NVFC Board Appoints CEO, Elects Officers, and Hears from Secretary Mayorkas at Spring Meeting

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Board of Directors held its 45th annual spring meeting from April 19-23, 2021. Due to ongoing pandemic safety requirements, the meeting was held virtually. 58 directors representing 39 states attended.

The meeting resulted in many important actions, including the appointment of a CEO and the election of the organization’s officers and Executive Committee. The board also heard from guest speakers, including Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

Officer Elections and CEO Appointment

The board held elections for its four officer positions as well as five Executive Committee seats. The remaining seats on the Executive Committee are made up of the chair of the Legislative Committee and the chair of the EMS/Rescue Section.

The 2021-2023 NVFC officers and Executive Committee are as follows:

  • Chair: Steve Hirsch (KS)
  • First Vice Chair: Kevin D. Quinn (RI)
  • Second Vice Chair: Dallas Renfrew (TX)
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Jeff Cash (NC)
  • Executive Committee: Paul Acosta (CO), Bob Guthrie (CT, chair of the Legislative Committee), Brian McQueen (NY), Bill Offerman (IL), Eric Quinney (WY, chair of the EMS/Rescue Section), Bob Timko (PA), Reid Vaughan (AL)

The board also voted to appoint Sarah Lee as CEO until the fall meeting, at which time an evaluation will occur to make the position permanent. Lee joined the NVFC as Fire Corps director in 2005 and has served as deputy chief executive since 2006. The transitional role of interim CEO had been held by NVFC first vice chair Kevin D. Quinn since March, after the passing of longtime CEO Heather Schafer.

Guest Speakers

Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, provided the keynote address during the general session on April 23. Mayorkas previously met with NVFC staff and chair Steve Hirsch in December to discuss issues of importance to the volunteer fire service. Mayorkas assured the board that he will work to support the fire and emergency services and deliver the resources needed so that they can serve and protect their communities. He then took questions from the board.

On April 20, guest speaker Neen James provided a webinar to the board and NVFC members on “Folding Time: How to Achieve Twice as Much in Half the Time.” The presentation focused on how busy people like volunteer firefighters can get more done by managing time, focusing attention, and harnessing energy. NVFC members who missed the live presentation can view it from the members-only section of the NVFC’s web site at www.nvfc.org.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas gave the keynote speech at the NVFC spring meeting.

Neen James provided a webinar during the meeting on Folding Time.

Committees and Board Actions

The theme of the spring meeting was “Honor the Past, Plan for Today, and Shape the Future,” in recognition of the NVFC’s 45th anniversary year. The first official NVFC board meeting took place on March 15, 1976.

During the week, the NVFC’s 17 committees met on topics ranging from legislative, wildland, and recruitment and retention to volunteer advocacy and health, safety, and training. The EMS/Rescue Section also held its bi-annual meeting.

The board then met as a whole to receive an update on NVFC activities, provide direction for the organization, and discuss issues of importance to the nation’s volunteer fire and EMS community. The board tackled issues including pandemic response and vaccine efficacy awareness, training development, and NVFC membership dues.

Meeting Sponsors

The NVFC thanks all of the spring meeting sponsors for their support: 3M|Scott Fire & Safety, Anheuser-Busch Foundation, California Casualty, Clarion Fire & Rescue Group, Columbia Southern University, DripDrop, ESIP by McNeil & Co., Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Muertos Coffee, National LOSAP Hero Plus brought to you by Lincoln Financial Group, NFPA, Provident, and Verizon. In addition, Verizon sponsored the technology used at the meeting.

Next Meeting

The NVFC board is made up of up to two directors from 47 state fire associations. The board meets as a whole twice a year. The next NVFC board meeting is expected to take place in person in Jackson Hole, WY, on October 13-15. The meeting will include the NVFC annual awards celebration thanks to awards sponsors ADT, California Casualty, VFIS, and Ward Diesel Filter Systems.

Learn more about the NVFC and join today at www.nvfc.org.