Weeks Receives Young Professional of the Year Honorable Mention
AFSA’s NextGen Initiative is pleased to announce that Stuart Weeks has been selected as an Honorable Mention winner for its Young Professional of the Year award.
Weeks began his fire protection career in January of 2000 and is currently with American Fire Protection, Inc., in Greenville, South Carolina. He is NICET IV certified in water-based systems layout and Level II certified in inspection and testing of water-based systems. Weeks is licensed in five states. His previous work experience includes design, management, sales, and organizing and teaching in-house training for design trainees, field foremen, and fitters at American Fire Protection and VSC Fire & Security.
“I am honored to receive this recognition!” comments Weeks. “I think this award is an excellent motivator for our NextGen to go the extra mile in their contributions to the association.”
Weeks is definitely self-motivated to better the industry. He currently serves as president of the South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Association, and has served on the board of directors as vice president and as the Education Committee as chairman. He is also part of a group working to build a better relationship with the South Carolina State Fire Marshal’s Office to improve the plan review process for fire sprinkler shop drawings. He has also acquired ICC accreditation for the AFSA seminars being presented this August in Columbia in order to give South Carolina’s Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) CEU credit towards maintaining their certifications. In addition, Weeks has worked with state legislators as an advocate to reduce the cost of local water department tap fees for fire sprinkler systems.
Weeks advises those in the industry to “be organized, be honest, show respect, listen and guide. Guide the ones who follow your path, listen to the ones who have walked the path, and respect the ones who made the path.”
“Respect the ‘Last Gen,’ the trail blazers of this industry,” he comments. “Regardless of their education, title or accolades, they all provide valuable knowledge to be used throughout a career. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Business owners, managers, salesmen, designers, foremen, and fitters alike will impart valuable knowledge to those who treat them with the respect of simply listening to what they have to say.
He continues: “Guide, mentor, support and encourage your ‘NextGen.’ See to it that those who show the willingness to learn this industry have the tools necessary to succeed. Allow your ‘NextGen’ to rise to their full potential and make sure they know they have that opportunity.”
Ralph K. Foster, III, PE, SFPE, Foster Engineering & Consulting, LLC, Columbia, South Carolina, nominated Weeks for the award. “I’ve known Stuart for over 18 years. He has always been an intelligent go-getter who wants to learn why we do things, not just memorize the code. He’s a great father and family man.”
Foster continues: “He’s not afraid to try something different. For example, during his time as president, the chapter was able to donate $4,000 to Shriners Hospitals for Children from the South Carolina Chapter’s inaugural fishing tournament.”
Foster concludes: “He’s not only a good sprinkler designer; he’s a good person. He’d take the shirt off his back to help you. He’s all about life safety and that’s what our industry is all about. It’s refreshing to be a part of that.”
Weeks sees changes on the horizon for the industry. “A lot of people who have made the industry what it is today will be retiring,” he notes. “This is why I am a big supporter of AFSA’s NextGen Initiative, continuing education, and training. We have to be as prepared as we can as young professionals to fill some impossibly big shoes.”
Weeks is definitely ready to meet the challenge and AFSA congratulates him on this honor!