Why Are You a Member of IAEI?

The holidays are over and the stress of getting just the right gift for that special someone, of fighting the crowds at the stores, and wondering if the money will last is finally over. Now just the stress of paying the bills as they come in is on us. But was it not worth it to see the happy faces of the children and/or the grandchildren? Now it’s back to the regular grind. But it doesn’t have to be a regular grind. This year, 2007, should be an exciting year for us all. A new National Electrical Code will be published. New learning opportunities will abound— new challenges to meet and conquer, and a whole year to do those things that we have been putting off.

IAEI and its members will have many opportunities to get involved in many wide-ranging activities from educational opportunities at seminars, chapter, division, and the annual section meetings, to supporting the association by getting new members and encouraging present members to get in and stay active. Your International Office has already been hard at work in many different areas. Preparing for the 2008 Analysis of Changes is well underway. We have several updating projects under way. Study guides have been updated to the 2005 edition of the NEC and should be available in the first quarter of 2007. The One- and Two-Family Dwelling Electrical Systems book based on the 2005 NEC and the 2006 IRC will be available in March 2007. Seminars are being planned and scheduled for 2007 on various timely subjects. New ways of presenting subject material are being planned to compliment our standby classroom style of presentation. Distance learning, taking continuing education courses on the internet, will be expanded through IAEI’s and UL’s joint program on UL University. Our new codes and standards specialist, Mike Weitzel, has added to the productivity of the Education Department. As a result, the Publication Department’s staff has been under increased pressure to turn around the material for publication. They continue to do their high quality work.

The International Office finished 2006 under an existing membership software system that was being phased out, and started 2007 with a new system from another supplier. The changeover went smoothly, which is surprising since our online membership, ordering, and event registering were off-line for several weeks. The staff had to be trained, so during the first week of January 2007 you may have had difficulty getting to a staff member. We apologize for the difficulty but, hopefully, now things are even better than before. The services provided for you by the International Office are growing and more exciting things are being planned.

As IAEI and you continue into 2007, I would like to expand on my editorial in the January/February issue of the IAEI News. Last issue I asked for you to reflect on why you were in the electrical industry. This time let’s explore why you are a member of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors. In a survey that we did last year several comments from people were noted. They were comments such as:

  • IAEI does an outstanding job of educating the electrical industry, particularly the electrical inspector. if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
  • I have been a member since 1956, and IAEI has been an important part of my career.
  • The organization has helped me in my career.
  • Good association for promoting the field
  • Information from articles in the IAEI News.
  • Of course, not all comments were complimentary to IAEI but that gives us areas to improve.

I asked last time for you to tell us your story about the reasons you are in the electrical trade. Now you should add to that story why you are a member of IAEI and what it means to you.

Each time the International Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, or the International Membership Committee meet, a discussion always takes place on how to present the benefits of membership to the public. More difficult for them is to identify those benefits. Everyone has different benefits that he or she considers most important. So how about at the next chapter or division meeting that you ask your fellow members what they consider as benefits of membership. Then let the International Office know. We can then better serve all the electrical industry.

Maybe most will cite IAEI’s participation in the development of codes and standards, representing the association among the electrical industry and the public, or collecting, interpreting, and disseminating information on subjects related to the profession. One caller recently told me that he wanted to join IAEI because his insurance agent told him that he could get better rates if he belonged to associations like IAEI. That, in itself, may not be an accurate reason to join IAEI, but if the member takes advantage of the benefits and opportunities to better himself, then certainly he or she would be a lesser risk for the insurance company. Whatever your reasons are, write them up and let us all know.

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.