The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) has announced that Executive Director Ben Northcutt will not be seeking renewal of his contract with the association. He will fulfill the term of his contract, which ends June 30.
Northcutt, who has served as the association's executive director for 19 years, is leaving the organization to pursue a new opportunity in the field of conference and exposition planning. He is joining Hemisphere Expo Services Inc., based in Steamboat Springs, Colo.
"My time at IECA has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," said Northcutt. "And even though the IECA of today is vastly different than it was back in the mid '80s, I'm still very proud to be part of an organization that truly cares about the people it serves as well as the people that lead it."
Ron Faucher, CPESC, newly elected president of IECA's board of directors, praised Northcutt for his work with the association. "Ben stepped in to lead IECA when we were in our infancy and has successfully brought us through all those years of growth. He has worked along side many volunteer boards, guiding IECA's development over the years and helping to make this organization a major player in our industry."
"Ben has been an outstanding representative for IECA as we have expanded our message of education and information all over the world and I know that the entire board and the membership, as well, wish him the very best in his new, exciting endeavors," said Faucher.
Northcutt's involvement with IECA began as an invited speaker for the 1984 annual conference in Denver. In 1988, he was hired as executive director at a time when there were about 300 members.
Since those early days, IECA's membership has grown by a factor of ten to more than 3,500, representing nearly 20 fields of professional practice and more than 52 countries around the world. The annual conference, Environmental Connection, has blossomed to become the industry's showcase event, attracting 2,500 people and featuring the largest trade exposition of its kind in the world. During this time, regional chapters developed within the U.S. and four continents to help connect members and disseminate information on a local level.
The association has steadily expanded its erosion and sediment control educational opportunities to include a selection of two dozen courses at the annual conference, interactive webinars, a searchable content management system, in-house training, the Muddy Water Blues field demonstration event and valuable email listserves. Recently, IECA also developed "IECA Trained," a popular expertise recognition program.
Northcutt said he has been thankful for the opportunities his work at IECA has provided for him. "I've been fortunate to see the world, to impart a sense of purpose to the people I've met and, in some small way, help our environment better endure the never-ending challenges presented by the human race."
During this time of transition, IECA staff and chapters continue to work on improving programs and member benefits. "IECA will continue to advance our goals as an organization. Change always brings new challenges to any association, but along with those challenges come great opportunities," said Faucher.