What can I do for IAEI?

As I write this month’s editorial it is just after the annual section meetings and just before the International Board of Directors meeting, and the day after Election Day. If your candidate didn’t win, don’t be disheartened. All of us must work together to keep our country strong and growing. The same is true for our membership and support of IAEI, we must work together to accomplish the goals set for IAEI eighty years ago. Those goals are just as important today, if not more so, as they were back then.

Mary Anne and I traveled with International President Bob McCullough and his wife Beverly, and it was again a pleasure to renew acquaintances with the many hard workers that planned, worried, and carried out the work that made each section meeting a success. IAEI has numerous members that endeavor to promote electrical safety and are doing it through their relationship and membership with IAEI. We attended section meetings in such places as Monterey, California; Portland, Oregon; Rapid City, South Dakota; Toronto, Canada; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Alexandria, Virginia; all places with unique and interesting history and beauty. With the economic situation, attendance was not quite up to the average attendance at each section. Some of the planners were worried a couple of months before the dates of the conference that attendance would be so low that they would have to cancel. Typically, most attendees waited until the last minute to register.

Now that I reflect back on the section meetings and the past year, I recall the work of many members of IAEI—people that have given their time and energy in making their community safer and better. These people are not asking, “”What can I do for IAEI?”” but are stepping up and doing things that make the world safer and doing it as IAEI members. That is what makes IAEI a good association to be a member of.

People like Lanny McMahill who with the Southwestern Section Education Committee put together a great educational program for the Southwestern Section meeting; and like Randy Hunter and Rick Maddox who prepared and presented the many Code proposals for discussion; and like Adam Gilbert who, even though he lost his inspector’s position with his city, continues to be active in the Northern Nevada Chapter. These people are just a few of the shining stars in the Southwestern Section.

People like Jeff Fitzloff who led the battle to adopt the 2008 NEC in Idaho; like Chuck Mello who challenged the divisions and chapters to submit Code change proposals for the 2011 NEC; and like David Hill who worked tirelessly toward the success of the Northwestern Section meeting, are just a few of the shining stars in the Northwestern Section.

People like Tom McClintock and Tom Moore who have led the fight in Ohio to get the 2008 NEC adopted without deletion of some most important safety requirements in the 2008 NEC; like Alan Manche who has stepped up to chair the Western Section Education Committee, and like Richard Owen who became the International President for 2009, are just some of the shining stars in the Western Section.

People like Steve Douglas who represents IAEI on the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1 Committee; like Steve Smith and Ross Southerland who have worked diligently to revive the Canadian Section Certified Electrical Inspector certification program throughout Canada; like Ark Tsisserev who chairs the CEC Part 1 Committee and has worked in getting inspectors in the British Columbia area as members of IAEI, are just a few of the many shining stars in the Canadian Section.

People like Andre Cartal who along with Bob McCullough have spent many hours in the classroom teaching Code; like Peter Olney and Mark Hilbert who co-chair the Eastern Section’s Scholarship Committee; like George Sniezek who continues to bring joy to attendees as the “”prize man,”” are just a few of the many shining stars in the Eastern Section.

People like John Minick who works many hours preparing the code questions for the panel at the section meetings and represents the electrical industry not just as an employee of NEMA but also as an IAEI member; like Paul Sood who became the Southern Section president; like Curtis Kennedy who was honored at the meeting with the George Flach Lifetime Service Award, are just a few of the shining stars in the Southern Section.

You can probably identify many more shining stars that have mentored you or have made an impact on electrical safety in your career. Think back on those men or women and then strive to become a shining star in someone else’s life and career. After all, that is what IAEI is all about.

And now for some financial news. As we all know it takes money for us to provide for our families. It also takes money for IAEI to carry out the goals that were set for us eighty years ago. IAEI has several ways of obtaining the necessary funds to achieve those goals. The producing and selling of training books and materials, conducting educational training seminars, selling promotional items, selling advertising in the IAEI News, and, yes, membership dues. It has been six years since IAEI has raised dues. The last dues increase was a significant increase, 50%, because we waited too long to institute an increase in dues. Now, because of increased cost of everything we do, it has become necessary to initiate a small increase in membership dues, an increase of just $1.00 a month.

The 2009 IAEI budget falls in a year that typically shows a loss, due largely because of the three-year cycle of theNational Electrical Code. Our revenue from the sale of books is normally down during this part of the cycle and expenses are up because of our participation on theNECCode-Making Panel meetings. But, as you know, all expenses are increasing, everything costs more. Salaries for the International Office staff increase, health insurance costs increase, utility costs increase. The International Office headquarters building is twenty years old and is in need of some major repair and renovation. For us to remain a viable association and continue to expand the mission of IAEI, we must increase membership and encourage every member to fulfill the role that each has in his or her association. For that to happen, dues increases are necessary from time to time and 2009 is that time. So think of the IAEI and its goals and benefits when you see that increase on your renewal notice this year.

Remember, BE PROUD TO WEAR THE IAEI BRAND and continue to support its missions.

James W. Carpenter
Former IAEI CEO and Executive Director, and Editor-in-Chief for the IAEI News, James Carpenter was previously the chief electrical engineer, state electrical inspector for the Engineering Division of the Office of State Fire Marshal, North Carolina Department of Insurance. He had been with the department for twenty years, with twenty years electrical experience prior to coming to the state. He was a member of CMP-2 from 1987 to 2002 and was chairman for the last three cycles. He has been a member of IAEI since 1972. He was also a member of NFPA and is serving as the TCC chair and on the Standards Council. He was on the UL Electrical Council.