Our Team

A family business that is small enough to provide quality and individual attention, but large enough to provide a full range of fire sprinkler services, all with a professional administrative staff.

Our company is organized so that every service call and inspection is monitored by individuals with extensive industry knowledge and experience.  From field technicians to administrative staff, Approved Fire Prevention employees are focused on providing industry expertise and courtesy to our customers.

Michael Ribando, President and Founder

Michael oversees daily operations and maintains fire suppression licenses, including a New York City Master Fire Suppression License.  Michael has over 40 years of industry expertise, including 30 years of direct field experience in the installation, inspection and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems.  Since he founded Approved Fire Prevention in 1998, he has led all daily operations.  In his current capacity, Michael utilizes his experience in risk management and local codes to provide customized solutions for the more complicated issues our customers encounter.  Michael is also focused on business development, customer service and building upon industry relationships to benefit Approved Fire Prevention’s customers.  He remains involved in the daily operations of inspectors and service technicians, acting as a sounding board for the field staff.

Chris Ribando, Vice President

Chris began working at Approved Fire Prevention as a part time field service technician in the summer of 2003.  In 2009, Chris joined Approved Fire Prevention full time as Vice President.  He holds NICET certifications for Inspection and Testing of Water Based Systems and Water-Based System Layout as well as a NJ state fire sprinkler license and all portable fire extinguisher licensing.  In his current capacity, Chris is responsible for overseeing operations including field service work, installations, administrative processes, purchasing and new business development.  Chris is focused on combining proven business methods with new technology in order to provide the highest level of accuracy and personalized service to Approved Fire’s customers.

Chris serves on the New York Fire Sprinkler Contractors Association as Vice President.

Chris was previously an investment banking analyst at Cowen and Company.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Political Science from the University of Richmond.

Patrick Weldon, Director of Operations and Service Manager

Patrick began working at Approved Fire Prevention in the fall of 2012 and currently oversees the company's operations.  Patrick is NICET level I certified in Inspection and Testing of Water Based Systems and is a licensed Type I & II certificate holder with the Nassau County Fire Marshal.  In his current capacity, Patrick directly manages Approved Fire's daily service operations, serves as a project manager and provides technical customer service.  Patrick is responsible for all of Approved Fire's field technicians and for quality control. 

Patrick is a Certified Public Accountant and previously worked for Deloitte.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from the University of Richmond and was a Division I collegiate athlete. 

Samantha Ribando Weldon, Director of Finance and Compliance

Samantha began working at Approved Fire Prevention in the fall of 2012 and currently oversees the company's finances, compliance and human resource needs.  Samantha's daily responsiblities include overseeing billing and collection, managing sales tax compliance and reporting, updating and analyzing internal financials, cash flow management, onboarding for new hires, and manages contracts for new and existing customers. 

Samantha is a Certified Public Accountant and previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and a minor in Latin American Iberian Studies from the University of Richmond. 

Larry Del Negro, Regional Manager

Larry began working at Approved Fire Prevention as a Regional Manager in 2013.  He has been in the Fire Protection industry for over 30 years, starting out as a volunteer Firefighter in South Planfield, NJ where he has been a Chief Officer for the past 17 years.  Larry was also a career Firefigther for the Veteran Administration and a Fire Inspector for the Borough of South Plainfield, NJ.  He has over 20 years of experience in private sector Fire Protection including installations, inspection, testing and management.  Larry is responsible for managing all service, inspection and new installation work for Approved Fire Prevention in New Jersey, Upstate New York, Staten Island and Westchester. Larry holds a NJ state fire sprinkler license and is NAFED certifed for portable fire extinguisher and commercial kitchen supression system service. 

Valerie Arma, Office Manager

Valerie joined Approved Fire Prevention in 1998 as one of the company’s original employees.  She is responsible for overseeing all administrative duties including plan submittal and AHJ contact, contracts, invoicing and quoting.  Valerie manages a team of administrative personnel which handles all areas of customer relations.

Laura Ribando, Inspection Coordinator

Laura joined Approved Fire Prevention full time in 2001 and is responsible for the scheduling, coordination and execution of all inspections.  Laura has daily contact with customers and inspectors to ensure all inspections are completed in accordance with local and national codes, at the customer’s convenience.  Additionally, Laura reviews and processes all deficiencies written by our inspectors to ensure continuity and quality.

Don Walton, Designer and Consultant

Don has been a consultant to Approved Fire Prevention since the Company's inception.  He has 36 years experience in the fire sprinkler industry and has designed and consulted on all types of automatic fire protection systems.  Don is a NICET certified sprinkler layout technician and was a member of the 2002 NFPA 25 (Inspection, Testing and Maintenance) committee.  He holds certificates of completion for fire alarm plan review as well as testing and inspections.  Currently, Don provides field surveys, system design, plan and inspection and maintenance consulting.

Don was formerly Executive Director at an international fire consulting firm and a Fire Safety Specialist for the Riverside County Fire Department.

E: P: 1.800.497.2959