IAQ Associations Announce Consolidation

October 26, 2005
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Attorneys David Governo (left) and Michael Bowdoin (center) were featured speakers at the recent IAQA-AmIAQ-IESO 2005 Unification Conference in Orlando.
ORLANDO, Fla. - The three leading trade organizations serving professionals in the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) industry have announced plans for the consolidation and unification of their programs and activities. The move will result in the creation of a membership organization with more than 5,500 constituents, an independent certification board for IAQ professionals and tradespersons, and a separate standard-setting organization to create standards for indoor environments.

A proposal jointly written by the presidents and executive directors of AmIAQ, IAQA, and IESO to realign the specialized programs and activities of the three organizations received unanimous approval by their respective boards of directors.

The American Indoor Air Quality Council (AmIAQ), Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), and Indoor Environmental Standards Organization (IESO) are nonprofit, 501(c)(6) corporations offering membership, certification, and a variety of related benefits to people working in the IAQ market.

AmIAQ, IAQA, and IESO have approximately 2,800, 2,400 and 1,000 members respectively. Recognizing that significant duplication in programs and activities existed, the leaders of the three organizations began meeting late last year to discuss cooperative ventures.

"Those meetings led us quickly to the conclusion that we needed to do more than just cooperate, we need to consolidate programs to more effectively serve our industry," said IAQA's president, Robert Baker.

The three organizations will retain their unique identities but redefine and specialize their scope of activities. AmIAQ will serve as the industry's certification body; IAQA will be a membership association; and, IESO will be a standard-setting body.

AmIAQ - Certification Board For The Industry

AmIAQ will continue to award IAQ-related certification designations and to coordinate associated training programs.

"The industry needs an independent certifying body with board-awarded credentials based on experience, education, and testing. AmIAQ has the knowledge and expertise in place to continue that role, and we will now revise our goals, mission, and bylaws to reflect our new duties in serving as the industry's premier certification body," said Charlie Wiles, AmIAQ executive director.

AmIAQ will no longer offer a membership or provide member benefits. Current members of AmIAQ will become members of IAQA. IAQA's and IESO's certification programs will be transferred to AmIAQ, and those certified by IAQA or IESO will either retain their existing designations or be awarded the corresponding AmIAQ designation.

After the unification and consolidation plan is implemented, additional representatives in AmIAQ's leadership will be elected by their certified peers. In the interim, members of the certification committees of IAQA and IESO will be appointed to key positions within AmIAQ and assist in the transition.

IESO - Setting The Industry Standards

IESO will serve as an industry standard-setting body, with the sole purpose of promulgating industry standards and working with other standard-setting organizations.

IESO will no longer offer membership, training or certification. IESO members will become IAQA members, and IESO certifications will be transferred to AmIAQ.

IESO will be governed by a board of directors consisting of a predetermined number of AmIAQ representatives, IAQA representatives, and additional representatives from government or academia as may be selected by the IESO leadership. Procedures for a democratic succession of new board members, as well as standards committee members, will be created.

IESO will be funded by contributions made by IAQA, AmIAQ, and other organizations that may be invited to participate in its standard-setting programs. "We view the evolution of IESO into a purely standards-setting body as a natural progression for the association," said David Fetveit, IESO president. "IESO was created to write standards and we have already shown success in this area. By transferring our membership and certification programs to IAQA and AmIAQ, IESO will free up tremendous resources and have access to a broader base of expertise and talent needed for standards-setting work.'"

IAQA - An Association 5,500+ Members Strong

IAQA will serve as a membership association and will continue to provide all of the member benefits it currently offers, as well as benefits offered by AmIAQ and IESO that it does not currently offer. IAQA will administer AmIAQ's chapter program and foster growth in the chapter network. IAQA will no longer function as a certifying body.

After the consolidation of AmIAQ, IAQA, and IESO memberships under one organization, IAQA will emerge 5,500-plus members strong.

"Those are the kinds of numbers an industry association needs to gain credibility in the marketplace, with legislators, and with consumers," remarked Glenn Fellman, IAQA executive director.

IAQA will retain its same leadership structure and democratic election procedures. IAQA will expand its board of directors and appoint AmIAQ and IESO leaders to serve on its board.

Next Steps

Now that the boards of directors of AmIAQ, IAQA and IESO have approved the proposal, the next step is to gain membership approval. IAQA and IESO have bylaws that will require their members' approval of the proposed unification and consolidation plan. Their members were asked to vote on the matter at the combined AmIAQ-IAQA-IESO national convention in Orlando, which they did. Associates will assume their defined roles and responsibilities on Jan. 1, 2006.

IAQA will retain its Rockville, Md. headquarters office and staff, and AmIAQ will likewise continue to operate from its Phoenix office with the same personnel. IESO, which is also currently based in Rockville, will retain its location and key staff members as well.

For more information about AmIAQ, IAQA, and IESO, visit www.iaqcouncil.org, www.iaqa.org, and www.iestandards.org.

Publication date: 10/31/2005

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