I am truly honored to be representing our Association for the next year as the international president. I can only hope that I can do as much for our Association during my term as those who have come before me. However, the year ahead of us is not about an international president alone; it is about us as an association and what can we do for IAEI. This will be a challenging year as we are entering, I believe, into an era of significant realignment and restructuring which will stretch well beyond my time as president.
During the next few years, we are going to have to work together as a team to bring this great association into the future, while preserving its integrity and mission of promoting electrical safety throughout the industry through education, certification of inspectors, advocacy, partnerships, and expert leadership in electrical codes and standards development. We are going to have to answer many questions related to "What do we want IAEI to look like going forward?”
It is clear the association has become fragmented in many ways, so there are many faces or "looks” to us. This was the message in the "Branding” presentation by CEO, Executive Director David Clements at this year’s section meetings. Our logo is just one of the "looks of IAEI.” Because our sections, chapters, and divisions act independently of the International Office in many ways, we all have our own "look.” We need to bring some commonality to our logos, so we look like one association.
Our founding fathers gave us "a look” back in 1928 with the keystone logo. I thought this was going to be an easy decision for me; hands down, it is the keystone logo. I am pleased it is on my president’s ring, but I have to wonder if it is the right one for the association going forward. It very well may be. We also have to consider the "lightning bolt” logo of the IAEI News. We have used that logo on shirts, hats, vests, etc. I have to admit that I have already had members tell me they like it better than the keystone logo. We have work to do!
Our standing committees will still be looking at long range items along with membership and education as they have been, but we will need to focus on the "looks of IAEI.” This goes beyond the logo issue to items like the board’s structure, the relationships between the International Office and the sections, chapters and divisions, codes and standards work and how we approve technical committee members. Again, what do we want IAEI to look like? Right now it takes 12 years on the International Board of Directors to become president. I ask you: "How many jurisdictions do you think would be willing to support an individual for 12 years these days?” The reality of it is, there are not many. I was very fortunate and grateful to have the support of the State of New Hampshire Electricians Licensing Board and the Department of Safety for most of those years. Another question to ponder is: "How many of the younger folks coming into the association will be able to dedicate that much time?”
Our association’s operating rules, bylaws, and overall structure date back to 1928 when the association was truly a volunteer driven association. They have been modified over the years, but they were never actually restructured to fit the way business is, or should be, done these days. Another "look of IAEI” we have to consider.
I am merely the coach of the team for one year, but I cannot tell you how excited I am to be working with the other members of the Board of Directors, as well as with sections, chapters and divisions. It is going to be a tremendously busy year for all of us and this will be especially true for the International Board of Directors. Our working groups will be focused on the specific "looks of IAEI.” I was pleased to note the dedication, open-mindedness and the excitement amongst the International Board of Directors and the International staff at the November 2013 meetings. I cannot say enough about our CEO and the International staff. I can truly tell you our Association has benefited significantly from their leadership, dedication, and commitment. As I said, it is an honor to represent this team.
Reaching the presidency in our Association would not have been possible without my wife Wanda’s love, support and encouragement. I also wish to thank the Granite State Chapter and Eastern Section for the support and encouragement along the way. I am proud to be a member of both. There are far too many folks for me to start thanking everyone who has helped me reach this level. You know whom you are and how much I appreciate all you have done. However, we all have a few "significant moments” that stand out in our IAEI journeys.
The first significant moment for me was the day Joe Bourque, state electrical inspector from New Hampshire, encouraged me to submit an application for a vacated state electrical inspector’s position. At the same time, he gave me an IAEI membership application, saying, "Here, these go together!” He was not kidding. I remember the night Jeff Sargent, founding member of the Granite State Chapter, and I were attending a chapter meeting and he said to me, "Wouldn’t it be nice if the Granite State Chapter had a section president?” I remember riding up in the elevator at Kutcher’s in NY State some years later (I did not say all the memories were good) with Bob Venuti, Leo Martin, Jack Mangan and Tony Montuori. Bob Venuti was Eastern Section president at the time and introduced me to Tony, telling him that he thought I would be a good section president. Tony asked me how old I was and when I replied, he said, "You’re young enough to be an international president.” I will never forget these moments and just want to say, thanks for planting those seeds! It has been a fantastic experience.
About the President
Mark began his career as a construction electrician following his graduation from the Greater Lawrence Regional Vocational Technical High School located in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1973, and currently holds a master electrician’s license in two states.
Mark joined the State of New Hampshire Electricians’ Licensing Board in 1993 as a field inspector. He was promoted to the position of chief electrical inspector in July 2001. Prior to joining the State of New Hampshire, Mark was a self-employed electrical contractor located in Southern NH for over twelve years, and worked as a maintenance electrician in general industry for over seven years prior to starting his own business.
Mark is a past president of the Granite State Chapter of IAEI, which he joined in 1993. He is an inspector member of the Board of Directors, has been the Chapter’s Education chairperson for over fifteen years, and is the Granite State Chapter delegate to the Eastern Section. He is a certified electrical inspector, holding certificates from IAEI in One- and Two-Family Dwellings, Electrical General, and Electrical Plan Review. He has represented IAEI as an alternate member on NEC Code-making Panel 4 and is currently a principle member and chair of Code-making Panel 2. Mark is also principle member and chair of the Technical Committee on Electrical Equipment of Industrial Machinery, NFPA 79.
He was a National Electrical Code instructor for the Laconia, NH, Adult Education Electrical Apprentice Program for five years until he joined the National Fire Protection Association in April of 2000 as a consultant, providing advisory service for the Electrical Engineering Department, and as a National Electrical Code seminar instructor. In his capacity as a seminar instructor, he has been involved in technical program development and has taught the National Electrical Code, and has brought the message of electrical safety through NFPA 70E domestically and internationally. Mark is also an instructor for IAEI.
Mark and his wife Wanda reside in the small Town of Wolfeboro, NH, which is located in Central New Hampshire’s scenic Lakes Region. Mark and Wanda enjoy traveling around the United States seeing the sights and history. In their spare time, they enjoy riding their Harley Davison motorcycle, attending NASCAR races, and spending time with their four boys: Scott, Eric, Sean and Jason and their five grandchildren Bryton, Addison, Nathan, Azaya and Alaina.
Most of all, Mark is proud to be an electrician, an electrical inspector and part of a profession where knowledge is so willingly shared. Ultimately, his goal is to give something back the industry that has given so much to him.
Read more by Mark Hilbert