Members Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is honored to recognize those members celebrating milestone membership anniversaries with the association. These member companies have belonged to AFSA for 15 or more years of continuous membership. Recognition in Sprinkler Age will be done in five-year increments, starting at the 15-year mark, and is available to all membership types. Happy Anniversary!
“AFSA is an association of member companies who collectively orchestrate and fund the programs and activities we engage in to better the entire industry,” comments AFSA Manager of Chapter Relations Kevin Korenthal. “These companies choose to put their money and their time into this effort and we appreciate them for it.”
Contractor member Advanced Fire Protection, Inc., Travelers Rest, South Carolina, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with AFSA. Sprinkler Age asked President Paul Hensley to share his memories about the fire sprinkler industry and the association. Hensley served on AFSA’s Board of Directors, and as president of the AFSA Carolinas Chapter. He also was instrumental in the formation AFSA’s South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Association.
How did you get involved in the industry? I got started on August 6, 1971. I was looking for a better paying job and less travel. (Ha ha.) My first job in the industry was with Southeastern Sprinkler Company in Greenville, South Carolina.
How did you get involved with AFSA? The Carolinas Chapter was formed in the late ‘80s and I started attending meetings a couple of years later. I made a lot of friends in the association and met many great men. Tom Waller was one of greatest men I have ever met in the sprinkler industry. He was directly responsible for my getting involved with the AFSA Board.
What is your favorite or most used AFSA benefit? AFSA offers so many benefits; I can’t choose one favorite. I think the apprenticeship training program is one of the best benefits the association has to offer. We have sent several people to the Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School with great results.
What is your favorite AFSA memory? One of my favorite AFSA memories was our Board of Directors’ trip to Alaska in 2007. My wife and I took a helicopter ride on the last day, and it’s one of my favorite memories with her in our 43 years together. I lost her in 2014 in an automobile accident.
Have you attended an AFSA convention? I have gone to many conventions, but my favorite was my first one in Phoenix. My group drove up to Sedona and went on the “Pink Jeep Tour.”
What is the most significant change you’ve seen in AFSA or the industry over the past 30 years? AFSA improves every year. The men and women running and arranging everything deserve all the credit. The general membership can’t imagine how much work goes on that they never see to make the conventions, education, and apprenticeship programs, and everything else run smoothly. We have had great leaders over the years and that continues today.
What’s the key ingredient to your success? My business partner David Ray and I have worked hard to create a good name and provide a good service and a good product for our customers. We have always made sure our customers’ and our employees’ best interests come first. I don’t regret getting into the business. I haven’t gotten rich, but I am rich in the friends and family I have made in this industry.