Public Awareness


Fiber Optic Association Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Fiber Optic Association (FOA) was founded in 1995 by more than a dozen prominent fiber optics trainers and leaders from education, industry and government as a professional society for fiber optics and a source for independent certification. There is no FOA headquarters building or any “brick and mortar” presence; FOA exists on the internet and in the work of its people.

The Association was created by the instructors and participants at the 1995 Fiber U training conference in Boston. Fiber U was a week-long training event run by a company called FOTEC, Inc. FOTEC was launched in 1980 by Jim Hayes, with a purpose of manufacturing test equipment for fiber optics. By 1982, the company began hosting short fiber optics training courses across the U.S. Hayes is the founder, and current president, of FOA.

In 1992, it was suggested by Dan Silver, the fiber optics trainer for 3M Corp., that the courses be expanded to a full week conference. So, the first Fiber U was held in 1993 with over 200 attendees and 40 vendors. During the 1995 Fiber U, discussions focused on the need for a vendor-independent certification for fiber optic technicians, and in July of 1995, the Fiber Optic Association (FOA) was incorporated in Massachusetts.

USA North 811 Partners with the Oakland A’s

USA North 811 has partnered with the Oakland A’s major league baseball team to create a special promotion during this unusual baseball season where games are played without fans in attendance. The A’s are offering cardboard cutouts to fans who would like to see their images at home games, with the money being raised going to the Oakland A’s Community Fund.

Fans can purchase a regular cardboard cutout for $89 or a special “Foul Ball Zone” cutout for $129. The partnership with USA North 811 creates a “Call 811 Foul Ball Zone” in sections 125-129. For every foul ball that lands anywhere in those cutout filled sections, USA North 811 will donate $81.10 (up to a maximum of $10,000 for the season) to the Oakland A’s Community Fund.

Benefits of Virtual Events

During these unprecedented times, more and more companies have turned to the virtual event as a solution to the moratorium in place against public gatherings. While nothing really takes the place of a live event, where you can connect face-to-face with experts and colleagues alike, virtual events are the next best thing, offering education, access to the vendors you need to connect with and, yes, even networking (albeit delivered in a different manner).

Event Guarantee: As highlighted recently, live events are vulnerable to the whims of nature. Baring a worldwide blackout, when it comes to a virtual event, the show will go on!

Cost Effective: With no physical location, associated costs like air and hotel aren’t factors – saving you money.

Flexible Scheduling: Virtual events offer the opportunity to view sessions at your convenience, according to your schedule.

Broader Reach: With the cost-effective nature of a virtual event, along with the flexibility of attending on your schedule, people who normally can’t get approval to attend an event really only need a computer and an internet connection to fully participate.

Long-term Access: Most virtual events allow you access to recorded content 30 days, 60 days, or more post-event.

Time Savings: With no need to rush from session room to session room, it’s easy to stay on track and take advantage of more opportunities.

Quick Answers to Your Questions: Live Q&A helps you easily interact with the speaker to get the answers to your questions.

Virtual Networking: A great way engage in professional dialogue with industry professionals and colleagues to discuss topics important to your industry.

Safety 2020: Virtual

Held June 23-25, the Safety 2020: Virtual event drew nearly 2,400 professionals who attended educational sessions and engaged with speakers, peers, and exhibitors to learn the latest in workplace safety.

“The success of our virtual event demonstrates that workplace safety and health professionals want to stay current on best practices and industry trends, especially during a pandemic when our leadership is vital in helping solve new business challenges,” said ASSP President Diana Stegall, CSP, CFPS, ARM, SMS, CPCU. “ASSP adapts to the changing world of work to support the safety and health profession no matter the global circumstances.”

Safety 2020: Virtual featured 60 educational sessions led by industry trendsetters who provided practical information that safety professionals can use today and beyond to protect workers and enhance business operations. A live Q&A with the speakers enhanced each session by allowing attendees to exchange ideas in real time.

Nearly 100 exhibitors hosted virtual booths to introduce their latest products and demonstrate safety and health equipment innovations in an interactive environment. The virtual expo hall was one of many components of ASSP’s in-person event that was mirrored in the online platform to create a unique conference experience.

“We know people have been disappointed about so many events being cancelled across the country,” Stegall said. “Our virtual conference provided a positive experience in a new format for many people, and we know the educational content will help our attendees protect workers and advance the safety and health profession.”

Safety 2021 is set for June 6-9 at the Colorado Convention Center. It will mark the 60th year of the global event, which began in Chicago in 1962.

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