Q: What is IIBEC’s specific definition of “equity,” and how will this be applied in IIBEC?
Hinesley: The actual name of the task force is the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion. We had a member study a few years ago that determined that our members are largely male and caucasian. This (task force) is trying to figure out where our blind spots are, and answer the question of “Are we doing something as an organization that is not attracting different races and females to our organization.” We do want to be inclusive, we want to be welcoming of all professionals regardless of background, and we want to learn what we can do better to help make that happen. Some people say it’s a sensitive subject. To me it’s not a sensitive subject at all. I think we need to splay it all out there and admit that we’ve had shortcomings in the past. Let’s do better.”
Sheridan: I think IIBEC is starting to lead by example in that respect. As well as having the task force in place now, we’re adding another region director who’s a female, and that’s going to give us the most gender-balanced board of directors that IIBEC has ever had, so I do believe there’s been progress, and there will be more progress.
Pallasch: I won’t belabor this, but part of what the task force is going to work on is putting those sorts of definitions together.
Q: What’s the back-up plan if we can’t meet in Phoenix?
Pallasch: We have always presumed that we would have a hybrid meeting, and what we mean by that is that we will have a virtual and an in-person component in Phoenix. So we do have a plan that we will default to a virtual meeting. But my sense is that at this point it will be hybrid, and some people may not be comfortable traveling, and they will have access to the same content.
Q: Convince me to purchase the Manual of Practice—Second Edition.
Sheridan: I’ll give this answer. I was formerly involved in some of the exam-writing subcommittees. One of the problems we always had in those committees was finding references for common-sense answers that we wanted to put in the exam. A lot of times, the only place we could find a common-sense answer to a question was in the Manual of Practice. The new one is improved in several ways, and it’s going to have all those answers and more, and it’s a great fundamental tool for some of those things you can’t find anywhere else.
Q: At what point would the in-person 2021 International Convention and Trade Show be called off?
Hinesley: That’s difficult to answer, but it would certainly be in time to notify everyone to cancel travel plans. Listen. I’m gonna be there in September. Even if Brian says the meeting’s canceled, I’m going.
Pallasch: We have to follow the public health guidelines. Karen (McElroy) and Mendy (Cunningham) are in contact with the Phoenix Convention Center and the Downtown Sheraton, and I feel very comfortable that we’ll be able to make a decision in the right way. I feel strongly that we’re going to be able to be there. I think it’s going to happen. We will make the decision as quickly as we can.
Q: Why not combine the BES (Building Enclosure Symposium) and Convention?
Pallasch: The decision has been made to do the Virtual Spring Symposium, which will essentially take the place of this year’s BES, because it wasn’t going to be possible for us to produce two large meetings within a few weeks. There are nine presentations that have been approved (for VSS). That was the decision that was made.
Q: Does IIBEC list members with diversity classications—women-owned, disabled, vet, black-owned, etc.—and are there any plans on pursuing this topic?
Hinesley: Honestly I don’t know, and that’s why we created the task force, and that’s what we want them to tell us. They can make recommendations to the board of directors on how we ought to proceed.
Pallasch: We’ve partnered with NIBS and about a dozen other organizations in a large diversity survey. We expect that tool to be completed, and IIBEC members will get an email explaining where to go to fill it out. That will give us some information about what our members think about diversity.
Q: Since we’re moving the convention back to September, is that going to be our plan going forward, or will we get back to the March timeline? What’s the opportunity in the future of combining the two events (BES and Convention)?
Hinesley: If we could be in Phoenix right now, we would be. Our goal is to return to “normal” as soon as possible. We heard a lot from our members saying that they were locked out of travel, and we had to make a decision based on what our members could do. Our intent is to go back to the spring convention, fall symposium.
Pallasch: Some of this is predetermined because we have contracts. We are moving back to the March timeframe at a minimum through 2024. The IIBEC International Convention and Trade Show will be in Florida in 2022, Houston in 2023, and in 2024 we’re back in Phoenix, all in the March timeframe.
Q: What plans does IIBEC have to reach out to colleges and universities?
Pallasch: Part of what we’re doing is using the RCI-IIBEC Foundation and their work with students to engage with university students that way. But we also need to see how we can reach directly out to university engineering and architecture departments to see what resources we might have for their students and teachers.
Q: Will there be a report from the Foundation?
Pallasch: There was a summary, and a blurb from Mike Blanchette, who expresses a great deal of gratitude for everyone who continued to support the RCI-IIBEC Foundation and the RCI Foundation Canada in a very difficult year. He would like to express a special thanks for all the donations received this year.
Q: What are the key objectives/plans for 2022?
Hinesley: IIBEC’s Strategic Plan is available on the website, and that is the board’s reference for objectives.
Q: There is a question about going to Rosen Shingle Creek (the resort in Florida) again.
Hinesley: Our organization is at a weird size because we’re too big for some places and too small for other place, so our options are sometimes limited.
Pallasch: When our contracts are completed in several years, we will be looking for new options.
Q: Any thoughts about IIBEC advocating for a four-year college degree program on the building enclosure?
Sheridan: There are four-year degrees in building enclosure. Where we’ve seen them in Canada is starting at community colleges. We’ve actually hired people with bachelor of building science degrees.
When questions were completed, Hinesley thanked everyone who took the time to type in questions and participate in this format. He then re-introduced the 2021-2022 IIBEC Board of Directors.