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The 2010 Annual Conference banquet was the venue for a unique NABIE experience.  Long time executive director Mike Stotts who retired in June of 2009 was honored for his 15 years of service to the organization.  Behind every good man is a woman who tirelessly offers her support, and in Mike’s case that is Dr. Jean Dyer.  Mike and Jean made their way from their new Pennsylvania home to Tennessee for the Saturday evening banquet.  
It was wonderful time to visit and reminisce with them both about 15 years of dedicated work on behalf of NABIE, as well as for them to  savor the many friendships made during those years.  Of course it was also NABIE’s opportunity to acknowledge Mike’s work, and doing so not only took the form of words from NABIE president David Carlysle, PE, but also included the presentation of a plaque and an inscribed wrist watch.  Especially meaningful in this presentation was the bestowing of Honorary Member status on Mike.  NABIE by-laws permit honorary membership for certain individuals and it is a distinction never before granted by the organization.  Mike’s contributions were deemed by the Board of Directors as deserving of this special recognition.
Dave also took a moment to acknowledge the considerable work Jean had done over the years, very much in a voluntary role.  Jean often assisted at the conference registration desk, and with technical issues for presentations.
The banquet also provided an opportunity for Mike to address his beloved organization.  Mike first took the opportunity to thank a number of individuals who contributed to shaping his role and aiding in his work.  He first acknowledged Alan Mooney, PE.  But Mike was also thankful for the roles eight past presidents played in his work.  Victor Hare, PE was singled out for always being available to Mike for “special representative” assignments in Washington, D.C. due to his proximity to the area.  Rhoda Sigman received a special acknowledgement as Ted Sigman PE’s wife and for her role in helping to establish the Memorial Lecture in her late husband’s name.  Juanita Reed also received a very special thanks from Mike for her role as NABIE’s administrative and graphic design person.  Juanita is the person behind the newsletter formatting, membership materials, and the general coordination of NABIE databases.
Mike’s banquet address was also a time to recall NABIE history.  He pointed out that during 15 years of service he witnessed NABIE membership double and the annual meeting and conference go from a day and a half event to a two and half day event.  Alan Mooney, PE’s organization efforts and Warren Cronacher PE’s standards and website efforts were cited as part of NABIE’s growth.  Mike discussed the initiation of the building inspection engineer certification effort all the way to its present status with CESB.  Licensure issues regarding building inspection engineering were also forefront topics during Mike’s role as executive director.
There was also an opportunity for Mike to reflect on changes to NABIE’s relationship with NSPE.  Mike’s 15 year tenure witnessed an evolution of that linkage that included:

  • Greater recognition from NSPE
  • Enhancement of the role NABIE plays as a chartered affinity group
  • Regular attendance at NABIE annual events by the NSPE president

Mike’s NSPE points were especially well underscored at this particular meeting because NSPE’s president (currently Sam Grossman,  PE) was in attendance as was NSPE’s designated NABIE liaison (Andy Haimes, PE).
Having known Mike these many years, he surely will not soon be forgotten by the NABIE membership.
*This article had been posted in the Spring 2010 edition of The Examiner.