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The Charlotte, NC skyline.

IAPMO Opens 93rd Annual Education and Business Conference

Sept. 15, 2022
During the conference’s opening session, IAPMO honored numerous individuals with awards recognizing unique contributions.

CHARLOTTE, NC — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) on Monday, September 12th, opened its 93rdannual Education and Business Conference, the association’s first in-person conference since 2019, at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel.

State of the Association

IAPMO CEO Dave Viola delivered the annual State of IAPMO report, and the keynote address was delivered by the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWSH) Foundation, updating IAPMO membership on recent initiatives in Lowndes County, Alabama, and the Navajo Nation to solve pressing issues affecting residents’ access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation systems.

Elections & Officers

David Gans, chief building official, Oceanside, California, was reelected president and Steve Panelli, chief plumbing inspector, city and county of San Francisco, was reelected vice president. Rex Crawford, retired chief plumbing inspector, Lincoln, Nebraska, will serve as secretary; Rick Moreno, Astro Mechanical Contractors president, will serve as director at large, contractor; Steve Fernlund, St. Paul, Minnesota, plumbing inspector, Keith Bonenfant, California Department of General Services plumbing and mechanical inspector, and Allen Becker, combination plans examiner III, Henderson, Nevada, will serve as district directors.

Larry Batson, business agent from UA Local 421 in Charleston, South Carolina, served as conference host and Perry “Skip” Howard, Local 421 retired business manager, served as conference chair.


During the conference’s opening session, IAPMO honored numerous individuals with awards recognizing unique contributions and long-standing support from members and industry allies. The awards and their recipients include:
  • Legislator of the Year: U.S. Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) from California’s 35th district
  • President’s Green Oval: Shabbir Rawalpindiwala, Kohler Co. (retired) manager of Codes and Standards; Tim Collings, retired senior building inspector, city of Salt Lake
  • Joseph Kneidinger Sustainability Professional of the Year: Doug Bennett, conservation manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority
  • Bruce Pfeiffer Committee Member of the Year: Rex Crawford, retired chief plumbing inspector, city of Lincoln, Nebraska
  • American Flag Award: Jaime Valdivia, retired Piping Industry Progress and Education Trust Fund (P.I.P.E) director
  • Industry Person of the Year: Ray Levangie, retired business manager, UA Local 398
  • Government Person of the Year: John Nielsen, Plumbing and HVAC program manager, state of Idaho
  • George Kauffman Lifetime Achievement Award: Dave Mann, retired business representative, UA Local 342
The association also introduced a new award, the IAPMO Fellow, to honor both longtime and more recent contributors of distinction. The inaugural class of inductees are: Bob Adler, Jim Anderlik, Denvert Boney, Ken Carlson, Tim Collings, Bob Courtnier, Rex Crawford, Dan Daniels, Mike Durfee, Larry Facer, Pennie Feehan, Doug Fredericksen, Tom Gugino, John Halliwill, Gary Hamilton, Sherry Hernandez, Gary Hile, Chuck Kirby, John Koeller, Bill Laub, Ray Levangie, Richard Lisle, Dave Mann, David McHenry, Danny Nunez, D.J. Nunez, Bruce Pfeiffer (posthumously), Tom Pitcherello, Linden Raimer (posthumously), Shabbir Rawalpindiwala, Phil Ribbs, Ron Rice, Arnie Rodio, Bob Siemsen, Larry Soskin, Jim Stack, Marylyn Stapleton, Dave Straub, Jaime Valdivia and Mike Wynne.

Also during the conference, winners of the 12th IWSH Scholarship Essay Competition were announced. First prize was awarded to Chantal Cheung, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada, and three runners-up were Sofia Lang, McGill University, Alberta, Canada; Callie Lowery, Mercer University, Macon, Georgia; and Wyatt Snyder, University of Indiana, Bloomington.

Down to Business

During the conference’s Association Technical Meeting Convention, membership votes produced a total of 27 successful motions for the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC). Successful motions for the UPC included provisions for soap dispensers, adult changing stations, beverage dispensers, material standards for building supply, and professional qualifications. Successful motions for the UMC included various listings for equipment and appliances, refrigeration systems, an update to referenced standards, provisions for shutdown and reopening of buildings, and professional qualifications.

In accordance with Section 4-6 of the IAPMO code development regulations, an amendment recommended by the association shall be submitted to ballot of the responsible technical committee (TC). Approval is determined by two-thirds affirmative vote by the responsible TC. If the association recommended amendment is not approved by the TC, the issue is automatically docketed as an appeal to the IAPMO Standards Council to be heard on Nov. 16. Successful motions made during the meeting will be available at

Thanks to the Sponsors

The conference was sponsored by Western States Pipe Trades, UA Plumbers 78, Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16, NITC, Watts, Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute, IAPMO California Central Chapter, IAPMO R&T, UA Local 230, ASPE, American Water Works Association, PHCC, and IAPMO Southern Nevada Chapter.

IAPMO’s 94th annual Education and Business Conference will be held in San Antonio, Sept. 24-28, 2023.

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