Get in the know! Free webinars from CSAA aim to educate

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01/20/2011

It's a "Tale of Two Toms" from competing NRTLS! (yes, it's a Dickens reference... I was an English major... What do you expect?)

CSAA's executive director Steve Doyle said it wasn't intentional that the two webinars were two competing NRTLs back to back. "We always reach out and try and see who would be most appropriate, and this is just the way it lined up," Steve said.

There're two free webinars coming your way in the near future. They promise to provide oodles of info and probably entertain as well. One is moderated by Intertek's Tom Connaughton and the other by UL's Tom Presnak. Both Webinars will be available for later viewing.

The CSAA has two webinars on tap for the immediate future. The first is slated for  Feb. 23 at 2 pm EST. It will be presented by recently CSAA-approved NRTL Intertek and is titled "Third Party Listings for Central Stations."

Seems appropriate that they would want to educate the masses on their choices for options when it comes to what third-party listing means, and the benefits that it provides to a business and to the industry.

The webinar will be presented by Thomas Connaughton, global business manager of life safety and security for Intertek. Tom and Intertek fought the battle for recognition for a while (here he his sitting down with SSN editor--then managing editor--Martha Entwistle at ESX '09). I sat down with Tom at ESX in Pittsburgh last June. He's a heck of a nice guy and very passionate about what he does.

CSAA says "You'll learn about your choices in selecting a listing agency (NRTLs) and how you can partner with them to reduce the stress of the listing and auditing process. Attendees of the webinar will take away a basic understanding of the standards, requirements and listing process, and learn about the common pitfalls." 

The second webinar is due to take place on March 23, at 2 pm EST, and will be presented by UL's Tom Presnak. Titled "Understanding Your Local AHJ and Creating An Effective Working Relationship," CSAA says the webinar "will help to provide insight into best practices in working with the local AHJs, the steps you can take to improve your working relationship with AJHs, and tools/programs at your disposal that can provide you the best odds of long-term success."

Sounds like a good piece of education. Presnak is a 25-plus-year veteran of Underwriters Laboratories who performs evaluations and audits of fire alarm companies throughout the United States. 

"We have gotten very much involved in standards and with AHJs and with education," Steve said. "We've learned that as we got into the business of doing Facebook and Wikis that participation in social media and online education is staggering."

CSAA's new director of marketing and communications Monique Silverio said the importance of education couldn't be overestimated. "One of the nice things about these webinars is that we're able to tap into the expertise of our members," Monique said. "They have this knowledge and they want to share this knowledge." Monique replaced former CSAA director of marketing and communications Celia Besore.

I covered the last UL led CSAA webinar on UL 2050, which was presented by UL's Pete Tallman (also a heck of a nice guy).

For more information about the new CSAA webinars, contact Monique at 703-242-4670, ext. 16.

Next ontap, according to Monique, will be a webinar related to social media in May. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.