I was honored to attend the Florida Association of Private Investigators’ (FAPI) 2008 Annual Conference September 18-20, 2008, in Orlando, Florida, during which FAPI established a new trend for investigative organizations by electing Co-Presidents.
The event was a major success in that FAPI attracted investigators and attorneys from all over the country and as far away as Canada with a line-up of guest speakers the likes I had not seen before at any of the several dozen conferences and “Super Conferences” I had been to prior; the star power was truly amazing.
Guest speakers included globally renowned Forensic Pathologist, Cyril Wecht M.D., J.D., nationally recognized Forensic Scientist, Fredrick Whitehurst, Ph.D., J.D., hard-hitting Criminal Defense Investigator and media darling, Paul J. Ciolino C.F.E., B.C.F.E., C.I.I. from Illinois, expert Fraud Investigator and Author, Kelly Riddle, T.C.I., T.P.L.I. from Texas, who has been recognized at NAIS’ “Top 25 PIs of the 20th Century” and “PI of the Year,” Cellular Forensic Expert, Tom Slovinski from South Carolina, and concluded with a compelling round table forum that included guest speakers and Florida Circuit Court Judge, Hon. Marc Lubet, Florida Family Law attorney Mark Rabinowitz, J.D., FAPI Co-President Chuck Chambers and Editor-in-Chief of Pursuit Magazine, L. Scott Harrell of CompassPoint Investigations.
Several awards and certificates were presented to FAPI members for distinguished service to FAPI and the investigations industry. The 2008 “Harvey Morse Founder Award” was presented to Mr. Paul Finer. The 2008 “Commissioner’s Award” was presented to Mr. Dave Hariton. The “FAPI Life Time Achievement Award” was presented to Mr. Roger Gibson. Outgoing association president, Ms. Sandra Lanier, was presented with the “President’s Award.” Mr. Howard Kan and Greg Choate were presented with certificates of appreciation and Mr. Bill Branscum was presented with the 2008 “James Reddick Memorial Award” from guests in attendance from the Florida Association of Licensed Investigators (FALI).
Attendees were eligible to obtain 19 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) from the Florida Bar, 21 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) for the Florida Certified Investigator (FCI) program, 12 CEU’s for attending members with NALI’s Certified Legal Investigators (CLI) certification, and up to 16 hours of state required continuing education for private investigators in South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Texas.
The vendors were excellent and contributed greatly to the success of the conference through their generosity to the association. Several vendor representatives told me personally that this was the most productive conference that they have attended and that they have already committed to returning in 2009.
Perhaps the highlight of the conference for me personally was the guest speakers from the Special Olympics of Florida who gave uplifting speeches and words of thanks to the members of the Florida Association of Private Investigators for their fund raising efforts throughout the year.
This article was based in large part upon a post provided this author by Mark Feegel.