The National Association of Electrical Distributors announced today that Kathy Jo Van, formerly of Southwire, is the 2018 Women in Industry Trailblazer Award recipient. Van will be recognized at a luncheon during the Women in Industry Forum taking place June 25-28 at Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego.
The award honors Van for her outstanding and dedicated service to NAED, the Women in Industry group and the electrical distribution industry at large. Van contributed greatly to the group by volunteering to present at boot camps and mentoring many women through the years.
Van grew up in Owensboro, KY, working after school in the electrical distributor business founded by her grandfather. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame and earning her graduate degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, she moved back to Kentucky to rejoin the family business. In 1993, Van moved back to Chicago when she joined a large regional electrical distributor that was eventually acquired by WESCO. During her career, Van went on to work for Coleman Cable and Southwire when they acquired Coleman. She retired from Southwire in July 2017. Her involvement with NAED includes serving on the Manufacturers Council and participating in the Women in Industry group.
For those interested in attending the Women in Industry Forum, registration will be opening soon. Through the Women in Industry Forum, NAED works to increase the visibility of women serving in the electrical distribution channel. The Forum offers a supportive, mentoring environment for fostering education, personal growth and relationship among women serving the industry.
Visit the Women in Industry Forum event site for more information or contact the NAED Conference Department at (888) 791-2512.