A successful organization must be capable of adjusting to meet changing circumstances. The IAEI has been able to meet challenges placed on it and to grow within the electrical industry, especially in the area of electrical safety. While not having the resources to meet every challenge it faces or to address every need it recognizes, the organization has progressed to become an important part of the electrical safety community. This has been made possible by hard work and leadership provided by many key people in the organization as well as the support and participation of other faithful and dedicated members. From its humble beginning made possible by the other organizations and its positive growth through the years, it now stands as a truly international organization. It is noteworthy that throughout its existence, the organization and its members have not lost sight of the primary goal, electrical safety. The IAEI is a great organization with an honorable task.
I have been lucky to have been able to be part of the IAEI. From the first introduction to it as a young electrical inspector through the present, the organization has been a positive influence. The principles upon which it stands and the characteristics demonstrated by its valued members have been something of which one can easily be proud.
Fond memories exist of some great leaders within the IAEI who guided a young electrical inspector to help him grow as an inspector and as a person. It is likely that they gave little thought to the extra effort that helped others, but rather they merely considered it as part of their responsibility. Whatever their thoughts, their guidance and leadership had a lasting impact. Many of those individuals have passed beyond this life, but their work still lives. One individual expressed a view shortly before his death that aptly describes most of those people. His wish was that he wanted to be remembered through what he had taught others. He, along with many other committed members, are still living through the influence they had on other individuals.
One primary objective identified after assuming the position of executive director in 1995 was that of trying to attract highly qualified people as IAEI employees. That has been a lengthy and difficult task but it has been productive. The IAEI is fortunate to have a good staff with many individuals having excellent education and experience related to their job responsibilities. The talent and productive capability of the staff has already begun to show and it will become even more evident in the future.
It has been a pleasure to watch the IAEI grow and progress from the rotary dial telephone and carbon copy correspondence age to that of the high speed electronic communications era. The pace of advancement has been rapid and will continue to increase. As a result of that, the IAEI will be hard pressed to keep up with the demand. Strong support of the IAEI by its members is the key to its business success, in its growth, and in its ability to produce. Members are urged to be strong and firm in their support of the organization. Membership dues is one area where members need to show that support. Dues are only a portion of what they should be but have purposely been kept low to make it easier for people to be members. Traditionally, electrical inspectors are not highly paid and the low membership fee enables them to be part of the organization for a very reasonable cost. I know of no organization that offers so much to its members as does the IAEI.
The IAEI has become a serious contributor to education through the production of state-of-the-art publications containing well-designed contents. Within the industry, IAEI publications are among the best, if not the top. The drive for improving published materials is not just to look good, but rather to give members and others the best source of training and informational material in a readily understood, easy-to-use, and attractive form. It is satisfying to have been a participant in the development of those publications and to see the impact they have made. There is and will continue to maintain the commitment to improve those products and to focus on making them the best.
I am grateful for those who have helped me during my time with the IAEI, for the friendship extended to me by many, and for the opportunity given to me by the Board of Directors to serve the organization over the last seven years. Most of all, I wish to thank my wife for her support and the sacrifices she made to allow me to take on this task. As I leave, I wish the best to Jim Carpenter as CEO/Executive Director in the work he will do and am looking forward to seeing him lead the organization forward.