DANA POINT, Calif., May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) held its Business & Leadership Conference at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point, California, May 3–6. Highlights of the week, which revolved around the theme "Growing Strong Together," included national speakers Dr. Kevin Frieberg, Chief Tim Sendelbach and John Barylick. Attendees also enjoyed a "Fastest Water" talk show that showcased advocates of the Common Voices Coalition.
"Our NFSA board through its Seminar Committee outdid itself this year, and the reviews confirm it," explained NFSA President Shane Ray. "We have many positive things going on within NFSA, and this event set the tone for continual improvement."
"I am especially proud of our NFSA team during this time of transition," added NFSA board Chairman Larry Thau. "This team has an energy and a focus determined to turn adversaries into allies with lives saved in the process. It's always good to see the progress made and also to plan for the future."
"This is the best conference I've been to in 25 years within our industry," added Bruce LaRue, NFSA board member and Potter Electric executive. "The key to this conference was the format. It just clicked from the presenters to having the awards as a closing banquet. It worked! Dr. Kevin Freiberg provided us information that challenged us in a way that we've never been challenged before."
Freiberg is the internationally renowned author of "Nuts, Guts, Cause" and other leadership and management books, with over 800,000 copies sold. He focused his comments on the fire sprinkler industry, with meaningful connections to our service to all stakeholders. The editor-in-chief of Firehouse Magazine, Seldelbach brought energy to a new level as he challenged us to engage our stakeholders and not take for granted that they all understand the benefit. John Barylick, ESQ Property Title, gave us a dose of reality with today's legal society and how the events of the Station Nightclub tragedy changed lives and companies.
The week concluded with another first, and that included having all awards presented during the Awards Banquet on Friday evening.
The Golden Sprinkler Award is NFSA's highest honor, and is presented each year to an individual who has dedicated his or her career to advancing the fire sprinkler industry. This year's recipient was Kevin Ortyl, chairman and CEO of The Viking Group.
Ortyl has served on the NFSA board of directors for more than 27 years and has chaired several NFSA committees and initiatives over this time. In honoring him with the Golden Sprinkler Award, the NFSA Awards Committee noted his leadership in promoting the growth of the industry as well as his contribution to driving a greater acceptance of fire sprinklers overall. NFSA board member Buck Buchanan also shared that Ortyl was also the first chairman of the Suppliers and Manufacturers Council (SAMs) of the NFSA.
The Russell P. Fleming Technical Service Award is the highest technical award, and was presented to James Golinveaux. During his employment with Central Sprinkler and Tyco Fire Products, he was a leading figure in the new technology movement and the NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee, and has been a major contributor to the efforts of the NFPA Sprinkler Committee. He has recently served as a member of the NFPA Standards Council. Golinveaux was especially grateful that Russ Fleming presented the award to him.
The Leadership in Public Safety Award is the NFSA's highest award to a fire official or advocate and was presented to Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki, executive director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Siarnicki was instrumental in the fire sprinkler requirements in residential occupancies in Prince George's County, Maryland, one of the largest jurisdictions with the requirement. He was also actively engaged in the recent Maryland challenge, maintaining the statewide fire sprinkler requirement.
Shane Ray presented the Presidents' Award to two individuals recommended by members and staff who have been great allies to the fire sprinkler industry. This year's recipients were Bob Bachman and Bill Kirkpatrick. Bachman is a leading structural engineer who has worked with NFSA on the NFPA 13 Earthquake Protection Task Group and was a charter member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Hanging and Bracing when it was formed in 1997. Kirkpatrick, retired director of the East Bay Municipal Water District, provided leadership and support during California's State Residential Sprinkler Requirement and the Discharge for Water-based Fire Protection Systems BMP.
The evening was highlighted with inductions into the NFSA Hall of Fame. Buchanan inducted the Hall of Fame members with many family members present. The following individuals, who have contributed nearly all their working lives and beyond to improving the fire sprinkler industry, were inducted as the Class of 2016:
Claude Chafin, Security Fire Protection
Ray Malek, Grunau/Star/Starfire
Charlie Miner, "Automatic" Sprinkler Corp. of America
Sonny Scarff, Marriott International
Bob Worthington, Globe Fire Sprinkler
NFSA's mission is "To protect lives and property from fire through the widespread acceptance of the fire sprinkler concept."
NFSA wants to create a more fire-safe world, and works to heighten the awareness of the importance of fire sprinkler systems from homes to high-rises and all occupancies in between. The Association is an inclusive organization made up of dedicated and committed members of a progressive lifesaving industry. This industry manufactures, designs, supplies, installs, inspects and services the world's most effective system in saving lives and property from uncontrolled structural fires.
For more information about the National Fire Sprinkler Association, visit www.nfsa.org, and follow us via our social media presences on Twitter (@NFSAorg), LinkedIn (National Fire Sprinkler Association) and Facebook (Natfiresprinkler).
Contact: Vickie Pritchett
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SOURCE National Fire Sprinkler Association