June 26, 2020

IECRM’s Virtual Graduation was Virtually Great!

It was beautifully choreographed. It came as close as possible to the real-life experience of a graduation. It was “live” on YouTube. 

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 6, the IECRM Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony was ready to roll. Graduates, family members, friends, spouses, instructors, and employers were able to participate from the comfort of their own homes in celebration of the 2020 graduates. Graduates received a care package containing the printed keepsake program, their cap and tassel, and an IECRM reusable mask — true signs of the times!

In case you missed the ceremony or would like to forward it, a link to the graduation ceremony can be found here.

Watch parties across the country and even as far away as Uganda viewed the live-streamed event that included a strong line-up of speakers:

  • Special guest and IEC National CEO Spenser Villwock delivered the commencement keynote. 
  • IECRM Board President, Robert Watkins, Operations Manager at Ludvik Electric Company
  • IECRM Board of Trustees Chair, Jason Sharpe, CEO at Namaste Solar
  • IECRM CEO, Marilyn Akers Stansbury
  • IECRM Training Director, Paul Lingo
  • IECRM Training Manager, Annette Gauna
  • 2020 Class Valedictorian Juan Blohm from Namasté Solar
  • 2020 Class Salutatorian Christian Brock from Kenny Electric.

In his commencement keynote, Spenser Villwock, MNM, CAE, CEO IEC National, said, “Today we celebrate this milestone on your journey. Four years ago, you made a choice to join this highly technical profession….your ability to create new opportunities is limitless.” He ended his remarks with “Who’s awesome? You’re awesome!”

Rob Watkins, president of the IECRM Board of Directors, delivered the opening remarks to the 2020 graduates. He said, “The path of a professional electrician is a demanding career…this is only the beginning and you are starting your journey without college debt.”

As chair of the IECRM Board of Trustees, Jason Sharpe, CEO of Namasté Solar, addressed the graduating class and said, “Continuous education is more important in the electrical industry….your responsibility is to continue to learn, to grow and reach your full potential.”

Marilyn Stansbury, CEO of IECRM, reminded everyone that, “Electricians are essential….more power to you to make an impact, do great work and bring joy,”

Paul Lingo, IECRM Training Director, congratulated all instructors celebrating anniversaries and milestones, as well as honored the IECRM Instructor of the Year, Chris Papp, saying, “We are very proud of you and all you do for IECRM.”

2020 Salutatorian, Kenny Electric’s Christian Brock’s words were inspiring. He said, “My father has always told me that I should strive to be better than the day before. Continual improvement and initiative are the two things I’ve tried to practice and make them real habits. I believe that if you aren’t improving yourself, you aren’t doing anything with your life.” 

Wrapping up the roster of speeches was Juan Blohm from Namasté Solar and IECRM’s 2020 Valedictorian. “Doing it right the first time has been instilled in me since I was a small child. I take a great deal of pride in leaving a quality imprint on whatever I do,” he said. “Along with that is striving to continue to learn, work safe, and avoid complacency. This is paramount.” 

Teeing up the reading of the names of each of the 170 2020 graduates, Paul Lingo said, “Remember students that power in is power out.” And, quoting Chris Papp, he continued, “There’s light at the end of the tunnel because you installed it.”

Annette Guana joined Paul for the conferring of certificates for the Class of 2020. It was impressive and moving. Then Juan Blohm led the graduates in moving the tassel. The gesture of moving the tassel from one side of the cap to the other symbolizes the individual’s movement from student to graduate, and in this case, from apprentice to electrician.

During the ceremony, graduates and underclassmen were recognized for achieving high academic honors, perfect attendance, competing in the 2020 IECRM Wire-Off Competition skills challenges, and other achievements. Every graduate will receive valuable gifts donated by our Tool Sponsors: IDEAL Industries, DeWALT, and Milwaukee Tool.

A special thank you to the family and friends that sent in pictures of their graduates with their caps, tassels, and programs! We enjoyed seeing the photos trickle in as the ceremony went on. We’re still collecting them and want to be sure to have yours. Send to