There is certainly a buzz in the air throughout our industry regarding the recent success of AFSA37. Leading up to the convention we could tell that preregistration numbers were high. With the venue being in Washington DC, AFSA37 did not disappoint and we hit near-record numbers with close to 1,400 people attending!
The setting and attendance are important, but you also have to put on a great show. In all honesty, I don’t think in past years we have ever received the amount of compliments I received this year. Everyone I have spoken with, from contractors to vendors, all agreed this year was special. I believe a big thank you needs to go out the site selection committee for choosing the site. Also, a big thank you to the AFSA staff as well as all of the many volunteers involved who all really put in an extra effort this year.
As Board of Directors and AFSA staff, we are in full-scale planning for next year. Once AFSA37 ended, staff were able to spend the weekend relaxing. However, as soon as they all returned to the office in Dallas, planning started for our 2019 event: AFSA38: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition in San Diego.
As for your AFSA Board of Directors, we are already working very hard to plan for next year. We have already assigned all of the working committee chairs and we are in the process of filling those committees. One question I have been asked multiple times from members is, “How can I get involved or how can I get on one of the national committees?” My answer is simple, just ask. If you know a national Board member or even a member of the AFSA staff, please let someone know that you are interested. Obviously, not everyone can be involved, but getting your name in the mix is important. We strongly encourage everyone to become involved locally first; from there it is an easier transition to a national committee. All of these committees are assigned annually and the Board is always looking for people who want to help and be involved.
By now most of our membership is aware that we have been in search of a new president for our association. We have been very fortunate to have an excellent group of people applying for the position. We have also been fortunate to have our past president Steve Muncy assist in the vetting of the applicants. Steve, along with a transition committee, headed up by past Board of Directors’ Chairman Michael Meehan have vetted this group down to a final three. We are hoping to have a new president in place very soon, hopefully no later than the end of the year.
I am very much looking forward to this next year. AFSA is a great association to be a member of. Please know, as a Board we will be working hard to improve the membership experience for all members.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Wayne Weisz is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the American Fire Sprinkler Association. He is president of Cen-Cal Fire Systems, Inc., in Lodi, California.