Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs Leadership Conference


Colonel Arthur J. Athens, USMCR (Ret.) Colonel Athens is the Director of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership and a member of the Academy’s Senior Leadership Team.  Colonel Athens retired from the Marine Corps in July 2008 with over 30 years of combined active duty and reserve service.  As a Marine Officer, he commanded units in the 3rd and 4th Marine Aircraft Wings, served with the U.S. Space Command and instructed at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, the Marine Corps’ equivalent of the Navy’s Top Gun School.  Additionally, he was a White House Fellow under President Ronald Reagan; the Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator following the Space Shuttle Challenger accident; the Executive Director of OCF, a worldwide non-profit organization helping military personnel integrate their faith and profession; the Commandant of the United States Merchant Marine Academy; and the Naval Academy’s first Distinguished Military Professor of Leadership.  Aside from his professional responsibilities, Colonel Athens has been a volunteer lacrosse coach at the high school and collegiate levels and the Washington Post recognized him as their High School Coach of the Year.  Colonel Athens holds a bachelor’s degree in operations research from the Naval Academy where he lettered in lacrosse and served as the Brigade Commander, the senior ranking midshipman at the Academy.  He also earned masters’ degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies.  He is married to the former Mistina Root of Williamsburg, Virginia and they have ten children.  
Dr. Harry R. Cater Dr. Carter currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners for Howell Township Fire District #2.  He enjoyed a 26-year career with the Newark, New Jersey Fire Department where he served as Chief of Training and a field Battalion Commander.  He has also had a 45-year career with the Adelphia Fire Company in Howell Township, NJ serving as Fire Chief in 1991.  He currently serves as company Chaplain and is an active Life Member.  He also serves as Chaplain for the East Freehold Fire Company in Freehold, New Jersey.  He began his emergency service career as a cadet member of the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad in 1964.He is a Past President of the USA Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers.  He is a life member and Past President of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI).  He is a life member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and has served on their technical committees of the association since 1975.  He has been a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs since 1991.  He is a Past President of the New Jersey Association of Fire Districts and is currently the association’s Treasurer.  He also served as President of the New Jersey Society of Fire Service Instructors. A veteran of 51 years in the fire and emergency service world, he has authored seven books, co-authored five, edited and written chapters for a which was published in August of 2011 and has written nearly 3,000 magazine, web and journal articles. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Business from Capella University, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as five other degrees. He formerly served as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Public Safety Leadership at Capella. He is a Past Master of Ocean Lodge #89 of Free and Accepted Masons in Spring Lake Heights.  He is a 47-year member of American Legion Post #54 in Freehold and is a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4374 in Freehold.  Program Title: The Leadership/Followership Equation: The Key to Fire Department Success
Captin Jeff Dill (Ret.) In 2011, Jeff Dill founded Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA).  This organization is a 501 (3) (C). Jeff travels the United States & Canada holding workshops to teach firefighters & EMS about behavioral health awareness and suicide prevention.  FBHA is the only known organization that collects and validates data on FF and EMT suicides across the United States. In addition, FBHA holds classes for counselors/chaplains, family members and preparing for retirement. Jeff Dill holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Argosy University (IL), a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a retired Captain at Palatine Rural Fire Protection District in Inverness, Illinois.
  Dr. Larry Iverson is a Clinical Psychologist, Trainer, Author and Executive Coach.  He has personally coached or trained over 1,000,000 people, including professional athletes, corporations, fire services, IMT’s, local to national government agencies and universities.  He holds bachelor’s degrees in Biochemistry and Psychology, and a masters and doctorate in Psychology. He has been working with IMT’s and fire organizations for 20 years.  Since 1982 Larry has provided Mental Toughness & Focus Training for 147 Olympic athletes from seven nations. He is the creator of the ICS L-480 Strategic Incident Management Team Leadership program, and presents this for Homeland Security, NWCG, FEMA and Fire Departments across the US.  In the last ten years Dr. Iverson has taught over 10,000 officers and personnel in fire departments, wildfire and all hazard IMT’s his Leadership Command Presence program for creating greater professional presence.  Larry produced and was the host of a television program for PBS, “The Strategies for Success”.  From his work in Neuro-Science he developed two trauma techniques now being used in internationally for work with PTSD.  
Chief Thomas Jenkins City of Rogers Fire Department (Ark.)  Fire Chief Tom Jenkins has served as the City of Rogers, Arkansas fire chief since 2009. Prior to his arrival in Arkansas, he served as Deputy Chief for the City of Sand Springs, Oklahoma Fire Department. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fire protection and safety engineering from Oklahoma State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma. Chief Jenkins is a 2006 graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland and became Arkansas’s first Chief Fire Officer Designee from the Commission on Professional Credentialing in 2010. Chief Jenkins is a regular presenter at national conferences and serves in various capacities on numerous boards and committees, including NFPA 1710. Chief Jenkins serves on the Industrial Advisory Board for Oklahoma State University’s Fire Protection and Safety Program and also serves as an adjunct professor for Oklahoma State University and Northwest Arkansas Community College. He has been an active member of the IAFC’s Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee, Company Officer Mentoring Program, and Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR) Working Group.
Captain Andy Starnes Capatin Starnes is a lifelong student of the fire service and has been involved with the fire service as a volunteer since 1992 and as a career firefighter since 1998. He is a fire service website contributor on the topics of thermal imaging, fire behavior, leadership, behavioral health, and faith based devotions. He also is the founder of, a nonprofit organization designed to encourage and provides guidance for firefighters in the area of behavioral health, counseling, and more. He is passionate about Fire Behavior and assisting in instructing others on understanding the complex terminology of modern fire behavior on a regular basis. He has been featured on numerous Podcasts and websites, and presented tactical thermal imaging courses at numerous fire service conferences across the US, Germany, and Canada.  His work and curriculum is now in use in the FKTP program in Ottawa Canada and his work has been published in Euro Firefighter 2, and numerous fire service publications. He currently serves as a Captain on an Engine Company in a large career department in NC, as the Deputy Chief for KTF Burns Division, and holds a Level 1 Thermography Certification, consults & teaches in the areas of Tactical Thermal Imaging. He is a certified NC Fire Officer III and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science Administration.