National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), Boston Chapter
In his 37-year career Glenn W. Kingsbury has earned the respect of both labor and management for his integrity and commitment to the betterment of the electrical contracting industry. He has helped build in Boston the nation’s largest and most successful market recovery program and the most progressive referral system in the electrical industry.
Glenn began his career on the national staff of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in 1979. He joined the Boston Chapter of NECA as Assistant Manager in 1980 and has served as Executive Manager of the Chapter since 1997. He currently represents over 200 union electrical and telecommunications contractors employing over 6,000 IBEW members in the northeast. He also works with four IBEW Locals and has negotiated over 100 collective bargaining agreements without a work stoppage.
Glenn served as a Chairman of the New England Electrical Workers Health Benefit Fund for over ten years, growing the coverage to 12,000 participants and their families from ten IBEW locals across New England. He currently serves as a trustee on the Local 103 Health Benefit Fund, six NECA\IBEW Pension Plans, and four Labor-Management Cooperation Funds throughout New England.
Glenn was awarded NECA’s national Association Executive Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and was inducted into the prestigious Academy of Electrical Contracting in 2016. He is a graduate of the State University of New York in Binghamton (BA) and the Ohio State University (MBA). Glenn and his wife Judi live in Southborough and have two children and four grandchildren – the fourth grandchild Jordan Isaac (Kingsbury) Fitzsimmons was born just 24 hours after his grandad received his Cushing-Gavin Award.
First, I’d like to thank our Co-Chairs, Allyson, and the Labor Guild Staff for putting on this great event. There’s a ton of work that goes into it hosting an event of this scale and they all deserve a lot of credit.
I’d also like to congratulate my fellow honorees; Francis Boudrow, Michael Felsen and Susan Horwitz. They’re great people who have devoted their careers to improving labor-management relations in the Commonwealth and I’m proud to join them on this stage tonight.
Before I get started on my long list of “thank you’s” I need to recognize my wife Judi. As was said I’ve had a long career in the industry and Judi’s been with me every step of the way. She’s a retired social worker but when our children were young she was stay-it-home Mom for a couple of years. Now that’s she retired she’s become a never home Grandmom. She just got back from California where she was helping my son with his two little girls and soon after tonight’s dinner she’s off the DC to be with our daughter who’s expecting her second any day now.
I’d like to thank all the former CGA Award winners that nominated and supported me for this Award. What makes this award so special for me is that for years I’ve sat where you are this evening looking on as people that I’ve worked with, learned from, and greatly admired were honored with this award from the Labor Guild. I want to specifically recognize my brothers from the IBEW; Chuck Monahan, John Dumas, and Mike Monahan. And, as befitting the 50th anniversary of this event, I want to pass on the well wishes of the original Cushing Award winner, Donn Berry. I’ve been around a long time, but I definitely was not there in 1967 when Donn was honored. I did have the great fortune to work with him for over 30 years, and was honored when he called me soon after the word came out that I was to be among this year’s awardees.
And there are many others that have meant a lot to me, Tom Gunning, and the original Tom Gunning, Eddy Eagan, Joe Dart, and of course Father Boyle. There are also two special Guilders that we lost this past year that a meant much to me. Joe Nigro was a guy that I starting working with way back at the beginning of my career when he was an Assistant BA at Local 103 and I was as green as grass. He never lost patience with me or held my inexperience against me and I was appreciative of that. And then, of course, there’s my friend Paul McDevitt. The fact that practically everyone that he ever met considered Paul a friend tells you everything you need to know about Paul.
Finally, I’d like to thank the people that are most responsible for whatever success I’ve had in my career, my contractors. The members of Boston Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association. There’s an old Yiddish saying about raising children that goes something like; what makes a good parent? A good kid! To stretch that analogy, you can’t be a good management representative unless you’ve got good employers to represent. When we push for responsible employer ordinances across the state, it’s these contractors that are the models. Contractors that provide a safe workplace, pay a living wage, and provide educational opportunities, quality healthcare, and a secure retirement for their employees.
Back when I was starting out, the old-timers in negotiations used to say “an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s work.” You don’t hear that anymore. Sure, it’s a saying that was misused, overused, and turned into a cliché, but it’s a phrase that I believe still has meaning, or at least, should still have meaning. First, an honest day’s work. There was a mutual understanding from labor and management as to what that meant. Both sides knew when a guy or gal was putting in an honest day’s work, and there wasn’t much tolerance for people that weren’t doing the right thing. The trade-off was that there was also a mutual understanding as to what an honest day’s wage was. That doesn’t mean I haven’t argued over a nickel, however. Lord knows I have, and Mike Monahan, John Dumas and the Local 103 guys are laughing at me right now. But it does mean that we know what being a responsible employer is all about. Sadly, this understanding seems increasingly foreign in our country today. But, if I’ve accomplished anything in my career, I’d like to think that I’ve done my part to maintain and build on that understanding and that mutual respect between labor and management,….. at least in my little part of the world.
Thank you again for this honor.