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Thank you for attending the 2019 Chiefs Convention. This convention is the premier event for Chief Officers and aspiring Chief Officers in Montana. We hope to see you next year. You can be assured that MSFCA is an inclusive member driven association of professionals who value active and honest communication. We welcome all to attend and actively participate.

PowerPoint Presentations


Program Schedule

Featured Presenters

Chief Jeffrey D. Johnson, (Ret.) CEO and FirstNet Vice Chairman of Board

Jeff Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Western Fire Chiefs Association and Vice Chairman of Board of Directors for the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet).  He is the Past President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and retired as Fire Chief and Chief Executive Officer of Oregon’s Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) following a 32 year fire service career.  Chief Johnson served as TVF&R’s chief executive for over 15 years during which time the organization became recognized as one of the nation’s premier fire and rescue service providers.

Jeff is internationally known as an innovator and ambassador for excellence.  He sits as the chairman or board member for a number of private corporations and has authored two industry books.

As a Sisters resident, Jeff is an avid outdoorsman and student of Oregon history.  He enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, and motorcycling in Oregon’s back country.

Tiger Schmittendorf, VP for Strategic Services, First Arriving

Tiger Schmittendorf is vice president of strategic services for First Arriving, a full-service marketing team supporting the public safety community. He served the Erie County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (Buffalo, NY) for more than 20 years before retiring as deputy fire coordinator in January 2018. There he was responsible for the recruitment, training, and mutual aid operations of the county’s 97 fire departments and 6,000+ firefighters. He created a recruitment effort that doubled his own fire department’s membership and helped net thousands of new volunteers countywide. A frequent presenter on leadership, incident management, connecting generations, and recruitment and retention, he is a nationally certified fire instructor and has been a firefighter since 1980. Connect with him at or visit his websites:,, and

Chief Pat Kenny, Western Springs, Illinois, Fire Chief

Chief Kenny has been a member of the fire service for over 36 years. He serves as a member of the Illinois Fire Chief’s Promotional Assessment Board and is a past president of the Illinois

Fire Chief’s Association. Chief Kenny holds the highest certification in the state of Illinois for a Chief Officer and is a current recipient of Chief Officer Designation by the International Fire Chiefs’ Association. He was awarded the Fire Chief of the Year in 2004.

He has articles published in the areas of leadership, fire safety, mental health and fire code challenges.

He was a contributor to the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Sections Yellow Ribbon Report entitled:  UNDER THE HELMET: Performing An Internal Size-Up A Proactive Approach To Ensuring Mental Wellness as well as a contributing author to Pass it On.

Robin Zevotek, Research Engineer, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Firefighter Safety Research Institute

Robin Zevotek is a Research Engineer with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Firefighter Safety Research Institute. He specializes in the use of full scale fire research for the development of fire service tactical considerations. He has 19yrs in the fire service thought out the east coast, and is currently serving as a Captain with the Ellicott City Volunteer Fire Department in Howard County Maryland.  He both a bachelor’s and master’s in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland.

Tom Jenkins, Fire Chief, City of Roger

Tom Jenkins was appointed Fire Chief for the City of Rogers on January 16, 2009.  In his capacity he is responsible for over 140 career employees in ten locations.  Under Tom’s leadership, the Rogers Fire Department has become accredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence (since 2011), Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (since 2012) and was awarded an Insurance Service Officer Public Protection Classification of one in 2015. 

Chief Jenkins was asked to serve by Governors Beebe and Hutchison to serve on several state commissions and groups, including the Trauma Advisory Council, Firefighter Benefit Review Panel and the Safe Schools Commission.  Chief Jenkins has served as a professor for both Northwest Arkansas Community College and Oklahoma State University, teaching topics that range from leadership and administration to fire hydraulics and suppression tactics.  In 2015, Chief Jenkins was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Fire Chiefs as the Second Vice President.  In 2017, he was elected President and Chairman of the Board for the IAFC at Fire Rescue International in Charlotte, North Carolina.    

In addition to public service, Tom is recognizable face at nearly all fire and emergency medical conferences where he speaks and presents regularly.  Chief Jenkins completed his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma with an emphasis in Public Personnel Management and obtained his Bachelors degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University.  He has completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and is a designated Chief Fire Officer and Chief Emergency Medical Services Officer from the Commission on Public Credentialing.  He currently serves on multiple boards and committees, including the: NFPA Standard on Organization and Deployment of Career Fire Departments Standard 1710, and the International Fire Service Training Association Board of Directors. 


Chief John M. Buckman III

Chief John M. Buckman III served 35 years as fire chief for the German Township (Indiana) Volunteer Fire Department, and 15 years as director of the fire and public safety academy for the Indiana State Fire Marshal Office. He is the Director of Government and Regional Outreach for Buckman is a past president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a co-founder of the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section. In 1996, Fire Chief Magazine named Buckman Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year. Buckman is an accomplished photographer, a co-author of the Lesson Learned from Fire-Rescue Leaders, and the editor of the Chief Officers Desk Reference. Buckman is the owner of Wildfire Productions.

Greg Rogers, Division Chief for Fire Prevention, Spokane Valley Fire Department

Greg Rogers is the Division Chief for Fire Prevention with Spokane Valley Fire Department since 2015.  Division Chief Rogers has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Technology – Fire Protection and Safety, and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Management through Western Governs University. Division Chief Rogers was also the first person in WA State to be awarded the Fire Marshal designation from the Center of Public Safety Excellence in 2011 and received the Chief Fire Officer designation in 2018. Rogers has been in the fire service for 27 years, starting as an instructor in 1992 at the Oklahoma State Fire Service Training Center, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. His pre­vious experience includes working for South Kitsap Fire and Res­cue, and with North Metro Fire Rescue in Broomfield, Colorado. Also severed as Peer reviewer for the CPSE and assigned to reimagining group for the next phase of CPSE for the 9th and 10th Edition manual for the CFAI Accreditation.

Division Chief Rogers is a currently a board member and Vice Chair of the Fire and Life Safety Section for IAFC and a Commissioner on the Commission Professional Credentialing with CPSE; past President of the Washington State Association of Fire Marshals; Chair of the IAFC Community Risk Reduction Leadership program planning committee; an IAFC Committee Member of the Fire Code Action Committee; as well as the International Fire Code Development Committee member.

Division Chief Rogers has testified in front of the Washington State Legislator as well as the Washington State Fire Chiefs Conference and the Washington State Fire Commissioners Conference. Rogers has developed and taught several courses in Washington, Oregon, Col­orado and Fire Rescue International, including Professional Credentialing classes, International Fire Code classes, Fire Company Officer Inspection classes, as well as Basic Understanding of the Fire Code and Basic Fire Investigations classes for Olympic College.

Colonel Tom Butler

Tom is a native Montanan who received his Bachelor of Science degree from Montana State University in Bozeman in 1991. On February 10, 1992 he was sworn in as a Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) trooper and his initial station assignment was Lincoln.

He was promoted to sergeant in June 2001 and served as the detachment commander in Butte, and then later in Three Forks. Tom earned the rank of captain in January 2006 when he became the district commander in Bozeman. In May 2009, Tom was promoted to Major and assumed the Operations Commander position at Headquarters. On January 12, 2013, Tom was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and later that year, on September 30, 2013, he assumed the rank of colonel and became the chief of MHP.

During his tenure with the patrol so far, especially his time at Headquarters for the past ten years, Tom has worked diligently to improve the state of the public safety communications system. He has worked with the legislature, radio technicians, MHP communications center, as well as other agencies around Montana to work on enhancing the radio systems for our public safety workers. Dedicated to the safety of all first responders, Tom continues to work to develop strong relationships with agencies across the state in order to work together to improve the radio communications system.

Tom lives in Deer Lodge with his wife, Gayle.

Liz Loomis, Liz Loomis Public Affairs (LLPA)

Liz Loomis combines 20+ years of experience in strategic communications, earned and social media, campaigns and government to achieve the desired outcomes for her clients. She founded Liz Loomis Public Affairs (LLPA) in 1997 to offer strategic communication services for local governments providing vital public services.

Loomis moved to Washington State in 1995.  She came from Washington, DC where she gained experience working for fundraising and political consulting firms. She also spent time on Capitol Hill as a special assistant to a former U.S. Senator from New Jersey.

While in Washington State, Loomis managed the successful election campaigns of a Snohomish County executive and a lieutenant governor.  She then spent two legislative sessions working in strategic communications for a trade association in Olympia, Wash.

As a former city councilmember, mayor and state representative, Loomis’s knowledge of voter opinion is actively sought after by organizations dependent on tax revenue. Her firm has helped pass more than 100 bond, levy and merger measures in the past 15 years. She also helps clients message difficult news to their communities, and provides crisis communication services.

Loomis’s client list includes hospital, school and fire districts, and cities, as well as trade associations at the state and regional levels.  She is a regular keynote speaker on improving communications with taxpayers, how to win ballot measures, public relations, and crisis communication issues.

Chief Michael DeGrosky, Chief, Fire and Aviation Management Bureau at Montana Department Of Natural Resources and Conservation

Michael DeGrosky is Chief of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s Fire Protection Bureau.   Prior to returning to the Montana DNRC in 2016, Mike was Chief Executive of Guidance Group, Inc. a consulting firm specializing in the human and organizational aspects of the fire and emergency services and an adjunct instructor in the Leadership Studies Department for Fort Hays State University. He is an experienced wildland and municipal fire professional with an emergency service background spanning over 40 years. Mike earned PhD in Business Administration, with a specialization in organizational leadership from Northcentral University.   He is also an alumnus of the University of Montana, School of Forestry and Fort Hays State University, College of Business and Leadership, where he earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership.

Cory Calnan, County Coop Program Manager, MT DNRC Fire Protection Bureau

Cory Calnan works for the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation- Fire Protection Bureau as the County Coop Fire Program Manager. In his role, Cory serves as the principal subject matter expert and point of contact in the Montana DNRC regarding all matters pertaining to local government and County Coop fire protection. He serves both as an internal resource to DNRC personnel and as a resource to 56 participating county governments, more than 430 fire departments, 56 county sheriffs, and other key DNRC partners in local, state, tribal, and federal government across the State of Montana

Born and raised in Montana; Cory’s wildland fire career started in 2003 as a seasonal firefighter at the DNRC-Helena Unit while studying Range Management at MSU-Bozeman. In 2008 he accepted the position of Senior Engine Boss for the DNRC- Dillon Unit and served for three years in that location. From 2011-2018, Cory served as the Fire Management Officer for the DNRC-Clearwater Unit in the Blackfoot River Valley of western Montana. Cory also serves as a primary Division/Group Supervisor on the Montana DNRC County Assist Team and occasionally fills in as an Operations Section Chief.

In addition to wildland fire, Cory has been a volunteer firefighter for over 16 years in various communities across the state, serving most recently as a Captain on the Seeley Lake Rural Fire Department. Being raised in/around a small rural fire department, Cory maintains deep connection and thorough understanding of Montana’s Fire Service, particularly county and rural volunteer organizations. With a family legacy of service as volunteer firefighters, he understands the importance of these organizations and the challenges they continue to face.

When not traveling across the great state of Montana, Cory lives with his wife Kailee on a small ranch south of Havre.

Convention Venue

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
1500 Fairmont Road
Fairmont, MT

Located off I-90, Exit 211 (Between Anaconda and Butte)

The room block at Fairmont Hot Springs is Sold Out!

We have a few alternate hotel accommodations available:

Copper King Butte
We have secured guest rooms at the government per diem rate of $96 per night.
To book, call the hotel direct at 406-565-5001 and tell the booking agent you are with the Montana State Fire Chiefs.

Camping at Fairmont
For more information or to make reservations call 406-797-3505
$47-$53 per night

Sponsorship/Vendor Opportunities

Vendor and Sponsorship Prospectus (PDF)


Sponsoring or displaying at the Convention will give you the opportunity to showcase your products or services to decision makers within the fire service, during and after the event. We are anticipating 100+ Fire Chief Officers, as well as Aspiring and Potential Chief Officers from all around the state of Montana.

There will be dedicated networking time during the convention to build the profile of your organization. All the sponsorship options give you opportunities for high visibility with delegates. We can also build tailored sponsorship packages to suit your organization’s needs.

Vendor Table: $600

  • One vendor table space including table & chair
  • Outdoor vendor space available
  • One full convention pass including catering and social functions
  • Logo and company description listing in Convention Program book

Additional Table: $600

Platinum Sponsor: $4000
Gold Sponsor: $3000
Silver Sponsor: $2000
Bronze Sponsor: $1000

Individual Items

  • Pens: $250
  • Lanyards:$350
  • Bag: $1100
  • Breakfast: $1700
  • Lunch: $2000
  • Banquet: $3600
  • Coffee Break: $1000

Important Dates:
Registration Closes for Vendors – Monday, September 30
Vendors set up – Thursday, October 10 from 12:00 – 2:00 pm
Vendor Social Reception – Thursday Evening, October 10
Vendor tear down – Friday, October 11 at 3:30 pm
Breakfast with a Vendor – Saturday morning (optional)

Convention Registration

Registration is now open for the 2019 Montana State Chiefs Convention. We are pleased to offer discounted rates to MSFCA Members and First Time Convention Attendees.  We are also encouraging department to send multiple officers to the convention by offering a discounted rate for additional representatives.

Registration Pricing
MSFCA Member – $175
Non-Member (includes 2020 membership) – $250
First Time Convention Attendee – $125
Additional Department Representatives (up to 4) – $125

Companion Pricing
Full Conference- $100
Banquet Only – $45

Downloadable Registration Form (pdf)

Discovery Bike Park CLICK HERE
Discovery Bike Trail drops riders approximately 1,050 vertical feet. You can choose to keep your rubber grounded or attack the built-in features including wall rides, bridges, jumps, logs and drops. The park is professionally maintained to smooth out jarring ruts and wash-boarding for a true pro-style experience. Open Saturdays & Sundays 11:00 am-5:00 pm.


Our Lady of the Rockies CLICK HERE
Our Lady of the Rockies is a 90-foot statue built in the likeness of Mary, the mother of Jesus, that sits atop the Continental Divide overlooking Butte, Montana. It is the fourth-tallest statue in the United States after Birth of the New World, The Statue of Liberty, and the Pegasus and Dragon

Copper King Mansion CLICK HERE
The Copper King Mansion, also known as the W. A. Clark Mansion, is a 34-room residence of Romanesque Revival Victorian architecture that was built from 1884 to 1888 as the Butte, Montana, residence of William Andrews Clark, one of Montana’s three famous Copper Kings.

The Berkeley Pit CLICK HERE
The Berkeley Pit, started in 1955, was a large truck-operated open-pit copper mine until mining ceased in 1982. By 1980 nearly 1.5 billion tons of material had been removed from the Pit, including more than 290 million tons of copper ore. The pit enabled Butte to claim the title The Richest Hill on Earth.

 Philipsburg CLICK HERE
Philipsburg began as a trading post and mining camp in 1866. A picturesque town located on the Pintler Veteran’s Memorial Scenic Highway. Pan for Sapphires or visit the Sapphire Gallery. Don’t forget The Sweet Palace. (Closed on Saturdays)