Weiland: Strong Foundation Allows Code Council to Weather Economic Storm


The financial crisis that began in the United States and grew into full-blown global recession has had a significant impact on the building and fire safety industry, but the strong foundation built since the consolidation has allowed the Code Council to weather the storm, CEO Rick Weiland reported during the 2009 Annual Business Meeting in Baltimore.

"The ICC has had an amazing run beginning with the merger that is now six years old, when we were $2 million dollars in the red," Weiland said. "Through the hard work of many, a strategic plan was adopted, the organization began to run in the black, and we were able to institute important management steps, including creating our first reserve fund and conducting regular assessments of our financial health. Today, I'm very proud of the extra effort that allowed us to weather the worst of this recession."

Even so, Weiland acknowledged that difficult decisions had to be made to reduce programs and services and employee expenses. "It is true that despite all our efforts the recession impacts required us to reduce our employment expenses, and revise some of our services and programs," he said. "But, it is equally true that today we can forecast ending the year in an even better position than we expected. Our surplus will be dedicated to replenishing our reserves, stabilizing our remaining workforce benefits, and establishing a prudent approach to future benefits and programs."

"The commitment to preserving the health of our finances and our mission is something I take seriously and work toward every day," Weiland continued. "I'm one that believes that short-term sacrifices are worth the long-term gains."

For the Code Council to survive and thrive as an organization, Weiland said an equal focus must be on a future. "That's why I am excited with the innovations in our operations, ranging from new online services to faster delivery of products and information," he said. "I am also excited that our message and our expertise is finding increased acceptance around the world, which is an endorsement of decades of your smart work in the area of building safety and sustainability. But most of all, I am inspired by how our membership retains a passion for making things better."

A clear symbol of the membership's optimism, passion and forward thinking, Weiland said, is the work around the International Green Construction Code. "Your peers in the industry—code enforcement, architecture, green design, government and other disciplines—are working tirelessly to give all of us the code that is being requested by elected officials, sustainability stakeholders and many corners of our own membership," Weiland said. "This is our moment—the wave that Board member Barbara Koffron so eloquently reminded us about last year during our deliberations on the path forward. The world is watching, and I'm confident we will meet the challenge."

Despite the challenges of the past year, Weiland said a unified organization weathered the storm and is in better position to achieve more success in the future. "I know that we are at our best when we feel the collective tug that comes when we all work together for the common good," he said. "I can look back over the last 12 months and feel that despite the many challenges we faced together, our collective desire and passion for what we do carried the day."