Written by 10:53 pm Chief Executive Officer

To Best Serve a Diverse World Requires a Diverse Association

Dave Viola
Chief Executive Officer at IAPMO

It’s immediately obvious to anybody who has visited or toured IAPMO World Headquarters that our organization values inclusiveness, equity and diversity in the workplace, the result of IAPMO’s long and proud history of hiring and nurturing a true melting pot of a workforce. From management to new hires, our culture is proudly consistent — diversity is an asset.

When thinking about IAPMO’s strategic plan and vision, a concept became clear: IAPMO serves everyone. Our focus, what we do — health, safety, and resiliency — affects everyone.

At the most recent Board of Directors meeting, it was suggested the board look at ways to diversify the makeup of IAPMO’s membership and committees to better reflect the world we serve. To their credit, the board embraced the suggestion with excitement and a healthy, enthusiastic discussion ensued, culminating in the creation of a new Diversity Committee to be chaired by Ray Boyd of the United Association.

With the committee’s guidance, the board hopes to create a pipeline to attract and nurture the next, more diverse generation of IAPMO members to populate our chapters, committees and the Board of Directors. We anticipate the committee will hold its first meeting before the end of the year and look forward to learning the first steps it recommends for this exciting and necessary venture.

An overriding objective of the board meeting was refreshing IAPMO’s Vision Statement, starting with a new opening sentence: “We strive to be the industry leader in protecting public health and safety, and in improving access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation around the world.”

Our Vision Statement previously made specific mention of “plumbing and mechanical.” And while that is IAPMO’s DNA — absolutely what got us here — the board felt our driving sentence should reflect all our stakeholders in the 21st century. IAPMO’s strength and pride is grounded in our unparalleled leadership in the plumbing and mechanical industry, but our rapid growth has stretched the organization far beyond those boundaries. We are now a leader in building product testing and evaluation, ISO management system registration, electric, solar, gas and more. This revised Vision is a more robust reflection of who we are and what we do, and deepens the connection for all of our staff members and the ethos we want to project as an organization.

Another important development from the recent board meeting is the creation of the IAPMO Fellow Award. I am a Fellow of ASSE and I’m very proud of that recognition I received in 2005. The certificate is displayed among my proudest accomplishments because it means a lot to me personally. I know firsthand what an impression such an honor makes on members doing unselfish things for an organization. It’s impactful. I always thought it was a wonderful way to make someone feel appreciated and encouraged to do even more for the bestowing organization. We are therefore going to make sure those working most exceptionally in IAPMO’s orbit are recognized similarly.

While many IAPMO awards focus on specific segments of expertise, the IAPMO Fellow will be awarded to those working in cooperation with staff or the Board of Directors, starting a chapter, or investing time and effort effectively in IAPMO’s mission. It can be a younger, emerging talent or a more mature, tenured leader, the driver of a grassroots effort or a previously unsung mentor.

The award debuted at our 93rd annual Education and Business Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, but can be awarded any time. Recipients will be encouraged to tout the accomplishment on their business cards and professional online profiles. I look forward to watching the roster of IAPMO Fellows grow year after year.

In code news, thanks to foresight, planning and focused work from our staff on all levels, we got our codes out to California weeks before any other code development bodies made theirs available. The California Building Standards Commission commended IAPMO for our ability to get the California Plumbing Code (CPC) and California Mechanical Code (CMC) out early. The 2022 CPC and CMC go into effect in California on Jan. 1 and we’ve already developed the California specific training and conducted classes. Great work, everybody!

It’s further proof that IAPMO is still doing very well due to the great work staff is producing globally during trying times and working in hybrid environments. Our committees, too, are working around these hurdles, managing big workloads, sometimes in person, sometimes remotely, and performing brilliantly despite what could be a disruptive environment. These committees’ focus continues to be to deliver product certification, codes and standards development, education, support documents and more, and I commend their flexibility in finding ways to keep getting the work done. Bravo!

Finally, I want to highlight some recent well-deserved promotions within the IAPMO staff. On July 1, D.J. Nunez was promoted to executive vice president of Field Services. Though a relative newcomer to staff, D.J. is no stranger to IAPMO as he served 12 years on the Board of Directors, including as president in 2017-18, while working as Southern California area manager for California’s Construction Inspection Management Division. Field Services is definitely in good hands.

Two IAPMO staff members have expanded their roles with the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH). IAPMO Director of Government Relations Robyn Fischer has been named IWSH senior director and IAPMO Director of Workforce Training and Development Randy Lorge has added IWSH director of North American Projects to his responsibilities. Both Robyn and Randy have proven integral to IWSH’s mission and will no doubt continue to perform admirably as IWSH delivers life-changing clean water and safe sanitation to those most in need. Until my next column, take care and be safe out there.

Dave Viola
Chief Executive Officer at IAPMO

Last modified: November 14, 2022