Members Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is recognizing members who are celebrating milestone membership anniversaries. The member companies featured here have belonged to AFSA for 15 or more years of continuous membership.
“Thank you to all those who are celebrating AFSA anniversaries and to all our members,” comments AFSA Director of Membership & Chapter Support Bruce Lecair. “We look forward to seeing you and serving you in what we think is going to be an exciting 2021.”
Several members are celebrating milestone anniversaries in March and April 2021. Sprinkler Age asked those members some questions about their time in the fire sprinkler industry and with AFSA. Ed Gnifkowski, CEO/owner of Quality Design & Fire Protection, and Diane Pein, president of Approved Fire Protection Co., Inc., shared some of their favorite AFSA memories and things they’ve learned through the years.
How did you get Involved in the fire sprinkler industry?
Gnifkowski: “I was hired to manage PMC in 1972 and inherited the company a year later.”
Pein: “My great grandfather started this company in 1930. My grandmother and then father ran the company concurrently, and when my father needed to retire, I stepped in to help transition temporarily. Now I am 25 years into this ‘temporary position’ as the sole owner and loving every minute of working in this industry.”
How did you get involved with AFSA?
Gnifkowski: “I [realized joining AFSA] was the only way to get merit-shop apprentices trained.”
Pein: “When I started working in the company in 1995, I wanted to learn all facets of the industry. I became enamored with sprinklers and felt the need to get involved outside of the company. I became a member of AFSA, worked with the executive committee on legislation for a few years, then passed the baton on to one of my project managers, who spent nine years on the Board.”
What is your favorite or most used AFSA benefit?
Gnifkowski: “Just keeping pace with the industry takes pretty good care of me.”
Pein: “I personally utilize the training and education—
webinars and live courses.”
What is your favorite AFSA and/or AFSA convention memory?
Gnifkowski: “Meeting the other players around the country. I especially cherished my friendship with the FPC family.”
Pein: “I am sorry to say I have not attended any of the conventions, but my team comes back from most of them re-energized and a bit exhausted. They enjoy the networking and the education. I would be lying not to say they also enjoy the evening fun with other members.”
What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the industry?
Gnifkowski: “Continual improvement in all areas of fire protection.”
Pein: “I have only been involved for 25 years, but I have seen the growth in the entire fire protection industry—keeping up with the new technologies while maintaining the industry’s integrity. The laws and codes have come a long way in the past two decades, keeping their relevance in respect to the new smart buildings and the future of IT in our industry.”
What’s the key ingredient to your success?
Gnifkowski: “Hard work.”
Pein: “Oooh, that is a big question. I look at my success as the success of the company. I would have to pinpoint our success to great core values. Our team is comprised of great talent, great communicators, and value-based individuals. We are diligent about filling our team with more folks of the same values, which ensures we grow bigger and stronger every day.”
If I weren’t working in fire protection, I would be…
Gnifkowski: “Probably dead! This 15th anniversary is my ‘second coming.’ I originally retired in 1990 and came back in 1994.”
Pein: “A research chemist, which is where I was working when my father asked me to step in and help him… I miss it very much. I do love what I am doing today in the fire protection industry but would run back to the lab if I could.”
Celebrating AFSA Members
AFSA looks forward to celebrating with more members during its 40th-anniversary year. The AFSA membership team is excited to be rolling out new membership programs—a six-month trial membership for contractors, one-year trial membership for Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), and the “Be a Member, Bring a Member” program.
“Dominick, Meda, and I are excited to be serving our members!” says Lecair. “These programs are already opening the doors for new members to see and experience all that AFSA has to offer. Utilizing our Engineering and Technical Services team, new training opportunities, legislative assistance, and our membership benefits and programs, these members will see just how important a trade association can be toward improving their business models and their knowledge of fire sprinklers, codes, regulations, and technology.”
Interested in more information? Contact Membership & Chapter Relations Manager Meda Merritt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 349-5965 ext. 133. Membership details are also available online at visit firesprinkler.org/trial.
Recognition for milestone membership anniversaries in Sprinkler Age will be done in five-year anniversary increments and is available to all membership types. Congratulations to these members and AFSA looks forward to celebrating with more members throughout the year!
Happy Anniversary to AFSA Milestone Members!
ABJ Fire Protection Co., Inc., Syracuse, NY
Core & Main Fire Protection, St. Louis, MO
Shilo Automatic Sprinkler, Inc., Nampa, ID
C.R. Fireline, Inc., Pacheco, CA
D.S. Correll Company, Inc., Wind Gap, PA
Superior Automatic Sprinkler Corp., Fallston, MD
Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, Inc., Ocoee, FL
RCI Systems, Inc., Tempe, AZ
The Metraflex Company, Chicago, IL
D & J Design Services, Metairie, LA
Approved Fire Protection Systems, Plainfield, NJ
Quality Design & Fire Protection, St. Cloud, MN