Speaker bios for 2015 will be posted soon!

Don CollinsDon Collins

Fire Station Consultant; Professor Emeritus, Clemson University; Captain, Clemson University FD
112 Allee Street Clemson, SC 29631-1903
864-654-1841 (voice mail)
firestationdesign@gmail.com | collind@clemson.edu

Don is a fire station design consultant to architects and fire departments in the US and Canada. Don is a Professor Emeritus at Clemson University where he taught design studios in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture (site planning and design), and graphic design as well as technical studios. Fire station design projects often served as the “teaching vehicle” in his design studios. Fire stations were the focus of his research interest in design. During his 36-year teaching career Don served 3 semesters as Acting Chair of the Department of Architecture followed by 9 years as the Chair of the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture.

Parallel his college teaching Don worked with the Clemson University Fire Department serving as an operations Captain. In addition to his fire suppression role, he had ongoing responsibilities for apparatus specifications and procurement. Clemson University’s fire department, also an ALS medical transport provider, is the largest university operated fire department in North America. The department’s fleet includes 3 engines, 2 aerials and 3 medic units. The department has a response area of about 16 square miles and serves a town-campus daytime population of about 35,000 that exceeds 125,000 on football weekends.

Throughout his concurrent and overlapping academic and fire service careers, Don linked his positions to study issues in fire station site selection, site design and station design. His academic research focused on the fire station as a unique building typology. In support of his research in fire station design, Don has visited, studied and photo documented both career and volunteer fire stations throughout North America. In doing so he has been welcomed with “duty tours” in many of them. These tours have allowed him to hear and experience first-hand “post-occupancy” evaluations by end-users at all ranks. These duty tours have sharpened his insights into fire station design concepts issues as well as design features ranging from those that work to those that are varying degrees of failure. His photo collection of fire stations and fire station details is extensive.

Don also chairs the Fire Industry Equipment Research Organization’s Annual Fire Station Design Awards Program, a task that has afforded him yet another venue for the study of fire stations.

Don has always maintained his own active professional design practice parallel to his fire service and academic responsibilities. Since retirement from active teaching, this practice has focused on fire station consulting work for fire departments and architects engaged in a fire station design project.

Don is a graduate of N.C. State University and Harvard University.

Cindy EllCindy Ell

Executieve Director Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 2830
Wilmington, DE 19805
866-411-FFCF (3323)
Fax: (302) 571-9159
email: cell@ffcancer.org

Cindy Ell offers leadership for the FFCF from her home base in Wilmington, Delaware. She is a retired fire fighter / paramedic with a background in critical care and emergency communications. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Her career experiences are quite diverse and include labor representation, legislative lobbying, public relations, marketing, security, investigative, paralegal, airline, and hotel work. She has spent over twenty years researching fire fighter cancer trends and occupational diseases with recent concentration devoted to exploring a cancer cluster among fire fighters she served with in Maryland. Cindy's mother is a colon cancer survivor of seven years. Cancer struck close to home in 2005 when Cindy was diagnosed with melanoma and experienced the cancer process through a series of surgeries. The melanoma reminded her of the importance of a strong support system and the value of an organization to provide resource guidance. Helping people is something that Cindy has always enjoyed. Her efforts have supported the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation of Maryland, Baltimore Regional Burn Association, and 9/11 Responders and families with fund raising and outreach projects.

  • Most recent projects include the launch of 2 new divisions: FFCF Paws & FFCF Kids
  • Development of "Paws of Light": energy reduction for businesses/rescue animal placement program
  • Growth within our “America Never Forget” division to include the “9/11 Legacy Scholarship”
  • Latest research: Collaboration with University of Cincinnati (Firefighter gear/carcinogen linkage)
  • Breath Testing - early cancer detection utilizing cancer sniffing dogs
  • Legislative research/assistance for fire fighter cancer presumption bills in Maryland and Michigan
  • Ongoing:
    "Save Our Survivors" program for 9/11 Responders (receive free air purifiers)
    "Strive to Survive" entertainment tour
    “Cell Phones Fighting Cancer” (recycling electronics to fund FFCF resources)
  • Foundation expansion with the opening of satellite offices in Orlando, FL and Columbus, OH

David H. HarmanDavid H. Harman

Vice President
Harman-Maulden Designs, Inc.
130 Poplar Grove Connector
Suite 13
Boone, NC 28607
Ph: (828) 278-9713

Dave is Vice President of Harman-Maulden Designs, Inc., manufacturers of GreatRoom Shelters™. He is a Board member and Treasurer of the National Storm Shelter Association.

Dave's accomplishments include:

  • Co-founder of a non-profit that developed sophisticated financial model using tax equity finance for non-profit organizations seeking renewable energy
  • President of wood mill that manufactured and distributed log home materials across the US.
  • Financial consultant specializing in financial forecasts, mergers and acquisitions, systems and procedures, strategic planning, problem solving, training, analysis—commercial banks, furniture manufacturing, textiles and retail restaurants.
  • Founding board member for a community bank; became VP and CFO.
  • President of home décor division of public company; grew division to over $25 million.
  • CFO for luxury real estate and golf resort; financed and built new community around Nicklaus golf course.
  • Manager of regional CPA firm with tax, audit and MAS responsibilities, and training.

David J. HartmanDavid J. Hartman

Battalion Chief (ret)
Special Operations
Charlottesville Fire Dept.
Fontaine Fire Station 10
Owners Representative
Charlottesville Fire Department
203 Ridge Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902

During a 32-year career with the Charlottesville Fire Department (CFD), David has held the position of Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Commander, and Battalion Chief in Suppression, Administration, and Special Operations. He is currently hired by CFD to oversee and be the Owners Representative for the building and completion of the Fontaine Fire Station. This is the first Fire Station built in Charlottesville in 50 years. He has worked on this project since 2003. David not only found the site and created the unique program for the fire station that responded to the very challenging site conditions and the needs of the fire department, he also travelled to over 40 new fire stations around the country to cull the successes and failures of various programmatic features to combine the most successful features into the Fontaine Fire Station.

David participated in the selection for the Architectural/Engineering Firm, development of the program, budget, schematic design, and all phases of construction documents. He specified most of the buildings functional spaces and features, and procured all the Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment for the station. He also specified all the operational technology for the facility. He is also the hands-on, day-to-day, on-site Owners rep for construction. He has participated in hundreds of hours of various project meetings, from city work sessions, firm selection, construction progress meetings, and user training and equipment fit out meetings over the course of 4 years of active planning and construction. David has chronicled the entire construction process with thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos.

David is a graduate of James Madison University with a degree in Business Administration. His participation with the FEMA HSEEP program as a peer evaluator, his previous service as a Deputy Emergency Manager, his role in IC for major events, and his current service with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management as a Disaster Reservist has been instrumental in shaping the functionality and operational capabilities of the new Fire Facility for Charlottesville.

Professional Accomplishments:

  • 32 Years with Charlottesville Fire Department
  • Created and Designed University of Virginia Medical Centers Regional Medical Communications Program: Medcom
  • Served as a Regional Deputy Emergency Manager
  • Serve as a Disaster Reservist for the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Emergency Management with 10 years of field experience

Brad Kobielusz

Poudre Fire Authority
102 Remington, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Fax: 970-416-2015

Brad is a Training Captain for the Poudre Fire Authority in Fort Collins and surrounding area of Colorado. The Poudre Fire Authority has 13 stations (10 paid and 3 volunteer). He is an instructor for the Front Range Fire Consortium. The Consortium is a training agency formed by 7 fire departments designed to train all new recruits for all the fire agencies involved. The 8 Departments involved have over 700 paid firefighters and numerous volunteers on line.

Capt. Kobielusz is a licensed architect in the state of Wyoming. He has a Bachelors of Architect degree from Montana State University. He has over 33 years of fire service between 3 different fire departments, the last 27 with the Poudre Fire Authority. In addition, he is on the NFPA 1901 Technical Committee for Fire Department Apparatus.

Julie Williams Lawless, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Geography
Western Illinois University
306C Tillman Hall
Macomb, IL 61455
785-760-5174 (cell)
309-298-2348 (office)

Julie is an Assistant Professor of Geography and Planning at Western Illinois University where she teaches First Year Experience courses in World Regional Geography and upper-level undergraduate and graduate level courses in Urban and Regional Planning. Her research focuses on the pragmatic uses of community in various historic and contemporary settings.

Dr. Lawless uses the concepts of post-occupancy evaluation and qualitative design research methods to understand the relationship between physical environments and social interactions. Julie has used these methods to evaluate the successes and challenges of university residential environments, cohousing, and intentional communities. In 2011, she began looking at the impacts of fire station design on social and institutional interactions amongst fire crews. Julie’s current research project looks specifically at the differences of design typology on response times and crew camaraderie.

Prior to teaching, Julie worked as a professional planner in municipal government for nine years, with a focus in historic preservation and community development. Julie received as BA in Geography from the University of Missouri, Master’s of City and Regional Planning from Clemson University, and a Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Kansas.

F. Thomas LeeF. Thomas Lee

AIA, LEED AP Principle
Samaha Associates
10521 Rosehaven Street, Suite 200 Fairfax, VA 22030
Fax: 703-691-3316

Mr. Lee began his focus on fire station design from his first day as a draftsman of the Frying Pan Fire Station in 1987. Since that time, Mr. Lee has achieved his Bachelors in Design from Clemson University and his Masters of Architecture from the University of Colorado.

Mr. Lee was an early adopter of the LEED program, is a LEED Accredited Professional, and has served on the Board of Directors of the USGBC as their Chairman of Advocacy for the National Capital Region. Mr. Lee is certified by the International Code Council as a licensed Plans Examiner and Accessibility Inspector and is a licensed architect in Virginia, Maryland and DC while carrying NCARB records for license reciprocity throughout the country.

In 2006, Mr. Lee became a principal and owner of Samaha Associates with two partners, located in Fairfax, VA. Over the course of his career Mr. Lee has designed numerous public safety facilities for a variety of municipal and military clients. He is a former presenter at the FIERO Design Symposium and enjoys the opportunity to share high performance design methods to a variety of public clients and the community at large.

Paul MauldenPaul Maulden

Harman-Maulden Designs, Inc.
130 Poplar Grove Connector
Suite 13
Boone, NC 28607
Ph: (828) 278-9713

Paul is President of Harman-Maulden Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of GreatRoom Shelters™. He studied at Davidson College and NC State (mathematics) and attended UNC-Chapel Hill from 1969 – 1972 studying chemistry and philosophy.

Paul founded a small construction company, then an architectural millwork company in Charlotte—the first in the U.S. to provide exterior millwork in treated southern pine. The pine was re-dried and prefinished with a Cabot machine applied acrylic finish. From his work, he was invited to Cabot Stains headquarters for meetings with a lead chemist and management.

After that, Paul began study of classical architecture to apply to developers’ public spaces while operating his business from 1989-98. In 2006 he founded a small sawmill operation. In the summer of 2010, he began background work with Dave Harman to develop designs for elegant curved-roof buildings, but realized potential of “crossover” design for multi-use shelters and safe rooms. He is President and Director of R & D for Harman-Maulden Designs, that was formed in 2011.

Stephan Mita

Worcester Fire Department
141 Grove St.
Worchester, MA 01605
Fax: 508-799-1819

Stephan has been a firefighter for the City of Worcester, MA since 1991. He earned his BFA in Architecture from Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston, MA in 2002.

Since then, he has since served in several capacities as a consultant in both urban design and fire station design. He has been an adjunct instructor at Worcester State University. As an instructor, he has taught on the subject of Worcester's history in economic development from the urban renewal period to today. The emphasis of this topic is the effects on the community and how urban design affects our society.

Firefighter Mita serves as a juror for the F.I.E.R.O. Fire Station Design Awards Program.

Robert Mitchell, AIARobert Mitchell, AIA

Mitchell Associates Architects
29 Thacher Park Road, Voorheesville, NY 12186
Fax: 518-765-2950

Bob is the principal of Mitchell Associates Architects, a firm whose entire focus is public safety architecture. Prior to Mitchell Associates he was a founding partner and a principal designer at Mitchell Ross Associates Architects, P.C. (MRA), and has over 20 years of experience designing fire stations.

Starting in 1974, Bob spent more than a decade researching, designing and building passive solar and energy efficient buildings. One of these buildings was heated for $100 per year in Albany, NY. A number of his research papers were published by the American Solar Energy Society, among others, and he has won a number of awards for his energy efficient designs. He has received a patent on an energy conservation device for windows, and sits on technical review panels for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Bob has lectured nationally on passive solar design for the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Concrete Masonry Association, and others.

Mitchell Associates and Mitchell’s prior firm have been directly involved in over 150 fire stations and emergency services facilities. Bob has completed programming for in excess of 90 fire station and emergency services facilities, and has completed more than 50 feasibility studies evaluating renovations and additions versus building new.

The Peeksville Fire Headquarters, designed by Mitchell Associates, is expected to use 46% less heating energy than if it were designed to the current energy code, and is currently in the process of filing for LEED certification.

Joseph M. Mottola

Joseph M. Mottola, RA

Vice President
H2M Architects & Engineers
575 Broad Hollow Road Melvile, NY 11747
631-756-8000 x1355
Fax: 631-694-4122

Joseph Mottola is a partner with H2M Architect & Engineers, which specializes in the design of public works projects, specifically in the area of emergency response facilities. He has been specializing in the design of fire stations for over 20 years.

Mr. Mottola has been directly involved in over 125 fire station projects for over 90 fire service clients. The projects have ranged from feasibility studies, site analysis, new construction, renovations, additions and alterations, mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades, emergency generator replacement and upgrades, site upgrades, interior reconstruction and building envelope investigation and upgrades.

Mr. Mottola serves as a market leader in the emergency services market at H2M. During this time, H2M has had several award winning projects including:

  • 2012: Huntington Manor Fire District Firematic Training Facility
    F.I.E.R.O. Notable Mention
  • 2011: Elmont Fire District Engine 4 Station
    F.I.E.R.O. Merit Award
  • 2010: Vilage of Mamaroneck Fire Department New Palmer Avenue Fire Station
    Station Style Notable Mention
  • 2009: Air National Guard New Crash Rescue Facility
    F.I.E.R.O. Notable Mention
  • 2008 Jericho Fire District New Headquarters
    ARCHI Award Gold Award
    F.I.E.R.O. Gold Award
    Station Style Gold Award
  • 2007 Bethpage Fire District Station No. 4
    Station Style -- Notable Mention

Mr. Mottola is NCARB certified and licensed in four states. Additionally, Mr. Mottola has been an active member of the Volunteer Fire Service for over 30 years. He is a member of the Department Training Committee and is affiliated with the following organizations:

  • American Institute of Architects
  • Construction Specifications Institute
  • Board of Directors - Nassau County (NY) Fire Museum and Education Center
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • NYS Association of Fire Districts
  • Massapequa Fire Department, Ladder Co. 2


Ken NewellKen Newell, AIA, LEED AP

Senior Principal, Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects
719 East Second Avenue Gastonia, NC 28054
Fax: 704-865-0046

Ken Newell, AIA, LEED AP, is a senior Principal with Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects, a design firm with a specialty in public safety facilities. Ken has been directly involved in the design of over 185 Fire, EMS and Fire projects. He has also been integral in the design of numerous Fire Training Facilities. Ken has also taken an advisory role on another 70 Public Safety projects designed by Stewart-Cooper-Newell Architects. These projects span 24 States.

Ken speaks regularly at various national and state fire conferences, and contributes frequently to national and regional Fire/EMS publications. Over the last two decades, Ken has earned a respected reputation for functional, durable and budget-conscious design/programming of Fire and Rescue Stations.

Chriss PfeifferChristopher R. Pfeiffer, AIA, LEED® AP

Regional Manager
CR architecture + design
1810 Platte Street Denver, CO 80202
Ph: 303.863.8100 or 800.469.4949
Cell: 303.263.4365

As a Client Leader in CR’s Denver office, Chris Pfeiffer leads the firm’s strategic vision in the Western region and is responsible for developing and maintaining business development initiatives for existing and new and prospective clients. As a registered architect with a critical design perspective, he holds an impressive range of project experience, including public facilities work and fire station design, which has been nationally recognized and awarded.

Chris has a passion for architecture that is evident in every project that he touches. He provides each client with thoughtful insight, prompt responsiveness and careful coordination. He has also completed presentations on topics related to Training by Design and Fire Station site selection at local and national industry events.

Chris received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kentucky, was first registered in the state of Colorado, and has been employed by CR since 2000. Chris holds registration in Colorado, and is a LEED AP. Chris is married, with 3 children, and resides with his family in Denver, Colorado.

Lynn RedaJ. Lynn Reda, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Principal; Public Safety Studio Leader
Hughes Group Architects
22630 Davis Drive Suite 175 Sterling, VA 20164

Ms. Reda is a Principal and the Public Safety Studio Leader with Hughes Group Architects. Ms. Reda received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. She also completed studies at the University of Bath, England, and The Polytechnic University at Athens, Greece. In addition to being a registered architect with extensive design, construction document and project management experience, Ms. Reda is also a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialty in Building Design and Construction.

Ms. Reda has focused the last ten years of her career on public safety facilities and is recognized as a leader in this building type nationally. Several stations Lynn has designed have been recognized with national design awards, including Fontaine Avenue Fire Station 10 (Charlottesville, VA), Germantown-Milestone Station 34 (Montgomery County, MD) and Nokesville Volunteer Fire Station 25 (Bristow, VA). Ms. Reda is currently working with departments in Virginia, Maryland, and New Hampshire on projects ranging from additions and renovations to multi-use facilities. .

Ms. Reda’s 19 years of experience encompasses work in a variety of project types such as international hotel and resort design, and museums, including design for the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles Center, VA. Lynn uses her extensive training with computer technology in creating efficiently planned and executed project documents, as well as exploring design possibilities with 3D imaging software. Commitment to high quality of design while achieving the needs of the client is important to Ms. Reda in every project she undertakes.

Ms. Reda is a contributing author to the IAFC publication 'Fire Station: Architectural Insight to Planning, Design & Construction'.

Kevin Roche

Phoenix Fire Department
150 South 12th Street Phoenix, AZ 85034
Fax: 602-262-4429

Kevin Roche is the Assistant to the Fire Chief and a 20-year veteran of the Phoenix, Arizona, Fire Department. He is a graduate of the Fire Protection and Safety program at Oklahoma State University and earned a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida.

Kevin’s experience includes significant work in the areas of fire department facilities planning, firefighter safety, and fire department logistics. He was the author of the “Capital Resource Management” chapter in the text Managing Fire and Rescue Services, published by the International City Management Association. He is also an active writer and consultant on firefighter safety and fire service management issues.

Kevin was the editor of the first NFPA 1500 Handbook in 1992 and has delivered numerous seminars on NFPA 1500 for the NFPA. He was a principal developer of the National Fire Academy courses “Incident Safety Officer” and “Health and Safety Officer”. He has been the author of the annual United States Fire Administration “Report on Firefighter Fatalities in the United States” since 1998.

Dennis A. RossDennis A. Ross, AIA

Pacheco Ross Architects, P.C.
72 Voorheesville Avenue
PO Box 558
Voorheesville, NY 12186
Fax: 518-765-5107

Mr. Ross is an architect and co-owner of Pacheco Ross Architects, P.C., an award-winning, nationally recognized architectural firm dedicated exclusively to the design of Emergency Response Facilities. Mr. Ross is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where his education included a year as an exchange student with the Polytechnic of Central London. He has over 37-years experience including a long tenure in real estate development and construction, which allows him to assess projects from multiple points of view.

Mr. Ross is NCARB certified; a member of the American Institute of Architects, NFPA, the International Code Council, and is a licensed architect in 14 states. His expertise in areas of project management, land use, budgeting, construction and focus on practical solutions to difficult problems has enabled him to knowledgeably write and speak on various aspects of fire station design. Mr. Ross has co-authored chapters of the Chief Fire Officer’s Desk Reference and Fire Station: Architectural Insight to Planning, Design & Construction.

Mr. Ross lives in upstate New York with his wife. In 2001 he was the recipient of the Business Council of New York State and NFIB annual award for “NYS Small Business Advocate of the Year”.

Mark D. Shoemaker

Mark D. Shoemaker, AIA, LEED AP

CR architecture + design
600 Vine Street, Suite 2210
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513-721-8080 or 800-469-4949

Mark Shoemaker, AIA, LEED AP, of CR architecture + design (previously Cole + Russell Architects) has more than 30 years of professional experience and a portfolio of over 45 fire station projects. He has served as the market leader and project manager on several award winning projects, including the 2011 F.I.E.R.O. Honor Award winner for the City of Springfield Fire Station No. 3, 2010 F.I.E.R.O. Merit Award winners for the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Station No. 5 and the Upper Arlington Fire Station No. 72 in Ohio, and the 2008 F.I.E.R.O. Recognition Award winner for the Isle of Palms Station No. 2. Currently, Mark is working on fire station projects in Toledo, OH; Joplin, MO; James City County, VA; and, Spring Lake Township, MI. He has recently completed projects in Des Moines, IA; Hamilton Township, OH; and, Groton, MA.

Mark’s speaking highlights include the F.I.E.R.O. Fire Station Symposium (2006-2012) and Station Style Conference (2006-2013). Mark has also authored numerous articles to provide fire departments a better understanding of the design process, and most recently, he contributed to the 2010 publication Fire Station: Architectural Insight to Planning, Design & Construction, on behalf of the IAFC Foundation. Mark graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in architecture.

Brad SilvernailBrad Silvernail

President / Owner
Carolina Video Security, Inc.
700 Blue Ridge Road
Suite 104
Raleigh, NC 27606

Brad has worked in the security and surveillance industry for the past nine years and was most recently the Chief Technology Officer of Integrian, a leading provider of mobile digital recording solutions to the law enforcement and transportation industries. Brad has over 20 years of experience in strategy, planning and new product development with industry skills spanning telecommunications, wireless, information technology and utilities.

Prior to Integrian, Brad was a principal with TenX Venture Partners, served as CEO of Summus Limited and held a variety of positions in marketing and sales, product line management and business unit management for IBM and ABB.

Brad holds an MS in telecommunications from Syracuse University and a BA in Communications from Auburn University.

James G. Zwerg, AIA

Architect/Facility Manager
Facility Management Section
Phoenix Fire Department
2625 S. 19th Ave., Phoenix AZ 85009
Fax: 602-252-2348

Jim is the principal in charge of repairs and renovations to existing Phoenix Fire Department facilities. He has been an Architectural Project Manager for over 20 years specializing in fire station design and construction. He has been with the Phoenix Fire Department for the past 9 years. He has been a registered Architect for 10 years.

His responsibilities include management of new fire station design and construction projects as well as the maintenance, repairs, and renovations of the existing 75 facilities currently in the Phoenix Fire Department. He coordinates the efforts of the Cities various support departments, primarily Engineering and Public Works. He manages the repair, renovation and remodel budgets, reviews drawings and specifications for new facilities, utilizes a diverse computerized data tracking system, and co-supervises a staff of 10.

Jim is currently managing dozens of projects that range from routine maintenance call-out requests to new design and construction meetings. These projects include a new 911 call center, training academy, and four new fire stations. He provides coordination and oversight for Public Works projects like ADA compliance, standby generator installations, parking lot repaving, A/C replacements, kitchen and restroom remodels.

Jim is affiliated with the following:

  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Construction Specification Institute (CSI)
  • The Town of Buckeye, Arizona – Planning and Zoning Commission, Chair