Fire Protection Research Foundation announces new trustees

February 21, 2024

Fire Protection Research Foundation appoints three industry experts to its board of trustees

The Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF), the research affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association, has announced the appointment of three new members to its board of trustees.

The new trustees, Kees Both, Maria B. Marks, and Tom Nappo, bring a wealth of experience from diverse backgrounds in fire safety and insurance industries.

This addition aims to bolster the foundation’s efforts in advancing fire protection research and safety standards globally.

Kees Both, currently serving as the manager of Standards and Regulations at ETEX, is renowned for his extensive experience in fire testing and standards development.

Based in Belgium, Both plays a significant role in representing the company in various international standardization bodies.

“My focus on fire safety topics across organizations like CEN, EOTA, ISO, ASTM, NFPA, and UL, as well as my involvement in several international trade associations, stems from a deep commitment to enhancing global fire safety standards,” Both stated.

He also highlighted his past presidency at the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Europe and his ongoing contributions to the SFPE Europe board of directors and the Benelux Chapter.

Diverse backgrounds enhance the foundation’s mission

Maria B. Marks, with over three decades of experience in the fire life safety and security industry, manages industry relations at Siemens Industry.

Marks’ active participation in NFPA technical committees and her roles within the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and SFPE underscore her dedication to the field.

“My work across these organizations reflects a lifelong dedication to improving fire life safety and security standards,” Marks commented.

Her educational background includes a degree from Wellesley College, along with NICET IV in fire alarm and certified fire protection specialist (CFPS) certifications.

Tom Nappo brings to the board more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, particularly in risk control for property and marine sectors at CNA.

Nappo’s career has been marked by significant contributions to property risk consulting, fire protection education, and post-catastrophe damage assessments.

“The diversity of my roles within the fire protection and insurance sectors has equipped me with a unique perspective on risk management and fire safety,” Nappo shared.

His professional memberships and certifications, including CFPS and ARM, further attest to his expertise and commitment to the field.

Strategic vision and research priorities for global fire safety

The FPRF operates as an independent, nongovernmental organization with its own officers and a nine-member board of trustees.

The board’s responsibilities include fiduciary oversight and guiding the foundation’s strategic planning, research priorities, and future growth.

With a small but effective team, the FPRF manages dozens of projects at any given time, focusing on a wide range of fire safety topics.

Over the past 40 years, the foundation’s research reports have reached practitioners in over 160 countries, underscoring its impact on global fire safety practices.

FSJA Comment

The appointment of Kees Both, Maria B. Marks, and Tom Nappo to the Fire Protection Research Foundation’s board of trustees marks a strategic enhancement in the foundation’s capabilities to address contemporary challenges in fire safety and protection.

Each trustee’s unique background and expertise will contribute significantly to the foundation’s research and development efforts, potentially leading to innovative solutions and advancements in fire safety standards worldwide.

Their collective experience spans fire safety standards development, industry relations, and risk management in the insurance sector, providing a comprehensive approach to tackling fire safety issues.

This move also reflects the foundation’s commitment to incorporating diverse perspectives and expertise in its mission to mitigate fire risks and enhance safety protocols globally.

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