WABO 2021 Annual Business Meeting - Port Angeles

 ICC  Sr. Regional Manager, Kraig Stevenson, swears in the 2021/2022 Board of Directors (Doug Powell not pictured)


Dear WABO Members,

Heading into my second year as your President I cannot help but look back on the first year and admire all that this organization has accomplished. We persevered through many virtual Business and Board meetings, and finally were able to see the light at the end of the tunnel by having this year’s Annual Business Meeting held in-person at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles. We had a good turnout along with great fellowship, and our business objectives were accomplished.

One of the highlights in attending the ABM is honoring those individuals or groups that have had an impact on our organization throughout the last year. As is customary, awards were presented at our Annual Awards Banquet. It was an honor to present a letter of appreciation, which will go out to each jurisdiction, acknowledging our fellow permit techs, plans examiners and building inspectors who served selflessly during the pandemic.

The Jurisdictional Outreach Award was given to all the building inspectors throughout the state who value the safety of their community, while putting their own health and safety at risk. This award will be placed at the WABO office for all to see when visiting.

The Outstanding Educational Achievement Award was presented to the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for their tools and training developed through funding, to allow us to navigate an ever changing and complex energy code.

WABO Associate of the year award was given to Jon Siu Consulting for the remarkable leadership, assistance and effort provided to our Technical Code Development Committee. Many hours were provided in preparing and then presenting code changes earlier this year at the ICC Code Action Hearings.

Code Official of the Year was presented to Sue Coffman, City of Tacoma Building Official. Sue has worked tirelessly on the TCD committee, attending the ICC code hearings and was selected to the State Building Code Technical Advisory Group. What stands out the most is her support for her staff to participate in WABO activities and committees, along with her passion for the codes and the positive impact it has provided for her colleagues, staff and her community.

WABO’s Bylaws allow the President to recognize outstanding contributions to WABO’s mission through presentation of a Presidents Award. I, along with the entire Board, presented a special and unique Presidents award for “Organizational Excellence During a Pandemic” to our Executive Director, Tara Jenkins. Tara has continually gone above and beyond, not just for the organization but for the Board as well. She has worked extra hard making everything run “virtually” seamless for the last 15 months for our Executive Board meetings, Officers meetings,  Business meetings, the virtual day with our legislatures, the Annual Education Institute, and so much more “behind the scenes” work that most of us aren’t even aware of.

Last but not least we presented a plaque and gift to former 1st Vice President Lee Kranz, who recently retired. WABO will be forever grateful for all of Lee’s contributions that he provided for us, which has had a rippling affect at both the State and National level.

I’d like to congratulate newly elected 1st Vice President Andy Higgins (Seattle), 2nd Vice President Ray Cockerham (Puyallup), and Board member Doug Powell (SeaTac, Emergency Management). Congratulations also go to re-elected Board members Micah Chappell (Seattle, Technical Code Development), Brian Smith (Bellevue, Certification and Registration), Todd Blevins (West Richland, Education), Tim Woodard (Blaine, Government Relations), James Tumelson (Edgewood, Accreditation), Stacy Criswell (Monroe, Outreach), and Angela Haupt (Kirkland, Finance).

WABO continues to thrive fiscally and the work that continues to be produced by all our committees is nothing less than stellar. Of course, there is always a need for more involvement on our committees and also our newly formed energy code task force. This task force will be looking for ways which allow enforcing our complex energy code less cumbersome and more proficient for jurisdictions as well as our customers.

I look forward to our Fall Business Meeting which will be held at Campbells Resort in Lake Chelan October 28-29th. Hope to see you there!


2021 Code Official of the Year - Sue Coffman    2021 Associate Member of the Year - Jon Siu Consulting (Micah Chappell accepted on Jon's behalf)   2021 Outstanding Educational Achievement - NEEA (not pictured)   
2021 Jurisdicational Outreach - WA State Bldg Inspectors (Clell Mason accepted on behalf of Bldg Insp.)   2021 Retirement - Lee Kranz   2021 Presidents Award - Tara Jenkins

Committee Reports

 Technical Code Development Committee - Chair Micah Chappell, MBA, CBO

WABO Technical Code Development (TCD) has had a busy 2021 so far. ICC Committee Action Hearings for the 2024 Codes, State proposal development and participation in various TAG’s for the State 2021 Codes, participation in various other committees and groups, and great support from our consultant, Jon Siu, who was awarded the Associate Member of the Year for all the work he has done to move our codes forward. 

First, I want to thank the membership for electing me to Chair the TCD Committee for another year. The participation has doubled over this last year and we are on track to get most of our proposals through Group 1 of the State process. The TCD Committee participated in over 200 hours of ICC Hearings for the 2024 codes and had some success with our proposals. We anticipate further success during the Public Comment hearings this fall in Pittsburgh. 

WABO TCD members have also been active on various other projects including, the Tsunami TAG for the State that resulted in an important change to the Building Code, an ICC Accessibility Committee, an ASCE Committee, an ICC Test Development Committee, and various State TAG’s, provided input for the long-term ICC code development process, among others. 

Additionally, Sue Coffman, an active TCD participant, and representative on the State Building Code TAG, was awarded the Code Official of the Year award for her service. 

As always, I want to encourage participation in the WABO TCD Committee as we work towards better codes for all. 

Certification & Registration Committee - Chair Brian Smith,CBO, ACO

Following the recent tragic events of the partial Surfside Condo Collapse in Florida, outreach and education was a large topic during our C & R committee meeting.  It was proposed that WABO reach out to organizations like, the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington State Association of Counties and the Washington Cities Insurance Authority, to help educate those individuals at the executive level in our jurisdictions by promoting the WABO SIRP program. The WABO SIRP program was designed to support local building departments with the means to meet the obligation imposed on the local building official to approve special inspectors and agencies and to also help bring consistency and accountability to agencies and inspectors across the state.  The outreach will be discussed further at the next WABO Executive Board Meeting in August.

Government Relations - Chair Tim Woodard 

The Government Relations committee (GRC) met at the summer 2021 Annual Business Meeting and many topics were discussed.

  • Amy Brackenbury (WABO’s Lobbyist) provided a written report that was presented to the members that were in attendance. This report included information about the following: the State Building Code Board make-up, the request from the House Local Government Committee for information about the current process for periodic inspections of existing buildings (similar to Miami Date), and the upcoming legislative climate.
  • The GRC debated adding a position to our Legislative Priorities about “Structural Resiliency”. This position will be reviewed at the Fall Business Meeting for ratification by the membership.
  • The last discussion revolved around the announcement from our current lobbyist (Amy Brackenbury) about her resignation. The GRC will be forming a Review Committee and submitting an RFP to replace Amy as soon as possible.

Education Committee - Chair Todd Blevins, CBO

The education committee met IN PERSON and it was great to see everyone! We completed our rough line up of classes for the 2022 AEI. The committee had great ideas and discussions of what we would like to offer our membership this coming year. The committee presented 22 classes, ranging from Structural engineering  to beginning Bluebeam Revu. We will include classes for our fire personnel and our permit techs, rounding out the AEI for maximum benefit to all the jurisdictions. We will continue to select instructors and vet course outlines to finalize the schedule and be ready to see all of you in person this coming March.

As always, our costs to our members are being kept very reasonable with the best educators in the business. We look forward to seeing you and if you would like to be a part of the education committee or have any questions or suggestions please contact me. And as always, thanks to  the committee and Tara for the great job at the ABM.

Outreach Committee - Chair Stacy Criswell, CBO, ACO

This year’s annual business meeting was a great chance to not only see one another in person, but actively collaborate on issues in real time. Specifically in our committee meetings we discussed “What is a Building Official”, partnering with MRSC for quarterly newsletters representing/highlighting the building departments, and setting up an energy code task force.

Regarding the “What is a Building Official” document, we had volunteers take on all of the topics you see below, and we hope to have something ready for release in the coming months. For the MRSC topics, you will be seeing that coming out shortly and we will be looking for volunteers as well.

Building Official Handbook Topics:

  • What is a Building Official?
  • History of the Building Official
  • Duties of the Building Official
  • Legal Responsibilities of the Building Official
  • Where is the Building Official's place in our organization?
  • Qualities of a good Building Official
  • When do you need a Building Official?
  • What are the challenges of the Building Official?
  • Future of the Building Official
  • What is WABO?
  • WABO's Legislative Priorities

Lastly, if you were not able to attend this meeting, I strongly recommend that you make it to our next meeting in Chelan on October 28th and 29th.

Accreditation Committee - Chair James Tumelson, MCP,CBO, ME, ACO

This is a very exciting time for the Code Official Accreditation Program (COAP).  Beginning this Fall, the COAP for the first time will be running concurrently years one, two and three.  We would urge any of you that would like to enroll in this Fall COAP to register now. Any delay in registration will result in having to wait an entire year until Fall of 2022. Registration is currently open and the first day of class will be begin on September 13, 2021.  The COAP enrollment information is listed on the WABO homepage.  The Accreditation Committee would ask that you consider joining your peers as an Accredited Code Official and/or enroll in the COAP.