CPSE is governed by a nine-member board of directors that includes four appointees of its two founding organizations (IAFC and ICMA), one member from the IAFF, and four at-large members. The board elects a president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer, and hires a Chief Executive Officer to manage the corporation’s day-to-day operations. Each of CPSE’s dedicated board members contributes a wealth of experience and fresh ideas to the progression of the fire and emergency service.
Allan Cain was appointed the Director of Public Safety for the Town of Cary, North Carolina in 2018. Prior to this, he was the fire chief for the Cary Fire Department, a CFAI accredited agency. He started his fire service career with the Fayetteville Fire Department before moving on to become Fire Chief in Dunn, North Carolina. He was then hired as Deputy Chief in Cary, where he progressed up through the ranks to Fire Chief in 2003 until 2018.
Chief Cain served on the Commission for Fire Accreditation International from 2009 to 2015 and was the commission chair from 2012 to 2014. He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from North Carolina Wesleyan College and certifications for Community Preparedness – Disaster Management, Municipal Administration and Budgeting and Financial Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a graduate of the NFA Executive Fire Officer program and has been a credentialed officer since 2009.
Jeff Pomeranz is the city manager for Cedar Rapids Iowa, a position he has held since 2010. Prior to this he has served as city manager for West Des Moines, Iowa; Port Angeles, Washington and Del Rio, Texas. He has served as an executive board member for the Iowa League of Cities and the Iowa City Management association and was an adjunct professor for the Master of Public Administration program at Drake University.
Mr. Pomeranz holds a master’s degree Public Administration from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition to his service on the CPSE Board, he served on the Commission on Fire Accreditation International from 2006 to 2011.
Mary Cameli is the fire chief for the Mesa (Arizona) Fire and Medical Department, a CFAI accredited agency. She joined the department in 1983 and has risen through all of the ranks, including serving 11 years as Assistant Chief prior to being selected as Chief in 2016. She is the past president of the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) and currently serves as the Metro representative of the AFCA Board and Vice Chair of the International Fire Service Training Association Board. She is active in her community as Vice Chair of the Community Bridges Board, past Chair of the Child Crisis Arizona Board, and past President of the Mesa Sunrise Rotary.
Chief Cameli holds a master’s degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Physical Education from Southern Utah University. She received her credential as a Chief Fire Officer in 2018 and a Certified Public Manager certification from Arizona State University in 2011.
Darin Atteberry is the city manager of Fort Collins, Colorado, a position he has held since December 2004, where he was the assistant city manager for over eight years. Fort Collins is protected by the Poudre Fire Authority, a CFAI-accredited agency. He serves as vice chair of the Alliance for Innovation and in 2013 was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Colorado State University College of Business. In 2016 he was elected as a Fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration. Recently, Mr. Atteberry received the Colorado Governor’s Citizenship medal, recognizing him as a leader who serves the public with innovation, operational excellence and progressive vision. Prior to coming to Fort Collins, Darin worked with cities in California, Washington, and Georgia.
Mr. Atteberry attended Harvard University’s Senior Executive Program in State and Local Government. He holds master’s degrees in Civil Engineering and City Planning, both from Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s in City and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic State University.
Jim Brinkley is the assistant to the General President, Technical Assistance and Information Resources with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Before his appointment as assistant to the General President, Jim served as the director, Department of Occupational Health and Safety.
Prior to joining the IAFF Jim served for more than 21 years with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department and 14 years as a member of the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association, IAFF local 1619 Executive Board.
Prior to joining the CPSE Board of Directors, Jim served four years as a commissioner on the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI).
Joseph Fernandez was appointed to lead the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services on June 9, 2016. Chief Fernandez began his fire rescue career with the City of Miami Department of Fire Rescue in 1985. During his 27-year career with the City of Miami, he rose through the ranks to the position of Assistant Fire Chief. He also represented the agency as its Public Information Officer (PIO).
In July 2003, Chief Fernandez was appointed as the administrator of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Miami Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). During his five years as UASI Administrator, he was responsible for creating the governance and strategic model that brought together state, local and federal first responder agencies from Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties to cooperatively execute the planning, organizing, training and equipping of South Florida’s emergency service providers.
Chief Fernandez holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University. He completed a Certificate Program in Executive Development and Leadership from Florida International University and was certified by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute as a graduate of its Advanced PIO Program.
Chief Fernandez received his designation as a Chief Fire Officer in 2015.
Thomas Harmer became the town manager of Longboat Key, Florida in late 2017. Prior to that, he was the County Administrator for Sarasota County from 2013 to 2017 and spent eight years as city manager for Titusville, Florida. He also served as the fire chief for Titusville, Florida and as a deputy chief and emergency manager with the Tallahassee Fire Department.
Mr. Harmer holds a master’s degree Public Administration from the University of Central Florida, where he also served as chair of the Public Administration Advisory Board and was an adjunct instructor. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Safety and Engineering Technology from the University of Cincinnati and is a graduate of the NFA Executive Fire Office program. In addition to his service on the CPSE Board, he served on the Commission on Professional Credentialing from 2004 to 2007.
Ben May is a recently retired Director of Global Business and Alliances for the Walt Disney Company where he worked to create interactive, social marketing experiences, most recently as a global senior leader based in Paris, France. During his 17-year career with Disney he was involved in projects that included disaster preparedness, fire protection, and meteorology. He conceived and developed the public fire education experience at Epcot, “Where’s The Fire” in alliance with Liberty Mutual Insurance. He has been a fire fighter with Hillandale Fire and Rescue in Maryland and a fire commissioner for Woodinville Fire and Rescue in Washington State. He has served as a marketing consultant to the International Fire Service Training Association, the U.S. Fire Administration, and to metro fire departments across the country.
Mr. May holds a master’s degree in International Communication from American University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Oklahoma.
Preet Bassi has been CPSE’s chief executive officer since 2014 and oversees work across all program areas with a focus on the organization’s strategic direction as set by the Board of Directors. Prior to CPSE, she was the Director of Finance and Administration for the International Accreditation Service and managed their Fire and Life Safety and Building Department Accreditation Programs. She has experience at both the local and state government levels, having worked for the City of Anaheim, California, and the California State Assembly.
Ms. Bassi holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of California Davis. She is credentialed as a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives. In 2020, she was part of the inaugural cohort for the University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Program in Social Innovation Design and is currently enrolled in eCornell’s Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program.