John Burpee: Casting a New Light on Leadership
On May 13, National Board members unanimously elected Maine Chief Boiler Inspector John Burpee as the organization’s Board of Trustees Chairman. The BULLETIN interviewed Chairman Burpee on his new leadership role with the National Board. The following is a preview of the interview. Read the full article in the fall issue, coming in October.
What would you identify as the biggest recent challenges for the National Board?
The last few years have been especially difficult for National Board members due to baby boomer retirements. Hundreds of years of experience have quite simply walked out the door. While not a surprise, it did present some challenges, which we have cleared to an appreciable degree. Members are younger, which opens up the opportunity to take advantage of new technology. While retirements will always be a challenge, the board membership is stabilizing and moving forward.
A continuing area of concern is the inability to replace retiring chiefs. While most jurisdictions are proactive, some have eliminated the positions or have failed to fill them in a timely basis, which can leave a gap in oversight. These essential safety programs need consistent regulatory involvement and unfortunately may not get the attention they deserve until an incident occurs.
Government officials should be made aware that not replacing their boiler chiefs is not only doing the public a grave injustice, the ramifications may result in injuries to persons or equipment.
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