As the years fly by and we go about the course of running our association, we are guided along with a seasoned and strong staff that is growing and changing with the times. The guidance and assistance they give to the Board of Directors is top flight, their morale is high and their work efforts are tremendous. Our goal is to provide services and insights for all aspects of fire sprinkler contracting. To that end we have the following standing committees: Apprenticeship & Education, Bylaws, Center for Life Safety Education, Chapter Grants, Contractor Support & Advisory, Convention, Convention Site Selection, Fire Sprinkler Public Education & Awareness, Insurance & Safety, Legislative, Membership, and the Past Chairs’ Committee. Each standing committee is led by an elected Board member who picks his committee membership from the full AFSA Board and volunteer industry leaders. Staff back in Dallas assist us in this the process; they are the ones doing the heavy lifting of running the association day in and day out.
Recently the Board has come up with some new initiatives and directives that have substantially increased the load on staff. The largest new effort is the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance (ITM) program. The goal of this effort is to train technical field staff in the requirements of ITM and to have those participants become NICET certified immediately upon course completion. The industry needs this and the amount of effort, time and money to pull it all together is huge.
We also have a Next Generation workgroup that is adding new insights and energy to the Board and our perspectives. It is not only important to mentor and assist the next generation, it is important to listen and learn from them. Their perspective is refreshing.
We constantly get technical advisory updates from Roland Huggins and his staff. We closely monitor our investments and finances and have outstanding professional advisory. On occasion, we will create an ad hoc committee to address specific concerns. Presently, we have one such committee to monitor the recent class action claim that was made against manufacturers and suppliers of CPVC pipe and fittings.
There is a lot of activity in our industry and it is coming from all directions – licensing issues, technical installation issues, insurance issues, manufacturing issues, education and training issues – and all demand attention and action. The staff in Dallas and my fellow Board members are working hard to provide some insight and help to assist in making our industry strong and our businesses successful.
Michael F. Meehan is the AFSA Chairman of the Board.