ICC Members: The individuals behind codes and safety — Rick McManis
Code professionals ensure building safety today, for a stronger tomorrow. As the individuals behind modern codes and standards, these professionals are responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of codes and standards, shaping the safety of the world around us, and serve as the safety foundation for our buildings. They don’t just ensure that buildings are constructed to withstand the stress of everyday use, they are behind the security and stability of every building. They specialize in preventative measures to help communities weather unforeseen natural disasters and ensure that first responders have less to worry about and can do their jobs safely. Code professionals are an essential piece in the building and construction puzzle and are engaged in the building process from the initial building plan to the finished product.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association with over 64,000 members dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. They protect the public through their commitment to building safety; enforce code compliance to empower and educate stakeholders across the built environment to embrace and integrate safety standards in their work; support economic development by making our buildings sturdier, and therefore longer lasting. Their knowledge, skills, and abilities impact every building, in every community.
The Code Council recognizes the importance of continuing to grow awareness of the important work that code professionals do and the impact they have, in the hopes of encouraging aspiring building safety professionals to join in on the building safety movement. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Rick McManis to share his experience in the industry, highlights of his professional career, and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry and the future of building safety.
QA/QC Area Manager
Holder Construction, Inc.
Bishop, California, United States
International Code Council member for 20 years
California Bay Area Tri-Chapter
BSJ: What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
McManis: Started as a construction professional working as a general builder, moved into commercial construction as a project superintendent, and then transitioned to a Plans Examiner for Monterey County California. Prior to successfully being employed I obtained Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Plans Examiner ICC Legacy certifications as a code professional.
BSJ: What three things do you need to be successful in this industry and in your profession?
McManis: The model for success is adhering to the acronym COPEVIC: Circumspection, Objectivity, Patience, Empathy, Veracity, Integrity, and Collaboration. This is the key to success in every career endeavor.
BSJ: What role have mentors, advisors or your network played in your career?
McManis: Two of the most valuable associates in my career are Mentor Starmer, retired Supervising Inspector City of Palo Alto, California and Melvin Weidner, Inspector of Record and ACIA International President. Both of these code professionals display incomparable honesty and integrity. They value interactive solution approaches to helping everyone they interact with. Bob Latz with the CALBO Training Institute is also a tremendous inspiration. He is always focused on helping others to succeed and all of his efforts have been to share his valuable code career experiences.
BSJ: What led you to become an ICC member?
McManis: The choice was to return to college or pursue the ICC certified codes professional educational track and I chose what ICC offered. The choice to become a member with all of the associated benefits was an obvious choice.
BSJ: Are you involved in any ICC committees or councils? Do you have any ICC certifications?
McManis: I am currently one of 1000+ Master Code Professionals worldwide. I maintain 33 ICC certifications, professional licenses, and ACIA large Project Inspector RCA class I certification. I am listed as an ICC Professional Instructor and to this end have actively participated in the CALBO and SVABO Training Programs as an instructor of focused code topics.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
McManis: 45 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
McManis: Tremendous “means and methods” changes have occurred throughout the construction industry. Unfortunately, a byproduct of the highly politicized environment building departments have become subject to undue influences from city managers, community development directors and others who are not code professionals, with a focus on agendas other than maintaining a safely built environment.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
McManis: Technical advances in construction are nothing short of amazing with green technologies benefiting all aspects of construction. Educational outreach is the path to help everyone embrace these changes that will eventually benefit the world.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
McManis: Never stop pursuing ICC professional code certifications, with each successful completion you continue to learn and provide the tools to advance your careers.
BSJ: What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
McManis: There is a saying, ” No Matter Where You Go There You Are!” This has been a constant in my career, everyone becomes excited with code changes but many contractors continue to repeat mistakes of the past. Changing this dynamic is the true challenge of a code professional.
BSJ: What would you like to do next in your professional/personal life?
McManis: I am currently pursuing the implementation of minimum code requirements on the private side via the position of a Quality Control Manager. Most contractors build to plan and specifications with no consciousness of minimum code requirements until it’s time to pass a jurisdictional inspection. Raising the construction industry awareness one project at a time is proving very interesting.
BSJ: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
McManis: Weight lifting, high sierras mountain vistas, and spending what time I have with my wife of 34-plus years.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
McManis: So You Don’t Have a College Degree, You Will Never Go Anywhere With Your Career!!!
There’s a world of opportunity in being a member of the International Code Council. Membership provides the tools to get the most out of each workday: from discounts on essential International Codes and other publications to the best prices on top-quality training and ICC certification renewals, Code Council membership helps budgets go further. Exclusive member benefits include code advice from expert technical staff as well as access to member-exclusive news and articles at the Building Safety Journal news portal. Plus, only Code Council members vote in the ICC code development process. An online Career Center allows job postings and searches for new job opportunities — all at no additional charge.
The Code Council offers numerous councils, committees, and resources to help code professionals grow and network with colleagues. Six discipline-specific Membership Councils offer members a place to come together and be a more powerful force in shaping your association, your industry, your career, and your future. Code Development Committees are an instrumental part of the ICC code development process and are responsible for the review and evaluation of code change proposals submitted to the International Codes. Professional Development Committees serve to better align the ICC education programs and certification programs to ensure that quality training is available to meet the needs of all members, customers and certification holders. Finally, the Value of the Code Official toolkit helps members to heighten awareness of the importance of code officials to their communities and to highlight the code official’s role as a helpful advocate for community safety, health and welfare, and economic development.