person of honor and integrity, and that you can be trusted
by clients and colleagues to do the right thing. You will
also be ensuring that IRWA holds its membership to the
highest ethical standards.
“Business ethics speaks to
the importance of listening
ELEVATING OUR STANDARDS
to the voice within that keeps
From time to time, the International Ethics Committee
reviews all of the ethics documentation to ensure
everything is up-to-date and meets current standards
in the various industries the Association represents.
Over the past several years, the Committee and its Task
Force team have been working to improve and clarify the
Disciplinary Procedures so that they are more meaningful to
members and more enforceable by the Association. The latest
effort was a comprehensive review and revision by a multi-
disciplined task force from across the Association.
you on the right track.”
THE VOICE WITHIN
In the coming months, you will be hearing more about the
changes being brought to you by the Ethics Committee
Task Force. For those members who attended their Region’s
Spring Forum, the proposed changes were presented. Others
may have received this information from their chapters.
A discussion of ethics among your coworkers and fellow
members is encouraged. It is important that all members
take time to review the changes suggested by the Ethics
Committee Task Force.
Business ethics speaks to the importance of listening to the
voice within that keeps you on the right track. While there
are those who demonstrate a philosophy of ethics in both
their professional and private lives, there are also some who
cross the line of ethical behavior to varying degrees. High
ethical standards convey that you are committed to being
true to your word. When clients trust that you mean what
you say, they are more likely to continue giving you their
business and recommending you to others.
TOOLS AVAILABLE ONLINE
One of the challenges with using good ethical judgment may
stem from being unfamiliar with all of the tools available. It
may be an eye-opening experience for those reviewing our
Association’s Code of Ethics and Disciplinary Procedures for
the first time. There are so many nuances of ethics, some of
which can be quite subtle. Understanding the IRWA Code of
Ethics and Disciplinary Procedures will better prepare you to
make good decisions and stay on the high road.
Trustworthiness isn’t just a nicety of doing business. It is a
necessity in the right of way profession. It is through our
combined efforts and a continued focus on our high ethical
standards at every level that we can ensure our profession
progresses and evolves for the better.
Theresa M. Brennan, Esquire
Theresa is the Principal of Brennan Legal Services,
a law firm based in Hazleton, PA, where she
focuses on real estate and business law. She was
previously in-house counsel for a major electric
utility company where she handled real estate
and easement issues. She has taught business,
real estate and title law courses for Penn State
University, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the
National Business Institute and Vintage Real
Estate Academy. She is a certified instructor of IRWA 800-level and ethics
courses, and has been a member of IRWA’s Chapter 9 for 20 years. She is
currently Chair of the International Ethics Committee.
We encourage interested members to visit the IRWA
Member Network where documents have been posted in
the “Resources” section for review. You may also contact
your Chapter President who was provided with a report
by the Ethics Committee on the status of the changes. For
those attending the Annual Conference in Charleston, WV,
a question and answer session on the proposed changes
is scheduled for Monday, June 24th. Everyone is invited to
At the upcoming Annual Board of Directors Meeting, the
voting directors will have an opportunity to vote on the
changes brought to the membership by this Committee. We
feel confident that the approval of the revised Disciplinary
Procedures will put us on the path toward ensuring our
profession is steered by guidelines that reflect the highest
possible professional standards.
Ronn Carlentine, SR/WA
As Real Property Manager for the County of Santa
Barbara, Ronn has over 30 years of public real
estate experience involving all aspects of the right
of way profession. He is an IRWA Instructor for
Ethics Courses 103 and 104. He has served as
Chapter President, Region Chair and Vice Chair,
Chair and Vice Chair on several International
Committees and as a member on various task
forces. Ronn has also published articles on the
value of membership.