Outstanding Achievement Award — Virginia Balitski: Safety Champion and Volunteer

NETA World StaffNETA News, Summer 2024 NETA News

Congratulations Virginia Balitski on receiving the 2024 NETA Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by Eric Beckman, NETA President.

“NETA’s Outstanding Achievement Award is given in recognition of an individual’s commitment to NETA and leadership through service to the association and to the electrical testing industry as a whole,” began NETA President Eric Beckman, President of IPS PowerServe. “Many people each year are considered for this honor, and the President of the NETA Board of Directors selects the honoree. So part of my job as President was to pick an individual who has these qualities.”

“This year’s recipient demonstrates a steadfast commitment to serving and promoting the needs of the organization,” Beckman continued. “She’s a dedicated volunteer on multiple NETA committees, and a champion in the industry for the advancement of electrical safety, quality service, and relationship building. I’m proud to present NETA’s 2024 Outstanding Achievement Award to Virginia Balitski, Manager – Training and Development, at Magna IV Engineering.”

“I was surprised and honored to receive the NETA Outstanding Achievement Award,” Balitski says. “I love what I do, so it feels very validating to be recognized for my work and the effort that I put in.”

Virginia graduated from the electrical engineering technology program at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in 2006. She immediately began working for Magna IV Engineering in a full-time field role as a Field Service Technologist. She moved into a half-field and half-office role working to develop internal and external training programs and began to be involved in some industry committees. In 2018, Virginia took on the formal role as Magna IV’s Training and Development Manager. 

Virginia joined NETA’s Promotions and Marketing Committee in 2018, and soon after also joined the Continuing Technical Development (CTD) Review Committee. In 2021, she was appointed to the NETA Board of Directors and is now Board Secretary. She serves on several NETA committees and is currently the Training Committee Chair. She represents NETA on the ASTM F-18 committee, is the current Vice-Chair of the CSA Z462, Workplace Electrical Safety Committee, and is a member of the NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace Committee. 

“I have been very fortunate to work with many incredible individuals dedicated to the safety and continuous improvement of the electrical industry,” Balitski says. Magna IV Engineering has provided many career opportunities and supported my involvement with industry committees. 

“We were fortunate to get Virgina right out of school,” says Roger Grylls, Senior Consultant at Magna IV Engineering. “She was about to graduate from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) when the head of the program reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this incredible person. She’s graduating top of the class. I think it would be great if she got into your field services organization.’”

“Virginia started out in the field, and she was very good at it, remembers Stephanie Parsons, Project Manager, at Magna IV Engineering. She’s much of a pioneer for women in that field.”

Morgan Gieni, Manager of Technical Field Services at Magna IV Engineering agrees, “Virginia worked her way up to a Level 4 NETA Certified Technician in the field running large jobs. Virginia was one of those people who could take an advanced technology, learn it, and be excellent at it.”

Melissa Ranger, People Development Director, Human Resources at Magna IV Engineering, says, “Virginia has a passion for training, mentoring, and developing people in the industry. This stems from her desire to ensure people understand what they are doing — not just that they can do it, but that they actually understand the bigger picture of the important safety-sensitive work they are doing each day.” 

Ranger says Balitski also takes the initiative to stay up to date with standards and changing technology and has been the champion for developing, implementing, leading, and maintaining our internal and external training programs to ensure those receiving the training understand how to do quality work safely. “Thanks to Virginia’s amazing ability to break down technical competencies and make them practical, relatable, and effective, she has become a trusted advisor and partner for our clients as she develops and provides recommendations on safety programs and policies.” 

Congratulations Virginia Balitski on receiving the 2024 NETA Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by Eric Beckman, NETA President.

Grylls adds, “There hasn’t been any tokenism in her progress through the industry. In every case, she has been the best at what she does in the roles that she has played within Magna and certainly within industries. Her record shows an amazing progression: Field Services Technologist; Field Services Technologist IV; Project Manager, TFS & Training; Project Manager, Training & Development; Manager, Training & Development, and Manager, Training & Development, North America.”

Magna IV Engineering CEO Kelly Butz, recalls, “She has been leading our training program starting with internal and then moved on to external training as well, developing programs for our clientele. We have an absolutely phenomenal internal training program!”

Parsons notes, “She is so knowledgeable about everything she goes after. She’s on the NFPA committee. She’s on the CSA committee. She’s on the NETA board. She knows her stuff. The accolades are long overdue for her. She’s just an amazing individual.”

Ian Bullock, CSA-Z462 Committee Member and Senior Advisor of Safety & Compliance for Facilities Maintenance & Engineering at Alberta Health Services says, “Virginia is my go-to when I have a problem or a question. She is my one-and-only first call and is the one who can bridge that gap between the electrical world and the safety world.”

“I couldn’t sum up Virginia’s impact on NETA and the industry any better than that video,” Beckman noted. “You can see how well respected she is in the industry, and I’d like to say this is long overdue. Virginia, we appreciate your commitment to the organization and look forward to many more years on the Board.”

“Virginia is well respected by our employees and clients — and well respected is an understatement,” Ranger agrees. “She has been with us for almost 20 years, earned her way in the field, and continued to grow into a training role and now a leadership role. Virginia is committed to the industry, but even more importantly, she is committed to the people in the industry to ensure she can share knowledge and help others learn, develop, and work safely. She is authentic, genuine, and dynamic. Her accomplishments, credentials, and impact are many and invaluable.”

Balitski’s message to young professionals eager to follow in her footsteps: “The electrical industry can provide a rewarding and fulfilling career. Get involved with industry, pursue your own professional development, work hard, and stay safe!”