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 Bless

Ralph is the Executive Vice President of Account Management for Telgian Corporation. Responsibilities include 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 has 27 years of experience in the fire protection engineering, fire fighting and is currently the Technical Director for Aman Fire Engineering Consultants in Muscat, Oman.  Previous he was an Associate Professor at Eastern Kentucky University in the Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Program where he still teaches as an Adjunct Professor. 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, 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.

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 Risk Engineering Training Manager for AIG conducting loss prevention and NFPA standards training globally. 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 GE certified meeting facilitator, and, past green building construction LEED AP. He is a past Chapter President of both the Carolinas and Arizona Chapters of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).

Bruce has over 25 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.

Bruce is also 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), and NFPA 750 (Water Mist Systems). He also served on several past technical task groups including the NFPA NFPRF Fire Pump Data Collection & Analysis Task Group and NFPA Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) task group. He has also been a contributing author in the NFPA Standard 13 & 25 Handbooks as well as the Fire Protection Handbook.

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 served as a member of three National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committees: Standard for Providing Fire and Emergency Services to the Public (NFPA 1201), Recommended Practice in Fire and Emergency Services Organization Risk Management (NFPA 1250), and Standard 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

Dave Hague

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.

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.

Robert L. Moore, CSP, CFPS
+1 979-862-4469
Director, Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)
Emergency Services Training Institute
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

Robert MooreMr. Robert Moore is the Director of the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), Emergency Services Training Institute a member of The Texas A&M University System.  Mr. Moore is a graduate of Blinn College in Bryan, Texas where he received an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science. Robert has over 40 years of experience in industrial safety & emergency response, municipal fire and emergency medical services and acquired the CFPS designation in 2004. Mr. Moore was appointed to a Texas Fire Commission as Commissioner in 2013 by Gov. Rick Perry and also participates in several state fire and emergency response professional associations.

After 20 years of service with Arco Chemical Company where he achieved the rank of Fire Chief, Mr. Moore joined TEEX in 1996 as an industrial fire Instructor for the Emergency Services Training Institute. After being promoted to several leadership positions within the division, in 2007, prior to becoming Director, Mr. Moore served as the Associate Division Director where he had oversight of all state and local operations along with international programs to include Industrial Firefighting, Rescue and HazMat operations.

Mr. Moore received the TEEX Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and the Texas A&M Regents Fellow Award in 2014.

Mr. Moore administers a staff of over 210 full-time and adjunct personnel located in Texas and internationally responsible for delivery of a full range of fire training services in place since 1929.   

Mr. Moore is originally from the Houston metro area and resides in College Station, Texas.

Kevin Sluss, CSP, OHST, CET, CFPS
+1 334 255-0233
Flight Safety Division
Headquarters Air Mobility Command
Scott Air Force Base, IL

Kevin Sluss

Mr. Kevin Sluss, CSP, OHST, CET, CFPS works at Flight Safety Division, Headquarters Air Mobility Command, Scott Air Force Base, IL.  He develops, implements and manages AMC mishap prevention programs for flight safety.  Responsibilities include establishment and implementation of mishap prevention programs to preserve combat capability of AMC’s $40 billion global airlift and air refueling force.  He closely works with Air Staff, other MAJCOMs, and civil aviation on proactive flight safety issues, and provides daily guidance to subordinate safety offices. He also serves as the AMC Risk Management Process Manager.


Mr. Sluss assists the Board of Certified Safety Professionals in various tasks associated with its examination and certification processes. In 2014, he was elected to a 3-year term to the Board of Directors for Certified Fire Protection Specialists of the National Fire Protection Association.

Prior to assuming his present position, Kevin was Instructor, CP-12 Joint Safety and Occupational Health Program, Civilian Safety Training Division, U. S. Army Combat Readiness Center, Fort Rucker AL. He instructed 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.

Janet Washburn, CFPS, FM. MS
+1 954-967-4404
Fire Prevention Officer III
City of Hollywood
Hollywood, FL

Janet WashburnJanet Washburn is a Fire Prevention Officer III for the City of Hollywood since 2003 following 5-years of service with the City as a Firefighter/Paramedic. She began her fire service career as a volunteer firefighter in 1993 with the Key Biscayne Fire Department.

FPO III Washburn serves on the technical committees NFPA 25, Standard for Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance for Water Based Systems, and NFPA 101 Assembly Committee, Florida Fire Code Interpretations Committee, Florida Fire Marshal and Inspector Association Legislative Committee, is Past President of the Fire Inspection Association of Broward County, is a peer reviewer for the Fire Marshal designation for the Center for Public Safety Excellence. She’s also a member of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association Vigiles Societas, Emperor Level.

Ms. Washburn holds a Master of Science Degree in Leadership, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Leadership and Associates of Science Degrees in Fire Science and Fashion Merchandising. She has attended numerous classes at National Fire Academy and holds certifications as Certified Fire Protection Specialist, Fire Marshal from the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Fire Safety Inspector, Fire Instructor III, Fire Investigator, Firefighter and Paramedic. Prior to her career in the fire service, she was a print and TV model for many years in S. Florida.

In her spare time she rescues newborn sea turtles on the beaches of Broward County, enjoys flats fishing, horseback riding, and bike riding.

Matthew Witt, CFPS
+1 720-557-1736
Sr. Loss Control Consultant
Liberty Mutual
Denver, CO

Matthew WittA graduate of the Oklahoma State University, School of Fire Protection and Safety, Matt has over 10 years of professional experience in the field of Fire Protection Engineering. Matt began his fire protection career with Jensen Hughes (formerly the RJA Group) in 2004.  At RJA Matt’s project experience focused on healthcare and Life Safety Code consulting, testing and commissioning and Sprinkler design.  In 2013, Matt joined Liberty Mutual Insurance Property Risk Engineering.  As a Risk Engineer, Matt completes engineering surveys for a variety of large commercial and industrial properties to identify exposures and reduce risk for both Liberty Mutual National Insurance underwriters and their customers. Matt was certified as a CFPS in October 2014 and was elected to the CFPS Board of Directors in June 2015.

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.