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Instructor Biographies

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.

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Photo of Ball, Amanda

Amanda Ball

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.

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David Barker

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 ( and currently serves as the Administrator of the Idaho Public Safety UAS Council (IPSUASC).

Photo of Bedard, Thomas

Thomas Bedard

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.

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David Blake

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.

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John Bobel

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.

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Thomas Bogart

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.

Photo of Borchardt, Lenora

Lenora Borchardt

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.

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Phillip Bothwell

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.

Photo of Buehner, Ted

Ted Buehner

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!

Photo of Bujak, CEM, MPA, Dave

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

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Marc Burdiss

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.

James Burke

Mr. Burke is the currently a self-employed management consultant focusing on helping organizations strengthen operations through human resource development and training. He is a certified trainer for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center’s (NDPTC).

He recently served as Associate Director for Course Development & Delivery. In this position he was responsible for all aspects of course development and delivery of the NDPTC program.

He has also served as the Mass Transit Administrator in the Department of Transportation Services, City and County of Honolulu. As the Mass Transit Administrator, Mr. Burke was responsible for service and capital planning, management and oversight of the public transportation operations for the City and County of Honolulu including the fixed route TheBus system, TheHandiVan paratransit system, and park-and-ride facilities.

Mr. Burke is an active participant with the Indigenous People’s Climate Change Working Group (IPCCWG). IPCCWG was formed in response to the need for education and research programs in climate change at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) and has been in existence since 2006

Mr. Burke graduated from the University of Hawai‘i in 1985, B.A., Economics. He served as Chair, Title VI and Environmental Justice Subcommittee, American Public Transit Association (APTA) 2010, and Interim Chair APTA Emergency Preparedness Technical Forum.