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2001 presented us with some major challenges. 2002 will no doubt have its own share of changes.

February 1, 2002  

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Well, it is a new year (thank goodness) and I am sure most of us are not sorry to say goodbye to 2001. A slow economy, combined with tragic events and war, has made 2001 one of those years I would rather forget. Let’s all hope that 2002 brings peace, good health and prosperity to all.

For those of you who are counting, I am into my last year as Region 5 Director. This time next year, you will have a new director. Several members have expressed an interest in running for the position in the fall and I am sure it will be an exciting election.


Since this is my last year, perhaps now is a good time to recap some of the key events of the past three years, and bring you up to date with some of the more recent changes in the organization.

As some of you know, I was a strong supporter of a Conference in Canada, and I am glad to report that this will take place in September before my term with BICSI expires. I am also a strong supporter of BICSI becoming a truly global organization, and over the past three years I have seen the expansion include Regions 6, 7, and, most recently, Region 8 (Europe, Brazil and Australia).

We have also undertaken the task of translating materials into many languages to further this expansion around the globe. At the Winter Conference in January, the new Introduction to BICSI video on CD-ROM was viewed. This CD-ROM will allow the viewer to select from seven languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and Japanese.


While the past few years have seen many shifts, 2002 will also bring some new changes — including a new president. Dick Powell’s term as president has recently ended, and John Payseur’s has begun. Russ Oliver is also moving from his current position of treasurer into the position of president-elect.

Speaking of big changes, in December 2001 the BICSI Board of Directors announced the appointment of Albert (Al) Feaster, RCDD, to the position of Executive Director of BICSI, effective February 1, 2002.

Feaster will replace Jay Warmke, BICSI’s Executive Director since 1992, who submitted his resignation in November, and who plans to relocate to Europe with his family.

Warmke joined the association in 1987 and served as Assistant Executive Director for five years before he was appointed Executive Director in 1992. Since then, BICSI has grown from 3000 members, located primarily in North America, to more than 20,000 members in 85 nations. The association has conferred the prestigious RCDD (Registered Communications Distribution Designer) designation to 6000 members. And more than 12,000 installers and technicians have completed the Telecommunications Cabling Installation Training and Registration Program.

Today, BICSI has a world-class training facility and administrative office in Tampa, Florida, and offices in Australia, Brazil, Europe and Japan.


Jay’s replacement, Al Feaster, is currently Program Manager of the Broadband Infrastructure and Access Group at ADC Telecommunications, Inc. He has also served as VP of Standards and Training for Ortronics, Director of Engineering for KRONE, VP of Design and Planning at CommLink, and Manager of Home Office Services for Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co.

In his more than 20 years in the telecommunications industry, Feaster has managed new product developments, written training programs, participated in national and international standards development, and been a guiding force for organizational change. He will apply those skills to manage BICSI and its challenges.

“I’ve always enjoyed challenges and new development,” says Feaster. “After years of involvement with BICSI, I look forward to expanding our educational programs to the telecommunications industry worldwide, and to segments of the construction industry as well.”

Here’s wishing both Jay and Al good luck, and all the best in their future endeavours.

Greg Porter, RCDD is Region 5 Director of BICSI and Business Development Manager for Tyco Electronics Canada Ltd., Markham, ON.

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