Jack A. Medovich, P.E.
First Vice Chair
Fire & Life Safety America (an ECFP Co.)
At-Large Director and First Vice Chair Jack A. Medovich, P.E., is president & CEO and founding partner of Fire & Life Safety America, formerly known as East Coast Fire Protection Inc., in Hanover, Maryland. A 1983 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Fire Protection Engineering, Medovich served three years as fire marshal of Fairfax County, Virginia, before joining the fire sprinkler industry 30 years ago. He has been active in AFSA since 1991, chairing its Chesapeake Bay Chapter from 1994 to 2002 and currently chairing the Virginia Chapter and its board of directors. He has served on several AFSA committees, including Apprenticeship & Education, Membership, Legislative, and Convention. He chaired the 2010 Convention Committee and has previously chaired the Fire Sprinkler Public Education & Awareness Committee. He represents AFSA on the Correlating Committee of NFPA 13, and in the past he has served as a member of the following NFPA committees: NFPA 13, 14, 20, 25, 101 and 750.
Linda M. Biernacki
Second Vice Chair
Fire Tech Systems, Inc.
At-Large Director and Second Vice Chair Linda M. Biernacki is founder and president of Fire Tech Systems, Inc. in Shreveport, Louisiana. She has served on the AFSA Board of Directors since 2007, holding the office of secretary, and chaired the 2016 Convention Committee. With over 26 years of experience in all phases of business, she is certified by the Women’s Business Council Gulf Coast. She holds NICET Level IV, Senior Fire Protection Engineering Technology Water-Based Systems Layout and represents AFSA on the NFPA 232 Committee for Protection of Records. The Louisiana state fire marshal appointed Biernacki to the state’s Residential Task Force, and the mayor of Shreveport appointed her to the city’s Architectural and Engineering Selection Committee. Biernacki is president of the Louisiana Fire Sprinkler Association, which won the AFSA 2016 Outstanding Chapter of the Year award. The Governor of Louisiana appointed her to the Small Business Entrepreneurship Commission, and she has received numerous leadership awards from her community; the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award 2015, 2014 and 2004, Better Business Bureau Torch Award, and Women in Construction Region 5 Crystal Vision Award. Fire Tech Systems, Inc. has earned the AFSA Quality Contractor designation and is one of the first to attain Center for Public Safety Excellence (CPSE) Residential Fire Sprinkler Contractor Accreditation.
Region 5: Regional Director
Crawford Sprinkler Company of South Carolina
Region 5 Director and Secretary Jeff Phifer is president of Crawford Sprinkler Co. of South Carolina, based in Lugoff, South Carolina, one of the oldest family-owned and continuously operated fire sprinkler contractors in the nation. Phifer has been working at Crawford for 40 years, working as a fitter, service technician, and in administration. In 1999, he became the third generation to be president and chairman of the board. Phifer was on the board of directors of the South Carolina Fire Sprinkler Association from 2000-2009, serving as president from 2003-2006. He is also a member of ABC and was a member of the board of directors for the ABC Carolinas Chapter from 2001-2004, vice-chairing the chapter in 2003.
Region 7: Regional Director
Hampshire Fire Protection Co., Inc.
Region 7 Director and Treasurer Paul DeLorie is senior vice president of Hampshire Fire Protection Co., based in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Hampshire Fire Protection is one of the largest merit shop fire sprinkler companies in New England. DeLorie is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He has over 30 years’ experience in sprinkler design, estimating, sales, project management and senior management. He serves on the AFSA Contractor Support & Advisory Committee, Insurance & Safety Committee, and Legislative Committee. He is an active member of the ABC. He was a member of the board of directors of the ABC New Hampshire/Vermont Chapter from 2002-2012, serving as chapter chairman in 2007, and an ABC National board director from 2008-2012.
Immediate Past Chair
Cen-Cal Fire Systems, Inc.
At-Large Director and Immediate Past Chair of the Board Wayne Weisz started his career as an apprentice in 1979 and worked his way up through the ranks to foreman and later general superintendent at American Fire Systems in Lodi, California. In 1986, Weisz and his brother Byron founded Cen-Cal Fire Systems, Inc. in Lodi, California, and in 1997 he established D-M Fabrication, an independent pipe fabricator serving the western U.S., which later sold to a national supplier. Cen-Cal Fire Systems became an AFSA member in 1987, and Weisz has been on the AFSA national Board since 2005. He has twice served as chairman of the Convention Committee and has chaired the Membership/Chapter Development Committee since 2008. Weisz is actively involved in the AFSA Sacramento Valley Chapter, which he helped to establish in 1999. He has been very involved with apprenticeship issues in California and served on CAFSA’s California Apprenticeship Training Board for over 20 years, including two terms as its chairman.
Region 1: Regional Director
Western Fire Protection
Region 1 Director Lyle Hall, president and co-owner of Western Fire Protection in Poway, California, has been in the fire sprinkler industry for 36 years, with the last 20 years at Western Fire. Prior to that he was a helicopter-based wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. He has a degree in fire science with continuing education at University of California San Diego. Hall started in the fire sprinkler industry as an apprentice pipe fitter and worked his way into design, project management, sales and eventually management. His past accomplishments include: past board of director for the San Diego Fire Protection Association; past chapter chairman of the San Diego Chapter of the AFSA; past chairman of the California American Fire Sprinkler Association – Unilateral Apprenticeship Committee; and past chairman of the California Fire Training Alliance. Hall currently serves on the California American Fire Sprinkler Association – Unilateral Apprenticeship Committee and the AFSA Legislation, Contractor Support and Convention Committees. He also co-chairs the Apprenticeship & Education Committee and is the chair of the subcommittee that developed AFSA’s Inspector Development Training program.
R. Donald Kaufman
Region 2: Regional Director
Kaufman Fire Protection
Region 2 Director is R. Donald Kaufman, president of Kaufman Fire Protection, Albuquerque, New Mexico. With over 40 years in the sprinkler business, Kaufman was instrumental in starting AFSA’s New Mexico Chapter and is a past president of the chapter. On the national level, Kaufman served as 2009-2011 Chairman of the Board and has chaired several committees including the Apprentice & Education and Convention Committees. He also served as chairman of the New Mexico State Board for Professional Engineers and Surveyors, three terms as chairman of the New Mexico State Apprentice Council, and currently serves on the New Mexico Construction Industries Commission. He is an active member of Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), past president of ABC’s New Mexico Chapter, member of the American Society of Professional Estimators, and past charter president of Albuquerque Rotary Del Sol.
Region 3: Regional Director
Rapid Fire Protection
Region 3 Director Rod DiBona is the vice president and part-owner of Rapid Fire Protection with their corporate offices in Rapid City, South Dakota. They currently have satellite offices in North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado. DiBona entered the fire protection industry in 1990 as a shop employee of Prairie Fire Protection. He then entered the AFSA apprenticeship program in 1991 and started working in the field. In October of 1993 he was asked by Marty Hammon to join him, his son and son-in-law to create Rapid Fire Protection. DiBona was a national finalist in the AFSA apprenticeship contest in 1995. DiBona started and has continued to grow Rapid Fire’s apprenticeship training into a highly recognized program. Rapid Fire has had 17 national finalists, three AFSA national winners and one ABC national apprentice winner. DiBona currently serves on the board of directors for Rapid Fire, and he also serves on the AFSA Apprenticeship & Education Committee, Membership Committee, Insurance and Safety Committee, and Contractors Support and Advisory Committee. He is a NICET Level III Certified Engineering Technician in Water-Based Systems Layout.
Dwight E. Bateman
Region 4: Regional Director
Southeast Fire Protection, L.P.
Region 4 Director is Dwight E. Bateman, founder and president of Southeast Fire Protection, Inc. in Houston, and past chairman of the Board. Beginning his career as vice president of Semico International, Inc., a fire sprinkler contractor, Bateman has 40-plus years of experience in the industry. He opened Southeast Fire Protection in 1986 and joined AFSA in 1989. Bateman has served on and chaired a number of AFSA national committees.
Michael F. Meehan
Region 6: Region Director
VSC Fire & Security, Inc.
Region 6 Director and past Chair of the Board is Michael F. Meehan, president and a co-owner of VSC Fire & Security, Virginia Beach, Virginia. A 1981 graduate from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Meehan began his fire sprinkler career working summers as a pipe fitter apprentice. He is a NICET Level IV Certified Engineering Technician in Water-Based (formerly Automatic Sprinkler) Systems Layout and has more than 35 years’ experience in sprinkler design engineering, estimating, project management and senior management. Meehan has served on the AFSA Board of Directors since 2008, as the Region 6 Director.
Strickland Fire Protection
Jay Strickland is president of Strickland Fire Protection and co-owner with his two sons, Josh and Micah Strickland. Strickland Fire Protection is located in Forrestville, Maryland and was established in 1983. Strickland has been involved in the fire protection industry since 1983. He is a past chairman of the AFSA Chesapeake Bay Chapter and serves on the Advisory Board for BB&T of Prince Georges County, Maryland. He is NICET Level II, Fire Protection, Water Based System Layout.
Piper Fire Protection
Chris Johnson is president and CEO of Piper Fire Protection, Inc. located in Clearwater, Florida. He is a NICET-certified fire protection engineer, holding a level III certification in fire sprinkler design. Johnson is the chair of AFSA's Florida Chapter and serves as a member of AFSA National's Legislative, Membership & Chapter Development, and Public Education & Awareness committees.