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.

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.

Denise Dougherty is an accomplished engineer with an MBA that includes extensive knowledge in compliance certification and business development. Denise has worked for and with notable Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) for over 17 years and brings manufacturing and international experience. Prior to PSC, Denise worked at Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for over 15 years. During her tenure she developed a unique knowledge of how UL and other notable NRTLs conduct business. She started out as a project engineer, worked as a subject matter expert (SME) and managed teams of technical and nontechnical staff and completed her career as Global Business Manager for UL Verification Services. Denise is also an active member in the Chicago chapter of the Society of Women Engineers where she brings leadership and passion for women in the math and sciences.

Denise grew up in Wellington, OH. She is an avid Cleveland Browns fan and especially a fan of Peyton Manning. Just like the Cub fans Denise is hoping the Cleveland Browns will participate in a Super Bowl during her lifetime. As a goal oriented person Denise has completed two Chicago Marathons and several sprint triathlons.

Denise also enjoys volunteering to causes close to her heart such as: Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS), Habitat for Humanity, and her local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

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

Alfreda Chellette, Accounting