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Speaker Bios

David David Zabrowski
Vice President, Frontier Energy

David Zabrowski oversees the day-to-day operations at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, CA. Zabrowski manages the Center’s cutting edge testing and evaluation program for commercial cooking appliances. David is responsible for the FSTC's standard test method development program. Over his twenty-plus year tenure, he has been instrumental in overseeing the development and maintenance of over 35 test methods for ASTM ratification. Zabrowski also manages the Center’s testing and evaluation program. He has been involved in the testing and reporting of 100s of different commercial cooking appliances.

Zabrowski is the past Chairman of the American Society for Testing and Materials’ (ASTM) F26 Committee on Food Service Equipment and the acting chairman for the F26.06 Subcommittee on Productivity and Energy Protocols. He led the NAFEM Committee on Life Cycle Cost Model development team that resulted in a spreadsheet-based life-cycle cost model for commercial cooking appliances, available from NAFEM.

Richard Richard Young
Director of Education

Richard is Director of Education at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC), a publicly funded energy-efficiency research facility operated by Frontier Energy, an energy and technology consulting firm headquartered in Oakland, California. The FSTC is known to most industry insiders as "fishnick".

Trained as an electrical engineer, Richard started his career in alternative energy, changing from energy-generation to energy-efficiency when he joined the FSTC research team twenty-nine years ago. He is a contributor to the US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, working with the USGBC to incorporate food service into the LEED criteria. Richard is an adjunct professor at Diablo Valley College and he is a member of the College's Regional Culinary Arts Advisory Board. Richard is a former member of the National Restaurant Association's Conserve Advisory Council and is a past Fellow of the Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability.

Richard currently focuses most of his efforts on technical outreach- translating the FSTC's 30 years of research into practical information. He has over 25 years of experience creating and presenting seminars on energy efficiency and currently delivers about 75 sessions a year. Richard has authored numerous research reports as well as articles in magazines, newsletters, and on the web and is a contributing author to the food service sustainability blog: Sustainability Beyond the Plate. He is also the author and creator of the online Foodservice Energy Efficiency Expert (Fe3) training and certification program.

Don Donald R. Fisher, P.E.
President, Fisher Consultants

Don Fisher, President of Fisher Consultants, is the former manager of the Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon, CA. This Center develops and applies standard test methods for evaluating the performance of food service equipment.

Don received a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1972 and a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1974 from the University of Manitoba. Soon after graduation, he jumped into the world of foodservice energy research on a program funded by Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. After ten years of promoting energy efficiency in Canadian restaurants, Don migrated to California in 1986 with his partner Judy Nickel to operate what has become North America’s foremost center on energy performance in commercial foodservice – namely the PG&E Food Service Technology Center. This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Conducting hundreds of restaurant energy audits over his career, Don cultured a passion and expertise for kitchen ventilation. Don was founding chairperson of a technical committee on kitchen ventilation for the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) to develop guidelines and standards for foodservice operations. He was the 2006 recipient of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy [ACEEE] Champion of Energy Efficiency Award recognizing his leadership, technical skills, innovation, and persistence in changing national markets for energy-efficient food service technologies. He is a popular speaker at industry forums and is the author of numerous industry research papers and articles.

Todd Todd Bell
Sr. Energy Analyst

Mr. Bell is responsible for the Food Service Technology Center’s (FSTC) energy audit/site survey program, which examines the cooking equipment, HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, water heating and sanitation systems in commercial food service operations.

In a typical year he will conduct nearly 100 site surveys under the FSTC’s CPUC-funded Energy Efficiency for Commercial Food Service program. Essentially the “man in the trenches”, Mr. Bell visits commercial food service sites ranging from the very small, such as coffee shops and delis, to large full service kitchens like those found in hotels and public school cafeterias.

With his “real world” field experience and continuing research activities in the FSTC’s equipment testing laboratory, Mr. Bell brings a formidable array of knowledge to the myriad of energy efficiency and sustainability workshops and seminars he conducts, all of which are designed to help commercial food service operators reduce energy use and operating costs.

Rodney Rodney Davis

Rodney Davis brings his testing background, knowledge and approaches to the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC), an unbiased research facility that focuses specifically on commercial foodservice applications. Davis is knowledgeable in a wide-variety of ASTM Test Methods for commercial kitchen appliances. He has been instrumental in water consumption studies and monitoring projects funded by CEC and California utilities. In addition to his lab testing experience, Davis is a member of the LA Council of Black Professional Engineers, he enjoys educating customers on energy and water savings tips through tours and practical comparisons.

Mark Mark Duesler
Chef Consutant

Mark Duesler is a Chef Consultant/Program Advisor at Frontier Energy where he oversees the "Try Before You Buy” program at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center. With 20 years in the food service industry and 15 years in the kitchen, he is eager to share his knowledge and expertise with the foodservice industry.

Duesler graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 2004 and has experience in a variety of full-service restaurants. These include small family owned operations, volume and multi-course fine dining, and chef-driven farm to table concepts. Included on his resumé are Restaurant at Wente, Miro and Spa Café.

Mark's exposure to multiple dining concepts gives him a deep understanding of the unique needs specific to individual operations. Sharing this knowledge with operators allows them to make more informed decisions on proper equipment selection and usage.

Amin Amin Delagah
Project Engineer

Amin Delagah is a project engineer at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC), an unbiased research facility that focuses specifically on commercial foodservice applications.

Amin holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Renewable Energy Engineering with a minor in Environmental Management. He has been at the center for seven years and currently focuses most of his efforts on hot water systems research and technical outreach. Highlights of his research include the completion of a California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research Report titled, “Energy Efficiency Potential of Gas-Fired Commercial Water Heating Equipment in Foodservice Facilities” and a Design Guide on “Energy Efficient Heating, Delivery and Use”. Amin maintains a close working relationship with many water heater manufacturers and water heating experts and has been a leading advocate for the development and promotion of condensing commercial water heaters.

He participates as an industry expert on the Consortium for Energy Efficiency Gas Committee Meeting on Commercial Water Heaters held monthly and provided input to Joanne O’Donnell in the development of the report titled, “CEE High Efficiency Commercial Water Heater Initiative”. Amin has both organized and presented at two to three sessions annually for the last three years at the ACEEE Hot Water Forum on hot water systems in commercial kitchens. He is the upcoming Handbook Chair of the ASHRAE Technical Committee 6.6 Service Water Heating. Amin is actively working with California utilities to develop a high-efficiency water heater rebate program for food service facilities and continues to do laboratory and field research on hot water systems.

Mark Mark Finck
Lead Engineer

Mark Finck is the Lead Engineer at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, CA. He is responsible for developing and applying standard test methods for evaluating the energy efficiency and performance of commercial food service equipment at the FSTC.

Finck has more than twenty years of experience in commercial cooking equipment product development - including performance, application and efficiencies. With another decade of background in Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) kitchen operations, food science chemistry, equipment manufacturing and agency codes, Finck has helped many companies expand their menus and change their operational methods of food processing with the development of new appliances.

Finck is a member of the ASTM Standards Committee, co-author of standard test methods for foodservice equipment. He is a member of NFPA-96 Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking operations, a contributing author to fire safety code language, and a past member of ASHRAE, Technical Committee – TC-510 Cooking Ventilation.

Denis Denis Livchak
Lab Manager

Denis Livchak is a Research Engineer for Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Food Service Technology Center. He started his career testing performance and energy consumption of commercial cooking appliances in the lab and in the field. Now he is focusing on commercial foodservice refrigeration equipment ranging from ice cream makers and refrigerated prep tables to walk in refrigeration and ice machines.

Claudia Claudia Pingatore
Energy Analyst

Claudia Pingatore is an Energy Analyst at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC). In this role she primarily performs free, voluntary on-site audits to help restaurants reduce their energy and water consumption. She also conducts appliance testing in the FSTC lab and engages the foodservice industry via educational presentations.

Claudia studied Environmental Sciences and performed scientific research at UC Berkeley. She has over six years of auditing experience for facilities seeking Green Business certification, covering numerous business types and all aspects of sustainability from solid waste to pollution.

Michael Michael Slater

Michael Slater is a Research Engineer at PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon Ca. He is currently focused on the energy and water economics and savings opportunities in commercial breweries as well as other large service water heating and chilling applications along with lab work and industry outreach and education for the FSTC. Slater has a large breadth of background in many lab settings and significant experience with electricity, gas and water sub-metering technical studies and has been instrumental in commercial scale monitoring projects funded by the US Department of Defense, the California Energy Commission and California utilities.

Slater holds a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from UC Berkeley, where he was first exposed to homebrewing. Slater has amassed about half a decade of brewing experience and is a regular attendee of California Craft Brewer’s Association’s bi-annual conferences and summits.

Vern Vern Smith, P.E.

Vern is an energy engineer specializing in energy instrumentation, monitoring, retro-commissioning, modeling, and HVAC fault detection and diagnostics. He has over 20 years of experience in energy engineering, including 18 years with Architectural Energy Corporation. Vern is active in ASHRAE as a voting member of Technical Committee 7.5, Smart Buildings, as well as a corresponding member of TC 5.10, Kitchen Ventilation. He is a member of ASTM’s Food Service Equipment Committee.

Vern earned his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech and his Master of Science in Business at University of Northern Colorado. He is a registered engineer in Colorado.

Rich Rich Swierczyna
Senior Engineer

Rich Swierczyna manages the Commercial Kitchen Ventilation Laboratory (CKVL) for Frontier Energy at the Food Service Technology Center (FSTC). Mr. Swierczyna brings over 25 years of experience to the FSTC-CKVL project. He is heavily involved with ASHRAE (formerly American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) as a technical committee member, as well as an author of numerous reports and papers.

Mr. Swierczyna has been instrumental in the development and adoption of best practices for optimizing commercial kitchen ventilation, and for building HVAC and replacement air systems. Through design guides and revisions to the ASHRAE Handbook, as well as through championing changes to codes and standards, he has helped the industry minimize restaurant operating costs while maintaining operator comfort.

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