General Session

This year's General Session will take you on a journey through the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem, illustrating how it lays out the framework to reduce loss from today's challenges. The components of the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem are interdependent so, when they work together, the ecosystem better protects everyone. When tragedies occur, you most often can point to a failure in one or more of the components.

Keynotes and panelists will provide new insights and thinking on how to better protect people and property.

Opening Remarks

Keith WilliamsKeith Williams, President and CEO-UL
NFPA® Chair of the Board


Jim Pauley Jim Pauley, NFPA President and CEO
Your Role in the Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem

Tricia Wang Dr. Tricia Wang
Combining Data and Human Insights to Develop Effective Solutions

When it comes to understanding the challenges we face, big data has become invaluable. While quantitative data is one thing, there is an important piece that also needs to be considered. What about the context around the data, the human element?

Dr. Wang is a natural, expressive storyteller, living at the intersection of data, design, and digital, helping organizations use technology to serve people. A global tech ethnographer, Wang helps organizations manage multiple perspectives, prioritize human insights, and utilize data effectively.

She has partnered with P&G, GE, IDEO, NASA, Clorox, Kickstarter, and Spotify to help spur innovative solutions; and her talks have inspired more than a million viewers. Wang reminds us to probe the social ecosystems that impact decisions and outcomes, especially when they involve unengaged audiences.

NFPA Fire & Life Safety Ecosystem Insights and Activation Panel

Hear from members of the NFPA Board of Directors, whose work spans various aspects of fire and life safety. Get their take on what is broken in the ecosystem and what can be done to better protect people and property. Watch for opportunities to ask the panelists questions in advance.

Moderator: Jim Pauley

Let your voice be heard. Submit your questions to the panel by June 7 for possible inclusion in the panel discussion.

Panel participants:

Reginald Freeman Reginald D. Freeman, MS, CFO, FIFire
Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director City of Hartford

The 37th Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director for the City of Hartford. Prior to the City of Hartford, Chief Freeman served as the international Fire Chief for Lockheed Martin and served as a civilian Fire Chief in Iraq for the US Department of Defense from 2004-2008.

Chief Freeman previously served as the Chair of the Industrial Fire & Life Safety Section for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and a previous Board member of the Executive Fire Officer Section of the IAFC and Technical Committee member of NFPA 1021 (Fire Officer Professional Qualifications). Additionally, Chief Freeman serves as the Chairman for the Commission on Professional Credentialing via the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. and is also the Director of Training for the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs. Chief Freeman is a credentialed Chief Fire Officer (CFO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc. as well as a credentialed "Fellow" with the Institution of Fire Engineers, USA Branch. Lastly, Chief Freeman is a Member of the Board of Directors of NFPA

Russ Leavitt Russell Leavitt SET, CFPS

Executive Chairman of Telgian Corporation. Russ holds a Level IV certification from NICET in Fire Sprinkler Layout and is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist. He is a licensed contractor with 38 years of experience in the design, installation, and testing of fire protection systems. Russ is a Member of the Board of Directors and serves as Second Vice-Chair of NFPA. He is currently the Chair for the Technical Committee on Sprinkler System Discharge Criteria (NFPA 13) and a member of the Sprinkler System Installation Technical Committee (NFPA 13), the NFPA 25 Technical Committee, and other technical committees. Russ has authored a number of articles and training materials used throughout the industry.

Stacy Welch Stacy Welch

A registered professional engineer and the Vice President, Fire Protection and Life Safety at Marriott International, the world's largest lodging company. Stacy is a Member of the Board of Directors of NFPA and a Commissioner for the Maryland State Fire Prevention Commission.

Keith Williams Keith Williams

President and Chief Executive Officer and Trustee, Underwriters Laboratories. In addition to his work at UL, Keith is Chairman of the US ASEAN Business Council, Secretary Treasurer of the US China Business Council, and Chair of the Board of Directors of NFPA. He also serves on the Boards of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and World Business Chicago.