Report from the South

by Ken Kasprzyk, Director


It should be noted that this is a report of Ken Kasprzyk's trip to the National Saw Filers' Forum and Southern Saw Filers' Educational Association conference, April 9 & 10, 1999 as first published in the LEOSFA's Newsletter. Reprinted here with permission from the author.

In January, LEOSFA received an invitation from the Southern Saw Filers Association to send one of our members to their annual meeting. After a lively discussion at our February director's meeting, we decided that we would take up SSFA's offer and I was volunteered to go. Attending the Southern meeting was based on several LEOSFA goals: we wanted to see how another organization ran their meeting, and see how they attracted widespread attendance; we wanted to discuss with them the possibility of a National Federation of Sawyers and Filers organizations. So, on April 9th, Mrs. K and I headed south. After talking to the SSFA secretary, Lee Stockton, on the phone several times, we expected a warm reception. We were thoroughly bowled over with Southern hospitality. SSFA not only paid our way to their annual meeting, they picked up our motel room, meals, and even met us at the airport. Many of their members and their wives went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable and unforgettable.

What did we learn? SSFA will get about 300 people to their Friday night function and 200 to their training session. One thing they really stressed is that the annual meeting is a mini-vacation for families. Their thinking is to make the meeting so much fun that people will want to attend, and then use the large number of attendees as a draw to provide technical training. The Friday night entertainment was a Casino night, where everyone was issued $10,000 in play money to have at the roulette, blackjack, poker and baccarat tables. The incentive to win was that after a given time, door prizes were auctioned off for the play money. Inept blackjack players like me couldn't bid on any door prizes, but it was fun trying to make the 10 g's last as long as possible at the table. The Saturday night entertainment was even better. They brought in a professional singer/comedian magician who performed after dinner, which was followed by a sound system for dancing and listening. The technical session was similar to ours but with over 200 attendees, they obviously had more questions. One ruthless method they had to keep attendance up for the technical presentations was to call names for door prizes throughout the day, and you had to be there to get the prize.

Elections were about the same as ours, but they did envy the term limits we have for President and vice-president. They have two vice-presidents, which with such a large organization is very useful. The First VP sets up the training meeting and the Second VP arranges the other activities. They try to move their meetings from year to year about two hours apart more or less along Interstate 20, yet they always seem to draw 200-300 people. Many companies sent more than one person for the training.

We had a good discussion about a National Federation of Organizations. One idea that came up was to have the federation meeting take place at one of the regional organization's annual meeting, rather than trying to have a separate meeting to arrange. Both the folks from SSFA and the Western Saw Filers Association (which also sent a member to the Southern meeting) agreed that having a national group is an idea whose time has come. There are many areas where sharing information would be very helpful.

In terms of new technical information, they of course covered a lot of ground. Elton Cole's presentation of filing room safety made the very sound point' to talk with people, not to them, about safety. Len Valdez went through some good examples of how side deflection is much more of a problem with thinner saws. He discussed how to reduce side stresses by slowing down feed speed, using sharp saws and increasing hook and clearance angles. There was quite a discussion from Iggesund Tool on disposable chipper knives. Herb Kartanos of Oleson Saw and Dave Born of Simonds gave talks pretty similar to what we've heard at our meeting. Last but not least, Fred Andrianoff had some good things to say about Sawyers and Filers groups, both past and present.

We can learn from SSFA how to present a better meeting. They have been at it about 10 years longer than we have, and have more people in the industry. Their attendance is very high, they haw a good family experience, and they provide worthwhile training. We have extended an invitation to all the North American Sawyers and filers organizations to send one of their members to our meeting. I hope we can show our guests as much good will and hospitality as Lee and Connie Stockton and the folks at the Southern Saw Filers showed us.



Dear Sirs,

     I am writing to you on behalf of the Lake Erie and Ontario Sawyers & Filers Association.  We would like to offer one of your officers or directors a one night stay at the Genetti Hotel and pay for your meeting and registration fee, which will include the banquet on Friday night for one person from your association.  All we ask is you notify us in advance so all the details can be worked out in plenty of time.

     Our meeting this year is in Williamsport, Pennsylvania at the Genetti Hotel on September 24 and 25.  We will have a tour of a local industry on Friday afternoon with dinner to follow that evening at the hotel.  The meeting will be on Saturday, again at the hotel.  Sunday there is an excursion planned for the group to enjoy.

Please contact -

Ed Chapman
8929 Adamsville Rd.
Hartstown, PA 16131
Phone - 814-382-4769

     If there is an interest, let us know and we will forward the necessary information to you.
     Thanks for your time.

     Bruce Moore/President LEOSFA 1999

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