I have been in management for a long time now, going back to my career as a fire captain, a fire marshal and through the remaining part of my career in the fire service, leading to the present as the senior director of Membership & Chapter Development. Along the way, it has always made me feel more comfortable knowing that I did not have to be the smartest person in the room and that I could count on the people I worked with to make the right decisions with a little feedback and checking in occasionally to see how things were going. It usually just took a little coaching to right the ship when things got off track. There was some buy-in on my part, which meant my team were members of and had access to state and national associations that provided us with important updates, training, and the ability and a network of professionals to share and receive valuable information that benefited our mission. This was not a novel thought on my part. Many great leaders have been surrounded by people more educated, more experienced, and seemingly more qualified in certain areas than themselves. Go back in history, and you will find many, including Abraham Lincoln, who led our country the same way. 

So, where am I headed with this? Last year we wrote a piece about the common AFSA membership myths. One of the myths we noted was, “Only the company member who joins is a member.” As we wrote then when a member joins from a company, the dues are based on company revenue, and, as a result, the employees of the company are also members of AFSA. We encourage all the company employees, branches, and offices to have access to AFSA training, communications, and other member benefits by enrolling them in your company profile. 

Enrolling your team into your company profile is a membership benefit that is very important because employee access to AFSA benefits not only enhances the company benefits but it makes your team members better, smarter, more hardworking, and better able to perform their work more accurately and efficiently, which ultimately increases your company’s profits by making them better at their work. Enrolling your team in the membership database and providing access to AFSA member benefits gives your team access to free technical reviews, access to our library of online Technical Reviews, the weekly Tech Update enewsletter, and more. Your team members also have access to membership discounts and AFSA’s extensive list of education and training opportunities, some of which include:
• Fitter Apprenticeship Training: Commercial and Residential
• System Layout/Designer
Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance of Water-Based Systems
Foremanship/Sales/Estimating/Project Management
• Supervisor Online Training
• Updates and latest changes to industry codes, standards through correspondence courses, hands-on classes, seminars, live and on-demand webinars, and online courses

Enrolling your team in your company’s profile also includes discounts on AFSA industry resources that will add to your team’s toolbox of valuable information. Some of AFSA’s resources include:
Fire Sprinkler Facts and Figures
Industry Buyer’s Guide
Industry Product Recalls
Legislative Action Items
Manufacturer/Supplier Price Increase Notices
NFPA Standards Related to Fire Sprinklers

So please take the time to enter your team, including those in your branches and offices, into your company profile. Keeping your team more informed and trained is very important to us. We are always interested in helping to make your company and those who you work with better at what they do. Please contact us at membership@firesprinkler.org should you need assistance enrolling your people into your company profile.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Lecair is senior director of membership & chapter support for AFSA.

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