A five-person panel with dozens of years of field experience selected 20 products as finalists from more than 70 entrants in the 2001 CEE News Product of the Year competition.

After publishing the finalists in the April issue of CEE News magazine and asking the magazine's readers to select their favorite products, the winner of the competition was announced at the Electric 2000 trade show in Orlando, June 25-27. The panel's choices were displayed at the Electric West trade show and conference, February 27-March 1 in Anaheim, Calif.

The product entries included hand tools, lighting products, software and training aids, cable tray, connectors, automatic transfer switches and test instruments.

Panel members were Dale Vander Giessen, president Dale's Electric, Lynden, Wash.; Russell Fortmeyer, engineer, ARUP, Los Angeles; Helen Vozenilek, an electrician working with for the city of San Francisco; Joe Knisley, contributing editor for the Intertec Electrical Group; and John DeDad, editorial director, EC&M and CEE News magazines.

Helen Vozenilek, Electrician for the city and county of San Francisco

Helen has spent about two decades in the electrical field. In the early 1980s, she went through the apprenticeship program in New Mexico where she worked on commercial and industrial jobs. She then moved to California to work for the city and county of San Francisco. Helen has an electrical contractor’s license.

Russell Fortmeyer, Engineer with Arup, Los Angeles, Calif.

Russell Fortmeyer earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., and is now an electrical engineer with Arup’s Los Angeles office. His recent projects include the Saint John’s Health Center Replacement Project, UCLA Medical Center Westwood Replacement Hospital, a library expansion for Santa Monica College, and the Broad Center for the Biological Sciences at the California Institute of Technology.


Dale Vander Giessen, President of Dale’s Electric, Lynden, Wash.

Dale is a past president of Independent Electrical Contractors Inc. and owner of Dale’s Electric, Lynden, Wash. He has served on various IEC executive committees for more than 12 years.


Joseph R. Knisley, Senior Editorial Consultant for Intertec Electrical Group

Joe earned his bachelor’s degree from Queens College, City University of New York. He wrote and edited feature articles and columns for Electrical Wholesaling magazine from 1961 to 1968, and for EC&M magazine from 1968 to 1993. He has also served as a consultant for EC&M since 1993 and a contributing editor for CEE News and Electrical Marketing newsletter.


John A. DeDad, Editorial director of EC&M and CEE News magazines

John earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of California, Northridge. He then became the manager of Application Engineering, GE Co., Wire & Cable Business Dept. and later a project manager/general superintendent for the New York City office of L.K. Comstock Co. Inc., the third largest electrical contractor in the United States. After serving as the editor-in-chief of EC&M magazine, he became the editorial director of both EC&M and CEE News.