Attendee Information

2022 Annual Meeting & Leadership Summit
Fire Districts Re-imagined

May 4 - 7, 2022
Turning Stone Resort & Casino
Verona, NY
The Board of Directors, Officers and Staff of AFDSNY are pleased to present the 2022 Annual Meeting & Leadership Summit; "Fire Districts Re-imagined".  We recognize that in todays world the Leadership of fire service involves more than just Commissioners.  It takes strong communication skills among Commissioner, Secretaries, Treasurers, and Chiefs so we've geared our Leadership Summit to include everyone.  We look forward to seeing you in May at the beautiful Turning Stone Resort & Casino for the 2022 Leadership Summit.

For More information please click the links below or call 800-520-9594

Attendee Package Pricing        Hotel Accommodations        Summit Schedule   

Package Pricing


Hotel Accommodations:
Anyone wishing to make reservations within the AFDSNY block  MUST  first register for the  Annual Meeting & Vendor Expo. 
Instructions for Hotel Reservations
· Register for AFDSNY Annual Meeting & Expo
· Receive your Turning Stone reservation link and code in your confirmation email
· Make your reservations online (limit 2 rooms per person)

Turning Stone Resort & Casino (TSRC
) - SOLD OUT see Hampton Inn below
5218 Patrick Road, Verona NY
2 Night minimum
$199 per night (room only, no meals)
Tower & Hotel rooms available
Reservation Deadline: April 11, 2022
Check In: 3:00 pm
Check Out: 11:00 am
All attendees are responsible for making their own  reservations and paying for their own room, room taxes, and incidental charges. All individual reservations will require one (1) night’s deposit (including applicable   taxes and surcharges) or valid credit card to guarantee the reservation. Individuals may cancel their room reservations up to 48 hours prior to arrival. Cancellations made after that time will result in a forfeiture of the deposit ( including applicable taxes and surcharges).  There is an additional fee of $10 per person for more than 2 occupants per room, with a maximum capacity of 4 per room unless otherwise specified by TSRC.

OTHER Properties near Turning Stone

Hampton Inn Verona at Turning Stone click here for reservation link
5186 NY-365
Verona, NY 13478
(315) 363-3801


Program Schedule:      
Wednesday May 4th


John Wicka Memorial Golf Outing
Tee Time: 1pm
Location: Clubhouse                        Fee: $110 per person

Join us for the Second Annual John Wicka Memorial Golf Outing. Enjoy 9 holes of PGA-level golf in a spectacular natural setting at the Shenedoah Golf Course at Turning Stone Resort & Casino.  Fees include a cart, lite snacks for the course and a drink ticket for the beverage cart.  And of course lets not forget the contests and prizes.! We can’t wait to see you there.


Thursday, May 5th

Commissioner Training
Time: 8:00am - 3:00pm
Instructor: Joe Frank, AFDSNY Counsel
Pre-registration Required

New York State Law requires that all elected, re-elected,        appointed and re-appointed Fire Commissioners must take an approved training course within 270 days of taking office. Join AFDSNY Counsel, Joe Frank as he walks you through our NYS OSC approved training.


Discrimination and Anti-Bias "Differences Without Division"
what Agency Administrators need to know
Time:  Thursday, 8:30am - 10:00am
Speaker: Michael McCall, J.D.

Workplace Discrimination trends are analyzed that face your ESO with a focus on Anti-Bias and misconduct along with risk management strategies administrators, Commissioners and Chiefs can use to address these issues. The worry of litigation and retaliation from claims of this type and others increase the need for additional training on this topic for District officials and agency personnel.


Budgeting 101 -
 Developing a Structurally Sound Budget

Time: Thursday, 10:15am - 11:45am
Speaker: Dan Acquilano, 
OSC Manager Local Official Training Unit

The process of developing a balanced budget for your Fire District can be a confusing and stressful undertaking. This session is  intended to help Fire District officials understand the process behind developing a structurally balanced   budget. Topics include:understanding the budget calendar, District officials' roles in the budget process, tips for estimating budgeted revenues,  appropriations and understanding of the  importance of monitoring the budget, once adopted.

Reducing Cancer and Improving Firefighter Health
Time: Thursday, 1:15pm - 2:45pm
Speaker: Tim Graves - Fire Protection Specialist, Firefighter Health Program NYS DHSES

Firefighters are the most important asset of any fire department. To protect those assets, we must take proactive steps to  reduce cancer and improve general firefighter health. Sadly, even as we take those steps, we cannot  prevent all cancer. It’s critical that we provide appropriate insurance coverage for qualifying firefighters. During this session we’ll discuss recent changes to the Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability Benefit, review our contamination reduction program and discuss immediate steps your department should take to reduce exposure and risk of cancer.   

2021 Vendor Expo Opens!
Time: Thursday, 3:00pm - 5:30pm & Friday 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Event Center

We are excited to welcome you to our NEW vendor floor.  This year we will feature an “Expo Main Stage”. Come see what new products and services our wonderful vendors have to offer.


Expo Main Stage 
Maintaining Your Fleet
Time: Thursday 3:15pm
Speaker: Craig Probst



"All For One" Welcome BBQ
Time: 6:30pm
Location: The Tin Rooster

Coming in on Wednesday? Coming to play golf in the John Wicka Memorial outing? Why not join us for an “All For One” welcome BBQ featuring a mouthwatering menu from The Tin Rooster!  Come spend time catching up with old friends and make a few new ones.  Attendance is limited.



Secretary Training

Time: 8:00am - 10:00am
Instructors: Amy Speach & Joyce Petkus

Whether you're a new Secretary or just looking for a refresher course, this class is the one for you. Learn both the legal and practical sides of being a Secretary in a Fire District today. This class is also meant to be interactive. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions prior to the session at


Influencing the Legislative Process
A conversation with Fire service influencers
Time: 8:30am - 10:00am
Speakers: Tom Rinaldi, - AFDSNY Past President
Don Corkery - AFDSNY 1st VP
Todd H Vandervort - President & CEO of The Vandervort Group and AFDSNY Lobbyist

Learn how YOU can become an influencer instead of sitting on the side lines.  Our panel of Fire Service influencers will share easy key strategies and proven methods to help you engage in and  influence the legislative process to benefit the interests of Fire Service in NYS.


Are You Ready For Your Next Recruit?
Time: Thursday, 10:15am - 11:45am
Speaker: Tiger Schmittendorf,  Vice President of Strategic Recruitment & Retention Services for First Arriving

Do you remember when you first came into the fire service? How were you welcomed? How were you onboarded? How were you treated? And most importantly, how did it make you feel?  In “Are You Ready for Your Next Recruit?” we’ll take a  retention-first attitude to evaluate the type of environment you’re inviting new members into: Would you honestly describe it as inviting, welcoming, stable, open, and accepting – or as in  transition, toxic, cancerous, or just a disorganized hot mess? Does what you’re selling match up to what they’ll see when they peek behind the curtain? This presentation outlines the three major phases of the “Volunteer Life Cycle”: Recruitment, Onboarding and Retention to offer a framework for sizing up the health and wellness of your organization’s culture and processes. Together we will identify opportunities and share best practices for today’s public safety leaders to attract and retain the appropriate quantity and quality of volunteers they need to support the delivery of emergency services in their communities. Together we’ll work towards getting your fire  department: “Ready for Your Next Recruit!”


The Future of EMS
Time: Thursday, 1:15pm  -2:45pm
Speaker: Mike McEvoy, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN
EMS Coordinator – Saratoga County, NY

Will Grandma’s Apple Watch turn “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” alerting devices into antiques? Could automatic crash         notification systems send you vital signs from FitBit® watches worn by vehicle occupants?  How about using artificial       Intelligence to screen 9-1-1 calls to find true emergencies?  All of these technologies exist today and as health care evolves, you need information to help you predict the future.  The taxi industry is dying because they refused to see the writing on the Uber and Lyft walls.  This presentation is all about what you need to see coming to assure your future in EMS.


Expo Main Stage
Up In Smoke; Cannabis

Speaker: Steve Shahan, Attorney at Law
Learn the latest updates on the new cannabis law and how it might effect your Fire District.  Steve Shahan will answer your questions as he walks us through this fast evolving topic.




Friday, May 6th

Annual Memorial Service
& Annual Membership Meeting

Time: Friday 8:30am

You are cordially invited to attend the AFDSNY 2022 Memorial Service to pay homage to our deceased fire district  officials, which will begin promptly at 8:30am.  The Annual Meeting of the AFDSNY Membership will begin immediately following the Memorial Service.

Vendor Appreciation Lunch
Friday 11:30am - 12:30pm
$15 per person

To wrap up this years Vendor Expo we will be hosting a Vendor Appreciation Lunch on the Expo Floor.  We don’t want you to miss a minute with our fabulous vendors so come enjoy a walkable lunch and a final opportunity to connect with the men and women that so generously support us throughout the year


The New Annual Financial Report –
Modernizing the AUD & Treasurer Training

Time:  Friday, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Speaker:  Jay Phillips - OSC Project Assistant,  Joyce Petkus, AFDSNY Secretary/Treasurer & Vince Caterina, BST

After over 25 years of reliable service the AUD (Annual Update Document) is being replaced by a new reporting application called the AFR (Annual Financial Report). During this session, staff from the Office of the State Comptroller will discuss the benefits of the new AFR and prepare you for the change by demonstrating how to access and complete a report in the new application. The presentation will also discuss how the new AFR differs from the existing AUD and provide an overview of additional information that will be needed to complete a filing in the new system.


Secretary Q&A Panel
Time: Friday, 2:45pm - 4:00pm
Speakers: Donna Marano, Gina Marrone, Amy Speach, Joyce Petkus

A new twist on an old favorite.Come ask your questions of our panel of Secretary instructors! Our team of top notch Fire District Secretaries from across NYS will be there to answer questions and have open discussion about what’s important to you. If you’d like to submit a question prior to the session please feel free to email your questions a head of time to  We look forward to seeing you there!

AFDSNY Election
Time: Friday, 4:00pm - 5:30pm



Saturday, May 7th

Keeping the Trucks Rolling;
Working through todays issues of recruitment & retention

Time: Friday, 2:45pm -  4:00pm
Speakers: Patrick Beckley, Suffolk Co. Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services and
Jill Holland, Commissioner Kauneonga Fire District & Secretary  for AFD of Sullivan County 
In today’s world finding and keeping new members for Fire service has become a significant challenge across the State. Recognizing that this is a complex issue Patrick and Jill have both been successful  in developing a recruitment & retention program that works in their area.  Hear what works for them and work to brainstorm your own ideas.  This will be a presentation followed by a Q&A session.

ESIP Cocktail Party & AFDSNY Officer Installation
Time: TBD

Leadership’s Role in Extinguishing the Flames of Liability
Time:  Saturday 8:30am - 10:00am
Speaker: David Denniston, AFDSNY Director Region 4

In the current political and economic climate, now more than ever, fire service organization are being held accountable for both their actions and inactions. We can also struggle with public perception of how we are meeting the overall needs of the community. In this session Dave will explore ways that the Fire Chief/Fire Commissioner relationship can lead to success or cause additional headaches, and worse yet liabilities, for your district. By understanding your role and responsibilities in the organization, we can work together to lower our risks.Participants will be given
the opportunity to discuss current struggles that they may be encountering during the class. You may also email them to ahead of time so that we can be prepared to work those questions into the program


Treasurer Roundtable
Time: Saturday 8:30am -  10:00am
Speakers: Joyce Petkus, Robert Monkelbaan, Joseph Somma, and Vince Caterina  BST

For several years we’ve hosted a successful Secretary roundtable so this year we decided to add a new Treasurers roundtable.  Moderators,  Region 6 Director Robert (Bob) Monkelbaan,  and AFDSNY Secretary Treasurer, Joyce Petkus, will guide the group discussion through your questions and issues.  To submit your questions prior to the sessions email to

Attorneys Panel
Time: Saturday, 10:00am - 12:00pm

It has become a tradition to wrap up the AFDSNY conference with the Attorneys Panel.  Join AFDSNY  counsel, Joe Frank and a  familiar group of attorneys as they take on the hot topics of the day and   answer your questions in real time.