Protecting people and property in the rapidly evolving world of fire and life safety requires leadership, collaboration, vision, and drive. Few embody these virtues more than NFPA’s Matt Klaus, who has been recognized by Fire Protection Contractor (FPC) magazine as their 2020 “Person of the Year”.
FPC magazine has been a go-to resource for fire protection contractors, designers, and engineers since 1978. Every year, they shine a spotlight on one industry innovator—and this year it was Matt Klaus.
The honor acknowledges the work ethic and expertise that NFPA has come to expect and appreciate from Klaus over the last 20 years. What is striking about Matt is his sincerity. Colleagues and stakeholders find his ability to establish strong relationships and openly communicate to be both refreshing and relevant. James Golinveaux, CEO of The Viking Group, said of Klaus, “His integrity is what keeps him real and his knowledge and passion is what makes him successful.”
Passion has been a cornerstone of Klaus’ career. After completing his Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from WPI in 2002, he took a role as a fire protection engineer with Schirmer Engineering. At Schirmer, he honed his skills in everything from sprinkler design to code consulting. His diligence led to him working both domestically and in the Middle East. It was around this time that he was elected to the Salamander Honorary Society, the oldest national honor society for fire protection engineering dating back to 1922.
In 2010, NFPA brought Klaus on as a staff liaison, allowing him the opportunity to reach a broader, larger audience and have more of an impact on fire protection. He used his reach to hold 15-20 in-person seminars a year. Today, he shares his expertise as the NFPA Director of Technical Services.
Matt places a high value on motivating and educating the next generation, believing that communication and understanding the ‘why’ of things is critical to the growth and advancement of the individual, and overall life safety.
For these reasons, and many more, NFPA is proud to congratulate Matt Klaus on this special recognition.