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Members Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

As the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) celebrates its 36th anniversary in 2017, we also recognize those members who are celebrating milestone membership anniversaries. The member companies featured in the table below have belonged to AFSA for 15 or more years of continuous membership.

“Our long-term members are testaments to the value of AFSA membership,” comments AFSA Director of Membership Bradley Elliott. “These contractors have traditionally taken advantage of all that AFSA has to offer. However, more importantly, these are companies that believe in the mission of AFSA and understand the importance of having a unified voice for the merit shop fire sprinkler contractor.”

Several members are celebrating milestone anniversaries in September and October 2017, including Contractor Member Hampshire Fire Protection Co., LLC, Londonderry, New Hampshire. Past AFSA Chairman of the Board Larry Thibodeau took some time to share his experiences and knowledge learned in the fire protection industry and over the past 35 years with AFSA.

How did you get involved in the fire sprinkler industry? I got involved in sprinklers when I took a summer job before going to college and made good money. After being at school for a semester, I figured out I did not have enough money to pay for it and that it just wasn’t for me. I quit and started working full time as a sprinkler apprentice. And the rest is history!

How did you get involved with AFSA? I found out about AFSA in 1982 through Ed Smith, an AFSA Past Chairman who began having outreach meetings in the Northeast to discuss the formation of a regional organization. Ed convinced me to form the Yankee Chapter and I became the first chair for our region.

What is your favorite or most used AFSA benefit? Training is the most important benefit, but also the interaction with other contractors and suppliers is invaluable.

What is your favorite AFSA memory? My favorite AFSA memories are probably too numerous to list but as Past National Chairman, Steve Muncy (former AFSA president), Janet Knowles (former AFSA executive vice president), and I spent quite a few days in Washington for various reasons such as the Sprinkler Incentive Act. We enjoyed each others company including many visits to the local Legal Sea Foods.

What is your favorite AFSA convention memory? All AFSA conventions are the best but one that stands out to me was in 2000 in Phoenix, Arizona. I will never forget seeing Past Chairman Bill Corbin ride in on a nice black and white horse.

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in AFSA or the industry over the past 35 years? AFSA has grown in 35 years to be a real force in the fire sprinkler industry. Most notably, the technology throughout the industry has changed at lightning speed. Thirty-five years ago we were drawing in pencil and ink and doing calculations by hand. Now most designers would not know what to do with an electric eraser, just as I would not know how to sit behind a computer and do CAD drawings. It is amazing what has changed.

What’s the key ingredient to your success? The key ingredient to Hampshire Fire’s and my success is the support I have always had from my wife Diane. She was there from the beginning and worked without pay for many years. I cannot forget our employees; I believe we have the best around. They are dedicated and professional and without them we are nowhere.

If I weren’t working in fire protection, I would be… If I was not working in fire protection I cannot imagine where or what I would be doing as this is all I have ever done. Going on our 40th year and now having my son Kevin taking control I am very proud to have started Hampshire Fire Protection.

Here’s to You! AFSA congratulates the members celebrating these anniversary milestones and looks forward to celebrating with more members in the future. Recognition in Sprinkler Age will be done in five-year anniversary increments and is available to all membership types. Happy Anniversary!

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