Building Safety Group Presents Awards Regarding Building Safety

Oct. 11, 2005
Individual presented awards at group's annual conference

The International Code Council honored individuals and groups for furthering the cause of building safety, fire prevention, safe construction and code enforcement during the association's annual conference.

Ron Bell of Sioux Falls, S.D., received the Code Official of the Year Award. This award is given to an individual whose contribution to code development and code enforcement helps to further the cause of building safety. Bell has a long career in code enforcement and building safety advocacy and was instrumental in the adoption of the International Codes in Sioux Falls. He has spent countless hours advocating the I-Codes in South Dakota and neighboring states.

Retired Chief Robert Weitzel of the Green Township, Ohio, Fire Department received the International Code Council Fire Service Award. This award is presented to a member whose service, professional abilities and leadership are critical to the development of the International Fire Code. Weitzel is a career fire service professional who became dedicated to fire code development and enforcement after losing two friends in the infamous Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire in 1977. He has testified before Congress on fire safety issues, is active in the Ohio Fire Chiefs' Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Code Council Fire Code Committee.

Ron Nienaber, Building Official for the city of Maple Grove, Minn., received the Bobby J. Fowler Award. The award, the highest honor given by the International Code Council, is in memory of the late Bobby Fowler, who is credited with being the founding father of the International Code Council. Nienaber received the award for his contributions to the building safety industry and for advancing the International Code Council's goal of achieving a safer built environment. In 1997, as a member of the ICBO Board of Directors, Nienaber made the motion to put the legacy organization on the path of one code when the Board voted to suspend development of the 2000 Uniform Building Code.

The Community Service Award, recognizing service to promote public safety, health and welfare, was presented to Quinn Davis, a building inspector for Wasatch County, Utah. Davis was recognized for going above and beyond normal expectations to ensure a safer environment and help those in need. Davis helped a family build a new home after the husband and father of three tragically died in a work-related accident. He spent nine months, using all of his free time and weekends, building the home for the young family.

A second Community Service Award was presented to the members of the Building Officials Association of Florida (BOAF). For many years, BOAF has assisted jurisdictions affected by hurricanes and other events that require rapid damage assessment. The 2004 hurricane season, however, spared very few areas and jurisdictions statewide were in need of assistance. Members of BOAF stepped up to the plate to meet every request for help, and building departments were able to do their own damage assessments while allowing some of their employees to aid other jurisdictions with even worse damage.

Robert Raymer, technical director for the California Building Industry Association, received the International Code Council Affiliate Award. The Affiliate Award recognizes an individual or organization for its support of code development and building safety. Raymer's lobbying efforts were crucial to the California Building Standards Commission's decision earlier this year to change course and recommend the International Building, Residential and Fire Codes for adoption in California. In his daily work, Raymer represents homebuilders at the local, state and national levels on code-related issues.

The Building Officials Association of Texas (BOAT) was named the International Code Council Chapter of the Year. BOAT was recognized for its contributions to the code development process, its role in enhancing educational opportunities for building professionals and communicating with the public about the importance of building safety and fire prevention.

Four merit awards were presented to chapters of the International Code Council: California Building Officials, Southern Nevada Chapter, Southern New Mexico Building Officials and the Virginia Plumbing and Mechanical Inspectors Association.

The International Code Council, a membership organization dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states that adopt codes choose the International Codes developed by the International Code Council.