February SCECA General Meeting

Meeting Details


Thursday, February 15, 2024


7:00 PM


Courtyard Marriott
5000 Express Dr. S, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779
(Next to Red Lobster and Smokey Bones)

Program Topic:

This month, SCECA will be hosting Barry Young from Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). Barry will be reviewing interior lighting design with an in-depth discussion of professional lighting techniques for interior spaces and how to apply them. We will also have a code forum lead by our code experts Jim Smith and John Cangemi. They will be discussing a code topic regarding disconnecting means. There will be an open Q & A period.

Vendor of the month:

Vendor of the Month: Electric Mirror. These mirrors are being installed everywhere; this is a great opportunity to learn about them.

Food Provided By:

N&S Supply

Meeting Minutes


S.C.E.C.A. General Membership Meeting Minutes

There were approximately 35 members in attendance.  Those Officers and Board of Directors present were: Rob Szalay, Rob Tschoke, Dave Kennedy, Ralph Lambiase, Jack Morrell, Tom Orlando and Mahesh Panchal.

Excused: Brian McAuliff and Joe Mikulas.

Called to Order:  7:30 p.m.

Rob Szalay led the Pledge of Allegiance.  A motion to accept the General Meeting Minutes of 1/18/24 was made by Jack Morrell and seconded by Tom Orlando.

**President’s Report:

Rob S. deferred his report.


Treasurer’s Report:  Tom Orlando

Tom O. reported for the month ending January 2024 the income was $6,488.77 and the expenses were $6,434.55.  We ran flat for January.  The Tom Palk Scholarship Fund is still open if anyone would like to donate.  A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made by Jack Morrell and seconded by Rob Tschoke.

 Secretary’s Report:  David Kennedy

Dave reported the only mail we had is one member that renewed.  A motion to accept the Secretary’s report was made by Mahesh Panchal and seconded by Jason Goetz.

Legal Counsel:  Michael Ganz

Mike Ganz was not present.  Rob S. told members he is our legal counsel and will answer any of your legal questions.

Insurance: Patti Muldoon from Borg & Borg, Wally Boorum from Sunrise Benefits Solutions, Diane Mullahey-Senior from Executive Ins. & Financial Svcs. 

Diane Mullahey-Senior was not present.  Patti Muldoon and Wally Boorum were both present.  Wally reported he read an article on “Where are Tomorrow’s Employees Coming From.”   A lot of students are opting out of college because of the high cost of tuition and may go into the trades.  They might be picky on who they work for.  He wrote two articles for the “Light,” one in this month’s newsletter and one in the next month’s newsletter on how to align benefits packages.  Be sure to read it.  Rob S. reminded everyone they get the monthly issue of the “Light” by email and they can also read it on the SCECA website and can go back to previous issues.

PROGRAMS:  Barry Young from Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) gave a program on interior lighting.  Focusing on Eye Science, Color Rendering and Color Temperature, Lighting Techniques including accent lighting, wall washing, ambient lighting, task lighting, Creating Architectural Layers of Lighting and DYI vs Architectural Approach to Lighting interior spaces.

Also, Barry is the Eastern Regional Manager for Electric Mirror.  He discussed lighted mirrors for high end homes for baths, primary suites, dressing areas and foyers. He handed out brochures as well.  A question-and-answer session followed.

Jim Smith and John Cangemi gave a program on Disconnects for Appliances.  Jim Smith said a lot of guys ask him when disconnects for appliances went into effect.  He looked it up and found it in the 1928 code book and read what it said.  John Cangemi said we are on the 2017 code in NY.  We have two different definitions – one for appliances and one for utilization equipment.  Utilization equipment utilizes electric energy for either electronics, electromechanical, chemical, heating, lighting, or similar devices.  An appliance is a select type of utilization equipment for a specific function and is standardized.  Any requirements you read will not be different for utilization equipment and appliances.  Jim Smith talked about lockout devices.  You have to lock out the device if not in direct line  of site (not through a window or doorway) and further than 50 feet away so it cannot be turned on when working on it unless the device has a cord and plug.  A disconnect means a device or switch that allows you to safely isolate an electrical circuit or piece of equipment from its power source.  One of the major changes in the 2017 code 110.25 is the disconnect means have to be lockable.  When a disconnecting means is required to be lockable open elsewhere in the code, it must be capable of being locked in the open position.  The provisions for locking should remain in place with or without the lock installed.  They showed the lockout device to use.  Most supply houses have this device.  This is residential and commercial.  Jim went over the disconnect means in the 2017 code thoroughly.  Jim mentioned other changes in 2017 – Article 514 – gas stations and fuel pumps now require an emergency disconnect means between 20 feet and 100 feet from the pump and readily accessible.  Article 600 – signs – If you have a remote disconnect that’s lockable  you must have signage to tell you where the disconnect is located.  An informative question-and-answer session followed.

By-Laws & Nominating:  Jack Morrell

 Jack announced nominations open up next month for all officer positions and two board seats.

Education/Seminars:  Rob Szalay, Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase

Rob S. reported our 2/17 CEH class is full.  We will have another class in March and will let everyone know when that’s available.

Electrical Safety:  Robert Tschoke, Ralph Lambiase

Rob T. reported last month we talked about having CPR and first aid training classes.  He did look into that and found out Red Cross charges for the classes and the local fire departments charge for classes unless you are a member.  The only way to get it free for us is to attend a main facility ambulatory station.  There is one in Port Jefferson.  They give the classes every other month.  You can go to their website for the course calendar – pjems.org.  Click on Education, then Calendar and look for Family & Friends CPR course.  That is the one you can sign up for free of charge.  He will post the dates and times in the “Light.”  He also wrote a safety article in the “Light.”  He also talked about the suction device to help someone that is choking.  You might want to consider purchasing it.  He wrote about it in the “Light.”  We have also been talking about blood drives and asked who is interested in it.  Most members raised their hands that they would be interested in donating.  One member said it is hard to have one because you have to guarantee a number of people to come.  Rob T. looked into that and we would have to meet the criteria.  Ralph also had interesting safety articles that he printed out if anyone is interested in reading them.  They will be in the “Light” this coming month.  Jack commented his insurance company does the CPR classes year 5 years for them.  He will find out more about it.  Rob S. said we will look further to see if we can have it here.  Rob T. said we would have to have a minimum of 20 people.  He will explore other options.  Jack said for 10 years his company has AED devices (automated external defibrillator); it is a lot cheaper now than it used to be.  With CPR if you do it with 100% efficacy it is only 5% effective.  With AED device it is between 52% and 58% effective.  They are very reasonably priced.  His company has between 10 and 15 of them.  With CPR you normally break 3 to 4 ribs if you do it effectively.  Tom O. added even basic first aid is good for all the members.  Rob T. said we will have more information at the next meeting.

 Entertainment:  Dave Kennedy, Scott Eastman, Mahesh Panchal

Dave reported we are looking into having our installation dinner at the hotel here with hot food.  We will check their pricing first.  Otherwise, we will find a place more reasonable.  We will have a short ceremony, eat and mingle.

 Good & Welfare: Joe Mikulas

Joe was not present.  Board member Brian McAuliff is not here today; he is having a procedure.  He will be back on his feet soon.  Tom DiBella of PSEG reported he spoke to Rich today and he is doing well after surgery; he has two more surgeries scheduled.  He will be here next month.

Inspection Agencies: 

 Certified Electrical Inspectors: #896-A   Rob Ceriello was not present.

East End Inspection Agency:  #1193-A Ed Seltenreich was not present.

EII: NYBFU:  #1109-A Philip Goehring and Rich Jendzo were not present.

Suffolk Bureau of Electrical Insp.: #856-A Gene Surdi was not present.

Southampton Town:  Ron Linsalato was not present.

Alliance Electrical Inspect.  Ltd.: Michael Dumitru was not present.

Licensing: Jack Morrell, Rob Szalay

Jack reported there will be a lot of changes – how and how many he does not know.  Next month he will bring  up that some people are having trouble getting their renewals before their license expires.

PSEG Representatives:  Joe Mikulas, Jack Morrell, Rob Szalay

Tom DiBella reported they put up trip saver devises and they are programmable.  This gives them more control.  These devices are like mini circuits; they are smart switches.  They reset themselves automatically.  This is a game changer for restoration.  We are also able to get equipment faster now.  The supply chain is improving.  They have meters coming in.  A lot of new developments are going in now, he observed.  Rob S. reported ABB notified us they were approved for their multi meter and it is under 40 weeks.  Will keep members posted.

 Jack said we have Trade Ally with PSEG.  The new fellow in charge, Tony Savino, reached out to Jack and Ray Coyle.  They are trying to do a mailing system through the Trade Ally to all the contractors and wanted our email list.  We do not hand out our list but we will send their emails out to our members.  They want to do a monthly thing just for the contractors.  So, you may see email from PSEG in the next month or so.  He does not know the information; they are still working on it.  He also heard there are shortages of 400- & 800-amp CTs.

Membership/Plaques & Awards, Skills USA:  Robert Tschoke, Brian McAuliff, /Jack Morrell

Rob T. announced Ralph is the Sargeant of Arms.  Also, about 30 members did not renew membership for this year.  Tom O. the number started out high and went down to 14.  Rob T. and Ralph called them.  Out of those 6 or so were not renewing for various reasons.  He had 8 left and when called 3 out of 8 joined so now we are down to 5.  Rob T. said our president Rob S. suggested talking to and inviting to our meetings all the nonmembers that attend our CEH classes.  We will follow up on them to bring in new membership.  That list is about 50 names.  We are working on our website and will do campaigning for membership.   Rob T. asked how many members have the new SCECA logo on it.  Any member that wants it can email SCECAelect@gmail.com and ask for it.

Plaques & Awards:  Jack knows he has some plaques to make up.  Rob S. added if you are a member for 25 or 50 years you get a plaque.

Skills USA:  Jack and Rob S. will be judging the contest.  It is usually scheduled around March 17 to March 20  at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.  It lasts about 2 ½ hours and anyone can come and watch.  It is for BOCES.

Rob S. announced one new member:  Paul Stram of Hinck Electrical Contractors in Bohemia who was not present.  His packet will be mailed to him.

 Nassau Electric League:  Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Tom Orlando

 Tom Walsh reported they had their meeting last night but there were not many people there because it was Valentine’s Day.  They are looking to find a hall in Nassau for the Expo comparable to the Radisson.  John Cangemi gave the program on flooding and water damage on equipment.

IAEI: (Independent Alliance for the Electrical Industry)  Mahesh Panchal, Ralph Lambiase, Tom Orlando

Mahesh reported they had a UL guy, Mike, give a program about Romex – how to install and how to run it.  It lasted 2 hours and he still did not finish.  Rob S. said we will keep you posted on their meetings.  They are the first Wednesday of every month at 7 pm in Farmingdale.

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS: (Rob Szalay, Brian McAuliff – Co-chairs, and Jack Morrell)

Joe Mikulas, Editor – “Light,”

Rob S. had nothing to report.

Joe was not present.  Rob S. reported, as he said before it is sent electronically to members every month and is also on our website.  You will see the current month and the past months are archived.

 Energy Expo:  Rob Szalay, Jack Morrell, Dave Kennedy

 Rob S. reported the NEL and SCECA did a joint venture last year; it was very successful and will do it again this year.  We might have it at the Radisson – it was a great spot.  We may find something closer to Melville depending on price point.  It will be in the fall and be a better event than last year.

 Legislative Review:  Jack Morrell

Jack reported he will send out an email to Rob S., Tom O. and Barbara.  He belongs to ABC Eastern NY Chapter.  The president is Brian Sampson.  Three times a year they go up to Albany to fight for legislation.  They endorse Merit shop philosophy (can be union & nonunion workers) and feel anyone should be able to bid on a job.  Brian did a 12-to-15-minute interview with a fellow from the State.  It was recorded.  It is about a PLA (Project Labor Agreements or Public Labor Agreements).   He explained to Albany the pluses and minuses of PLA and how it hurts a lot of the contractors that cannot afford to do the apprenticeship program.  He would like to send the interview (audio) to all the members.  It is something to pass along and understand how the PLA affects us.  If you know anyone in the political world, send it to them.  It is very informative about what is right for the State.

Old Business: 

Nothing to report.

 New Business:

Steve Danielson said due to the recent flooding on the Southshore, his house flooded and his pipes got water in them.  He sucked the water out and did it for the marina also.  He was concerned about damage to the wires.  Rob S. said underground pipes do collect water and the wire has to be rated for that.  But it is okay to suck the water out of the pipe.


2 – $60 cash prizes were won by Carlos Altagracia and Dave Kennedy.

2 – $70 cash prizes were won by Charles Monte and Robert Tschoke, Jr.

$100 attendance award was drawn for Saverio Governale (#133-CR) who was not present to win.

A motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:25 p.m. was made by Tom Orlando and seconded by Dave Kennedy.

Respectfully submitted,



Barbara George                                                                  Dave Kennedy

Recording Secretary                                                    Secretary