Kevin T. Fee, Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc., was chosen as AFSA's 2022 Henry S. Parmelee Award recipient and received his award from Chair of the Board Jack Medovich, P.E. at the AFSA41 General Session. Call for 2023 AFSA nominations.
Kevin T. Fee, Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc., was chosen as AFSA's 2022 Henry S. Parmelee Award recipient and received his award from Chair of the Board Jack Medovich, P.E. at the AFSA41 General Session. Call for 2023 AFSA nominations.

Viva Las Vegas!

AFSA41 Was a Jackpot Success!

This year, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) was thrilled to welcome attendees to AFSA41: Convention, Exhibition, and Apprentice Competition in Las Vegas, October 16-19. Nearly 1,300 fire sprinkler contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, architects, Authorities Having Jurisdictions (AHJs), and other industry professionals rushed to the Bellagio Las Vegas to celebrate AFSA’s 41 years of dedication to merit shop contractors and the fire sprinkler industry.

“I spent a whole year thinking AFSA40 was the best convention I’d ever been to, and I had no idea how to top it,” comments AFSA President Bob Caputo. “AFSA41 was even better, and now I have no idea how we could ever top it! It was a great exhibition and convention,” comments Caputo.

In addition to attending over 60 technical, managerial, and NextGen Initiative (NGI) seminars, attendees explored AFSA’s exhibit hall, filling the resort’s convention center with booths featuring the products and services of nearly 100 exhibiting companies. AFSA also offered local AHJs a free plan review seminar and a chance to explore the industry’s largest exhibition. Social events, networking meals, and the Apprentice Awards Party rounded out the convention’s schedule.

The convention began with an opening party on Sunday, October 16, held at On the Record at MGM Park. This year’s opening party was hosted by AFSA’s NextGen Initiative. The first hour was reserved for the National Apprentice Competition finalists to network with the AFSA Board of Directors, national committee members, and NextGen workgroup members. For the remainder of the party, attendees were able to socialize, sip cocktails in the speakeasy, dine on prime rib and hors d’oeuvres, sing in private karaoke rooms, and take advantage of selfie opportunities in this spectacular venue.

Monday was a day full of learning and earning education credits at AFSA41 seminars. The afternoon ended with the ever-popular “Ask the Experts” session. This discussion allowed attendees to ask a panel of the industry’s top technical minds about any NFPA standards. Many attendees also took the time that evening to explore Las Vegas and its many musings.

Tuesday offered more seminars followed by the General Session, where attendees celebrated 40-plus years of dedication to merit shop fire protection contractors and the commitment to saving lives and protecting properties. AFSA 2022-2023 Chair of the Board Jack Medovich presented the 2022 Henry S. Parmelee Award to Kevin T. Fee, president of Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc., who has been dedicated to the fire protection industry and its members for over 50 years. In addition, 2022 Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation (NFFF), was honored for his commitment to the fire sprinkler industry. Finally, Katie Meehan, director of marketing at VSC Fire & Protection, Ashland, Virginia, received AFSA’s 2022 Young Professional of the Year award for her service to the NextGen industry leaders on local and national levels. Attendees were then invited to the Exhibition Grand Opening Reception for a first look at this year’s exhibiting companies along with heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

On Wednesday, the seminars continued, and exhibits opened in the afternoon to great success. Over 450 exhibitors took over the hall, and attendees enjoyed learning about new products and services for the fire sprinkler industry and networking with fellow industry professionals. During the afternoon exhibition, the nation’s top seven fire sprinkler fitter apprentices, from the 150 apprentices who entered this year’s contest, installed mini- sprinkler systems before a packed crowd.

That evening, the annual Awards Party took place at the elegant Bellagio pool. Guests enjoyed dinner, specialty cocktails themed by AFSA41’s Diamond Sponsors, photo opportunities with Vegas showgirls, and a live band showcasing top hits over the decades to celebrate AFSA41!

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the apprentice competition winners: Jacob Hanson, Security Fire Sprinkler, Sauk Rapids, Minnesota, won first place at this year’s competition, as well as a cash prize of $5,000. Antonio Rosario, Titan Fire Protection, Vista, California, won second place and a $3,000 cash prize. Tyler Amundson, Rapid Fire Protection, Rapid City, South Dakota, took home third place along with a cash prize of $2,000. Honorable mentions and $1,000 cash prizes were awarded to: Andrew Callahan, A & D Fire Sprinklers, Spokane Valley, Washington; Matthew Comp, Diamond Automatic Sprinklers, Inc., Mt. Holly Springs, Pennsylvania; Daniel Kohler, Western Fire Protection, Poway, California; and Andrew Lynch, Johnson Controls, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado. All competition winners also received a commemorative award and tools.

FUN IN THE FLORIDA SUN

AFSA is heading to the East Coast and sunny Florida next year. Don’t miss out on the education and excitement! Mark your calendars for AFSA42: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition September 6-9, 2023, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida. For more information on this annual event, visit firesprinkler.org. To view additional photos of the action, visit AFSA’s Flickr photo page at flickr. com/afsa.

Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (left), received the Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award from Legislative Chair Chris Johnson.
Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (left), received the Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award from Legislative Chair Chris Johnson.
Katie Meehan, VSC Fire & Security (left) was presented with the 2022 Young Professional of the Year award by AFSA First Vice Chair Linda Biernacki.
Katie Meehan, VSC Fire & Security (left) was presented with the 2022 Young Professional of the Year award by AFSA First Vice Chair Linda Biernacki.
National Apprentice Competition Chair Jeff Phifer, AFSA Region 5 Director, was proud to present the seven finalists for the 2022 National Apprentice Competition during the General Session. From left to right: Phifer and the seven finalists: Tyler Amundson, Daniel Kohler, Andrew Callahan, Andrew Lynch, Antonio Rosario, Matthew Comp, and Jacob Hanson.
National Apprentice Competition Chair Jeff Phifer, AFSA Region 5 Director, was proud to present the seven finalists for the 2022 National Apprentice Competition during the General Session. From left to right: Phifer and the seven finalists: Tyler Amundson, Daniel Kohler, Andrew Callahan, Andrew Lynch, Antonio Rosario, Matthew Comp, and Jacob Hanson.

Attendees enjoyed a speakeasy experience at the AFSA41 Opening Party at On the Record, a music-themed nightspot at Park MGM. It was a fun-filled night of dancing, socializing, dining on prime rib and next-level appetizers, and drinking world-class cocktails and signature AFSA41 drinks.

The AFSA41 exhibit hall was packed with vendors and attendees both days. Attendees mingled with manufacturers and suppliers and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Exhibition Grand Opening Reception on Tuesday night and then again on Wednesday afternoon.
The AFSA41 exhibit hall was packed with vendors and attendees both days. Attendees mingled with manufacturers and suppliers and enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Exhibition Grand Opening Reception on Tuesday night and then again on Wednesday afternoon.

Top four photos: Guests had a great time socializing at On the Record. Bottom four photos: The AFSA41 Awards Party celebrated the seven National Apprentice Competition (NAC) finalists and music through the decades with a buffet dinner, live band, dancing, and a costume contest.
Top four photos: Guests had a great time socializing at On the Record. Bottom four photos: The AFSA41 Awards Party celebrated the seven National Apprentice Competition (NAC) finalists and music through the decades with a buffet dinner, live band, dancing, and a costume contest.

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