Jason Bush receives 2021 ICC Raising the Profile Award for spotlighting the character and professionalism of code officials
Each year, the International Code Council recognizes peers and colleagues who are a reflection of what the association stands for: dedication to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. The Code Council honored several outstanding individuals and organizations for their accomplishments and contributions to building safety and resiliency in their communities during the 2021 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The ICC Raising the Profile Award recognizes an individual or organization for acts or contributions that raise the public awareness on the importance of building safety codes or of accomplishments by code personnel that improve public safety in the built environment. It also spotlights the character and professionalism of those who enforce codes. Jason Bush, CBO, building official with the city of Cottage Grove in Oregon, received the 2021 ICC Raising the Profile Award during the Safety 2.0 reception on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
With more than 30 years as a code professional under his belt, having also mentored dozens of code officials from all around the Northwest, Bush personifies the spirit and essence of the ICC Raising the Profile Award. His leadership demonstrates professional abilities that are an example for all members of the code profession and advance the cause of safety in the built environment.
Last year, Bush was contacted by homeowner and United States Marine Corps veteran Jayson Southmayd to check out problems at his home just outside of Eugene, Oregon. The Southmayd home’s roof was damaged during a very severe snowstorm. After nearly being poisoned by carbon monoxide gas that was escaping into the house due to the heating system vent being dislodged in the attic, the Southmayd family left and spent the next 14 months living in motels and rented recreational vehicles while repairs were made to their home. When they finally moved back on Easter 2020, they discovered severe problems — the flooring was uneven, nails were coming through the ceiling, siding was put on with brads, and they found the broken sewer pipe leaking raw waste under their home. No permits were pulled for the repairs, and less than qualified contractors had completed the work. The Southmayds’ home needed to be taken down to the foundation.
By the time Bush got to see the repairs in July 2020, he couldn’t believe what he saw. “I saw probably the most unsafe, structurally compromised, non-code-complying structure I have been involved with in almost 27 years as a building official,” Bush said. He set out to help this family who was in great emotional and financial distress. Since it would take an army of building professionals and donations to put their broken world back together, Bush rallied his community to rebuild the Southmayd family’s home. They rebuilt the structure to be a safe place to live and continue the family’s business of training therapy dogs for children and disabled veterans.
“It is because of dedicated and professional code officials like Jason Bush that we are able to continue to raise the profile of code officials and educate the public about the importance of building safety, the importance of hiring properly licensed trades professionals and the critical process of obtaining all required permits,” said Jack Applegate, chief executive officer of Northwest Code Professionals in Oregon, and immediate past president of ICC Region II. “These are goals we share across our entire industry and I am hopeful that ICC chapters take the opportunity to use this home, this tragedy and this teachable moment to educate the public.”
In addition to the 2021 ICC Raising the Profile Award, Bush also received a special recognition award from the Oregon Building Officials Association (OBOA) for being a community advocate and going above and beyond to help the Southmayd family. “I certainly never expected anything of this nature. I am very grateful and humbled to be the recipient of [these awards] for my work on the Southmayd Home Build project.” Bush said. “I would like to reiterate my thankfulness to my superiors and the city of Cottage Grove for their tremendous level of support. They have allowed me the freedom of tackling both my building official duties and the Southmayd Home Build project as one large assignment.”
“This has been a life-changing experience with many cherished memories,” Bush continued. “I also want to thank Jayson and his family for finally making the tough decision to call me in search of some help. And, we certainly want to thank all of the wonderful folks and companies that have helped me to help this family, as it would not have been possible without them. I thank you so much.”
Giving of your heart begets more giving. It can be contagious when the right leader steps up the plate. His knowledge and dedication to the world of building safety, and his organization of community action, have truly made the world a safer place. The Code Council congratulates Jason Bush as its 2021 ICC Raising the Profile Award recipient.
View past recipients of the ICC Raising the Profile Award.
Read more on Jason Bush in this perspective piece for the Building Safety Journal.