This piece was originally published in the May 2016 issue of ei, the magazine of the electroindustry.
By Michael L. Belitzky, Manager, State Government Relations
I joined NEMA’s government relations team after having spent nearly 12 years entrenched in legislative and political battles at federal, state, and local levels. As manager of state government relations, my role is to serve as the industry’s advocate before legislators, governors, and agencies and engage with external stakeholders or organizations. I educate policymakers and provide practical solutions consistent with NEMA’s core values.
One of the issues I manage for NEMA is promoting safety and innovation through the adoption of current building codes—the cornerstone of our industry. While many elected officials recognize the importance of updating building codes, some have a misguided perception and consider routine code adoption to be overly restrictive, costly, and interfering on the part of government. Conducting NEMA “advocacy days” plays an integral role in dispelling any myths around code adoption. These events recognize our industry as the champion for safety in the design, manufacture, and use of electrical products.
During a recent meeting, an elected official asked me, “What can I do to improve our state’s business environment for your members?”
My response was NEMA’s mission: expand market opportunities, remove business barriers, and reduce manufacturing costs. I relish these opportunities since they provide an opening to build a relationship that promises to strengthen over time.
I take great pride in working for NEMA and value the collaborative culture instilled by our leadership. The electroindustry continues to set the pace for codes and standards. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge and tremendous support from my colleagues and our member companies. I am NEMA because I advocate for U.S. industry.