Reaching the Summit

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Keeping an association active is rather like climbing a mountain. The first slopes are easy, almost like walking, but as time passes the foothills become steeper, the meadows fewer. Through the 89 years of our climb, we have moved steadily forward, anchored safely by the membership, despite the challenges of the last five years. Now we have passed the crux, the most difficult part of the climb, and are headed for the summit—our highest yet.

IAEI is an unbiased, integrated, educational organization that continually assists in the development of electrical standards and acts both proactively and reactively as changes are introduced. Throughout the climb, IAEI has faced challenges in growth and development, but we have moved forward with new strategic directions to improve membership value, growth, and retention. We are building our capacity to achieve global leadership and high-performance in supporting electrical inspection.

IAEI is processing strategic input from the Board of Directors, members, staff, industry partners and consultants. We are engaged in current and emerging changes in the role of electrical inspection and reassessing how IAEI can best support and educate the electrical industry in the implementation of public safety.

With our long-standing vision “to keep the public safe from electrical hazards,” we are standing guard not only to protect the  public but “to educate and equip electrical professionals while unifying the industry to promote electrical safety.” No wonder IAEI is and always has been, known as, “The Voice of Electrical Safety.” We take this responsibility seriously and continue our promise “To elevate electrical safety through education, advocacy, and community.”

Together, our vision and mission provide a strategic direction for the association. They are clear and concise and were developed through an extensive process that included appropriate member input. Highlights of the strategic plan include:

  1. Program Portfolio – IAEI provides core services that are valued highly as a benchmark in quality education within the industry. This plan calls for new programs and services not only for inspectors but all members. Also, new programs strengthen and support volunteer leaders in our sections, chapters, and divisions who are the “front line” of IAEI. Our vision is that the electrical industry sees our sections as “Centers of Excellence” with a world-class education and training curriculum and a top-notch team of instructors.
  1. Membership – The strategic plan promotes a new membership structure built on equality for all members. In the past, only members with inspector classification or senior associate members were allowed to vote or to hold senior positions within the association. Under this strategic plan, all members have an active voice on important IAEI matters. Our electrical professional members are a vital part of success, and this plan focuses on increasing their value of membership and providing programs, products, and services that promote long-term sustainability and growth.
  1. Governance – This plan also calls for a new governing structure that provides new seats on the board for electrical professionals and for industry and community partners that can bring needed resources and expertise to the governing body. This diversity of perspectives on our board will give us an edge in remaining relevant to our members and the electrical industry.
  1. Technology – Technology will become even more important in the future as we attract the next generation. IAEI will focus on innovation through technology and will expand our education curriculums online so that members have 24-7 access.
  1. Brand Identity – To broaden our outreach to the industry and engage the next generation of electrical professionals, IAEI will undergo a new Brand Identity. This plan is designed to keep the firm voice of enforcement the industry expects of IAEI and to invest in youth and young professionals as they begin their journey in an electrical career. Whether or not they choose the path of enforcement, IAEI wants to meet their education and training needs in the area of electrical safety, codes, and standards. Growth for IAEI can best be achieved through continued relevance to a wide variety of electrical professionals with concern for public safety in the built environment

This strategic plan is built from the “ground up” on the wisdom and recommendations of our members and industry partners. The strategic planning committee selected by the board is a team of highly respected members representing each section and every aspect of the industry. We appreciate the contribution of countless volunteer hours of their time in working together to arrive at a solid consensus on the direction that IAEI must take to remain a relevant, viable and thriving organization ready to meet the future emerging needs of the enforcement industry. I acknowledge their efforts and commitment to IAEI. We could not have done it without them.

During the next several months we will be communicating the strategic plan in greater detail. I encourage each of you to visit our website at www. iaei.org to receive up-to-date information on the strategic plan and implementation process.

It is not too late to join us on the climb to the summit. Each step brings us through exciting adventures and places us closer to our goals. Why don’t you join us in the climb?

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David Clements is CEO/Executive Director of IAEI. He has been an active IAEI member at the local, section and national levels for more than twenty-five years. He served as international board member from 1995 until 2007 when he served as our 2007 international president. In 2010, he retired after twenty-nine years with Nova Scotia Power, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as their chief electrical inspector. During his tenure as chief electrical inspector, he was a voting member on the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Technical Committee on the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I, a member of the Regulatory Authority Committee and member of the Canadian Advisory Committee on Electrical Safety. He has served on NFPA Smart Grid Steering Committee, Electrical Infrastructure Training Program and is presently a member of the UL Electrical Council.