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Letter From President Tom Poeling On Partnership, Passion and Presence


BCxA Members and Partners:

As 2019 comes to a close, I want to provide a recap of some highlights we experienced this year as an organization. One of the coolest things about being in a leadership position with the BCxA is that you get to invite yourself to different conferences and meetings across the country. You get to meet a lot of people who are passionate about building performance. Here are some of the most significant memories I took away from attending these events on behalf of the BCxA:

  • ASHRAE Conference – Atlanta (January). I had the opportunity to sit in on multiple ASHRAE standards and guidelines committee meetings. Observing the process gave me a deep appreciation for the committee members (including several BCxA members) who work throughout the year to define the best practices of our industry.
  • BCxA Leadership Conference – New Orleans (February). We held a 3-day conference with chapter and committee leaders to discuss the strategic goals for 2019. One of the strengths of our organization lies with our 10 North American chapters. There were dozens of local events hosted by our local chapters this year. Nearly half of our 1,000+ members were able to participate and connect at these events.
  • ASCE Conference – Washington DC (April). The BCxA was invited to provide a panel at this conference. I was surprised by the strong participation of the student chapters represented at this conference. The BCxA has discussed outreach to younger engineers for several years, and I was encouraged to see a model where college student participation was strong.
  • Energy Exchange – Denver (August). The interest in educational topics on building commissioning was strong, with six different presentations attended by federal government stakeholders.
  • National Conference on Building and Facility Operations – Montreal (September). I had the privilege of attending the NCBFO conference hosted by the Eastern Canadian chapter. The support from our Canadian members has been overwhelming this year, with record attendance for our regional training classes in Vancouver and great attendance at the conference in Montreal.
  • BCxA Annual Conference – Chicago (September). No doubt the highlight of our year was the BCxA’s Annual Conference in Chicagoland. We received great feedback on the technical tracks and our two pre-conference workshops. We were able to raise money for our scholarship program through the annual golf tournament. We launched a new app, and made great strides in becoming a more sustainable, paperless conference. Many thanks for the speakers, attendees and sponsors for making it such a great event!

When we met at the Leadership Conference, certain themes emerged that we wanted to work on as an organization. We are pleased to report progress on the goals that we laid out almost a year ago.

  • Defining our Value Proposition.
    • The committee worked to update the website and provide more consistent content to our members through email and social media campaigns. Additional website structural updates were set in motion for implementation next year.
    • Value of Commissioning Study. We were able to complete a 2-year market study to update the definition of the value of building commissioning. The results of the study are published on our website, as well as in industry publications.
  • Leveraging our Credentials.
    • The Building Commissioning Certification Board spent countless hours this past year to update our certification tests. We were also able to connect the Associate Commissioning Provider (ACP) exam schedule with classroom training courses.
    • Advocacy Committee. We launched a new committee dedicated to defining and defending regulatory issues that affect the commissioning industry. The committee will also work to strengthen relationships with peer organizations that influence building performance outcomes.
  • Expanding our Influence.
    • Best Practices. The committee completed an update to the Existing Building Best Practices document and is at work on the first-of-its-kind Ongoing Commissioning Best Practices document, due for presentation at the AHR Conference, with public review and completion in early 2020.
    • Training. We set another attendance record for in-classroom training throughout the country, including classes in Kentucky, Illinois, Arizona, British Columbia, Pennsylvania and Texas. Each chapter successfully delivered its Tech Talk presentation each month.
  • Succession Planning.
    • A task force completed and presented an updated Chapter Handbook, providing governance and training materials for operating chapter business.
    • Various chapters have started to standardize their bylaws around longer terms and modified officer positions.

Improving succession planning within the International Board has been a huge win for the organization. Changing our bylaws to a three-year leadership obligation (President-Elect, President, and Past President), allows us to plan our executive leadership years in advance.

I am looking forward to formally electing a new slate of board officers in December and installing Dan Forino as our BCxA President for 2020. This succession plan also promotes a smooth transition of programs into the new year. The Executive Board has already identified the major initiatives for the upcoming year, and we will plan to present them to Committee and Chapter leadership at our upcoming Leadership Conference this February.

I’m very thankful for the opportunity to serve this organization as your 2019 President. I want to thank everyone who participates in board, chapter and committee leadership for your consistent and faithful work on behalf of the BCxA. A huge shout-out to our staff (Liz, Sheri, Nicole, Diana and Aimee), who put up with all of my questions and unreasonable requests this year. And finally, my sincere thanks for the support of our members. I am looking forward to another year of strengthening our core and expanding our influence. Have a happy and safe holiday season!

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