Valuable Contribution by Associate Members

Known as the “keystone of the electrical industry,” the IAEI is a unique organization in which all members of the electrical industry can come together and participate as a group and deal with issues that affect both the industry and the general public. The success of the IAEI is due in part to inspector members going the extra mile and giving much of their own time to better the organization. They have worked hard to provide valuable education and to promote the adoption and enforcement of good electrical safety rules. Unfortunately, some people evidently are under the erroneous impression that because of the IAEI’s name, only electrical inspectors can be members. Not only can those who are not electrical inspectors be members of the organization, but they also can be very active and productive in achieving the goals of the IAEI.

Associate members of the IAEI have always been vital in the growth of the organization. While associate members are not eligible to hold all offices nor to vote on all matters of the IAEI, they in fact exercise most privileges enjoyed by inspector members. For reasons similar to those held by most professional and trade organizations representing a specialized area of skill or expertise, the IAEI must reflect the inspector’s view on such things as organizational positions on electrical code rules. Organizations representing other professions, trades, or crafts generally are effective in representing their members’ special views on electrical code rules and other matters. Each professional or trade organization representing its members’ perspective on matters helps provide valuable technical information and achieves a reasonable balance on such things as the formation and adoption of good electrical safety rules.

Associate members of the IAEI are also vital to its success. That may seem strange to some because associate members are usually part of other organizations dedicated to their own specialized interest. However, some of the strongest advocates of the basic principles upon which the IAEI stands are associate members. Chapters in certain areas have so few inspectors that it must depend on associate members to keep it strong and productive. Associate members are frequently involved in providing or arranging for educational programs that directly benefit IAEI members in general. Many associate members serve as secretary/treasurers of sections, section districts, chapters, and divisions. As covered in an earlier editorial, the role of secretary/treasurer is probably the most demanding and vital for the smooth operation of the IAEI. This in no way degrades the office of president. IAEI presidents are leaders and chief executive officers of their particular section, section district, chapter, and division However, their jobs are much easier where the secretary/treasurer has held the position for an extended time and can provide the president with support and guidance where necessary.

Some of the most productive sections, chapters, and divisions have reached that level because of hard work by associate members. In some locations, associate members have been primarily responsible for seeing that inspector meetings are planned and run well, for locating sources of needed training and arranging for it to be presented , and for numerous other activities that both stimulate interest and address code related needs of members. Associate members who avidly support the IAEI recognize that it is in their best interest for the IAEI to maintain its unbiased position in the industry. They know that if their work with the IAEI focuses only on their own special interest, the independent and unbiased position that is traditionally associated with the IAEI may very well be compromised and that would be detrimental for all its members. Associate members generally understand the importance of a strong IAEI and the support of qualified electrical inspectors. Inspector members also understand the importance of non-inspector members of the IAEI for several reasons and have a great appreciation for the significant work they do for the organization. Achieving the objectives of the IAEI is a joint effort. The IAEI truly is a “keystone of the electrical industry.”

Philip Cox
Former IAEI Executive Director, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief for the IAEI News, Philip Cox was formerly employed with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association as a field representative covering a 17-state area. He is a member of NFPA NEC Technical Correlating Committee. He served on Code-Making Panel No. 6, representing IAEI during the Code cycles for the 1984 and 1987 editions of the NEC. He served as chairman of CMP-1, representing the National Electrical Manufacturers Association during the 1996 cycle. He served as acting chairman of CMP-1, representing IAEI for the 1999 cycle and remains as a member of that panel for the 2002 Code cycle. He is a member of NFPA Electrical Section; UL Electrical Council; ITS Technical Advisory Council; and former member of The Chauncey Group International Board of Governors for the National Certification Program for Construction Code Inspectors; and former member of the IEC United States National Committee Executive Committee. He also served as chief electrical inspector for the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, and was secretary to the Little Rock Electrical Examining Board, developing and administering examinations for master, journeyman and specialty electricians. He was appointed as electrical safety coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Labor and administered the Arkansas state electrical licensing law. Cox is past president of the Western Section, IAEI, and served on the IAEI Board of Directors as board member and fifth vice president. He has been involved in the development and presentation of IAEI training programs on both chapter and international level.