President’s Message

Greetings BOAT family and friends. It’s been a busy and productive year for BOAT. Our February Houston BPI, May North Texas BPI, and annual BOAT Conference in August were all successes. Also, our first West Texas BPI was recently held in Lubbock October 1-2 and had a great start. In fact, we’ve already chosen September 31-October for our return there next year. As I write this, Central Texas BPI is taking place in Austin and we’re looking forward to another great year there. We’ve experienced a substantial increase in registrants this year and we’re excited to provide excellent continuing education for everyone who is attending. On behalf of the Board, we appreciate all who participate in the events we conduct as these events are for you.

With this in mind, please add the following 2020 events to your calendar and plan to attend what you can:

  • Houston BPI, February 17-20
  • North Texas BPI, May 11-14
  • BOAT Annual Conference in Georgetown, Texas, August 12-14

For the first time, we are currently planning a regional training school, to be held in El Paso in 2020 on March 24-25, 2020. The need for continuing education is there and we’ve been interested in taking some great code education out to far west Texas. We have a great line up of Instructors and classes. I’d like to thank BOAT Past President Mike Olson and El Paso’s Electrical Inspector-Supervisor Oscar Pedregon for their vision, passion and effort to make this school a reality. Details and registration will be posted soon on the BOAT website under the Programs tab. Check here and help us get the word out. By promoting these events to your colleagues, peers, and friends you’ve made in other cities. As the numbers and participation at these events grow, we will be able to enhance and improve what we have to offer all attendees.

I’m pleased to announce that our BOAT membership has increased approximately 12 percent over the last year. On behalf of the BOAT Board, I want to welcome all the new members and thank you for joining. The Board members look forward to meeting, getting to know you, and serving you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there’s any way we can assist you.

I’d like to recognize and say a big THANK YOU to some individuals that have been rock steady in their commitment to BOAT and for their tremendous contributions to our Association:

Charles Clawson has continued to spearhead our BPI program. In fact he’s in his 26th year serving us in this capacity. As you can imagine, planning for and conducting these educational events takes a tremendous amount of work. Our very successful BPI program would not be what it is today without Charles’ efforts.

Van Tran of Bureau Veritas has worked diligently to provide vision and leadership to help us build our Career Development Day Program. Our goal with the program is to ensure there are qualified individuals prepared to enter into our career field in building code enforcement for the future. Please check out Van’s “Bringing Up the Next Generation of Building Code Officials” article included in this bulletin. In addition to the great news Van shares there, we were privileged to conduct a career development event at the Dallas Builders Show on November 12, where we promoted the great opportunity to enter into a career in building inspections. We presented our message to approximately 170 high school students who are currently involved in a local high school construction trades programs. There’s no doubt this is one of the most important endeavors BOAT is working on and we expect to yield many individuals entering into our building inspection field.

Lastly, I want to thank Jim Olk from the City of Garland for his tireless and continued service in leading and building our Disaster Response Team program. With Jim’s help, we have trained many peers, prepared for, and been able to respond to disaster events around our state. We have conducted thousands of rapid damage assessments and have ultimately provided timely and beneficial information to the areas that were affected. Jim is continuing to foster and build viable relationships with groups and individuals that will be able to assist us as we respond to events in the future.

BOAT Committees are currently being formed. If you have an interest or passion for work a committee may undertake over the next several months, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Committee Chairman or myself and express your desire to help out. Or, if you simply have an idea about something a committee could consider working on let us know. Find Committee info and details at

As you and BOAT work together as first preventers, we are building a safer Texas. Thank you for all you do for your communities and our great state. The best is yet to come!

Jeffrey Widmer

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