Safer Buildings Coalition Leadership

Executive Director: Chief Alan W. PerdueChief Alan W. Perdue

Chief Perdue began his fire service journey as a volunteer firefighter with the Pinecroft-Sedgefield Fire Department and was employed by Guilford County Department of Emergency Services in 1979. He progressed through the ranks and was appointed Emergency Services Director in 2003 and after 34 years of service he retired in 2013. Chief Perdue is credentialed as a Chief Fire Officer (CFO) and Fire Marshal (FM) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission for Professional Credentialing.

In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Safer Buildings Coalition, Chief Perdue currently serves as a member of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Telecommunications and Technology Policy Steering Committee, a member of the International Accreditation Services (IAC) Technical Advisory Council for Regulatory Code Programs, Underwriters Laboratories Standard #2525 Standards Technical Panel and The Center for Public Safety Excellence’s (CPSE) Appeals Committee.  He is also an Elected County Commissioner in Guilford County, NC.

Chief Perdue’s past service includes serving as; the International Director representing Fire & Life Safety on the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Board of Directors , the Governor’s fire service appointee to the North Carolina State Building Code Council, a Commissioner on the Center for Public Safety Excellence’s Commission for Professional Credentialing, a member of the International Accreditation Services Technical Advisory Committee for Fire & Life Safety Departments and a member of the International Code Councils Codes and Standards Council.

 Additional career highlights to local, state and national fire service organizations include Director at Large, Vice-Chair and Chair of the IAFC Fire & Life Safety Section, four terms as a member of the International Code Councils Fire Code Hearing Committee, Vice-chair and Chairman of the North Carolina Fire Code Revision Committee, President of the North Carolina County Fire Marshal’s Association and as an advisory board member for the Guilford Technical Community College Fire Science Curriculum Program.


 
John FoleyManaging Director: John Foley


John serves as Managing Director of the Safer Buildings Coalition. John serves the SBC mission through policy, regulation, and code development, by solidifying member services and value, and by establishing a strong operational and financial base as tools to propel SBC’s mission. 

John has held key business development, operations, engineering, and executive roles at telecom service companies such as Level 3 Communications, MFS, and MCI. John was a co-founder of XO Communications where he was VP of Operations and Engineering, and later VP of International Network Development. John led dark fiber provider City Signal Communications in the position of President and CEO. John served as Capture Director for specialty construction firm Henkels and McCoy, a leading DAS Integrator. John also spent several years in television and video production services with PMTV, developing and managing complex video production projects including sports and corporate simulcasts and broadcasts. John participates on the TIA Smart Buildings Working Group and Public Safety Sub Group, and the Smart Cities Council/WIA City Networks Task Force.

John comes from a family with a tradition of first-responder service, with his grandfather, great uncle, brother, and son all serving in the Philadelphia Police department.


Board of Directors

Eric ToenjesPresident: Eric Toenjes, Graybar

Eric Toenjes, MBA, serves as National Market Manager of Wireless Solutions at Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical and data networking products and solutions. In his role at Graybar, Eric is responsible for setting strategy and working with manufacturers, system integrators, neutral hosts, contractors and sales teams to bring best-in-class wireless solutions to customers. He has more than 20 years of experience in the wireless market working with cellular carriers, system integrators and distribution providing solutions to end users and carriers alike. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and works with organizations like the HetNet Forum and Safer Buildings Coalition to understand issues facing building owners, influence codes and help develop an understanding of business drivers behind the solutions. . 



Dennis BurnsVice President: Dennis Burns, ADRF

Dennis J. Burns is the Director of Public Safety at ADRF, in charge of the National Public Safety strategy for North America. His responsibilities include developing the corporate public safety strategy and product solutions needed for Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES) to deliver maximum market share and revenue. He is also charged with enhancing the awareness of ADRF’s Public Safety products, technology, capabilities, deployments, and the overall ADRF brand.  In addition, he works closely with AHJs throughout the country to ensure ADRF has the right products and services to meet current requirements and any future changes within each jurisdiction.  

Dennis is also a liaison between Sales, Engineering, Technical Support, Product Development, and Manufacturing teams to ensure the delivery of product development schedules and go-to-market strategies for ADRF’s Public Safety solutions. He has more than 27 years of experience in developing direct and indirect new business strategies within the wireless industry, with a particular expertise in First Responder public safety communications. Dennis is an active member and strong advocate of the Safer Buildings Coalition and elected to its Board of Directors in 2019.  He is also a member of the Code and Standards Workgroup & Public Safety Technology Workgroup of SBC. In addition to SBC, Dennis is active with many State Fire Alarm Associations throughout the US, UL Labs, and NFPA.  Prior to joining ADRF, Dennis was a Regional Sales Director at Cobham Wireless, where he was responsible for delivering and driving corporate revenue goals via new direct and indirect relationships with potential clients in both public safety and commercial cellular. He previously held senior leadership roles at IXI Mobile, AT&T, Velocita Wireless(Cingular/Sprint), Palm, and BellSouth Wireless Data. Dennis holds a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems and Services from the Southern New Hampshire University.


 

Patrick LauImmediate Past President: Patrick Lau, Comba

Patrick Lau is VP of Strategic Development, for Comba Telecom, Inc.’s North America region. In this position, Patrick is responsible for developing strategies and sales opportunities for new verticals and markets that expand companies’ market presence and market share in the new era of technologies and applications such as CBRS, IoT, Fixed Wireless, 5G and beyond. Patrick has 20 plus years of experience in the RF telecommunications field.

Prior to joining Comba Telecom, Patrick worked in various engineering and business development management roles for Commscope, Andrew, Allgon and Allen Telecom Corporation related to Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), Small Cells and Base Station Sub-Systems. Patrick earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Akron (Ohio). Additionally, Lau serves as the President of the board of the Safer Buildings Coalition and served as Vice President and President of the HetNet Forum Council of Founders.  He also routinely speaks at industry events including Mobile World Congress (MWC), WIA ConnectX, ACUTA, DASpedia, In-Building Congress, IWCE, SEAT and others..



Ron Schachter, RF SolutionsTreasurer: Ron Schachter, RF Solutions

Ron brings 20 years of RF wireless business development experience to the RF Solutions team. Prior to founding RF Solutions, Ron served as the Director of Business Development of Mobility Practice at Axispoint Technology Solutions Group (ATSG), where he sold and integrated over $25 million in Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) including some of the tallest towers and largest buildings in New York City. Before that, he spent 10 years at Sprint, where he was awarded President’s Club Circle Winner for his sales acumen several times during his tenure, landing major clients such as NewsCorp and Reuters. Ron swam for Indiana University, and you can still find him in the pool most mornings.


 

Prince Niyyar, CommdexSecretary: Prince Niyyar, Commdex

Prince Niyyar is the CEO of Commdex. Since founding Commdex in 2001, Prince has led the company from a startup to a recognized national leader in public safety communications technology, with current operations in over 23 states. 

He has spoken as an invited guest at FCC Headquarters and on talk shows like “Thrive America” and “Business Leader Radio” and he frequently presents at business conferences. He was honored by Georgia’s Lt. Governor Casey Cagle as the “Small Business Person of the Year”.  Prince was also Gwinnett Chamber’s “Business Person of the Year”, and was honored with the “Pinnacle Award.

Prior to founding Commdex, Prince served many years as a consultant for Fortune 100 telecom companies like Motorola, AT&T and Sprint.  Prince holds a Master’s degree in Engineering from University of Cincinnati and is a registered Professional Engineer and Certified Professional Manager. 


 

Kevin Persing, FiplexAt-large: Kevin Persing, Fiplex 

Kevin is the Director of Sales Western Region for Fiplex Communications. His experience in the RF industry began with Motorola in 1989. His experience includes being a representative of a broad range of wireless and two-way radio products and a position with Raytheon.

Kevin developed CEU credit-earning training through the ESA that that is designed to help with the establishment of an enforceable code with an emphasis on the maintaining RF System integrity. He provided training at the NFPA conference in Boston that focused on helping the Fire Code enforcers develop usable standards within their jurisdictions. Kevin is actively involved with APCO in the western region.

Specialties:

  • Intricate knowledge of the current Fire Codes:
    • IFC 510.1 - Emergency Responder Radio Coverage
    • NFPA 72 - Emergency Communications Systems (ECS)
    • City Based ordinances that require In-Building Public safety radio coverage.
  • Training for Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for new Fire Code enforcement
  • Creation of VAR Training and Webinars specific to the changes in Fire Code and their impact on new construction