President’s Report - 2014 Fall Conference Reap

In late October, BFAAM held its Annual Conference at the Suburban Showplace in Novi.  Our Board of Directors and membership were very pleased with all facets of this year’s conference. Attendance was up and our speakers offered some great information on various topics.

We opened the conference with our vendor showcase followed by our business meeting where we elected our officers, gave a PAC report and provided a legislative update. As an association, we always try to stress political participation from our members.  Personal relationships with legislators and political involvement helps us relay the issues our industry faces on a day-to-day basis.  There is no doubt that political involvement directly impacts our business!

Our first discussion of the morning featured Dean Mason with Honeywell and Cliff Thompson with AES.  They updated attendees on the latest news on POTS telephone communications and the cellular 2G phase-out.  This discussion was helpful in keeping membership apprised of the ever changing technology in our industry.

Our last agenda item for the morning was a presentation from Matt Stephens from Sandler Training.  Sandler specializes in developing the skills of people in sales and provides proven strategies on becoming the best sales manager possible! Matt’s upbeat, engaging presentation provided all attendees with useful tips in sharpening their sales skills.  Owners and sales people found the presentation to be very effective and a useful tool to bring back to the office.

Our lunch lecture featured two return speakers from the State of Michigan. Georgia Harris from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and Jennifer Fields from MIOSHA discussed three state laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Program;

·         PA 154 – Michigan wage and overtime

·         PA 166 – Prevailing Wage on state funded projects

·         Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits

Attendees have found this to be such an informative presentation the last few years.  As small business owners and employees, we simply don’t always have the time to keep with all of the changes in state bureaucracy.  This presentation helps to ensure that we are correctly adhering to the policies of state government and allows us to ask important questions to those that are regulating our industry.  Ms. Harris and Ms. Fields have done a wonderful job of working with BFAAM in the past and have provided us with a great communication line in state government.

The final panel of the conference featured Tom Kramer from Riverside Integrated Systems, Jeff Wickman from Vanguard Fire & Security Systems and John Romano from Audio Sentry Corporation to discuss “Real Life Situations” pertaining to fire alarms.  The discussion was very informal and allowed attendees to bounce different situations that they have seen in the field off of the panel.  The topics discussed included different regulations by different municipalities, code enforcement and maneuvering through local agencies.

I hope that those of you that attended found this year’s conference to be a good use of time and helpful to your business operations. Thank you for attending and I look forward to seeing you again next fall! For those of you that could not make it, I hope you consider attending next year.  I have no doubt that you will come away satisfied by the topics and information offered at our conference.

Our association prides itself on striving for the good of our industry.  We always welcome more participation and feedback from membership.  If there is a topic or issue that you are facing that you feel BFAAM needs to address at its conference or otherwise, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dean Belisle

President, BFAAM



Thank you to our 2014 Annual Conference Sponsors!



Axis Communications

Clinton Electronics Corp

El Dorado Insurance Agency Inc


Quick Response

RSI Video Technologies

SIC Consulting

Tri-Ed Distribution