Year of the Member

Today’s Conference Schedule
Wednesday, Nov. 2
Registration / Bookstore
Companion Breakfast Program
Education Programs
IAS Building Department and Fire Prevention Department Lead Evaluator Training Class
Awards Luncheon
Final Action Hearings
6:pm–10pmAnnual Banquet
Planet Northwest Hospitality Reception

Dupler, Piester, Jones Elected Officers; Six Named as Board Directors

Officers of the 2011-2012 ICC Board of Directors are (from left): Immediate Past President James L. Brothers, President William (Bill) Dupler, Vice President Ron Piester, and Secretary/Treasurer Stephen D. Jones.

International Code Council Members elected William (Bill) Dupler President of the ICC Board of Directors during the Annual Business Meeting of the 2011 Annual Conference in Phoenix. Dupler, who previously served as the ICC Board’s Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer, is Deputy Administrator for Community Development in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

At Chesterfield County, Dupler is responsible for directing the county’s Building Inspection, Economic Development, Environmental Engineering, Planning, Transportation and Utilities departments. He has worked in Virginia as a plans examiner, engineering supervisor, deputy building official and building official since 1978. Dupler has been extensively involved in code development at the state and national level.

Ron Piester, Director of the New York Department of State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration, was elected Vice President of the Board. Piester, who previously served as the Board’s Secretary/Treasurer, is a Certified Code Enforcement Official and Professional Code Administrator. He manages a 60-person division that administers and enforces New York’s Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and State Energy Conservation Construction Code. Piester’s department provides timely service to 1,600 local governments in a state with 19 million residents.

Voting Members elected Stephen D. Jones as Secretary/Treasurer of the ICC Board. Jones, a Certified Building Official, is the Construction Official for Millburn Township and the Borough of Florham Park, New Jersey. He has served on numerous state and national code-related committees including the New Jersey Code Advisory Board Building Sub-Code Committee and the Peer Review Board. Jones is Past President of the Morris County Building Officials Association and the Building Officials Association of New Jersey.

Six Named as Board Directors

New Directors
Re-elected as Directors-at-Large to the ICC Board of Directors were Ravi Shah (far left) and Patrick Parsley (second from left). Jay Elbattar (third from left) was elected as the Section A Director and Richard Truitt (third from right) was elected as the Section E Director. Bob Boyer (second from right) and Rob Drexler were elected as Directors-at-Large.

Jay Elbettar, P.E., C.B.O., was elected Section A Director of the ICC Board. He is Building Official for the city of Mission Viejo, California, where he directs the building division, including plan check, inspections, counter operations and permitting, through Charles Abbott Associates. Elbettar was the recipient of the 2010 International Code Council Gerald H. Jones Code Official of the Year Award. Section A includes the states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington; and the Canadian Province British Columbia.

Richard Truitt was elected Section E Director. He is Deputy Director for the Harford County Government in Maryland where he is responsible for plan reviews and the adoption of codes through the legislative process. Truitt is on the ICC Region 7 Executive Board and is President of the Maryland Building Officials. Section E includes the states of Connectic ut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Canadian Provinces New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec.

Robert Boyer was elected as a Director-at-Large. He is the Code Produce and Training Coordinator for the Palm Beach County, Florida, Zoning and Building Department. His duties include monitoring code changes, recommending acceptability of alternate construction materials and methods for code compliance. Boyer is a Past President of the Building Officials Association of Florida and the Building Officials Association of Palm Beach County.

Patrick Parsley was re-elected as a Director-at-Large. He is Building Official for city of Fairmont, Minnesota, where he enforces fire and building codes. Parsley served as Chairman of ICC Upper Great Plains Region III, and is Past President of the Minnesota Building Officials and Southwest Minnesota Chapters. He served as the Governor’s appointed public member to the Minnesota Board of Architects and Engineers 2005-2009.

Ravi Shah was re-elected as a Director-at-Large. He is Director of Urban Development and manages the planning, permitting, inspections and transit-oriented development for the city of Carrollton, Texas. A former President of the Building Officials Association of Texas, Shah is the founding Chair for the Region X Coalition of ICC representing the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. He was named the 2000 Building Official of the Year by the Construction Research Center at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Rob Drexler was elected to a two-year term on the Board, filling the vacant seat created by Jones’ election as Secretary/Treasurer. Drexler is Fire Marshal for the town of Greece, New York, and currently serves on the ICC Codes and Standards Council. He is Co-Chair of the New York State Code Coalition to Protect and Preserve Our Communities. Drexler is the Monroe County Fire Marshals Association Delegate to the New York State Building Officials Conference.

2010-2011 ICC Board President James L. Brothers, an appointee to the Alabama Residential and Energy Codes Board, will serve a one-year term as Immediate Past President. Brothers, a past recipient of the Alabama Code Official of the Year Award and the Code Officials Association of Alabama Distinguished Service Award, spent more than 25 years in the Decatur, Alabama Building Department rising to the Director’s position and under his leadership

Weiland: A Renewed and Reinvigorated Approach to Customer Service

While the past 12 months continued to present a series of tough economic challenges, CEO Rick Weiland told delegates during Tuesday’s Annual Business Meeting that the organization’s improved financial status could translate into a series of initiatives that will benefit all Members of the Code Council

“We made timely, tough decisions during a time when there were no easy answers,” Weiland said. “These choices allowed us to survive the toughest economic times in 70 years, and more importantly, it gave us the ability to once again make smart investments in the Code Council’s future.”

Looking to 2012 and beyond, Weiland said he and the ICC Board will begin discussions concerning the restoration of full Chapter Training Days and a live call center, and will roll out an improved education and training program.

“You’ve told us this is one of the most important services we provide,” Weiland said. “Our goal always has been to provide quality instruction at a fair price. We have expanded our offerings, our delivery training modes and done so with a focus on containing costs without sacrificing quality.”

These new initiatives, as well as existing services, allow ICC’s Members to continue their vital work of building safer and sustainable communities around the globe.

“Less than a decade ago, a 7-year-old girl named Virginia Baker was the fatal victim of suction-pump entrapment in an in-ground spa,” Weiland explained. “Virginia was the granddaughter of former White House Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary James Baker. The Bakers turned their devastating loss into action as they provided testimony and support to help promote greater safety in pools and spas.

“We often talk about the importance of the work that we do,” Weiland continued. “If our new pool and spa code can spare even one family from the loss that the Bakers and other families have experienced, we have done our job.”

Weiland traveled to Haiti earlier this year and was awestruck by the devastation that remained. “It was hard to fathom that the earthquake had occurred 15 months earlier,” he said. “More than a quarter of a million people lost their lives. At the epicenter of the quake, 80 percent of the buildings were destroyed.

“The absence of modern building codes was starkly exposed by the lethal forces of nature and the trail of destruction left behind,” said Weiland, who added it is critical to make sure the “International” in International Code Council continues to be a priority. “If we seize the opportunity, I believe the Council has a vital role to play in improving the safety and sustainability of structures outside of our borders.”

Weiland stressed that the organization is only as strong and as capable as its Membership, which is why he encouraged widespread participation in the new Membership Councils. “We want to provide as many opportunities as possible for Members to use their voices to shape the ICC,” he said. “The Membership Councils, with the same opportunities and access across all disciplines, will ensure a dynamic code development process developed by public/private collaboration, and driven by those who are charged with code enforcement.

“Your professional work will seldom show up on the front page, but you should take great pride in the work that you do,” Weiland continued. “The communities you serve rely on you.”

Brothers: Throwing Deep because it’s the Right Thing to Do

President Jimmy Brothers

During his acceptance remarks last year in Charlotte, outgoing Code Council Board of Directors President Jimmy Brothers used a football analogy to challenge ICC’s Members to “throw deep” and be prepared to catch the ball that is the organization’s future.

“Since then,” Brothers told delegates during Tuesday’s Annual Business Meeting, “because our organization’s success is driven by you, I have encouraged everyone, including myself, to step out of our comfort zones and engage in all facets of our organization, and to challenge ourselves to go beyond familiar and comfortable and realize that ‘throwing deep’ the right thing to do.”

Echoing CEO Rick Weiland’s sentiments, Brothers urged everyone to get involved in the new Membership Councils. “They are designed to enhance the exchange of ideas and opinions and avoid what sometimes may have been perceived as a ‘silo’ structure that impeded communication and understanding.

“This is your chance,” Brothers continued. “If you were unable to attend one of the Membership Councils meetings yesterday, or if you are not yet engaged in one of these new forums, it is never too late to bring your experience, education and enthusiasm to this process, or, in other words, to ‘throw deep.’”

According to the National Climate Data Center, economic damages from this year’s tornadoes, Hurricane Irene, flooding, wildfires, and even a Groundhog Day blizzard are expected to exceed $35 billion. As an Alabama resident, Brothers said he was all too familiar with high-wind events and the results of natural disasters.

“But as a Code Official, I also am aware of the efforts you make every day to protect people in the places where they live, work, worship and play,” Brothers said. “Alan Boswell, Chief Building Official for the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, said it best following an April 27 tornado that devastated his jurisdiction: ‘There’s some good coming from the bad, there’s no doubt about that.’

“I know that is true, and I know that without your efforts put forth during the past years as Members and Chapters of the International Code Council, and over generations with the legacy organizations, the damages from this year’s disasters would have been far worse,” Brothers concluded. “That is why we must continue to stretch, to reach and to pursue new solutions and better ways to achieve our goals. That is why we must throw deep and be prepared to catch the ball that is our future.”

ICC Announces Adoption of Model Building Code Training for High School Training Program Government Relations Forum

A high school pilot program begun in Maryland is expanding nationally with the support of the International Code Council (ICC). The Code Council is backing the training of students for careers in code enforcement and the construction trades based on a program begun at Harford Technical High School in Bel Air, Maryland, and is encouraging technical and vocational high schools to offer similar programs nationally. The Council’s involvement was announced at Tuesday’s Government Relations Forum.

Jim Ellwood, Senior Plans Examiner, Building Service Division, Harford County, Maryland, is the originator of the pilot program at Harford Technical High School and he spoke to attendees at the GR Forum.

“Folks say I’m enthusiastic about this program,” said Ellwood. “How could I not be? I have a group of young people who want to excel in their careers.”

The program has recently expanded to York Technical High School in York, Pennsylvania, with plans to expand to several other high schools across the county. Both York and Harford schools are now Members of the ICC, and many students have obtained individual student memberships as well.

He charged everyone in attendance to go home and find a technical high school, introduce yourself to the instructors and administrators, and let them know what’s available through the ICC.

“Building officials joining together and mentoring this program will provide the ICC and building code communities an opportunity to contribute to the workforce of the future, and ensure that the ICC remains a leader in code development and code education.”

Sara Yerkes, ICC’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations, moderated the GR Forum, held each year at ICC’s Annual Business Meeting and Final Hearings. She welcomed attendees and introduced a full agenda for the afternoon meeting by providing a brief refresher on the core function of the Government Relations department.

“We in the GR Department build the relationships and trust, we raise the awareness and we promote the ICC brand,” said Yerkes. “We are responsible for code adoptions, and we support our Members – our governmental entities – any way we can.”

In addition to Ellwood, Jeremy Williams, an ICC Fellow at the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) division, spoke about the DOE’s current activities in support of energy codes. Ed Laatch, Chief, Building Science Section, Risk Reduction Branch for the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Mitigation Division, also spoke. He mentioned some of FEMA’s code-related publications, including FEMA 320 – Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business, FEMA P-695 Quantification of Building Seismic Performance Factors, and FEMA 232 Homebuilders’ Guide to Earthquake Resistant Design and Construction.

Laatch touched upon FEMA’s post-disaster Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) Program, and also emphasized partnership activities with the Code Council.

“This is a high level overview,” Laatch said, “because there’s so much we have in common, there’s not enough time to tell you about it.”

Finally, David Karmol, the Code Council’s Vice President of Federal Relations discussed the Code Council’s advocacy efforts at the national level. He highlighted several pieces of legislation that the Government Relations team is attempting to move forward, including:

  • HR 2069 – The Safe Building Codes Act, which proposes that states that adopt and enforce recognized model building codes for residential and commercial structures qualify for an additional four percent of funding available for post-disaster grants;
  • S1737 – the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act, or S1737, which would require that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac consider energy costs before granting a borrower a federally insured mortgage;
  • HR 2444—the Tribal Self Determination Act, which would prevent the Bureau of Indian Affairs from overriding the decision of Native Tribes to build according to the I-Codes.

For more information about the High School Vocational Training Program, contact Sara Yerkes, Senior Vice President for Government Relations at

Oct. 31 Conference Daily News Wrap-Up