December 2023 From the President’s Keyboard: The Most Important Gift of All

Happy holidays to everyone. At my house, we celebrate Christmas. The decorations are up (no small feat for us), and we’ll have our traditional family gathering the week before Christmas. The kids and grandkids all will be here. We celebrate the season by being together. Yes, there will be presents, game-playing, and lots of food, but whatever and however you celebrate, the important thing is to spend time with your loved ones. I would like to extend my season’s greetings to all in our extended family, our ASPE family.

On the Society level, we are more or less “between events” in December. The Tech Symposium is behind us—a very successful Symposium all in all. I can report that early this month ASPE’s Finance Committee met to develop a proposed budget for the 2024–2025 period. The budget numbers now go to the Board of Directors for comments, revisions, and, ultimately, approval to adopt. Following that, the budget will be available to ASPE members. It’s an important tool that helps keep the Society fiscally sound and running smoothly.

December also marks the opening of registration for the Certified in Plumbing Design (CPD) exam. The exam will be administered virtually from April 15 to April 26, 2024. If you are ready to add the CPD credential to your resume, make sure to complete your registration by the April 1 deadline. No fooling.

A date to keep in mind in January is the application deadline for the Alfred Steele Scholarship. That deadline is January 31, 2024. If you or a family member is enrolled in an engineering-related full-time college program, ASPE can help defray some of the tuition or book expenses. On our website, log in and go to Read the eligibility requirements and carefully complete your application. ASPE’s Education Committee will review all completed applications and determine which applicants will be awarded scholarships.

The first MedGas Workshop of 2024 will be held April 18–21 at the Harry Warren Inc. facility in Orlando. Our in-person, immersive, 32-hour course will help you prepare to take the ASSE 6060 certification exam for medical gas system designers. More information on registration will be available soon. If you can’t make it to sunny Florida in April, ASPE also offers an online medgas course in partnership with It also offers 32 hours of training, but it can be completed at your own pace. Both avenues will provide certificates of completion for 1.2 CEUs. With the 2024 edition of NFPA 99, certification to ASSE 6060 will become required for designers of medical gas systems, so if you are involved in healthcare design, take note and make sure you’re prepared.

Further out on the horizon will be the annual Region Meetings. This year, we’re back to the individual Region Meetings. Regions 1, 3, 4, and 5 will hold their meetings the weekend of June 7–8. Region 2’s meeting will be the following weekend, June 14–15. If you’re a Chapter Officer, check with your respective Region Director and get the details for your meeting. We’d like to get back to 100 percent representation of all Chapters at the Region Meetings. It’s important to be able to represent your Chapter members at the meeting.

Next stop after that will be Columbus, Ohio for the 2024 ASPE Convention & Expo. That will take place on October 18–23. The dates were planned to ensure that all ASPE members can get to the Convention, attend the Business Meeting, vote for your ASPE Board, tour the booths at the Expo, earn CEUs from 30 technical sessions, meet friends, old and new, and be home in time for Halloween with the family. It will be a homecoming of sorts for me as an alum of THE Ohio State University—yes, that Ohio State University, which will not be participating in this year’s college football playoffs. (After a brief injury timeout, I am now recovered.) Columbus has a lot to offer, and ASPE has a lot to offer. We would love to have you join us for the Convention & Expo in October.

It’s time to wrap this December edition (blatant Christmas play on words there). I’m going to fall back on some advice I just heard from a fitness trainer. She admitted that she got it from a World War II paratroop veteran, so while it’s third-hand from me, I think it’s still valuable. The advice is to live every day as if it’s a gift. I do have a birthday this month, and as I get older, that advice seems to be right on target. In this season of gift-giving, don’t forget the most important gift of all. It’s a wonderful life. Appreciate each day that we’re gifted. Happy holidays, again.

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