Board Bios

Butts_Picture_2.jpgChris Butts, PE, AET, SET, CFPS, ARM, is a licensed fire protection engineer with over 38 years of continuous and progressive experience in the fire protection industry both domestically and internationally. He is currently employed with Sompo International as Assistant Vice President and Senior Property Risk Specialist. 

Butts served as Governor on the SFPE Foundation's Board of Governors (2016-2020) and is a contributing author on the SFPE Engineering Guide on Peer Review. He also served as Director on the Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) Board of Directors (2010-2014) and in succession currently serving on the CFPS Certification Advisory Group (CAG) for NFPA. Currently, Butts serves as Governor on the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) Board of Governors (2021-2023) under the auspices of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Butts also serves as a Principal Technical Committee (TC) Member on NFPA 1, 101, and 5000, and past TC Member on NFPA 22 and 170.

John Frank, PE, CFPS, FSFPE, has been active in the Greater Atlanta Chapter for more than 30 years; including service as chapter President. John was the lead instructor for the SFPE PE Review Course from its inception until 2019 and still serves as an instructor. He has presented at several industry conferences including NFPA, SFPE, and China Fire. John has written several articles for various industry publications. He serves on two NFPA Committees and has past service as Committee Chair.    

John holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology, a Graduate Certificate in Fire Protection Engineering, and an MBA. He started his career in 1980 as a Fire Protection Specialist with the United States Air Force and served as Assistant Fire Chief of Training and Hazardous Materials at a large logistics and aircraft repair base. In 1990, John joined the Highly Protected Risk (HPR) insurance industry. He now works for AXA XL Property Risk Consulting, where he provides senior level engineering advice for its global client base. He specializes in probabilistic risk assessments, warehouse storage, pre-emergency planning, aviation risks, and flammable liquids hazards.

John was also a volunteer firefighter for a total of 15 years, covering both rural areas and heavily built up suburban areas, including a large distribution center zone. During his fire service career, John gained hands on firefighting experience in industrial and warehouse occupancies. A primary interest is integrating fire service operations and fire protection engineering designs. He remains heavily connected with the fire service.     

John August Denhardt, P.E., ET, FSFPE, CWBSP, is Vice President of Engineering and Technical Services for the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA). He is responsible for strengthening AFSA’s engineering and technical approaches to meeting member, industry, and operational priorities, with an emphasis on service, quality, and integrity. Denhardt is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) registered in the District of Columbia as well as the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He is a NICET Level III in Automatic Sprinkler System Layout and Inspection and Testing of Water-Based Systems and an NFPA Certified Water-Based Systems Professional (CWBSP). Denhardt is a member of the NFPA 13 Sprinkler Discharge Committee, a Fellow in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a member of the Board of Trustees for NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation and sits on the University of Maryland Department of Fire Protection Engineering’s Board of Visitors. A native of Maryland, Denhardt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland in College Park.

jimmy_200_px.jpg Jimmy Jönsson (Immediate Past-President), is a director with JVVA in Madrid and has worked on a wide range of fire/life safety projects internationally over the last 20 years. He has extensive experience in developing performance-based fire engineering design and analysis and has specific knowledge and experience regarding fire engineering, performance-based design, and risk management.

Jönsson has led fire engineering design and implementation across a varied range of international building and infrastructure projects like high and super high rise, commercial and residential complexes, airports, underground infrastructure, logistics centers, rail and road tunnels. Prior to leading JVVA, he worked for Arup Fire for more than 10 years in different offices (London, Dublin, and Madrid) becoming the team leader of Arup Fire in Madrid and the technical leader of Arup Fire in Europe. Jönsson graduated from Lund University in Sweden, where he earned two degrees; BSc Fire Protection Engineering and MSc Risk Management & Safety Engineering. After graduation, he worked at the department of fire safety engineering at Lund University evaluating fire and risk computer models.

Jönsson is on the Board of Directors for the SFPE Spain Chapter and is a member of SFPE Europe. He gives classes related to fire & risk (specifically aimed at performance-based design) at universities in Spain. He also gives tunnel fire safety courses in Spain, mainly focused on operational procedures and intervention tactics. These courses are mainly directed to fire brigade personnel.

Shaun Kelly, PEng, CEng, MIEI, is a senior fire protection engineer and principal at ARENCON, INC., a consulting engineering firm specializing in fire protection engineering based in Ontario, Canada. Kelly has 19 years of experience in consulting and brings international experience from Europe and Canada having joined ARENCON from Ireland in 2010 and working in consulting in Ireland for over seven years.

Kelly is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario and in British Columbia and is a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland. He is a Professional Member of SFPE (PMSFPE), has been a member of SFPE since 2015, and is also a member of the SFPE Southern Ontario Chapter. Kelly has provided six years of service to SFPE including four years on the Continuing Professional Development Committee and two years on the Board of Directors. He has also served two years on the Finance & Audit Committee during his term on the Board.

Amanda-Kimball200x200.jpgAmanda Kimball, PE, FSFPE (President-Elect), was interested in fire protection engineering during her junior year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where she was an undergraduate in Civil Engineering, so she entered the five-year BS/MS program. Amanda graduated with my BS in Civil Engineering in 2003 and my MS in Fire Protection Engineering in 2004. Upon graduation, she started work for Arup as a Fire Specialist in the Boston office. She was responsible for fire engineering duties for fire protection projects in a variety of occupancies. In 2008, she was promoted to Senior Fire Engineer at Arup and became responsible for leading engineering duties and project management for a variety of fire protection projects. Her background experience includes fire protection engineering consulting with experience in building code life safety analyses, design of fire protection systems, fire and egress modeling of buildings and subway stations, and risk analysis. While at Arup, she aided with the development and validation of a new egress simulation tool.

In 2011, Kimball joined the Fire Protection Research Foundation (NFPA’s research affiliate) as a Research Project Manager, was promoted to Senior Project Manager, and now serves as Research Director. She is responsible for managing research activities, which include research planning, procuring research funding, and outreach. She manages projects and activities relating to the topics of fire alarm/detection, sprinkler, and other suppression, building life safety, and public education and human behavior. In addition, she manages the activities of the Foundation’s Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG). The PIRG is a group of property insurers that identify research needs relevant to the insurance industry and provide financial support for research at the Foundation. Kimball also oversees the activities of the Foundation’s Research Advisory Council (RAC), which provides oversight of the research activities of the Foundation to ensure that they adhere to the Foundation policies.

Bob_Libby200x200.jpgBob Libby, PE, FSFPE (2024 President) joined Coffman Engineers in 2014, and currently serves as VP of Fire Protection Engineering. Prior to joining Coffman Engineers, he had over 30 years of experience in all aspects of fire protection engineering with a worldwide engineering company.

Libby has extensive project experience including many design projects from the schematic phase through occupancy. Tasks on these projects include code studies, development of fire and life safety master plans, exit analysis, drawings, and specifications review, submittal reviews, construction surveys, and fire systems testing prior to occupancy permit. He is experienced in the use and application of the NFPA Codes and Standards, as well as the international codes and the previous major model building codes, and served on several past committees for NFPA, as well as the international codes. 

Libby has completed research, presented papers, and given speeches on fire protection systems design, building code trends, and instructed college classes on general fire protection concepts. He is an SFPE Fellow. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Coffman Engineers, as well as the Board of Visitors for the Fire Protection Engineering Department at the University of Maryland, where he is recognized as a distinguished alumnus and Member of the Salamander Honorary Fire Protection Society.

Pennacchio_Picture.jpgElizabeth Pennacchio, PE, PMSFPE, is a Senior Fire Protection and Life Safety Project Consultant for Code Consultants Inc. (CCI). Pennacchio is a licensed Fire Protection Engineer in the State of New York, and was on the SFPE NY Metropolitan Chapter Board of Directors from 2015 - 2021. Before joining CCI’s NYC office eight years ago, she earned her BS and MS at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Chemical Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering, respectively.

At CCI, Pennacchio has provided fire protection and life safety consultation on many complex projects throughout the United States for the public sector, high-rise office and residential, hospitality, cultural facilities (museums, libraries, and places of worship), mixed-use, retail, large assembly, and sports venue occupancies.

Pennacchio has a proactive approach to solving complex design issues based on her diverse background and experience with the code development process and also provides litigation support as a Building and Fire Code Expert Witness.

Fang Li, FSFPE is a Fellow Member of SFPE and started the SFPE China Chapter in 2006 as its President and has continued to lead and grow it thru the current time. The China Chapter has received 8 Awards from SFPE Headquarters during this period. She was among thefirst group to advocate Performance Based Design (PBD) in China and was awarded the team Silver by the Ministry of  Public Safety Science and Technology for the “Technical Guide-line of Performance Based Design. Fang Li is a member of CTBUH, WOBO, NFPA, SFPE, CFPA, SOLEMENDOR, and the committee of experts nationwide in China. She has been selected to give multiple presentations on fire safety at NFPA Annual Meetings, Council of Tall Building & Urban Habitat World Congresses, Fire Asia Conference, and other regional and local conferences in Asia including China, Singapore, etc.  Fang Li holds a master's degree in Fire Protection Engineering and Chemical Engineering and has worked on lots of high-profile projects in Asia including the 520 meters Shanghai Tower project, the Shanghai Disney theme park, the Beijing Universal theme park as well as Shanghai 2010 Expo China pavilion projects, she has worked for RJA ( now part of the Jensen Hughes ) for about 20 years since she graduated from WPI, prior joining the RJA, she had worked for NFPA as the engineering intern in Chemical group. She is the pioneer in introducing the performance-based design concept, practice, and method to China from the US and established the fire protection consulting service in China, she is also the key player in convincing the Macao Fire department to use the IBC for the Las Vegas-based Venetian, MGH and Wynn developer for their large scale projects in Macao and introducing the third party service. She also developed a recognized third-party service for the international hotel brand throughout China.

Albert_Simeoni.jpgProfessor Albert Simeoni, Ph.D., is the Department Head of Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He conducted his studies in France, obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the University of Corsica (1994), a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Aix-Marseille (1996), and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Corsica (2000).

He is an expert in wildland fire and fire science. He has experience in developing experimental, analytical, and numerical techniques to better understand fire dynamics and to predict fire and wildland fire behavior and impact. Before joining WPI, he held academic leadership positions in fire research in the UK (University of Edinburgh) and in France (University of Corsica). He has experience as a consultant in fire science in the US and has spent over 10 years volunteering as a firefighter in France, eventually becoming Fire Captain and chief of a small fire station.

 Shamim Rashid-Sumar, PE, FSFPE (Secretary/Treasurer) holds a B.S. in Fire Protection Engineering and a Minor Citation in French Language and Cultures from the University of Maryland College Park. She is a registered professional engineer in the State of Delaware and was previously registered as a House of Expertise Engineer in the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Her professional organization involvement includes SFPE Fellow, past Executive Committee Member of the SFPE Chesapeake Chapter, Founder and Past President of the SFPE UAE Chapter, and member of the SFPE Committee on Membership and Chapter Relations. She is a former member of the UAE Code Committee as well as an NFPA 101 international instructor.

Rashid-Sumar has over 18 years of experience in building and fire code consulting, fire dynamics, timed egress modeling, performance-based design, and fire alarm system witness testing. She has worked on a multitude of projects including government facilities, hospitals, medical centers, airport terminals, museums, high-rise buildings, hotels, malls, and other special use facilities. In addition, she has been active in the Middle East and India for the past 12 years as an industry expert, presenting and moderating at conferences and technical events throughout the region on technical topics including but not limited to façade risk assessments, fire alarm system fundamentals and nuisance alarms, recent updates to the UAE and Saudi Building Codes and delivery of code-compliant projects.

Beth Tubbs, PE, FSFPE (Immediate Past-President), has been with the ICC since 1995. During her time at ICC, she has been involved in a variety of different activities including code development and support. Participation in various committees, both on a national and international level, has also been an important activity for her. Within the ICC framework, Beth has had a staff role in many different activities over the years. In particular, she was the lead staff during the initial development of the ICC Performance Code. This led to extensive involvement on a national and international level on the issues of performance building regulations. In addition to her involvement with performance-based regulatory issues, she has been active with prescriptive building and fire code development and application my entire career. Tubbs has and will continue to assist jurisdictions in applying building and fire codes through code opinions, presentations and development of support products such as commentaries and handbooks. She is currently the secretariat to the International Existing Building Code, ICC Performance Code and the International Fire Code.

Michael Wojcik, PE, PMSFPE, is a Vice President for Jensen Hughes, Inc., and is based in the Phoenix, Arizona area.  He serves clients throughout the Southwestern and Western United States of America and Asia.  Wojcik earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Western New England University in Springfield, Massachusetts, and his Master of Science degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Wojcik is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Rocky Mountain Region. In this capacity, he directly supervises and is accountable for the Region’s financial performance, two sub-regions’ operations, staff morale, and the administration of Jensen Hughes policies and procedures.  Under his direction, the Region has worked to reach staff utilization targets, client satisfaction, minimized turnover, and standardized operations.  The Rocky Mountain Region focuses on business strategy, organization policy, and operational uniformity.

Wojcik is guided by one simple principle and core value: ‘Do the right thing.’ It’s what motivates him to assist people in solving problems in an economically feasible manner, promote Diversity, Equity + Inclusion in day-to-day operations, develop the talent of young graduate engineers and interns, encourage participation in professional organizations, and assist the greater community in understanding the subject of engineering.  During his career, Wojcik has held leadership positions of both the SFPE New England Chapter and SFPE Arizona Chapter.