February 23rd, 2017

AFSA Announces Senior Management Changes

DALLAS – The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) has announced a trio of staff promotions effective immediately. Roland Huggins, PE, will become Senior Vice President of Engineering & Technical Services; Marlene Garrett, CMP, will be elevated to Vice President of Meetings & Operations; and Roger Gragg will assume the position of Director of Marketing & Information Technology. All will report directly to AFSA President Frank Mortl III, CAE.

 

Roland Huggins, P.E., has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Engineering & Technical Services. Huggins is a graduate of the University of Maryland and is registered in Fire Protection Engineering. He is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Huggins has served on the NFPA Standards Council and is a member of multiple NFPA technical committees, including NFPA 13 Technical Correlating Committee, NFPA 13 Discharge Criteria, NFPA 5000 Building Code Correlating Committee, and NFPA 101 Technical Committee on Industrial, Storage, and Miscellaneous Occupancies. NFPA activities have included participating on the editing of the Sprinkler Handbook and the Fire Protection Handbook. Other national activities involve the NFPA Research Foundation, UL Standard Technical Panels, and NICET.

 

Marlene Garrett, CMP, has been promoted to Vice President, Meetings & Operations. In her new role, she is responsible for providing leadership and direction for each department head in pursuit of various projects and goals within the AFSA organization. She has oversight of all AFSA meetings and events, including the annual AFSA convention and exhibition, the industry’s largest fire sprinkler show. In addition she organizes quarterly board meetings and oversees live and virtual training events for the association. She heads the Meetings & Events Department and is involved in the strategic development and implementation of programs related to training events. She joined AFSA in 1997 as its manager of education services and meetings, and in 1999 she was promoted to director of education and meeting services. In 2016 she was promoted to senior director of meetings and events. In 2005, Garrett earned her certified meeting planner (CMP) designation from the Convention Industry Council. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of New Mexico and has seven years of education experience in Texas public schools.

 

Roger Gragg has been promoted to Director of Marketing & Information Technology. Gragg has been with AFSA since 1988, making him AFSA’s longest tenured employee, and has held several significant positions with the Association. Most recently, he was manager of information technology & marketing, where he helped to grow the Association’s online presence and to launch its technological infrastructure, including its first website. In his new position, he will be responsible for marketing and branding the Association’s vast offerings of products and services, as well as helping to propel the Association’s growth. Gragg graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock with a Bachelors of Arts degree.
“AFSA is extremely proud that our three most recent management promotions came from inside the Association,” noted Mortl. “Roland Huggins, Marlene Garrett, and Roger Gragg are great examples of the success you can have in an environment that provides opportunity for employees to grow – and we are growing! We believe they’ll help us reach our next level of success!”
AFSA is a non-profit, international association representing merit shop fire sprinkler contractors, dedicated to the educational advancement of its members and promotion of the use of automatic fire sprinkler systems. Membership is open to contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, designers and Authorities Having Jurisdiction. For more information, visit firesprinkler.org.



December 16th, 2016

AFSA Announces Corrosion Webinar January 19

AFSA Announces Corrosion Webinar

Lucas Kirn, P.E.

DALLAS, TX – On January 19, 2017, at 11:00 AM CST, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) will present a webinar entitled Design Strategies for Corrosion Control in Fire Sprinkler Systems. 

There are multiple options available to remediate corrosion-related pipe failures in existing fire sprinkler systems, but there are also several approaches that can be implemented during the design or commissioning phase of a fire sprinkler system that significantly reduce corrosion activity and extend the useful life of the system. Any time water, oxygen and steel are combined it results in a corrosion reaction.
This webinar serves to provide practical examples that follow the basic tenets of choosing appropriate materials for construction, minimizing trapped water and excess oxygen in dry pipe and pre-action systems, and minimizing trapped air in wet pipe systems.
The webinar will be presented by Lucas Kirn, P.E., who has practiced in the fire protection industry for 13 years with experience in system design, code compliance, and corrosion assessment and consultation. Kirn received his B.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a registered fire protection engineer in the State of Missouri. He is currently the market development manager at Engineered Corrosion Solutions, LLC. Kirn has published multiple articles on the subject of fire sprinkler system corrosion.
The webinar will last approximately 1.5 hours. The webinar is FREE for members of AFSA, and $250 for non-members. Attendees can earn 0.15 CEUs and 1.5 CPDs. There is a $25 processing fee for each certificate.
To register, visit firesprinkler.org. For additional details, call 214-349-5965.



November 18th, 2016

AFSA breaks records at its 35th Annual Convention & Exhibition

DALLAS – This year, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) celebrated a fantastic year at its 35th Annual Convention and Exhibition. Over 1,250 fire sprinkler contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, architects, Authorities Having Jurisdiction, and other industry professionals flocked to Nashville September 14-17, the largest number to attend an AFSA convention in nearly 10 years. One other important milestone was also achieved: the highest number of contractors and contractor companies ever to attend an AFSA convention were present in Nashville with 575 contractors representing 200 contractor companies, up from 141 companies in 2015.

In addition to attending nearly 30 seminars, attendees explored AFSA‘s exhibition, filling the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center’s Ryman Hall to the brim with booths featuring the products and services of 118 companies.
With dozens of educational seminars to choose from, convention attendees faced some tough decisions on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning. For the 24th straight year, AFSA offered local AHJs a free plan review seminar, followed by a workshop on residential sprinkler ordinances and a chance to explore the industry’s largest exhibition.
The convention began with a bang on Wednesday with the hugely popular annual golf tournament, this year held at the Gaylord Springs Golf Links. There were 125 participants in the tournament, and prizes were awarded to the teams that took first place, second place and third place, as well as to the man and woman with the longest drive, the straightest drive, and the closest to the pin.
Thursday was a day of technical seminars followed by a NextGen Initiative reception for members of the fire sprinkler industry under 40 who are interested in leadership roles and networking with peers and mentors. The reception was an overwhelming success, with nearly 150 individuals in attendance.  AFSA‘s inaugural Young Professional of the Year award was bestowed upon Meaghen Wills of Anchor Fire Protection in Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania. Wills received the honor for her work on the board of the AFSA Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and for her tireless work cultivating and leading the NextGen Initiative.
Friday offered more technical and management-related educational seminars followed by the general session, where attendees celebrated 35 years of saving lives and protecting property. AFSA Chairman of the Board Michael F. Meehan presented the 2016 Henry S. Parmelee Award to AFSA President Steve A. Muncy, CAE, who has dedicated nearly 30 years of his life to fire protection and AFSA. Also during the general session, Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year Ed Altizer, former State Fire Marshal of Virginia, for his efforts to make the state of Virginia safer by advocating for fire sprinklers throughout his career.
On Saturday, the seminars and tours continued, and in the early afternoon exhibits opened to great success. 458 exhibitors from 118 exhibiting companies took over the hall, and attendees were treated to the cream of the fire sprinkler crop, learning about new products and networking with fellow industry professionals. During the afternoon exhibition, the nation’s top seven fire sprinkler fitter apprentices, from the 140 apprentices who entered this year’s contest, competed in AFSA‘s National Apprentice Competition installing mini-sprinkler systems before a packed crowd. That evening, the annual Awards Party took place at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Guests enjoyed dinner and a show, entertained throughout the evening by the Johnny Cash impersonator and band who performed under the soaring 40-foot glass windows overlooking downtown Nashville.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of apprentice competition winners: $5,000 First Place, Jonathan Offord, Commonwealth Fire Protection in Leola, Pennsylvania; $3,000 Second Place, Logan Moser, Mutual Sprinklers in Tyler, Texas.; $2,000 Third Place, Joseph Mientkiewicz, SimplexGrinnell in Rochester, New York. Honorable mentions and $1,000 prizes were awarded to: Thomas Adams, J.G. Tate Fire Protection Systems, Poway, California; John Cowger, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota; Gregory Schneider, Superior Fire Protection, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Donald Stone, Western Fire Protection, Inc., Poway, California. Competition winners also received a commemorative plaque, cash prizes and tools. View photos of the convention here.
Plans for AFSA‘s 2017 Convention in Las Vegas are already in the works, and you won’t want to miss it. AFSA‘s 36th Annual Convention & Exhibition will be held September 24-27 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. For more information on this or next year’s conventions, visit firesprinkler.org/convention.



November 15th, 2016

AFSA Announces Presidential Succession

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Dallas, TX – The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA), the nation’s largest fire sprinkler industry organization, announces that Steve A. Muncy, CAE is retiring as president effective December 31, 2016, and the board of directors have unanimously voted to appoint Frank Mortl III, CAE as president.

When Muncy notified the AFSA board of directors over two years ago about his plan to retire at the end of 2016, they immediately began a nationwide search for a potential replacement to bring on board as executive vice president. “Of the hundreds of resumes received, Frank Mortl III became a top contender,” said Muncy. “With 20 years of association management experience including work in the construction industry, Frank offered a youthful perspective while providing a lot of experience.”

After concluding interviews with search committee representatives, the Board voted to offer Mortl the executive vice president position, effective January 2015. “Since that time I have worked closely with Frank to introduce him to the fire protection industry and he has learned quickly. I’m convinced that Frank is positioned to take AFSA to the next level in serving our members in the years ahead,” continued Muncy.

The board of directors is extremely gratified that Mortl has accepted the president position. “The transition from Steve Muncy to Frank Mortl has been textbook smooth, and it is a tribute to the skills of both men,” said Michael Meehan, AFSA chairman of the board. “Steve has shown true grace and leadership throughout this two-year process. Frank knows trade association work very well but I have been more impressed with his knack for picking up the nuances of our world. His eagerness and desire to succeed are infectious and those skills are innate. Our future looks very bright.”

Under Mortl’s leadership, AFSA has further strengthened its position as the voice of the fire protection community and has been a leader in bringing innovation to the industry. AFSA has invested heavily in upgrading member services and experiences, introduced new training programs to improve industry education, and built a world-class team to further the Association’s mission.

“It is quite an honor to be charged with the impactful and rewarding opportunities the world of the fire sprinkler advocacy offers, made somewhat daunting as the successor to an industry icon like Steve Muncy,” said Mortl. “Over the last two years, AFSA members have displayed to me a sincere desire to be properly trained, delivered support for their businesses, and offered services that will help contractors succeed. Based on the dynamic team of volunteer leaders and professional staff already assembled, my goals for organizational growth fall right in line with faithfully executing our mission while building upon the strong history of AFSA.”

In his two decades of association management, Mortl held a variety of leadership positions. He was the director of marketing with the Associated General Contractors of Michigan; director of business development with Sorensen Gross Construction Services; executive director of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy; chief executive officer of the Greater Kalamazoo Association of REALTORS®; as well as executive director of the Michigan Lupus Foundation.

In 2015, Mortl was awarded the designation of Certified Association Executive (CAE), the highest professional credential in the association industry. Mortl is a proud alumnus of Michigan State University and Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing.

The succession will be effective January 1, 2017, when Muncy will step down and Mortl will assume the position as AFSA president.




November 7th, 2016

AFSA Announces Schedule for 2017 Sprinkler System Planning Schools

DALLAS – The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) announces the 2017 schedule for its popular Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School. Six 2017 sessions have been scheduled for January 9-20, February 27 – March 10, April 24 – May 5, July 10-21, August 14-25, and October 2-13.

 

Taught by AFSA’s expert technical staff of Tom Wellen, PE and Tom Noble, ET, AFSA’s Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School teaches the essential elements of system layout in accordance with NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems. It is geared toward those with limited experience or those who need assistance with design.  The school, held at AFSA’s training center in Dallas, presents a comprehensive, practical approach to preparing fire sprinkler system drawings. Students receive two full weeks of instruction: 60 percent is study and review of NFPA 13 (2016 edition) and 40 percent is preparation of fire sprinkler system layout, shop drawings and hydraulic calculations.  Students learn by actually planning and drawing sprinkler systems while studying and applying NFPA 13 (2016 edition).

 

Attendees are given the tools to accelerate the comprehension of plans and various types of building construction for proper sprinkler spacing applications; determine the proper and economical planning of fire sprinkler system layout and installation methods; know the importance of sprinkler specifications, types of pipe, hangers, fittings, flow tests, etc.; learn to develop shop drawings from start to finish; learn to coordinate with other trades such as plumbing, mechanical, structural and electrical; perform manual hydraulic calculations, preparing the student for an easier decision-making process when using a computer to perform hydraulics; and prepare shop drawings in class for projects with different applications.

 

Registration is $2,400 for non-members and $1,400 for AFSA members. Classes are kept small and enrollment is open exclusively to AFSA contractor members until six weeks prior to each school. Early registration is highly encouraged. Register online at firesprinkler.org/education-center/schools/. For additional details, contact Maricarmen Martinez mmartinez@firesprinkler.org or call (214) 349-5965 ext. 132.




October 27th, 2016

Jonathan Offord Wins National Competition

Front Row (LtoR): Apprentice Competition Chairman Don Kaufman, Kaufman Fire Protection, Albuquerque, New Mexico; John Cowger, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota; Logan Moser, Mutual Sprinklers, Tyler, Texas; Donald Stone, Western Fire Protection, Inc., Poway, California. Back Row (LtoR): Thomas Adams, J.G. Tate Fire Protection Systems, Poway, California; Joseph Mientkiewicz, SimplexGrinnell, Rochester, New York; Gregory Schneider, Superior Fire Protection, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Jonathan Offord, Commonwealth Fire Protection, Leola, Pennsylvania.

Front Row (LtoR): Apprentice Competition judge Don Kaufman, Kaufman Fire Protection, Albuquerque, New Mexico; John Cowger, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota; Logan Moser, Mutual Sprinklers, Tyler, Texas; Donald Stone, Western Fire Protection, Inc., Poway, California. Back Row (LtoR): Thomas Adams, J.G. Tate Fire Protection Systems, Poway, California; Joseph Mientkiewicz, SimplexGrinnell, Rochester, New York; Gregory Schneider, Superior Fire Protection, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Jonathan Offord, Commonwealth Fire Protection, Leola, Pennsylvania.

DALLAS, TX – Jonathan Offord, a fire sprinkler fitter apprentice with Commonwealth Fire Protection in Leola, Pennsylvania, took first place and a $5,000 cash prize at the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) 23rd Annual National Apprentice Competition. The contest was a featured event during AFSA’s 30th Annual Convention & Exhibition, A Grand Ole Opportunity: AFSA in Nashville, held September 14-17 in Nashville, Tennessee. More than 1,200 attendees watched as seven apprentices constructed and pressure-tested a miniature sprinkler system in the jam-packed exhibition hall.

The competition began June 11 with 140 apprentices sitting for a written examination proctored at testing sites throughout the United States. The top seven apprentices won expense-paid trips to compete in the national competition, held during AFSA’s Annual Convention & Exhibition. During the competition, participants took another, more thorough written examination and then installed a steel and CPVC sprinkler system. The systems are pressure-tested and participants were graded on accuracy, craftsmanship and safety.
Logan Moser with Mutual Sprinklers in Tyler, Texas won second place and a $3,000 cash prize and Joseph Mientkiewicz with SimplexGrinnell in Rochester, New York took third place and a $2,000 prize. Honorable mentions and $1,000 prizes were awarded to: Thomas Adams, J.G. Tate Fire Protection Systems, Poway, California; John Cowger, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota; Gregory Schneider, Superior Fire Protection, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Donald Stone, Western Fire Protection, Inc., Poway, California. Competition winners also received a commemorative plaque, cash prizes and tools.
Started in 1994 by the late Robert L. (Bob) McCullough, then chairman of the Education & Apprenticeship Committee, AFSA’s Annual National Apprentice Competition was created to promote apprentice training and give recognition to the apprentices who are actively enrolled in the AFSA Apprenticeship Program. Over 20 years later, the competition continues to bring fire sprinkler apprentices from AFSA local chapter and member training programs from all corners of United States together in the association’s foremost showcase of excellence in training among future industry leaders. For more information, visit firesprinkler.org.



October 15th, 2016

Carolina Fire Protection Recognized by National Organization

DALLAS – Carolina Fire Protection of Dunn, North Carolina has been awarded the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) Quality Contractor recognition, a program recognizing fire protection companies that exhibit the highest commitment to corporate responsibility and standards.
“We are really excited about the recognition by AFSA as a Quality Contractor,” says Jeffrey Dunn, owner of Carolina Fire Protection. “We plan to use this distinction as a marketing tool and to help set us apart from the competition when negotiating with customers to secure contracts. AFSA has high expectations for the Quality Contractors and we will maintain the level of commitment and attention to detail necessary to meet those expectations.”
The Quality Contractor (QC) program publicly recognizes and honors fire sprinkler contracting firms that have documented their commitment in four key areas of corporate responsibility: safety, training, quality of life (employee benefits) and industry and community relations.
“Congratulations to Jeffrey Dunn and all of the employees of Carolina Fire Protection for putting in the time and effort to receive Quality Contractor Recognition,” says AFSA’s Director of Member Services Bradley Elliott. “They have shown that they meet the highest industry standards as verified by AFSA.”
AFSA’s QC recognition program is similar to programs developed by other industry trade groups that reward their members who pursue a higher level of professionalism and is not an accreditation or certification program. AFSA is pleased to recognize Carolina Fire Protection as the newest QC designee. To learn more and to download the QC application, click here.
AFSA is a non-profit association representing fire sprinkler contractors. The association is dedicated to the educational advancement of its members and promotion of the use of automatic fire sprinkler systems. AFSA was organized in 1981 to provide the merit shop fire sprinkler contractor with training, consulting, communication, representation and many more services, all of which have expanded over its existence. Membership is open to contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, designers and authorities having jurisdiction. Currently, AFSA represents companies and individuals across the United States and throughout the world. To find your local AFSA chapter or to learn more, visit firesprinkler.org.



October 3rd, 2016

Muncy Receives 2016 Henry S. Parmelee Award

DALLAS – Throughout his 28-year career with the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA), Steve muncyMuncy has consistently focused on the future of the automatic fire protection industry. This year the AFSA President was honored with the 2016 Henry S. Parmelee Award for his significant service, leadership, and advocacy to the fire protection industry.
Muncy began his career in association management as director of public affairs for the Association of Oil Well Servicing Contractors. When the oil industry economy crashed in the 1980s, he accepted a job at the Home and Apartment Builders Association of Metro Dallas. Through an acquaintance at the Home Builders Association, Muncy heard that AFSA was looking to hire an executive vice president.
In November 1988 Muncy joined the association as its executive vice president, a position he held for three years before becoming AFSA’s president in January 1992.
During his nearly three decades with the Dallas-based trade association, Muncy has helped mold AFSA into a multimillion-dollar enterprise and North America’s biggest fire sprinkler trade group.  Muncy has served on the Residential Fire Safety Institute (RFSI), the National Advisory Committee of the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) board of directors, and was a founding member of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), where he currently serves as an active board member. In 2002 Muncy was named Person of the Year by  Fire Protection Contractor magazine.
Established in 1984, the Henry S. Parmelee Award is the highest honor AFSA bestows. It is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the fire sprinkler industry through outstanding leadership and advancement of the industry. Each recipient of this annual award has demonstrated originality, vision and breadth over the course of their professional life. Muncy plans to retire at the end of 2016.
AFSA Chairman Mike Meehan presented the award to Muncy on Friday, September 16, during the general session of AFSA’s 35th Convention & Exhibition at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.
AFSA is a non-profit association representing fire sprinkler contractors. The association is dedicated to the educational advancement of its members and promotion of the use of automatic fire sprinkler systems. AFSA was organized in 1981 to provide the merit shop fire sprinkler contractor with training, consulting, communication, representation and many more services, all of which have expanded over its existence. Currently, AFSA represents companies and individuals across the United States and throughout the world. Visit firesprinkler.org.



September 21st, 2016

Winners of AFSA’s 2016 Second Chance Scholarship Announced

DALLAS – The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is pleased to offer assistance, through its online scholarship program, AFSAScholarship.org, to five lucky students as they pursue their higher education goals. These national winners of the AFSA Second Chance Scholarship were randomly selected from 38,518 students who entered to receive a one-time AFSA scholarship payable to their respective college, university or trade school.

The 2016 AFSA Second Chance Scholarship winners are:
  • Tonae Collins, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Diamoneek Green, Cairo, Illinois
  • Ivy Johnson, Liberty, South Carolina
  • Cecelia Lakpor, Trenton, New Jersey
  • Alyssa Smith, Grants Pass, Oregon
AFSA’s Second Chance Contest is open to anyone who has graduated high school or equivalency and wants to pursue a college degree or trade school education. Applicants are required to read a passage about fire sprinklers – which describes their history, how they operate to save lives and property, and the types of careers that are available in the industry – and take a ten-question reading comprehension test. For each question answered correctly, the student receives one entry into a drawing for one of five $1,000 scholarships.
AFSA’s scholarship program attracted 296,000 unique visitors to its website, afsascholarship.org, during the 2016 contest. The 2017 contest will begin in April 2017.
For more opportunities to win, AFSA also offers a $20,000 High School Senior Scholarship Contest, which is open to current high school seniors who wish to pursue a four-year or two-year college degree or trade school education at an accredited school. The 2016-17 High School Senior Scholarship will award 10 (ten) $2,000 scholarships and is accepting applications through noon (CT), April 7, 2016.
Since its creation in 1996, the AFSA Scholarship Contest has sought to promote the scholarship outside of the fire sprinkler industry in the hope of reaching students who may otherwise never have recognized the importance of automatic fire protection. The AFSA scholarships are open to U.S. citizens or legal residents and are not based on financial need. For details or to apply for either scholarship, visit afsascholarship.org.



August 11th, 2016

AFSA is now on Instagram!

DALLAS – Now you can follow the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) on Instagram for photos of association members across the nation. AFSA already has a strong presence on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn, and with the addition of Instagram hopes to reach even more of its members with behind-the-scenes photos and special updates not available on other channels.
AFSA members and the fire sprinkler industry at large can receive Instagram updates from AFSA by following the handle @firesprinklerorg on Instagram.com. AFSA members are encouraged to tag their photos with the hashtag #AFSA and share their photos using the hashtags #AFSAMember, #AFSAChapter, #AFSATraining or our official convention hashtag #AFSA2016.
AFSA is a non-profit association representing fire sprinkler contractors. The association is dedicated to the educational advancement of its members and promotion of the use of automatic fire sprinkler systems. AFSA was organized in 1981 to provide the merit shop fire sprinkler contractor with training, consulting, communication, representation and many more services, all of which have expanded over its existence. Membership is open to contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, designers and authorities having jurisdiction. Currently, AFSA represents companies and individuals across the United States and throughout the world. To find your local AFSA chapter or to learn more, visit firesprinkler.org.