John Maydak  is a 24-year veteran of the fire service and currently serves as a Battalion Chief in the North Shore (WI) Fire Department. He currently oversees the Community Risk Reduction Bureau. Administrative responsibilities include managing new construction projects, Fire Investigation, and Officer Development. His education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from the Milwaukee Area Technical College. He recently completed the Servant Leadership Certificate Series through the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He teaches fire certification classes for Gateway Technical College and is a Wisconsin state certified Fire Officer I, Fire Instructor I and Fire Inspector. Maydak believes leadership training and professional development grow people, and people grow organizations. He is dedicated to self-improvement and inspiring others to do the same.

David Votsis is a 24-year veteran of the fire service and currently serves as a Deputy Chief in the Milwaukee (WI) Fire Department. His responsibilities include managing the staffing, training, and operations of the firefighting personnel assigned across the Department's 36 fire stations. Other duties include a myriad of administrative, staff, and public relations responsibilities. In his previous post as Special Operations Division Chief, Votsis directly managed the Department’s Special Teams, ensuring proper equipment and preparation for specialty incident and event responses. He is currently working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Management and holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science. Votsis teaches fire certification, professional development, and Incident Command classes at the Milwaukee Training Academy and throughout Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin.  He is a Wisconsin state certified Fire Officer II and Fire Instructor I and a nationally certified Incident Safety Officer. Chief Votsis authored his Department’s Incident Management Plan and co-authored the Department’s fire-based SOGs and the Milwaukee County High-Rise Operational Guideline. He is the Vice-President of the Milwaukee (city) Chief Officers’ Association and is married with two children.

    Meet the Team

Our professional development opportunities provide the leadership and team-building concepts that will drive you and your team through the grueling journey of getting to the top!

Managers are task-oriented and rely on rules, regulations and policies to accomplish tasks. Leaders, however, develop relationships, promote teamwork and inspire greatness in others. Many organizations, including the modern fire service, have been asked to do more with less. Now more than ever, organizations need leaders rather than managers. ​​


We look forward to establishing relationships and delivering value to our clients that will earn their respect and loyalty.

About The Floor Above

Toby Carlson  is a 17-year veteran of the fire service and currently serves as a Battalion Chief in the North Shore (WI) Fire Department. His responsibilities include oversight of the Training Bureau, EMS Operations, Apparatus and Fleet Maintenance, and the Department's Professional Development Program. His education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University and an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from the Milwaukee Area Technical College. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program from the National Fire Academy and currently serves as the President of the Milwaukee County Fire Training Officer’s Association. Carlson is passionate about professional development and leadership. He worked to create and implement an Officer Development program in his Department and continually seeks out educational opportunities to further develop as a leader in his personal and professional life. He teaches fire certification classes for Milwaukee Area Technical College and is a Wisconsin state certified Fire Officer II, Fire Instructor I and Fire Inspector.