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Board of directors

Richard E. Merck, PE, EFO, CFEI, CFPS. Rick is a Professional Engineer tested in Fire Protection, a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program from the National Fire Academy, and a Certified Fire and Explosive Investigator as well as an NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering. He has over two decades of public sector service in the Building Department and Fire Service. He is an Instructor and Subject Matter Expert (SME) at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Rick is Co-Chair and SME of the Fire Modeling Committee for the National Institute of Justice Technical Working Group for Fire and Explosives (TWGFEX). As a member of NFPA, he serves on the NFPA 101 Life Safety Code Technical Committee for Education and Day Care. He is a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, International Code Council, National Association of Fire and Explosive Investigators and International Association of Arson Investigators.

James G. Munger, Ph.D, MIFireE, CFPS. James holds a doctorate in Occupational Safety and Health Engineering from Columbia Southern University and has a background in Fire Science and Fire Protection Technology. He has nearly 30 years of consulting experience in the Fire Protection Industry while also finding time to be a Member of Adjunct Faculty at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He both teaches and develops numerous courses pertaining to Fire Protection and Investigation including Fire Arson Investigation, Fire Dynamics and Fire Modeling, and Fire Cause Determination. In addition to NFA, he has also taught courses for New Zealand Fire Service, South Carolina Fire Academy, South Carolina Department of Corrections, National Park Service, Montgomery County Maryland Fire Rescue, York Pennsylvania Fire Rescue, Washington State Life Safety Council, Boeing Aerospace, and Aiken (SC) Technical College. James has served on several technical committees including NFPA 1620, Pre-Incident Planning, NFPA 96, Commercial Cooking, NFPA 1730, Deployment of Resources for Fire Prevention, Certified Fire Protection Specialist Gap Analysis Committee, and ISFTA Fire Investigator. James is also qualified in numerous state and federal courts to provide expert testimony in the areas of Fire Protection, Fire Investigation, and related topics.

Erik Couse is currently a Captain with over 15 years of experience in a large suburban Washington DC fire department. Five years of that time was as a Maryland Special Assistant State Fire Marshal. Some of those duties included the inspection/testing of kitchen fire suppression and exhaust systems. Erik is also a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) through the National Fire Protection Association.

Ron Price is the Chief Inspector of the Department of Liquor Control of Montgomery County, Maryland. He has been with the Department (formerly the Board of License Commissioners) for 16 years; nearly since its inception in 1989 as an independent County Agency. Prior to 1989, ABC inspections were completed by the Health Department. Ron has a working knowledge of Article 2B and the Boards Rules and Regulations. In addition, he has varied institutional knowledge, having been one of only five employees when the BLC started as a separate County Department. Prior to his tenure with Montgomery County, he served in the Military as Firefighter Crew Chief with the United States Air Force. He served the citizens of Rockville as a sworn police officer attaining the rank of Captain and Operations Commander for the City of Rockville Police Department; civilian and sworn personnel. He was also a partner and owner of a private investigation, security and consulting firm. Ron holds an Associates degree from Montgomery College and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland. He completed the Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville and has attended numerous other in service schools and seminars. He is also a graduate and charter member of the County’s highly competitive 18 month Manager Development Program.

Ed O’Brien is President of Fire Protection Certification, dedicated to technical training courses for fire protection servicing professionals. Courses include Kitchen Fire Suppression Systems, Kitchen System Servicing, Fire Extinguishers, Pre-Engineered and Engineered Fire Suppressions Systems for Fire Marshals, Fire Inspectors and Code Enforcement. In addition, FPC provides CEU courses for Fire Marshals, Fire Inspectors and Code enforcement personnel for Texas, Louisiana, Florida, New York, Connecticut, New Mexico, New Jersey and Virginia. FPC is listed on the US DOT website for DOT hazmat training for Fire Protection Companies. Servicing and recharging procedures of kitchen hood and duct extinguishing systems per NFPA 96, 17 and 17A.

Jack Green is Senior Vice President and Market Executive for Revere Bank. Mr. Green has been in banking for over 30 years, with the last 22 years focused in commercial banking and business development in the Washington Metropolitan area. He has been instrumental in developing a strong market presence for numerous financial institutions in Montgomery County, MD. Mr. Green began his career with Farmer & Mechanics National Bank in Frederick, MD in 1980, and was most recently with Mercantile Potomac Bank and PNC Bank in Gaithersburg, MD. He is a graduate of The National Compliance School of Banking at the University of Oklahoma; Mellon School of Bank Audit in Pittsburgh, PA; National School of Data Audit from University of North Carolina— Charlotte; and Business Management from Hood College.

Joe Palmore is the Chief Executive Officer of Industrial Steam Cleaning, a leading nationwide kitchen exhaust systems service company. Mr. Palmore is a recognized leader in the service industry since 1988, leading the company to nationwide success with offices established across the country. Joe is a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran. He is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

Sanford “Sandy” Saidman, EA, ATA has over 45 years of experience in the financial services industry holding controller positions for national non-profits and large for profit organizations. Mr. Saidman launched his own financial services firm in 1977. Sandy is a member of several professional organizations, including The Maryland Society of Accountants, National Association of Tax Professionals, and the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation. He is an Enrolled Agent, an Accredited Tax Advisor and Accredited Business Accountant and was an Investment Advisor Representative of Walnut Street Securities, and Certified Senior Advisor. Sandy earned his Accounting degree from The George Washington University. He served in the DC National Guard and the US Army Reserves from 1963-1969.

John F. Brennan JD, Attorney at Law (Maryland, D.C., Virginia) focuses his practice on small business representation (including buy-sell transactions), real estate and financial transactions, and trusts and estate planning. First admitted to practice in Virginia in 1979, to the District of Columbia Bar in 1984 and to the Maryland Bar in 1985. Mr. Brennan received a B.S. degree from Villanova University and his J.D. degree from George Mason University’s School of Law. John first joined the Civil Aeronautics Board as Legal Assistant to the Vice Chairman, and later as a staff attorney regulating the commercial aviation industry. He began his private practice in 1982 in Fairfax, Virginia, with an emphasis on small business/corporate practice and real estate transaction work. In 1987, he joined the firm of Conroy, FitzGerald, Bailman and Dameron, and opened an office for the firm in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Several years later, John joined his present partners and formed Schmidt, Roth, Brennan & Carroccio and established its Rockville, Maryland office. John continues to represent a number of small business owners, including contractors, tradesmen, and commercial property owners.

Kurt Storkel is Sr. South East Regional Facilities Manager of The Cheese Cake Factory, since February 2003.

Anthony Natalie is Regional Facilities Manager for Corner Bakery Concepts.