Anne vonWeller, a plans examiner and building inspector for Murray City since 1985, credits her father (Red Robinson of Alpine) with kindling her interest in a non-traditional career.
"It all started with the fact that I was born to a building contractor," vonWeller said, laughing.As early as she can remember, vonWeller tagged along with her dad to construction sites. She began spending her summers working for her dad when she was 10, earning 50 cents an hour picking up debris and then drawing site plans and writing out job completion lists.
"I'm kind of in love with building," vonWeller said. "I like to see things come out of the ground. I never even considered another career."
In 1979, after a decade working for several companies as a plan designer, vonWeller obtained a general contractor's license, the first woman to do so in Utah.
VonWeller says that at the time she figured that if "8,000 guys in Utah could build houses, surely I can do it."
She also was the first woman in Utah to become certified as a building inspector through the International Conference of Building Officials, publishers of the Uniform Building Code. There are currently five women building inspectors in Utah.
VonWeller will complete a one-year term as president of the 220-member Utah Chapter of ICBO in February. VonWeller is particularly proud of the fact that she successfully authored two changes to the Uniform Building Code: a requirement that corridors in commercial buildings have a minimum width of 36 inches, which is in the current edition of the code; and a change requiring smoke dampers for openings into fire-rated corridors, which will be in the 1991 edition of the code.
VonWeller is not only helping to ensure building safety in Utah, but in the rest of the country.