Sixth annual Ron Burton Golf Outing raises funds for training programs and resources for the next generation of code officials
The International Code Council’s Past Presiding Officers held its sixth annual fund-raising event — the Ron Burton Annual Golf Outing — on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at the Quicksilver Golf Club in conjunction with its 2021 Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sponsored by the Building Owners and Managers Association International, the shotgun-start tournament included a 50/50 drawing, prizes for the longest drive and closest to the pin, a hole-in-one contest, and gifts for all participants.
The Ron Burton Golf Outing celebrates the life and work of William Ronald “Ron” Burton. It’s a way to continue the educational legacy of a widely respected man who drew concurrence on safety — and have some fun with fellow golfers, as Burton himself loved to do. Burton was renowned for his work on the International Codes. An esteemed code expert, he worked on many code-related projects for the Code Council, Building Owners and Managers Association International, and the National Association of Home Builders.
“Ron always was about how codes would improve safety, while also keeping costs in mind,” said good friend Henry Green, past president of the National Institute of Building Sciences and a past board president of the Code Council. “He didn’t want to adopt a code without people understanding the background.”
Past Code Council Board President Bill Dupler agreed that Burton wanted to make sure people thoroughly understood the need for any code changes. “Ron was first and foremost an educator,” Dupler said. “He wanted to make sure homebuilders and building officials were on the same page.”
“No matter how many different groups were in a room, Ron had the ability to soon command the respect of all of them,” added Past Code Council Board President Stephen Jones. “He was genuine.”
Following his sudden passing in November 2014, Code Council past board presidents Henry Green, Bill Dupler, Wally Bailey, Stephen Jones, Ron Lynn, Steve Shapiro, and several other past presidents and chairmen of the Code Council and its predecessor organizations, wanted to honor Burton’s legacy with an annual golf outing that would raise funds for training programs and resources for the next generation of code officials. The funds raised help to encourage, educate and mentor emerging professionals in different parts of the industry — emphasizing the value of leadership and management skills as an important supplement to technical expertise — and outline the skills and abilities they will need to become expert code professionals. Programs focus not on codes, but on the soft skills a person can use to get to where they want to go in their careers.
The first outing during the 2015 ICC Annual Conference in Long Beach, Calif., drew 72 golfers and raised more than $30,000. Past Code Council Board Director Tim Ryan remembered a lot of golf with Burton and Green, including not long before Burton passed. Golfing in the first Ron Burton outing, he said, “was even more special for Henry and me. We thought helping to prepare a future group of leaders in our profession was a good way to honor Ron, who was a leader and an icon in the code industry.”
“He was a wonderful man,” added Past Code Council Board President Ron Lynn. “And, had he been here, Ron would have helped us develop a new generation of code officials. So, in this way, he can.”