Management and Key Staff

John Allen


John Allen is the Founder and President of Product Safety Consulting.  In 1988, John’s experience working with one of America’s leading inventors led him to the realization that product designers needed expert advice on not only how to navigate the often confusing and changing product compliance environment, but how to design products with safety and compliance in mind. Just two years after graduation, while working as a compliance engineer for Mitsubishi Electric, John quit his job and never looked back, starting the company from his garage.

John’s first projects were in the personal care industry working for the Epilady. He soon was deeply involved in a wide range of consumer, medical, and industrial products, working with clients such as SC Johnson, Colgate, Alkco Lighting,  Dial Corporation, KaVo Dental, CR Baird, Gendex, Cleveland Motion Controls, Hamilton Beach, Singer, Conair, Helen of Troy and many others. In fact PSC has helped over 3000 companies with product certification, compliance and testing.

Today, John is a recognized expert in Lighting, Medical, and Industrial Controls compliance standards. John Serves on the UL Standards Technical Panels for ULE 106 (Luminaire Sustainability), and UL 283 (Air Fresheners and Deodorizers), and is a Core Leadership member of the Forensic Failure Analysis Technical Committee of the IEEE.   John is also the Chairman of the Risk Assessment Technical Committee of the Product Safety Engineering Society.  He is a sought-after public speaker and serves as a senior advisor on product safety to a number of global consumer products companies.

In addition to his technical leadership, John is active in Project Lead-the-Way, a national organization dedicated to preparing high school students to be future leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. He is also sits on the Board of Directors for the Small Business Growth Corporation.

John Holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University.

Bruce Proper recently joined the Product Safety Consulting team and brings with him a wealth of Technical and International experience. He comes to us with 35 years of ULI experience in both Household and Commercial Appliances. Bruce has been responsible for developing and writing many UL Standards. In addition, he is fully trained in IEC 60335 Standards with related part 2’s for Commercial Cooking. Bruce is also an expert in NSF Sanitation Standards. He has managed the UL Data Acceptance Program and brings with him the good laboratory practice experience and certification process for ISO 17025 Lab accreditation.

Bruce is no stranger to International Assignments. In September of 1993, he was part of a European 2-year initiative to promote certification service in a local environment in Holland and Germany. Bruce handled many different types of products, including Vacuum Cleaners, Commercial Ovens, Dishwashers and Laundry equipment. In 2006, Bruce spent 3 years as the Operations Manager for UL Japan in a little village named ISE. Bruce was exposed to HiTech, Medical Dental and Solar Power during this time. He traveled across the Asian UL footprint providing training to staff for Appliances, NSF Sanitation and NEC Standards. Recently located in Holland, MI as the Operation Manager to oversee the Furniture Center of Excellence testing center, Bruce was responsible to merge the newly acquired Performance Test Lab with the UL mark and related services.

Steve Williams has been working in the compliance field for almost 30 years. Starting as a Product Safety Engineer at Dash Straus and Goodhue, which later became Intertek, Steve spent nine years focusing on the safety for ITE, Laboratory, Audio/Video, and Medical equipment. In that time, he was involved in the early days of CE Marking and the United States’ initial involvement with the CB Scheme.

The next path of Steve’s journey took him to American Power Conversion (APC) where he was in charge of Regulatory Compliance and Design Verification Testing for consumer grade uninterruptible Power Supplies and Transit Voltage Surge Suppressors. While at APC, Steve managed the internal test lab which was accepted in the test data acceptance programs of UL, CSA, VDE and TUV for various standards including UL/CSA/IEC/IEC/EN 60950, EN 62040, UL 1778, UL 498, UL 1449 and CSA 107.1. In addition to managing regulatory approvals, Steve was also named co-inventor on US patent #7,446,437 “Apparatus and method preventing an electrical backfeed”. The circuit was developed for an automatic transfer switch which employed relays instead of motor driven circuit breakers. After a nine year stint at APC, he returned to the agency side and worked for TUV Rheinland for ten years in various management roles. Besides managing Product Safety, Steve integrated the EMC operations into a centralized service provider and obtained his Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma which he utilized at TUV to improve customer service related processes and overall laboratory efficiency.

Steve has a unique perspective as he has worked for the agencies and been a customer of the agencies. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rochester and it is believed, based on a recent 23 and Me test, that Steve hails from a galaxy far, far away.

Lori A. Young has extensive experience in the Electrical Hardware and Software Engineering fields that includes design and project management for the Telecommunications, Medical Devices and Systems, Aviation industries, IT, and Health & Wellness areas.

She has managed, designed, and developed new equipment projects while completing both the Electrical Hardware and Software Engineering designs. Her experience includes working in dual roles as an Electrical Hardware and Software Engineer for Tellabs and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

Lori attended the University of Illinois at Chicago as a University Scholar and received her Electrical Engineering degree with the distinguished Highest Honors.

Max Rogers has led a long and distinguished career as a product design engineer, and is one of the country’s pre-eminent experts in the area of Radio Frequency (RF) technology.  In his 18 years at Motorola, Max helped to develop the first AM/FM stereo, (both tube and transistor versions).

After Motorola, Max spent 17 years with Cobra electronics where he is credited with the development of the first practical capacitor antennae. Max holds over 10 patents related to RF.

Since joining PSC in 2000, Max has worked with global consumer products companies on projects related to Failure Mode Evaluation and Analysis (FMEA) and accelerated Life Testing. In addition, he has led multiple projects in safety testing under UL 498 (Attachment Plugs and Receptacles) and UL 499 (Electric Heating Appliances).

Max holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan, and an MBA from Loyola University.

Ted Bernhard has been a design engineer specializing in numerical control systems and motor controls for numerous companies, including Bunker Ramo, Allen Bradley, Nordic Controls, Furnas Electric, and Siemens Energy & Automation. Starting with a position as an Electrical Engineer in the research department of the Addressograph-Multigraph Corporation, Ted progressed through a number of engineering and leadership roles to become the Vice President and General Manager of Nordic Controls Company in Batavia, IL.

Ted has been with PSC since 2005, where he employs his expertise in industrial control and a wide range of electrical equipment systems to help clients solve the most challenging compliance issues.

Ted holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, a Masters in Management from Case Western Reserve University, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John Knecht strives to maintain an active and expanding role in the product safety field.  He continues to expand his expertise to further the cause of product safety.

In his 12 years at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) in Chicago, then Northbrook, IL, he conducted product evaluations for Industrial Control Equipment, Electric Lift Trucks, and Components, supervised laboratory technicians in product safety testing, witnessed and evaluated short circuit and high capacity short circuit testing on numerous products, and  developed  new standards for Motor Control Centers (UL 845) and Insulation Coordination including Creepage and Clearance Distances for Electrical Equipment (UL 840).  He also developed requirements for Type E Integral Combination -Motor Controllers in Industrial Control Equipment (UL 508).  He later became involved with Emergency Lighting Products, Electric Signs, Lighting Systems and Fixtures, and Sun Tanning Equipment.

After UL, 18 years were spent at Intertek (ETL), Des Plaines and Arlington Heights, IL where he  retired as Assistant Chief Engineer.  During his employment at Intertek, he held the positions of regional Quality Manager, a member of the Quality Council who developed the Quality Manual to ISO 17025, and Regional Hub Trainer for the (B) basic (E) engineering (S) skills (T) training program.  He directed engineers and conducted evaluations for products using North American, International, and European standards including requirements for electrical, gas and oil, and sanitation products. He became a Qualified Reviewer for Sanitation Equipment – NSF, Paint Spray Booths, and 17 electrical categories, including Apparatus for Use in Hazardous (Classified) Locations; Industrial Control and Process Control Equipment; Gas and Oil Equipment; and Medical,  Dental, and Laboratory Equipment.  John holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, and an MBA from Loyola University.

He was a member of International Association of Electrical Inspectors for many years and a Principal member of National Fire Protection Association for Industrial Machinery (NFPA 79), Smoke Alarms (NFPA 72), and CO alarms (NFPA 720).

Harry Jones has been with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) for nearly 42 years, and just retired November, 2013.  Over the years, he has held assignments ranging from safety investigations, standards work, management, technical research, and new program service development. He has been involved with IT, electrical and combustion heating appliances, power tools and other motor operated appliances, venting equipment, and health affects issues for commercial cooking appliances. Harry has been active in the area of lithium-ion battery safety research with a focus on developing internal short circuit tests and collaborating with various national laboratories.

He has been a member of over 30 technical committees developing codes and standards for such equipment as fuel cells and hydrogen, appliances, and batteries. He was for over ten years the IEC TC105-WG8 Convener that lead the development the of the International Electrotechnical Commission standard for Micro Fuel Cells – Safety, IEC 62282-6-100.  Harry is a Licensed Professional Engineer with a BSEE from Michigan Technological University and a MS in Business Management from Aurora University. Harry twice received UL’s Professional Engineers Award. He is a Life Member of IEEE. He is a member of the IEEE Product Safety Engineering Society, and currently a Director at Large, and a member of the Chicago Chapter. Harry is an ASTM Fellow.

Alan Gradei, Director of Sales

Michael Borta, Marketing Specialist