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Photo Gallery Spotlight: National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Awards

Photo Gallery Spotlight:  National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Awards

The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) is an annual award that recognizes the the outstanding work, professionalism, and ingenuity of member contractors.  

The NECA Awards showcase exceptional projects across 11 different market sectors. A partial listing of categories include: Industrial, Residential, Overhead Transmission, and Substation/Interconnection. The full category list is as diverse as Street Lighting/Traffic Signals and Energy Solutions/Green Building, illuminating the elevated role of electrical connection in modern life.

NECA Awards showcase the very best in all categories. Projects are judged based on aesthetics, application, difficulty, innovation, and originality. Hundreds of member chapters submit their best projects for consideration every year.

Award Software Selection

NECA needed application and review software to manage photo submissions and assist with the judging process.

NECA had specific photo gallery software needs:

  • A design that crisply displays applicant-provided photos ranging in pixel size, color depth, and overall quality;
  • Photo galleries that showcase more than one submitted photograph, while still retaining the proper credits associated with the photos;
  • Intuitive navigation between photos and photo sets that provide visual delineation between entrants

Additionally, NECA had backend system requirements:

  • Easily editable administration infrastructure (for example, crediting contractors, projects, and local NECA chapters);
  • A review panel that allows for multiple judges, especially considering reviewer participation across time zones;
  • A comprehensive dashboard that provides an overview of the entire awards process

NECA evaluated several options and selected OpenWater award management software.

Photo Gallery Software Customization

OpenWater deployed the OpenWater Awards system as the backbone of the NECA Awards program. With input from NECA, OpenWater built a custom photo gallery to showcase NECA’s finalists and winners.

“I loved that NECA wanted to go the extra mile with their award website’s aesthetic” says Leila Younes of OpenWater, who, along with OpenWater designer Christian Hernon, leveraged arts backgrounds to lead the gallery design initiative.

The result is a site that displays winners and finalists in a single, dynamic page. Individual details are displayed on rollover, and galleries are viewable with a single click. The OpenWater  photo gallery software displays submissions in a way that is user-friendly and search optimized.

“NECA members and visitors glean inspiration from projects around the country, just by browsing the photo gallery,” says Younes.  

photo gallery software

This is a portion of NECA’s elegant gallery showcasing 2017 NECA Award winners. OpenWater’s Hernon and Younces built the custom, scrolling gallery. Seen at top: Pershing Square Viaduct, winner, Streetlight/Traffic Signals under $1M (NECA New York City chapter). Seen below:  PECO: New Post Substation 220kV to 13kV Project, winner, Substation/Interconnection, $1M+ (NECA PennDelJersey chapter).


By working with OpenWater, NECA’s photo gallery software requirements were met and exceeded. Their awards website now:

  • Attractively displays multiple years of member submissions and award winners
  • Easily accommodates larger photo galleries
  • Provides a custom template to standardize appearance
  • Adds search optimization to increase the visibility of NECA member work online


Katie is OpenWater's Content Director. Her interests include entrepreneurship, permaculture, and blockchain. She enjoys spicy food and salty words.

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