President's Message Spring 2001

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 or changes.

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, 2001.

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

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