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2019 - Los Angeles, CA
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  PAST Fire Museum Seminars
  26th Annual Fire Museum Seminar
  Buffalo, NY • August 27-30, 2015
  at the Buffalo Fire Historical Society Museum 

    The 26th Annual Fire Museum Network (FMN) Seminar will be held late THIS MONTH in downtown Buffalo, New York. It should be a wonderful time and place to network again with the Buffalo Fire Historical Society Museum serving as local host museum this year.

   A sumptuous Welcome Reception & Networking Social is included for all paid registrants and will be held on the opening afternoon (Thursday) at the host hotel—Holiday Inn Downtown Buffalo, 620 Delaware Ave & North Ave. There will be a “bonus” speaker and presentation during part of this social/networking event.

   The Seminar sessions will begin the next morning with two museum-professional speakers on Friday followed by group and panel discussions on Saturday. A field trip to Buffalo’s famous Fireboat Cotter, the oldest still in operation in North America, will take place Friday afternoon. The FMN business meeting will be Saturday afternoon. Visits to THREE Buffalo-area fire museums are planned for Sunday.

   Lunches on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be included for paid registrants as well as transport to and from all venues. Attendees arriving or departing out of Buffalo’s airport (BUF) or train station simply need to contact our host hotel for a free ride in its shuttle van which operates daily on demand (not per any set schedule).

   Unfortunately, our “early-bird” hotel reservation rates and seminar registration ended July 31, but there is still plenty of availability for attending the seminar, and at last check, the host hotel still had rooms available. Even if that hotel fills, there are numerous other hotels nearby, as the host hotel is located just outside downtown Buffalo. Please note on the registration form below that Non-member registration fees include one complimentary FMN membership for a year. Additional attendees from the same organization also receive a discounted seminar registration rate.

   The seminar schedule follows this page, and the registration form follows that. Full seminar speaker and presentation information is below. One of the BEST features of this annual seminar is the NETWORKING opportunities with other fire museum professionals, trustees, and affiliated individuals. The personal contacts made at these seminars will last a career or a lifetime. We hope you can make it to Buffalo for this exciting seminar at the end of the month!

2015 Fire Museum Network Seminar

Buffalo, New York

Program Schedule – FINAL (probably)

Host hotel – Holiday Inn/Downtown, 620 Delaware Ave. & North Ave., Tel. 716-886-2121

Seminar site – Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS, 641 Delaware Ave., Tel. 716-884-0095 The site is directly across the street from our host hotel, and is where Teddy Roosevelt was sworn in as President after Wm. McKinley’s assassination.


Thursday, August 27

Arrivals & hotel check in during morning and afternoon

(2 PM    FMN Board meeting - Board only)

4 PM     Welcome Reception & Networking Social (INCLUDED with paid registration)

Held in hotel’s basement ballroom—with hot/cold appetizers/open bar

Registration packet pickup will be held simultaneously in this same room.

6 PM     Bonus Presentation (still part of this social)

“Fireboats: Then & Now”

Howard Chatterton

(this will be great background for Friday’s visit to Buffalo’s historic fireboat)

7 PM     Dinner (on your own - should you still be hungry)

            There is a restaurant & bar on ground floor of hotel, as well as several good restaurants within an easy walk.
            The  restaurant that originated “Buffalo” chicken wings is only 3 blocks from our hotel.

8:30       Networking (hotel lobby bar and/or patio)


Friday, August 28

Breakfast (on your own)

            Hotel’s restaurant has tasty and reasonable full breakfasts, and there is a coffee/pastry bar for smaller appetites
            off the lobby, too.

8:15      Tour: Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS

            This facility, directly across the street from our host hotel, is graciously opening for us early to have a private tour,
            so PLEASE be on time at 8:15.

Be safe walking--use the crosswalk at the corner of North Ave (traffic light).

A van will be available to drive those with limited mobility across the street, too.

9 AM     Welcome and Announcements (registration packets/materials available here)

9:15      “Professionalizing the Profession: Museum Studies at Buffalo State”

Cynthia A. Conides, Ph.D.

   Associate Professor of History & Social Studies Education

   Director, Museum Studies Program--SUNY, Buffalo

   Curator of Special Projects, Buffalo History Museum

            What professional skills enhancement programs are locally available for your museum? Help may be just across town or
            in a town nearby, and be offered on a schedule convenient for you or your staff. Dr. Conides heads one such program, and
            she will speak about the huge benefits they can offer to small museums.

10:30    Break

10:45   “Deaccessioning: The Basics”

Lenora Henson
Curator, Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural NHS

Museums generally handle taking in collection items well, but what about collections leaving the museum for good?
            Who decides? How does it happen? What are the legal ramifications if done improperly? Is there financial assistance
            for such projects? Curator Henson will discuss this critical, yet often-overlooked, aspect of museum management.

12 N      Load up on the bus for a ride to “Chef’s” Restaurant (Italian) for lunch

12:30    Lunch (INCLUDED) at “Chef’s” (291 Seneca St. & Chicago St.)

Should you desire to take your car, they have ample free parking.

2:15       Ride to Fireboat Edward M Cotter’s berth (155 Ohio St. & S Michigan St)

Boat can only handle 30 at once, so we may have to split into two groups

2:30       Group 1 tours Fireboat Cotter

Group 2 walks across street to “Swannie House” for some networking

3:45       Groups switch places

5 PM     Load up for ride back to hotel

6 PM     Dinner (on own)

8 PM     Networking (hotel lobby bar and/or patio)


Saturday, August 29

Breakfast (on own)

9AM     Seminar continues at the TR Inaugural NHS

(Remember--always use the crosswalk at the corner of North Ave.)

Announcements (registration packets/materials available until Noon)

9:15      “Case Studies: Tackling Big Problems“

            A group presentation exploring significant issues that actually occurred at several of our represented museums

n Facilitated by Tom McDonald, Houston Fire Museum


10:30    Break

10:45   “Social Media & Fire Museums“

            A panel discussion delving into the world of social media—its benefits and curses –yet why it’s here to stay and what
            you need to know not just to survive but to compete well

n Chaired by John Zangerle, Western Reserve Fire Museum, Cleveland


12 N      Lunch (INCLUDED) at TR Inaugural NHS – catered by Panaro’s

1:30      FMN Membership Meeting

n Conducted by Bill Hall, President, Fire Museum Network, Inc.


2:15       Break

2:30      ”Bragtime: What’s New At YOUR Museum”

            Highlight news from your facility – new exhibits, events, expansion, employees--everything you can think of about how
            your museum has progressed since you last saw us. Pass out brochures, business cards, requests for a job, etc.

n RIGID 3 minute limit per one speaker from each museum


NOTE - We will TRY to accommodate media needs, but need to know by Aug 12 of your media requests.

4PM      Walk back to hotel (always use the crosswalk at the corner of North Ave.)

6PM      Dinner (on own)

8PM      Networking (hotel lobby bar and/or patio)


Sunday, August 30

Breakfast (on own)

8 AM    Bus loads for Area Fire Museum Tour

Meet in the lobby – NOTE - We will be on the road until afternoon.

8:30      Buffalo Fire Historical Society Museum (1850 William St. & Ogden St.)

10 AM                 Firemen’s Memorial Exhibit Center (4141 Seneca St., West Seneca NY)

11:30    Lunch (INCLUDED) at Scharf’s German Restaurant (2683 Clinton St., West Seneca)

1:30      Lancaster Fire Museum (West Main Street (one block long), Lancaster NY)

3:15       Stop off at host hotel for those needing to depart early

3:30      Buffalo History Museum (Nottingham Terrace & Elmwood)

            We will briefly tour this historic facility housed in the only surviving structure from the famous 1901 Pan American
            Exposition, and just yards from where President Wm. McKinley was assassinated.

5 PM     Return to hotel

6PM      Dinner (on own)

8PM      Networking (hotel lobby bar and/or patio)


Monday, August 31

Breakfast (on own)

Goodbye’s for another year

            A group may be interested in heading to Niagara Falls this morning. Such a trip would be arranged only DURING the
            seminar and just for those interested—i.e. no group tour for all attendees. By the way, the American side is best if you
            want to be closest to the water, but the Canadian side is best for the overall panorama.

As such, remember, if you wish to go across any bridge into Canada, you MUST have a VALID PASSPORT.


            Need any other questions answered or other details, just email Tom McDonald at tmcfire@aol.com.



Scholarships to the 2015 Seminar are available: Click here for 2015 scholarship application



August 27-30

Buffalo, New York

First Registrant’s name   _________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Name of affiliated museum/org. (CIRCLE it if it’s an FMN member)   _____________________________________________________


Additional Registrant (from same museum/org.) ____________________________________________________________________________


Additional Registrant (from same museum/org.) ____________________________________________________________________________


Mailing address: ____________________________________________________________________________________


City______________________ State______ Zip_______________ Email ______________________________________


Telephone ____________________ Cell Phone (for contact during Seminar) _____________________


Registration prices:

“Later” prices apply to those received Aug. 1 or later

______ Later FMN-Member @ $229 each = $_________

______ Later Non-Member @ $269 = $_________

______ Later Additional Registrant @ $199 = $_________


SUBTRACT: $30 PER ROOM if staying at our host hotel $ -________





Include this completed form with your payment.

Mail to:

FMN Seminar, c/o R Vallero, 2912 S Otis St, Denver CO 80227-3530



620 Delaware Ave. & North St. - Tel. 716-886-2121