Achievement Award Winners Remember Arthur W. Hooper

By Bridget McCrea

As recipients of the NAED’s highest honor, Arthur W. Hooper Award winners hold a special place in their hearts for the man who spent more than three decades shaping their industry organization into what it is today. “Arthur is very renowned in our industry,” says 2013 winner Robert Reynolds of Graybar. “He did a wonderful job of moving the electrical distribution forward by leaps and bounds.”

Every year the Arthur W. Hooper Award is given to an individual who has had an exceptional career in distribution that covers the span of many years and has a “positive impact” on NAED and the industry. This award is based on cumulative contributions.

Reynolds, who says he was “surprised” to win the achievement award this year, met Hooper a few times during his career. “Arthur was running NAED at the time,” he says, “and it was obvious that he was very well respected and knowledgeable in our field.”

John Duda of Butler Supply won the achievement award in 2011 and says Hooper was just on the brink of retirement as he was making his own way into the electrical distribution industry.

“He was an extremely distinguished individual who did an excellent job of cultivating the NAED and bringing it along for 30 or so years,” says Duda. “He’ll definitely be missed.” Duda says receiving the award was the “pinnacle moment” in his career. “It meant a great deal to me to be honored in that manner,” he says.

Winner of the 2012 Arthur W. Hooper Award, Tom Cloud of United Electric Supply first started attending NAED Meetings in the late-1970s, when Hooper was executive director. “Art was a tremendous leader and visionary,” says Cloud. “He was tall, thin and spoke deliberately and knowledgeably on all the subjects he addressed. Art was a gentleman, and added a level of class to an industry that surely needed it.”

Calling Hooper a “hero in the distribution industry,” Cloud says he was also a superb role model for his son, Ken. “I express my deepest sympathy to his family for their loss; he will be missed,” says Cloud, who adds that receiving the highest honor in the electrical industry — appropriately named after Hooper — was “a great honor.”

Elliott Electric Supply’s Bill Elliott, winner of the 2009 Arthur W. Hooper award, says he holds deep admiration for the man who spent a good portion of his life managing and organizing the NAED and its members. “He introduced some of the things that we’re so proud of today – like the educational foundation and tED Magazine,” says Elliott. “Arthur made a huge difference in our industry and we all appreciate him for that.”

Elliott says he was flattered to be honored with the lifetime achievement award four years ago. “I don’t really feel like I deserve it; there are so many NAED members that do deserve this type of recognition,” says Elliott. “Arthur was such an important pioneer in our industry because he guided the NAED through its early period,” he adds. “The work he did for our industry was just amazing.”

McCrea is a Florida-based writer who covers business, industrial, and educational topics for a variety of magazines and journals. You can reach her at bridgetmc@earthlink.net or visit her website at www.expertghostwriter.net.

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