Committee: Conference

Contact: Don Johnson, Chair -  [email protected]

2019 Mission: The mission of the Conference Committee is to provide leadership and direction to the Executive Director, who is responsible for managing the annual conference in October of each year. This committee exists to make sure the needs of the membership, as it pertains to the conference, are met. This committee interfaces with the Education Committee, the Marketing Committee and vendor representatives to ensure that a quality conference is offered at an affordable cost. Every effort is made to ensure exceptional educational offerings for all attendees.

2019 Committee Report: The Conference Committee, working alongside the Executive Director, have been hard at work planning the return to Duluth in 2019. This has been a refreshing year given the past two years have been working with new sites. St. Paul had some benefits and created some significant dialogue amongst attendees, vendors, and our own MSFCA Board of Directors.

The MSFCA Board approved a schedule change for Thursday this year that gives attendees full access to the vendor show after the symposium in the a.m. without competing conference events. This schedule change was the result of input from vendors, the sponsorship group, and the MSFCA Vendor Liaison. With that, there is NO vendor show component that carries into Friday. Friday activities are all education followed by the Annual Memorial Service and Awards Banquet

Several changes were made this year involving the Awards Committee and Memorial Ceremony Preparation. These changes were automated and will significantly improve lead times and planning for the ceremonies. We have had great response and appreciate the Executive Director’s abilities in creating automation tools to assist in making submission more organized.

Victoria Fire Chief Andrew Heger is coordinating the memorial service again this year with assistance from the Duluth Fire Chaplain and the State Fire Marshal Honor Guard. Special thanks to Fire Chief Tim Wiebe and the Chaska Fire Department for assistance with organizing the families and family staging areas.

Plymouth Fire Chief Rodger Coppa is the Program Coordinator for the Banquet again this year. For this to all come together a team of people are responsible. Thanks to the Awards Committee for managing that process and providing names much more ahead than previous years. This allows for better planning for the award recipients and attending guests. St. Louis Park Fire Chief and Marketing Chair Steve Koering also plays an active role in this process and during the planning process throughout the year.

Hopkins Fire Chief and Education Chair Dale Specken coordinates the main component of the conference ensuring we are meeting our primary objective of educating our leaders. This year will bring a “Partners” component for Saturday’s symposium. Thanks to Chief Specken and the Education Committee for their important contributions. The Executive Director is also working on Partners activities to encourage making this a family or spouse/significant other experience.

On September 12, the Conference Committee had its final meeting in Duluth for logistics and planning. It provided a final walk through and detailed check off for all aspects of this year’s conference. As the Conference Chair, I am proud of our team and the passion that each person puts into the planning process. I am also excited for our long term commitment to Duluth in future years which simplifies the planning process greatly. The committee can start to focus on improving and enhancing parts of the conference with the major planning pieces staying relatively constant.

From all of us; we sincerely hope you enjoy the 2019 Fall Conference and the MSFCA’s return to the awesome city of Duluth.

  • Chair: Fire Chief Don Johnson, Chanhassen
  • Committee Member - Awards Banquet Coordinator: Fire Chief Rodger Coppa, Plymouth
  • Committee Member - Memorial Service Coordinator: Fire Chief Andrew Heger, Victoria
  • Host City Fire Chief and Board of Directors Member: Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj, Duluth
  • Committee Member: Battalion Chief Shane Gardner, Long Lake
  • Executive Board Member and Vendor Liaison: Fire Chief Mike Scott, Eagan
  • Committee Liaison - Education: Fire Chief Dale Specken, Hopkins
  • Committee Liaison - Marketing: Fire Chief Steve Koering, St. Louis Park

2018 Mission: The mission of the Conference Committee is to provide leadership and direction to the Executive Director, who has the responsibility to manage the annual conference in October of each year. The chairman of this committee is the immediate Past President of the Minnesota State Fire Chiefs Association, who may call a meeting at any time. This committee exists to make sure the needs of the membership, as it pertains to the conference, are met. This committee interfaces with the Education Committee, the Marketing Committee and vendor representatives to ensure that a quality conference is offered at an affordable cost. Every effort is made to ensure exceptional educational offerings for all attendees.

2018 Committee Report: As the dust settled in Rochester, the 2018 conference committee kicked into gear. As a group we knew that St. Paul would bring new challenges and some unknowns. The Education Committee and Conference Committee started with combined meetings at the RiverCentre to get an idea of the lay out and the logistical requirements. Great venue and great city.

As an organization, the fall conference provides professional development, networking with peers, exposure to technology and equipment, and various other opportunities. Our goal is for the conference to provide quality development for both the experienced fire service professional, as well as up and coming leadership.

The committee members’ responsibilities vary but include; awards ceremony coordination, banquet preparation and coordination, memorial ceremony coordination, honor guard details, marketing and attire, vendor registration and floor arrangements, and registration and check in for attendees and vendors. The conference committee also works closely with the Education Committee for education tracts and classroom needs.

This was also the first conference with our new executive agent. SAMI staff have proven their salt as almost a seamless planning experienced with running conferences and this has taken a tremendous load off of the committee members and the organization.

The annual conference is our biggest operation of the year and SAMI jumped right in with sleeves rolled up. Changes were made to the schedule again this year that included a symposium style speaker on Thursday. The major purpose of this change was to make day passes more attractive for this year’s metro location.

If you have any feedback while in attendance look for a committee member or use the conference survey tools. We look forward to seeing you in St. Paul.

2017 Conference Committee Report

Conference Committee File Library