Code Council Awards Honor Contributions to Safety, Sustainability, Fire Prevention, Service, Education
Emory Rodgers, Deputy Director of the Building and Fire Regulation Division of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, was presented the prestigious Bobby J. Fowler Award during the International Code Council’s 2009 Annual Conference and Code Development Hearings this month in Baltimore. The Fowler Award, which honors the memory of the first chairman of the Code Council Board of Directors, is given to an individual whose contributions to the building and safety industry advance the Council’s goals in achieving a safer and sustainable built environment. Particular emphasis is placed on the recipient’s focus beyond local or regional concerns to issues and activities that span the globe.
“This award, in my estimation, is the crowning achievement of any professional,” Rodgers said as he accepted the award. “If I can do it, you can do it, and I challenge you to work toward those goals, to work toward an inclusive organization, one that is pragmatic in its dealings and brings together all the viewpoints for the best codes for the safe, built environment.”
For more than 30 years, Rodgers has worked tirelessly in the name of public safety in the Commonwealth of Virginia and nationwide. As a former member of the Code Council Board of Directors, he played a major role in helping guide the association through its earliest stages, and remains a staunch supporter and advocate of International Code adoptions. Rodgers is a past president of the Building Officials and Code Administrators International and the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association.
The Code Official of the Year Award was presented to Michael Fink, Deputy Commissioner of the city of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections. Fink was honored for his meritorious contributions to the code enforcement profession and for his professional abilities that are recognized as an example for all members of the building and fire safety industry. Fink serves on the Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Committee. In that capacity, he is responsible for providing review and advice on matters related to Pennsylvania’s construction code.
Azarang “Ozzie” Mirkhah, Fire Protection Engineer for the Las Vegas Department of Fire and Rescue, was presented the Fire Service Award, which is given to an individual for their service, professional abilities and leadership that are exemplary in the development of the International Fire Code, and for their efforts that are an example to all fire prevention and fire protection professionals. Mirkhah’s accomplishments include revitalizing research and ongoing communications on behalf of the 1947 President’s Conference on Fire Prevention, which was established to combat fire deaths after several high-profile fires that took the lives of hundreds in the 1940s, including the Coconut Grove fire in Boston that left 492 dead and the Atlanta Winecoff Hotel fire that killed 119.
Thomas Phillips, Code Compliance Manager for Target Corporation’s Property Development, was the recipient of the Council’s Affiliate Award, which is presented to a member of the building industry who consistently demonstrates the qualities of integrity, professionalism and dedication. Phillips is leading a major initiative to streamline the approval process for replicable buildings. He believes corporations that want to streamline the construction process through replication stand to benefit greatly from nationwide adoption of the International Codes.
The Building Officials of Suffolk County, a New York Chapter of the Code Council, was presented the ICC Community Service Award, which is presented when circumstances warrant recognizing meritorious service that promotes the public health, safety and welfare in communities by initiating activities or actions that are considered to be above and beyond the normal expectations. For the past 20 years, the Suffolk County Chapter has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to charitable organizations, including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Schneider Children’s Hospital and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The Colorado Chapter of the ICC was named Chapter of the Year. To earn this designation, a chapter must demonstrate a high degree of professionalism in promoting the vision, mission and goals of the Code Council. The Colorado Chapter offers disaster assessment evaluator training, and a train-the-trainer program. When the most devastating tornado in Colorado’s history struck on Memorial Day weekend, Chapter volunteers assessed more than 1,000 damaged structures and then worked with local officials to process more than six-thousand repair permits.
Chapter Merit Awards were presented to the Code Administrators Association of Kentucky (CAAK), the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA), and the Washington State Association of Permit Technicians. Merit Awards are presented to chapters that distinguish themselves through activities that demonstrate the goals and objectives of the association.
The Educator of the Year Award was presented to Code Council staff instructor Terrell Stripling for the exceptional manner he displays while carrying out the Council’s continued tradition of excellence in its training programs. Stripling is a seasoned ICC instructor with 20 years of fire service experience and also has worked in the construction industry. At the collegiate level, he has served as a department chair and adjunct professor while teaching Fire Science.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.