2010 ICC Annual Conference

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Attendees Offer Honest Feedback at Education Listening Session

An open discussion was held about ICC’s Training and Certification offerings on Monday during ICC’s 2010 Annual Conference. Executive Director of Education and Certification David Dufresne has spent a lot of time on formal and informal outreach in the five plus months he has been on staff listening to the various stakeholders – members, instructors – both in-house and contract, board members, etc., asking for the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of what is and what is not working ICC’s training and certification area.

“The feedback I’ve received has ranged from, ‘Don’t change anything. It’s perfect,’ to ‘Blow it up and start over again,’ to everything in between,” Dufresne said.

But in spite of the wide variety of feedback, some common themes and trends emerged that Dufresne threw out for discussion among the attendees of the session:
The kind of courses ICC has available right now. ICC does a good job covering the basics of the various codes, less so with more intermediate and advanced levels of instruction. The research and data Dufesne has looked at indicates that 62 percent of members have been in this industry over 15 years. It’s a pretty seasoned group. If our courses are addressing the low end of that, that imbalance must be addressed.
How can/should ICC better address local amendments to codes? ICC does not as a matter of course address local codes unless we are contracted to do so by the jurisdictions.
Chapter Benefits – probably an area where members are the most vocal. Chapter Benefits were taken away two years ago, and reinstated at 50 percent, but has had an effect on membership trust and loyalty. As a result, former instructors became ICC’s competition. Dufresne pointed out how the situation was created by ICC. Not judging whether it was a good or bad decision, but ICC is currently living with the consequences.
Quality of Instructors. This has improved, and is an area ICC is looking to continuously improve.
Quality of our course materials. Feedback from the outreach endeavor Dufresne has conducted is that course materials are “inflexible” and do not have a lot of options. “It’s the workbook, or go someplace else,” Dufresne pointed out.
Online course offerings need to be an easy to access, practical alternative to traditional course offerings. Online options are area in which ICC needs to evolve, but there are still certain demographics of our membership that will not embrace it.

The plan to address these issues is evolving along four different tracks:
Content track speaks to what courses ICC is going to create, how are we will go about that process.
Delivery track is how ICC’s gets content to the people who need it, in the classroom, online, etc.
Partnerships/markets track speak to strengthening of ICC’s core offerings , and growing markets to look beyond ICC’s core, traditional training audiences.
Organizational track is having the right team in place internally and externally to make it happen. For example, ICC needs to partner with external folks to get to where ICC needs to be with online course offerings.

Feedback from the session included comments that the cost of using ICC instructors is very high compared to other training options, that the focus of courses focused on training on codes, not so much on enforcement, that courses need to be more interactive and practical – perhaps going to a site and examining code violations in real life, better access to training option on the ICC, the need for a process for deciding on new class offerings (for occasions other than when a new code or revisions are enacted).

It was also noted that training on the code development process itself would be helpful, that some members are intimidated by the process and are therefore hesitant to participate in the process.

It was also noted by those in attendance that ICC has responded to feedback in the past, which is why Dufresne was hired. And that staff members in the training and certification department have been very responsive and helpful.

Holmes Designated as Honorary Code Leader

Renovation expert Mike Holmes of Holmes on Holmes, who the International Code Council Foundation (ICCF) designated as an Honorary Code Leader for bringing the message of “Build It Right” and “Make It Right” to the construction industry, told 2010 Annual Conference delegates that they shouldn’t settle for minimum construction standards in new and existing buildings.

“You need to be the guys that don’t settle for minimum codes and say, ‘We can do this better,’” said Holmes during an exclusive video that was shown during the ICCF Luncheon. “The truth is if we all stay together as a team, codes will progress and move in the right direction. That’s essential not only for code officials but for the public. That makes sense to me.”

Holmes believes in doing a job right the first time and is making it his mission to expose poor, substandard workmanship in the building industry with his internationally successful show Holmes on Homes. “Mike sends a powerful message to the trades,” said Code Council CEO Rick Weiland in announcing Holmes’ designation as an Honorary Code Leader. “We are grateful for his support and look forward to working with him to create safer homes.”

Also during the luncheon, Bruce McCullen outlined the Foundation’s 2010 activities in three key areas:
Consumer Education. The new Tornado Safe Room Project encourages homeowners to give an ordinary room an extraordinary purpose in new or remodeling construction projects. The campaign is focused on the ICC 500 National Storm Shelter Standard and included participation by homeowners, contractors and code officials.
Professional Development. Thirty-nine delegates (pictured) are attending this year’s Annual Conference through the Code of Honor Scholarship Program (COH). Another 29 scholarships were awarded earlier this year for the Group A Final Action Hearings in Dallas. “We think this program will really be a significant component of the Foundation as we move forward,” McCullen said.
Community Service. The 2010 Building Safety Month (BSM) celebration included several milestones: nearly 2,000 individuals pledged their support for the month-long event; there were more than 30,000 visits to the BSM website; more than 6,000 BSM coloring books featuring CODiE and CODEtte were distributed to school children; and, for the first time ever, BSM was featured during a CNN story on backyard safety. McCullen announced the 2011 theme for BSM: An International Celebration of Safe and Sensible Structures.

Jack Armstrong, Construction Markets Leader for BASF The Chemical Company, which was the Millennium Presenting Sponsor of BSM 2010, presented on emerging trends in the green and sustainable construction market.

Lynn: Member Feedback Crucial to the Future

Despite challenging economic times, Board of Directors President Ron Lynn told conference delegates that the International Code Council continues to make progress and remain true to the organization’s mission: To provide the highest quality codes, standards, products and services for all concerned with the safety and performance of the built environment.

“It has been a challenging year,” Lynn said during the conference’s Opening Session. “All of us continue to make tough decisions, but together we have made much progress despite the economy.”

Looking to the future, Lynn said member and stakeholder support and feedback will be crucial to the success of the organization. “The staff and Board of Directors are not alone in solving the matters that will ensure the future of the Code Council,” he said. “All of our members and stakeholders have an opportunity to weigh in by offering feedback on the Code Council’s Strategic Plan: ‘Blueprint to 2015.’”

In 2005, the “Blueprint to the Future” plan was used to guide the Code Council through its early years as an organization. “Blueprint to 2015” will serve as the mission document that will keep the organization focused on its members and mission.

“Through drafting a new Blueprint, we invite a review of how the Code Council’s current status and capabilities can be best positioned toward a five-year strategic plan through 2015,” Lynn said. “Accordingly, if you have not already done so, we would appreciate your comments in key areas, especially our business model, strategic goals and strategic objectives.” See photos from the Opening Session.

For more information on “Blueprint to 2015,” click here.

Eight New ICC Chapters Accepted at Chapter President’s Breakfast

ICC President Ron Lynn and ICC CEO Rick Wieland hosted Monday morning’s Chapter President’s Breakfast in the Convention Center Ballroom at the Charlotte Convention Center, where he announced the acceptance of eight new ICC chapters since last year’s Conference. Outgoing president Ron Lynn announced the 2010 Chapter Merit Award winners and the Chapter of the Year.

Weiland began his remarks by extending a thank you to the host chapters for this year’s Annual Conference, the North Carolina Chapters of ICC and ICC Region 8, who have been working closely with Code Council staff for more than a year to plan this week’s events. See more photos here.

Weiland recognized that the Code Council now has 342 chapters worldwide, and that chapters play an important role for the organization.

“Chapters are one of our association’s greatest resources,” Weiland said. “Our chapters do an outstanding job of providing professional development and networking opportunities for thousands of code officials and other industry professionals. They also provide a great deal of support for I-Code adoption efforts and other important Code Council initiatives — from Building Safety Month to the Code of Honor Scholarship Program, the Community Building Code Administration Grant Act, partnerships with other members of the building community, and increased public awareness of the value of code officials in their everyday lives.”

Weiland announced the recent realignment of the Code Council’s Chapter Relations function, headed by Laura Scott, to the Membership and Outreach Division, headed by Senior Vice President Mike Armstrong, who both attended and Weiland recognized.

Weiland welcomed the following new chapters accepted into ICC since last year’s Conference:
• The Lakes Region Safety Association
• The Northern Illinois Fire Inspectors
• The South Carolina Permit Technicians Association
• The Northern Adirondack Code Enforcement Association
• The Plumbing Mechanical Code Officials of North Texas
• Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts
• California Building Inspectors Group
• New Mexico Council of Code Officials

And Lynn announced this year’s Merit Award winners:
• The Cumberland Region Codes Association
• Laney College Student Chapter
• Sacramento Valley Association of Building Officials
• And the Virginia Building Code Officials Association

Then Lynn announced the winner of the 2010 Chapter of the Year, the Southern Nevada Chapter, of which he is a member.

“It’s a great privilege and a little bit embarrassing, I might add,” said Lynn. “It had nothing to do with me – really!”

Formal and public recognition of chapter award winners will take place in front of Conference attendees on Wednesday at the Awards Luncheon.

At the end, Lynn introduced Code Development Review Ad Hoc Committee (CDRAC), Chair Cindy Davis for a Q&A session.

62 Top Score in Annual Golf Tournament

The team of Timothy Palaski (Pittsburgh, KY), Albert Salvador (Cupertino, CA), Craig Tole (Pleasanton, CA) and Pete Wilt (Clovis, NM) fired a 10-under par 62 to win the 2010 Annual Conference Golf Tournament held at Old Sycamore Golf Club.

Finishing second, with a score of 8-under par 64, was Donny Phipps, Michael Smith and Vaughn Wicker, all of Columbia, South Carolina. The third-place team of Scott Dornfeld (Delano, MN), Mick Kaehler (Ramsey, MN) and Warren Rendleman (New Lenox, IL) finished third with a score of 7-under par 65.

Dornfeld won the Longest Drive competition. Arthur Cummings of Beaufort County, South Carolina, won the Closest to the Pin competition. A total of 45 golfers participated in this year’s event.

Runners and Riders set tone for Conference

Sunday saw plenty of action around the Charlotte Convention Center. Along with the 2010 Annual Conference Golf Tournment, the 7th Annual Bobby Fowler Motorcycle Ride and the Code of Honor 5k Run offered plenty of fun activities for Conference participants.

The ICC-ES and IAS Boards of Directors also held meetings prior to the beginning of the 2010 Annual Conference.


Today’s Conference Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 27
C Councourse/VIP 106
Companion’s Program
Johnson & Wales University
Education Programs
Multiple Locations
IAS Building Department Training
CC 202AB
Past Presiding Officers Meeting
CC 214
Awards Luncheon
Convention Center Ballroom
Final Action Hearings
Crown Ballroom
Reception/Annual Banquet
Convention Center Ballroom