Executive Vice President’s Report – January/February 2016

Baptism by fire. That phrase has profound meaning for me as I celebrate having served my initial year in the merit shop fire sprinkler contractor industry as the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) executive vice president. The common definition for baptism by fire, an employee who learns the craft by being immersed in their field of work, would certainly apply to my first 12 months on the job. As our members are well aware, AFSA never takes a breather in terms of delivering superior benefits and services while also consistently striving to develop innovative programming that will advance this critically important construction trade.

By utilizing the term “fire” to describe my early impressions of AFSA and our dynamic team of members, volunteer leaders and professional staff, I’m reminded everyday of the purpose of our association to provide training, consulting, communication, representation and related services to the merit shop fire sprinkler contractor community. Challenging objectives indeed, particularly when demands on time and resources are at a premium. Fortunately, as an association governed by volunteer leaders, it has become abundantly clear that AFSA has an incredibly robust pool of dedicated individuals from the field of fire sprinkler contracting that are more than willing to share their professional acumen for the betterment of their industry.

Upon arriving to AFSA in January of 2015, I quickly realized that regardless of whether I was learning about our technical resources and informal interpretation processes, understanding our administrative challenges, helping coordinate education- related and meeting programming, or offering to lend a hand with our communication efforts, the fabric of membership along with the association’s ability to help fire sprinkler contractors succeed is consistently what motivates every decision made by your AFSA staff. To that end, I ordered a large wall map of the United States for my office and have subsequently placed a green pin in all areas of the country where our members are located. “Frank’s Map” has become a source of pride for me whenever I interact with our volunteer leaders and affords me the opportunity to study member demographics and chapter jurisdictions while maintaining a focus on AFSA’s commitment to our tremendous industry. The Dallas staff is not AFSA. The members are AFSA, and the local chapters are the lifeblood of the organization. I invite all members to find your unique pin in my office, if you’re ever in the Dallas area.

I am honored to work on behalf of the fire sprinkler industry and hope to enjoy many years of service toward improving the working conditions of all AFSA members. A blueprint for fire sprinkler contractors to realize significant advancements in the field has been strategically developed by your AFSA member peers. Maximizing AFSA member benefits allows for a competitive edge to be realized, particularly in this challenging economic environment. Members of AFSA represent the cream of the crop in the fire sprinkler trade, and in addition to the myriad stellar professional opportunities for members to take advantage of, new industry programming has been identified and is being developed by our volunteer leadership teams. Whether it’s creating an unparalleled training program for developing NICET certified inspectors, generating additional depth to the study of technical issues and standard-making processes, or constructing a Next Generation platform aimed to improve communication and efficiencies across all age groups, AFSA is poised to launch effective new services that will propel the businesses of members who participate. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to join this thrilling ride.

frankFrank Mortl III, CAE, joined the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) in January of 2015 as its Executive Vice President. In addition to performing a variety of administrative oversight roles, Mortl is charged with the implementation of AFSA policies and procedures, governmental affairs and programming related to the Center for Life Safety Education. Previously, he held the title of Director of Marketing with the Associated General Contractors of Michigan; Director of Business Development with Sorensen Gross Construction Services; Executive Director of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy; Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Kalamazoo Association of REALTORS®; as well as Executive Director of the Michigan Lupus Foundation. Additionally, Mortl is a proud alumnus of Michigan State University and Michigan State University College of Law and is excited to provide AFSA members with executive-level leadership on behalf of the merit shop fire sprinkler contractor industry through the Association’s training, consulting, communication and representation programs.


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