VBCOA annual conference welcomes new president

Outgoing VBCOA President Gregg Fields receives a plaque in honor of his service.

Outgoing President Gregg Fields, City of Alexandria Building Official, handed over the reins of the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA) to newly elected President Pete Mensinger, City of Alexandria Special Projects Manager, on Oct. 15, in Williamsburg. Approximately 250 code professionals, exhibitors, and instructors came together during the 89th Annual VBCOA Conference and School, held at the Williamsburg lodge.

Outgoing President Fields outlined the many accomplishments of the VBCOA during his tenure, which included increased new membership and mentoring focus, enhancements to the VBCOA website, increased presence on social media, the creation of a retiree membership category, being number one in the nation for schools participating in the High School Technical Training Program (HTTSP), and receiving the ICC Chapter of the year award. Additionally, under President Fields’ leadership, more than $40,000 in scholarships was awarded to VBCOA members allowing for increased participation to attend National Code Development Hearings and educational opportunities.

Jack Tuttle, former president of the Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA) and retired City Manager for Williamsburg, addressed attendees about the importance of leadership during the annual banquet. Tuttle explained that CBO credentials, which apply to most of the members, mean more than Certified Building Official. Tuttle, a graduate of the Weldon Cooper Center Senior Executive Institute, detailed a new way of thinking about the CBO credentials:

C = Commit

Commit to do the “work of leadership.” Building and code department leaders must embrace the work of leadership, finding their success in the success of the team, as opposed to focusing on their own tasks and technical work.

B = Believe

Believe in your own higher purpose. Higher purpose must shine in CBO leaders – whether you find that purpose in place (caring for the health and safety of your localities), your profession (serving the world of building safety and codes), people (training, guiding, and caring for your organization and staff), or a combination of all three.

O = Operate

Operate by a disciplined management system. Managers must be effective to be true leaders. Leadership requires adopting and living daily by a comprehensive and consistent system for managing the work.

Incoming President Pete Mensinger, who has worked for the City of Alexandria for decades, including with the Alexandria City Fire Department Code Enforcement Bureau and the Department of Code Administration, thanked the past presidents for their leadership, and committed to continue to focus on mentoring and leadership development. Mensinger also unveiled the Military Challenge Coin Drive, which relates to the ICC Military Families Career Path Program, designed to help veterans who are transitioning to civilian life and their family members learn more about building safety career options. VBCOA Region chairs will be responsible for selling these challenge coins throughout the year, with expected proceeds dedicated to benefit the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Chris Souza Foundation.

The International Code Council (ICC) also held its annual conference in Virginia this year. VBCOA was chosen from more than 364 chapters internationally to receive the prestigious Chapter of the Year Award. ICC officials were so impressed with the VBCOA report of activities that they asked VBCOA to present its “secret sauce” for success to the ICC chapter presidents.

For more information about the ICC visit the https://www.iccsafe.org/

For more information about the VBCOA, contact Sandra Harrington at sharrington@vml.org or visit the association website www.vbcoa.org.

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