AFE Facilities America 2001
For those who missed it.
By Don Fitchett
The president said fly, so we flew, over 200 of us made it to the convention this year. I flew on the 22nd of September, out of St. Louis. Because of the date, I believed the airport would be very secure, and travel timely. I found quite the opposite, the only difference being the use of the wand at security.
At our awards luncheon, our AFE president elect leads in a moment of silence for those lost in the recent terrorist attacks. He also made a commitment to find out the names of our fellow Facilities personnel who were lost. This is so we may may honor them and pay tribute. Our student chapter from the California Maritime Academy was there to raise money for the AFE WTC relief fund.
If you would like to make a contribution to the families of those facilities professionals lost in the attacks, please contact Larry Asera for more information.
Tuesday thru Thursday was packed with valuable presentations and speakers. In light of the recent events, the timing for Tuesday's topics like "Why Emergency Action Plans Fail", and "Assessing the Impact of Hurricanes and Earthquakes", couldn't be better. There were many other classes Tuesday in subject areas of project management, saving energy, downtime cost factors, and Maintenance Excellence.
There was definitely something for everyone, some said it was too difficult to choose. A few hopped around from class to class. During my presentation on "The True Cost of Downtime", there was six other great topics being presented. With AFE national, regional meeting going on at the same time, some classes were spread a little thin. :>) AFE had the insight to pass out a CD with a dozen of the presentations on it, so we were able to gain even more valuable knowledge.
Wednesday started out great with Keynote Speaker Dr. John Ginnell sharing advice on developing teamwork. The amount of presentations occurring simultaneously dropped down to four or five, so the attendees choices became easier. One choice I made was "Variable Frequency Drives" over "Shortage of Skilled Labor".
Wednesday also had topics of Chiller Optimization, Job Hunting, Energy Management and Quality, Electrical Reliability and Protection, Profit Centered Maintenance, to name a few. We were all motivated at the exciting new changes for AFE, announced at the awards luncheon.
Thursday did not slack off a bit, with topics like Compressed Air, Energy Management, Boiler Safety, Lean Manufacturing, Facilities and Capital management, Self-Generated Energy, Risk Management to name a few. Being an evangelist for educating manufacturers on downtime cost, I was especially pleased to see them getting valuable knowledge on facility bottlenecks like Air Compressors and Boilers. :>)
Did I mention something for everyone? In addition to the above, there were Tours Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Having to fly back home, I missed the MGM Grand Surveillance Room Tour.( It was a definite "Must See") There was even the Foundation Golf Tournament Friday.
The CPE and CPMM Review Programs also had a great turnout.
Imagine - getting a jump start on advancing your technical education and training at Facilities America 2002 in the mystical city of New Orleans, Louisiana. September 23-25.
Experience - a conference that is committed to providing you with the latest state-of-the-art information in areas like those mentioned above.
Learn - from the experts in facility engineering field who will present a well-defined program, creative learning formats, and innovative outcomes to help you employ solutions to everyday problems.
Because we think you can not afford to miss this conference, by paying in full ($475- a $50 savings) between now and December 31, 2001 you will automatically qualify for the drawing of a one round-trip airfare ticket to that mystical city. Yes, getting to New Orleans will be on AFE. The drawing will take place January 4, 2002.
I had the pleasure of sitting in on our Region 9 Annual meeting, representing our St. Louis Chapter 26. Reed Lillard (Region 9 Vice President), headed up the meeting where we heard reports on financials, memberships, trade show participation, and old business.
We then moved the discussion onto the future of our region. Reed and John explained of the trade show resources they have available to help with chapters putting on trade shows. John Scheuch (Membership Director) Explained to us the value of surveying our chapter members to grow our individual chapters into what its members want.
Our Regional trade show will be May 4&5 2002, Springfield Mo. We welcome our new chapter 35 in Springfield, Mo. Reed request all chapters help promote our New Orleans Chapter 67 (web site coming) in their efforts to host next years FA2002. St. Louis chapter received high recognition for our efforts in both the revitalization of our chapter, and the creation of our chapter web site (AFEStLouis.org).
To support chapter development, and our regional membership drive John will be visiting our St. Louis chapter, among others, this year. As initiative to increase our membership numbers, we discussed speaking with local corporations to encourage their engineers to join our ranks. Also our sister chapter 46, in Oklahoma City is undergoing revitalization efforts. Let us use our experience to aid them in any way we can.
I would like to thank AFE for letting me speak at their conference, and for all I received out of this great event. I might not have won anything at the tables, but I sure won with AFE! I won at the conference booth drawings too. A sports shirt from one exhibition, and a shirt plus $40 from another. But most of all, valuable knowledge and network contacts while having fun.
AFE Chapter 26 - Serving Greater St. Louis Area, USA