The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is pleased to announce that Scott Cox, co-owner and president of Cox Fire Protection, Tampa, Florida, was elected by his peers as recipient of AFSA's 2021 Young Professional of the Year award for educating, leading and encouraging the next generation of fire sprinkler industry leaders. The award highlights the efforts of a young and talented fire protection professional, who is under 40 and demonstrates exemplary technical, professional and inclusive leadership skills not only in their own businesses, but also at a national level.

Growing up in the fire protection field has given Cox insight and a unique perspective on the need to attract new workers into the fire sprinkler industry. He promotes the industry to young professionals as an attractive and attainable option. He works to innovate and grow his company in ways that both challenge his employees and offer opportunities for new hires to gain invaluable experience and train up as the next generation of fire sprinkler contractors.

For example, over the past two years, Cox and his development team have built a fully functioning lab on Cox Fire's property in Tampa to offer new hires hands-on opportunities with various types of fire protection systems before they deal with those systems in the field. The lab is also used as an awareness and training resource to property owners, property managers, architects, engineers and local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).

In 2014, Cox launched a NextGen program with his local Associated Builder and Contractors (ABC) Chapter, designed to be a leadership and mentor track for young professionals in the fire sprinkler industry. The program was a success and is still going strong. Cox also prioritized jumpstarting AFSA's NextGen within the AFSA Florida Chapter and serves on the AFSA National NextGen Workgroup, where he helps shape national programming, including the annual NextGen Day at AFSA's annual convention and quarterly webinar training.

Cox will be presented with the award during the general session at AFSA40: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition, to be held Sept. 18-21 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa near San Antonio, Texas. To learn more about and register for AFSA40, visit