President’s Message


 Kraig E. Herman, IAAI-CFI – President

Spring Message 2017

 Pennsylvania Association of Arson Investigators Executive Officers, Board of Directors, and Members,

 Even though this is to be my “spring message”, I am staring out of my office window looking at over a foot of snow when I should be looking at the window and seeing green grass and trees getting their leaves back. But it seems we will have to wait awhile for any of that to happen.

In mid to late February, the schedule of events for our 40th Annual Seminar in June was emailed out to all members. Brent lined up some wonderful topics and I am looking forward to spending the week learning with all of you. This year there will be no Banquet, instead a night out at a local establishment is being planned for anyone that wants to gather. More information will come out on this as it gets planned, which will be closer to the conference. Remember, we have early bird registration so take advantage of the price discount and register today! I hope to see everyone in State College!!

As has been done in the past, the Board of Directors voted at the January Board meeting to send the President to attend the IAAI International Training Conference in April. This year the conference takes place in Las Vegas. I promise that the phrase “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” will not apply to my time there representing PAAI. I am looking forward to attending and learning. There are quite a few good educational sessions that will take place, and even though last year’s ITC in Orlando had terrific topics I thought, I am hopeful Vegas will top Orlando. I will report back on the ITC upon my return and I thank the Board for allowing me the opportunity to attend.

Also at the January Board of Directors meeting, it was discussed that this issue of the newsletter will be the last printed edition. The newsletter will now be done electronically and sent via email blast as well as posted on our website. I raised the idea of eliminating the print edition due to the fact that for so many years, the Chair of the Newsletter as “begged” for articles and other submissions with little to no response. As an organization, we pride ourselves on the quality of excellent education we offer and I would rather budget funds towards providing cost effective educational opportunities when we can use technology that is relatively lost cost to free. I also believe by switching to an electronic version only newsletter will not only lower costs and allow money to be allocated towards education, but we could offer more newsletters per year and keep members more up to date with PAAI business. Also with this last printed edition of the newsletter ends the reign of Joey Wilson being the Newsletter Editor. Joey has served as Newsletter Editor for many years and has done a tremendous job. She also serves as our Recording Secretary and has chosen to not seek re-election so she can focus on other aspects of her life. Joey, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU for the great work you have done on the newsletter and everything you have done for PAAI! We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing your smiling face at PAAI for many years to come.

Not only has Joey chosen to not seek re-election but so has Denny Woodring from his position as Treasurer. Denny became Treasurer after the untimely passing of C.J. Terrana. Denny was not able to be groomed to take over the Treasurer duties and was thrown into the fire (no pun intended). He did not have much to go but what he did have, he took and ran with it. He was able to make us even more financially sound and truly earned his nickname of being “Beans”, in other words, “The Bean Counter”. “Beans” Woodring, I too, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the great work you have done with the Treasurer duties for PAAI. As President, I did not have to worry about the Treasury because I knew it was in good hands.

When it comes to positions of the Executive Offices and Board of Directors, we still have some vacancies that will most likely need appointments to come the Annual General Meeting in June. The two positions are Recording Secretary and 2nd Vice President. Other than being an active member of the IAAI, there is no other guideline to seek the position of Recording Secretary. To be 2nd Vice President, you need to have served on the Board of Directors for at least 3 years and be an active member of the IAAI. If you have any interest in either position, contact myself, 1st Vice President Rich Wunderley or 2nd Vice President Kevin Pezzano.

With the closing of this message, begins the ending of my term serving as your President. Even though my term was filled with many issues, I would not change a thing. We were able to work as a team in facing the issues “head on” and rectifying them. Never in my life did I think I would have to lead the organization through so many issues, but with the support, knowledge and dedication of the other Executive Officers and Board of Directors, I feel we made the organization stronger. There were a few times I started to write a letter of resignation but I got myself to take a step back, calm down and think through the issue from different perspectives. I also thought about the people that would send me texts, call or even email with words of encouragement and support. Part of me is happy to know that my life will soon have less stress in it; however a majority of me is sad because for so many years, others that came before me shared how much belief they had in me to one day lead this great organization. The grooming period to one day lead ended six years ago upon being sworn in as 2nd Vice President. For everyone that helped get me to the position as President, my only wish is I hope I made you proud of the work I have done. I did not do it alone, I had help. My only goal is to leave the organization stronger than ever and I truly think that goal has been met. Thank you for letting me serve as your President. It was truly an honor and one I will cherish forever. In my speech I gave upon being sworn in as President, I shared some words C.J. Terrana emailed me and ended up being the last communication I got from him before passing. I want to share those words with all of you and will type it the way C.J. typed it to me. This is my wish for you all….. “CONGRATULATIONS and the BEST to you. You deserve a break. Make this your career. There is no greater satisfaction than to teach another person a skill they can use in life. GREAT JOB, Now set your goals for the next level and beyond. You can do anything you put your mind to doing”

 Hope to see many of you at our Annual Seminar. Please be safe out there…..

 Warmest Regards,