2017 Annual Meeting

ASSE International members and representatives from across the industry gathered at the Hilton Palacio del Rio in San Antonio Nov. 7-10 for the 111th ASSE International Annual Meeting.

More than 130 people attended this year's meeting – those in attendance represented the plumbing, mechanical, water quality, medical gas, and fire protection communities (among others), and ranged from manufacturers, engineers and contractors, to students, instructors and administrators.

The four-day meeting included well-attended social events (Welcome Reception and Closing Celebration), six new meetings added to the 2017 schedule, the presentation of ASSE International awards, and the election of ASSE's Board of Directors.

Browse below for photos from the 2017 ASSE International Meeting, and a full re-cap of each meeting that took place.


Click the date to read that day's re-caps.

ASSE Series 16000/17000 Working Group Meeting (Plumbing and Mechanical Inspector)
The working group met to discuss the revision of ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 16000. The group agreed to merge the ASSE Series 16000, Professional Qualifications Standard for the Plumbing Inspector, with the ASSE Series 17000, Professional Qualifications Standard for the Mechanical Inspector, and add standards for plumbing plans examiners, and mechanical plans examiners. There was also discussion of adding a standard for combination inspectors in the future.

Seal Control Board Meeting
The SCB reviewed corrective actions, changes to the SCB procedures, how the SCB members review applications, guidelines on how to interpret whether or not a product has met a standard, and discussed various potential ways to speed up the certification process. ASSE’s accreditation for product certification in Canada by the Standards Council of Canada was also announced at the meeting.

Infection Control (ASSE 12000) Technical Committee Meeting
The Infection Control (ASSE 12000) Technical Committee oversees the ASSE International Health and Safety of Construction and Maintenance Personnel Certifications, based on the ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 12000. The number of certifications and the number of applications for schools and instructors were reported. There was also discussion concerning promoting this certification program around the country.

Professional Qualifications Standards Committee Meeting
The PQSC is the committee that oversees activities relating to the development and issuance of ASSE International's professional qualifications standards. The committee reviewed the status of PQ standards, which includes 13 standards that are current, and three that are in the development process. PINs have been filed for the revision of ASSE Series 6000, PQ Standard for Medical Gas Systems Personnel. The working group is now open to everyone who is interested in participating. The committee voted to put the ASSE Series 13000, PQ Standard for Plumbing and Residential Mechanical Service Personnel, and the ASSE Series 7000, PQ Standard for Residential Potable Water Fire Protection Systems Installers and Inspectors for One- and Two-Family Dwellings, into the revision process.

Code Committee Meeting
The Code Committee and members in the audience discussed potential proposals for the International Plumbing Code (IPC) for upcoming ASSE standards. The group also reviewed the timeline for the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the IPC, and noted that the committee will review the report on proposals for the IPC at the 2018 ASSE International Mid-Year Meeting.

Welcome Reception
Thank you to Reliance Worldwide Corporation and Sprinkler Fitters UA Local 669 for sponsoring! At the welcome reception, attendees of the Annual Meeting socialized with friends, made new professional connections, and got to know their fellow meeting-goers. This year’s food selection included a pork carnita station and plenty of hot hors d'oruvres, including chicken flautas, jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, deviled eggs garnished with jalapeno bacon, beef tenderloin, and Pineapple Kabobs.

Cross-Connection Control Technical Committee Meeting
The CCCTC is the committee that oversees the ASSE International backflow certification program, based on the ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 5000. Some items that were discussed were application and certification statistics, the start of using electronic reference materials (beginning July 1), updates on the program guidelines, and a brief overview of the new certification testing platform. A motion was made to require a person to take a full 40-hour ASSE 5110 class if they fail a conversion or recert exam three times.

ASSE 1087 Working Group Meeting (Commercial and Food Service Water Treatment)
The ASSE 1087 working group met to discuss the outstanding detailed issues regarding structural, backflow, and flow capacity requirements for water treatment devices. The working group updated the scope to be more specific as to what is, and is not, included in the standard. A new draft was created and circulated to the working group for ballot.

Product Standards Committee Meeting
The PSC met to discuss various technical issues regarding ASSE’s current and upcoming standards. A presentation was given regarding air admittance valves and the committee recommended that the proponent join an upcoming working group to propose their changes. It was announced that ASSE is transitioning to project teams for standards that are less than four years old; a list and the process is available on the ASSE website. Two new standards were also initiated at this meeting: ASSE 1092, for in-ground enclosures similar to ASSE 1060, and ASSE 1093, for pitless adapters, which are backflow devices for well water systems.

Industry-Wide Water Treatment Equipment Personnel Meeting
This meeting was held to discuss the development of the ASSE Series 22000, PQ Standard for Water Treatment Equipment Personnel. The industry need for qualified installers and maintenance professionals was discussed. The meeting was well attended and brought together interested parties in determining what professional qualifications are needed within the water treatment equipment industry.

School Forum
During the School Forum, seven different ASSE certifications were reviewed. A brief overview of the new certification testing platform and the advantages of online exams were also discussed. Representatives from ASSE-accredited schools asked questions and shared ideas with each other during this meeting.

Manufacturers’ Forum
John Higdon, the manufacturer’s representative on the Board of Directors, reviewed comments and questions received from ASSE’s manufacturing clients. Dain Hansen, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, and Christopher Lindsay, Director of Government Relations, went over the current events in Washington that are affecting the plumbing industry at a macro scale. The forum reviewed changes to the ASSE product listing program that affect manufacturers, including ASSE’s expansion into water systems products, certifications to non-ASSE standards, and expansion into Canadian markets.

Fire Protection Technical Committee Meeting
The Fire Protection Technical Committee oversees the ASSE International Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems Certification, based on the ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 15000. At the meeting, the committee discussed the written exam and practical exam requirements. The first group of people to earn this certification completed the requirements in September 2017. The program guidelines were revised to restrict the number of practical exams that a single proctor can witness. Additional meetings will be scheduled to write more exam questions.

Residential Mechanical Service Technician Technical Committee Meeting
The Residential Mechanical Service Technician Committee oversee the ASSE International Residential Mechanical Service Technician Certification based on the ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI Series 13000. During this meeting, the committee reviewed the program guidelines, created practical exam scenarios, and updated the school requirements.

Service Plumber Technical Committee Meeting
The Service Plumber Technical Committees oversee the ASSE International Service Plumber Certification, based on Standard 13010. There was discussion about adding a third standard to the ASSE 13000 standard for individuals to be certified as both service plumbers and residential mechanical technicians. The committee also discussed how to promote the ASSE 13010 Certification.

E.J. Zimmer Technical Seminar (Session #1 & 2)
The first seminar was presented by Molly M. Scanlon, PhD, FAIA, FACHA, about the power of infection prevention during construction, and leveraging credentials to gain clients. Dr. Scanlon discussed three case studies involving complex construction matters. She spoke about leveraging certification credentials to the market place to gain a competitive advantage. Additionally, Dr. Scanlon will discussed the recent directive from Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning Legionella Prevention, emphasizing water management programs and their impact on design and construction industry professionals. Dr. Scanlon is an environmental health scientist, as well as a licensed and certified healthcare architect with 25+ years of expertise in healthcare construction.

To download Dr. Scanlon’s presentation, click HERE.

The second seminar was presented by Bruce Rathburn about containment vs. isolation backflow prevention programs. In his presentation, Rathburn will showed the ins and the outs of running a backflow program monitored by the state and what it takes to meet all of the criteria. The presentation discussed how to develop a relationship with the state and the local plumbing authority. Rathburn retired from San Antonio Water System in June of 2017 after 28 years of service – he supervised the backflow prevention section for 18 years.

Companion Event
The 2017 companion event was a wine tour at Ron Yates Vineyard, followed by lunch at Old 300 BBQ, and a stop for some chocolates.

Ron Yates Vineyard is the sister winery to Spicewood Vineyards, which has been producing distinguished Texas Hill Country wines that are known for their timeless appeal and exceptional character since 1992. Old 300's BBQ is simple: good quality meats, a light touch of seasoning, and cooked just right to highlight the natural flavors.

Al Cohen Memorial Chapter Presidents’ Liaison Conference
Representatives from 15 different ASSE International chapters were present at this well-attended meeting of nearly 50 ASSE members. The chapter presidents and their representatives discussed what their chapters were doing on a local level. Common concerns were attendance at their meetings and getting younger people involved. Having some type of social event seemed to be a major factor in getting more involvement. The plans for the new ASSE magazine were presented to the membership. Working Pressure Magazine will be released quarterly in print to ASSE members, and online to the public. The first issue will be released in March 2018.

President's Luncheon
Thank you to National Inspection Testing and Certification Corporation (NITC) for sponsoring! This event was a plated luncheon, hosted by ASSE International President Dana A. Colombo.

Government Relations Committee Meeting
The ASSE Government Relations Committee reviewed the strategic goals, and short-term legislative and regulatory tactics for the organization. The discussion included a review of pertinent legislation in Congress (e.g. tax reform, WaterSense, etc.), relevant federal regulation (e.g. low lead), and international engagement. Additionally, the newly-implemented ASSE state strategy was heavily discussed. ASSE staff, members, and stakeholders highlighted the specific states and regions where regulatory progress is being made. Dain Hansen and Christopher Lindsay from the Government Relations group reviewed similar information presented at the Manufacturer’s Forum. The committee also reviewed the High Performance Building Coalition’s activities and how one could get involved.

Business Session #1
The first Business Session included the acceptance of year-end reports from ASSE International’s officers and directors, chapters, and committees. This session also included voting on bylaw revisions, and nominations for the upcoming year’s Board of Directors and voting on bylaw revisions.

There were 19 proposed bylaws revision prsented – all of which were unanimously accepted. To view the 2017 proposed bylaws revisions, click HERE. To view the current ASSE International Bylaws, click HERE.

Vincent Gallo of the Wisconsin Chapter was nominated to serve as Region 2 (North Central) director, and Daniel Rademacher, member-at-large was nominated to serve as Region 8 (At-Large) Director.

Board of Directors Meeting
The ASSE International Board of Directors Meeting was open to all. This meeting included reports from the chairpersons of each of the committees that met that week.

Business Session #2 and Awards Ceremony
The second Business Session included the election of the ASSE International Officers and Directors, and the ASSE International President’s address. ASSE International awards were also be presented.

See below for the 2017-2018 Board of Directors roster, and a list of the 2017 award winners:


President – Dana Colombo
Vice President – John Parizek
Immediate Past President President – Doug Marian
Treasurer – John Flader
Manufacturers' Rep – John Higdon, P.E.
Region 1 Director – Jaime Valdivia
Region 2 Director – Vince Gallo
Region 3 Director – Debbie Vukovich
Region 4 Director – Paul Baker
Region 5 Director – Joe Kajak
Region 6 Director – Jason Shank
Region 7 Director – Matt King
Region 8 Director – Dan Rademacher


Robert A. Cross – Henry B. Davis Award
"The Henry B. Davis Award is an annual merit award presented to a member who has contributed the most toward the advancement of sanitary engineering in accord with the ideals of the Society."

Larry Coleman – Fellow (FASSE) Award
“Presented to members for their dedication and service to the Society.”

John Parizek – Patrick J. Higgins Award
“Presented to individuals who demonstrate knowledge and support of voluntary, consensus standards & their adoption into code.”

Jaime Valdivia & Paul Baker – Salvatore J. Farruggia Presidential Awards
“The recipients are chosen by the outgoing International President. This award is presented to individuals who have contributed to the success of that President's term in office.”

New York Chapter – Most New Members by a Chapter
New York Chapter – Best Chapter Newsletter
New York Chapter – Best Chapter Website

E.J. Zimmer Technical Seminar (Session #3)
The first seminar was presented by Thomas Palkon about ASSE International expanding its product certification to include water treatment equipment. Palkon's presentation will focused on existing standards used in the water treatment industry, gaps that ASSE standards plan to fill, and how the ASSE Listing (Seal) program is expanding to cover these new product categories.

ASSE 12000 Infection Control Certification Course
Students who participated in the ASSE Series 12000 certification class at the 2017 ASSE Annual Meeting received training on how to safely work in an environment with potentially deadly diseases. ASSE 12000 certification address the need for all construction and maintenance personnel to become proficient in identifying and managing potential situations where they may be exposed to bloodborne and waterborne pathogens. ASSE 12000 certification also covers the responsibility of personnel to protect building occupants and operations from diseases and hazards; especially within healthcare facilities.

RP/DC Working Group Meeting (Reduced Pressure Principle and Double Check Assemblies)
The RP/DC working group went over the ASSE 1013, 1015, 1047, and 1048 standards, and all of their differences relative to the requirements from USC, UL, AWWA, FM, and CSA. The next step is to incorporate the draft language into all four of the standards, and send it to ballot with the working group.

Closing Celebration
Thank you to Apollo Valves / Conbraco Industries for sponsoring! The final event of the meeting was the Closing Celebration, where all could relax, enjoy each other’s company, and reflect on the accomplishments of the past week. Food and beverages were be served, people tore up the dancefloor, and a great time was had by everyone. Food for the night included a quesadilla station, a prime rib station, and a macaroni and cheese station.