The International Association of Electrical Inspectors is fortunate to have some outstanding leaders and workers within its membership. Many work quietly and are hardly noticed, even by fellow members within their own chapter. Occasionally, a letter is received by the International Office from a member who feels that the IAEI is not providing enough services to justify the amount of dues paid. A far greater number of members acknowledge the fact that the IAEI News alone is worth more than the cost of membership. The benefits of being an IAEI member are greater than just the publications and services provided by the organization. Many within the IAEI can relate stories of when they were new in the organization and other members took the time to help them grow and become productive within the electrical industry. Those individuals did that because they believed in helping others and held to the principles upon which the IAEI stands. They were involved. Active involvement in the IAEI returns a wealth of knowledge and personal satisfaction that cannot be measured in dollars. One doesn’t excel in any profession by sitting on the sidelines.
Keith Lofland, of the International Office staff, has recently received a letter from an IAEI member who is an example of so many within the organization who set a high standard of which we can all be proud. It is fitting that this letter be shared with the membership because it demonstrates an attitude and commitment that not only benefited the individual, but also is so important to the success of the IAEI. The letter reads:
It’s hard for me to believe that I have been a member of the IAEI for 50 years. WOW! Seems it was only yesterday that I started as the electrical inspector for the City of Marshall, Texas. I was young, 20 years old, moving to a town that only had one contractor with an eight year old copy of the National Code. I was given a corner office on the third floor of the City Hall and was told that I could devote one hour each day to really learn the code. I was in charge of all city electrical facilities, pump stations, water plant, traffic signals, fire stations, buildings, sport fields, as well as enforcement of the code. I designed, specified, supervised, maintained everything electrical. A young man’s dream, as I usually wore a dress shirt and tie and a hat to make me look older as I worked with the older contractors.
I literally grew up in an electrical contracting shop in Greenville, Texas, working after school, holidays, and summers–starting three months before my 12th birthday. So, I have been in the electrical trade all my life. During my 10 ½ years in Marshall, I was chairman of the North Louisiana/East Texas chapter of the IAEI, as well as hosting an annual meeting of the Six Chapter group.
I re-wrote the city electrical ordinance for Marshall, and also for five other East Texas cities during my time there.
When I accepted a position with Westinghouse Electric Corp., we moved to Dallas and I remained active in this great organization. The 11 years there and then the 25 years with AMP Inc. allowed me to continue my association with the IAEI. The 50 years has been a “gold mine” of learning experiences, great fellowship with so many friends and sadly the passing of so many during the years.
I look forward to many more years in this organization, to be active and involved. This is “my” industry–one that strives to “get things right,” ever changing, improving, promotes safety and cares.
After observing more than 50 years in the electrical field, I just really wonder what changes will take place during the next 50. Think I’ll just try to stay around to find out. I know the International Association of Electrical Inspectors will still be here doing its job.”
The best always:
Mr. Davis never intended for this letter to be printed, but rather that it be for Keith’s eyes only. When contacted for permission to print it, he was surprised that attention should be given to him as he viewed himself as the one benefiting from the organization. He feels that the organization gave him something of which he can be proud, but he and others like him have set examples that are worthy to follow. The IAEI is blessed with a number of members such as Ben Davis and is a better organization because of them. Thanks to Mr. Davis and all others who are involved in the work of this organization, committed to it, and are not content with just sitting on the sideline.