General Manager Fisher-Nickel, Inc.
General Manager David Zabrowski oversees the day-to-day operations at Fisher-Nickel, Inc.(Fishnick) and 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.
Senior Engineer / Director of Education
Richard Young, Director of Education and Senior Engineer, at Fisher-Nickel, Inc. (fishnick) currently focuses his efforts on technical outreach and education for the PG&E Food Service Technology
Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, CA. Young has over 20 years of experience creating and presenting seminars on energy efficiency for commercial foodservice and delivers over 75 sessions a year.
Young has authored numerous research reports as well as articles in industry magazines, newsletters, and on the web. He is the primary author of FSTC’s foodservice sustainability blog:
Sustainability Beyond the Plate.
Before focusing on outreach and education, Young developed several of the Center’s standard test methods before expanding into green building design as project manager for The Energy Efficient
McDonald’s (TEEM). He is an active contributor to the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, working with the USGBC to incorporate foodservice
into the LEED criteria. Recently, Young became an adjunct professor for Diablo Valley College and currently a member of both the Diablo Valley College Regional Culinary Arts Advisory Board and the
Advisory Council to the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program.
As an expert in energy efficiency in commercial foodservice, Young is a sought after speaker and is known for his ability to relay technical information in an effective and memorable way through the
use analogies and storytelling.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Rich Swierczyna manages the Commercial Kitchen Ventilation Laboratory (CKVL) for Fisher Nickel, inc. (FNi) 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
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.
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.