NDPTC's cadre of instructors are of the highest caliber, very well-respected in their fields and disciplines. Many have advanced degrees in science, engineering, planning, and architecture, and years of practical experience as leaders within their field of expertise.
Mr. Gerard Akaka, an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, has 18 years of combined experience in Emergency Management (EM) planning and operations, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) processes; International military partnership engagements, training, exercise and currently, cybersecurity assessments. Mr. Akaka served in the Air National Guard from 2001-2013 as an Emergency Manager and CBRN technician where he served as an instructor for CBRN defense concepts and operations. He served on tours of duty during Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom where he implemented Emergency Management programs and maintained Installation Emergency Response Plans. Mr. Akaka continued to support a wide-range of programs and projects with the Department of Defense (DoD) and State governments. He assumed roles as a; Maritime Security Planner for State of Hawaii, a multinational planner for coalition military forces, and as a Program Analyst for DoD biological force protection projects and measures. He served as a Hurricane Planner to the State of Hawaii Catastrophic Hurricane Readiness Response Plan Initiative, on behalf of the Federal Management Emergency Agency (FEMA), and most recently he supports the DoD as a cybersecurity analyst providing architecture and risk assessments for missions and operations.
Marcus Landon Aydlett
Marcus Aydlett is a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) at the Weather Forecast Office in Guam (WFO Guam). There since June 2010, his primary roles include issuing weather forecasts and help maintain a 24/7 weather watch for the Mariana and Micronesian Islands from the Republic of Palau to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. When severe weather threatens, he occasionally provides decision support services through Heavy Weather Briefs at the Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Homeland Security offices.
In September 2013, he was certified by the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center as an instructor for the AWR-217 Tsunami Awareness Course. Since then, he’s instructed multiple AWR-217 workshops across the Marianas, working with decision makers of the federal and territorial governments, response personnel and business leaders.
In 2017, Aydlett became the local program lead for the NWS Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador Initiative (WRN). Once ranked last among the nation’s 122 WFOs, WFO Guam now leads the nation in its number of Ambassadors. Aydlett uses the WRN to foster collaboration with core partners and organizations across the region to promote weather preparedness through awareness, education and outreach.
Prior to his arrival on Guam, Aydlett worked as a Meteorologist on the U.S. Army’s Kwajalein Atoll Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands. Aydlett served as a Launch Weather Officer for missions including SpaceX launches and U.S. Military missile defense tests. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology.
Amanda Ball serves as the Safety Officer and Outreach Coordinator for MedFlight - A non-profit, critical-care transport provider with 9 Helicopter bases and 4 Mobile ICU bases throughout Ohio. She is trained as an Operational Control Specialist that has dispatched over 6,000 transports in her career. Amanda is an Advanced EMT and Continuing Education Instructor for the State of Ohio, and has provided lectures, on behalf of MedFlight, for Fire/EMS personnel, EMA officials, security departments, SWAT teams and FBI teams.
With 17+ years experience in EMS, Amanda focuses her education efforts on the public service & health care arenas, and has served as a consultant for large non-profit hospital systems in Ohio, as well as other Helicopter EMS programs nationwide. Amanda lectures nationwide on the benefits & uses of social media in the EM, pre-hospital and hospital setting... topics including communications management, promotion of industry safety, brand identity, fundraising efforts, community engagement, unmanned aircraft systems, safety promotion and more.
Amanda attended the undergraduate programs at The University of Toledo and The Ohio State University, and received her EMS training at Columbus State Community College. You can follow MedFlight's social media activity at @MedFlightOhio.
David Barker has served with the Idaho Falls Police Department since 1992; has been certified to serve as a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport since 2008, and currently serves as IFPD’s Logistics Officer and UAS Team Lead. David has been involved with radio control (R/C) model aircraft and a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) for over 30-years, has served as President of a local R/C aviation club for the past 13-years, and is an instructor for both organizations. In 2010, given his involvement and insight into the R/C hobby, David began researching the developing UAS technology and the relating regulations, specifically as to how the emerging technology might be used in public safety and gave his first presentation about using “drones” to the department heads. David waited (somewhat patiently) for the Department to see the benefit us utilizing UAS technology, and once a program was approved, has worked to build the department's UAS program from scratch. David is a certified instructor by Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), focusing on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), is an FAA certified Remote Pilot with an sUAS rating, is a Technical Expert (TE) with DRONERESPONDERS (www.DRONERESPONDERS.org) and currently serves as the Administrator of the Idaho Public Safety UAS Council (IPSUASC).
Tom Bedard is a meteorologist and Implementation Manager at AccuWeather Enterprise Solutions in Wichita, Kansas. At AccuWeather, Tom operates as an emergency management consultant for over 600 companies across North America and Europe. He previously served as a Knowledge Center Analyst for Risk Management Solutions and as a Course Development Program Coordinator at NDPTC. During his time at NDPTC, he participated in the development of AWR-326, 331, 332, 347, 356, and E0102 (2016) as well as the redevelopment of AWR-308 and 310.
Tom serves as the incoming chairperson of the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Emergency Management. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Penn State. His operational response background is in emergency medical services, technical rescue, and firefighting.
David Blake is currently an aviation meteorologist for The Weather Company in Dallas, TX providing daily forecasts and update briefings for several domestic commercial airlines. David gained his aviation meteorology experience as a former U.S. Air Force meteorologist, serving eight and a half years in the military. During his service, he gained experience forecasting severe weather in the continental United States, briefing aircrews throughout the world on in-flight weather hazards, and discussing weather impacts for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He later became the operations superintendent and training supervisor of a weather squadron at Wheeler Army Air Field.
David separated from the Air Force in 2012 to finish his bachelor’s degree in the science of meteorology. He graduated in May of 2016 from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. While attending the university, David also spent time as a research assistant for the university’s geography department. This research included investigating the effects a strong El Niño event in the summer of 2015 had on the tree line on Haleakalā on the island of Maui.
Growing up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, David was exposed to severe storms rolling through the Midwest, which fueled his fascination with weather patterns and the atmosphere. During the summer of 2014, he spent time as an intern for the WGN Weather Center and news team in Chicago, Illinois where he assisted the chief meteorologist in preparing for the evening broadcast.
David plans to continue his career in aviation meteorology for The Weather Company.
Currently, Bobel serves as a Public Information Officer with the Division of Emergency Management in Lexington, Kentucky. He handles day-to-day public information duties for the division, including social media outreach. Bobel serves as a member of the ten-county Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) public affairs team which manages education, information and emergency response public information for the CSEPP program. Prior to joining government service, John Bobel worked in broadcast and on-line journalism and public affairs. His career extended through every aspect of news, broadcast station operations, media relations, emergency and conventional public information and social media systems. He was Managing Partner of MediaVentures – a national communications consulting firm. His clients included CNN, Faith and Values Media and Blue Grass Airport. He also served as the Manager of Program Operations for the Massachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications (MCET) where he upgraded program production standards, techniques and overall operations. Bobel was Vice-President and News Director of WKYT-TV, supervising the day-to-day newsgathering efforts and long-term planning for the news department. Prior to WKYT-TV, Bobel was an account executive for McHugh and Hoffman, Inc. As a broadcast news consultant, he has worked with television stations and other broadcasting companies to improve their editorial content, market position and image. Bobel has worked in television newsrooms in Indianapolis, Boston, Baltimore and Denver. He is co-founder of KCOU-FM and founder and President/ CEO of Travelago, a streaming video and information provider to the Internet travel industry. Bobel graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Thomas Bogart was the Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director of the Lynnfield, MA Fire Department. Thomas served thirty years in the fire service. Bogart graduated from the United States Fire Administration's Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy and received his EFO designation in 2011. He holds the Chief Fire Officer Professional Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence's Commission on Professional Credentialing. He was chosen to be a Member of the prestigious Institute of Fire Engineers, he is allowed to use the honorific post-nominal subscript of MIFireE. Bogart was also credentialed as Fire Chief by the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission.
Thomas has the following degrees: • Master of Arts- Fire Science and Administration, Anna Maria College • Bachelor of Science- Fire Science Administration, Salem State University • Associate of Science- Fire Protection and Safety Technology, North Shore Community College
Bogart graduated from the Donohue Institute of the University of Massachusetts’ Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program.
Thomas taught and served on the Instructional Staff of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy for over twenty years. He is an Instructor for the U. S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy. He is an Adjunct Faculty member of Bunker Hill Community College, North Shore Community College, and Anna Maria College. He is a former President of the Massachusetts Institute of Fire Department Instructors.
Chief Bogart is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs/Federal Emergency Management Incident Management Response “Go Team” representing FEMA Region I.
Lenora Borchardt is the owner and founder of EPTEC Inc., an emergency management consulting firm in Sun Prairie, WI. She first became interested in emergency management when, as a young child, 1975’s Hurricane Eloise forced her family to spend a few nights in a Niceville, FL high school gymnasium. Ms. Borchardt gained experience by building an emergency management career from the bottom-up as a CPR/first aid instructor and progressing through as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and firefighter. She worked in security and emergency preparedness at Meriter Hospital in Madison, WI while finishing her BA in Geography (Physical Geography-Climatology/People & the Environment Interactions) and a certificate in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Borchardt was employed in the Planning Section of Wisconsin Emergency Management, where she led Radiological Emergency Preparedness while completing her MBA and a Graduate Certificate in School Safety from Colorado State University. Ms. Borchardt has also been employed as the Emergency Management Director of Adams County, WI. In 2003, she opened EPTEC, Inc., which gave her the opportunity to work more closely with public agencies as well as private businesses. Ms. Borchardt has experience in all areas of emergency management, having participated in response and recovery efforts for several federally-declared disasters. Ms. Borchardt is a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) and an accomplished preparedness practitioner. She regularly instructs FEMA courses in Wisconsin and as an Adjunct Instructor at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD. She has written numerous state and local-level emergency operations and hazard mitigation plans and regularly works exercises on various topics across the United States and internationally for all levels of public and private agencies.
Dr. Phillip Bothwell is a meteorologist with over 37 years of experience in the National Weather Service. He worked at the National Severe Storms Laboratory as well as local and regional Weather Service Offices. The last 25 years of his work with the NWS was as Senior Development Meteorologist for the Storm Prediction Center. Phillip developed new computer applications used in forecasting for severe weather, winter weather and fire weather, and periodically conducted training on forecasting techniques. In addition, he worked the SPC forecasting desks. This included issuing forecasts for severe and other hazardous weather across the lower 48 states.
His degrees are from the University of Oklahoma. Before his retirement from the SPC, Phillip’s work included using and evaluating a wide variety of the computer forecast models, satellite and radar systems and numerous other observing systems used by forecasters. He also assisted in incorporating this data into the computer workstations used by the meteorologists. He has been heavily involved with the major lightning observing systems in the U.S. and has developed techniques for the prediction of lightning including authoring and lecturing on articles related to lightning.
Since retiring, Phillip has continued his interest in following daily weather events. He returned part time to the National Severe Storms Laboratory to assist in a study of lightning and satellite data related to severe weather. He also enjoys interacting with students and other instructors in a variety of FEMA classes.
Ted Buehner retired from the National Weather Service (NWS) after a more than 40 year career from 1977 to 2018. His last position for 23 years was as the NWS Seattle Warning Coordination Meteorologist, a key customer liaison position, providing decision support services in working toward enhancing the “end-to-end” forecast and warning system by more closely tying the agency's mission of protecting lives and property, and enhancing the region’s economy, with its partners and customers, such as emergency managers, the media, and the marine community.
Now in retirement, he continues these efforts to make a difference in helping protect his community through various local committees such as the Washington State Emergency Communications Committee (Vice-Chair), and the Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference Committee. He also works with Emergency Management Group – Washington, who supported the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle and Seafair events with pre-event exercises and operating in the EOC in a weather support role.
In addition, he works with the two Everett radio stations doing commute time traffic and weather, sports reporting, and producing weather minute Podcasts. He also volunteers with Snohomish County DEM and is also a licensed amateur radio operator with the Snohomish County ACS. His TornadoTed business permits him to assist other organizations with training, exercises, and other activities.
Ted has a Bachelors of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences from Oregon State University. Go Beavs!
Dave Bujak, CEM, MPA
David R. Bujak, CEM, MPA serves as the Emergency Preparedness Manager for the University of Rochester and UR Medicine in New York since 2017. In this position, he ensures that both the higher education and healthcare enterprises of the University are prepared to prevent, protect against, mitigate the impacts of, respond to, and recover from all potential threats and hazards, natural or human-caused. Mr. Bujak is considered a subject matter expert in higher education and healthcare emergency preparedness. The University of Rochester’s mission is to learn, discover, heal, create and make the world Ever Better (Meliora, Latin). UR Medicine’s mission is to improve the well-being of patients and communities by delivering innovative, compassionate, patient- and family-centered health care, enriched by education, science, and technology (“Medicine of the Highest Order”). Mr. Bujak has over 20 years of experience in the field of emergency management, including 10 years as the Director of Emergency Management for Florida State University; 7 years at the Florida Division of Emergency Management in both the Operations Section and Critical Infrastructure Unit and 4 years with the American Red Cross. Areas of expertise include innovative use of technology, mass notification and warning, severe weather and meteorological systems. B.S. Civil Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL Master of Public Administration, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Marc Burdiss CEM MEP M.Ed serves as the President of Preparedness Solutions, Inc. He specializes in helping others prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters every day through exercises and consulting. He routinely meets with local, state, federal, and tribal emergency managers to train, plan, and exercise for emergencies. Marc has earned the International Association of Emergency Manager’s designation as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM). Mr. Burdiss is also recognized as a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) and has experience designing and facilitating exercises ranging from county, state, and federal level, to military and Major League Baseball exercises. Prior to starting his own consulting company, Marc worked as the Director of Emergency Management for Northern Arizona University. He has served as the Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Shelby County, Ohio as well as one of eight Field Liaisons for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. Mr. Burdiss has a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management and Planning and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership.
Bonnie Canal, MBCP is an internationally recognized leader in both community and business resilience innovations and strategies. This is achieved by engaging the entire business’s entire organization and with a keen focus on the key leadership personnel. Bonnie has over 30 years’ experience the Information Technology Sector with the last 12 specializing in Business Resilience.
Bonnie was inducted into the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society at St. John’s University, New York City for her work in Business Resilience.
Bonnie is the Immediate Past Chair of the Association of Contingency Planners where she served for 6 years. She is a proud native of New Orleans and has experienced what she calls, “The Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, and BP Oil Spill” disasters first hand. She has had to learn how being resilience leaders and businesses to increased performance, achieve stronger relationships, and build mental toughness that we all need in today’s ever increasing busy world.
Rita Castonguay Hunt
Rita Castonguay Hunt is the chief instructor, a pilot, and project manager at a Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) commercial services company based in NH where she specializes in both manned and unmanned aviation operations, project development, and business development. She is the designated “Drone Pro” for the FAA Safety Team for both Maine and New Hampshire. Rita is considered an industry expert in UAS regulations.
Prior to working in the UAS industry, Rita was the aviation planner, pilot and FAA-certified airport safety inspector for the state of New Hampshire. Where she was responsible for the safety inspections of the state’s 23 public-use airports, responded to aviation related accidents as a subject matter expert on behalf of the State Police; and acted as state liaison to both the FAA and NTSB.
Rita graduated from Daniel Webster College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Flight Operations and a Master's in Business Administration. She is a certificated commercial pilot and flight instructor, as well as, certificated part 107 remote pilot. Rita has been instructing the Commercial UAS Certification Program at Southern New Hampshire University since 2019 and the Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Disaster Management course for NDPTC since 2016.
Chels Chae has served in the United States Army for nearly 30 years, culminating his career as the Chief of Staff for Joint Task Force – Homeland Defense. He is a subject matter expert in multinational operations, international negotiations and organizational design and development. Chels has over 12 years of experience working closely with 29 of the 36 countries in the U.S. Pacific Command. He has provided oversight and directed extensive Army Theater Security Cooperation Plans spanning 24 partner nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Dynamic Planning & Response LLC, his company has provided extensive support in emergency preparedness and management as well as strategic planning to innumerous clients. His company also developed and delivers executive level seminars and workshops that incorporate strategic leadership, design and strategic planning to solve and manage complex problems.
Chels’ education includes a Master of Strategic Studies from U.S. Army War College and a Master of Advanced Military Studies. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in International Relations from the United States Military Academy and received training from the Institute of Design at Stanford University on Design Thinking.
Frank Cianfrani currently serves as the Staff Education Coordinator and a Paramedic Supervisor with Centre LifeLink EMS in State College, PA. His duties include the development and delivery of continuing education programs for EMS providers and the recruitment and mentoring of new EMTs at his agency. Frank has twice been recognized as Educator of the Year at Centre LifeLink.
Frank also serves as an adjunct faculty member for Harrisburg Area Community College’s Shumaker Public Safety Training Center, where he both coordinates and serves as a lead instructor for their State College EMT program. Additionally Frank also serves as an adjunct EMS instructor and paramedic with Penn State University EMS.
Prior to transitioning full time careers to EMS, Frank worked at AccuWeather in State College, PA for nearly a decade. Frank spent his time at AccuWeather in the Television Operations department, where he provided meteorological data and technical support to broadcast customers around the world. Some of his duties included both remote and on-site training for clients, as well as working with the software development team as a quality assurance manager on the development of a new TV weather graphics computer system.
Frank studied at Penn State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology with a minor in Media Studies. He completed meteorology internships at WMGM-TV in Atlantic City and WCAU-TV in Philadelphia while attending college and has a particular interest in how social media can be used to communicate critical information during high impact weather events. He resides near State College, PA with his wife and daughter. Originally from South Jersey, Frank is a huge Philadelphia and Penn State sports fan, and very much misses the beaches and diners of his home state.
Results-driven management professional with over 25 years of extensive leadership experience in diverse homeland security and anti-terrorism operations including service in the U.S. Army in frontline operations. Experienced in all aspects of security, anti-terrorism, and enforcement initiatives to include identifying, developing, implementing, and maintaining processes to reduce risks and limit exposure to liability in all areas of physical and personal risks for national security. Advised United States Army & Foreign Military Senior Leaders in the defense against weapons of mass destruction in areas such as (WMD) force protection programs and (WMD) elimination. Trained staff to deal with weapons of mass destruction, including the defense against WMD as well as response and decontamination procedures in the case of chemical, biological, radiological events.
As a Defense Contractor/Associate working for Booz Allen Hamilton on a military instillation Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I am responsible for providing training to deploying U.S military & foreign military personnel on proper movement techniques, mounted and dismounted weapons employment, urban warfare tactics, techniques, procedures; and force protection.
Coordinated and directed C-IED training to over 10,000 US Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines and 5,000 Partner Nation Forces. Represented the Asia Pacific Counter IED Fusion Center at multiple overseas exercise planning conferences as a lead planner and instructor. Provided technical guidance in the planning, researching, and implementing education and training programs. Ensures Training Support Packages (TSPs) and Programs of Instruction (POIs) are in compliance with the IED Defeat integration training strategy.
Mitch Cooper is a certified Department of Homeland Security Incident Management Instructor. He is currently an adjunct all-hazards instructor for two National Domestic Preparedness Consortium members; The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii and the National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center at Texas A & M University, Texas Engineering and Extension Service (TEEX).
Previously, Mitch was the Program Director for Community Emergency Planning in the Texas Department of Health’s Division of Emergency Preparedness. He developed plan templates for hospitals and special needs facilities and worked with the Texas Legislature to revise rules for disaster plans for special needs facilities in Texas. He was also the agency’s representative to the Governor’s State Emergency Response Team (SERT).
Mitch was also a Texas Division of Emergency Management State/Exercise Training Officer. He conducted classes and exercises for jurisdictions throughout the state of Texas. He completed the FEMA Professional Development Series of courses and was the first training officer to receive a FEMA Master Trainer Certificate, writing the state’s first Terrorism Awareness Course as his practicum. As part of the SERT, Mitch responded to numerous emergencies and disasters both in the Emergency Operations Center and in the field. Following the Oklahoma City bombing, he represented the State of Texas to FEMA Region VI and the Department of Justice on matters concerning statewide terrorism training.
Mitch is a retired veteran of the United States Air Force, serving for 22 years in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism and is a certified Air Force Master Trainer.
Mitch earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas, a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Instructor/Communications Technology from the Community College of the Air Force.
Rob Dale is a meteorologist and emergency manager. After spending over a decade as a TV meteorologist with an emphasis on severe weather coverage, he made the transition to emergency management in 2009. He spent two years in hospital emergency management, and currently works for the Ingham County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as a planner. He also runs a weather alerting system for businesses and public safety agencies called First2Warn, which is used throughout the nation for site-specific weather warnings.
He started the International Association of Emergency Managers Caucus on Climate, Water, and Weather, and chaired that group for over two years.
Rob graduated from Jacksonville State University with a Bachelor’s in Emergency Management, and has a Masters in Emergency & Disaster Management from American Military University. He holds the Michigan Professional Emergency Manager (PEM) designation.
Mark Darienzo has been an NDPTC tsunami and flood class instructor since 2010. Previously, he was the Earthquake and Tsunami Program Coordinator for Oregon Emergency Management and the Flood Map Modernization Program Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. After retiring he was a FEMA Floodplain Management Specialist/Disaster Reservist from 2011 to 2016 deployed to Mississippi, Missouri and New York to do flood damage assessments and Texas to answer questions about flood insurance and flood maps at a pilot call center. He was also a Certified Floodplain Manager for about 5 years. Prior to working for the state of Oregon he was an earthquake and tsunami researcher and college geology/oceanography instructor He received his BA in Geology from the U. of Delaware, his MS in Interdisciplinary Studies (Geology, Physical Geography and Oceanography) from the U. of Oregon, and his PhD in Environmental Sciences and Resources/Geology from Portland State University.
Phil Davis is the principal in his own consulting firm, Davis Health and Safety Associates, specializing in emergency management and executive development. In late 2005, he retired as the Deputy Fire Chief of the Elk Grove Fire Department in California. He has also served as the Assistant Fire Chief for the UC Davis Fire Department. He was in the fire service for 28 years (and in emergency services for 33 years) and has worked as a firefighter/paramedic, captain, training officer, EMS coordinator and Chief Fire Officer. He has served on two Type-2 Incident Management Teams for CALFIRE in California. After retiring from the fire department, Chief Davis served as the Emergency Services Director for the American Red Cross, Capital Region Chapter.
His experience also includes part-time adjunct faculty positions at the National Fire Academy, UC Davis and Chico State University as well as numerous California community colleges. He has authored several professional articles and magazine columns. He currently blogs for the on-line version of Emergency Management Magazine and the Sacramento ABC affiliate, News10.net. Twice nominated as Fire Instructor of the Year, he has presented dozens of classes in 43 states plus Canada.
Chief Davis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and is certified as a chief officer, master instructor, hazmat technician, hazmat incident commander, hazmat safety officer, EMT and fire officer in California.
Andrew Doyle, Sr. is a fire and emergency medical services professional with over 20 years of comprehensive emergency response experience. Currently, Andrew is an Emergency Boat Operator assigned to the Special Operations Command of the Baltimore City Fire Department. In plain terms, he operates the fire boats. Andrew has served on the Baltimore City Incident Management Team and represents the Maryland Professional Firefighters (IAFF) on the Maryland Fire Service Personnel Qualifications Board. He is a certified NFPA 1041 Fire Service Instructor, NFPA 1021 Fire Officer 4, NREMT-I, and NFPA 1006 Technical Rescue certifications in Swift Water, Confined Space, Collapse Rescue, Trench Rescue, and Hi-Angle Rescue as well as a US Coast Guard Licensed Boat Captain. Andrew was deployed as part of a Maryland Incident Management Team, with other emergency management professionals from Maryland, to assist Monroe County, FL following Hurricane Irma in 2017. Andrew is blending the rapidly expanding world of social media with emergency management. His knowledge and training in fire, emergency medical services, special operations and public information training make him uniquely qualified to do so. Additionally, Andrew is an independent consultant of Social Media for Government Agencies & Private Industry and an active blogger. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys cheering for Maryland Terps, Washington Caps, Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Ravens. For fun, he plays lacrosse. Last, but not least, he is the proud father of three children, Emily, Andrew, and Jeremy. Follow him on twitter: @doyle0213.
Carolyn's career began with research on glaciers, principally those on the Cascade Range volcanoes, and later on glacier-related floods and debris flows. Witnessing the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and taking part in the response, set the course for several fascinating scientific projects. It also provided a front-row seat for observation and reflection regarding the role of science in society. As the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory's Outreach Coordinator, Carolyn works in partnership with public officials, emergency planners, media, park interpreters, educators, and the news media to advance the cause of volcano preparedness. Some earlier career choices have informed current work, including several years of teaching in a US public school and a private school in Kathmandu, Nepal, and working for the National Park Service. As CVO's Outreach Coordinator, daily interactions with emergency managers and news media amidst volcanic eruptions, debris flows, and periods of quiescence have given Carolyn a broad base of experience in crisis communication and the general communication needs of partners and the public.
Dr. Don Drost recently retired as Professor of Physics at the University of the Virgin Islands. In the mid-90’s, Drost was charged with developing Science 100, a course required of all entering students at UVI. The course is called Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis in the Caribbean. He is the author of the textbook and lab manual for the class, published on line for students. One of the goals of the class is to educate citizens about natural hazards common in the Caribbean. Since initiating the course, Drost and other staff at UVI have taught the course to 10,000 students at UVI St. Thomas and UVI St. Croix. Drost is involved in other activities associated with Astronomy at Etelman Observatory funded by NASA EPSCoR, Education Research in Science 100 funded by NSF and investigating the introduction of Creative Problem Solving Thinking Skills in Science 100, also supported by NSF. Dr. Drost continues to serve as an Adjunct Professor at UVI while he and his wife divide their time between Florida, North Carolina and the Virgin Islands. He and his wife spend their spare time on the water and in the water often with their dog Rosie.
John Ewert is a geologist based at the U.S. Geological Survey-Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS-CVO). The observatory monitors potentially active volcanoes for signs of reawakening, conducts fundamental research on volcanic processes, carries out volcano hazards assessments, and is responsible for issuing warnings related to volcanic eruptions.
John began working with the USGS at Mount St. Helens in 1981, monitoring and researching eruptive activity there as well as working on projects at other Cascade Range volcanoes. In 1986 he was one of the founding members of the ongoing USAID-USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) and worked in VDAP from 1986-2010 responding to volcanic eruption crises and developing volcano monitoring infrastructure around the Pacific Rim. From 2010 to 2015 John served as the Scientist-in-Charge (SIC) of the Cascades Volcano Observatory and has recently returned to work with VDAP and on other volcano hazards projects in the United States. Current work includes publishing an update to the U.S. volcano threat assessment and developing implementation plans for the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) which was authorized by Congress in February, 2019.
Mr. Field is a Senior Emergency Management Specialist with the Wood Hazard Mitigation and Emergency Management program. Mr. Field has over 25 years’ experience in emergency management, homeland security, and resilience planning, including risk and vulnerability assessments for natural and human-caused hazards. At Wood, he has led or supported dozens of planning efforts for state and local governments. From 2011 to 2016 he served as Executive Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the City and County of Denver, Colorado. During that time, he led Denver’s response to and recovery from two Presidentially-Declared Disasters, while also steering Denver to become the first city in Colorado accredited by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. He is a graduate of both the Colorado Emergency Management Academy and FEMA’s National Emergency Management Executive Academy. A West Point graduate, Mr. Field previously served as a US Army infantry officer, and as an FBI Special Agent, before joining the State of New Mexico Office of Emergency Management in 2001. With Wood, Mr. Field has worked on seven state, local, and regional hazard mitigation plans in Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa, and South Dakota in the past year. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) with the International Emergency Management Association (IAEM).
Dan Flynn is an Emergency Manager for the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management in California. He also serves as the National Disaster Response Director for Sheep Dog Impact Assistance, a national, not-for-profit disaster response organization, providing teams of current and former military and first responders to national and regional disaster responses. Dan holds the prestigious Master Exercise Practitioner designation through FEMA and is an Instructor for several member agencies of the National Disaster Preparedness Consortium. He is a Subject Matter Expert for the American Nurses’ Association for their National Healthcare Disaster Certification program. He did his Master’s level work in the Sociology of Disasters.
Dan started his Emergency Response/Management career nearly 40 years ago with the U.S. Coast Guard, working in Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement and Marine Safety. In civilian life, he has served as a Police Officer, a Sheriff’s Deputy and a firefighter. He served 5 years with FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue team, MO Task Force 1 and 10 years with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mass fatality team, DMORT VII, serving as a HAZMAT Specialist and Trainer.
Dan was the Emergency Response Team Manager for Recon Solutions. During the 2004-2005 Hurricane seasons, Dan and his team the first “boots on the ground” at nearly a dozen hurricanes, assisting with state, county and local responses along the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines. He has served on the Command and General Staff of several Type 1 disaster responses including tornados, floods, oil spills and large-scale animal disease epidemics. He is a certified Fire Service Instructor, a FEMA NIMS, CERT and HERT Instructor and has delivered over 10,000 hours of training for federal, state, NGO, Healthcare and Private Sector organizations.
Mary Jo Flynn-Nevins
Mary Jo Flynn-Nevins is the recipient of the 2018 Top Advocate for Social Media in Government award from the Government Social Media Organization. Currently, as an Emergency Operations Coordinator for the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services, she is responsible for: training, exercises, planning coordination, technology, and social media. She started her Emergency Management career in 2007 where she served as the Emergency Management Assistant Director for the Anaheim Fire & Rescue Department until 2015. Mary Jo has a MS from CSU Long Beach in Recreation Administration, a BA from CSU Fullerton in English Literature and is a trainer with the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) and the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) and offers advanced level training in areas of public alert and warning, social media and emergency organization and management. She currently holds a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credential through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and is the Past Chair of the Emerging Technology Caucus and Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Social Media Working Group for Emergency Services and Disaster Management (SMWG). When not spending her time in Emergency Management, Mary Jo enjoys the mountains of the high Sierra, tennis, swimming, and golf. As a volunteer with the Red Cross for over 20 years, she is an advocate of everyone learning how to swim, and training in CPR, First Aid and Stop the Bleed.
Oceana Francis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a joint appointment in Sea Grant College Program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM). She is a licensed civil engineer in both Alaska and Hawaii. Her professional engineering work includes built infrastructure projects and extreme environments such as coastal, offshore, and permafrost. Notably, this includes working on many rural infrastructure projects under Senator Ted Stevens’ administration in Alaska; the relocation of villages due to climate change and ocean hazards; and the decommissioning of outdated systems and strategic reconfiguration of new electrification replacements for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). She has organized two offshore expeditions in the Alaska region and three offshore expeditions in the Hawaii region with the goal of studying local sea wave (SW) conditions. Her most recent Arctic work, includes contributing in optimizing the rheology in sea ice models. In parallel, she has also been involved in studying the oceanic processes in the Hawaii and North Pacific regions, such as projection of the extreme wave climate in the North Pacific Ocean; coastal exposure of the Hawaiian Islands; and assessing vulnerability and risk to ecosystems, built infrastructure and societies and the feasibility of implementing different engineered adaptations. This has led to work on high-visibility projects on coastal hazards for the State of Hawaii and Hawaii’s counties. She is currently serving as editor for American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology.
Suzanne Frew leads The Frew Group, a certified Woman-Owned Small Business and Woman Business Enterprise, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Suzanne has been helping governments, businesses and community organizations manage risk, build institutional capacity and improve communications for three decades. She has extensive expertise in cultural competency, working with leaders of diverse communities to build culturally and socially inclusive policies, procedures and practices grounded in diversity, equity and inclusion. Suzanne specializes in applying innovative approaches of design thinking, serious gaming, storytelling and cross cultural communications to resilience and recovery planning, training and exercises, and communications outreach and engagement. Suzanne is an international speaker, a keynote, and a prior FEMA IX PIO and Mitigation Marketing, Education and Partnership Development Coordinator. A contributing author to four disaster resilience books and numerous professional articles, she works throughout the U.S., Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, Caribbean, and Canada. She is a member of the IAEM Diversity Committee, IAEM Technology Caucus, and a founding member of Gender and Disaster Network. She holds a MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BA in Interdisciplinary Public Relations/International Social Welfare.
Robert Glancy was born in the territory of Hawaii, moved a lot growing up in a Navy family, and completed high school in Annapolis, Maryland. He received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Wyoming. In early 2017, he retired from NOAA/ National Weather Service with nearly 36 years of experience, having worked as a Satellite meteorologist in Kansas City, forecaster in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Meteorologist in Charge of a Weather Service Office in Providence, Rhode Island, lead forecaster in Denver, Colorado and 22 years as Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) in Denver/ Boulder, Colorado. The WCM position is the primary outreach position at the National Weather Service and he conducted a lot of spotter training, dispatcher training, safety training, and weather awareness training across northeast Colorado. Working as a NDTPC instructor allows him to continue to spread the weather safety message.
Chris Gloninger is a meteorologist at NBC 10 Boston and necn. He received his bachelor's degree in Meteorology at Plymouth State University and most recently his master's degree in Emergency Management from Millersville University. Chris received his Certified Broadcast Meteorologist accreditation from the American Meteorological Society. Recently Chris presented a paper, “How to Improve Communication During Times of Severe Weather,” at the AMS annual meeting in New Orleans. Chris is interested in improving communication between first responders, the National Weather Service and television meteorologists in order to better protect the public. Researching his paper, Chris worked extensively with the Wisconsin fire departments. Previously, Chris worked at WISN in Milwaukee, where he won an Emmy for his winter storm coverage and several Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards - one, which also received an Emmy nomination, covered the icebreaker Mackinaw on an 18-hour operation in the Straits of Mackinaw to free a freighter carrying road salt to replenish Milwaukee’s critically depleted supply. He was also sent to cover two EF4 tornados, which hit Washington, Illinois and Rochelle, Illinois. While at WISN, Chris met his wife, Cathy, and was married in Milwaukee just before coming to necn. They live in Norwood. Chris began his career at WHEC in Rochester, New York, where he salso taught Intro to Meteorology at Monroe Community College. Next stop was WTEN in Albany, New York. At WNEM in Saginaw, MI, Chris received an Emmy nomination for his coverage of the 2010 Michigan floods. He was nominated for another EMMY at WRGB in Albany, New York for the weather special, “Irene - One Year Later,” which covered the progress made after the historic flooding in the Schoharie Valley. At that time, Chris used his days off to help the people of Schoharie clean up. During his time at WRGB, Chris covered the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Queens and Staten Island, and broadcast live as the Rockaways were burning.
Mr. Goldhammer’s career in emergency operations began in 1969 when he became a volunteer member of the Ithaca, NY Fire Department while attending Cornell University to work on his degree in Meteorology. In 1974, he went to work for Hillsborough County Emergency Medical Services (EMS). He worked with the department in many capacities until his retirement as Assistant Chief of Operations in March 1997.
In November 1994, Bob received his certification as an emergency manager (CEM) from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Bob received his BS degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida in 1995.
In March 1997, Bob moved to Des Moines, IA to become the emergency management coordinator for Polk County, IA. In July 1999, Bob received his Certified Business Continuity Professional certification from the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII). In July 2002, Bob received his Masters in Teachers in Geosciences from Mississippi State University.
Mr. Goldhammer left his position with Polk County in March 2003 to pursue a variety of opportunities related to emergency preparedness. He is currently a member of the instructor cadre for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center.
Bob served as an IAEM regional president for approximately 10 years. He currently represents the organization on the National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Ready Nation program. He is currently a member of the FEMA National Reservist Program; his primary duties are with the Hurricane Liaison Team. He was the co-chair of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Emergency Management Committee from its inception to January 2017.
Bob and his wife Nancy live in Des Moines, IA.
Dr. Monica Gowan is a geologist (MS) and health scientist (PhD), and a subject matter expert in natural hazards, climate change impacts, and disaster resilience. She enjoys sharing her experience from flood, landslide, wildfire, and earthquake disasters in the US and New Zealand, and has trained hundreds of students and professionals in hazard assessment, preparedness planning, disaster risk reduction, and resilience. Monica has participated in full-scale operational and tabletop earthquake exercises, tsunami evacuation planning focus groups, volcanic mudflow warning and communications experiments, pandemic planning, and complex medical emergency simulations. She has served with the Cascadia Virtual Operations Support Team (VOST) and is a member of the Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps. Monica has local government experience at Olmsted County, Minnesota, assessing environmental health needs and managing environmental resources projects. She has consulted in the US Pacific Northwest, conducting hazard mitigation planning for federal, state, and local agencies and natural resource and property development. She has been a Faculty Lecturer in Geology and expert witness in natural hazards litigation before Washington Superior Courts. She also coordinated and conducted clinical and epidemiologic research at Mayo Clinic, examining the role of quality of life in resilience to adversity. Monica is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a former elected Councilor, Geology & Health Division officer, and Geology & Public Policy Committee officer. She is a contributing author to eight public policy position statements and has participated in over 20 Congressional visits addressing natural hazards, climate change, infrastructure, and emergency management policy.
Allison Hardin, CFM is a planner for the City of Myrtle Beach. Her 30-year career includes experience with regional and urban planning, GIS mapping and coordination, floodplain management, hazard mitigation planning, business operations and emergency services. She has been a longstanding partner in, and supporter of, NOAA's Digital Coast project; served as chair of both the SC Association for Hazard Mitigation and state Arc GIS users group; and served four years as a co-chair for the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM)’s Coastal Issues subcommittee. Besides incorporating resiliency into her daily work, Allison has made presentations on climate change impacts and community resilience to everyone from civic groups to Congressional staff. As a result, Allison has received many awards, including the 2011 City of Myrtle Beach Public Service Employee of the Year; the 2012 Planning Awareness award from the SC APA chapter for her work to promote resilient community practices; and the 2017 Louthain award from ASFPM for her service to the association. Besides her BS degree from Appalachian State University, she has received training in adult learning methods through the Emergency Management Institute, and for several years enjoyed being a first responder in western NC. Most recently, Allison served as the first Chair-Elect (2015-17) and second Chairperson (2017-19) for the new Hazard Mitigation/Disaster Recovery Division of the American Planning Association (APA), during which time the division received the 2019 Divisions Council Achievement Award in Communications Efforts. She has been a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) since 2003.
Carolyn J. Harshman, CEM is President of Emergency Planning Consultants located in San Diego, California. Since 1984, Ms. Harshman has provided emergency management plans, training, and exercises to a wide range of governments, including public educational institutions. Professional services include: hazard and vulnerability assessments, recovery and reconstruction plans, hazard mitigation plans, emergency response plans, needs and capability assessments, continuity of operations plans, catastrophic plans, grant writing, trainings, and exercises. Carolyn has enjoyed two careers – one in land use planning with the City and County of San Diego and one in emergency management beginning as a hazard planner for the County of San Diego’s Office of Emergency Services. Ms. Harshman holds a Master of Public Administration Degree and is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) as conferred by the International Association of Emergency Managers.
Miguel Hidalgo is a certified professional emergency manager with the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA) and has 15+ years of emergency preparedness planning experience for city/county government and private sector organizations. Miguel’s expertise includes public health preparedness, community preparedness, government continuity of operations planning, business continuity planning and social media use for emergency management enhancement. Miguel has led in the plan, design and execution of full-scale exercises to include the activation of the Federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program and its medical assets deployment and distribution methods. He has worked in several natural disaster response deployments throughout his career. He has worked for the Florida Department of Health Office of Public Health Preparedness, the NYC Department of Health Disease Control Bureau, Montefiore healthcare system and is currently an emergency management planner and consultant.
Miguel’s education includes: a Bachelor of Arts in Government with a minor in Urban Affairs, Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and is a FEMA certified Incident Command System (ICS) instructor.
Carolina Hincapié-Cárdenas earned a master’s degree in Marine Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in Physical Oceanography at UPRM-Mayagüez Campus. Her research interests are mainly in the areas of Tsunami Hazards and Mitigation Plans. She worked from 2010 to 2015 with the Puerto Rico Seismic Network coordinating the TsunamiReady® program, supporting local stakeholders in coastal municipalities throughout the island in order that they obtained the TsunamiReady® recognition. Carolina received the 'Tsunami Ready Champion' award for her efforts and commitment to the U.S. TsunamiReady® Program. For four years, 2015 to 2019, Carolina collaborated with the NOAA/National Weather Service ITIC- Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program, as contractor and NWS Student Trainee. Ms. Hincapié-Cárdenas with her expertise supported regional synergies to successfully implement the UNESCO IOC CARIBE EWS Tsunami Ready pilot project among several Caribbean Member States.
Dennis Hwang is Faculty at the University of Hawai'i Sea Grant College Program where he authored several books including the Hawai'i Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guidebook, which is used in the land use process in Hawai'i. After Hurricane Katrina, he helped produce the Louisiana Coastal Hazard Mitigation Guidebook for the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and FEMA. He was also the lead author for the Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards which was produced in Hawai'i, and has been modified with other Sea Grant Programs for Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Delaware, Massachusetts, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Guam. Dennis participated with the FEMA Building Science Branch in assessing damage from Hurricane Harvey for the Mitigation Assessment Team "MAT" Report. He currently is working on the 4th Edition of the Homeowner's Handbook, which has a climate change component. In addition, he is tasked with putting a Communication & Education Outreach Plan for hazard preparation for the Hawaii State Legislature. Dennis has his Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Rochester, Master of Science in Geology & Geophysics from the University of Hawai'i and Jurist Doctorate from the University of Houston, where he concentrated in land use and property law. He is a member of the State of Hawaii Earthquake and Tsunami Advisory Committee, Hawai'i State Bar Association, and is a Court appointed arbitrator.
David Imy's 33 year career in the National Weather Service (NWS) included working at five different National Weather Service. This included being in a forecaster position at North Little Rock, AR; the Warning Preparedness Meteorologist at Jackson, MS; , NEXRAD Training Instructor at Norman, OK; Supervisor Denver, CO and a Supervisor at the Storm Prediction Center. A few of the major tasks included forecasting at all locations, training severe weather spotters and providing safety talks for various schools, hospitals, etc., as well as developing and teaching a 4 week NWS in-residence Doppler radar course. The last 15 years of his NWS career were spent at the Storm Prediction Center supervising 22 forecasters, working 25% rotating shifts and issuing severe thunderstorm and tornado watches, mesoscale discussions, severe convective and fire weather outlooks for the contiguous states. David retired from the NWS on Dec 31, 2011. Since that time, David has been teaching meteorology classes, involved with scientific research projects and also an expert witness for weather-related court cases.
Mr. Dan Iradi is an Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, serving as a Senior Emergency Preparedness Specialist since 2012. He currently supports the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Emergency Communications Division (ECD). While supporting CISA, Mr. Iradi spearheaded a major update to the Emergency Communications Governance Guide for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials. Mr. Iradi also provided subject matter expertise for the 2019 National Emergency Communications Plan update. Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, Mr. Iradi worked at the American Red Cross for 10 years in a variety of roles, including the Red Cross Liaison to FEMA Region II. Mr. Iradi supported disaster response operations following Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Ike, Irene, and Lee. While supporting FEMA Region I for Booz Allen Hamilton, Mr. Iradi helped initiate response activities after the Boston Marathon bombing. Mr. Iradi holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctorate from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, focusing on American politics and public policy.
Over 36 years state and federal military experience with 20 years in the areas of Disaster Planning and Response; Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA); Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (FHA) and Disaster Relief; Homeland Security (HS) and Homeland Defense (HD); Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and Antiterrorism-Force Protection (AT/FP); Training and Exercises; Campaign, Operational, and Security Cooperation Planning; and Emergency Management, and at the local, state, national, and international arenas. Recently developed and coordinated execution of the Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO) Certification Exercise (CERTEX) along with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HIEMA), and U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) ensuring readiness of DoD support to potential eastern Pacific disasters. Was responsible for plans and exercises encompassing HD, DSCA, PEID, and major contingency operations. Planning incorporated mission assurance and critical infrastructure risk management to identify and prioritize critical capability requirements, development of risk decision packages, synchronization and implementation of risk reduction actions and coordination of threat and hazard reporting. Fostered CIP and other protection program integration in command planning, readiness reporting, and theater assessments to inform capability gap identification and resource decision-making. Helped identify and develop processes, procedures, and solutions to build a responsive situational awareness capability as well as the tools integral to supporting current and future planning and execution. Developed associated exercises through all phases of the Joint Exercise Life Cycle (JELC). Provided critical support for theater level exercises and engagements including service component and sub-unified exercise programs and associated program reviews to ensure compliance and organizational goal achievement.
Diane is a broadcast meteorologist at a 24-hour local news and weather TV station in Tampa Bay. Her job also includes forecasting for several radio stations and two newspapers. She has over 25 years of experience forecasting severe and tropical weather. Diane regularly gives talks to adult groups and schools about hurricanes.
Diane started her meteorological career at Penn State University, PA, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology. Her first job as a meteorologist was at Air Science Consultants in Bridgeville, PA where she did radio forecasts for cities in the U.S. and Canada and wrote forecasts for several large newspapers. At the same time, Diane's did weekend weather in Steubenville, OH. Then Diane spent a couple years at WATE in Knoxville TN. She became the Chief Meteorologist at Lexington, Kentucky's WLEX. Then she was at WDAF-TV in Kansas City, MO, before coming to the Tampa Bay area as a meteorologist for WTSP. Diane has been part of the Bay News 9's Weather Experts team since 2004, and has been covering all of the tropical storms and hurricanes that have impacted Florida since 2000.
Diane is a member of the American Meteorological Society, holding its Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal, and a member of the National Weather Association.
Bryan grew up in the southern suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota, and traveled an hour and a half southwest to Mankato State University to follow his dream of working with weather and the sciences. During his junior year, he turned that lifelong dream into a reality by accepting the weekend weather position at local CBS affiliate KEYC-TV. He spent 12 years as the morning meteorologist at KCCI-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. Not only was he a storm-chaser tracking numerous tornadoes during his tenure, but he was also given a chance to work with KCCI’s sister stations in New Orleans Orlando helping with hurricane coverage, including Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne during the busy 2004 hurricane season. In 2010, Bryan returned to his hometown, where he was part of a team of meteorologists who launched the national weather channel WeatherNation TV. Karrick’s weather experience and continuing education earned him the National Weather Association’s (NWA) Seal of Approval, and he was honored to be named NWA Broadcaster of the Year in 2009. Bryan remains active in the NWA and is currently serving on the organization's board. He also holds the American Meteorological Society’s CBM Seal of Approval. Karrick was honored to be named “Best Weathercaster” by the Florida Associated Press in 2017, 2018, and 2020. He is certified in Tornado Awareness, Hurricane Awareness, Flooding Hazards & Awareness, and Coastal Hazards by the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center.
Earle Kealoha retired as a captain with the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) after more than 30 years of service including four years as an original member of their Hazardous Materials Response Team and five years working in their Occupational Safety and Health Office.
Earle completed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s initial “All Hazards Incident Management Team (AHIMT)” course and position specific training for Logistics, Public Information Officer (PIO), and Safety Officer as well. From 2006-2010, Earle served as one of the HFD’s “Back-up PIOs”. During the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperative held in Honolulu in 2011, Earle served as a member of the HFD’s AHIMT as its Incident Safety Officer.
Earle has completed courses conducted by other National Domestic Preparedness Consortium organizations. They include the Center for Domestic Preparedness WMD Incident Command Course in 2000; Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings Technical Operations Course conducted by the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (2003); WMD Radiological/Nuclear Course for Hazardous Materials Technicians conducted by what is now known as the Center for Radiological Training or CTOS (2005); and the Advanced Incident Management/Unified Command course conducted by the Texas Engineering Extension Service (2008).
He received an associate of science in Fire Science from HCC in 1985, a bachelor of science in Public Administration from UH West Oahu in 1987 and a Masters in Public Administration from University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2006. Earle completed the National Fire Academy’s rigorous four-year Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program and received his EFO designation from the in May 2010.
Alisha King is an internationally certified emergency manager, nationally recognized disaster technologist, and an award winning educator with a passion for building resilient communities. Ms. King has built her career on a foundation of operational sciences, including work in cybersecurity and critical infrastructure, bioterrorism response planning, emergency medicine, and humanitarian field deployments. In addition to her full-time job, Alisha serves as an instructor for the US Department of Homeland Security, as an advisory board member to the Homeland Security Center of Excellence, and as a volunteer technologist with a regional social services non-profit. Some of her professional contributions include: • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy - Contributor • White House Disaster Innovation Initiative - Contributor • US Department of Homeland Security, Congressional Advisory Committee - Member • International Association of Emergency Managers, Emerging Technology Caucus - Founder • International Association of Emergency Managers, Public Awareness Award - Recipient • Seattle Police Department, Technology-Enabled Control Clinic - Co-Founder & Instructor
Mr. Kirby is a senior public safety operations specialist, providing leadership and guidance for an array of public safety enhancements required by local, state, federal, and tribal agencies. He has been serving in the homeland security sector for more than eight years, and has 43 years of field and management experience in law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medical services, emergency communications, and emergency management areas. His experience includes disaster response to pipeline ruptures, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Mr. Kirby is a subject matter expert assisting clients and consultants primarily on projects that support the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Ken "Disaster Guy" Kondo, APIO, MEP has over 30 years of experience in community & media relations, event planning and market research with Los Angeles County Probation, Mental Health & Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management, Major League Baseball, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Harlem Globetrotters, 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, California Angels and 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Has planned, coordinated and conducted more than 200 preparedness seminars, trainings & exercises partnering with seniors, persons with disabilities access functional needs. In 2016, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) presented him with America's Prepareathon in Action Honorable Mention Award and Los Angeles County Quality & Productivity Commissioners' Teamwork Award. In 2017, Business & Industry Council for Emergency Planning & Preparedness honored Mr. Kondo with its Award of Excellence. In 2018, inducted into Great ShakeOut Hall of Fame. A graduate of FEMA Emergency Management Institute's Master Exercise Practitioner Program in addition earned California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, California Standardized Training Institute (CSTI) Emergency Management and Public Information Officer (PIO) Specialist certificates and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Position Credentialing Standard Type 3 as PIO. Mr. Kondo is also certified training instructor with FEMA, Cal OES CSTI and National Disaster Preparedness Training Center for EOC operations, Incident Command System 300 & 400, Crisis Communications, PIO and new technology.
Dr. Kong has been the Director of the International Tsunami Information Center (ITIC) since 2001. As Director, she oversees the Center that supports the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in its efforts to deploy tsunami warning and mitigation systems globally, and that works directly with the 46-nation Intergovernmental Co-ordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/PTWS) to strengthen international and national tsunami warnings and preparedness.
Since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Dr. Kong has been active in advising countries around the world on how to build robust and sustainable tsunami mitigation systems. Dr. Kong also serves as the Hawaii State Tsunami Advisor. She is the former Chair of the Hawaii State Earthquake Advisory Committee, and a member of the Hawaii State Hazard Mitigation Forum. Previously, she was with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the University of Hawaii's Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute. She was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, is a graduate of Brown University and received her doctorate in Seismology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1990.
Emily Kukulies is an educator. She is a Tenured Professor at the University of Hawaii – Honolulu Community College. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration, as well as an MBA from Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii. She will soon be completing her Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a focus in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. She is a 2018 University of Hawaii Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Medal winner. Ms. Kukulies is also a community leader. She is very active in disaster community in the state and across the United States. Emily Kukulies is a Senior Responder with the American Red Cross and is active in responding hands-on to local and national (U.S.) disasters. She serves as the Community Engagement and Partnerships Lead for with the American Red Cross for Hawaii. She is also the Chairperson of the Hawaii VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and National VOAD Chairperson for US Islands and Alaska Committee.
Margaret Mangan is the Scientist-in-Charge of California Volcano Observatory, one of the five USGS observatories responsible for issuing timely volcano hazard warnings in the US. Margaret joined the USGS in 1983, moving from her initial posting at USGS headquarters outside Washington D.C. to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in 1990, and then in 1998, to the USGS Menlo Park California campus.
As Scientist-in-Charge, Margaret manages a staff of 50 scientists and technicians, leads the monitoring efforts at eight threatening volcanoes, and works with emergency management authorities at all levels of government. She is a Course Developer and Instructor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency Volcano Crisis Awareness training in California. She has responded to numerous volcanic eruptions and disturbances in Hawaii, Alaska, California, and the Caribbean.
Margaret holds a PhD in volcanology from Johns Hopkins University. Throughout her career, she has conducted field, laboratory, and theoretical studies to determine conditions that trigger volcanic eruptions and control eruption intensity. She has published numerous research articles in prominent scientific journals. She is former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, and is an elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
Paul Manson is a researcher with Portland State University's Center for Public Service (CPS). His research focuses on increasing the effectiveness of public involvement in thinking about life after a disaster event, and how communities can plan for an uncertain future. Recent research efforts include applied community planning workshops and public opinion surveys on disaster recovery planning. Paul also develops demographic and spatial tools for disaster response. Paul is also a PhD candidate at Portland State. His dissertation research is focused on the multi-year Oregon Territorial Sea Plan update – a marine spatial planning effort to resolve conflicts among many ocean users via a technologically mediate participatory GIS system. His applied work includes the development of coastal viewshed assessment protocols and tools to support communities participating in marine spatial planning. Paul is an Oregon Sea Grant Fellow and a NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Fellow. Paul started his work in emergency preparedness in the Civil Air Patrol in Alaska and continues to be engaged in his own community supporting preparedness.
Irvin R. Mason, Sr. is currently the Training Coordinator for the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA), where he was worked since 2000. Mr. Mason is responsible for coordinating and conducting exercises to test the readiness of the territories’ emergency operations centers and other government agencies territorially throughout the year. He also initiates training to increase preparedness in all aspects of emergency management and homeland security. He is a certified trainer for CERT, HAZMAT, WMD, and Tsunami Preparedness. Mr. Mason is also the sitting Chairman of the Board of Directors for St. Thomas Rescue, an all volunteer service, that consist of members that are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians, First Responders, First Aiders certified in CPR, extrication, search and rescue and all related areas of rescue to include dive rescue.
Eric Matusak began volunteering at the age of 15 with the City of Long Beach Search & Rescue team, which he continues to this day. Eric was hired full-time by the City of Long Beach’s Harbor Department where he served as a Harbor Patrol Officer for two years. Eric moved on to the City of Long Beach Police Department as a patrol officer in the City’s West Patrol Division. During this time, he was awarded the Department’s Meritorious Award for Heroism. Officer Matusak then transferred to the Field Support Division where he worked as a member of the Event Planning Section and was responsible for the emergency management responsibilities of the department. Eric promoted to sergeant in 2015 and eventually took an assignment in the Downtown Entertainment District where he was responsible for coordinating and supervising the activity of a specialized unit of police personnel. Duties included supervising full-time staff, managing an overtime budget of approximately 1.15 million dollars in the Downtown Entertainment District, being a point of contact for the convention center, local hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars related to enforcement. In January 2021, Eric was promoted to Police Lieutenant. He currently serves as a patrol watch commander where he manages the resources of the department on a shift covering the 52 square miles and nearly 500,000 residents in the City of Long Beach. Lieutenant Matusak is currently an Incident Command System instructor and serves as an Incident Commander on the City of Long Beach’s All-Hazard Incident Management Team.
Maureen McCann knew she wanted to be a broadcast meteorologist since the age of 4 when Hurricane Gloria blew through her New England hometown. So, it's fitting that Maureen has landed in Florida, since it was a hurricane that sparked her interest in weather in the first place. Maureen is currently the weekday morning meteorologist at News 13 in Orlando, the 24-hour station serving Central Florida. Her TV career has taken her around the country to experience a wide range of weather patterns starting in Bangor, Maine, followed by stations in Syracuse, NY, Austin TX, and Denver, CO. It was in Denver that her storm chase adventures with the late Tim Samaras and his research group TWISTEX transformed into a special which was honored with an Emmy Award and a Colorado Broadcasters Association award. An active member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), Maureen holds both the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and Certified Consulting Meteorologist seals. She serves as the AMS Commissioner on Professional Affairs. The National Weather Association has also awarded her with their Television Seal of Approval. Originally from Arlington, Massachusetts, Maureen graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Atmospheric Science and has earned a Master's of Emergency and Crisis Management from the University of Central Florida with a focus on geographic information systems.
Dennis McGowen began his law enforcement career in May of 1981 with the Del City Police Department where he served as a Patrolman with two years in the K-9 Division. In 1985, Dennis joined the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission and is currently the Special Agent in Charge of the Oklahoma City Enforcement District which encompasses 27 Oklahoma Counties. His duties have included internal affairs, organized crime, tornado and disaster response, training and public speaking appearances. Dennis has completed over 3,837 hours of advanced law enforcement training including: Death Investigation Academy, Criminal Intelligence Officer Academy, Criminal Investigation Academy, Critical Incident Stress Management, Suicide Prevention, Anti-Terrorism, Human Trafficking, Management & Leadership, Emergency Management, Weather Pattern Identification & Hazards and the OK-First weather data interpretation certification. Dennis earned his B.A. in Criminal Justice with a Forensic Science minor from the University of Central Oklahoma. He holds a CLEET Advanced Law Enforcement certificate and has been certified to instruct: Law Enforcement Driver Training (LEDT), FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), OSHA Blood Borne Pathogens, National Safety Council Alive@25 Teen Driving Course, Question, Prevent, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper, Law Enforcement Suicide Prevention, Police Suicide Awarenes, Below 100 (line of duty death prevention) and ICISF Critical Incident Stress Management. Dennis has served as an Adjunct Instructor for the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education & Training (CLEET), the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) National Training Academy and a Lead Instructor at the OSU-OKC Precision Driving Training Center.
Angela Michaels is the former County Engineer and Floodplain Manger for Ada County, Idaho. In that capacity she was exposed to the regulatory and administrative side of flooding, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as FEMA flood risk map revision process. Additionally, she chaired the Steering Committee tasked with updating the Ada Emergency Management’s multi hazard mitigation plan. In her roll she joined a flood fight in her own community, seeing flood flows matching record highs as far back as 1983. She has firsthand experience with facing the threat of flooding and knows how critical preparedness is for our communities and our country. Most recently she volunteered for post-fire cleanup on the Camp Fire in Northern California.
Angela’s current focus is educating, specializing in learning based adult education, developing and delivering training as a SME in the floodplain management and emergency management fields.
Angela has a BS from Oregon State University. She is licensed Professional Engineer in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. She’s a Certified Floodplain Manager with extensive experience in hydrology and hydraulics analysis. She is also a Certified Profession in Erosion and Sediment Control. Angela spends her spare time mountain biking, fly fishing, and traveling the world participating on volunteer design teams in developing countries.
Sarah K. Miller is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) who currently serves as the Emergency Management Coordinator for the 16 cities, one tribe, and one island of south King County, Washington. Previously, she was the Emergency Manager for the City of Auburn, Washington for 9 years. Her 30 years of public service includes 12 years as a public safety dispatcher and 9 years as a search and rescue volunteer. Sarah has been an adjunct faculty member at various colleges and universities since 2002. She currently teaches undergraduate courses at Pierce College and graduate courses at Georgetown University. She also works with a number of FEMA training partners to deliver courses across the country on topics including social media, whole community, situational awareness, and CERT, as well as teaching in the National Basic, Advanced, and Executive Emergency Management Academies. Sarah is active in the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), currently as President of Region 10, immediate past-Chair of the Emerging Technology Committee, and as a member of the Global Communications Work Group. She holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Emergency Management, is a graduate of the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, and has completed doctoral work in homeland security, terrorism, and public policy. Sarah is also certified in cybersecurity management and business continuity and holds a graduate certificate in Information Security and Assurance. A native of Oregon, Sarah has lived in Washington State since 1997 with her husband and various cats. You can find her on Twitter @scba.
Bronlea Mishler is a public relations and communications professional who currently runs Bronlea M Consulting. Prior to her consulting work, Bronlea spent more than a decade as a communications director and crisis communications expert for city and county governments in Washington state. Her skills include coordinating public outreach efforts for departments and elected offices; training staff in media relations, communications and social media best practices; management and content creation for multiple social media accounts; and crisis communications. Bronlea's experience in crisis communication includes managing social media and public outreach during the March 2014 Oso landslide, coordinating communications for the 2014 Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting and the 2016 Cascade Mall shooting, organizing the JIC and managing communications for the 2016 Break Free protests in Anacortes, assisting with PIO coordination during a 2016 officer-involved shooting in Mount Vernon, and serving as the lead spokesperson and social media manager for several weather-related and jurisdictional emergencies in Skagit & Snohomish counties. Her past experience includes work as a communications coordinator for Skagit County, communications director for the city of Marysville, and deputy director of communications for Snohomish County. She also worked for the Washington State Department of Transportation managing the popular @wsdot_traffic Twitter account, and began her professional career as a local newspaper reporter. Bronlea lives on a small farm in Washington with cats, chickens horses, goats, sheep and a one-eyed Border Collie. Connect with her online: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bronlea or @bronleamishler on Twitter.
Mr. Murata has over 20 years of experience in disaster management and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) in the local and state arenas. He has supported disaster management and HA/DR efforts in support of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), the State of Hawaii as a Booz Allen Hamilton (Booz Allen) employee, and as a member of the Hawaii National Guard (HING). He supported USPACOM HA/DR efforts as part of a Joint Interagency Coordinating Group planning cell and numerous National Guard Domestic Operations efforts within the State of Hawaii as a National Guardsman. As a National Guardsman, he also served as the USPACOM J572 Deputy Branch Chief, leading HD, Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA), and Pandemic Influenza, Infectious Disease and Biological Considerations and Foreign Humanitarian Assistance planning and represented the branch during operational efforts. Also as a National Guardsman, Mr. Murata served as a counter drug officer and liaison to USPACOM Joint Interagency Task Force – West and the JIACG-CT. As an employee of Booz Allen, Mr. Murata provided direct support to the USPACOM J572 and the Joint Task Force Homeland Defense for HD and DSCA planning and execution efforts. Mr. Murata is currently supporting the U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC) Futures Division as an experimentation integrator and planner. He previously supported the USARPAC Asia-Pacific Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Fusion Center as a counter improvised threat and explosive ordnance device (EOD) planner.
Cheryl Nelson is the Founder & Owner of Prepare with Cher, LLC and has two decades of experience in front of the camera as a lifestyle TV host, spokesperson, meteorologist and natural disaster preparedness expert. She specializes in preparing the public for all types of weather and natural disasters, while ensuring they are prepared to travel, no matter what Mother Nature has in the forecast. Highly respected in her field, Ms. Nelson has appeared on TV networks such as BBC World News, Fox News Channel, CNBC, The Weather Channel and The AccuWeather Network and she currently hosts the weekday lifestyle TV show, Coast Live on CBS in Norfolk, Virginia. She also hosted the TV special Get Ready America: The National Hurricane Survival Test which aired in fifty television markets in the United States. Her successful satellite media tours on severe weather/hurricane preparedness and the lifesaving importance of disaster preparedness kits are seen by millions of people nationwide. A broadcast meteorologist certified by the American Meteorological Society, Ms. Nelson helps save lives by teaching the public how to prepare for hurricanes, wild fires, earthquakes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, winter storms and extreme heat - with a focus on family and pet preparedness. Working tirelessly to educate on severe weather safety, she is affiliated with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration as an ambassador for Weather-Ready Nation. Ms. Nelson is also a FEMA-certified instructor for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) where she teaches courses on Flooding, Hurricane, Tornado and Winter Weather Preparedness. A graduate of Penn State University, Ms. Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology with an emphasis in Communications. Ms. Nelson serves on the American Meteorological Society Broadcast Board as member and co-chair of the AMS Broadcast Conference in 2020. Follow Ms. Nelson on social media @CherylNelsonTV and on her website, www.PrepareWithCher.com .
Kyle Nelson is a meteorologist and emergency management professional based in Aspen, Colorado with experience in Local, State and Federal agency response to weather disasters. He is a 911 Dispatcher and Emergency Management Consultant for Pitkin County, Winter X Games Coordinator and Mountain Weather Forecaster at Buttermilk Mountain, and Planning Section Chief for the Pitkin County and Northwest Colorado Type 3 Incident Management Teams. In addition to his academics in Meteorology, Kyle has complementing skills in community and emergency planning, digital media engagement and monitoring, and large-venue event planning and operations. He has planned, facilitated and evaluated virtual and functional exercises from local planning workshops to full-scale airport triennial exercises. Kyle brings unrivaled enthusiasm and passion to the classroom, and delivers a rich and engaging vision for communicating effectively with communities, and understanding weather and climate hazards that threaten them. Follow him on Twitter: @WxKyleNelson
Mallory Nicholls is currently a broadcast meteorologist for News 13 in Orlando in addition to being an instructor for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. In the past ten years, she has been able to forecast the weather for multiple climates. This includes snow, ice, heat waves, severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes from the mountains of Tennessee to the coast of South Carolina and Florida. She most recently covered Hurricane Matthew, which battered the east coast of Florida before moving north and dumping several inches of rain over the Carolinas.
Mallory has a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology from North Carolina State University and is currently obtaining a Masters of Science in Emergency Management from Millersville University. She’s an active member of the American Meteorological Society and holds the Certification for Broadcast Meteorologists.
Follow her on Twitter: @MalloryNicholls
Steven Oglesby, M.E.P.
Steven serves as a Senior Emergency Management Specialist at a facility on the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Reservation in east Tennessee.. His responsibilities include writing and reviewing emergency plans and procedures and exercise design and conduct. Steven’s emergency services career started in 1974 as a volunteer rescue squad member. Since 1999, when Steve became a full time emergency manager, he has been involved in hundreds of responses to include active participation in 28 Presidentially Declared Disasters. He has served in a variety of incident command positions, to include Incident Commander of a 37 agency hazardous materials response. He is a Master Exercise Practitioner, certified Emergency Management Institute instructor for multiple courses including the NIMS ICS All-Hazards Position Specific Training Program, and Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). Steven’s emergency management career followed his 20-plus years as an award winning television journalist. During this time he served as a general assignment reporter, investigative reporter, freelance network correspondent, assignment editor, news director and promotion-marketing director.
Connie P. Ozawa is Professor in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Co-Director of the PSU-China Innovations in Urbanization Program at Portland State University, Vice-Chair of the Planning Accreditation Board, and a consultant with the federal National Disaster Preparedness Training Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dr. Ozawa holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from U.C. Berkeley, a M.A. in Geography from the University of Hawaii and a Ph.D. in urban planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is author of Recasting Science: Consensus-Based Procedures in Public Policy Making (Westview, 1991), editor of The Portland Edge: Challenges and Successes in Growing Communities (Island Press, 2004), co-editor of Planning the Pacific Northwest (APA Press, expected spring 2015) and author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on planning education and the role of science in public decision making involving environmental issues, mediation and collaborative processes.
LPP Consulting delivers real-world solutions throughout all phases of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Cycles. The company’s principal, Philip E. Parr, has nearly 40 years of local and national level experience leading federal and local teams at our Nation’s largest disasters. Mr. Parr is a retired, 25-year veteran, Chief Officer of the New York City Fire Department, where he served as a Fire and Emergency Ground Commander and as a Deputy Director at the New York City Office of Emergency Management. Following his retirement from the FDNY, Chief Parr was selected as a Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO). The FCO is designated to lead the Federal Response to an emergency and or disaster declared by the President of the United States. During his 11-year FCO tenure, Mr. Parr led national teams at nearly 40 disasters across 19 states and U.S. territories. Included in Mr. Parr’s FCO experience, he was designated as the FCO for both Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee (NYS), and Deputy FCO for Hurricane Sandy (NYS), and Deputy FCO for Hurricane Katrina (Tx).
As head of LPP Consulting, Mr. Parr leads with the same strength, drive, ethos, experience and commitment as he did during his public service career. His company’s experience includes developing Homeland Security training and exercise programs, security awareness training, and other preparedness activities. LPP Consulting also creates, develops and provides training and mentorship for Fire Department Company and Chief Officer Professionals throughout the United States.
Dr. Michelle Peterson is an Associate Professor in the College of Science and Mathematics at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is the lead on the St. Croix campus for SCI 100: Hurricanes, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis in the Caribbean. This course, required for most first year students, examines these disasters from the perspectives of multiple scientific disciplines, encompassing how each occurs to their impacts on ecosystems and human infrastructure. Over the course of Peterson’s 19 year involvement with the class, she has developed and refined both lecture and laboratory materials; her current focus is collaboration across campuses to introduce a service learning component to the course. She has a passion for linking science to students’ everyday lives and has also been engaging in education research. Peterson is certified to teach both Hurricane Awareness and Tsunami Awareness. When she is not at UVI, she is often out on the water sailing and racing.
Dawson Primes is currently serving in his 13th year as Director of the Tangipahoa Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness through 7 Presidential Declarations. He took a non-existing department in Parish Government to operating an emergency management agency that is recognized throughout the state. Serves on the Board of Directors for the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association, currently as Past President for the 2nd time. Dawson is the Regional Director Representative to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Center Management Instructor for Integrated Readiness Solutions. Prior to this position, he was appointed by Governor Kathleen Blanco to serve the LRA Louisiana Recovery Authority as the Governmental Liaison for the FEMA contractors developing the Long-Term Community Recovery Plan post-Katrina. He has been serving his country in the Louisiana Army National Guard for the past 27 years. Served on the Military Engagement Team charged with educating the Haitian National Government on Emergency Management and EOC Operations. Has deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring freedom, 1st to Afghanistan where he was awarded the Bronze Star and a Combat Action Badge and most recently to Kuwait.
Lillian Ramírez-Durand have been a research associate for Sea Grant Puerto Rico since 2003. Within its main projects are Coastal Community Development and Climate Extension. From 2005 to 2010 through a Collaborative Agreement between Sea Grant Puerto Rico and the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research she was also the Coastal Training Program Coordinator. As the Coastal Communities Development and Climate Extension Specialist in Sea Grant PR she provides extension services related to smart growth and resiliency to coastal communities in the archipelago of Puerto Rico. She is in charge of the implementation of the Center of Education on Environmental and Climate Change of Sea Grant Puerto Rico (CenECCA), which provides educational services for high schools students in the areas of climate change and coastal ecosystems.
In 2016 the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center and Sea Grant Puerto Rico signed a MOU joined by a common mission to improve preparedness, relief and recovery of communities affected by disasters. Since that she is charge to work together in the spirit of cooperation and open communication, consistent with law, with the primary goal of improving education and training to reduce the impacts of disasters. She became a certified instructor for the courses AWR-310 and AWR-347 for NDPTC. She is responsible for the coordination of professional development and capacity building training activities related to climate change, resilience, adaptation and mitigation. And she is currently providing these courses in Spanish.
Scott is an NDPTC subject matter expert for social media and disasters and NDPTC course instructor, and a FEMA DCSP Digital Communications Specialist reservist. He’s active in the #SMEM (Social Media in Emergency Management) and #VOST (Virtual Operations Support Team) initiatives, ia proud to have worked with his local CERT Team and ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) group, and is past president of Oregon VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). Scott has also served on the IAEM Emerging Technology Committee, the Virtual Emergency Management Association board, the DHS “Virtual Social Media Working Group” and is team lead for the Oregon VOST.
Jeff Rubin was the emergency manager for Oregon’s largest fire district from 2001-2019. He has been involved in science, hazards, and health preparedness at local, state, and national levels, including the Mount Hood Regional Coordination Plan, Oregon Resilience Plan, and Oregon’s Crisis Care Guidelines. In a prior life, he was with Austin/Travis County Emergency Medical Services, where he was cross-trained as a field medic and call-taker/dispatcher. At ATCEMS he also served as Hazardous Materials Captain and Swiftwater Rescue Instructor in the Special Operations Section, working in hospital preparedness and mass casualty, hazmat, and WMD planning, training, and response. He was a volunteer Fire/EMS/Rescue responder and company officer with Travis County (TX) ESD#4 for 13 years, and has consulted in safety and emergency preparedness since the 90s. Jeff has a BS in Geology & Geophysics from Yale and an MA and PhD in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a research scientist and later Assistant Dean for Environmental Health & Safety. He has presented at national and international conferences, and has published in and provided peer review for geological, medical, safety, and emergency management journals. Jeff serves on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, is a Fellow and elected Councilor for the Geological Society of America, and teaches for the Oregon Tech/OHSU EMS Program. He is particularly proud to have taught Incident Command for Geologists and Geology for Incident Commanders to separate audiences in the same month.
Andrew Rumbach is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. He holds a doctorate and a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. For the past 13 years his research and professional practice has centered on household and community risk and resilience to natural hazards and climate change, in the United States, India, and the Pacific. His current research is focused on land-use planning for hazard mitigation and planning for the recovery of affordable housing post-disaster, and the protection of historic resources from natural hazards.
Dr. Scala is a certified consulting meteorologist providing expert opinions in criminal and civil litigation on topics ranging from motor vehicle accidents and personal injury to illumination issues, visibility and storm-related damage. He served as The Weather Channel’s Meteorological Training Coordinator and first on-camera Storm Analyst, and more recently as a broadcast meteorologist with WGAL-TV8, the local NBC affiliate in central Pennsylvania. Dr. Scala held a tenure track appointment at Millersville University of Pennsylvania where he also served as the Associate Director of Millersville’s Center for Disaster Research and Education.
Dr. Scala holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Geology from the University of Rochester, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia. Dr. Scala began his professional career at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where he focused on the observation, and numerical modeling of storms.
Dr. Scala serves on the Steering Committee of the Central PA Integrated Weather Impacts Team and on the Weather Advisory Council of the Event Safety Alliance. He maintains a close working relationship with the National Weather Service by collaborating on research projects to improve operational forecasting and assisting with surveys of tornado and severe storm damage.
Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt, is an Emergency Management Professional who has spent her career with people around the world. She works with schools, government, businesses, tribal leaders and communities. She responded to high profile communities such as Littleton Colorado, New Orleans, Haiti and Newtown Connecticut. She traveled to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to work with the school and community. She stayed when her assignment was over to study the impact of a community crisis on Emergency Management and the community as a whole.
She values all stakeholders.. young, old, educated, uneducated, professional, lay person. She was recognized by the International Association of Emergency Managers for her emergency preparedness campaign, Who Depends On You? She developed a model of volunteer/professional integration for a large city festival and parade that resulted in a collaborative Incident Command System that acted as a recruiting event for CERT programs and added a sophisticated element of training to all… professional and non professional participants.
She has held various positions within activated EOC’s … Deputy EOC Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Public Information Officer, Section Chief, Mental Health Coordinator, and Recovery Director.
Her work has won awards from the International Association of Emergency Managers, she was inducted into the HALL OF FAME of the International Network of Women in Emergency Management, was honored by The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and is Board President of the Disaster Mental Health agency, Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. Mary volunteers with humanitarian organizations and is active in her Rotary club where she earned the Service Above Self award for not only local but also international projects.
Valued leader with 28 years of experience in military operations and interagency (IA) coordination with an emphasis on project and emergency management (EM) as well as planning and exercises. 18 years AK-specific Guard, EM and DoD experience. IA expert, accomplished EM professional, Exercise planner, Joint Staff Officer, Commander and Command Pilot in multiple aircraft. Exceptional managerial abilities, diverse high-level liaison skill and proven leadership; experienced facilitating relationships among diverse organizations - mediating interpersonal conflict as well as interagency disputes. Operational expertise from Squadron to Joint Task Force level, planning experience at 11th AF HQ & Alaskan Command, exercise and policy-building at AK National Guard HQ.
Dr. Henry H. Smith is a native of and has spent most of his life in the Virgin Islands where passage of tropical storms and hurricanes is a common occurrence. His formal training in marine and environmental science and hydrology has provided him with the scientific background to fully understand the theory behind the life cycle of these systems. He has been a leader on hurricane preparation and recovery teams and that has given him ample practical experience in preparing for and responding to the effects these systems. Additionally, as a lifelong sailor he has maintained a particular sensitivity to and respect for severe tropical weather. Dr. Smith has spent most of his career as a member of the research faculty and administration at the University of the Virgin Islands. He holds a doctorate degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and a law degree, with a focus on environment a law, from the University of Dayton.
Doug Stolz received his PhD in atmospheric science from Colorado State University, where his studies were focused on factors contributing to heavy rainfall, lightning, as well as the science of severe weather. Professionally, Doug works as a consulting meteorologist, facilitating natural hazards awareness education, engaging in research-to-practice initiatives, and supporting innovative technological development for improved weather and climate analysis/prediction. Most recently, Doug spent 125 days in Puerto Rico assisting with FEMA's Hurricane Maria short-term recovery.
Tafi is an Associate in Booz Allen Hamilton’s International Management Team and supports the Global Threat Mitigation Program. He currently serves as the Deputy Program Manager for the client delivery team supporting U.S. Army Pacific, Asia Pacific Counter Improvised Threat Fusion Center. He is also the Contractor Training Lead responsible for four Joint Service Home Station Training Teams located across Alaska and Hawaii and forward deployed to Korea in support of U.S. Forces Korea. Prior to his current role, Tafi was the lead for an Explosive Ordnance Disposal training team responsible for training the only U.S. Army EOD Battalion outside of the Continental United States. He provided mentorship to young EOD technicians to assist with developing skills critical to the safe mitigation of explosive and chemical hazards. His team’s exceptional support and creativity in scenario designs and custom threat devices for the annual USARPAC EOD Team of the Year resulted in back to back first place honors at the annual Department of the Army EOD TOY competition. Tafi helped develop the Army’s first Intermediate Tactical Site Exploitation Course under the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and led a Mobile Training Team in support of unit rotations at Combat Training Centers in CONUS and Europe. Tafi leveraged his experience as an EOD technician to inform curriculum development and constantly tailor scenarios for deploying warfighters. Tafi served six years in the U.S. Air Force as an EOD technician and also spent several years supporting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects for explosive hazards remediation.
Kevin T. Sur is an Emergency Manager for the DuPage County (IL) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in charge of training as well as an Instructor for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC), and in the External Affairs Cadre at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS/FEMA) in Washington, DC.
Previously, he served as an Instructor for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and a Program Officer-4 for the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management overseeing all Training/Outreach/Education/Exercises for Public Safety & Justice Services, Deputy Fire Chief at North Randall Fire and Bazetta Fire.
Kevin was awarded the Ohio American College of Emergency Physicians’ EMS Star of Life Award for his deployment with the Ohio Task Force to Louisiana’s Lower 9th ward during Hurricane Katrina/Rita in St. Bernard Parish. Most recently, Kevin served in the Joint Information Center (PIO) and the Emergency Operations Center during Hurricane Sandy, 2016 World Series, 2017/2018 NBA Finals, and 2016 Republican National Convention.
In September/October 2017, Kevin was deployed with FEMA for the Hurricane Irma response as the PIO responsible for the entire Florida Keys leading FEMA’s External Affairs for Branch 5 Division A. In November/December 2017, Kevin was deployed with FEMA for the Hurricane Maria response/recovery as the FEMA PIO responsible for the US Virgin Islands Branch 1 – Division A and Division B.
In 2014, Kevin was invited to the White House for the Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative and has been named Cleveland’s Top 10 Most Interesting Tweeps on Twitter from WKYC / MetroMix (NBC affiliate). Additionally, he has received numerous awards including Fire Officer of the Year and a Unit Citation award for Excellence in EMS care.
Mr. Tab Troxler is an accomplished Homeland Security and Emergency Management professional with experience in both the public and private sector. As a former Emergency Services and Security Manager for the Dow Chemical Company, Mr. Troxler was responsible for the overall emergency management and response program for the site’s 2000 acre petrochemical manufacturing complex in Hahnville LA. In addition to his duties and responsibilities at the site, Mr. Troxler was a member of the Dow Gulf-Coast Hurricane team, as well as, the Global Exercise and Plans Team. Mr. Troxler’s international assignments included responding as the Incident Commander for the Dow Soma Site in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Previously, he served as the St. Charles Parish Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness where he lead the parish's response and recovery to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. As a former Senior Instructor with Louisiana State University’s, National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Academy of Counter-terrorist Education, he has been on several development teams for national training programs in Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations, Response to Weapons of Mass Destruction Cargo, Readiness: Training Identification Preparedness Training, and Food Management. He’s developed and facilitated several large scale exercises internationally and domestically on behalf Louisiana State University. He currently is the elected parish Assessor in St. Charles Parish Louisiana. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Tulane University New Orleans, LA.
A native of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Roy A. Watlington is retired from the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) after 40 years in higher education as professor of physics and physical oceanography, researcher and administrator. As Principal Investigator of UVI’s Anegada Climate Tracers Study, he researched the exchange of climatic signals in seawater between the Atlantic and the Caribbean. He was a co-founder of the Caribbean Regional Association for the Caribbean Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System and now serves an elected member of its Stakeholders’ Council, as a consultant for outreach in the US Virgin Islands, and as subject matter expert on coastal hazards. Present activities include advancing ocean observing capabilities and promoting their practical use in the Virgin Islands region, advising emergency managers about natural coastal hazards, and promoting regional awareness of such hazards. He has authored refereed papers related to these activities, such as on the charting of Kick-`em-Jenny submarine volcano and on anticipating impacts of a recurrence of an 1867-class tsunami. He is also co-author of Disaster and Disruption in 1867; Hurricane, Earthquake and Tsunami in the Danish West Indies.
Steve Wood is retired after 30 years in the fire service rising to a command staff position. Responsible for the command and control of a wide variety of all-risk incidents from initial action incident command to various functions in the Emergency Operation Center. He has extensive experience as a supervisor and manager in fire, rescue, emergency medical systems, emergency management, and special operations (Urban Search & Rescue, Swift Water Rescue, Air Operations and Hazardous Materials). A member of the California FIRESCOPE High Rise Working Committee along with various other local state and federal committees and working groups. Steve is a graduate from the Unites States Fire Administration’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program at the National Fire Academy at Emmitsburg, Maryland. Steve has earned a Master’s of Science in Emergency Services Administration – Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies both from California State University at Long Beach – Associates of Arts Degree Business Management from Glendale, California Community College. Steve served as the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) Program Manager for the City of Glendale, California, coordinating citywide, county, state and federal response and preplanning for chemical, radiological, nuclear, explosive, or biological terrorism incidents. Development and co-authored the first California Professional Firefighters Joint Apprenticeship Committee (CFF-JAC) – Terrorism Consequence Management Course, in addition to planning, implementing, coordinating and evaluating a variety of chemical-biological-nuclear-radiological-explosive response tabletop and functional exercises.