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.
So what have we been doing to stay relevant as a member association and to make sure we are meeting our members’ needs?
Standards — How important are they?
It seems that every time we turn the television on or check our mobile device we hear about a disaster: floods, tornadoes, wild fires and explosions. I recall, in 1992 while living in Nova Scotia, how an explosion at the Westray coal mine located in a small community of Plymouth, Nova Scotia, claimed the lives of 26 miners. The bodies of those miners were never recovered and remain deep within the mine. Justice Peter Richard in his report on the explosion and fire said, "The Westray story is a complex mosaic of actions, omissions, mistakes, incompetence, apathy, cynicism, stupidity and neglect.”
The Fork in the Road
Historically, we know what IAEI was intended to be and the seven objectives we were expected to fulfill. We know also who we have become and the stories of triumph and trouble, fulfillment and failure, success and stagnation, autonomy and arrogance. We’ve seen it all because we’ve been around a long time — 85 years. However, the dream and the commission remain: to participate in making, promoting and enforcing standards for the safe use of electricity, both nationally and internationally. But we have reached a fork in the road. This is a deciding moment in IAEI’s history when a major choice of options is required. We must decide two things: Who are we now? and Where do we want to go from here?
EVERY little thing matters in branding
In its simplest terms, branding is who we are, how others feel about us, and how industry and the public view us as an organization. Every time a prospective member, a potential customer or the general public contacts us, by whatever means, they formulate an opinion of us which creates our brand.
We’ve got an app for you...
Do you recall the day when personal and business computers first came on the market, along with the notion that they would put people out of work? I can recall buying the first personal computer for my son, a Commodore 64, and not having a clue how to work it; then taking a continuing education class at the local high school on computer basics and programming; and seeing the text "Syntax Error” forever etched into my personal database.
What Part Does IAEI Play in Disaster Relief?
Disasters are usually characterized by short reaction/response times, overwhelming devastation to infrastructure, and a strain on the tangible and intangible resources of the affected community. Earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes often damage electrical resources and severely impact communities economically, financially, and socially. Decision makers at local, state, and federal levels are expected to quickly implement plans to restore order and to mitigate the aftermath of these disasters.
Due to new technology, social networking and competition, individuals have many options as to where and from whom they can obtain information. Consequently, associations, the traditional suppliers of industry information, are facing intense pressures. Gone are the days when members would automatically renew their memberships. IAEI is no different and we face many of the same challenges.
Fact or Fiction
Summer has drawn to a close and families have sent their children back to school. Fall is upon us and IAEI members are attending the Annual Section Meetings. Organizing committees for each section worked hard for the past year planning logistics, educational offerings and networking opportunities, all part of providing a great educational adventure. If you haven’t yet signed up to attend one of the section meetings, now’s the time. Go to http://www.iaei.org/member/section-meetings/ to register. Despite what some may believe, we welcome both members and non-members to our section meetings.
FACE-TO-FACE TIME — Its value and where to find it
Never underestimate the value of networking face-to-face! Despite the various ways of communicating — phones, email, instant messaging, social media, faxing, snail mail, telegram, or carrier pigeons — the "time spent interacting in the presence of or in the same location as another or others”1 is still the most productive and valuable. In fact, it is becoming priceless — and rare.
Added Values: How do we monetize them?
Despite the downturn in the economy which has affected us all, IAEI has been looking for ways to provide additional services to help its members and the electrical industry. One of the most exciting new services is IAEI Career Center which was recently launched in March. This interactive job board focuses on electrical industry companies and offers IAEI members — and the electrical industry at large — an easy-to-use and highly targeted resource for online employment connections.
From the Desk of the CEO/Executive Director
IAEI launches its 84th year with much anticipation and excitement as we launch several new projects as well as fulfilling the organization’s mission statement recently approved by the Board of Directors. I encourage the sections, chapters and divisions to include the new mission statement in their IAEI correspondence and to display it on their websites. It’s important that as an organization we deliver a message to the electrical industry as to who we are and what we do. Having a strong mission statement increases our brand recognition and explains to the public the important role we play in public safety.
Department of Energy Awards $2.5 million to Reduce Costs for Solar PV Installations
While real energy savings are being generated by solar photovoltaics markets in the U.S. and many American homeowners are excited about reducing their electrical costs, most of them lack funds to install the units on their roofs. Consequently, the DOE is funding a program to reduce the costs of solar PV installations.
What’s Best for Our Members?
Sometime ago I was asked, "What guides you in making decisions at the board level?” "Before I enter any discussions, I ask myself, What’s best for our members?” I answered. It’s easy to forget and lose sight of the fact that we are a member association and while we face many challenges as a not-for-profit association, we must always consider our member needs. Running the association is similar to running a business—we must ensure we have the money in the bank to meet our financial obligations, keep up-to-date with technology, provide training and programs that meet the needs and wants of our members, develop marketing plans, run a topnotch publishing department, and the list goes on.
2007 International President: Strength comes when we speak as one
In November of 2006, David E. Clements assumed responsibility as the 2007 International President of the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI). As the newly elected incumbent, Dave becomes the seventy-ninth serving International President of the association.