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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. Several members are celebrating milestone anniversaries in November and December 2017, including Contractor Member Cen-Cal Fire Systems in Lodi, California, celebrating 30 years. Recently elected AFSA Chairman of the Board Wayne Weisz, president of Cen-Cal, shared with Sprinkler Age some of the experiences and knowledge he’s gained in the fire protection industry.

How did you get involved in the fire sprinkler industry? I’ve been in the industry since 1979 when I married into it! I found it was something I really enjoyed doing. In 1986 my brother Byron and I started our own company, Cen-Cal Fire Systems.

How did you get involved with AFSA? I think we saw an issue of Sprinkler Age magazine and Byron and I talked about wanting to get involved in the association. It was a great way for a young company to get involved with the industry. So we decided to join!

What is your favorite or most used AFSA benefit? What is really nice about AFSA is there are many different ways to be involved and many programs and services. People in our office are regularly on the Sprinkler- Forum [an email discussion list on issues relating to automatic fire sprinklers]. Obviously, we utilize informal interpretations. We have fitters enrolled in the apprenticeship training program, we’ve sent people to the Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School, and enrolled an employee into the ITM Inspector Development Program.

What is your favorite AFSA memory? One of the biggest highlights was in the ‘90s when AFSA Director of Membership Lloyd Ivy came to personally meet with us and encouraged us to stay in the association at a point in time when we really couldn’t afford to stay in it. That really made an impact.

What is your favorite AFSA convention memory? Our first convention was Hawaii in 1987. We took both our families and it was a great trip. It wasn’t a huge convention but it was a cool one, right on Waikiki Beach. Of course, one of our favorite conventions was Phoenix in 2015 when our Apprentice Jared Sutliff won the National Apprentice Competition. We’ve had several apprentices compete, but Jared was first to win.

What is the most significant change you’ve seen in AFSA or the industry over the past 30 years? I don’t know that there is one single, specific thing. This industry continues to evolve and grow. It has been an amazing ride for sure.

What’s the key ingredient to your success? My brother always says, “We have to do what we tell people we’re going to do.” Doing what you say and following through makes the difference – taking care of your customers, your employees, your family. Follow through!

If I weren’t working in fire protection, I would be… I was 21 when I got involved in the industry, so I’m not sure! I’ve always loved the outdoors and before this I was involved in the snow- and water-skiing industries and I still love those to this day… so who knows?

Cheers! AFSA congratulates the members celebrating 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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