Get to Know the New President

Joe Gatewood, President, MEA Board of Directors

Hello from Willmar, MN! I am proud to be serving the Association and the industry as president for the next year. I am the owner of Gatewood Electric out of Willmar, Minnesota. I opened Gatewood Electric in July of 1999 so I will be celebrating 20 years in business this July! MEA has been a huge part of my success and I am now grateful to be giving back. Not only has Gatewood Electric been a member of MEA for over 20 years, but I have also been on the staff as one of the trainers employed to conduct exceptional continuing education for electricians all over the state. This next year as President of the Association, I plan on building upon the previous work of the 90 presidents before me. The Association has good bones and a foundation for success. Changes and tweaks are going to be made throughout the year that are going to help MEA focus on participation and growth as set forth from the strategic planning session this past January. You will begin to see new content, looks and branding as we engage in a marketing audit. We will also continue to develop additional customized training on industry topics required for running better businesses. Karen Maine has done a great job as your president, and I am excited to take it from here. I look forward to the continued support from all of you while we work on making the industry better.

We asked Joe a few questions about his 20 years of membership with MEA...

How has MEA played a role in the success of your business?
“Being a member of MEA has put me in contact with so many people in the electrical industry, with situations similar and differing from my own. Networking and discussions with peers in the electrical world are essential for growing a business.”

What experiences have made you a better person?
“I’ll answer this from the trainer perspective; I’ve grown as a trainer and a contractor by attending MEA conferences and IAEI seminars.”

What is your favorite MEA benefit?
“I enjoy the networking that MEA makes possible. There aren’t many opportunities to talk “shop” in our local area of service because of the competition factor. MEA brings people together from all aspects of the electrical industry to discuss the business and technical sides of our work.”

What do you enjoy most about MEA’s Educational Trainings?
“As an insider of MEA’s training, I know how much time and effort goes into planning and providing for the educational classes. Those efforts result in some of the best training in the region.”