President's Message August 31, 2004

Part 4 - FCIA 2004 Accomplishments


In our last Presidents Letter, we dicussed where FCIA has been and what FCIA has done. It's always good to reflect on what's been done in past years. However, any successful organization does more than look at what it's done. It keeps moving forward focused on today and tomorrow. Below are but a few of the accomplishments your association has made on your behalf the first half of 2004. After you read this, you'll understand the enthusiasm I have for our Association....and where we're going the rest of the year:

1. FCIA PR Campaign - FCIA has been very successful promoting Fire and Life Safety through the Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept. Below is a summary:

FCIA PR Results Summary:

  • Magazine Articles / Exposure – 4 published - Engineering News Record, Association of Licensed Architects, The Construction Specifier, 4Specs.com
  • Webcast Participation – 2 FCIA Exposures - Consulting Specifying Engineer and BOMA were sites for FCIA to speak about Effective Compartmentation
  • Testimony – 2 - International Code Council and City of Chicago audiences
  • Major FCIA Presentations – 7 for over 300 architects like Skidmore Owings and Merrill, RTKL, BWBR, and many others.
  • Enews Circulation – Our Enews list is over 550, with a forwarding average of 7, plus 165 visits to newsletter on www.fcia.org about 4000 circulation.....
  • Direct Mail Promotion – New Member Campaign Mailing – we mailed to potential firestop contractor members in June, with new members joining at the rate of 2 per month. Membership inquiries are up considerably, mostly from website visitors looking for more information.
  • Website Visits – July, 2709 people visited FCIA's site. Each returned to the site an average of 3x each person.
  • Website Visitors - Who?? - Architects, engineers, code and fire officials visit www.fcia.org , and call members from the website listing. Ask next time your firm gets a mysterious call how they found you...Member Lists on the website receives heavy traffic.
  • Website Activity - A study of the top documents accessed in July shows what people look for when they visit www.fcia.org:
    • FCIA Member Lists, 826 times
    • FCIA Member Company Popup Boxes, 364
    • FM 4991 Approval, 275
    • FCIA Committees, 115
    • Contact us, 184
    • CSI FCIA, FM 4991 and ASTM E 2174 Article, 191

2. FCIA's Code Efforts - FCIA continues to retain Bill Koffel, Koffel Associates as our code consultant. However, we've reduced his role, and asked Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director and other FCIA Members to support code change efforts of the International Firestop Council at the International Code Council Hearings. Additionally, we're working on some code changes for the NFPA 5000 code as well to promote Total Fire Protection including Effective Compartmentation and Firestopping.

3. FCIA MOP / Technical Committee - FCIA's Committees are where the action really takes place. FCIA Technical Committee Chair, Mike Dominguez, Firestop Specialties, Inc., Board Member Roger McKenzie, McKenzie Insulation, Inc., Houston Jones, Atlantic Firestopping, Inc., and Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director met as a group in Miami in July. Since the meeting the group has reviewed and edited almost half of the MOP for it's 5 year review. Join them in early October at Roger McKenzie's office for the Technical Committee MOP Meeting.

4. FCIA Liaison East Team - FCIA Past Presidents Aedan Gleeson, Gleeson Powers, Inc., Blase Reardon, AF Underhill, Inc., and Bill McHugh have been maintaining contact and building a relationship for FCIA with FM Approvals and NFPA. FCIA can do well with good friends in the industry with whom we can work to further fire and life safety in our industry.

5. FCIA Education Committee - Education Chair, Bob Patton, FireSafe Systems, Inc and FCIA Executive Director Bill McHugh presented a draft of a powerpoint education program to FCIA's Board August 13, 2004. Board Member Richard Keeney, Firestop International, LLC, Bill and Bob are working on finishing touches for phase one of this totally generic program. Phase two and three are our tasks for the next 2 years. This program has been used to train architects, engineers, contractors and installers nationwide evolving over the past 14 years. If you'd like to be part of the review team for this important program, contact Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director.

6. FCIA Marketing Committee - FCIA's Marketing Committee, Don Murphy Chair, did well forming relationships with the National Association of State Fire Marshals Conference. The committee is currently submitting for 2005's speaking engagements and reviewing trade shows for FCIA to display the FCIA Trade Show Booth and our Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept. Additionally, Don and Richard Keeney, Firestop International, LLC will be working this fall on adding some "members only" features to the website, www.fcia.org .

7. FCIA Standards Task Team - Don Sabrsula, FireSafe of Houston, Inc. has been working on ASTM E 2174, inspection standard draft for Joints, plus some language corrections in ASTM E 2174 for penetrations. He has had much help from IFC Manufacturer member Duane Becker from Fire Trak, Inc. and John Nicholas of Omega Point Laboratories.

8. FCIA Program Committee - The Program Committee, Bob LeClair, AF Underhill, Inc, Chair, with Chris Downey, C.L. Downey Construction, Inc., Tom Hottenroth, Firestop Solutions, Inc., Scott Rankin, PyroStop, LLC have teleconferenced twice since spring, and will teleconference again to prepare for St. Thomas' Firestop Industry Conference. They are also lining up hotel locations for Las Vegas in the spring of 2005, and San Francisco for Fall, 2005. As our membership needs growth in the Western US, we're going west to entice them into FCIA. The Program Committee is open for suggestions for 2006's conference locations. Contact Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director to pass on your thoughts to the Committee!

9. FCIA Liaison West, West Central, Central Team - Well, we need some help here. FCIA needs to develop relationships with other influences. We'll need help with the all the above mentioned areas. Please contact Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director as we're expanding our Liaison to Canada, West, West Central and Central to complete this effort.

10. FCIA International Liaison - Over the past 3 months, we've been contacted by other associations in Canada, Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, to name a few places. We have responded to requests of these friends of FCIA through conversations about our industry worldwide. I (Ray) visited with a potential group of members from Ireland during July, while Bill McHugh, FCIA Executive Director met with a consultant from Israel. And, part of the rationale for a St. Thomas Location for our 2004 Firestop Industry Conference was to attract international visitors. The Caribbean has a significant number of European visitors each year. Look for more as we talk about the Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept and it's impact on Fire and Life Safety later this year.

So, in short....FCIA continues to move forward through the efforts of volunteers who believe in our industry, believe in Fire and Life Safety through the Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept and the quality process for Firestopping. We've been telling our story nationally through magazines, presentations at major conventions, our Enewsletter and Website. However, the most powerful of all messages comes when we reach out to someone in our industry that should be a member of FCIA. Our growth will come from the strength of our members commitment to fire and life safety with FCIA as the common ground to make buildings safe for our families, friends and public. Therefore, we need each FCIA member to be an Ambassador for FCIA.

Next President's Letter - FCIA's next President's Letter will look at what our future might hold as in industry. What is good about it? What can we improve? How are we going to do it?? Join in this important discussion in St. Thomas at the Firestop Industry Conference. It's our industry. Lets be involved in it together.

Ray Usher, FCIA 2004 President 763.571.7464

(c) Copyright FCIA 08/30/04 - Permission is hereby granted to forward, print, circulate, quote with credit to FCIA. FCIA is a non profit organization of Firestop Contractors, Contractor Branch Offices, Manufacturers and Associate Members interested in furthering life safety through the Professional Specialty Firestop Contractor Concept. For more information, contact the FCIA Office:

Bill McHugh
Executive Director
1257 Golf Circle
Wheaton, IL 60187

630.690.0682 Phone
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