ICC Board Secretary/Treasurer Guy Tomberlin is dedicated to supporting the “Blueprint to the Future,” the Code Council’s long-term strategic business plan that was developed to ensure the organization’s success while achieving its public safety mission. “I think putting the plan in place has really helped give our organization a sense of direction,” Tomberlin says. “We’ve done a good job of preparing and being ready for an upswing in the economy. The Code Council is a relatively young organization and we’re going to continue to grow.”
In 1985, at the urging of his plumbing apprenticeship instructor, Guy Tomberlin applied for one of three plumbing inspector positions available at the Fairfax County, Virginia, building department. “I think I was the third applicant during a very busy time in the construction industry, so there was really nothing special about me getting the job,” Tomberlin quips. Thus began, however, a 25-year career in code enforcement that now has him serving as the Secretary/Treasurer on the Code Council Board of Directors .
Tomberlin also held the positions of Residential Inspector, Commercial Mechanical Inspection Supervisor and Chief Plumbing Inspector for Fairfax County before being named Code Specialist in 2001. His current duties range from serving as the county’s technical consultant on matters pertaining to plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas systems to ensuring code compliance, evaluating new products and technologies for their potential acceptance, investigating customer inquiries and violations and assisting with the division’s overall success focused on customer service. “It’s a unique position,” Tomberlin explains. “I assist the building official with day-to-day operations. I’m the technical expert for various county divisions. My involvement in the plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas industry, along with the ICC, provides a niche that the county has been able to take advantage of.”
Fairfax County is the largest jurisdiction in Virginia, with a population of more than 1.2 million residing in a 400-square-mile region. One of the county’s long-term strategic initiatives has been gaining national exposure by participating in organizations such as the Code Council. Tomberlin began answering that call in 1987 when he joined an ICC legacy organization. Since then, he has provided 23 years of active participation (including service on the International Plumbing and Mechanical Code Development Committee), earned more than 20 national certifications from the Code Council (including Certified Building, Plumbing and Mechanical Official), and served a two-year term on the International Accreditation Service (IAS) Board of Directors.
“Serving on the IAS Board was a rewarding experience,” Tomberlin says. “It was great for a code official to be able to see how one of ICC’s subsidiaries operates. I was able to get in on the ground floor by serving on the Accreditation Advisory Board before moving to the IAS Board. (IAS President) Chuck Ramani served as an excellent mentor throughout the process.”
Tomberlin also served as a charter member of the Plumbing Mechanical Gas Listing Committee for another Code Council subsidiary, the ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES). Over an 18-month period from 2007-2009, the committee developed 23 listing criteria for the new ICC-ES PMG Listing Program. To date, more than 30 products have earned PMG listings based on the criteria. “I think the committee’s work was pretty impressive,” Tomberlin says. “I can’t wait to see, 10 years from now, how the program has grown and evolved based on the initial work of the committee members and others.”
Planning for the future is one of Tomberlin’s major initiatives while serving on the ICC Board. He is dedicated to supporting the “Blueprint to the Future,” the Code Council’s long-term strategic business plan that was developed to ensure the organization’s success while achieving its public safety mission. “I think putting the plan in place has really helped give our organization a sense of direction,” Tomberlin says. He believes the major components of the Blueprint—developing codes and standards based on the evolving environment, ensuring those codes and standards form the basis for supporting products and services, providing new and added value to existing services, and investing in added value of Member benefits—will allow the Code Council to rebound stronger from the current economic climate. “We’ve done a good job of preparing and being ready for an upswing in the economy,” Tomberlin says. “The Code Council is a relatively young organization and we’re going to continue to grow.”
ICC’s development of the International Green Construction Code (IGCC) is a prime example of how the components of the Blueprint can benefit the organization and its Members in the future, Tomberlin adds. From 2000-2005, he served as chairman of the ICC Ad Hoc Committee for Hydrogen Gas that examined alternative fuel systems and led to additional language being incorporated into the International Fuel Gas, Building and Fire Codes. “I’m really glad the Code Council launched its green initiative,” Tomberlin says. “I believe the IGCC will be one of the most quickly adopted and enforced codes in the country, especially in smaller communities where officials are looking for guidance in green and sustainable construction.”
Tomberlin says he will also promote open communications between he and the Code Council Members he serves as a Board member. “I am completely accessible for any and all matters,” he says. “I will carry all issues forward to the appropriate level and venue. I fully support the concept of transparency of Board matters, both upward and downward.”
Tomberlin has served as Chair of the Executive Council of ICC’s Region XII Chapter. He is also a past president and officer of the Virginia Plumbing and Mechanical Inspectors Association (VPMIA) and the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA). During his two terms as president of VPMIA, the chapter saw its membership grow to 300 and received the final Chapter of the Year Award from a legacy organization before the ICC consolidation. During his term as president of VBCOA, the chapter reached the 1,000 milestone in membership and received an ICC Chapter Merit Award. In the six years the Code Council has presented chapter awards at its Annual Conference, a Virginia chapter has been honored five times. In 2005, Tomberlin was presented a VPMIA Lifetime Achievement Award, and he is a two-time recipient of the VBCOA Meritorious Award.
Away from the office—and his code enforcement, committee and now Board service—Tomberlin describes himself as a “weekend hacker” triathlete. His training efforts have paid off in the past, though, as he is a multiple winner of the ICC Fun Run at the Annual Conference. Tomberlin and his wife have two children: a daughter who is engaged to be married and a son who is attending college.