Alan Boswell, MCP, CBO

“Nobody gets where they’re going without getting out of their comfort zone from time to time” said Boswell, Chief Building Official for Tuscaloosa, Ala. “I never planned on getting so involved. But my former boss, Chief Building Official Dwight T. Junkin, pushed me to participate…. He pushed me to get all the ICC certifications I could.” Boswell_01

Alan Boswell isn’t sure where he would be if he didn’t have mentors coaxing him out of his comfort zone the few times his own resolve didn’t.

“Nobody gets where they’re going without getting out of their comfort zone from time to time,” said Boswell, Chief Building Official for Tuscaloosa, Ala. “I never planned on getting so involved. But my former boss, Chief Building Official Dwight T. Junkin, pushed me to participate in the Code Officials Association of Alabama and other organizations. He pushed me to get all the ICC certifications I could. Turns out he was preparing me to step up and fill his position when he retired. He wanted to make sure I was ready and well qualified.

“There have been many other mentors after I became Chief Building Official for the City of Tuscaloosa,” Boswell recalled. “Such as, Jimmy Brothers, a great friend and past president of ICC. He pushed me to get more involved with ICC and help make difference. Looking back, it’s sometimes hard for me to believe that I’m where I’m at today.

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“We all have a lot of thanks to give to our mentors and most of all it is important that we all become mentors in some way or fashion to help others along the way. I was taught growing up, the only time you look down to a person is when you were extending a hand to help someone up or to help them find their way.”

That dream and drive led Boswell to achieve Master Code Professional status, as well as to a lifetime of service in many organizations and on to election as a Director-at-Large on the ICC Board at the 2014 Annual Conference in Ft. Lauderdale.

Now, Boswell wants to make sure his colleagues have the same opportunities he did, even if they need a little urging sometimes.

“My fellow staffers have a timeline for certain goals,” he said. “And they have to meet those goals to make sure they stay competitive in their jobs. I don’t ask them to do anything I didn’t do. I tell them, ‘If I could do it, so can you’.

“They may not think much of me while they’re taking the certification test. But I see the pride after they get the certifications. The glow in their eyes.”

While he was still in school, Boswell had enough self-drive to start his own business, M.A.D. Electrical Contractors, which his brother still runs today. The company performs residential, commercial and some light industrial work, he said, an interest he developed in vocational school. “I had good grades, but I still went to vocational school,” he said. “You don’t have a lot of vocational schools anymore, and that’s a shame. I think we need more high school vocational programs more than ever now.”

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Boswell used his easygoing style and gentlemanly Southern drawl to excel for 20 years as an electrical construction salesman and instructor. At one point, though, his friends suggested Boswell find something a little less physically draining.

“When you own your own business, it’s not an eight-hour day,” he said. “It’s more like 12 to 14, and you’re always chasing the dollar, getting people to pay their bills, paperwork, and climbing ladders and under buildings.”

He applied and got a job as Assistant Building Official in Tuscaloosa. But he kept pushing out of that comfort zone, including serving on the Alabama Energy and Residential Code Board. He also was appointed by Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey in 2012 to serve on the Alabama Heating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Board. In 2012, he was selected to serve ICC on the Building Officials Membership Council Board. He serves on the Council to help improve the standing of code professionals in the community.

He earned the 2011 ICC “Code Official of the Year” award, which the Alabama House and Senate recognized him for.

When not working, Boswell enjoys hunting, fishing, golf, college football, Little League baseball, gardening and traveling.

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Now that he’s on the ICC Board, Boswell said he wants to put into practice a longtime philosophy: simplify. He and some others from his region say there needs to be a renewed focus on the original mission of life safety and codes, perhaps even eliminating some and refining others. Although he is passionate about his beliefs, Boswell knows the benefit of sitting on a thought for a while until it’s ready for reasonable debate. “I make my best decisions when I’ve had time to think a bit,” he said.

Boswell said running for the board and winning was the next logical step for him after serving as an officer for ICC’s Region IX. But leaving his post in Region IX also created an opportunity on that board to let someone new, with new ideas, step up as well. He remembers how important that is after all these years.

 

“If someone didn’t give me the chances I’ve had,” he said, “I wouldn’t be the person I am. That’s how you grow people.”

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Kris Bridges

Before pursuing a career in the building code industry, Kris Bridges served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years. During this time, Bridges was involved in safety projects that helped develop his interest in furthering his code education. He attended Baker College and graduated magna cum laude with an associate degree in code administration.

“If you want something you don’t have, you have to do something you haven’t done,” Bridges said.

In 1995, he began his career as a Property Maintenance and Amusement Inspector for Danville, Va., gaining valuable experience in inspecting and ensuring compliance and maintenance of property and amusement devices.

After six years, Kris secured a position as a Combination Code Inspector in Martinsville, Va. In this position, he investigated and advised multiple stakeholders on  building safety issues. As one of his many achievements, Bridges created and implemented work practices to help mitigate the economic downturn for the highest unemployment rate in Va. by enabling participation at state, regional and national levels.

Currently, Bridges is the Building Official for the city of Martinsville, Va. He is a Master Code Professional (MCP) who maximizes the safety and integrity of buildings by uncovering and recommending effective remediation strategies for overt and latent issues.

Bridges holds 22 certifications including Certified Building Official, Combination Inspector, Commercial Combination Inspector, Commercial Building Plans Examiner, Commercial Energy Inspector, Commercial Energy Plans Examiner and Commercial Building Inspector. In addition, he was appointed to the Virginia Manufactured Housing Board by the governor, is the Past President of the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA) and is currently serving his second five-year term as ICC Region VII Treasurer.

He has received multiple awards including the 2010 VBCOA President’s Award; 2010 Martinsville Fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Unit Citation for Exemplary Customer Service; 2011 Fire Safety Commendation, National Society, Sons of the American Revolution; 2014/2015 ICC Region VII Chairman’s Award; and 2015 VBCOA Meritorious Service Award.

As a new member of the ICC Board of Directors, Bridges looks forward to supporting the members and bringing brand recognition to ICC. He believes that the Code Council plays a significant role in building safety and hopes to promote the association’s reputation and the important job of the code official.

Bridges demonstrates his commitment to building safety through his participation as chair for several Code Council committees including the International Residential Code Committee and the International Swimming Pool and Spa Drafting Committee. Bridges previously served on the ICC Evaluation Service Board of Managers.

In his spare time, Bridges is active in Boy Scout Troop 326 and has served on the Disabilities Services Board and Mental Health Association Board. Grilling and cooking for family and friends is one of his many hobbies.

Jim H. Brown, CBO, CFPS

Brown-1 Jim Brown, Deputy Building Official for the City of Gillette, Wyoming, said he is “proud and humbled” by his election as a Director at Large. He believes a lot of it has to do with the fact that he was instrumental in pulling together Region II for the ICC, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

Jim Brown didn’t start out wanting to be a Building Official. That desire built slowly and steadily, as if he were tracking a 10-point buck in the woods. After gaining the discipline and focus necessary, he was able to capture certifications, experience and, ultimately, the respect of his peers who elected him to the ICC Board in Portland, the first ICC Board Member to serve from the state of Wyoming, including the legacy code organizations according to Wyoming Chapter historian Bruce Wilson.

Brown, Deputy Building Official for the City of Gillette, Wyoming, said he is “proud and humbled” by his election as a Director at Large. He believes a lot of it has to do with the fact that he was instrumental in pulling together Region II for the ICC, which includes Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

“People had been trying to do it for years,” Brown said of organizing Region II. “But this time, it was the right time. And we had the right people.” Those people included his mentor John Darnall—a Gillette Wyoming native, former ICC Board Member and Tumwater, Washington, Building and Fire Official—and Bruce Wilson, Chief Building Official in Cheyenne, Wyoming. “And the Board recognized Region II at the Annual Conference in Portland.”

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That trail began in Carroll County, Maryland, where Brown was born, attended high school and worked until he entered the Air Force in 1976. He was trained as a Life Support Specialist/Forward Air Controller/Survival Instructor, responsible for the inspection and maintenance of air crew life support equipment such as flight gear, parachutes, survival kits and ejection seats. He also trained recruits as a survival instructor.

But after four years and attaining the rank of sergeant, Brown said he passed on a military career like his Dad, who served 35 years in with the Army. Instead, he decided to go back to general contracting around Carroll County, something he had done just before he entered the Air Force. He helped build homes in the county, included in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, where the rural atmosphere attracted high-profile clients.

“We built for several players on the Baltimore Orioles,” he said. “One of them was (Hall of Famer) Eddie Murray. They were 5,000 to 10,000 square feet. I also worked on some McDonald’s and Wendy’s. That’s where I got some experience in commercial work.”

As he was building these McMansions, Brown became intrigued with the code process and code officials, even after becoming a lead carpenter. “I liked the longevity of their business,” he said. “Meanwhile, my back, hands and arms were hurting.”

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So, when Carroll County was looking for a Building Inspector in 1988, Brown applied. And to his shock, he was hired. But county officials knew he needed training. “And that’s when my formal education in the codes began,” he said. “With CABO’s One and Two Family Dwelling Code.” Brown was also assisted in his early years by the county’s plans examiner Richard (Dick) Owings, who took him under his wing setting the stage for what was to come.

After a promotion to Commercial Plans Examiner in Carroll County, Brown jumped at the chance to become Commercial and Residential Plans Examiner for the City of Gillette, Wyoming, in 2005. He found out about the position opening in Wyoming through the ICC’s website career center. After teaming up with Darnall, whom he had met at an Annual Conference in Baltimore, and Wilson, Brown continued his mission of forging alliances among building and fire officials, but this time it was for the membership of the Wyoming Conference of Building Officials (WCBO) and the ICC. He remembered how fired up he got watching the old BOCA hearings. “They opened up a whole new world.” He wanted to do the same for others.

Before he knew it, Darnall was nominating Brown for a director’s position on the ICC Board while at a WCBO meeting in Cody, Wyoming. Brown is thrilled with the possibilities, including moving full speed ahead on cdp ACCESS. “cdp ACCESS is absolutely critical for engaging more of our Membership,” he said.

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The move to Wyoming also gave him a chance for another passion: hunting. “I grew up hunting,” he said. “Bear, deer … Maryland, Virginia.” Now, he’ll get out to fill his tags for deer, and maybe get some elk along the way. He and wife Patty also enjoy trail riding. Brown plays acoustic stand-up bass, a very special gift from his mom and dad. It is a 1938 Kay model that has brought him many years of joy playing music.

They also enjoy their grandson, Wyatt who was born in Wyoming, courtesy of daughter Amy and her husband Josh. Wyatt already has been out prairie dog hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, and on horseback Brown said. “And I love it all.”

And maybe someday he’ll have the chance to tell Wyatt about codes and how they’ll continue to help keep him, and the rest of the world, safe. And the ICC can grow with him.

“The ICC is relatively young,” Brown. “We will be setting a course that will take us through 2025. We have very, very exciting times ahead.”

Ron Hampton, MCP, CBO

After graduating from his vocational high school in 1984, Ron Hampton, a native of Ashland, Kentucky, entered the workforce as a carpenter. Since the beginning of his career, Hampton has been an active and dedicated member of the Carpenters Local Union No. 472. Throughout his membership in the union, he has served on a number of committees and served two terms as Treasurer.

In 1997, after 13 years in the carpentry trade, Hampton decided to extend his career path to building inspection. He was hired as a level one building inspector in the Code Enforcement Division for the City of Ashland. Over the years, Hampton worked his way up the ranks and earned the title of Chief Building Official.

In 2005, Hampton accepted an opportunity to work at the state level as a field Inspector in the Division of Building Code Enforcement, Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. For more than two decades, Hampton has applied his expertise to help advance building safety in Kentucky.
Hampton’s strong network of positive mentors has been a great benefit throughout his career. Some of his most notable mentors include: Kentucky Deputy State Fire Marshal C.W. Cornett, retired Fire Inspector Roger Crace, MCP (Master Code Professional), and Building Inspector Field Supervisor Mike Haddix (ret.).

As an established professional, Hampton continuously looks to pay it forward and mentor members of the new generation entering the industry. His advice to new building professionals is “Reach out to your more experienced and mature coworkers and building officials—don’t be afraid to get involved.”

In addition to his mentorship, Hampton has displayed his leadership and dedication to building safety through participation in a number of Code Council committees. He holds 34 Code Council certifications and four Kentucky Building Inspector Certifications. Hampton was also the recipient of the 2003 Code Council Community Service Award and has been a member of the Code Administrators Association of Kentucky (CAAK) since 1998, serving on its Board of Directors from 2001 to 2016. He is also the Past President of CAAK.

Excited to serve his three-year term with the Board of Directors, Hampton looks forward to continue mentoring and already has eyes set on running for re-election at the end of his current term. His plan for the future also includes considerations for retirement from the state government. This would open up Hampton’s schedule for a return to his entrepreneurial endeavors—reinstating his former code consulting company, H.D. Hampton, Inc. Regardless of his status, Hampton plans to remain as involved as possible in the building safety industry. “I love to be involved and when I am, I’m all in!”

Thomas W. Peterson

Maybe it’s something Thomas Peterson learned in Boy Scouts, the backbone of youth in his native Utah. Or maybe it was subliminally instilled watching his father devote time to his community.

“When I am a part of something, I give it my all and try to go above and beyond,” said Peterson, elected to the ICC Board of Directors at the Annual Business Meeting in Kansas City, Mo.

“So I’ve always been active in whatever I am a part of, but I really was drawn into ICC while attending my first Annual Business Meeting in Phoenix. I was welcomed by the membership and by the ICC leaders, who made me feel part of the group. That’s very important to a young person just getting involved.”

As an ICC Board Member, Peterson – Utah’s Building Official in the Division of Facilities Construction and Management – said he had, and has, many mentors. He believes it is crucial to pay it forward, not only for the individual’s growth, but for that of an industry seeing many of its officials and inspectors retiring soon.

With a state leadership position at the relatively young age of 38, Peterson is well poised to draw in and mentor the next generation of code officials. He certainly can tell them It doesn’t matter how you start; just get started.

He got started in the business “as a fluke.” After graduating from Box Elder High School, he spent two years in Cape Town, South Africa, where he served on a religious mission for the LDS Church.

Not sure what he wanted to do when he returned home, Peterson accompanied a friend to a job interview for an entry-level electrician.

Very entry-level.

“I started out as an ‘expediter,’ running parts to different job sites,” Peterson said. “I got to know the names of those parts and how they were used.”

Ultimately, he became a Journeyman Electrician, installing electrical equipment in commercial and industrial sites, includes hospitals and businesses ranging from a Walmart to a ski resort. Peterson then became a Master Electrician with another firm, installing electrical equipment in commercial and industrial sites.

While he was learning a lot as an electrician, Peterson said he knew he couldn’t do the heavy lifting for much longer. He already had two back surgeries, so when an inspector from Brigham City Corp. came by the site one day, he wasn’t shy:

“I asked him how a person goes about getting a cushy job like he had,” Peterson remembered chuckling. “He told me they just happened to have an opening for an inspector, and I should apply.”

So in 2005, he set on an eight-year path as Combination Inspector for Brigham City Corp. There, he provided plan reviews and conducted on-site inspections of commercial, residential and industrial buildings to verify building code compliance. He had the chance to work with the public, helping them with their building code questions and concerns.

“I’ve always been interested in the code world,” said Peterson, who was quick to join the local ICC Chapter in his area.  In February of this year, he was installed as President of the ICC’s Utah Chapter.

But who knows how long it might have taken for Peterson to get more involved had then-ICC Board President Ron Piester and future President Stephen Jones not welcomed him with open arms at the 2011 AMB in Phoenix?

“For those guys to take the time to welcome me and continue to support me has been just tremendous,” said Peterson. Now on the City Council in Brigham City, he encourages his Building Official to attend ICC meetings, as well.

Before taking the job as Utah’s Assistant Building Office late in 2015, Peterson served as Chief Building Official for Box Elder County, where he managed the inspection department, and performed inspections and plan reviews.

There, he got the chance to have a statewide impact, working with elected officials in creating ordinances and adopting codes.  One of his favorite accomplishments so far has been bringing code officials and legislators together for common ground on the codes.

Peterson, who also has his own electrical contracting business, is married to Jodi, and they have four children, most of whom have adopted Lacrosse, which he coaches. He also enjoys golf, four-wheeling, snowmobiling, mechanic work “and serving those around me.”

In late fall each year, they’ll pack up the car and head to a friend’s cabin in Idaho, where they’ll cut down their Christmas tree.

“We pass a lot of good trees on the way out there,” Peterson said, “but it’s a nice family trip.”

Stuart D. Tom, P.E., CBO, FIAE

I believe that the Section A Director has the opportunity to help local jurisdictions benefit not only through the development of effective model codes, but also through regional collaboration with building officials, fire officials, architects, engineers and designers.

If you’re trying to catch Stuart Tom at work, you had better do it before lunch … or after. You won’t have much luck during lunchtime unless you are a runner.

“I make it a point to run a 10K every day at lunchtime,” said Tom, Superintendent of Building and Fire for the City of Burbank, Calif., and Section A Director on the International Code Council Board. “It gets my blood flowing and keeps my head clear the rest of the afternoon.”

I believe that the Section A Director has the opportunity to help local jurisdictions benefit not only through the development of effective model codes, but also through regional collaboration with building officials, fire officials, architects, engineers and designers. Section A includes the states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington; and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

As a Board Director, Tom continues his commitment to service and leadership. He is a registered engineer in the states of Washington and California, holds a host of professional certifications, and is active in the development of fire and life safety codes and standards at the national and state level.

In his native state of California, Tom has been recognized as the 2006 Building Official of the Year by the California Building Officials Association (CALBO), and was selected as Building Official of the Year in 2009 by the California Fire Chiefs Association Fire Prevention Officers. He is the only person to be so honored by both organizations.

As a recognized expert in various fields of structural design and life-safety systems, he has received several other awards, including the CALBO President’s Award in 2010. He was inducted as a Fellow into the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering in 2001. He has taught numerous courses throughout California and authored a self-study training program, which assisted in California’s transition to the International Building Code. He is a recognized expert in various aspects of the California Building Code.

So it may have surprised some that he became the Fire Marshal in Glendale in 2013, following nearly 30 years as a Building Official, including 15 years as Glendale’s Building Official/Superintendent of Buildings. But Tom said the move was a natural progression not only career-wise, but practically in the trade.

“Building Officials make sure the structures they are working on are safe from the plan stage through construction,” he said. “Fire Inspectors make sure they are safe to live and work in, through annual inspections. Since I have worked in both now, I can see where the two meet: building as safely and economically as possible for the builders, the occupants and the community. ”

Tom said the dual experience helps him handle situations diplomatically. Chances are he worked on many of the buildings he now oversees as Fire Marshal. He expects that duality of knowledge to help him as a Code Council Director as well. In fact, several leaders in fire safety suggested he broaden his involvement to the national level by running for the ICC Board.

“It’s great to have their support,” he said. “Now, I can work for ICC on a national level. ”

Tom grew up in Northern California, the son of a chemical analyst. Initially, he thought about following in his father’s path, but an old interest turned him a different way.

“I just always liked to build things,” he said. “My parents have a lot of stories about me always building something. Then, as I got older, I learned there are ways to make sure things are built right. I could help make sure buildings in my community were built safely for a long time. ”

He said his first 14 years in the business with the city of Los Angeles was an outstanding baptism into the code world. He worked in various capacities from small homes, to commercial and industrial, to high-rise buildings.

He grew even more there as Building Official/Superintendent of Buildings, responsible for the oversight of engineering, inspection and administrative activities for Glendale, the third largest city within Los Angeles County. Now as Fire Marshal, he oversees the regular inspections to make sure those buildings continue to be safe.

To no one’s surprise, Tom is a triathlete who enjoys open water swimming, cycling and running. He is married and has two adult children living in New York and Michigan.

As a Board Director, Tom likely will have the opportunity to go for a run while visiting jurisdictions in Section A. If you want to join him, he’d enjoy the company.

“Now and then I’ll get a co-worker to run with me at lunch,” he said. “It’s a great way to unwind and stay fresh.”