Category archive


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.

In Memory of Bernard Besal

in IKECA News by
Bernard Besal

It brings us great sadness to share the passing of Bernard Besal. To say that he’ll be missed is an understatement. His journey in this life crossed the paths of many and touched the lives of an uncountable number of people. We mourn the loss of a leader in our industry and a good man.

A dear friend of Barney’s stated, “a gentleman is someone who puts the comfort of others before himself,” and by this definition Barney was truly a gentleman.

Bernard was a founding member of the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association. He served as President and on multiple committees. He has been instrumental in bringing our Association to higher levels of credibility and recognition through his work on the Board of Directors, as a Chairman of the ANSI Standards Development Committee and his work with the NFPA 96 Standards Technical Committee. Barney was influential in the development of the Certified Service Agent program for Gaylord Manufacturing, which has benefited so many around the world.

Barney has left behind a family that loved him dearly, a group of friends that will be at a loss without him and an industry that will likely never again see a man of such character, devotion, and passion.

Barney always left more than he took. This attribute in him contributed more to IKECA than any single influence, and what made him so memorable to us. His dedication and generosity will be painfully missed.

So many of us have benefited from the tireless efforts of this true leader, including countless food service facility owners and operators; his life’s work has saved lives. Because of his giving of himself and his willingness to elevate the industry, there is no way to know how many people have benefited from his work.

Bernard Besal reflected the character, described by Theodore Roosevelt, as a man who contended in the arena of life. Undoubtedly, there were times where he was bloodied and bruised, but he contended. Barney not only contended, but he was a victor in the life he lived.

In the measure of things that matter, the love he has shown and the good he has done, will be memorialized in the hearts of those he has left behind. 

Barney, we will miss you.

Tips for Working with AHJs

in IKECA News by
AHJs fire extinguisher fire prevention

Developing a strong relationship with your local AHJs is necessary for your business. Showing them that you know NFPA 96 inside and out could lead to potential recommendations to restaurants in your area when an AHJ goes to do an inspection.

Here are some tips IKECA learned from an AHJ at a previous Annual Meeting.

1. Know And Abide By The Requirements Wherever Your Work Takes You
Every state, city, and county will have different jurisdictions. Staying aware of relevant codes and requirements builds trust and demonstrates good faith to your local AHJ.

2. Get To Know Your AHJ
Have open communication — keep your AHJ informed of new technologies, techniques and situations you encounter. After all, you are an expert.

3. Get Involved In Your Community’s Public Safety Efforts
Your AHJ will remember you if you take time to help in community-wide fire prevention education events. Look for volunteer opportunities to bud face recognition with your AHJ.

4. Ask For Help If Needed, Accept Responsibility For Mistakes
If you need advice about a particular situation you’ve encountered on the job, always go to your AHJ for guidance. They will work with you to come up with solutions.

Read and share all of the tips here.

2016 Annual Membership Meeting

in IKECA News by

IKECA heads to the Pacific Northwest for this year’s Annual Membership Meeting.  Join us in Portland, Oregon for what promises to be another great IKECA meeting. Geared toward the owner/operator, attendees can expect high-quality speakers, access to the industry’s most supportive vendors and ample opportunity to network with industry peers. Learn more about the meeting and be sure to visit back routinely as we update the page with more meeting details.


Important Deadline:  **March 14, 2016**

In order to secure early bird registration rates, as well as the discounted IKECA group hotel rate, please register with IKECA and book your room by March 14th! 


Date: April 13, 2016 – April 16, 2016

Location: Portland, OR

Check Out What Our Members Say About IKECA in Our Testimonial Video Series

in IKECA News by

See what our members say about IKECA membership in our first testimonial video series. During our recent 2015 Annual Membership Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, we asked our members about how they got involved with IKECA.

Wayne Tomassi from HOODZ Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning said, “IKECA… gives me the capability of learning more about my business.” Of his fellow IKECA members, he said, “I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from them.”

Check our YouTube channel for more testimonial videos as well as valuable information about how proper kitchen exhaust cleaning can prevent fires.

The IKECA Fall Technical Seminar & Expo is in Kansas City.

in IKECA News by

IKECA Members are gathering in Kansas City for the IKECA Fall Technical Seminar and Expo. Registration is tomorrow, October 28th from 11 am – 7 pm. The day’s activities include the ANSI Consensus Body Meeting with Lunch; Exhibitor set up, and Dine Around Dinners. Attendees can visit the Exhibit Hall at the Welcome Reception with Exhibitors at 6 pm.

October 29th begins early with a General Business Session with breakfast. Exhibitors will have demos all day, and members can attend important educational sessions led by industry experts, including “NFPA 96: Friend or Foe?” by Captain Frank Herrick of the Leawood Fire Department and “Confined Spaces” by Eric Scolari, CECS.

Concurrent Tracks will be held on October 30th and include educational Technician Tracks and Leadership Tracks. The Technician Tracks will focus on topics that are directly relevant to issues faced in the field cleaning kitchen exhaust systems. The Leadership Tracks intended for owners, managers, and supervisors; will focus on topics that help build and support a culture of safety for owners, employees and co-workers.

On October 31st, the last day of the Fall Technical Seminar & Expo, all attendees will gather at the Delegate Networking Breakfast, followed by Exam registration for those who will be taking their certification exams.

We want to hear from those who are attending! Tag IKECA in social media posts, follow IKECA on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn let us know how you are enjoyed the 2015 Fall Technical Seminar & Expo.

Go to Top