Sara Yerkes named to Multihazard Mitigation Council board
Sara Yerkes, senior vice president of Government Relations at the International Code Council was recently named an At-Large member for the Multihazard Mitigation Council’s Board of Direction.
The Multihazard Mitigation Council establishes a body of experts in a multitude of related fields that can address the challenges associated with the identification and implementation of effective mitigation practices. It provides a forum for disaster professionals to exchange valuable information on emerging trends in building technology and federal policy, and to address building systems and software applications that play a critical role in disaster resilience and sustainability. The goal of the Council is to promote disaster resilience, becoming a focal point of credible information and promoting whole building strategies.
Yerkes served as chair and the Code Council’s representative on the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Consultative Council, a representative council of the nation’s building community that makes recommendations directly to the executive and legislative branches of government to improve our nation’s buildings and infrastructure. She also served on the National Council of Governments on Building Codes and Standards’ Existing Buildings Committee, which aims to support high-performance buildings and communities by promoting the adoption of existing building codes, as well as developing and implementing educational and training programs for owners, builders, contractors, design professionals and code enforcers.
During NIBS’ sixth annual Building Innovation 2018 Conference & Expo, she presented on the New York City project to adopt an existing building code during an educational panel session titled, “Challenges and Opportunities in Regulating Existing Buildings.” The International Existing Building Code, published by the Code Council, provides regulatory agencies, building owners and design professionals a single document to address repairs, alterations and changes in occupancy for our existing building stock. It is the only national model building code for existing buildings’ remodeling, renovation or repurposing.
She also presented on the project team panel for the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves 2017 Interim Report. The interim report researched the benefits of two mitigation strategies: federal mitigation policies and public disaster assistance funding beyond code requirements. The next module — due out in the Fall of 2018 — will examine the benefits of adopting and enforcing the International Codes as the foundation for disaster mitigation, resilience and overall sound building regulations. This next study phase will also analyze the relationship between the model codes and beyond code requirements.
As senior vice president, Yerkes’ manages public policy and government relations functions of the organization; develops and implements a pro-active program of effective lobbying and persuasive advocacy; represents and speaks for the Code Council on policy matters and program activities; coordinates the strategies to implement policies at the federal, state and local levels; supervises the accomplishment of the developed action plans; works closely with members of Congress, state legislators and their staff to draft and endorse legislation that will support and benefit the Code Council’s mission and related goals; and seeks opportunities to showcase the Council and expand its circle of influence. Yerkes oversees the state and local activities that have successfully gained the adoption and use of the International Codes in all 50 states.