$1.41 – Joe Fello

Joe Fello

Joe Fello

Induction into the $1.41 club

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Joe Fello has earned his place in the  $1.41 club.  Joe Fello is currently retired and enjoying his family but his fingerprints are all over many solutions that Eaton customers use every day. 

Joe has an extensive background in working with Eaton products and UL standards.  Joe worked closely with design engineering as part of a team to bring listed protective devices to Eaton customers.

If you have seen my video series on the AFCI success story then you have also seen Joe Fello.  Joe can be found is Part IV talking about the phone call and troubleshooting steps to help his customer.  Check out this part of that series to see Joe’s passion and conviction in helping customers. This video series is just another example of Joe making a difference.  

The Penny

Penny for your thoughts

I remember the day that I came back from a trip and found a package on the seat of my chair and not on my desk to ensure I didn’t overlook it.  The package was the news report covering the loss of Lucas Ritz.  Joe also included a Mike Holt report of the statistics around electrical shock drownings in marinas.  If my memory serves me, his note simply said “Let’s Talk”.  I didn’t have to say a penny for your thoughts to Joe as he shared his ideas and his passion earning this penny.  

The Nickel

If I only had a Nickel . . .

Joe and I talked about Lucas and read the details surrounding his death.  Joe looked at me and said you’re involved with the NEC, can’t we do something about this?  He said we need to make a commitment to do what we can to increase safety so these incidents don’t occur in the future.  Joe’s passion began a tremendous change in the marina industry.  Joe gave me a picture of Lucas and he and I carry that photo to this day in memory of our commitment to electrical safety.  If that doesn’t earn him a nickel I don’t know what would.  

The Dime

Change doesn’t occur on a dime 

I remember the day like it was yesterday when he and I downloaded the Report on Public Inputs and we learned that his public input was rejected.  Joe could have stopped there but he didn’t.  There was a resolve that hope is not lost and we would not give up.  Joe understood and didn’t give up earning the dime that represents the realization that our industry doesn’t change on a dime.

The Quarter

Founding Fathers.

The public input and subsequent public comment generated discussion and at times heated debate in the industry.  This drove NFPA Research reports and other industry studies as well.  There were those that were very upset with the latest changes.  Joe Fello did not take the easy road when he shared his thoughts, did something about it and persisted until success was achieved.  I can’t think of any better example of a man who earned the founding fathers portion of the $1.41 club.

The Buck

The simple majority

This dollar is not only an important buck for Joe putting him into the $1.41 club but it is an important one for the electrical industry and electrical safety.  This buck represents the success Joe had in being that instrument of change and at least in my opinion making future marinas safer.  Joe not only achieved the simple majority during the public comment phase of NEC 2011, the final vote on the suggested comment was accepted and it was unanimous.  The final language that was accepted, and that began with a package on my chair from an engineer who cared, reads as follows:

555.3 Ground-Fault Protection.  The main overcurrent protective device that feeds the marina shall have ground fault
protection not exceeding 100 mA. Ground-fault protection of each individual branch or feeder circuit shall be permitted as a suitable alternative.


553.4 Location of Service Equipment.  The service equipment for a floating building shall be located adjacent to, but
not in or on, the building or any floating structure. The main overcurrent protective device that feeds the floating structure shall have ground fault protection not exceeding 100 mA. Ground fault protection of each individual branch or feeder circuit shall be permitted as a suitable alternative.