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Education Abounds at Arizona Convention

Rise to Excellence with AFSA in 2015

Join the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) in Phoenix this October to “learn and earn” at AFSA’s 34th Annual Convention & Exhibition “AFSA in Phoenix: Rising to Excellence.” Offering 55 hours of technical and managerial seminars, there promises to be something for everyone. To be held Saturday, October 10 through Tuesday, October 13, 2015, this year’s event will be headquartered at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

AFSA’s convention draws over 1,100 participants from around the world. This is the nation’s largest gathering of fire sprinkler professionals, and offers unparalleled professional development opportunities. Following is a brief description of topics to expect at the convention, many offering attendees the opportunity to earn CEUs or CPDs.

Building Your Inspection Team

Bob Caputo, CFPS, CET & Russ Leavitt, CFPS, SET – Discuss lack of trained inspection technicians, challenges of converting installers to inspectors, and effective techniques for selecting and vetting training candidates for inspections and testing. (0.15 CEUs)

Changes in the 2016 Edition of NFPA 20

Hansford Stewart – Obtain a working knowledge of new requirements for stationary fire protection in high-rise buildings and new Multi State Multi Outlet pump technology included in the updated NFPA 20 standard. Apply information in this class to pump room design reviews with clients and Authorities Having Jurisdiction. (0.1 CEUs/1.0 CPDs)

Connecting Actual Job Costs Back to Estimating

Tyler Paré – Incorporate field input into estimates; determine healthy differences between an estimate and a budget, recognize why and how actual job costs should be tracked, and utilize job-cost information to improve estimating accuracy. (0.15 CEUs)

Contractor Liability: Around and Around We Go

Russ Leavitt – Most sprinkler contractor litigation is a result of property owner’s insurance subrogation. Discuss recent court rulings and strategies for protecting your business, including choosing the right expert witness for the specific loss being defended. (0.2 CEUs)

Corrosion: It’s Identified, How Do We Get Rid of It?

(Panel Discussion) Moderator: Don Kaufman; Panelists: Scott Bodemann, Frank Savino, Ken Jones, Lucas Kirn, Tim O’Leary, and Josh Tihen – The focus of this panel presentation is to educate participants on available solutions to corrosion issues provided by AFSA members specializing in this area. Discussion will include mitigation approaches to include both treatment and prevention. (0.2 CEUs/2.0 CPDs)

CPVC Fire Sprinkler Piping Systems: Overview, Common Questions, Compatibility

Donald Townley – Brief overview of product history and explain performance characteristics along with the listings, approvals, and standards. Answering common questions includes the use of CPVC in special circumstances such as basements, attics, and air plenums with an update on chemical compatibility. (0.15 CEUs/1.5 CPDs)

Evolution of In-Rack Sprinkler Design

Wes Baker, Jr. – Examine FM Global testing that led to today’s in-rack sprinkler designs; discuss test results used to modify current designs presently offered within Data Sheet 8-9, Storage of Class 1, 2, 3, 4, and Plastic Commodities, and how test results impact today’s guidelines and potential new guidelines in the next revision of FM Global’s Data Sheet 8-9. (0.15 CEUs/1.5 CPDs)

Fire Fighting Foam and Requirements for Fueled Aircraft Hangars

Skip Westbrook – Identify hangar classifications per NFPA 409, analyze hazard to discern the best protection scheme, recognize new requirements for military aircraft hangars and differences from previous standards, and navigate the new standard for each branch of service to understand how to perform hazard analysis for each. (0.2 CEUs/2.0 CPDs)

Getting Paid: Elements of Cash Flow Management & Avoiding Change Order Confrontation

Tyler Paré – Master the major tasks of analyzing financial statements, tracking cash conversion periods, deciding when and if to borrow, keeping your working capital at adequate levels and protecting your bonding capacity. Learn ways to avoid confrontation and still be paid for the additional work you have done. Master the art of dealing with delays, accelerations, additions, deletions, and other changes. (0.2 CEUs)

High-Rise Standpipe Systems and NFPA 14 Update

Steve Leyton – Discussion will include vertical staging of fire pumps, proper zoning and protection of standpipes, pressure regulation, auxiliary water storage on upper floors, and other proposed changes to NFPA 14. (0.2 CEUs/2.0 CPDs)

How Fire Sprinkler Contractors Can Become Invincible to Lawsuits and Save Thousands in Taxes

G. Kent Mangelson, CFP – Learn how to make yourself unattractive to plaintiff attorneys and structure your business for lawsuit protection. Minimize taxes with five often-missed tax reduction strategies. Create estate and business succession plans. (0.15 CEUs)

Incentive Compensation Plans: Common Practices and Effectiveness

Sal DiFonzo – Discover seven critical issues to improve effectiveness in your incentive program, why discretionary bonuses are ineffective; benefits of total rewards; balance incentives to minimize unintended consequences such as divisional silos, free riders; avoid pitfalls of bonus pay-outs in lean years; recognize types of incentive plans, current compensation trends, what works, what doesn’t; establish methods to link pay to performance. (0.15 CEUs)

Marketing Sprinkler Service Agreements: Key To Success In Today’s Challenging Economic Environment

Joe Siderowicz – Discuss overview of current service market, competition from fire alarm firms, analyze performance measurements, create a value proposition, and effectively market service agreements. (0.1 CEUs)

NFPA 13: 2016 Edition Update

Audrey Goldstein – Address new definition for cloud ceilings, revisions to commodity classification tables, new exposed, expanded plastic protection criteria, and overhaul of metric conversions. Reports on sprinkler protection for cloud ceilings and new Group A plastic storage criteria will also be included. (0.2 CEUs/2.0 CPDs)

NFPA 13: Obstructions

James Golinveaux – This seminar will clearly outline current obstruction rules in NFPA 13 as they apply to residential, CMDA, CMSA, ESFR, and special sprinklers. Upon completion, you should be able to identify obstruction rule differences between various sprinkler technologies. (0.15 CEUs/1.5 CPDs)

NFPA 25, 2017 Update

Russ Leavitt – Discuss major proposed changes to 2017 edition of NFPA 25 (including hazard evaluations, fire pump testing, system tagging); learn both your role and the role of your AFSA committee member representative in the standard-making process. (0.1 CEUs/1.0 CPDs)

Project Management

Randy Stutzman – Identify trends in capital project management; examine strategic project organizing; implement contracting practices; observe project controls; and manage quality and safety. (0.2 CEUs)

Recruit. Train. Retain.

Dan Belcher, Jennifer Wilkerson – With the average age of the construction craft professional between 48 and 52, strong recruiting, training, and retention programs are a must. We’ll discuss current stats on industry needs; tools for building sustainable relationships with local high schools and colleges; and integrating an employee retention program. (0.1 CEUs)

Residential Sprinkler Requirements in NFPA 13, 13D, and 13R

Audrey Goldstein – Address the differences between the three standards, including in such areas as sprinkler omissions and design methods; explain the implications of building code requirements on sprinkler design in pedestal buildings. (0.15 CEUs/1.5 CPDs)

Seismic Bracing Layout

Ken Wagoner, CFPE, CFPS, SET – Discussion will include layout of braces and restraints, necessary calculations to support the layout, evaluation of brace capacity, method attachment limits, as well as tips for obtaining the short-period response parameter, seismic coefficient, and calcs for horizontal force factors. (0.2 CEUs/2.0 CPDs)

Seismic Protection Update for 2016 Edition of NFPA 13

Ken Wagoner – This seminar will provide a brief overview of the changes to seismic protection requirements contained in the 2016 edition of NFPA 13, including those that may pose challenges to designers and contractors. Information on significantly lowered maximum loads for seismic attachments utilizing anchors in concrete, required section modulus, and much more will be presented. (0.15 CEUs/1.5 CPDs)

Small Business Programs: Federal Procurement – How Do Minority Business Programs Work?

Brad Gaswirth – Identify pitfalls to be aware of in certification of minority businesses; discuss current statutes and authority to provide a basic understanding of various federal programs dealing with small or minority owned businesses; describe how to apply statutes to successfully certify; and identify penalties for failing to comply with statutes. (0.15 CEUs)

Storage: Establishing the Correct Commodity Class – NFPA 13, 2016 Edition

James Golinveaux – Participants will identify applicable sections of NFPA 13 to determine correct commodity class and describe changes in today’s storage methods that pose challenges when establishing proper commodity class. (0.15 CEUs/1.5 CPDs)

Turning Your Project Managers Into Business Managers

Randy Stutzman – Understand financial impact of effective project controls, projected cash flow, and getting paid; manage all aspects of the job utilizing innovative tools and leveraging key relationships; establish long-term client relations through an understanding of marketing and business development concepts. (0.15 CEUs)

Your Rights When OSHA Comes Calling

Tracy Hadwin – Identify your rights and responsibilities during the entire inspection process. Implement procedures to help reduce anxiety and confusion surrounding an OSHA visit. Communicate procedures to your employees giving them the confidence they need if OSHA shows up on the job. (0.1 CEUs/1.0 CPDs)

Book Your Stay

AFSA’s official convention hotel this year is JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge in Phoenix. All of this year’s seminars, exhibits, networking breakfasts and lunches, the opening general session, golf tournament, and transportation to offsite tours and parties will be held within the resort’s conference complex, just steps away from AFSA’s official room block. Guest rooms feature private balconies or patios with dramatic desert vistas, mountain views, and tech-friendly amenities. Enjoy high-speed Internet, refrigerator, cordless phone and coffee maker in your room and complimentary daily use of the resort’s fitness center. This hotel has a smoke-free policy, although smoking is permitted in designated outdoor areas.

With your all-access registration to the convention and your reservation at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge in the AFSA group block, you are entitled to receive these value added benefits compliments of AFSA:

  • Three networking breakfasts (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday)
  • Three networking lunches (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday)

This meal offer is valid for one breakfast and one lunch per night reserved at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge in the AFSA group block.

Be sure to book your room at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge to get AFSA’s special room rate of $234 per night plus tax. Room types are based on availability. Guests are encouraged to make reservations early to get preferred room type. Group rates are available from October 7-16, 2015.

For room reservations, Book Online or call 480-293-5000 and ask for the AFSA Group Rate. The cut-off date for guaranteed room rate availability is September 4, 2015. After this date, AFSA attendees will not be guaranteed the group rate.

Start Planning Now!

Mark your calendar and make your reservations. AFSA promises to offer education and excitement at this year’s convention and exhibition. For more information on this year’s event, visit firesprinkler.org/convention. And don’t forget to reserve your room at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge at the special AFSA group rate. Phoenix is the place to be this October – don’t miss the fun! n

IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t let your reservations be hijacked! In the past, several AFSA members have received calls from hotel reservation companies claiming to be representing AFSA and its convention. AFSA does not have any housing companies associated with its 2015 Convention & Exhibition. Reservations made at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa through a reservation company, such as Global Housing or Exhibitor Services, do not qualify for AFSA networking meals. While hotel resellers may contact you offering housing for your trip, they are not endorsed by or affiliated with AFSA or its show and entering into financial agreements with such companies can have costly consequences.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following NFPA standards will be covered in seminars at convention: NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems; NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes; NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies; NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems; NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection; NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems; and NFPA 409, Standard on Aircraft Hangars.

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