Written by Jed Scheuermann 10:42 pm IAPMO Chapters

At the End of a Long Road, Washington’s Peninsula Chapter Reaches Fruition 

IAPMO chapters are the grassroots presence of IAPMO in many areas. No chapter in our history ever spontaneously or automatically sprang forth, or simply “happened,” rather, they emerged because of the diligent, sustained efforts of a few dedicated individuals who had the vision to make things happen. Strategic location and easy access to chapters are vital to our members. Although there were already five chartered IAPMO chapters in Washington state, none was within a reasonable drive from Sequim or Port Angeles on Washington’s north coast. Traveling south to greater Seattle or east to Spokane were not realistic options. With this in mind, we looked at how best to raise awareness and interest among our industry friends in the region. 

This effort began several years ago when Ed Holmes, UA Local 32 assistant business manager and longtime IAPMO supporter/ committee member, Brad Moore of WSA, and I began venturing to Sequim to start this process. We secured a hotel conference room, printed fliers, and knocked on doors in advance of our meetings. At each meeting, we provided pizza and soft drinks for everyone who attended. Explaining the benefits of IAPMO membership, we sought to build interest in getting a local chapter off the ground. Informative brochures, along with some promotional items (pens, stickers, and the like), were available. Momentum was increasing after a few such meetings, over the course of a couple years. 

Chapter members: Tim Herbert, Jason Switzer-McLean, Becca Walton, Sam Engdahl, Amy Montelius,and Ray Montelius Jr. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON PENINSULA CHAPTER 

Things were progressing relatively well. During our meetings we generally had some individuals from previous meetings, along with a few new faces in the crowd as word spread about what we were seeking to accomplish. Then, in 2020, the pandemic hit. We were stopped in our tracks and things suddenly ground to a complete halt. In late 2022, we reignited our quest, with Antonio Cruz taking the lead, supported by Tim Herbert, to get things back up and running. Antonio made frequent visits to the area, connecting with several plumbing contractors and their staff, as well as plumbing supply houses. Meanwhile, we also worked with the IAPMO Board of Directors to relax some of the requirements of obtaining an initial chapter charter. 

Washington’s north coast is considerably less populous than cities or urbanized regions. As such, there are far fewer people from whom to draw in the formation of a new chapter. This, however, in no way minimizes IAPMO’s commitment to serving our industry, helping it grow, making it stronger! 

Photo taken after the charter presentation ceremony with chapter members, (from left) Becca Walton, Sam Engdahl, Craig Engdahl, Joshua Williams, (holding charter plaque), Dan Gerrie, Kristal (Van Selus) Parrish, Antonio Cruz and Tim Herbert. 

Newly presented chapter banner. 

With sufficient charter members joining IAPMO, then signing on, we forwarded our petition in the spring of 2023 to the Board of Directors for its consideration and approval. On March 8, the “Peninsula Chapter of IAPMO” was granted its charter! A process that had its beginning more than five years prior finally came to fruition. Now, the work of getting this chapter functioning autonomously could continue. 

In late March, we held another meeting to officially launch the freshly minted Peninsula Chapter. Antonio and Tim made the trek from Tacoma, while I headed north from Oregon. Meeting with our enthusiastic friends, we presented them with a framed charter, and talked about next steps, which included creating bylaws to suit the specific realities in Sequim and its vicinity. Members needed to discuss and consider who their chapter officers should be. A suitable day, time and venue for meetings would need to be selected. With this in mind, we parted, planning to return in May. 

On May 25, Tim Herbert, Jason Switzer (chair of the Rainier-Olympic chapter) and I met with the Peninsula Chapter, in a room graciously provided by Ferguson Supply. Chapter officers were elected, with Herbert serving as chair, and Sam Engdahl and Becca Walton, both of Tom’s Plumbing in Sequim, serving as vice chair and secretary/treasurer, respectively. Chapter bylaws were ratified. We talked about industry happenings including 2021 UPC adoption (delay) by the State of Washington; Washington Advisory Board of Plumbers; and upcoming IAPMO national events, namely our September conference in San Antonio. One or perhaps two of the chapter officers hope to attend! 

Everyone present was happy their chapter finally became a reality. They want to contribute to our industry not only in their region, but to have an impact in Washington and beyond. They expressed gratitude that their voice and opinions on plumbing issues found a new avenue through which it might be heard. We encouraged them to be active and contact their state representatives and senators to make their position known on matters that affect their businesses and livelihoods. 

A date, July 12, was selected for a “big event” formal kickoff, including a meal and educational content. Chapter officers were introduced to the gathering and formally installed in their positions. With input from several people, we came up with a chapter logo, perfectly capturing the essence of the Olympic Mountains and ancient fir forests surrounding Sequim. The Peninsula Chapter banner and logo were officially unveiled. 

Although each chapter is unique, successful chapters in other places do have a few defining characteristics. Peninsula will adopt these proven methods and concepts. They will meet regularly to address the perceived needs of 

our industry on a local level, including a collaborative atmosphere in which to share information. Camaraderie is an important component. Gathering different industry facets such as inspectors, plumbers and apprentices, suppliers, manufacturers, and designers builds community. Doing this over a meal and beverage is an ideal way to achieve it! It builds trust. Having a chapter registered with the state in order to provide continuing education units (CEU) toward licensing or certification requirements is a fantastic enticement. All these are part of the formula of the Peninsula Chapter’s identity! 

We have high hopes for the Peninsula Chapter! Located in an area that has been overlooked and underserved for many years, it is poised to make a positive impact as a result of the dedication and enthusiasm of its entirely 

volunteer leadership team. As in other existing chapters, their personal investment and sacrifice will be a difference maker. The sheer beauty of Washington’s north coast is also a strong drawing factor — why don’t you come visit? 

Jed Scheuermann
Program Director, North America at IAPMO | Website

A Master Plumber, with over 40 years’ experience and has achieved a Bachelor (Education) degree and Instructor of Pipe Trades Certificate. As an educator, his passion is to effectively share trade knowledge, and he believes that access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation are basic human rights that much of the world lacks.

In 1989 Scheuermann participated in his first humanitarian mission at an orphanage in Brazil. His experience there literally changed his life, setting his feet on a path that prompted numerous humanitarian and first responder to natural disasters trips. He has now traveled to nearly 40 countries in the process and is an avid writer & photographer having published many articles.

Last modified: May 8, 2024