The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) has 11 members that represent a cross-section of the fire and emergency service, including career, combination, and volunteer fire departments, city and county management, labor, academia, EMS, fire prevention, and the U.S. Department of Defense. CPC holds an in-person meeting at the CPSE Excellence Conference each spring and at the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire Rescue International Conference each summer. During these in-person meetings, as well as during regular web meetings, CPC reviews officers applying for a designation. Learn more about the individuals that graciously volunteer their time to overseeing credentialing.
Derek Bergsten is the chief of Poudre Fire Authority in Fort Collins, Colorado, an accredited agency through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). Prior to joining Poudre, Chief Bergsten spent over 25 years with the Rockford Fire Department, Illinois, where he retired in May 2021.
Chief Bergsten holds an associate’s degree in Science and Fire Science from Rock Valley College, a bachelor’s degree in Business and Organizational Development from Western Illinois University and a Master of Public Administration from Northern Illinois University. He is a graduate of the Executive Leaders Program at Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
He earned his Chief Fire Officer designation in 2011 and Chief EMS Officer in 2012, and Chief Training Officer in 2016.
Matthew Vinci is the Chief of Staff for the International Association of Fire Fighters. Prior to coming to the IAFF he served on the Executive Board of the Professional Fire Fighters of Vermont for 15 years, with six years as the president. He served as a captain with the South Burlington, Vermont, Fire Department where he started his fire service career in 1993.
Mr. Vinci holds an associate’s degree in Fire Science from New Hampshire Technical College.
Todd Canale is the chief, fire emergency services, for the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, an accredited agency through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). In addition to overseeing all activities of the fire department, Chief Canale serves in the Air Force Reserve as a Liaison Officer providing Air Force oversight for the Southwest Region of the Civil Air Patrol, and teaches both fire science and leadership courses at Pima Community College.
Chief Canale is a graduate of Arizona State University with a master’s degree in Fire Service Administration, is currently a doctoral candidate in Organizational Leadership at Grand Canyon University and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
He earned his Chief Fire Officer designation in 2011.
Chris Christopoulus is the chief of the Lebanon, New Hampshire, Fire Department and emergency management director for the city of Lebanon. He began his fire service career in 1981 as a volunteer in his hometown of Wallingford, Connecticut and then became a full-time firefighter/paramedic with West Haven, Connecticut. In 1999, Chief Christopoulus accepted a position as fire chief/building inspector for Rindge, New Hampshire before becoming deputy chief for Lebanon, New Hampshire and was promoted to fire chief in 2001.
Chief Christopoulos is a graduate of Mount Wachusetts Community College in Massachusetts with an associate’s degree in Fire Science and a bachelor’s in Emergency Services Management from Granite State College in New Hampshire. He obtained a master’s degree in Security Studies from the Naval Post Graduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California.
Chief Christopoulos earned his Chief Fire Officer designation in 2009.
Melissa Stevenson Diaz is the city manager for the City of Redwood City, California, a position which she has held since October 2015.
Ms. Diaz has held various executive and leadership roles over her 24-year professional career in local government. Prior to joining Redwood City, she was the assistant city manager and interim city manager with the City of Mountain View. She has held positions in the cities of Freemont and Morgan Hill and was responsible for functions such as human resources, finance and budget, policy analysis, redevelopment and economic development, information technology management, community engagement and communications.
Ms. Diaz holds a Masters of Public Administration from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Mills College.
Alexander Henderson, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration at Marist College, New York.
His research and teaching span organizational behavior, personnel management, policy implementation, and administrative discretion. Dr. Henderson previously served as a chief administrative officer, operational officer, and director with several emergency services organizations in suburban Philadelphia. He is a fellow of the Center for Organizational Research and Design at Arizona State University, and an academic fellow with the Local Government Workplace Initiative at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Dr. Henderson holds a Ph.D. from the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark, and a B.A. and M.P.A. from Villanova University.
William Hyde serves as deputy fire chief for the Rogers, Arkansas, Fire Department, an accredited agency through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) and the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services. At Rogers, he has served as the fire marshal, building official, and director of training, special operations, aircraft rescue and EMS.
He is a graduate of the Fire Service Executive Development Institute at the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. He has a master’s in Business Administration from John Brown University, bachelor’s in Public Safety Management from Franklin University, and associate degrees in Paramedicine and Fire Science Administration from Northwest Arkansas Community College.
Chief Hyde earned the designations of Chief Fire Officer in 2010 and Chief EMS Officer in 2011 and is a Fellow with the Institution of Fire Engineers-USA Branch.
Greg Rogers is the division chief of Fire Prevention for the Spokane Valley Fire Department, an accredited agency through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). Prior to joining Spokane Valley Fire in 2015, he was with South Kitsap Fire & Rescue in Washington State and was a Fire Safety Engineer with the North Metro Fire Rescue department in Colorado.
Chief Rogers has a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Technology-Fire Protection and Safety and a master’s degree in Fire Emergency Management Administration through Oklahoma State University.
He earned his Chief Fire Officer designation in 2018 and Fire Marshal designation in 2010, and was the first person in Washington State to earn this designation.
Grant Tinker, FO
Representative: At Large
Colorado Springs Fire Department
375 Printers Parkway
Colorado Springs, CO 80910
Grant Tinker is a captain with the Colorado Springs Fire Department in Colorado, an accredited agency through the Commission on Fire accreditation International (CFAI). Captain Tinker has been with the department for more than fifteen years, working his way through the ranks to Captain in 2020.
Captain Tinker has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Managing Officer Program. Tinker has been honored with several awards and recognition including being named Firefighter of the Year in 2019.
He earned his Fire Officer (FO) Designation in February 2015.
Toni Washington is the chief of the City of Decatur, Georgia, Fire Department, which she has been with for almost 11 years. She has over 27 years in the fire service including thirteen years with the City of East Point Fire Department as a Fire Administrator, Lieutenant, and Deputy Chief and three years with the State of Georgia Fire Marshal.
Chief Washington holds a Masters in Managerial Leadership from National-Louis University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Savannah State University.
Toni is a Georgia Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and a current member of the Executive Board for iWomen.
Chief Washington earned her Chief Fire Officer designation in 2013.