Ferndale Electric earns a Silver Certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council

With 36 certified wildlife programs in 25 Michigan counties and earning the Wildlife Habitat Council’s Corporate Conservation Leadership Award, DTE has quite a sustainability story to tell. And there’s even more to the narrative. DTE is also enlisting suppliers to launch conservation projects of their own.

 “Improving our planet embodies our commitment to be a force for growth in the communities we serve,” said Greg Chiesa, supplier performance management lead for DTE’s Major Enterprise Projects group. “We’re encouraging our top-tier suppliers to launch conservation projects and we include sustainability metrics in their performance reviews.” So far, 11 DTE suppliers have created conservation projects in five counties, including Ferndale Electric, which converted strips of lawn at its headquarters into a pollinator garden attracting bees, butterflies and other wildlife. “We’re in an industrial area without much green space but we used what we have to restore lost habitat for an important part of our ecosystem,” said John Hillock, president of Ferndale Electric. “It’s a great example of a worthwhile conservation project using limited space. It’s a continuing process, too. We make small changes here and there, spread seeds grown from the plants and keep records of the garden’s growth.” According to Robert Richard, DTE senior vice president of Major Enterprise Projects and Customer Service, recruiting suppliers to start on-site conservation programs fulfills one of the company’s value statements to “see our work through the eyes of those we serve.”

“DTE has been a leader for many decades in sustainability, reduced emissions and environmental excellence. Increasing wildlife habitat ourselves and with our suppliers brings that commitment to life for our shareholders and our community,” said Richard. Richard also talked with leaders at the Barton-Malow construction company about starting a conservation project at their building in Southfield. The firm now has an 11,600 square-foot rain garden packed with Michigan-native plants in place of a lawn that soaked up water, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides.

The rain garden at Barton-Malow’s building in Southfield replaced the standard turf surrounding many suburban offices. “When we constructed our building, we conserved a wetland area to absorb storm water and runoff,” said Matt Lentini, a Barton-Malow vice president. “For years, we thought of doing more, then Bob Richard suggested converting a grassy berm into an area for wildlife. Our quarter-acre rain garden has eliminated watering all that grass, it’s attracting wildlife and because it’s highly visible, it’s a big hit with employees, clients and visitors.” Chiesa, a Dearborn resident with 25 years at DTE, feels those are perfect outcomes. “Corporate conservation is companies working together on common conservation and education programs to benefit communities and attain meaningful environmental stewardship objectives,” said Chiesa.

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Motor City Electric Receives 2018 NECA Project Excellence Award

2018 NECA Project Excellence Award Recipients Announced

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has named 13 exceptional electrical construction projects spearheaded by members from around the United States as NECA 2018 Project Excellence Award recipients.

The NECA Project Excellence Awards were created in 2017 to acknowledge the most highly skilled electrical contractors in the country. Companies are recognized for their commitment, professionalism and ingenuity in delivering an electrical project across 11 different market sectors.

“After our successful launch last year, it’s exciting to showcase another group of projects that are worthy of NECA Project Excellence Awards in 2018,” NECA CEO John M. Grau said. “They represent the best of our industry.”

“Only projects completed in 2017 were considered. Judges took into account aesthetics, application, difficulty, innovation and originality,” said Mir Mustafa, NECA Executive Director of Business Development.

“The contractors responsible for this year’s remarkable projects demonstrated impressive skill and an undeniable passion for excellence,” Mustafa said. “NECA is proud to honor them and their work.”

This year’s winners will take the stage during the associations annual conference and trade show, NECA 2018 Philadelphia (Sept. 29-Oct. 2).

Visit ProjectExcellenceAwards.com to learn more about the awards, the projects submitted, and to view picture galleries featuring all of this year and last year’s submissions and winners.

Below is the full list of the NECA 2018 Project Excellence Award winners:

NECA Member
Project Name: (click title to view  )
Project Owner:
NECA Chapter:
Commercial Institutional
> $1 Mil
Motor City Electric Co. Little Caesars Arena Olympia Development of Michigan Southeastern Michigan NECA
Commercial Institutional
< $1 Mil
Miller Electric Company UPS-A Replacement Project Confidential Arkansas NECA
Design Build
> $1 Mil
Rosendin Electric, Inc. Wilshire Grand Tower Hanjin International Corporation LA NECA
> $1 Mil
ERMCO, Inc. University of Notre Dame
Nanovic Hall
University of Notre Dame Central Indiana NECA
Energy Solutions/
Green Buildings
> $1 Mil
Pacific Ridge Electric IBEW 332 – Net Zero Energy Building Retrofit IBEW Local 332 Santa Clara Valley NECA
Energy Solutions /
Green Buildings < $1 Mil
Sullivan Solar Power Petco Park Solar Project San Diego  Padres San Diego NECA
> $1 Mil
Electric Company
of the Midwest
The Fred & Pamela
Buffett Cancer Center
Nebraska Medicine Nebraska NECA
Industrial Alterman, Inc. SAWS Desalination Plant San Antonio Water Systems South Texas NECA
Overhead Transmission O’Connell Electric Company Auburn Transmission Project NYSEG/ National Grid Rochester New York NECA
Residential Livingston Electrical Associates 56 Leonard Alexico Group New York City NECA
Streetlighting / Traffic Signals
> $1 Mil
Walter J. Barnes Electric Co., Inc. RTA Cemetery Streetcar Expansion New Orleans Regional Transit Authority South Louisiana NECA
Substation/ Interconnection Matrix North American Construction PPL: Alburtis 500/ 230kV Substation Upgrade PPL Corporation Penn-Del- Jersey NECA
& Infrastructure
Aldridge Electric, Inc. New Washington Wabash
CTA Elevated Station
CTA –  Chicago Transit Authority Chicago &  Cook County

View the winners gallery »


NECA is the voice of the $160 billion electrical construction industry that brings power, light and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. NECA’s national office in Bethesda, Md., and 119 local chapters advance the industry through advocacy, education, research and standards development. Go to www.necanet.org for more information.


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