New Members of the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners

Texas Governor Greg Abbott named six new members to the TSBPE, including a new chairperson, filling all of the vacant and expired seats. As Texas plumbers process the announcement of new Board appointments today, here is a list of all 9 members by their respective seats (defined by law) and staggered expiration dates:

  • Master: Ron Ainsworth, Midland (09/23)
  • Journeyman: Ben Friedman, Dallas (09/21)
  • Inspector: Mark Savasta, Houston (09/23)
  • RMP: Robi Jalnos, San Antonio (09/21)
  • Engineer: Bill Klock, Austin (09/23)
  • Residential Builder: Dave Yelovich, Friendswood (09/25)
  • Commercial Builder: Justin MacDonald, Kerrville (09/25)
  • Public: Milton Gutierrez, Fort Worth (09/21)
  • Public: Frank Denton, Conroe (09/25) – Chairman


In spite of the expiration dates, these appointments are subject to the expiration of Governor Abbott’s executive order maintaining plumbing regulation until May 31, 2021. The legislature must still vote to continue plumbing regulation before the end of the next session or it will revert to the various Texas municipalities.

Here is the official announcement from the Governor with a short bio for each new member.

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott has appointed James “Ron” Ainsworth, William “Bill” Klock, and Mark Savasta to the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners for terms set to expire on September 5, 2023. Additionally, the Governor appointed Frank Denton, who was named chair of the board, [David “Dave” Yelovich], and T. “Justin” MacDonald for terms set to expire on September 5, 2025. The board licenses master plumbers, journeymen, plumbers, and plumbing inspectors.


James “Ron” Ainsworth of Midland is a licensed Master Plumber and CEO of The Bosworth Company, LTD. He is a member of the Nexstar Network. Ainsworth attended Midwestern State University.


William “Bill” Klock of Austin is a mechanical engineer and serves as the vice president and chief technical officer for EEA Consulting Engineers. He is a former director and regional chair for the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Klock received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Mark Savasta of Houston is the city building official for the City of Houston. He is a member of the International Code Council. Savasta received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Business Administration from American Intercontinental University.


David “Dave” Yelovich of Friendswood is the Compliance Officer for Tilson Home Corporation. He is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, Texas Association of Builders, Greater Houston Builders Association, and numerous state and national building code committees. In addition, he is a member of the Texas Real Estate Teachers Association, where he is a Certified Real Estate Instructor. Yelovich received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Sciences from Texas A&M University.


Frank Denton of Conroe is the owner and president of the Denton Investment Corporation. He is a former commission chairman of the Texas Department of License and Regulation and a former member of the Texas Medical Board and Texas Association of Business. Denton received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University.


“Justin” MacDonald of Kerrville is the president and CEO of MacDonald Companies, Inc. He is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, Texas Association of Builders and Texas Business Leaders Council. MacDonald received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Angelo State University, a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at San Antonio and a Certificate in Managerial Leadership from The University of Texas at Austin.

I had the privilege of being introduced to Frank Denton (Chairman) before his first meeting and have spoken with him several times, including hosting him for a 2-hour conversation in our recent Houston RMP course.  Here are a few of the most relevant points from my perspective:

  • He is a very experienced chairperson due to his previous roles leading several previous boards.
  • He recognizes the shudder his previous role at TDLR sent through Texas plumbers and has repeatedly stated he was asked to lead the TSBPE as a standalone agency rather than to facilitate its merger into TDLR.
  • He is committed to aggressive progress lowering the time spent waiting for examinations, primarily through:
    • 3rd party delivery of the written exam components state-wide; and
    • Expanded availability of locations for the practical exams in several locations other than Austin.
  • He is very aware of the tradeoffs and tensions between lowering artificial barriers to entering the plumbing profession while maintaining meaningful standards to protect the citizens of Texas.
  • He is open to broad perspectives on the rich history, current reality, and future possibilities of Texas plumbing regulation, as evidenced by his solicitation of perspectives and questions from our recent course he attended.
  • He is in close contact with the legislators behind the plumbing license bills and they are soliciting his input and perspective as they proceed.

Frank realizes not everyone will like change, but change must happen for the TSBPE to survive.  We have made ourselves available anytime we can help and already appreciate the opportunity to speak candidly with him about the issues currently in play.


[Constructive comments worthy of licensed professionals are welcomed below.]