Join in the Texas-Sized Celebration
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is excited to be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2021, and we are inviting everyone to the party! Join us at AFSA40: Convention, Exhibition, and Apprentice Competition, September 18-21, 2021, in the Texas Hill Country near San Antonio, for a Texas-sized celebration. Featuring the largest event of its kind in the fire sprinkler industry, AFSA40 offers four days of seminars, two days of exhibits, one exciting golf tournament, and many networking opportunities.
“In 2021, it is my honor to serve as the 40th Anniversary Convention Committee Chair,” comments AFSA Second Vice Chair Linda Biernacki, Fire Tech Systems, Inc., Shreveport, Louisiana. “This year’s convention will commemorate our heritage and honor those who had the vision to acknowledge that the merit shop contractor needed an association that was laser-focused on training, educating, and developing best-in-class industry leaders. We will also celebrate the importance of educating and cultivating AFSA members for the next 40 years!”
Highlights of this special anniversary event include a display of the association’s last 40 years, showcasing AFSA’s accomplishments from each decade and the leaders who paved the way and have kept AFSA at the forefront of merit shop training and education.
Education and Innovation
AFSA40 offers four days of managerial and technical seminars filled with education, training, and networking led by fire protection industry experts. AFSA’s two-day exhibition provides an opportunity to meet with leading manufacturers and suppliers of the fire sprinkler industry’s latest products and services. The unopposed exhibit hours allow attendees and exhibitors to visit without interruption, and the second day of exhibits also features the finals of AFSA’s 28th Annual National Apprentice Competition (NAC). For apprentices who are interested in competing, visit www.firesprinkler.org/competition.
Convention highlights include an opening party, Exhibition Grand Opening reception, general session, social events, golf tournament, wine tour, and a chance to meet and reconnect with friends during the networking meals hosted for attendees who are fully registered in AFSA’s room blocks at the official headquarter hotel, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.
This year, attendees can hit the links at TPC San Antonio, a private resort only accessible to guests of the resort and members. TPC San Antonio features two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by two of the world’s most talented and respected golf course architects: Pete Dye and World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman. Both courses have played host to TOUR events, with the Oaks Course serving as the host of the PGA TOUR’s Valero Texas Open since 2010. The courses have received many awards, including Best Resort Courses in the U.S. by Golfweek in 2019.
A special opening party on Saturday evening will be held outdoors on the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa property’s beautiful 600 acres of oak-covered hills. This event will feature live entertainment and locally inspired food and beverages.
The final night Awards Party on Tuesday, September 21, will offer “the real Texas experience” at Knibbe (pronounced ka-NIB-bee) Ranch, founded back in 1852, more than 150 years ago. The ranch is one of the few remaining Century Heritage Ranches in Texas, which must be owned and operated by the same family in a direct line of descent. Rich in German heritage and culture reminiscent of the early European immigrants, the ranch is the setting for our Awards Party where we crown our newest NAC champion. Enjoy live entertainment, fantastic food, and ranch activities as we celebrate AFSA’s 40th anniversary Texas-style!
This year’s optional tours will put the best of Texas on display. One offering will be a wine tour to Fredericksburg, the largest vineyard community in Texas with award-winning wineries. There are more than 50 wineries and tasting rooms located in Fredericksburg and Gillespie County. Learn more about this town founded in 1846 by German immigrants at www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/wineries/.
AFSA’s NextGen Initiative (NextGen), the industry’s most forward-looking young professionals’ group, will host a “NextGen Day” on Sunday, September 19, during AFSA40. This full day is open to all industry members and will feature seminars, a leadership forum, and an evening mixer. For more information on AFSA’s NextGen, visit www.firesprinkler.org/NextGen.
San Antonio Celebration
Surrounded by a natural landscape of Southwestern splendor, the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa provides an inspired retreat. The award-winning resort offers modern rooms with countryside views, soothing spa treatments, and family fun in the sprawling River Bluff Experience aquatic park. Dine at one of the resort’s seven distinctive restaurants featuring modern Texas cuisine, a lively sports bar, fine steak house, delectable local fare, and hand-crafted cocktails. The resort also offers outdoor tennis courts, jogging and nature trails, table tennis, a whirlpool spa, and more.
The AFSA group rate for the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is $254 per night plus tax. This rate includes self parking and complimentary internet in guest rooms. Reservations may be made online during the convention registration process at www.firesprinkler.org/book. Group rates are available for stays from September 14-25, 2021, but reservations must be made by August 20, 2021, to secure AFSA convention group rates. After August 20, room rates are based on availability.
Hotel Reservation Alert
AFSA has been made aware of third-party vendors soliciting AFSA exhibitors and attendees posing as our housing vendor. These companies mislead you to think they are working on our behalf. Companies that use this tactic include Exhibitor Hotel Reservation Services (EHR), Global Housing, and National Travel Associates. They are not endorsed by or affiliated with AFSA or its show and entering into financial agreements with such companies can have costly consequences such as no hotel reservations, no free networking meals, nor complimentary internet access. To receive full AFSA hotel benefits, you must book directly with the hotel by phone or using the link found on AFSA’s convention website, www.firesprinkler.org/AFSA40.
Join in the Celebration!
Mark your calendars for the biggest party of the year as we gather in the Texas Hill Country to celebrate AFSA and its members. Sponsorship opportunities abound for this year’s special event! For more information on sponsorship packages, contact AFSA’s Senior Director of Meetings & Education Services Marlene Garrett, CMP, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (314) 349-5065 ext. 118.
Bookmark AFSA’s convention website at www.firesprinkler.org/AFSA40 as online registration will open soon. You can also receive real-time AFSA40 updates sent to your desktop or wireless device by subscribing to or “following” AFSA social media and use our official hashtag #AFSA40.
• Twitter: twitter.com/AFSA
• Facebook: facebook.com/firesprinklerorg
• Instagram: instagram.com/firesprinklerorg
• YouTube: youtube.com/user/AmerFireSprinkAssn
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and AFSA40 will be the biggest and best event of them all. Y’all come on down September 18-21 and be a part of the celebration!