Dear FCIA Members:
I just returned from our Board meeting this past weekend
in Kansas City and I must say that I am excited about the
future and prospects for FCIA. Permit me to take a few minutes
of your time to bring you up to date on our activities.
First, FCIA's Board is stronger than ever with Renee Woodruff,
Don Sabrsula, and Scott Rankin joining us. After welcoming
them, we evaluated the existing committees, practices, and
administration of FCIA. We then made the following confirmations
Committees - Several FCIA Committees are to have "temporary
board chairs". Once assembled by the board member "advocate",
the committee will elect a chair.
The Accreditation Committee, headed by Aedan Gleeson, will
focus on expansion of FM4991 approval within our membership
and the development of an inspectors "certification" by some
recognized source - FM or other.
The Technical/Code Committee, led by Kathy Taraba and Don
Sabrsula will not only emphasize completion of the MOP, but
work with Code Organizations to strengthen the requirement
for proper firestop installations. Assisting FCIA in these
code developments is renowned code consultant, William Koffel.
Coincidentally, Koffel is also a code advisor to the national
headquarters of the Associated General Contractors and has
excellent credibility in both Fire and Code Organizations.
The Communications Committee, directed by Scott Rankin, was
revamped to focus upon fast and efficient communications WITHIN
FCIA by updating the website and issuing newsletters regularly
via e-mail, fax and mail.
The Marketing Committee, mentored by Don Murphy and Breck
Spain will promote the "specialty Firestop contractor" to
other portions of the building construction community. An
example of this is FCIA s presentation to the national convention
of the Associated General Contractors, Nashville TN, March,
The Education Committee was formed with Renee Woodruff as
its Chair. Recognizing the need for firestop education at
all levels of the construction industry; i.e.owners, designers,
general contractors, and trades persons; this committee will
develop generic education/training tools for use by any FCIA
Member Firm. It is our hope that each FCIA member, in an effort
to promote specialty firestop contracting, will personally
conduct education/training sessions.
When evaluating our past semi-annual conferences and the
future needs of FCIA members, we made two changes: A Program
Committee comprised of FCIA members will plan the theme and
general content of our two meetings. Initially, Scott Rankin
will head this transition. Beginning in Phoenix in early May,
one of our semi-annual gatherings will have a workshop format
for each of the committees and attended by other members as
they wish. Our fall meeting, scheduled for Chicago, in late
October or early November will follow the format of past FCIA
conferences held in Boston, San Antonio, and Atlanta. The
exact date depends on IFC's ability to schedule their meeting
at the same time as FCIA.
These changes will reduce the total cost of meetings to the
general membership and elicit more awareness by the members
with regard to committee activities. Recognizing the fiduciary
responsibility of the FCIA Board, FCIA s Treasurer, Mel Tabor,
not only prepared income statements for the years 1999 and
2000, but also presented a preliminary budget for 2001. FCIA
continues to be sound financially, but membership retention
and growth is most critical to our continued success.
So much for substantive changes/improvements. Now for some
other directions the Board concluded:
Today FCIA has 53 firestop contractor members comprising
71 locations (including branch offices) in North America.
To provide the "critical mass" which the firestopping industry
deserves and to reach our true effectiveness as a life-safety
trade our goal is to grow FCIA membership to 75 specialty
firestop contractor members comprising 100 locations this
year. This will require the assistance of all members- contractor,
manufacturer and associate - to identify those specialty firestop
contractors in many areas, where FCIA membership penetration
is few or non existant, to join us and promote life-safety
through FCIA Membership and FM 4991 Approval.
FCIA will work closely with IFC promoting the "firestopping
systems industry". This will help contractors and manufacturers
alike. Firestop manufacturer members will be asked to join
many of the FCIA committees.
Every FCIA member who volunteered for a committee assignment
or a Board position at the Boston conference last November
will be assigned to work on a FCIA committee, of his/her choice.
AND, many committees, while they are the responsibility of
a Board Member, do not have to be chaired by a Board member.
Additional members will be recruited as each committee decides.
To join as a member of an industry leading committee, return
the attached Commitee FAXBACK form promptly.
All in all, we had a spirited and productive meeting. It
is a privilege to be FCIA s president for 2001. As you can
see, the Board is shifting its emphasis from doing start-up
activities to becoming an advocate for the long term success
of the specialty firestop contracting industry. If you have
questions or suggestions about FCIA s direction please contact
me, any member of the Board, or Bill McHugh as you feel appropriate.
I look forward to working with you.
Blasdel A. Reardon