Mark G. Karr, Vice President
Director of Work Study
Mark serves as the Academy's Director of Work/Study. To fulfill the duties of this position, Mr. Karr ensures quality and meaningful real-world projects for each of the Academy's students. He serves as a liaison between the Academy and sponsoring contractors.
Mr. Karr is well suited for this position. He has over 20 years of experience as a fire sprinkler system design technician, receiving his Ohio certification in 1995. In 1998 he began his current role as President of MG Fire Design, Inc., located in Ohio. Outside of the Academy, Mr. Karr works closely with contractors, developers, property managers, architects, and business owners. Mr. Karr holds a NICET Level IV Certification in Water-Based Systems Layout.
Other qualifications include his current service on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Fire Safety Coalition, and affiliation with the National Fire Sprinkler Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.
Mark is married to his high school sweetheart, Lynne. They have three wonderful children.
Michelle Potenberg, Director
Michelle is in her third year with the Academy. She has been instrumental in establishing the Academy's Certification Program for the Inspectors of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. She is also responsible for ensuring that the Academy Online Learning is eligible for CEU's for the students that participate.
Michelle spends most of her time being the mother of three wonderful young men. She and her husband have remained here in Central Illinois where Michelle's family is located. Oh, and did we mention that she weight trains and runs marathons?
Michelle gives us all a great example to emulate in her work and personal life!!
Cecil Bilbo, President
Director of Engineering Technology
Cecil serves as the Academy's Director of Engineering Technology. As a faculty member of Parkland College, Mr. Bilbo is responsible for developing and delivering curriculum to students.
Mr. Bilbo has more than twenty five years of experience in the fire sprinkler industry. Bilbo started in the field, installing sprinkler pipe, in 1986. While working as a fire sprinkler design technician, he received NICET certification in 1992. He was formerly the Director of Technical Services for the NFSA Engineering Department, where he created and taught classes on Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based systems to over 3,000 people. He has been a contributing author to the NFSA's textbook for layout technicians, the NFPA 3 - Commissioning Handbook, and the NFPA 13 - Sprinkler Systems Handbook.
He is also a member of the following committees:
- NFPA 3 Committee on the Commissioning of Fire and Life Safety Systems
- NFPA 4 Committee on Integrated Testing of Fire Protection and Life Safety Systems
- NFPA 13 Installation Criteria Committee.
- NFPA 14 Committee on Standpipes
- NFPA 25 Committee on the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water Based Systems
- NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee
- AFSA Technical Advisory Council
Other qualifications include his role in the development, support, and training associated with the SprinkCAD and MEPCAD software packages.
Cecil has been married for 26 years and has three awesome children.