Budget & Finance Committee in the Spotlight
Some of the most important functions of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) are done behind the scenes, and members often don’t hear or see from these groups. But dedicated volunteers give of their time and expertise to ensure the Association’s continued success. One such group is the Budget & Finance Committee, which meets four times a year to delve into the intricate details of the AFSA financials and keep AFSA’s foundation strong while looking towards future growth.
Led by AFSA Region 7 Director and Treasurer Paul DeLorie, Hampshire Fire Protection, Inc., Londonderry, New Hampshire, this committee meets in January of each year to establish the annual budget, which is approved by the full Board of Directors. Committee members also make decisions on investments, approve spending for special projects, and decline to spend on projects that are not beneficial to AFSA or its members. They also review and approve the annual audit and 990 tax returns.
“I am pleased and honored to be a member of AFSA Budget & Finance Committee,” comments DeLorie. “This committee and its predecessors over the many years have all worked with the same goal of ensuring a sound financial position so AFSA may provide strong training and education programs for our members. Each committee member brings years of financial awareness through the running of their businesses. The committee promises to be good financial stewards on behalf of our members.”
He continues: “AFSA is fortunate the Board of Directors has chosen to work with trusted and proven financial investment advisors from The Strange Group at Janney Montgomery Scott. Their expertise and counsel helps to protect our financial reserves so we may provide member services far into the future.”
Each week DeLorie meets with AFSA’s Vice President of Finance & Administration LaVerne Davis to discuss financial issues. Some of these weekly discussions can and do become agenda items for the committee. In addition, each month, the treasurer and the executive committee members review the Association’s financials, which also generates agenda items for the Budget & Finance Committee.
“AFSA has a strong financial foundation and is able to continue to provide excellent services to our members due primarily to the financial acumen of the members of this committee,” says Davis, staff liaison to the committee.
The Budget & Finance Committee is a closed committee, which means the only attendees are the members of the committee due to the sensitivity of the financial matters discussed.
The committee members work hard to make decisions that are in the best interest of every member. The 2020 budget & finance committee consists of six volunteers. In addition to DeLorie, they are AFSA Chair Ted Wills, Anchor Fire Protection Co., Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania; AFSA First Vice Chair Jack Medovich, P.E., Fire & Life Safety America, Hanover, Maryland; AFSA Second Vice Chair Linda Biernacki, Fire Tech Systems, Inc., Shreveport, Louisiana; AFSA Secretary Jeff Phifer, Crawford Sprinkler Co. of the South Carolina, Lugoff, South Carolina; and AFSA Immediate Past Chair Wayne Weisz, Cen-Cal Fire Systems, Inc., Lodi, California.
“I am very grateful to the members of this committee who work diligently to ensure financial longevity, integrity, and rock-solid spending and saving practices that benefit the Association and its members,” comments Davis. “Each committee member is always available when called on to assist with AFSA financial matters. They are insightful and dedicated financial experts.”