2015 International President — Don Offerdahl

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Enhancing the Legacy

IAEI is looking forward to our future! With the same excitement and enthusiasm that must have inspired our founders back in 1928, IAEI is in the process of updating our image, services, and infrastructure so that we can expand and modernize the fine educational base originally established. Appointed committees are examining these matters, and industry partners are contributing to the Capital Campaign to underwrite these new and enhanced services, beginning with new facilities.

How can we streamline projects and accomplish things faster? How can we enlarge or offer more and in greater varieties?

Your international board of directors is committed to setting the strategic direction that will enable us to grow and ensure our association remains relevant in a rapidly changing environment.

I want to thank our members, sections, chapters, divisions and industry partners for contributing to the Capital Campaign. Those who have not contributed, I encourage you to do so. It is vital that we continue our mission of being the leaders in providing educational offerings, code development, certification, and advocacy.

It is my honor and pleasure to serve IAEI as the 2015 International President — its 87th president.

After obtaining my Journeyman license at  the age of 26 I attended my first meeting. I immediately saw the value of IAEI and started promoting the association to the electrical industry. At that time, I taught IBEW journeyman and apprenticeship classes, and I was enthusiastic to pass along the code knowledge I gained in the IAEI meetings. To this day, I continue to promote IAEI membership at every opportunity.        I have witnessed that IAEI is a career builder for the professionals who want to excel in the electrical industry.

For 34 years, I have gained knowledge from many resources, including serving on National Electrical Code Panels 9, 14, and NFPA 73, and 30A. As an inspector, I used the experience gained from serving on these committees for ensuring the safety of the industry and the communities of North Dakota. Later, I served as the executive director for the North Dakota State Electrical Board for 15 years.

I presently represent Intertek as their principle member on National Electrical Code Panel 8 and as an alternate to Code-Making Panel 1. I was taught when I entered the electrical industry to give back to the community. So in those beginning years, I served as vice-president of IBEW Local 714, along with teaching apprentice and journeyman wireman classes.        I have been active on numerous UL standard technical panels and have served on NFPA Electrical Section Board of Directors. The knowledge I have gained from serving on these committees and boards has benefitted me tremendously and enabled me to be a better electrician, educator, and enforcer to provide safe electrical installations. Becoming a field evaluator/inspector for Intertek has validated for me the importance of having listed equipment as one of the key items of a safe electrical installation. The other key items are being a well-trained licensed electrician doing the work and being a qualified and certified electrical inspector examining the project.

Let me share with you how I got here. In 1972, I began my career by serving in the US Army as microwave radio operator and repairman. After receiving an honorable discharge, I attended and graduated from the North Dakota State College of Science with an associate of science degree in Electrical Technology. I served my apprenticeship through the Dakota Area-wide IBEW/NECA Joint Apprenticeship Training. Then I taught apprenticeship and journeyman training until accepting a position as an electrical inspector for the North Dakota State Electrical Board in 1984. I took my responsibilities very seriously, knowing that fellow tradesmen and consumers relied upon my knowledge and expertise, and creating an atmosphere that they are part of the team to provide a safe electrical industry. I want to urge each member to support IAEI and help us enhance the legacy by getting involved at local section, chapter and division meetings, by sharing your knowledge with fellow members, and by offering your time to serve on committees and promote membership.

I thank IAEI membership and board of directors for supporting my presidency for the upcoming year. I also want to say special thanks to Pat, my wife of 38 years, and my children Dustin, Kim, and Mike.