Our Advisory Board
“Our Success As A Team Comes From Our Diversity”
Christian Tubbs – Fire Chief – Southern Marin Fire District:
MA, MS, EFO, CFO, CFC, MIFireE
Advisor and Southwest Regional Director FFABC’s: Marin, CA
I am honored to step into this role in support of Firefighter’s ABCs.
Christian Tubbs began his career in the fire service in 1978, serving primarily with the
Mercer Island Fire Department, (WA), and most recently with the Southern Marin Fire District, (CA).
He also spent nineteen years with the Washington State Urban Search and Rescue Team (WATF-1), where he served first as a Logistician and later as a Task Force Safety Officer (TFSO). During his time with WATF-1 he deployed to the Oklahoma City Bombing and Hurricane Katrina.
Chief Tubbs currently serves as the Past-President and E-Board Member of CalChiefs, serves on the IAFC Technology Council and is a Principal Member on the NFPA 950 & 951 committees.
Chief Tubbs is a Board member of Firescope and of the CalOES Homeland Security Advisory Committee.
Chief Tubbs also previously served with the National Information Sharing Consortium as an E-Board Director and Treasurer (NISC), the Department of Homeland Security’s Incident Management Information Sharing Committee, (IMIS-SC), the Department of Homeland Security’s Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG), and the Board of Directors of the Homeland Security Information Network Advisory Committee, (HSIN).
Chief Tubbs has a Certificate of Completion from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program and has Certificates in Public Leadership and Public Policy from Harvard.
He holds a Master of Arts Degree from the Naval Post Graduate School / Center for Homeland Defense and Security, a Master of Science Degree in Executive Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness, (President’s List) from Grand Canyon University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Services Administration, (Magna Cum Laude), an Associate of Arts Degree in Fire Command and Administration, and he is a Graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, and a Graduate of the Naval Post Graduate’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security Executive Leadership Program.
He holds member status in the Institution of Fire Engineers, and is an Accredited Chief Fire Officer Designee through the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and is a Certified California Fire Chief through CALFire’s Office of the State Fire Marshal.
Retired Battalion Chief Byron Berhel – National Youth Outreach Manager – CA
He is the designer, architect and founder of the Firefighter Youth Academy concept.
It is my goal to support and partner with FFABC’s in an effort to prepare more youth for the Fire Service and EMS Field as well as prepare them with more life skills.
During his 30-year career with the Richmond Fire Department, Chief Berhel recognized several growing social needs in many urban communities. There was a shortage of resources, opportunities, and support for youth to participate in youth development public safety programs.
He also noticed that urban youth, like most youth, had the usual curiosity about the activities of firefighters, which gave caring firefighters an opportunity to mentor, guide and inspire youth.
Support For Actively Rising Youth (SFARY) is a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes social justice and public safety. SFARY’s mission is to provide resources, opportunities and support to youth who reside in socio-economically distressed and under-served communities.
SFARY’s flagship program is the “Firefighter Youth Academy”, a public safety youth development and mentoring program. Middle and high school students are able to explore public safety careers while learning life-saving skills that are beneficial to their community.
Career pathways are established for those youth who want to serve their community as a first responder. Academic achievement, community service, and self- discipline are the fundamental principles of this 9-month program.
Chief Berhel remains passionate about his service to the community beyond his employment and into his retirement. He continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Support for Actively Rising Youth (SFARY) and seeks to share the Firefighter Youth Academy concept with other communities.
He has developed a public safety career pathway that provides guidance to youth who choose to pursue a career in public safety as a Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Paramedic or Nurse.
Chief Berhel’s commitment to public safety has enabled him to serve the community in several capacities including the Deputy Fire Chief of Emergency Response and Disaster Preparedness for the City of Vallejo, as well as, on numerous county, regional, and federal public safety committees. Chief Berhel has been very instrumental in bringing fire science and technology classes to Solano Community College where he currently serves as a professor of instruction in fire technology.
For more information about SFARY’s Firefighter Youth Academy, please visit:
Alissa Hayden: Marketing & Outreach Support: Los Angeles, CA
Daniel B. Scott: Diversity Organization’s Outreach USA and Canada: Los Angeles, CA
Assistant Fire Chief Daniel B. Scott (Retired): Fire Service Professionalism:
Following a four-year enlistment in the United States Air Force and five years of private sector employment, I began my fire service career in 1973, with the City of Rialto, California Fire Department.
In 1978, I continued my career with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, retiring after thirty-four years of service in 2007.
Professionalism within the United States Air Force was and continues to be critically important in maintaining our national defense, to the corporate chain restaurant of the food service industry, and certainly to fire departments providing public safety services.
Professionalism has to begin at the entry level position and should be continually reinforced at every level throughout the life of any organization.
I had the pleasure to meet the Founder of Firefighter’s ABCs many years ago and while attending the retirement event of a fellow chief officer I again was able to meet Mr. Hayden.
After a brief discussion I felt it was my duty to again put on my gear in support of diversity within the fire service through Firefighter’s ABCs.
Nehemiah O’Neal: Outreach USA and Canada: Oakland, CA
I am also honored to serve as the Southwest Regional Director for Firefighter’s ABCs.
Simply put I want to use the tools and resources I have gained within the fire service to support and foster a more diverse workforce – Firefighter’s ABCs thus is a right fit for me to achieve this goal.
Fire Prevention Captain 10/22-Present
Duties performed: Responsibilities include planning, organizing and directing the work of the Fire Prevention division; assigning and evaluating work of the fire inspectors; advising / assisting on more complex or sensitive inspections; representing the fire department in meetings with property owners, contractors, the public, other city departments and special interest groups; and performing plan review and field inspection on building construction projects and specialized fire suppression systems.
California State University Long Beach
- S Emergency Services Administration-December 2017 California State University Los Angeles
- S Fire Protection Administration- August 2014
Solano Community College, Fairfield, CA
- S. Fire Technology, June 2012
- A. UnivStudies, Lib Studies, Dec 2011
- A. UnivStudies, Social Science, May 2012
Tony Santos: Outreach USA and Canada: Vallejo, CA
Attended San Jose State University, worked in the engineering department for Abbott Laboratories diagnostic division for more than eight years.
Designed clothes for professional athletes, was the head designer for The Tim and Daphne Maxwell Reid TV show produced by King World Productions.
A member of the KOL grad chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc.
CEO – Dress For Success Global Educational Foundation Executive and a Board member for the Solano County Black Chamber of Commerce.
In 2018 was voted by the Solano County Chamber of Commerce as philanthropist of the year. Currently being sponsored by Kaiser Hospital In a Leadership Program for Vallejo.
Having been introduced to Firefighter’s ABCs by Terri Sessions of Kaiser Hospital – San Jose, it is my pleasure to serve and share these support tools Nationwide and in Canada with youth from all backgrounds and genders.
Remy Jordan: Outreach Southwestern United States: San Tan Valley, AZ
Remy started a career in EMS at the age of 19. He knew early on he had a passion for helping others and making a difference.
He has over 12 years in EMS experience, along with 9 years of fire service experience.
He has earned a Star of Life award from the California Ambulance Association.
He has served as a Paramedic Preceptor, a Cadet Liaison, Rescue Technician and a Field Training Officer.
In 2022 he relocated to Arizona to be closer to family, where his goal is to again become a member of the fire service.
Remy is eager to help guide others to success and to work with Firefighter’s ABCs in an effort to bring about more diversity in the fire service
Bill Hershman: Corporate Outreach Liaison: Appleton, WI
Bill currently serves as President of Pro-Tec Fire Services, a Green Bay (WI)-based company that provides Aircraft Rescue Firefighting staffing, management, and training to airports, airparks, and aircraft manufacturers in the United States and Canada. Bill has nearly 25 years’ experience as a senior executive with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. He has worked for some of the most recognizable brand names in the fire service industry such as the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Firehouse Magazine, Oshkosh Corporation, Pierce Manufacturing, and Rosenbauer America. Bill additionally has more than 30 years’ experience in the fire and emergency services as a first responder, fire and emergency medical service instructor, chief-level officer, and emergency management consultant.
As the Corporate Outreach Liaison, Bill will manage obtaining corporate funding and support both in the United States and Canada.
Battalion Chief Johnny Brewington: (Retired) – Fire Service Management: Cleveland, OH Served as the Seventh President for the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (2002 – 2008) and retired Battalion Chief for the Cleveland Division of Fire (Ohio). Served as a national spokesperson for the USFA Campaign to Reduce Fire Deaths among African-American Infants and Toddlers in 2004. An Alumnus of the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute at Dillard University and the National Fire Academy. Awards of Valor: Cleveland Fire Department, City of Cleveland, Rotary Club, State of Ohio, International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters, and Firehouse Magazine.
Darcy Pierson: – Diversity Advisor and Outreach Manager: Oshkosh, WI She is the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Oshkosh Corporation, a leading manufacturer of specialty vehicles and vehicle bodies, since 2018. In this role, Darcy provides leadership guidance to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are integrated into all business practices and Oshkosh Corporation’s People First Culture. Prior to joining Oshkosh, Darcy spent 27 years in the Financial Services industry in a full range of business areas, including Sales, Talent Management, Organizational Development, Change Leadership, Employee Engagement, and Diversity & Inclusion. During her tenure leading diversity & inclusion, the bank doubled their minority team member population and grew female representation in senior leadership positions from 17% to 31%. She is past-president of JDRF NEW and serves on other non-profit organizations with the mission of social transformation through color-brave conversation, education, and advocacy.
Former Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby: Fire Service Management: Los Angeles, CA Over his numerous years in the fire service, Fire Chief Osby’s rapid rise in rank included heading the East Regional Operations Bureau for the LA County Fire Department prior to being named Deputy Chief. With a strong orientation for community service and recruitment, he was very involved with the Katrina relief effort as well as the Educational Development Institute. He is also a member of the Stentorian organization for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Chief Osby was the youngest Fire Chief in the history of the Los Angeles County Fire Department – one of the largest fire departments in the United States. After 40 years of service he retired from the department in July of 2022.
Fire Chief Michael E. Smith: (Retired) – Fire Management Liaison: Fairfield, CA In 1978, Mr. Smith became the first African-American firefighter in Monterey, California. He joined the San Jose (CA) Fire Department in 1981 and rose through the ranks to become Deputy Chief. The progression through his thirty-year career in the fire service culminated in the role of Fire Chief for the cities of Fresno and Fairfield in California. Throughout his career, Mr. Smith has exercised a firm commitment to diversity recruitment within the fire service. This driving force has led to his ongoing outreach efforts within the faith-based and educational segments of the communities that he has served. Served as Pres. for the League of CA Cities and as a Board Member of Metro Chiefs.
Linda – LaJoyce – Deloris – Office Support Team: All from CA Linda is a retired senior manager at IBM with 40 years of management experience. Now she manages their properties in Canada, Hawaii and California. LaJoyce the first Black dispatcher for San Jose serving Police and Fire. She is the Co-Owner of Firefighter’s ABCs and a serious Rubber Stamper. Deloris served as first lady for two fire departments, IFD, SJFD, and worked for GFD all in CA. She, supports FFABC’s and is enjoying her first great grandchild the grandchild of Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby.
Fire Chief Michael Stanley: Fire Management Liaison: Oshkosh, WI Michael is a 26 year veteran of emergency services and is the Fire Chief for the Oshkosh (WI) Fire Department. Prior to that, he was a Commander with the Aurora (CO) Fire Department. He possesses a Master of Education and Human Resources degree from Colorado State University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership for Emergency Services, and Associate’s degrees in Fire Science Technology and Paramedicine. He was also selected as Fire Chief of the Year for WI.
Dr. Cassi Fields: Vice President of Business Development, Emergency Services Consulting International, Inc. – Testing Advisor. Boca Raton, FL Dr. Cassi Fields sold her public safety testing and training consulting firm to ESCI in 2017 and still serves on the leadership team of ESCI. The two companies, now one, are growing at an incredibly rapid rate in public safety strategic and master planning, along with testing, training and executive recruitment. Dr. Fields is an internationally-renowned Industrial – Organizational Psychologist who has pioneered many of the nation’s most successful human capital selection initiatives, promotion and training programs. She is the founder of D.C.-based, Limited Exposure Theory (LeT©) Corporation, which explains why barriers to advancement exist and helps the disadvantaged land a job or advance in their careers. Dr. Fields frequently speaks on LET at both police and fire training conferences, most recently at the 2107 FRI. Since receiving her Ph.D. from George Washington University in 1989, Dr. Fields has dedicated her career to helping public safety agencies and at-risk organizations. She serves as an advisor to numerous large-scale public sector executives and organizations, particularly those that have experienced repetitive employment discrimination lawsuits. Fields has developed hundreds of assessment centers for Police, Fire, and Sheriff Departments throughout the U.S.; directing and administering innovative and highly-effective testing and measurement tools. This has leveled the playing field by providing standardized metrics that provide fair opportunities for program participants, thus helping public safety agencies undo years of litigation (claiming employment discrimination in promotions). Dr. Fields spends most of her time these days building business for ESCI, and offering mentorships and resume building for future fire executives.
Are you a candidate or are you already in the Fire Service or EMS Field and are looking to promote.
Learn more about the interview process – read more
Ph.D. Rhonda E. Farber: Educational Advisor, San Jose, CA Spending nearly 40 years in any career is a notable achievement, but when that entire time was devoted to dealing with teenagers in school, it becomes noteworthy. Campbell Union High School District superintendent Rhonda Farber worked in high school education for 40 +/- years, and that huge milestone in the same district where she started. Her whole career has been in Campbell Union High School District and I’m really, really proud of that. While attending UC-Berkeley, Farber gained another valuable experience that she said cemented her future as an educator. As part of her program at the university, she worked at a prison in Vacaville to help the inmates earn high school diplomas. “It was so rewarding,” she said. “To know that I helped these people, and the teaching and the learning that was done, it was so exciting.” After graduation, Farber said she didn’t think there was anything she would ever do but work in education. She was hired by CUHSD in 1972. Farber’s first foray into administration came at Blackford, where she served as a dean for two years. She then advanced to vice principal at that school, where she remained for another two years. Then Farber served as Westmont’s vice principal for one year followed by seven years as principal. At that point, more than 20 years into her career, she said she came to a bit of a crossroads. Rhonda and Russell met in 1968 while both were in summer school at San Jose State University.
Melissa Swank: Office Content Manager and Social Media Manager – Tigard, OR
After eight years in public safety consulting, Melissa recently initiated her venture as an independent Quality Assurance (QA) Consultant.
Incorporating all previous professional experience, she ensures the consistent quality of her clients’ processes and products, assists with developing and implementing sustainable practices in project administration and management, and is the technical writing lead for proposals, reports, and all other business products.
She plays a crucial role in business by ensuring that all products (reports, proposals, website, social media, surveys, and newsletters) meet the highest thresholds of improving her clients’ overall efficiency and profitability by reducing time and product waste. She has a passion for accuracy and fact-checking that permeates every aspect of her professional tasks.
- Master of Arts, Portland State University, 2013
- Bachelor of Arts, Portland State University, 2009
- Associate of Arts, 2007
- Quality Assurance & Recruitment Specialist at ESCI, January 2020–Present
- Recruitment Specialist at ESCI, July 2017–2020
- Technical Proofer & Quality Assurance Consultant at ESCI, March 2015–2020
- Adjunct Research Assistant at Portland State University, December 2015–2018
- Freelance Virtual Assistant, December 2014–Present
- Project Assistant at Emergency Services Consulting International, September 2013–June 2014
- Project Assistant/Fact Checker at the Oregon Encyclopedia Project, September 2011–June 2013
- Project Assistant at The Confluence Project, June 2012–November 2012
- Project Assistant at Chinook Oral History Project, October 2011–April 2012
George Szymkiewicz: Websavvy Consulting, San Jose, CA
All IT issues related to our site were designed, built and are maintained by Websavvy Consulting. They work with every size and type of organization and have websites and commerce packages for every budget. Yes, although they have many clients – we feel Firefighter’s ABCs was a special one of a kind project and we’re proud to have them be part of our team.
Jonathan Taylor: Illustrator, Animator and Graphic Designer: Dallas, TX
The artist would like to extend to a special thanks to Mary Havaland, Alexis Blunt, Kevin Krenick, Bill Hobson and The Art Institute of Dallas staff.