Jan 26, 2023

OKIAAI Board Minutes 1/26/2023

Date: January 26, 2023
Time: 11:13 a.m.
Location: Freddie Paul’s Steakhouse – Stillwater, OK

Call to Order

Made by President, Ashley Stephens

Roll Call

Absent: Gina Coleman (2nd yr.), Jesse Benne (3rd yr.), Heather Cropper (3rd yr.)

Present: Ashley Stephens (Pres.) appeared by phone, David VanBuskirk (1st VP), Steve Rhodes (2nd VP), Chad Oubre (1st yr.), Johnnie Sawyer (1st yr.), Marc Sutphin (2nd yr.), Jonathan Wilk (Treasurer), Renee Southerland (Secretary), Chris Woodall (Past Pres.)

Reading and Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Chris Woodall to forego the reading of the December minutes, seconded by Steve Rhodes, motion carried and approved.


No new members have applied since the last meeting.  Current membership stands at 123.

Treasurer’s Report

The current balance is $11,340.58.  Renee Southerland provided two checks to Jonathan Wilk in the amount of $600.00 from the OSBI for conference attendance and $20.00 for membership dues.  $18.81 will be transferred from PayPal to give a new balance of $11,979.39.  A motion was made by Ashley Stephens to approve the Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Chad Oubre, motion carried and approved.


Jesse Benne tests in February, and Jeremy Barr received his CFI.


Dan VanBuskirk added the revised Bylaws to the website.  Marc Sutphin needs to send him conference pictures to be added to the website.  A discussion was had for Dan VanBuskirk to add a space on the registration form for a CLEET number so we will have that list of numbers when submitting that information to CLEET after the conference.

Annual Conference

  • It was discussed that Lee Aston and Judah Sheppard were shorted when receiving their photograph award money.  $25 is due to each of these individuals and Jonathan Wilk will send them each a check.  
  • A discussion was had concerning the review of conference facilities at the casino in Durant that Gina Coleman and Renee Southerland visited.  After discussing the pros and cons, it was decided this would not be a good location for the next conference.  
  • Riverwind was also contacted by Renee Southerland and the fees would be exorbitant compared to what we have paid in the past, and it was decided that would not be a good location either. 
  • David VanBuskirk will check on the cost at River Spirit Casino as well as the Cherokee Casino in Tahlequah as they have a new Hilton with a big conference room.  
  • David VanBuskirk also requested a Hard Rock proposal from Markie as he was our contact person when the conference was had at that location in 2019.  
  • A discussion was had concerning live burns or vehicle fires at the next conference.
  • Ashley Stephens advised that ATF was presenting at National (Dino Bolestreus on interviewing techniques) and Matthew Reddington and Brian Grove from the ATF will also be presenting on the 1995 Bricelyn Street fire (forgive any misspellings).
  • Chad Oubre advised he would check with Jamie Lord about speaking at our conference.
  • Jonathan Wilk suggested maybe getting a block of rooms at the Grand Casino in Shawnee and then having the conference at the Gordon Cooper facilities and possibly have food trucks or catering in lunch each day.  He will check with Gordon Cooper for their availability on the 18th-20th or the 25th–27th of October 2023, again, with set-up being on the Tuesday before the Conference starts.  
  • Ashley Stephens will be attending at CFI recertification in North Carolina and will check with them regarding ideas of speakers.
  • Steve Rhodes advised that Steve Kunzweiler, the current Tulsa District Attorney, could possibly speak on case preparation/arson.  
  • Chris Woodall advised that we should have someone to speak on failure analysis in appliances and bring in an engineer or private EEs to do this.
  • Chad Oubre advised that Cameron Novak with ATF could possibly come and speak and also bring his portable x-ray machine.  Chad will also call Chad Campanell about speaking on hypothesis and data testing and that we could incorporate live burns with hypothesis and appliance information. 
  • A discussion was had regarding food cost at the casinos (if it was decided to do the Conference at a casino again), but that it might be best to do the Conference at Gordon Cooper, then book the rooms at the casino where the members could still have the casino nightlife, and then have food trucks or cater in food for lunches at Gordon Cooper.


No update yet.

Old Business

  • National Conference – a discussion was had regarding the cost and to set a dollar limit going forward to those that attend.  
  • Jonathan Wilk will bring a bank statement of where we were last year at this time compared to this time so we will table the discussion of the conference cost until the next meeting. 
  • Jonathan Wilk suggested we could build up a reserve, however, if someone is giving sponsor or vendor money for the conference then that has to be spent on the conference, but we could take 10% of the proceeds of conference fees and put that in savings.  

New Business


Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 2, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Mariachi Mexican Restaurant, located at 1717 E. White Barn Drive, Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Jonathan Wilk made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Ashley Stephens.  Motion carried and approved.