I am writing this column this morning with a little sadness but also with great anticipation. This is the last column of this type I will write as we will be transitioning in a new AFSA Chair of the Board of Directors at AFSA38: Convention, Exhibition and Apprentice Competition, October 1-4 in San Diego. As it has happened since the inception of AFSA, with rare exception, the Chair holds the position for two years. I am extremely happy for my good friend and fellow Board member Ted Wills, Anchor Fire Protection Company, Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, who will be installed as the next AFSA Chair at the end of AFSA38.
These last two years have been full of extremely good times as we have seen our Association grow to new levels. Along with the growth of membership, we have seen the number of local chapters grow as well. We have had steady growth in our member services. But as is the case with any association or business of any type, along with all of the growth there have been a few growing pains. Most of us have witnessed some of those growing pains in our own business. Success happens when you recognize that growth, make adjustments, and work through the issues.
I have so many people to thank for their support these last couple of years, but I’ll start with the most important in my life, my wife of 39 years, Michelle. I want to thank my fellow AFSA Board of Directors whom I have had the privilege of working with through the challenges of the last two years. They are an amazing group. I also want to thank the network of Chapter Chairs and Executive Directors from around the country. I have met most of them and personally witnessed their great level of dedication to our Association and industry. All of these people believe in AFSA, the business model we promote, and the betterment of our industry. For me personally, I want to give a very heartfelt thank you to the AFSA staff in Dallas. Marlene Garrett, LaVerne Davis, Leslie Clounts, Nicole Duvall, and all of the staff, you have been great. D’Arcy Montalvo—thank you!
I am excited for the future of AFSA. Our new President & CEO Debra
McGuire is settling in nicely and doing a tremendous job. There are a lot of new ideas on the table, and our Association will continue to grow and improve—not only with the things we already do well, but with a whole new level of member services.
I look forward to AFSA38 in San Diego. The city is one of the prettiest in the country. The weather will be perfect. The staff has put together a great event. I truly hope to see you all there!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wayne Weisz is Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Fire Sprinkler Association.