We are approaching some exciting times as an association. By now, everyone has heard that IAEI is embarking on developing a new strategic plan and governance structure for our association. The IAEI Board of Directors has worked very hard this past year and has agreed to investigate the way we conduct business as an association. We all realize that the journey we are embarking on may require changes—changes that may be needed to keep our association relevant well into the 21st century.
In order for us to reach our goals, a recommendation was made to the executive committee to retain the services of a consulting firm with expertise in the areas of non/not-for-profit organizations and governance models. After interviewing three firms, the IAEI international board of directors (IBOD) agreed with the recommendation and had our CEO, president, and committee chair enter into agreements with Concinnity Network in August 2015. The IBOD agreed that Concinnity Network would conduct a focus group at five of the section meetings and gather information from association members on the state of IAEI. Hopefully, each of you had a chance to meet Bobbi Bilnoski, CEO of Concinnity Network, and to attend the focus group meetings which were scheduled during our recent round of section meetings. Concinnity Network will also be conducting a member survey to get feedback from those members that were not able to be at the focus group meetings.
Each section’s board of directors will receive an analysis of the outcome of the focus group meetings and members survey. The information gathered will also be shared with the full international board of directors. It will be the responsibility of each IBOD member to then filter the information and distribute it to their respective section BOD. Each step of the process will be completely open and transparent.
From the applications that have been submitted to the governance and structure task group, a strategic planning committee is in the process of being assembled. The committee will be made up from a cross section of our members, with no international board members holding a voting position on that committee. The governance and structure task group will not be involved in implementing any changes to the association and will only recommend a plan to the executive committee when the strategic planning committee has completed its work.
The international board of directors and CEO are committed to stabilizing and growing membership and to putting IAEI in the center of the electrical industry again by being the premier provider of electrical training, certifications, electrical safety, and competency worldwide.
Much has changed since the incorporation of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors 85 years ago. We are witnessing the fastest changes in communications and technology than any other generation before us. Not much more than 20 years ago, you probably didn’t have an email address and now it’s probably hard to imagine a day without email. Ten years ago, Facebook didn’t exist and now, 1.25 billion people and millions of businesses use it to communicate on a daily basis.
Even if you have not been directly involved in the electrical industry, there’s no doubt that technology has played a major role in the changes we now face as a society. Technology is changing at a rapid pace, and it is keeping up with these changes that present our current challenges.
We need to remember our association began as a completely voluntary association. Our bylaws were written 87 years ago. When our bylaws were originally written, we did not have a CEO to manage the international office, nor customer service, marketing, publishing, and education departments. As an association, we have come a long way. We have survived the worst economic downturn since The Great Depression.
Why has the IAEI survived all this time? I believe it is because we have remained relevant. We have a mission, a service to offer: educating the masses of the hazards associated with electricity. We aggressively promote a vision of electrical safety in our homes, in our schools, and in our places of work. The vision is where everyone returns home without a near miss, electrical incident, or injury from an improperly installed piece of electrical equipment.
We are obligated to all those that came before us to keep this association relevant in today’s environment.
I recently read an article about the drastic changes taking place in our nation’s workplace. As of January 2016, the majority of the workforce will have been replaced by the next generation (Gen Xers). This means the majority of all Traditionalists and Baby Boomers will have moved out of the workforce. The workforce is now run by the Gen Xers and Millennials. Why is this important to note? Relevancy. The Association needs to stay relevant with technology. We need to fill the needs of the Gen Xers and Millennials. This next generation does not have time to attend meetings or work through the chairs of the association for the next 12 years before they can feel they have made a difference. This generation wants to make an impact now. The Gen Xers and Millennials have grown up with everything they need to know at their fingertips. This generation is the most educated, electronically-connected, and savvy generation ever, while the Baby Boomers are often times the most technically challenged generation.
In order to stay relevant and meet the needs of all our current members and the next generation of IAEI members, we, as an association, need to change the way we provide information. We need to look at revising and updating our training material and books to include digital formats, look at new ways to deliver training not only to include on-site training but through other media channels. Furthermore, there is the need to develop more IAEI apps such as the recently deployed digital interactive magazine app available on Google Play store or Apple Store.
“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” – Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO, General Electric
Being relevant brings us back to the reason we need to hire a consultant, to help us see our weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities. Those of us who are in the Traditionalist and Baby Boomer generations may not necessarily care for or feel the need for change. Recent studies on generational differences show this to be true. Change is difficult. However, for the good of the association, we all need to be open-minded and embrace change. Each of us is responsible, individually and collectively, for the successes and failures of the IAEI. We all need to understand that making change is not necessarily going to be easy and that mistakes will happen, however, we will not make the same mistakes that have been made before and can be encouraged that change is happening that affects the association for its betterment.
As a member of the international board of directors, I have been honored to sit on some exciting committees this past year. I witnessed the work the codes and standards committee made in developing the new code proposal submitting process. The committee has designed and put into place a way for all IAEI members to participate in the code development process. I have watched the future section meeting committee work diligently on what future section meetings will look like. Hopefully, each of you participated in the future section meeting survey that went out to all members and it is your input that will guide the meeting committee. It has also been very exciting for me to chair the facilities committee, and I am happy to say the international office building at 901 Waterfall Way is now up for sale. We are now in the process of defining the needs for our next building and the new opportunities it will afford us all.
I want to encourage each of you to get involved with the exciting challenges and changes facing IAEI. Contact your section’s representative on the strategic planning committee. Please let your voice be heard. The future success or failure of the IAEI is the responsibility of each of us as members.
In closing, I need to thank each of you for letting me serve as your next international president. I am committed to the goals of this association. I am proud to be a member of IAEI. I can honestly say today that IAEI has helped me secure a job with a municipality and has prepared me for advancement and promotions in that municipality. I currently hold the position of assistant building official for the city of Oceanside California today because of the support and training provided to me by the International Association of Electrical Inspectors.
The City of Oceanside’s leaders are committed to electrical safety in our community and have supported my participation with IAEI for the past 16 years so I would be remiss if I did not publicly thank the mayor, city council, city manager, and the development services director of the city of Oceanside for their continued support.
Last, but not least, I especially recognize that nothing in my life has been possible without the endless support and encouragement from my loving wife, Victoria, and daughter Arielle.
International President 2016
Started in the construction industry in 1984.
Associate of science degree in construction technologies, with a major in inspections. He graduated with honors: Phi Theta Kappa.
Assistant Building Official City of Oceanside, California
ICC Certified Building Official,
Certified Building Code Official,
Certified Electrical Code Official,
Commercial Electrical Inspector,
Electrical Plans Examiner,
Accessibility Inspector/Plans Examiner,
Building Plans Examiner,
Commercial Combination Inspector,
Energy Inspector/Plans Examiner
Mechanical Plans Examiner
Other Certifications and Accreditations:
LEED Green Associate
State of California Office of Emergency Service Safety Assessment Coordinator
Member: LA County Solar Energy Action Committee (SEAC)
IAEI Positions Held:
Border Counties Division – President, Secretary, Treasurer
Southern California Chapter – President and Membership Chair
Southwestern Section – President, Membership Chair, and current representative to the board of directors
Other Positions Held:
Educational Chair for the ICC San Diego Chapter
Educator for the California Building Officials (State Electrical Changes)
President of the California Electrical Inspectors