remain true for the Electric Association today.

Programs and Services – Today

The Mission of the Electric Association is:

  • To provide members of the electrical industry of Chicagoland and their employees with formal educational opportunities, professional development, information exchange, and business services.
  • To serve as the interface between various organizations serving the same industry, and foster the interchange of ideas, product knowledge and programs in order to create the best external environment possible for conducting business in the electrical industry.

Bringing together all segments of the industry.

In order to bring together all segments of the industry, the Electric Association has developed strong relationships with affiliated organizations such as: ComEd, Electrical Contractors’ Association of Chicago, NECA-Northeastern IL Chapter, Middle States Contractors Association, NAED (National Association of Electrical Distributors), NEMRA (National Electrical Manufacturer’s Representatives Association), The Illuminating Engineering Society – Chicago Chapter, and the St. Paddy’s Day Luncheon Society.

The Electric Association also manages three industry-affiliated organizations: The Chicago Electrical Estimators Association, The Electric Golf Club of Chicago, and The Little Wheels Club of Chicago.

State of the art education through professionally developed and delivered classes by the Chicagoland Electric Association Education Foundation.

The Chicagoland Electric Association Education Foundation (CEAEF) was established and recognized as a not-for-profit foundation in 1999. The CEAEF hosts two education semesters per year, with a full curriculum of electrical & professional development courses. CEAEF courses have an advantage over other sources of education in that these classes are presented by long-time members of our industry. Students have the opportunity to meet with others from the same industry, and learn more about the unique aspects of the Chicago electrical community as a whole.

The CEAEF awards three academic scholarships per year: an Electric Association scholarship, a CEE scholarship, and a CTF scholarship. This growing program has awarded over $20,000 in academic scholarships since its inception.

Industry wide meetings, outings, and events offer the opportunity to network with colleagues, customers and friends.

The Electric Association hosts a variety of meetings per year giving members the chance to meet with colleagues. Many monthly and quarterly meetings are held through the EA Divisions: Consulting Electrical Engineers Division, Communication Technologies Forum, and the Women’s Division. These divisions provide members of the electrical community with excellent networking opportunities, and specific educational information pertaining to their segment of the industry.
The EA also hosts an engineering tradeshow, annual golf event, and membership awards dinner, and other business meetings to provide members with an opportunity to meet others in the industry.

Recognition programs help set the standard for technical merit, business success and community service.

The Electric Association developed a Membership Awards program in 1971 to recognize distinguished service and achievement in the electrical industry of Chicago. The Gold Medal Award & Hall of Fame Program set the business standards for others in the industry. Each year, the EA hosts an awards dinner to honor these individuals and their accomplishments.

Recall services save specifiers, distributors, consultants, and estimators countless hours searching for supplies.

The Electric Association maintains a database of over 10,000 listings of local and international manufacturers and who their appointed representative is in the Chicago area. This service is utilized by hundreds of members, as they can receive this information in a timely, efficient manner.

Job placement bureau gives quick and confidential access to both employers and job seekers.

The Career Center, located on the EA’s website:, offers Corporate members the free opportunity to post a job ad and seek potential employees specifically involved in the industry. Members looking for a job opportunity within the industry are able to post their resume in a confidential manner. Job-seekers are also provided with assistance on creating their resume, and other lead’s to “who’s hiring” in the electrical community.

Marketing opportunities through corporate sponsorships, award winning magazine and other publications.

The Electric Association offers many opportunities to market to the industry. Golden Globe Award winning magazine, ElectriCITY, published on a quarterly basis, is an excellent marketing avenue to utilize. Sponsorship opportunities are available throughout each year through the EA division, annual golf events, divisional newsletters, and other publications. The Electric Association also offers members a free link from to their corporation’s web-page.

The Electric Association’s guide to the industry: Online Membership Directory

The Annual Membership Directory, an Industry Guide, is available at Members can log-in to view contact information for corporate members, divisional members, and affiliates.

Electric Association &
Electric Association Education Foundation

17W733 Butterfield Road, Suite B
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

Tel: 630-305-3050
Fax: 630-305-3056