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Celebrate IKECA’s 30th Anniversary in Las Vegas!

in Annual Meeting by
ikeca annual meeting las vegas

Celebrate IKECA’s 30th Anniversary at the 2019 IKECA Annual Membership Meeting being held at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from April 3-6, 2019. We look forward to celebrating our community of dedicated professionals who are committed to safety and fire prevention worldwide.

The 30th Annual Membership Meeting is an event you won’t want to miss! From opportunities to build your professional network in the kitchen exhaust cleaning industry to earning more CEUs to maintain Certification, we have plenty of events in store.

Guests have the pleasure of staying at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, the ninth-largest hotel in the world and also the sixth-largest hotel in Las Vegas. Open since 1993, the 30-story homage to the pyramids of Ancient Egypt is one of the most unique structures on the Strip.

The Luxor is home to the world’s most massive atrium, at 29 million cubic feet and 4,400 rooms for guests to unwind after a day of networking with fellow IKECA members. During the stay, enjoy hotel amenities including entertainment, dining, nightlife, casino, swimming pool, spa, gym, business facilities and more.

Rooms are available at a special discounted rate for a limited time.

The 2018 IKECA Fall Technical Seminar & Expo — A Great Success

in IKECA News by
2018 IKECA Fall Tech Seminar

IKECA would like to thank everyone who attended the 2018 Fall Tech Seminar and Expo hosted at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, IN from October 3 – 6.

The 2018 IKECA Fall Technical Seminar and Expo was an opportunity for members of the KEC industry to attend educational seminars, hands-on demonstrations, and networking opportunities.

Through the duration of the event, attendees were able to participate in educational sessions covering a range of topics while gaining CEU credits. Educational sessions covered topics in areas of stress management, troubleshooting equipment, choosing the correct grease containment solution, and new standards and technologies that apply to kitchen exhaust systems, cleaning, and maintenance.

Eric Scolari presented multiple sessions including an educational session on the importance of pre-task planning and the benefit of a job hazard analysis process. Attendees also learned about the importance of a robust pre-hire training process and evaluations.

Justin Tate conducted an outdoor demonstration that provided attendees with a chance to get hands-on with the latest in fall protection and demonstrated how the force of a fall could be minimized by using fall protection correctly.

A huge thank you to our friends at Koorsen Fire & Security for hosting ‘Night at the Museum,’ a celebration of the excellent work of all those who serve in the life safety and fire protection industry. IKECA friends and members enjoyed an evening of refreshments, fellowship and the opportunity to view Koorsen Fire & Security’s collection of fire memorabilia, and their passion for protecting lives and property.

In preparation for the certification exam, John Muller and Joel Berkowitz discussed kitchen-related fire codes, ways of looking at the numbers in the codes, practice with code-related questions, and useful tips for how to approach a multiple-choice test.

Thank you to all the sponsors, attendees and members who made this another successful Fall Technical Seminar and Expo. We look forward to celebrating IKECA’s 30th Anniversary at the Annual Membership Meeting to be held in Las Vegas from April 3-6-2019.

Image: IKECA President, Neil Iorii, Randy Koorsen of Koorsen Fire & Security, and Tonya Hardgrove of Hardgrove Fire Protection

2018 IKECA Fall Technical Seminar and Expo

in IKECA News by
2018 IKECA Fall Technical Seminar & Expo

Don’t miss your chance to be in attendance from October 3 – 6, at the JW Marriot in Indianapolis, IN, for the 2018 IKECA Fall Technical Seminar and Expo. Join the KEC industry leaders for educational seminars, hands-on demonstrations, and networking opportunities.

During the 2018 IKECA Fall Technical Seminar and Expo attendees experience:
– Educational sessions designed for both company leaders and technicians
– Hands-on demonstrations from industry vendors and service providers
– Ample opportunities to network with leaders in the industry while earning continuing education

Hotel Information
Registration Information
Schedule of Events
Sessions and Speakers

Get Certified at the 2018 IKECA Technical Seminar and Expo
Send your employees to Indianapolis to get certified! All levels of certification will be offered onsite.

IKECA Certifications give kitchen exhaust professionals an advantage, in this highly competitive business. Our certifications set the industry standard of knowledge and improve worker professionalism in the field. An IKECA certification next to your title shows a dedication to success, helps increase your potential for a better salary and provides recognition throughout the kitchen exhaust industry.

More jurisdictions and facility managers than ever are requiring certification for job bids in their area. Now is the time to show your customers that you are one of the best in the industry and take advantage of one of the most influential member benefits IKECA has to offer.

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IKECA Annual Membership Meeting –– Recap

in IKECA News by

The 2018 IKECA Annual Membership Meeting is in the books, and IKECA would like to extend our gratitude to all of the sponsors, attendees, and venues for making this year’s Membership Meeting a huge success. The IKECA Annual Membership Meeting is one of the premier events in the Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Industry.

This year’s Annual Membership Meeting was held at the Westin Hotel in San Diego, CA, and we thank the Westin and its staff for being such gracious and accommodating hosts. The event ran from April 25-28.

Attendance Breakout of IKECA Annual Membership Meeting

At this year’s meeting, we welcomed over 140 attendees, ranging from Kitchen Exhaust Cleaners and Authorities Having Jurisdiction to Food Industry and Insurance Professionals. A total of 136 Active North American IKECA Members attended the Annual Membership Meeting. Our full attendance breakdown can be seen in the infographic above.

Among this year’s attendees were some fantastic speakers, including IKECA’s Keynote Presenter David Avrin, CSP, of Visibility International. In his highly entertaining, thought-provoking and actionable presentation, David Avrin showed attendees how to discover, create and promote meaningful differentiators to gain visibility and earn customers in their respective industries.

David Avrin of Visibility International
David Avrin, CSP, of Visibility International at the IKECA Annual Membership Meeting

In addition to Mr. Avrin, IKECA’s Platinum Sponsor, IA Business Advisors‘ own Brian Smith, PhD hosted a session on Thursday. Brian Smith is a Senior Managing Partner at IA Business Advisors and has a PhD in Organizational Psychology. In his session, attendees learned about maximizing the influence you have as a leader and each person on your team has on the overall success of your organization.

Brian Smith, PhD of IA Business Advisors at the IKECA Annual Membership Meeting
Brian Smith, PhD of IA Business Advisors at the IKECA Annual Membership Meeting

On Thursday evening, a memorial tribute took place for one of IKECA’s founding fathers, Bernard “Barney” Besal.  IKECA members provided memories of their friend and the influence he had in their professional and personal lives.  Mr. Besal’s family was in attendance to share in the celebration of his life.  The family was presented with a plaque acknowledging Mr. Besal’s devotion and contributions given to the association over the years.  A reception proceeded, where guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks as they reminisced about their friend Barney.

We hope to see everyone at our next meeting, the Fall Technical Seminar and Expo, held in Indianapolis, IN at the JW Marriott Hotel.

Jim Roberts of Derby Pressure Wash and Maria Martinez of Teinnova Networking at the IKECA Annual Membership Meeting
Neal Iorii, President of IKECA
Neal Iorii, President of IKECA

For more photos and session descriptions, check out our recap on!

Don’t Miss The IKECA 2018 Annual Meeting

in IKECA News by
IKECA Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting will be held at The Westin in San Diego, CA from April 25–28, 2018. This is an exciting event you won’t want to miss! From opportunities to build your professional network in the kitchen exhaust cleaning industry to earning more CEUs to maintain Certification, we have plenty of events in store.

You’ll have the chance to earn twenty hours of continuing education in just two days. All levels of certification will be offered onsite – just make sure to register for your exam beforehand.

There will also be an Industry Vendors Exhibition where you’ll walk away better informed on the latest industry trends and meet business resource partners that can directly impact your bottom line.

Who will be attending? You’ll be surrounded by fellow IKECA Members from around the world, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs), members of the food service industry (restaurant owners/operators and facility managers for hospitals, universities and other related organizations).

Will you be attending the IKECA 2018 Annual Meeting? What are you looking forward to?

View the full schedule of events for the Annual Meeting here.

Another Fire That Could Have Been Prevented: Grease Fire Causes $325,000 in Damages to May Jen Restaurant

in Fire News by
May Gen Restaurant

A popular restaurant in Amherst, NY called May Jen Restaurant had a two-alarm grease fire. Unfortunately, it will take several months to rebuild. There were no injuries, but the grease fire caused an estimated $325,000 in damages.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze after 45 minutes and Amherst officials immediately conducted an investigation. It’s been determined that the fire began in the kitchen and traveled through the exhaust ducts all the way to the roof of the building.

Co-owner of May Jen Restaurant Susan Leong said, “The fire which started at the cook line in the kitchen and spread to the roof was pretty damaging. In addition to the kitchen, there was water in the dining room as well. We are working with our insurance company but it will take several months to rebuild”.

If you are a restaurant owner or facility manager, always remember to have your kitchen exhaust system cleaned properly according to NFPA 96 Standards on a regular schedule. Just like this fire, grease build-up in the exhaust system can quickly ignite and lead to costly damage.

Read more about this grease fire here.

On The Road With IKECA: Reporting NFPA 96 Noncompliant Exhaust Systems to AHJs

in Fire Prevention by
nfpa 96 noncompliant exhaust systems

As a knowledgeable IKECA Member, one of the best ways to strengthen your company’s relationship with local AHJs is to report any NFPA 96 noncompliant exhaust systems you come across. Below is an excerpt from page 12 of the IKECA Journal.

The Client

This client was a restaurant and property owner who had bought the property about 10 years ago. It is a wooden structure building with three floors: a restaurant on the first and rentals, both offices and tenants, on the other floors. The kitchen was an attached single story with rooftop exhaust. His staff only cleaned the hood and filters. He was forced to have his hood professionally cleaned by the local AHJ. During the clean, the hood techs noticed that their magnetic scraper did not attach to the ductwork. Of course, magnets do not stick to wood; in this case, wooden particle board was used for the entire duct run from the hood to the fan. Because the wooden ductwork could not be welded to the top of the hood, an investigation found a few inches of grease on the top of the hood where it leaked out but could not be seen without pulling ceiling tiles in the adjacent room.

Ductwork Made Of Wood
The wooden ductwork

The Action

We viewed this as very serious. Besides noting the violation of duct construction on the after-service report, the technicians also wrote on the hood label, “URGENT – SEE AFTER-SERVICE REPORT.” The next morning, I called and discussed the finding with the AHJ, who agreed to wait and see what actions the customer would take. A few calls to the client resulted in no returned calls. Two weeks later, upon return for reinspection, the AHJ saw the label, which called attention to the report; read the report; and required the customer to immediately upgrade the ductwork.

The Solution

The customer called me later that day and stated that he had no idea the ductwork was made of wood and asked for assistance and referrals to get it fixed. A call back to the AHJ informed him of the customer’s planned actions, and the AHJ was pleased as to how this issue worked itself out. The AHJ forcing the professional inspection and cleaning of the system was the driving force behind discovering the unknown wooden ductwork that was coated with and had absorbed grease for years. Our taking special communication actions to insure the AHJ knew about the problem helped in its being corrected. If that AHJ has to make a recommendation for a KEC company, who do you think he might recommend?

Learn how to talk to your local AHJs about noncompliant kitchen exhaust systems by reading page 12 of the IKECA Journal here.

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