A MESSAGE FROM DAVID O’CONNELL

June 20, 2018, concluded my second term as President of the Maine Chapter of the IAAI. I would like to thank the members for their continuous support during my time in office. For those of you who were not able to attend our June Seminar/Annual Meeting, I would ask you to please welcome our incoming President, Dan Roy. I hope that his term in office goes well and that his efforts continue to advance our Chapter along the successful path it has been on. This will be Dan’s third term of office as President for the Maine Chapter and he is very familiar with the challenges associated with it. Dan brings a wealth of knowledge to the President’s position, including over 20 years of fire investigation experience, 6 years as a municipal fire inspector/investigator with the Lewiston Fire Department, and 6 years as a Senior Fire Investigator with the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office. In addition to operating his company, Fire & Explosion Investigations, Dan is the current Fire Chief of the Monmouth Fire Department.

Reflecting on my term as President, one of my goals was to ensure that we provided our Chapter with quality educators for our seminars, at an affordable rate. Although we did have to navigate some challenges in the beginning, I am pleased with the level of training we were able to provide while limiting overhead expenditures. Additionally, we were able to utilize two efficient and affordable venues which were easily accessible and accommodated our needs.

Furthermore, we have seen an increase in our membership to 120 members. I believe this is due to the promotion of our Chapter during our seminars and those of other agencies. We continue to provide onsite applications during all our seminars for any people interested in joining our Chapter. Additionally, we have been able to provide our members with the option of on-line membership renewal through the IAAI International’s website. I would like to personally thank Secretary/Treasurer, Brian Smith, for facilitating this process.

Going forward, perhaps one of the most challenging obstacles for the board will be to increase attendance at our seminars so we can continue to provide cutting-edge training to our members. We might improve low-attendance turnouts at our seminars by improving communication – getting the word out to everyone and promoting the classes that we provide. Another possible option I see as valuable for the Board to pursue would be to offer a promotion - such as an ‘early-bird’ discount -for attendees who sign up early for a class.

Finally, I would encourage all members to get involved in the Chapter through committee involvement. The Maine Chapter does not succeed solely through the work of its appointed members. Officers need support from everyone to provide ideas for training, discuss the implementation of goals, and to promote our events. This is your chapter; help us make it work for you.

In closing, I would like to thank all the Board members and Officers of our Chapter, and specifically, Tim Allen, for all their support and help during my tenure as President.

David O’Connell