Celebration, Reflection, and an Exciting Year Ahead

Posted by bcasheri - BCxA President, 2018

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all had an opportunity to step away from the passions of work and reconnect with your friends, family and loved ones.

First – Thank you! I started 2018 feeling humbled and honored to be filling big shoes (who knew how big Bruce Pitts and Bill McMullen’s feet were!!) and taking the helm of the Building Commissioning Association as President. I vowed to work hard for the Association and all of you to help grow the BCxA in all aspects including advocacy, membership and financial health. Now, a year later, I still am humbled and honored to have served in the role of president and can reflect on the successes and the things we wanted to see happen that fell short.

Let’s Celebrate Our Top Ten 2018 Successes:

  1. Expanding BCxA Membership community of professionals
  2. Representing the BCxA on ASHRAE technical committees on commissioning helps drive best practices throughout our industry.
  3. Seeing great attendance and active participation at our ASHRAE/AHR Expo presentation. Clearly the industry is hungry for more knowledge. Let this be a motivator for chapters and members to get out and teach what commissioning is and how it should be done!
  4. Attracting standing room only at our Energy Exchange|Better Buildings Summit presentation on commissioning. Who knew this audience, which I’d assume was well versed on the topic, would have so many new players and faces…so great to see government organizations truly embracing and promoting commissioning.
  5. Holding an important seat at the table with the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Department of Energy; representing the BCxA and discussing the status of the commissioning profession and certification, which was a heated topic of conversation at this meeting. I saw that the BCxA is a very highly regarded advocate, yet we have a long way to get other government agencies and the private sector to commit to adoption of commissioning certification as a key element in the selection process.
  6. Gathering a well-attended Leadership Conference, held prior to our 2018 Conference on Building Commissioning —one of our most successful in both attendance and revenue!!
  7. Revamping BCxA communications, from reviving The Checklist to updating marketing objectives and BCxA promotion efforts.
  8. Implementing the restructure of corporate and individual memberships.
  9. Achieving record participation for in-classroom training sessions and on-line training courses
  10. Acquiring the nonprofit corporation, “California Commissioning Collaborative,” and beginning the review, selection, and incorporation of relevant CCC tools, as well as updating documents to current best practices.

In addition, our sister organization, the Building Commissioning Certification Board, certified the largest body of new Certified Commissioning Professionals and Certified Commissioning Firms since ANSI accreditation. Furthermore, our Building Commissioning Scholarship Foundation is thriving, thanks to contributions from BCxA members and building industry professionals.

I am happy to report that the hard work of our staff, chapters, committees, and members has moved the organization to the healthiest financial position it has enjoyed in years.

A Humbling Look in The Mirror …

Okay, I see more grey hair and a few more lines; I can also look back and admit there are things I wanted to get done that weren’t accomplished. The reality is that we face professional challenges in the coming years: commissioning is a code requirement in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). As a commissioning provider, I see the threats of increased competition and commoditization of commissioning — not from you, fellow BCxA members — but from those who don’t come close to following our best practices or ASHRAE guidelines/standards. I was just asked by an owner, “what is the return on investment for commissioning?” I’m sad to say that after all these years we (the profession) still don’t have a great answer for this question. Clearly there is work to do!

2019: An Exciting Year Ahead!

I am proud to introduce the Building Commissioning Association’s incoming President, Mr. Thomas Poeling, Director of Energy Solutions at U.S. Engineering Company. Tom has worked diligently with the BCxA for years, serving in leadership roles on the Southwest Chapter Board for 7 years before being elected to the International Board of Directors. He spearheaded the Association’s Marketing Committee activities in 2017-18, and was a primary force in restructuring membership and developing the supporting marketing initiatives.

I have been privileged to work closely with Tom in his role as President-Elect, and have counted on his energy and resourcefulness over the past year. Thank you, Tom!

Tom brings a fresh perspective to the Association as a mechanical contractor involved in construction, service, maintenance and energy solutions. I personally see more high-level General Contractors and Mechanical Contractors taking the lead in embracing commissioning to provide quality projects and construction. Through Tom’s leadership and increasing diversity of our members, we have a great opportunity to build our outreach and advocacy to connect with other organizations to support each other and improve the quality of the built environment.

What’s on Deck for The BCxA in 2019?
• Delivering the Value of Commissioning study
• Re-establishing momentum for the California Commissioning Collaborative
• Adding resources to our committees
• Creating new advocacy opportunities with partner organizations
• Updating the BCxA University online training program.
• Upgrading the association management system allowing for improvements to online purchases and member experiences in the Member Only Section.
• Providing another year of high quality webinars and TechTalks.
• Shifting back to a mid-winter leadership conference schedule –February 2019, in New Orleans.
• Hosting the 2019 conference on building commissioning in Schaumberg, IL (Chicago).
• Offering another year of great in-classroom training and chapter events!
• Transferring the President-Elect role from Tom Poeling to Dan Forino! Dan is a friend and loyal BCxA member who brings a youthful energy and excitement to the Association. As a result of Dan’s diligence on the Finance Committee, we have seen great financial improvements over the past few years.

In Praise of …

Over the past two years, I have worked more closely than ever with our Association’s staff, Liz Fischer and Sheri Adams, and Diana Bjornskov. I cannot convey or express how hard these individuals work for the Association! Nights, weekends, time away from their families, they are there behind the scenes making sure the BCxA is up and running smoothly and putting on great events!! A thank you will never be enough, but I want to publicly share and ask the entire association to recognize them for their hard work!

I thank Candice Rodgers, the fourth member of the 2018 Executive Committee who constantly pushed and challenged us to think outside the box (I am so comfortable staying in). Your creative ideas are proving fruitful and we look forward to you unleashing your influence, as 2019 brings a peaceful and healthy year to your growing clan.

The International Board of Directors, WOW, what a great group of individuals and industry leaders. It was this group that inspired me to become active with the BCxA when I saw how much dedication, knowledge and industry leadership this dedicated group delivers. By the way, it was an experience of a lifetime doing the Escape Room with all of you at the Nashville conference!

Chapters, I stood in front of you all two years ago with several challenges as we faced organizational difficulties. Those, frankly, were not fun times or conversations, but they were necessary. The results were off the chart! Each of our ten chapters not only stepped up, but knocked it out of the park, hosting events and local outreach programs, placing calls to members, and creating amazing regional annual events like the 7×24 event and Cx Summits. If not for your hard work, we would not be sharing in such success.

My Role in 2019

Juggling the role of BCxA President, working as a commissioning provider with projects around the country, a dad of two teenagers (Sarah and CJ) and husband of an amazing and supportive wife (Nancy) leaves me feeling like there are many things left undone and still to do. I am happy to say that 2019 moves me into the position of the Association’s Immediate Past President and allows me to continue working for the BCxA, albeit a little more behind the scenes.

I thank each and every one of you and wish you peace in the New Year.


John Villani, BCxA President, 2018

  1. Alex Fleming

    John, I’m not sure whether the trip down memory lane or the illustration of the challenges ahead is more compelling to fire up our commissioning efforts in 2019. Our firm works in a value market in Canada where a dollar saved is a dollar earned. It’s been your team’s work this past two years that has provided the framework for selling and delivering the value of commissioning. We’ve been fortunate to hear contractors, manufacturers, engineers ,of course, owners say – there was value in third-party project commissioning. These stakeholders have then gone on to support commissioning within their new project teams.

    There is only one way to fight low-cost, low-value providers and that’s with a quality system that demonstrates results. As a member I’m appreciative of the BCA’s support in serving up quality first in the building commissioning industry.

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