August 2018 Newsletter

The Marine Chemist Association held an Executive Board meeting at the annual seminar in Nashville. A summary of the meeting, annual seminar and general news follows.

Marine Chemist Families and Friends with their Annual Gift
Annual Seminar 2018
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center
Nashville, TN
July 29 – Aug. 1

2018 National Seminar

Our 60th annual seminar was held from July 29th to August 1st at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The turnout for the seminar was great with 38 chemists, 3 trainees and one GFE attending. We also had 62 spouses and friends attend for a total of 104 attendees.

On Monday, the starting day of the seminar, we held our welcome breakfast. Kristi Klein was our “Welcome to Nashville” speaker. Klein is a local musician and Minnie Pearl impersonator and gave an entertaining talk on the history of music in Nashville and the current music scene. On Monday evening we had our social event on the General Jackson Riverboat. This included a cocktail hour, dinner and a show while making our way on the Cumberland River to downtown Nashville.

On Tuesday morning, we had the spouse/friends tour which included a stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame, followed by lunch at the Wild Horse Saloon, a Nashville landmark. On Tuesday evening we had the Chairman’s reception in the hospitality suite. The Gulf/Inland section did a great job providing BBQ, snacks and drinks for all. Many thanks to Chris Scott, Ryan Ball and Brian Axelrad for hosting the event for the section. A special mention to Tom Govey for his help with set up and clean up.

The seminar social events changed up this year and based on comments and response the executive committee will continue to review and assess the social event schedule. Many attendees seemed to enjoy having the ability to go out and see the city Tuesday night, however, this did impact attendance at the Chairman’s reception so the board will review this as we go forward.

Tagay Kang 562 (lowest existing number) Rick Wellons 662 and wife before Lunch NFPA Report

306 Revision

The latest revision to 306 is now final and effective. However, it will take a while for copies to be made and sent out to chemists. Members of the 306 committee have been provided with a copy and a copy for viewing is available on the NFPA website at this time. Update: The new version of NFPA 306-2019 have arrived at NFPA. Jill will be sending them out soon.

Larry Russell reported that there are currently 97 chemists. Longtime chemist and past Chairman Troy Corbin 644, announced that he will be retiring when his certificate expires. Also, another long time fixture who will be letting his certification retire is Tagay Kang 562. Tagay was also a past Chairman. We wish Troy and Tagay the best in their retirement and thank them for their many years of service to the MCA and industry. Finally, Johnny Phillippi 647 also will retire this year. The MCA wishes Johnny the best in his retirement.

There have been 15 chemist re-certifications this year and NFPA has 25 trainees on role (about 10 are active). The total number of chemists with the FCLC endorsement is 56. Total certificate count is 14,473 to date. Several occurrence reports have been submitted this year (14) and are being reviewed by the MCQB.

GooGoos, a local treat, were a big hit at the seminar.

Changes to Certificates.

As many chemists have heard there will be change in the way certificates are obtained and paid for. Since the latest revision of 306 became effective it will make all existing series paper certificates void. Currently, most chemists have the P series, but some are a using prior series. Beginning October first these certificates will be void and you must obtain the new A series. Also, the third quarter quarterly reporting form will be the last one you must submit. When submitting the final report you will be asked to sign to acknowledge that all series of paper certificates except for the A series are void. The new certificates are scheduled to be available to order on Sept. 15th and can be used immediately. As soon as the new website is up and running you will log onto it and you can purchase certificates in bundles of 25. You will need to enter a credit card or banking information to pay for these. You will no longer be able to obtain certificates from Jill at NFPA.

As far as electronic certificates go, Rick Sterling our administrator will be contacting all users to provide either a credit/debit card number or banking routing number. The surcharges will automatically be deducted from your account on a monthly basis.

The changeover to this new method will save a significant amount of money in accounting and administration costs along with making it equal for all chemists as some chemists were delinquent in their surcharge payments.

The MCA also approached the MCQB and requested that they either drop or simplify the monthly reporting requirement. The Gas Hazards Control Program has dropped the quarterly reporting after October 1 and the number of paper certificates purchased and electronic certificates issued will be know and yearly estimates can be obtained from this. The MCQB still has a monthly reporting requirement in their rules. I was just notified that the Board agreed to simplify the reporting beginning in the 4th Quarter 2018.  Monthly reports are submitted on the NFPA managed webpage:

Pat Hickey 669 getting his Cowboy on with friend Maureen


The MCA received one ethics submission which was reviewed by the committee. The committee determined it did not meet the requirements for submission and the submitter was notified.


The Executive Committee directed the Secretary-Treasurer to review the By-Laws to ensure they are up to date and align with the actions of the committee and the membership. On August 15th all chemist will get an email from Election Buddy with the changes and will be asked to vote on them. Please take a few minutes to vote on this matter.


The MCQB met after the annual seminar in Nashville. The board has several new members with John Ward 651 moving up to principal and newly elected Brian Axelrad 691 becoming an alternate. The board thanks past member Philip Dovinh 667 for his years of service before moving off the board. One of the first acts of the new board was to certify Marine Chemist applicant Mathew Gilliespie.

Please give a warm welcome to our newest Marine Chemist #737 Mathew Gillespie.
The Start of the General Jackson Riverboat Tour

Marine Chemist Budget Information and Changes

  • The Executive Committee implemented the following change to the sectional seminar schedule.
    • A sectional seminar will be held in the spring typically at the end of March. This seminar will be held in conjunction with an Excom meeting. Depending where this is held, a sectional representative and alternate will be elected to the board. The next sectional is scheduled in Houston at a location still to be determined. Most likely it will be in March of 2018.
    • At the annual meeting a sectional meeting will be held (in the section where the annual is held) and a sectional representative and alternate will be elected to the board.
    • During the fall (most likely October) a second sectional meeting will be held. This seminar will be held in conjunction with an Excom meeting. Depending where this is held, a sectional representative and alternate will be elected to the board.
    • This change will eliminate a separate Excom board meeting each year (about a 10k savings) while still allowing the board to meet three times per year. It will also allow the board to meet more frequently with the MCQB, its MCQB representatives and keep sectional presentations up to date.
    • This change will allow the sectional to rotate to each section without sharing a sectional with another section. It will make it easier to meet in locations with a high concentration of chemists.
    • Each sections alternate will move onto the Excom during the annual meeting, even though they will be elected at different times throughout the year.