Dec 8, 2022

OKIAAI Board Minutes 12/8/2022

Date: December 8, 2022
Time: 12:47 p.m.
Location: Smokin Joe’s restaurant – Stillwater, OK

Call to Order

Made by President, Ashley Stephens

Roll Call

Absent: Chris Woodall (Past Pres.)

Present: Ashley Stephens (Pres.), Todd DeSmet (1st VP), Steve Rhodes (2nd VP), Chad Oubre (1st yr.), Johnnie Sawyer (1st yr.), Gina Coleman (2nd yr.), Marc Sutphin (2nd yr.), Jesse Benne (3rd yr.), David VanBuskirk (3rd yr.), Jonathan Wilk (Treasurer), Renee Southerland (Secretary),

Reading and Approval of Minutes

A motion was made by Jonathan Wilk and seconded by Todd DeSmet to forego the reading of the October Conference minutes.  Motion carried and approved.


Megan McGarvey of Sift Fire (who works with Chris Woodall) applied to be a member, as well as Jason Romero, Assistant Fire Marshal of Lawton Fire Department. Both were approved by the Board.

Treasurer’s Report

Jonathan Wilk advised that we had a balance of $9,975.58 and Renee Southerland provided checks she had received since the conference in the amount of $2,185.00 which would make a subtotal of $12,160.58 in the account.  She submitted an invoice from our IT rep, Dan VanBuskirk, for $649.00, which would then leave a subtotal of $11,511.58.  Renee Southerland advised there was a pending check from the OSBI in the amount of $600.00, and once that is received, the balance will be $12,111.58 post-conference.

As a side note, Renee Southerland also advised that the Post Office Box automatic renewal will be charged at the end of December in the amount of $166.00. 

Jonathan Wilk requested to buy a binder for all of the Treasurer documents, and a motion was made by Jesse Benne for Jonathan Wilk to spend up to $100.00 to get the binder supplies he needed, seconded by Todd DeSmet.  Motion carried and approved.  

At this time, Todd DeSmet suggested that our Board needed to inquire with other states’ IAAI organizations to see what they have in the bank, how they charge for their conference, how they grow their funds, and if they have a savings account goal.  He suggested we needed to grow our funds for future use.  Ashley Stephens advised he could get a list of all organizations’ contact info.   Ashley Stephens also advised he has spoken at the Georgia Conference before and advised they have about $75,000.00 in the bank but all of their raffle proceeds go directly to their organization and not to any non-profit entity like we do for the Oklahoma Firefighters Burn Camp.  David VanBuskirk made a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Gina Coleman.  Motion carried and approved.


Jesse Benne advised he would be testing in February.


Dan VanBuskirk will add all of the By-laws that were revised and voted on at the conference to the website.  It was suggested that Dan VanBuskirk add a box for a CLEET number to be identified when someone registers for the conference.

Annual Conference

  • Jesse Benne requested that we look into purchasing a new laptop for conference use only as everyone brings their own personal laptops to the conference.  He believed we could possibly get a 256GB laptop for around $700.00.  Jesse Benne then made the motion for us to spend up to $1,000.00 for laptop and equipment, seconded by Johnnie Sawyer.  Motion carried and approved. 
  • Marc Sutphin advised he has the photo card and disk of photos and will get that to Dan VanBuskirk to add the photos to the website.  
  • Jesse Benne advised that he put all of the documents from the thumb drive onto “Office365” which can now be accessed online.  This way any Board member can access any information that might be needed going forward instead of us using the thumb drive to secure all of the documents. 
  • The surveys were reviewed and good remarks were made.
  • It was suggested for us to have a better way of organizing raffle items for each day such as maybe a different color ticket for each day as an option.
  • A discussion was had concerning using an Excel file for CLEET so that when someone registers for the conference (and Dan VanBuskirk has already added in the CLEET box to the registration section on the website), then we will have the CLEET numbers going forward.  
  • A discussion was had concerning our organization being an “enhanced chapter” which involves the International invoicing our members for us and then we pay a small fee for them to do so.  Jesse Benne advised he would check into that. 
  • Todd DeSmet also suggested that we need to check out the cost of other conferences and possibly raise our rates again as the last time the rates were raised was 2019.  
  • David VanBuskirk advised that he would like to do the Conference in Durant and possibly doing some live burns.
  • Chad Oubre discussed what the conference needs to provide going forward.
  • Gina Coleman advised that she would schedule a tour with the Durant Casino and get the cost, and Renee Southerland would attend that meeting with her when it got scheduled. 
  • David VanBuskirk advised that we really needed to pick a casino location as that kind of venue option seems to be the most popular for conference attendees.  He requested everyone check with a local casino to see if they have conference facilities and hotel facilities and bring that information back to the next meeting to discuss.


No update.

Old Business

No topics to discuss.

New Business

  • A discussion was had concerning the National Conference in North Carolina in April of 2023 and what Board members wanted to attend.  
  • A discussion was also had concerning the Board setting a certain fee/amount to give to the Board member attending (for instance, $1000) and the board member would then have to pay the remaining cost over that amount.  The National Conference is important for our Board members to get vendor info and speaker info.
  • Steve Rhodes advised he would like to go again as well as possibly Johnnie Sawyer.
  • At the next Board meeting we will discuss who goes and the cost and if early-bird registration could be purchased. 
  • Todd DeSmet advised he would be resigning as 2nd Vice President for the remainder of the year, and Ashley Stephens appointed David VanBuskirk as 2nd Vice President in his place to now take the lead for the upcoming conference in October 2023.  
  • Ashley Stephens advised he would need to appoint a 3rd year board member since David VanBuskirk was now moved to 2nd Vice President.  He will contact Heather Cropper with the OSBI and ask that she take the 3rd year Board member’s spot as she had the next highest voting ballots when nominated for a Board position.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. in Stillwater, Oklahoma – restaurant to be determined by David VanBuskirk.  Jonathan Wilk made a to adjourn, seconded by David Buskirk.  Motion carried and approved.