By Peter A. Schkeeper, PE
We had an excellent conference. As I briefed our members, my plan is to focus on activities that directly assist our membership in growing their building inspection engineering practices through collaboration with fellow NABIE members thereby strengthening NABIE. The recent business climate has been very challenging for most of us. My personal mantra has become: Embrace change; Enjoy chaos and uncertainty; Keep the glass half full with gratitude.
For years our attention to the board certification program has been an awesome task. Achieving consensus for the Body of Knowledge, creating a testing program, and completing the certification process has consumed much of our energy. We believe those who obtain the distinction of being a Board Certified Building Inspection Engineer will enhance their professionalism and build more trust from their clients. NABIE has recovered our out of pocket expenses and our hope is that the certification program will help to strengthen NABIE.
During recent years we have also crafted updated Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws. Our conference programs continue to be outstanding. I am confident we will maintain excellence in this area with input from our membership and the fine work of our Executive Director, John Cronin, P.E. F.NABIE.
Our web site, however, has been slow to see needed improvements. Thanks to our Executive Director, we have a new webmaster. I have already seen some communication and excellent responsiveness so I expect remarkable improvement in our working relationship. I believe that our membership will be an extensive repository of ideas. Cultivating collaboration through our web site, electronic media and yet to be created social media available exclusive for only our membership will be a start. Our website gets good recognition by search engines.
Membership Services are critical including administrative responsiveness. I believe we are very fortunate to have as our Executive Director, John Cronin, P.E., F.NABIE because as a founding member of our society and past president, he understands us as well as anyone. Our funding for this position creates limitations. It is a part time job. We need to consider ways to provide supplemental support. I expect the answer will be via technology and efforts of our members. Realistic expectations of our responsiveness will have to be understood. When we cannot respond as fast as needed then alternative approaches must be found.
Accumulating state-of-art knowledge of technology that will help our society and members is a priority. Finding ways to communicate that knowledge with guides for how we can best utilize it will be a vital leadership function. I have always learned a great deal of useful information from our annual conferences. The best has been when I discover from another member how they have added a service, expanded their practice or resolved a difficult issue. Sometimes it is a combination of ideas, a particular use of a technology or a device or an approach to marketing and presenting engineering findings.
While I work to stimulate activities that assist our members growing their respective businesses, I have asked each of our officers to look after one of three focus areas: Membership Growth; Membership Services; and Technology. I am expecting they will obtain contributions from various members.
Bill Coulbourne, P.E., VP NABIE will focus on Membership Growth. Bill has initiated Strategic Planning and your leadership team has begun a Strategic Planning Process.
Membership Growth – Recognition and Relationship Building
- Relationship building with NSPE & PEPP
- Relationship building with ASCE, AIA
- Relationship with Standards Writing Organizations (ASTM; ASCE; ANSI; ASHRAE; ACI; ICC)
- Public Relations
- Marketing of NABIE
Mark Soderlund, P.E., Treasurer NABIE will focus on Membership Services. Mark will need lots of help in his area. Part of the help will come from the technology area that our Secretary will be focusing upon. We have started a Standards of Practice group to revise our standards which is being led by Russell Straham.
- Web site marketing
- Annual Conference
- Standards of Practice
- Technical Journal
- Body of Knowledge
- Administrative responsiveness
Mark Waldman, P.E., Secretary NABIE will focus on Technology. Technology is a very broad area and where I expect we will achieve our maximum gain for the growth of our Society and for the growth of our members business.
- Tools that will help us strengthen NABIE’s mission and support of our membership: Web Site Development & Social Media
- Tools that aids the practice of Building Inspection Engineering: Instruments, Software & Technique
- Tools that help us to build our Engineering Practices: Web Site and Social Media Development
- Unique services: Equipment and software
Please reach out to the appropriate officer with your ideas and offer of support. Their e-mail address is listed in this newsletter. You will see that Mark Soderlund and I use a different e-mail for NABIE to keep it separate from our business and personal activity. There is a lot of work to do and I am excited about leading the charge.