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2015 VBCOA Conference Highlights

The Virginia Building Code Officials Association (VBCOA) held their annual conference in mid-September with VBCOA president Sean Farrell presiding.  During the annual business meeting, Farrell introduced James K. Spore, city manager of Virginia Beach, who welcomed the VBCOA membership. Approximately 200 attendees participated in a number of interesting and relevant training sessions and informational topics.  Educational opportunities included:

  • Developing community risk reduction partnerships
  • Simpson strong-tie cold form steel
  • VBCOA orientation
  • 2012 IBC mixed occupancies
  • Enhancing public safety with customer service
  • ICC overview of fire alarm provisions
  • Townhouse fire and life safety principles
  • 2012 Virginia Rehabilitation Code overview
  • Interpreting section R311.2.1 interior passage

VBCOA generously supported the efforts of a new state chapter by hosting the inaugural meeting of the Virginia Woman in Code Enforcement and Development (VA WICED).  The new emerging chapter  introduced its founding board of directors and introduced President Paula Johnson of Prince William County, Vice President Elaine Gall of the University of Virginia and Secretary and Treasurer Christina Jackson of the city of Norfolk.

As a special preconference event, participants were treated to a cornhole tournament and a crab legs and pig roast sponsored by Region VIII!

The annual awards banquet featured guest speakers Henry Green, president of the National Institute of Building Sciences and Dwayne Garriss, Georgia state fire marshal and ICC vice president.  There was also the installation of newly-elected officers including John Walsh, code enforcement operations manager if the city of Richmond, being sworn in as the VBCOA president.  Supporting Walsh will be David Beahm of Warren County, serving as first vice president, Greg Fields of Alexandria as second vice president, and Pete Mensinger of Alexandria will serve as Sergeant of Arms.

Jack Proctor Meritorious awards were presented to Martinsville Deputy Building Official Kris Bridges, Frederick County Senior Building Inspector Delmar Fox, Moseley Architects Vice President Kenny Payne and State Building Codes Office Technical and Code Development Specialist Vernon Hodge.  The president’s award of excellence was presented to Chesterfield County Assistant Building Official Ronald Clements.

(L to R) John Walsh, David Beahm, Greg Fields and Pete Mensinger

(L to R) John Walsh, David Beahm, Greg Fields and Pete Mensinger


Significant accomplishments under Farrell included:

  • Expanded partnership with high schools and developed a curriculum to offer education on building codes, partnering with the ICC High School Technical Program
  • Received recognition as an ICC preferred provider
  • Training approved for national and state certification requirements
  • Development of model code update training for contractors, architects and other private sector professionals
  • Enhancement of the VBCOA website to become the association’s primary communication means
  • Expanded recruitment efforts to reach out to all new members with orientation packages
  • Spearheaded an entire rewrite of the Virginia Maintenance Code
  • Began host efforts for the 2018 ICC conference which will be in Richmond, Virginia!

Thank you and kudos to Farrell for his dedication, contributions and outstanding leadership as VBCOA president.

Outgoing President Sean Farrell (L) passes the gavel onto incoming President John Walsh (R)

Outgoing President Sean Farrell passes the gavel onto incoming President John Walsh 

As incoming president, Walsh has set the following goals:

  • Expand membership by engaging client groups
  • Continue to expand the website with the creation of an online store offering a variety of items and possible advertising
  • Work with officers and regional chairs to plan, develop and raise funds for the 2018 ICC Conference
  • Expand the high school technical training program into every VBCOA region in the state
  • Maintain focus on implementation of the strategic plan

We wish Walsh and the VBCOA board the best of luck during this busy year!

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