I was teaching a class recently and someone asked,

“So Lori, Did you choose the code life or did the code life choose you?”

When I started learning about the codes that affect doors and hardware, I had no master plan – it was not a life goal to be a lockstar (as my friends call me), but thankfully I discovered early on that codes were important to me, and I could make a difference by understanding them and helping other people learn about them.  In 2009, I started the iDigHardware website as a way to put code information out where people could access it.  Today, this website that has grown into a trusted resource for the industry and beyond, is celebrating its 14th birthday.  Time flies!

Many of you have been loyal readers of iDigHardware, and hundreds (thousands?) of you know me personally.  I know many of you too – a recent article in Door Security + Safety Magazine said this about a class that I taught at the annual conference in Pittsburgh: “As audience members filed into the room, she greeted most by name — some of whom she had worked with for years — and pointed out to them the few remaining seats in the standing-room-only educational session.”  I count many of you as friends as well as colleagues.  You checked in when I had sick kids, shared condolences when I lost family members, and sent congratulations for victories large and small.  When my oldest daughter was accepted to UTK, several readers in the Knoxville area offered their support if she needed anything.  To be surrounded by a community like this means so much to me.

On the professional side, you have been here as the site grew in popularity, starting at zero and currently receiving about 50,000 visits per month.  You have willingly shared your expertise when questions arose and there wasn’t a clear answer.  You referenced iDigHardware as a resource in your training classes and with your coworkers.  You sent hundreds of Wordless Wednesday and Fixed-it Friday photos for me to share.  You alerted me to state legislation and local changes that could negatively impact the safety of children and teachers in schools, so that I could help educate those involved.  You told me about misinterpretations so I could work with the BHMA Codes, Government, and Industry Affairs Committee (CGIA) to submit code change proposals that would clarify the requirements of the model codes and standards.

One of the things that I hold most dear is your trust in me.  Thousands of you have subscribed to receive notifications of new posts on iDigHardware, to make sure you didn’t miss anything.  When you have questions, you come to iDigHardware and trust that the answers I share are correct.  You have shared the code reference guide, laminated fire door cards, and other resources widely, creating a ripple effect of code knowledge.  You have attended my trainings, revisited the recordings, and asked me to train your teams in person.  You have taken me to your meetings, both virtually and in-person, to address difficult applications and differences in opinion.  For the AHJs reading this…I realize there have been times when we had differing interpretations, and you trusted me.  Thank you.

The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, is quoted as saying, “Change is the only constant in life.”  And the time has come for iDigHardware to change too.  I am not going anywhere.  I REPEAT…I am not going anywhere.  But the demand has grown beyond what I can manage.  In January I wrote about the ACE Program – a training program for Allegion Code Experts.  As I am on the road more these days, the ACE Network is here to answer your code questions.  They can typically respond much more quickly than I can, and they have insight into the state and local codes that I do not have.  You can find a list of ACEs by clicking the orange ball in the right sidebar.  –>

Mark Kuhn, AHC, DHT, DHC, CFDAI, CDT, CSI – Allegion Architectural Consultant

When you visit iDigHardware, you will start to notice that some of the daily posts will be written by Allegion coworkers or other guest bloggers.  Today’s post is #3,155, and almost all of these posts were written by me.  It’s time for some new voices to join mine, although I will still be writing the majority of the posts and overseeing all of the content.

Two of my colleagues will be jumping in to help – with code development activities, updating training and other materials, planning and following up on guest posts, and more.  Mark Kuhn, AHC, DHT, DHC, CFDAI, CDT, CSI is an architectural consultant with Allegion, and has 30 years of experience as a distributor.

Natalie Mathes, CPSM – Allegion Channel Marketing Manager, Contractors and Architects

Natalie Mathes, CPSM is our channel marketing manager for contractors and architects, and worked with GCs and architectural firms for 15 years before joining Allegion.

I know that with Mark and Natalie on board, along with the entire ACE Network on deck, hundreds of other ACEs learning the ropes, and me helping to guide the ship, iDigHardware will have many more years of smooth sailing ahead.  And Allegion’s Codes and Compliance Coordination services will continue to support anyone who is looking for information on the code requirements related to door openings.

Anchors aweigh!

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