Board of Directors

David W. Ward
+1 817-657-6584
112 N. Avenue "A"
Springtown, TX 76082

David Ward

After an 18-year career in insurance loss control, David is now the Safety Director at Texas-based CTI Energy Services. 

David holds a degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology from Oklahoma State University, as well as Associates Degrees in both Fire Protection and Fire Investigation Technology. He has been a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) since 2001. He was elected to the CFPS Board of Directors in 2009. 

David has more than 25 combined years of experience in the paid and volunteer fire services, and held positions including engineer, company officer, assistant shift commander, and training officer. David also previously worked as a Senior Technical Editor of International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA) training manuals. 

His loss control experience includes sprinkler protection, commercial cooking operations, hotels, electrical systems, oil & gas exploration and production, compressed industrial gases, and many other areas. In addition to traditional fire service experiences, he has researched, been trained in, and written manuscripts on shipboard firefighting. Some of his primary topics of expertise are sprinkler protection & water supplies, life safety, portable fire extinguishers, hot work permitting, and electrical exposures and hazards.

Vice Chairman
Ralph E. Bless, Jr., CFPS 
+1 480-292-8061
Executive Vice President
Telgian Corporation
Atlanta, GA, USA 

Ralph BlessRalph is the Executive Vice President of Account Management for Telgian Corporation. Responsibilities included establishing and maintaining fire protection standards; coordination of fire protection staffing requirements with production managers and human resources. He has provided services to government, hospitality, warehouse/distribution center, retail, convenience, multi unit development, multifamily housing, industrial, restaurant, and medical accounts. Industry experience includes providing services to printing plants; plastic, rubber, and fiberglass manufacturers, chemical plants, paint plants, electric generating stations, public entities, refineries, tank farms, fuel terminals, and chemical distribution centers. Mr. Bless also has been involved in large scale fire tests.

Services provided for construction projects include working with all parties during the conceptual fire protection design, detailed design and shop drawing preparation as well as the review and approval of working fire protection drawings, and acceptance testing.

Prior to joining Telgian, Ralph served as the Fire Protection Discipline Director of a large AE firm, and as Chief Engineer of a specialty fire projection consulting and engineering firm. Ralph has 33 years of fire protection engineering and design experience and currently serves as a principle on two NFPA technical committees (Record Storage, NFPA 232, and Water Spray Systems, NFPA 15) and as an alternate on a third committee (Technical Correlating Committee, NFPA 13). He is registered in 6 states, has held the CFPS designation since 2008 and is NICET certified in four disciplines, including level IV for Automatic Sprinkler System Layout.

Anthony R. Cole, P.E., CFPS, CFEI
+1 859 368-0701
Assistant Professor
Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology Program
School of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management
College of Justice and Safety
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY

Tony Cole

Anthony Cole is currently an Associate Professor at Eastern Kentucky University in the Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Program. He is also a Principle Engineer at ARC Fire Engineering located in Nicholasville, KY. Prior to this, Anthony was a Senior Fire Protection Engineer for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi ARAMCO) for the past 10 years. Other experiences include working as a Senior Fire Protection Engineer/Fire Chief for the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC/HADEED), Fire Protection Consultant at Rolf Jensen and Associates (RJA), and a Loss Control Engineer at FM Global. Anthony was also a paid and volunteer fire fighter and officer at departments in Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, and Mississippi. 

Anthony has a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering Technology from Eastern Kentucky University and a Masters of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Colorado, Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS), Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator /Instructor (CFEI/CFII), Certified NFPA 1001 (I/II) Fire Fighter, and a Certified NFPA 1041 Fire Instructor. Anthony has co-authored a book on industrial fire fighting, published numerous articles, and has served on both NFPA and SFPE committees. Anthony currently serves on the EKU International Alumni Board and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program at EKU.

Bruce H. Clarke CFPS, LEED AP
+1 704-947-5000
Risk Engineering Training Coordinator
Global Property
Charlotte, NC, USA

Bruce Clarke

Bruce is currently the Global Property Engineering Training Coordinator for AIG. Before this, he was the Eastern Region Field Operations Manager for XL Global Asset Protection Services (XL GAPS) with additional responsibilities in account management, specialized field loss prevention surveys, construction plan reviews, customer technical consulting, and teaching loss prevention related training classes.

Bruce has an AS from Cuesta College and BS (with business minor) from California State University, Chico. He has been a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) since 1994 and CFPS board member since 2004 (currently in his third term as Board Chair). He is Six Sigma Green Belt certified, a certified meeting facilitator, and, past green building construction LEED AP. 

Bruce has over 20 years of direct experience in fire protection systems code consulting, design review, inspection and testing, contractor management, and systems commissioning working throughout the United States (as well as in Canada, Mexico and APAC countries). Specialized technical experience has included new systems commissioning, large and ultra high-bay warehousing, ESFR sprinkler systems, and, fire pump installations/testing. And specialized property loss prevention occupancy experience has included work with warehousing, hotels and casinos, aerospace, mining, power generation, pulp and paper, and semiconductor industries. Bruce’s technical experience has been developed through consulting customers with numerous occupancies and direct work on over $30B in new hotel/casino, warehousing, and semiconductor green field and expansion construction projects in the last 20 years of his career. 

Management experience has been developed through various employer roles, chairing and leading several technical committees for various groups (including SFPE and NFPA), and holding a volunteer operations manager position at the Paz De Cristo Soup Kitchen in Mesa, AZ for 7 years. He has is a past Chapter President of both the Carolinas and Arizona Chapters of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. 

Up until his recent employer change, he was a member on NFPA 3 (Commissioning of Fire Protection & Life Safety Systems), NFPA 4 (Integrated Testing of Fire Protection & Life Safety Systems), NFPA 25 (Testing and Maintenance of Water-based Fire Protection Systems), NFPA 318 (Semiconductor Manufacturing Facilities), NFPA 750 (Water Mist Systems), and the NFPA CFPS Board of Directors.

He also served on the recently completed NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation Fire Pump Data Collection & Analysis Task Group and chaired the NFPA Technical Committee On Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) in Fire Systems for the NFPA Standard 13 and Standard 25 committees. Bruce has been a contributing author in the NFPA Standard 13 Handbook, NFPA Standard 25 Handbook, and NFPA Fire Protection Handbook for several years and has been a repeated speaker/teacher at several NFPA and SFPE events including the NFPA World Safety Conference and Exposition.

In his free time Bruce is active in coaching youth soccer. Bruce has lived in California, Arizona and currently Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife of over 23 years and two teenage daughters.

Robert S. Fleming
+1 610 696-8269
1406 Heather Lane
West Chester, PA 19380

Robert Fleming

Dr. Robert S. Fleming, Professor of Management in the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University, has an extensive fire service background spanning more than 40 years, during which he has served in numerous operational and administrative positions, including that of fire chief. He has served as a chief officer in three fire departments, currently holding the rank of Deputy Fire Chief, Administration in the Goshen Fire Company of West Chester, Pennsylvania.  

Over the years, Bob has served the CFPS Program and its certificate holders in numerous roles. As Vice Chairman of the CFPS Board and Chairman of the Transition Committee, he "quarterbacked" the development of the CFPS/NFPA affiliation. In was under his leadership as Board Chairman that the CFPS Program received ANSI accreditation. These initiatives benefited from the fact that the focus of his professional activities has been on assisting organizations in achieving "organizational effectiveness."

In addition to a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration, Dr. Fleming has five earned master’s degrees, including a Master of Government Administration from the Fels Center of Government of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and has completed the Senior Executives in National and International Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. 

His professional activities have included serving on the National Fire Academy (NFA) Board of Visitors for 13 years, including six years as Vice Chairman and six years as Chairman, as President of the Keystone Chapter Fire Service Instructors, and as Board Chairman of the New Jersey Society of Fire Service Instructors. He is a veteran member of the NFPA 1021 Technical Committee on Fire Officer Professional Qualifications. His current professional activities include serving as Chairman of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Fire Service Certification Advisory Committee and the Chester County Local Emergency Planning Committee. 

His most recent books are Effective Fire and Emergency Service Administration (2010) and Survival Skills for the Fire Chief (2011), both published by Fire Engineering/PennWell Publishing.

Daniel B.C. Gardiner
+1 203 259-2201
83 Mill Hill Lane
Southport, CT 06890

Daniel Gardiner

Daniel B.C. Gardiner currently trains fire departments nationwide for Task Force 1, Inc. (TF1), one of the nation’s premier fire service training organizations.  After retiring as the Chief of the 91-career and 40-volunteer member Fairfield (CT) Fire-Rescue, Chief Gardiner spent the next 11-years as a risk analyst for an insurance subsidiary of the General Electric Company, inspecting small businesses, manufacturing facilities and construction sites. 

A CFPS certificate holder since 1991, he became a CFPS Board member in 1995.  He is a Nationally Certified Fire Officer I and Fire Instructor II. He is a member of the two National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committees: Standard for Providing Fire and Emergency Services to the Public (NFPA 1201), and Recommended Practice in Fire and Emergency Services Organization Risk Management (NFPA 1250). For over 20- years he served on the NFPA committee on Professional Qualifications for Fire Officers (NFPA 1021). 

He is a past president of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors, as well as the Fire Department Safety Officers Association. 

Chief Gardiner teaches and lectures throughout North America, and continues to conduct municipal and fire protection financial or operational surveys in a variety of states nationwide.  He has provided testimony before numerous fire commissions, boards of inquiry and study panels, in addition to serving on a number of review boards as well. 

An author of a number of fire service texts and articles, Chief Gardiner edited the book Managing Fire Department Operations, and co-authored the bestselling text, Fire Protection in the 21st Century.

Dave Hague, PE, CFPS
+1 781 891-0230 x20212
Manager, Technical Engineering
Liberty Mutual
20 Riverside Road
Weston, MA 02493


David R. Hague, PE, CFPS is Manager of the Engineering Technical Unit at Liberty Mutual in Weston, MA. He is responsible for the LM Engineering Manual, Fire Lab, training programs and, coordination of LM’s involvement in NFPA Technical Committees. Dave is a member of the NFPA Technical Committees for NFPA 3, 14, 15, 20, 30 & 232. Dave also serves as Chair of the Property Insurance Research Group of the NFPARF. Previously, Dave served as a principal engineer at the NFPA where he was responsible for NFPA standards on suppression systems, several handbooks and developed seminars on fire protection systems.

Frank L. Keisler, Jr., CFPS
+1 404-357-8189
AVP, Risk Control
425 Arborshade Trace
Duluth, GA

Frank Keisler

Frank is a dedicated fire protection professional with experience in a diverse group of industries and professional groups such as: flammable and combustible liquid processers, distilleries, metal and plastic fabricators, power plants, hospitals and fire departments. His experience included plan reviews, design specifications, emergency management, business continuity planning, creating fire protection equivalences to meet customer needs, evaluation of fire protection systems and life safety consulting.  Frank serves on NFPA 99 (Correlating Committee), NFPA 550 and 551 on Fire Risk Assessment and previously served on NFPA 101. 

Currently, Frank manages a group of over a 100 risk control professionals. He holds the following designations: Certified Fire Protection Specialist, Certified Safety Professional, UL Recognized Risk Engineer, Associate in Risk Management, Associate in Loss Control Management, Construction Risk Insurance Specialist and Six Sigma Black Belt. 

In the past 10 years Frank has become very involved in risk assessment techniques and predictive analytics.  The ability to quantify risk to provide sound risk management decision is critical to our profession in the future.  These principles can be applied to fire protection and business continuity planning and he believes we will see more use of predictive analytics and data analysis in the future.

Fire protection is very important profession and we all strive to improve our abilities to protect life and property.  Frank is very proud to be able to work in the fire protection profession and serve as on the Board of Directors of the CFPS. 

In addition, Frank is a class five whitewater kayaker, rock climber, ice climber, mountaineer and mountain biker.  Engaging in these sports has created real world knowledge of risk of how to manage risk.  Currently, he is pursuing climbing all the 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado in the winter solo.

Nancy G. Makey, CFPS
+1 208 533-8051
Fire Marshal
Idaho National Laboratories
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC
Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

Nancy Makey

Currently, Fire Marshal for a nuclear research complex of approximately 100 buildings and facilities. As such, performs fire hazards analyses for unique, challenging and varied processes and facilities. Provides code compliant, creative solutions to protect personnel and facilities while reducing the risk.

Nancy holds a Masters in Occupational Health and Safety and a Bachelors in Mechanical Design from the University of Idaho. She joined the Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) Board in 2009 and is currently serving as Secretary/Treasurer for the Board. She is also a Certified Manager and a Distinguished Toastmaster. 

Nancy has over 28 years of diverse experience in the nuclear industry and in fire protection. Her experience includes fire protection implementation and compliance in a wide variety of occupancies including laboratories and industrial facilities. Areas of application of fire protection include pyrophoric and combustible metals, life safety, gloveboxes, tank and warehouse storage, water supply and suppression systems, fire alarm systems and remote access areas. Additionally, she has experience in human factors engineering, root cause analysis and project engineering. She is currently a member of NFPA, SFPE, and Toastmasters International.

Bret Martin PE, CSP, CFPS
+1 704 780-5817
4716 Nesbit Road
Monroe, NC 28112

Bret martin

Bret M. Martin is currently the Manager of Fire, Life Safety & Utilities of Corporate Operations for Carolinas Healthcare System (CHS). CHS is one of the leading healthcare organizations in the Southeast and one of the largest public, not-for-profit systems in the nation. CHS operates more than 33 affiliated hospitals with more than 6,200 licensed beds, and serves patients at more than 600 other care locations including physician practices, freestanding emergency departments, outpatient surgery centers, pharmacies, laboratories, imaging centers and other facilities. CHS also operates a large number of nursing homes and other enterprises that provide home care, medical equipment and hospice services. Bret uses his expertise in Fire Protection and Life Safety to assist, advise, and support project management and owner representatives in the development, implementation, and monitoring of safety processes during construction, renovation, demolition, and improvement of Carolinas HealthCare System facilities. 

Prior to working with CHS, Bret worked 25 years as a Sr. Property & Casualty Risk Consultant in the insurance industry. He is a graduate of Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Bret is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of North Carolina and holds Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS), and Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM) designations. Bret is a past President and active member of the Carolinas Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, as well as holding memberships with National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA), National Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), and American Society of Safety Engineers. Bret currently serves as a member of the CFPS Board of Directors, past Chairman of the Building Codes Committee for the Institute for Business and Home Safety, and Chairman of the Public Safety Advisory Committee for Central Piedmont Community College.

Kevin Sluss, CSP, OHST, CET, CFPS
+1 334 255-0233
Instructor, Civilian Safety Training Division
U.S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center
Fort Rucker, AL

Kevin Sluss

Kevin Sluss is an instructor in the Civilian Safety Training Division of the U. S. Army Combat Readiness/Safety Center in Fort Rucker, Alabama. He instructs undergraduate and graduate courses in multiple safety and occupational health topics, including accident investigation and analysis; applied fire safety/prevention analysis; aviation safety management; psychology of accident prevention; research methods; risk management and analysis; and occupational health and safety management systems.   

He holds several career certifications, including Certified Safety Professional®; Occupational Health and Safety Technologist®; Certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer®, and Certified Fire Protection Specialist, earned in 2011, and serving on the board of directors for that certification.  He is an OSHA-authorized outreach instructor for general industry, and an American Red Cross instructor trainer in Lay Responder CPR/AED/First Aid.  Kevin is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National Environmental Safety and Health Training Association (NESHTA). 

Previously, he worked for InDyne, Inc. as Safety Administrator for the Eglin Test and Training Complex; and served 23 years in the United States Air Force.  His last military assignment was as a Chief of Safety at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; his primary specialty was as a C-130 Instructor Navigator, with over 4,300 flight hours in worldwide duty.  He has 10 years experience in the safety and occupational health field. 

Kevin is a doctoral student in educational leadership with Trident University International. He holds these degrees:  Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Master of Arts in Computer Resources/Information Management from Webster University; Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas; and Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Kentucky.

John R. Waters
+1 610 205-8513
175 West Valley Forge Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406

John R. Waters

John R. Waters is the Chief Fire Marshal and Director of Safety & Codes Enforcement for Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania. Previously, he was fire protection specialist for the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and a career firefighter for the Lower Merion Fire Department, where he served as driver/operator. He is an instructor emeritus at the Pennsylvania Fire Academy and formerly served as adjunct instructor at the Delaware County Community College. He is a contact instructor at the National Fire Academy. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland, College Park a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Grand Canyon University and is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. John is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. He is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist and a member of ICC, the IAFC, and the NFPA.

NFPA Staff Liaison - Executive Secretary
Leon Katcharian
+ 1 617 984-7086
Director of Certification

Leon Katcharian

Leon Katcharian is the Director of Certification at the NFPA. He has over 25 years of experience in the field of organizational learning and certification and has worked much of his career at large organizations such as Motorola (Motorola University) and Cisco Systems (Learning & Development). His experience includes learning and certification program design, development, and implementation as well as team and vendor management. Leon holds an MS in Management and a BS in Business Administration from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA.

NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700