Members of the 2019-2020 M/S Council. Back row (L to R): Mark Abernathy, Lainey Liotta (proxy for Mark Knurek), Rex Schwendiman, Joe Tieman, Derek Allen, Tim Freiner, Darren Palmieri, and Jim McHugh. Front row (L to R): Ralph Watson, Michelle Hoffman, Chris Stason, Mike Dooley, Ray Fremont Jr., and Bill Phair.

Council Elects 2020 Officers

AFSA Manufacturer/Supplier Members Have a Voice 

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) Manufacturers/Suppliers (M/S) Council elected its officers October 4 at the AFSA38: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition in San Diego. Chris Stason of Victaulic Company in Temecula, California was elected as chair of the Council and Derek Allen of Core & Main in Hayward, California was confirmed as vice chair of the Council. 

Mike Dooley of Anvil International in Holliston, Massachusetts, and Ray Fremont, Jr. of General Air Products, Inc. in Exton, Pennsylvania, were re-elected to three-year terms, expiring in 2022. Mark Knurek of Lubrizol in Cleveland, Ohio, was elected to a two-year term, expiring in 2021, and Mark Abernathy of Bull Moose Tube Company in Chesterfield, Missouri, elected to a one-year term, expiring in 2020. 

All members are anticipating a year of making a great difference on the Council. Knurek, who has served on the AFSA committees in the past, is especially thrilled to be a part of the M/S Council. “It has been many years since Lubrizol/BlazeMaster has been on the M/S Council, so I am very excited that we have made it back,” said Knurek. “I look forward to working closely with the M/S Council to further advance the fire sprinkler industry initiatives that progress the quality of our products, solutions, training, and increasing residential fire sprinkler requirements. AFSA is poised to do great things over the next few years and I am looking forward to being an integral part of it.” 

The Council, established in 1983, is a national council representing member companies that produce fire sprinkler system components and supply materials and services to the industry. The M/S Council was created to represent the interests of all associate members that make and supply products in the industry and assist AFSA’s Board of Directors in meeting the goals of AFSA. 

“Being the Chair affords me the opportunity to give back to the industry and work with all the manufacturers for the betterment of the industry as a whole,” said Stason, who was elected to a two-year term as Council chair. “I think together with the new AFSA Board of Directors Chair Ted Wills and the new makeup of the M/S Council we look forward to two years of progress in tackling industry issues and opportunities.” 

Members of the 2019-2020 M/S Council include: Mark Abernathy, Bull Moose Tube Company, Chesterfield, Missouri; Derek Allen, Core & Main, Hayward, California; Mike Dooley, Anvil International, Holliston, Massachusetts; Ray Fremont, Jr., General Air Products, Inc., Exton, Pennsylvania; Tim Freiner, Potter Electric Signal Company, St. Louis, Missouri; Michelle Hoffmann, WinSupply, Dayton, Ohio; Mark Knurek, Lubrizol, Cleveland, Ohio; Jim McHugh, AGF Manufacturing Inc., Malvern, Pennsylvania; Darren Palmieri, Viking SupplyNet, Hasting, Michigan; Bill Phair, Ferguson Fire & Fabrication, Passaic, New Jersey; Rex Schwendiman, Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Company, Elmsford, New York; Chris Stason, Victaulic Company, Temecula, California; Joe Tieman, Johnson Controls, Hillard, Ohio; and Ralph Watson, Globe Fire Sprinkler Corporation, Standish, Michigan. 

The M/S Council is comprised of both appointed and elected representatives. Each device manufacturing company that holds AFSA membership at level A-6 or above is allowed one seat, with the representative to be appointed by the individual company, and two appointed seats on the Council are reserved for distributor/fabricators in dues-paying categories A-9 or above with a national scope. There are seven elected representatives, and persons serving in these positions may represent any supplier or manufacturer company that includes, but is not limited to, suppliers, other manufacturers, or manufacturer’s representatives as long as the company is an AFSA member in good standing. 

From l to r: During the October 4 meeting, then M/S Council Chair Mike Dooley presented Chuck Kitts with a plaque recognizing his service to the AFSA M/S Council.

At the Council’s July 2019 meeting, Chuck Kitts announced that he will step down from serving on the Council as a representative of System Sensor. On behalf of the members of the Council, Immediate Past Chair Mike Dooley presented Kitts with a commemorative plaque at their October meeting in recognition of his nearly two decades of service on the M/S Council. 

AFSA members are encouraged to contact M/S Council representatives with questions or ideas. If you are interested in becoming more involved with AFSA, the Council encourages you to do so! Consider investing in the future of your industry by getting more active; please also consider the time and financial commitment required to attend meetings and work on AFSA programs. The M/S Council will meet on these dates in 2020: January 22 – Westin Park Central, Dallas, Texas; April 22 – The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, Point Clear, Alabama; July 22 – Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; September 16 – Hilton Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida. 

Members interested in serving on the Council should contact M/S Council staff liaisons Nicole Duvall at nduvall@ or Marlene Garrett, CMP, at, or visit

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