Speakers

Walker Ashley

Walker Ashley, Ph.D., CCM

Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University; Consulting Meteorologist, StormForensics.com

Dr. Ashley is an atmospheric scientist and physical geographer with interests in geophysical hazards and societal interactions, severe storms, and applied climatology and meteorology. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography’s Meteorology Program at Northern Illinois University, he teaches courses in meteorology and disaster science. His research focuses on understanding how human exposure and vulnerability factors contribute to weather-related disasters, how urbanization and other land uses influence thunderstorm formation, climatologies of severe thunderstorms, and weather hazard impacts on transportation systems. He earned his M.S. from the University of Nebraska and B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He is an avid storm observer and photographer.
Franklin Barnes

Franklin Barnes

Emergency Manager, City of Oklahoma City

Frank Barnes is older than he looks and has over 37 years of public safety experience. He is the Emergency Manager for the City of Oklahoma City. He is responsible for coordinating Oklahoma City’s comprehensive emergency management program. He has been involved in the response to and recovery from numerous major incidents and disasters some that resulted in either a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration or a Small Business Administration Disaster Declaration. Currently, he is coordinating the City’s disaster recovery from the May 2013 and May 2015 storms and tornadoes.

He received his Associate of Science Degree in Law Enforcement from Moorpark College, Moorpark, California and his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada- Reno. He is currently enrolled in a graduate program at Columbia Southern University studying Emergency Services Management.

He is a graduate of FEMA’s National Emergency Manager Basic Academy at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He has completed FEMA’s Professional Development Series, Advanced Professional Series, and Professional Continuity Practitioner Level 1.

He is a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and Oklahoma Emergency Management Association (OEMA).

He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®) through IAEM. He is an Oklahoma Certified Emergency Manager (OCEM) through OEMA.

He serves on a variety of committees including the Mayor’s Committee for Disability Concerns, State Hazard Mitigation Team representing the Oklahoma Municipal League, IAEM Disaster Cost Recovery Caucus, IAEM Special Needs Caucus, and the OEMA Training Committee.

When not working or studying he enjoys watching Major League Baseball (NY Yankees), the Oklahoma City Dodgers, the OKC Thunder, and classic movies.

Suzanne Bernier

Suzanne Bernier, CEM, CBCP, MBCI

President, SB Crisis Consulting

Suzanne is an award-winning and internationally-recognized emergency management and business continuity consultant, instructor and speaker, who has helped governments, communities and companies plan for and respond to disasters for nearly twenty years. Her company, SB Crisis Consulting, was recently awarded the prestigious global 2015 Innovation & Excellence Award – Excellence in Emergency Management (Canada), as well as the 2014 International Business Excellence Award – Crisis Communications Consultant of the Year (Canada). She is also the recipient of the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award from her alma mater, Cambrian College.

Throughout her career, Suzanne has been personally involved in crises such as the 1998 “Ice Storm of the Century” in Eastern Canada, 9/11, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, as well as numerous floods, fires, severe storms and reputational crises. One of Suzanne’s key career achievements was being commissioned by the United Nations Headquarters in 2008 to help them review, test and evaluate the UN’s pandemic plans and procedures.

Prior to her career in business continuity and emergency management, Suzanne was a news reporter and anchor, as well as government press secretary/communications advisor and speechwriter.

In 1997, Suzanne became Ontario’s first female uniformed Emergency Management Field Officer for Emergency Management Ontario (EMO), where she helped coordinate the Ontario government’s response to floods, forest fires and severe storms. In recognition of her response work during the 1998 “Ice Storm of the Century” in Canada, she received the Amethyst Award for Outstanding Achievement on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

Suzanne is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), as well as a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) through Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII) and a certified Member of the Business Continuity Institute (MBCI).

A self-professed “voluntourist”, Suzanne has been a volunteer with "Continuity Cares" since 2007, returning to New Orleans regularly to help rebuild critical infrastructure, schools and homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. She also participated in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts both on Staten Island and in the Rockaways.

Suzanne’s first book, Disaster Heroes, was released in 2015 and tells the stories of ordinary men, women and children who have done extraordinary things to help respond, recover and rebuild following some of the world’s most significant disasters.

Jim Boccer

Jim Boccher

Chief Marketing Officer, ServiceMaster Recovery Management

Jim Boccher is Executive Vice President of Business Development for SRM where he leads the team responsible for performing needs assessments and developing recovery solutions for SRM’s commercial clients. He brings over 20 years of customer facing sales and service experience working with all segments of the recovery process. Jim has established a national reputation with Fortune 500 companies for his pro-active approach to preparedness planning. His unique ability to align all relevant parties within the client’s domain along with key insurance partners and a vast network of industry specialists have enabled him to achieve superior outcomes for his commercial clientele. The result of which has equated to minimized business interruption, limited claim severity, increased revenues and reduced costs. Jim is experienced in both the public and private sector, serving customers in the following segments; manufacturing, warehouse and distribution, retail, construction, multi-family, healthcare, education, hospitality, religious dwellings and food service as well as all components of the insurance and related industries. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University. His wife and two sons reside in Memphis, TN.
Greg Carbin

Greg Carbin

Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Storm Prediction Center

Greg Carbin is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) at the NOAA, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, Oklahoma. Since 1996, Greg has performed in a variety of operational forecast capacities at the SPC. Prior to starting his career with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1993, Greg worked in the private sector in New York and Vermont. He earned a B.S. degree in Meteorology from Lyndon State College in 1985 and has completed some graduate course work at the University of Oklahoma while an employee of the NWS. He is a 2011 graduate of the U.S. Department of Commerce Executive Leadership Development Program.

Greg is considered one of NOAA’s leading experts on tornadoes and severe thunderstorm forecasting. He has appeared in major national and international media and has been interviewed extensively on topics from atmospheric science to the historical context of recent tornado outbreaks. Greg maintains the national tornado database as part of his duties at SPC and develops web-based content from this information when not working operational shifts, reviewing papers, or writing code.

Greg currently serves as a Councilor for the National Weather Association and is also Chair of the Association’s Professional Development Committee. He was recently selected to serve on the Committee on Effective Communication of Weather and Climate Information, on the Board of Enterprise Communication, for the American Meteorological Society.

Buddy Combs

Buddy Combs

Director of Public Policy, Oklahoma Insurance Department

Buddy Combs is Director of Public Policy and Assistant General Counsel at the Oklahoma Insurance Department. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, earning his B.A. in Economics in 2008. He also earned his J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2011, where he was a member of the Dean’s Honor Roll and Note Editor of the American Indian Law Review.

Buddy started working for Insurance Commissioner Doak in 2011, and has since worked on a broad range of regulatory issues. As the Department’s legislative and rulemaking liaison, he is now focused on the development, passage, and implementation of all new insurance laws and regulations in Oklahoma. Additionally, Buddy serves as an advisor to the Commissioner on general and legal matters. He currently resides in Edmond with his wife Cara and their daughter Abi.
James Correia

James Correia, Ph.D.

CIMMS Research Associate, NOAA/OU CIMMS

Jimmy Correia was born in Shelton, CT growing up with no memory of being a weather nerd except watching endless amounts of the weather channel. Jimmy is fond of surviving the following weather debacles in his middle thru high school years: Hurricanes Gloria and Andrew, Super-storm 1993, and one wee tornado outside Lake Ontario. Following what can only be described as a slackers’ mentality to high school, he pursued a degree in Physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Not understanding quantum dynamics, he turned to weather at SUNY-Albany. Finding a passion for severe storms forecasting, interning at NWS Albany, and scared to go into the real world, he attended FSU for his Masters degree working on the Surprise snowstorm of January 25th 2000, and then moving to Iowa State University for a Ph.D. focusing on numerical weather prediction and mesoscale convective systems. He reluctantly graduated during the economic meltdown of 07, new daughter in tow, and found a post doc in regional climate modeling at Pacific Northwest National Lab. In the midst of divorce, Jimmy left to pursue his severe storm interests at the University of Oklahoma with CIMMS and SPC. He is a proud educator/mentor while being the warn-on-forecast, social science, and Hazardous Weather Testbed liaison.
John Ferree

John Ferree

Severe Storms Services Leader, National Weather Service, Weather Forecast Office, Storm Prediction Center

John currently leads Severe Storms Services for the National Weather Service (NWS) and guides these services for the 122 NWS Weather Forecast Offices and Storm Prediction Center. Since acquiring this position in 2006, John has led many efforts to improve tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings, including moving from county-based to storm-based warnings, adjusting severe thunderstorm criteria to fit impacts, and improving various aspects of the warning software used by forecasters.

A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, John has worked for the NWS for thirty-seven years. He worked as a forecaster in Arkansas, Nevada, Kansas and Missouri, prior to returning to Norman, OK in 1993 as an instructor and team leader for the Warning Decision Training Branch. This variety of work has provided him the opportunity to expand his passionate interests in severe storms, radar meteorology, aviation meteorology and training. In recent years, he has focused on understanding the scientific, technological, and human aspects of decision making as it pertains to the issuance of severe weather warnings. He has authored or co-authored over 2 dozen conference papers, and has delivered numerous presentations at national and regional conferences.

John served as the Program Chair for the 2015 National Weather Association (NWA) 40th Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City, and has previously served as an NWA Councilor and Chair of the Professional Development Committee. He has also recently served as Program Chair forthe American Meteorological Society Warnings and Communications Conference in 2011 and 2013. These successful workshops focused on the dissemination of warnings to our connected society and people's reactions to those warnings.
Jared Guyer

Jared Guyer

Mesoscale, Outlook Forecaster, Storm Prediction Center

Jared Guyer is a national severe weather forecaster at the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK. His primary responsibilities are the issuance of nationwide Convective Outlooks, along with Mesoscale Discussions for hazardous mesoscale weather including severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and winter weather. Jared is heavily involved in SPC outreach, science sharing activities, and operationally oriented applied research. Prior to arriving at the SPC in 2003, he spent time at NWS offices in Hastings, Nebraska (2000-2003) and La Crosse, Wisconsin (1999-2000). He earned a B.S. degree in Meteorology and Communications/Broadcasting from Valparaiso University in 1999. He recently completed an MBA degree from Oklahoma Christian University.
Dale Hall

Dale Hall, FSA, MAAA, CERA, CFA

Managing Director of Research, Society of Actuaries

R. Dale Hall is Managing Director of Research at the Society of Actuaries in Schaumburg, Illinois. In his role, Dale coordinates the SOA’s strategic research partnerships, and oversees SOA experience studies, research across a wide variety of actuarial practice areas, and the SOA’s data-driven in-house research initiatives. He is a frequent speaker at insurance and retirement industry meetings, including presentations to the actuarial task forces of the NAIC and testimony to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures on pension plan mortality rates. Prior to joining the SOA, Dale spent over 20 years in the life insurance industry, primarily as Chief Actuary for the Life/Health companies of COUNTRY Financial. While at COUNTRY, he was active in industry as a member of the ACLI Actuarial Committee, and was an adjunct professor in the actuarial science program at Illinois State University.
Shelby Hays

Shelby Hays

Meteorologist, KOCO

Meteorologist Shelby Hays joined the KOCO 5 First Alert weather team in November 2014. She is the weekend meteorologist for KOCO and is a native Oklahoman who grew up wanting nothing more than to be a meteorologist.

From a very young age Shelby was fascinated by storms. It began with fear but grew into a passion for learning about the weather. One of the reasons she loved weather so much was that it’s always changing. She knew this would provide for a rewarding career.

After graduating from Velma-Alma High School, Shelby went on to pursue her dream at the University of Oklahoma.

She spent her time in college studying weather and also studying the television business. Shelby completed internships in both Oklahoma City, under Gary England, and Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated from OU with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and a minor in nonprofits.

Shelby began her broadcast career at KFSM, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas, as the weekend morning meteorologist. The chance to come home to Oklahoma City was a dream come true for Shelby.

Outside of work she enjoys fishing, exploring the great outdoors and spending time with her family.

Shelby and her husband live in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Andrew Herseth

Andrew Herseth, PE, SE

Civil Engineer, Building Science Branch, FEMA

Andrew has over 20 years of building science experience, including structural design and forensic engineering. He is licensed as both a Structural Engineer (SE) and a Professional Engineer (PE), as well as a certified Building Inspector by the International Code Council. Andrew is currently serving as a Civil Engineer in FEMA’s Building Science Branch, where he is responsible for FEMA’s role in wind engineering and related codes and standards, in addition to managing FEMA’s state of the art guidance on the design and construction of tornado safe rooms and shelters.
Caleb Holt

Caleb Holt

Center Manager, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Product Development Center

The Product Development Center (PDC) at Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is private industry’s gateway to The Texas A&M University System’s subject matter experts and facilities. As TEEX PDC’s Center Manager, Mr. Holt has helped clients large and small, from around the world, utilize a proven product development process of Think.Build.Sell to advance technologies towards market entry. Mr. Holt helps clients understand competitive landscape and testing needs for new products, new applications for existing products, and optimization of existing technologies. Caleb lead the development of TEEX TESTED®, to provide clients significant support for testing and evaluation of technologies at TEEX world famous facilities including Brayton Firefield and Disaster City®.

Caleb W. Holt previously spent five years as TEEX’s lead market intelligence investigator, conducting competitive market analysis customized for each customer. Mr. Holt monitors markets, competitors, policy, and industry changes specifically in biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and several sectors of agribusiness. Caleb has conducted testing and developed on-going relationships with clients including: BASF, Energizer, Draeger Safety, Lockheed Martin, Novus International, ICx2, Baylor Scott & White, Resource Technologies, Polaris, TechWildcatters and the Hungarian Technology Group.

Caleb currently serves as the Chair of the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Technology Council and he is a member of the International Association of Police Chiefs. Caleb became a Certified Innovation Professional in the Fall of 2015 at the International Association of Innovation Professionals Conference. Mr. Holt received his Masters in Agribusiness (2009) and Bachelors in Animal Science (2007) from Texas A&M University.

Kevin Hromas

Kevin Hromas

Founder and CEO, Kevin Hromas & Associates

A 20-yr career as a General Contractor pre-dated what has now become a 20-yr career in the insurance industry for Kevin Hromas. Licensed as an adjuster in TX, OK, CA, MS, LA, FL & NC, as well as being NFIP Certified, Mr. Hromas was often one of the first adjusters on-site after major catastrophes from 2003 to 2009. Now a recognized and widely sought-after expert witness in areas of bad faith and damage analysis, he brings a clear understanding of what is expected of the insurance industry after a major event as well as the many obstacles they have to overcome.
Doug Huddleston

Doug Huddleston

Region VI Emergency Response Coordinator, OSHA

Doug Huddleston has worked as a safety professional for over 16 years. Prior to joining OSHA, Doug served in the military for 26 years, retiring from the U.S. Army in 2010, and has served in various safety roles, including Unit ARMS Team Leader, Unit Safety Officer, Safety Programs Manager and Safety Programs Auditor.

Doug has been with OSHA for nearly 6 years, and has worked as a Compliance Safety & Health Officer in the Dallas Area OSHA Office, and presently serves as Emergency Response Coordinator and Programs Manager in the Dallas Regional OSHA Office.

Doug is a graduate of The University of Central Texas and holds certification with The Board of Certified Safety Professionals as a Certified Safety Professional.


Highlighting OSHA's mission in protecting workers, role in emergency response, capabilities, and the value added by enhancing safety of response operations. Professionals.

Lucien Jones

Lucien Jones

Communications Center Manager, City of Oklahoma City

Lucien Jones is the Communications Center Manager at Oklahoma City’s combined Police/Fire/EMS/911 dispatch center. He was assigned to this position shortly before the agencies moved into the new facility in January of 2006. In July 2003 he was assigned to the Oklahoma City Public Safety Projects Office, to coordinate construction and relocation of the 911 Communications Center, and help with planning for the City’s new 800MHz Radio System. Lucien retired as a lieutenant from the Oklahoma City Police Department in 1990 and accepted a civilian management position. He is a member of the Oklahoma Incident Management Team, and has responded to many wildfires and other events across Oklahoma. He is certified for deployment by the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security as a Communications Unit Leaders (COML) in the Incident Command System structure.
Dr. Peter Keating

Dr. Peter Keating

Associate Professor, Division Head at Texas A&M University

Dr. Peter Keating is an Associate Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in structural engineering. He is Head of the Construction, Geotechnical, and Structural Division of the Department and the Director of the Department’s Structural and Materials Testing Laboratory. The laboratory conducts both large- and small-scale testing for both faculty sponsored research and outside industry. Dr. Keating is also a Structural Specialist with Texas Task Force One, one of twenty-eight FEMA Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) teams. He has deployed on a wide variety of incidences includes those involving tornados. He is also actively involved with FEMA’s US&R Advisory Group as the chair of the Structures Subgroup and as the lead engineer for the FEMA US&R system.
Richard Kelley

Richard Kelley

Deputy Fire Chief, Oklahoma City Fire Department

Deputy Chief Richard Kelley has been a member of the Oklahoma City Fire Department since 1991. He promoted through the ranks in suppression having held positions as Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Special Operations Coordinator, Technical Rescue Station Officer, Ride-out Officer for Battalion Chief 604A, District Chief 603B, Battalion Chief 601C, Deputy Chief of Support Services and currently Deputy Chief of Operations. He is a Fire Instructor Level II, EMT, HazMat Technician, Rescue Technician, Dive Team Member and OK-TF1 Task Force Leader.

Chief Kelley is currently an adjunct instructor for Eastern Oklahoma County Vo-Tech Fire Training Academy. He was the Captain/Major of the year in 2005 and Major of Special Operations in the Work Section of the Year in 2006.

Chief Kelley has a degree in Municipal Fire Protection from Oklahoma State University. He also has attended the National Fire Academy for Incident Management Training in Target Hazards, Natural and Manmade Disasters, and Multiple Alarm Incidents.

Chief Kelley is married to Elizabeth and he has four daughters and one son, Emily age 24, Mikayla age 21, Nick age 21, Johnna age 17 and Addison age 6. He currently lives in N.W. Oklahoma City and attends Life Church, N.W. Campus.

Dr. Ernst Kiesling

Dr. Ernst Kiesling

Professor of Civil Engineering, Texas Tech University, Executive Director, National Storm Shelter Association

Dr. Kiesling has spent most of his career at Texas Tech University in teaching, research, administration and public service.  He leads the storm shelter research effort within the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech.

In the early 1970’s he and his colleagues developed the above-ground storm shelter capable of providing a very high degree of protection from extreme winds. To some he is known as the Father of the Safe Room.

He was instrumental in founding the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) a non-profit trade association dedicated to fostering quality in the shelter industry. He has served as Executive Director of the Association since its inception in 2000. A wealth of information can be found at www.NSSA.cc
Kevin Kloesel

Kevin Kloesel, Ph.D.

Director, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, University Meteorologist, OU Office of Emergency Preparedness

Kevin is responsible for providing weather forecast and weather safety information to the OU Office of Emergency Preparedness before, during and after weather threats of all types on the OU Campus. He also provides support to the OU Executive Policy Group in severe and winter weather situations in order to facilitate campus protection and closure decisions. He develops and leads high-impact weather safety training on the OU campus for its over 30,000 students, faculty and staff, and for the over 40,000 pre-collegiate students that call OU home during summer sports and academic camps.

In addition, Kevin serves as Director of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, one of the largest such Surveys in the country. OCS is charged with providing weather and climate data, analysis and expertise to stakeholders and decision makers throughout the state, and operates the Oklahoma Mesonet weather observing network. He also serves on the State of Oklahoma Hazard Mitigation Task Force.

Kevin is a tenured Associate Professor with teaching and research interests ranging from synoptic meteorology to societal impacts and decision-making in weather-impacted situations. He led the teams that won the Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University and the Ford Foundation for their work with the emergency management community in Oklahoma, as well as awards from the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.

Kevin works directly with thousands of K-12 students and teachers, as well as hundreds of emergency management agencies in finding appropriate applications for weather data in local education, decision-making, and weather safety planning. He has provided numerous training workshops to improve weather forecasting and decision making in Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan and Nigeria, as well as weather preparedness training to the NFL, NCAA, NASCAR, and numerous sports venues, concert halls and amusement parks throughout the country.

A frequent guest on local, state and national radio and television programs, he has appeared on the National Academies of Science Distinctive Voices, NPR's Talk of the Nation, the Tavis Smiley Show, WeatherBrains, ABC Nightly News, The Discovery Channel, The Weather Channel, the BBC, and dozens of local radio and TV shows from coast to coast. He has served on two National Academies of Sciences panels reviewing weather forecast performance for the nation, and works closely with the Norman Chamber of Commerce and Norman Economic Development Coalition to provide support for the growing private weather and climate enterprise in Norman. He also served as a content designer for Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm children's museum exhibit that is currently touring the US. Kevin formerly served as an Associate Dean and designed and implemented the National Weather Center's outreach, tour and visitor programs from 2006-2014.

While a tenured faculty member at Florida State University, he served as a research fellow with the Cooperative Institute for Tropical Meteorology, and co-directed an outreach project, EXPLORES!, which provided NOAA satellite data ingest capabilities to over 200 schools throughout Florida, as well as opportunities to fly teacher-developed payloads on NASA's Space Shuttle.
Alicia Knoedler

Dr. Alicia Knoedler, CRA

Associate Vice President for Research; Director, Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Alicia Knoedler is the Executive Associate Vice President for Research and Executive Director of the Center for Research Program Development and Enrichment (CRPDE) at the University of Oklahoma (OU). As Executive Associate Vice President for Research, she works with faculty and administrators within OU, across the state of Oklahoma, regionally and nationally to develop strategic approaches to developing research capacity in priority, and often multidisciplinary, research areas. She is particularly focused on issues of broadening participation among underrepresented faculty and building capacity and potential among all faculty. She is also interested in the intersection of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences with other disciplines, especially related to weather, water, climate, and issues of environmental sustainability and community resilience. Within CRPDE, she leads a team that works with faculty, graduate students, and other investigators to significantly enhance the research enterprise, focusing on changing the research culture as well as assisting investigators in their efforts to develop more competitive research programs and proposals for external funding. Dr. Knoedler received her B.A. in Psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Purdue University. Prior to joining OU in 2010, Dr. Knoedler was the Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives and Research Program Development and Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University. Dr. Knoedler has over 16 years of experience advocating for faculty and assisting investigators in the development of their research programs and facilitating the development of proposals for a variety of funding sources, including federal sources, private foundations, and corporations.
Gregory Kopp

Gregory Kopp

Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Eng., University of Western Ontario

Professor G.A. Kopp received a B.Sc.M.E. from the University of Manitoba in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1995. He joined the University of Western Ontario in 1997, where he is a Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Dr. Kopp is currently Chair of the ASCE Environmental Wind Engineering Committee, a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Wind Engineers, a member of the Executive Committee of ASCE's Wind Engineering Division, Past-President of the American Association for Wind Engineering, and a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics. He has been a Director of Western's Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory since 2000. He is on Technical Advisory Committees for several wind engineering research programs at universities in the USA and Europe. He is a voting member of the ASCE 7 Wind Loads Subcommittee and of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes, Task Group for Climatic Loads. Dr. Kopp’s expertise and research projects relate to mitigating damage to structures during extreme wind storms such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Details include model-scale wind tunnel and full-scale component test methods, field surveys of damage caused by tornadoes, building aerodynamics, wind effects on building component and cladding systems, the role of turbulence on wind loads, and wind-borne debris.

Daphne LaDue

Daphne LaDue, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, OU Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms

Daphne S. LaDue is a Research Scientist at the University of Oklahoma's Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms and Lecturer for OU’s School of Meteorology. She earned her B.A. in physics from Anderson University in 1990, then went immediately on to earn her M.S. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992. She held three applied research positions before becoming the National Severe Storms Laboratory’s education and outreach coordinator for a few years. Now, after earning her Ph.D. in Adult & Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma, she is a social scientist studying how forecasters learn, use, and think about experimental weather data; how forecasters communicate effectively to other decision makers; how decision-makers such as emergency managers use weather data; how undergraduates learn about science and decide upon careers; and how non-specialists receive information and make decisions about severe weather.
James LaDue

James LaDue

Lead Instructor, Warning Decision Training Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

James LaDue is someone who likes to be a bridge between meteorological research and operations to help facilitate the research to operations process through his activities as a senior instructor at the Warning Decision Training Division of the National Weather Service. Being on the bridge affords him the opportunity to maintain connections with the broad community of meteorologists, social scientists, engineers and emergency management. On the research side, he has been authored or co-authored several refereed journal articles and numerous conference proceedings, participated in field projects (e.g., IHOP, VORTEX2, STEPS). In VORTEX2 and IHOP, he served as a forecaster in the field to select targets for intensive operation periods. On the operations side, he has close ties to NWS forecast offices and participate in severe weather warning operations, both during and after major events. He utilizes his experience on both sides as inspiration to continually improve existing, and develop new course material, with the forecaster in mind. Lately he’s been developing educational materials in warning decision making for tornadoes, leading a professional development series for winter storm forecasting, leading the Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor (MRMS) course, the EF scale training, and GOES-R training development. His work in the EF scale training has given him a desire to improve the scale for use by future operational damage surveyors by founding a new committee on estimating wind speeds of tornadoes and other severe wind storms within the American Society for Civil Engineering. This is the first standard development of its kind anywhere. His fascination with the weather and sky spans beyond his regular job to his hobbies like photography, storm chasing and outdoor recreation. He shares his professional life, hobbies and other activities with his wife, Daphne LaDue (also a meteorologist with a PhD in Adult Education) and his son, Dylan who wants to be a Volcanologist.
Dr. Marc Levitan

Dr. Marc Levitan

Acting Director, National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program

Dr. Levitan leads the wind engineering and coastal inundation R&D program under the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He served as Team Leader for NIST Technical Investigation of the 2011 Joplin Tornado and for the NIST study of the 2013 Newcastle-Moore Oklahoma tornado. Before coming to NIST, Dr. Levitan was an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University and the founding Director of the LSU Hurricane Center. Prior to joining LSU, he spent five years as the Managing Director of the Wind Engineering Research Field Laboratory at Texas Tech University, studying wind effects on full scale buildings. Dr. Levitan co-chairs the committee currently developing a national standard for wind speed estimation in tornadoes, which will include major improvements to the EF Scale. He also chaired the committee that wrote the first edition of the ICC/NSSA Standard on the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters (ICC 500-2008).
Kevin Van Leer

Kevin Van Leer

Product Manager, Model Product Management, RMS  

As a member of the model product management group at RMS, Kevin is responsible for the product requirements and subject matter support of RMS climate-peril models for the Americas, including severe convective storm, winter storm, hurricane, and wildfire products. Prior to RMS, Kevin was a graduate research assistant at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he authored a thesis on tornado-genesis and severe convective storms. Kevin holds a master’s degree in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science from Purdue University. He is a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI, Inc.), and a voting member of the ASCE Standards Committee on Wind Speed Estimation in Tornadoes.
Rick Lunt

Rick Lunt

Technical Director, Business Resilience, Zurich North America

Rick Lunt is the Risk Engineering Technical Director of Business Resilience for Zurich North America. He has over 30 years of experience in in risk management services including managing property and business interruption valuation resources and strategic risk services. Current focus is on supporting policyholders with enterprise risk management programs including Business Continuity Management (BCM) consultative services, Business Continuity Plan (BCP) review and gap analysis, supply chain risk assessment and analysis business interruption impact through modeling techniques.

Mr. Lunt is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Council of Supply Chain Professionals. He is a past Illinois State Director of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA) and former Chairman of the National Cost Index Committee for the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE).

Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Fred Malik

Fred Malik

FORTIFIED Program Director, IBHS

Fred Malik is the Director of FORTIFIED Programs at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the FORTIFIED suite of programs, which seek to improve property resilience to natural disasters on a local, regional and national level.

Since taking over the program in 2009, Fred has led FORTIFIED’s expansion to include existing residential, new residential and light commercial building standards. Under his leadership, FORTIFIED has quickly become the national building standard for resilience. With more than 20 years of construction experience and an M.B.A. from Virginia Tech, Fred has established himself as a recognized property loss mitigation expert. He is a featured speaker on resilience and its value and practicality at conferences across the country. Fred is married and lives with his family in Florida.
Catreana McMullen

Catreana McMullen

Manager, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Williams

Ms. Catreana McMullen is responsible for the management and implementation of the Williams Emergency Preparedness, Enterprise Continuity and Public Awareness programs.

Ms. McMullen began her career at Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City leading business and industry outreach and workforce development. In 2009, she served as the Pipeline Emergencies Awareness Manager and Education Specialist for Oklahoma Public Awareness Liaison, Inc., working with the emergency response community. In 2010, she began working at Chesapeake Midstream, later to be known as Access Midstream, in Public Awareness, Damage Prevention and Emergency Response. Catreana holds a M.Ed. in Administration and Adult Continuing Education from the University of Oklahoma.
Rick Mitchell

Rick Mitchell

Meteorologist, KXAS-TV

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska loving all things weather. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from the University of Nebraska in 1987. My first job as a forecaster took me to Pennsylvania to work for AccuWeather for three years. Then it was on to Des Moines, Iowa for my first job in television at WOI-TV. After four years I moved to Oklahoma City as the chief meteorologist of KOCO-TV. I spent 18 years at KOCO tracking all kinds of crazy Oklahoma weather before moving on to KXAS in Dallas/Ft. Worth in 2012. I have earned my Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society. In 2014 I was awarded a Lone Star Emmy award for my weather coverage.
Charlie Mondello

Charlie Mondello

President, Property Drone Consortium

As chief industry strategist at EagleView Technology Corporation and the Property Drone Consortium, Charles Mondello is active with unmanned aerial system research and strategy for property inspections with special emphasis on regulatory and standards development. Within the business development team at EagleView Technology Corporation, Mondello is actively involved in all elements of the organization and focuses on shaping client requirements into viable corporate initiatives.

Mondello’s career has encompassed multiple leadership roles including his most recent as executive vice president of corporate development at Pictometry International Corp. He was involved in the creation of many new business lines and sales models supporting clients worldwide. Mondello has a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Imaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is certified as a Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) and holds multiple patents in remote sensing/photogrammetry in oblique and real-time data processing.
Joe Nimmich

Joe Nimmich

Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Joseph L. Nimmich was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate as the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in September of 2014. During his tenure, his primary focus is on strengthening and institutionalizing the Agency’s business architecture over the long term to achieve the FEMA mission.

Under his leadership, the Agency has undertaken a number of efforts, including actively modernizing FEMA’s information technology systems, instituting data analytics to enable evidence-based decision making, enhancing communication, and building a broader and more diverse workforce. In addition, Mr. Nimmich played an instrumental role in establishing and facilitating several Agency governance structures that provide FEMA’s program offices with a practical and collaborative approach to identify inefficiencies and gaps in decision- making, the ability to make decisions strategically and transparently, and in a manner that benefits the organization as a whole.

Mr. Nimmich joined FEMA in 2013, as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Response and Recovery. He was responsible for directing the Response, Recovery, and Logistics Directorates, as well as the Office of Federal Disaster Coordination. Additionally, he was responsible for coordinating and synchronizing all of FEMA Headquarters’ operational response activities during major disasters and/or emergency activations.

Prior to joining FEMA, Mr. Nimmich was the Director of Maritime Surveillance and Security at the Raytheon Corporation, where he directed maritime surveillance and security operations, as well as their emergency response capabilities. He served in the U.S. Coast Guard for more than 33 years, retiring as a Rear Admiral. His Coast Guard assignments included the First Coast Guard District based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he was responsible for all Coast Guard operations across eight states in the northeast and 2,000 miles of coastline from the U.S.-Canadian border to northern New Jersey.

Mr. Nimmich earned his Master’s in Business Administration from the Stern School of Business at New York University and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in History and Government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Robin Olson

Robin Olson, CPCU, MLA, ARM, AAM, ARP, MLIS, CRIS

International Risk Management Institute, Inc., Senior Research Analyst

Rob Olson is the author and principal research analyst for IRMI's reference service, Personal Risk Management and Insurance, and is actively involved in commercial automobile insurance and trucking issues as well. Mr. Olson earned a BA degree, cum laude, in economics and an MLA degree, both from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and holds the Associate in Risk Management (ARM), Associate in Automation Management (AAM), Associate in Research and Planning (ARP), Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist (CRIS) and Management Liability Insurance Specialist (MLIS) designations. He has been recognized twice by the Insurance Institute of America (IIA) for his outstanding scholarly achievements in its programs. Mr. Olson is also an active member of the CPCU Society, having held a number of chairmanships and offices, including president of the Dallas Chapter. He is currently a national interest group governor with the CPCU Society and the immediate past chairman of the CPCU national Personal Lines Interest Group.

In addition, Mr. Olson serves as an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University where he teaches risk management and insurance classes. Mr. Olson’s avocation is philosophy and is currently serving as president of Dallas Philosopher’s Forum. He is actively involved in the community, teaching life skills classes to teenage inmates at the Dallas County jail.
Dr. Kirsten Orwig

Dr. Kirsten Orwig

Atmospheric Perils Specialist, Swiss Re

Dr. Orwig joined Swiss Re in 2013 as an Atmospheric Perils Specialist to lead atmospheric hazards risk assessment modeling and outreach. In her short tenure there, she has developed a new approach to tornado risk assessment modeling, served on the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Natural Hazards Focus Group Executive Board, Chair of the AGU Natural Hazards Focus Group Program Committee, and the Natural Hazards Mitigation Association Board, co-authored a publication on US Tornadoes: An Examination of the Past to Prepare for the Future, and more.

Before joining Swiss Re, she worked as a Systems Integration Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, leading modeling and forecasting research and public/private partnerships to more efficiently integrate wind and solar power onto the nation’s electrical grid.

Prior to NREL, she served as Senior Scientist at CPP Inc., a wind engineering consulting firm, where she largely focused on modeling wind in complex terrain and tornado risk assessment.

She holds graduate degrees from Texas Tech University, an M.S. in Atmospheric Science and a PhD in Wind Science and Engineering as an NSF IGERT Fellow. She has over 20 publications and has given numerous presentations on topics ranging from climate change to catastrophe insurance.
Tiffany O'Shea

Tiffany O'Shea

Director, Public Affairs

Tiffany O’Shea, director of public affairs for IBHS, manages media relations and communications for several other programs, including FORTIFIED. She was a communications consultant for IBHS prior to coming on board full-time in 2014. During her 20-year career, she has worked with several top strategic communications firms and has considerable experience with the property insurance industry having been a regional public affairs director at the American Insurance Association for 6 years. Tiffany is a consummate communications professional who brings her outstanding strategy, media, writing, editing, and project management skills to IBHS. She is based in Austin, Texas.
Matt Porcher

Matt Porcher

City of Austin

Matthew Porcher, CFM, started working for the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department as an intern in 1998, and joined the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS) team in 2006. Matthew serves as the Senior Systems Administrator, responsible for maintaining all IT hardware and software associated with FEWS. He is also an on-call responder for flood events in Austin. Working with Code for America, Matthew created AtxFloods.com in 2012.
Chris Ramseyer

Chris Ramseyer, Ph.D., P.E.

Director, Donald G. Fears Structural Engineering Laboratory

Dr. Ramseyer has been a member of the faculty of The University of Oklahoma in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science since 2006, holds the rank of Associate Professor and is the Director of the Fears Structural Engineering Laboratory. In this capacity he has been the advisor for 35 M.S. and 2 Ph.D. graduates. Two of his graduate students have received NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and six of his graduates have pursued Doctoral degrees. He received the CEES George W. Tauxe Outstanding Professor Award in 2004 & 2011 and the College of Engineering Alumni Teaching Award in 2007.

Dr. Ramseyer has personal credit for over $2 million dollars in research and over $1.1 million dollars in donations to support research. Chris has been involved in 39 funded projects and has been the Principle Investigator on 31 of these. His structural research interests include lateral load resisting systems for residential structures, the rehabilitation and repair of pavement and bridges. His engineering materials research interests include very early strength concrete, shrinkage compensating concrete, and the long term durability of concrete.

Dr. Ramseyer is a Licensed Professional Engineer in OK, CA and WY. He was chair of the 2009 Building Technical Review Committee for the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission. He was involved in the rewriting of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation – 2009 Specification as part of the Section 500 (Bridges) Committee. He is a member of several national committees, such as ACI 223 for shrinkage compensating concrete. He is the lead structural engineer for the award winning SkyDance Bridge in Oklahoma City. He is the only engineer that participated in both the NSF RAPID residential evaluation and ASCE/SEI school/commercial structure evaluation of the May 20th Tornado in Moore, OK. Dr. Ramseyer helped develop the City of Moore, enhanced building code for tornadoes and has been involved in the development of HB 2312 dealing with declared states of emergency in Oklahoma.
Jenifer Reynolds

Jenifer Reynolds

Co-Host Discover Oklahoma (Moderator)

Jenifer Reynolds is proud to be a third-generation Oklahoman and a second-generation journalist. She spent twenty years in radio and TV news, finishing her career at KWTV in Oklahoma City, where she was capitol reporter and then six and ten anchor. Winner of the DuPont-Columbia Award, the broadcast equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize, and the American Women in Radio and Television Lifetime Achievement award, Jenifer joined her father as member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2015. She has enjoyed the last thirteen years traveling the state for the "Discover Oklahoma" TV show, but most important she and her husband, video photographer Chris Cook, are proud to be raising a fourth generation of Oklahomans - children Jillian, Neelie, and Gus.
Joseph T. Ripberger

Dr. Joseph T. Ripberger

Center for Risk and Crisis Management, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, University of Oklahoma

Joe Ripberger is the Deputy Director for Research at the National Institute for Risk and Resilience and the Center for Risk and Crisis Management at the University Oklahoma. Joe also holds a position as a Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of Oklahoma in 2012. Currently, Joe’s research focuses on risk, decision-making, public opinion, and public policy with an emphasis on weather, climate, and water policy. His research has appeared in a number of academic outlets, including Policy Studies Journal, Risk Analysis, Weather, Climate, & Society, and the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
Eric Robinson

Dr. Eric Robinson

Senior Scientist, AIR Worldwide

Dr. Eric Robinson joined AIR in 2012 as a Scientist in the Research and Modeling Department. Prior to AIR, Eric studied at Purdue University, where he designed, tested, and implemented a new technique for identifying severe weather events in numerical weather predication models using artificial neural networks. He also participated in the VORTEX2 field project as part of the Center for Severe Weather Research (CSWR) tornado pod deployment team. He was a main architect of the hazard components of AIR’s new Severe Thunderstorm and Winter Storm Models for Canada and the United States and is currently responsible for supervising and leading the development of AIR's Extratropical Cyclone and Severe Thunderstorm models, worldwide.
Lans Rothfusz

Lans Rothfusz

Depurty Director, National Severe Storms Laboratory

Lans P. Rothfusz (pronounced Lance ROTE-foos) is Deputy Director of NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) in Norman, Oklahoma.

Mr. Rothfusz earned his Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1982) and his Master of Science degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma (1985). After two years of postgraduate work at the University of Oklahoma, he began his tenure with the NWS in 1987. With the NWS, Mr. Rothfusz has served in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Fort Worth, Texas; as the Meteorologist in Charge of the NWS offices in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Peachtree City, Georgia for a combined 16 years.

The offices Mr. Rothfusz has supervised have been recognized often for their successes, including Department of Commerce (DOC) bronze medals for performance during Hurricane Katrina and the 1 March 2007 Americus, GA tornado event; DOC Silver Medals for the 15 March 2008 Georgia tornado outbreak and the 3 May 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak; and a Department of Commerce gold medal for performance during the active hurricane season of 2004.

Mr. Rothfusz has been personally honored with the DOC’s Silver Medal for co-developing “StormReady,” a severe weather preparedness program for communities. Since its inception in 1999, StormReady has spread to over 2,000 communities nationwide. The American Meteorological Society presented Mr. Rothfusz with its prestigious Francis W. Reichelderfer Award for his leadership of a multinational team providing weather support to the 1996 Olympics.

Mr. Rothfusz is a member of several professional organizations for meteorology and emergency management, holds an amateur radio license (KD5EJN), is an active leader in his church, and enjoys writing, playing and recording songs. He resides in Norman, Oklahoma with his wife, Kathy, and they have two sons at the University of Oklahoma.

Chris Sanner

Chris Sanner

Founder, TornadoTitans.com, Creator, Titan U

Chris is the founder of TornadoTitans.com, creator of Titan U, and a filmmaker based in Bethany, Oklahoma. A native Oklahoman from Velma and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma in 2014, Chris has created award winning weather content on the web and helped create the largest visual content library of storm education content available in Titan U. With over a million total views, the Tornado Titans Web Series has delivered viewing audiences the experience of storm chasing across web multiple web platforms.

Chris’ video has also been featured in multiple documentaries and new networks around the world. Specializing in communications, especially within social media, Chris hopes to help continue to improve the public’s understanding of how to be more ready for severe weather as well as how to more effectively communicate messages to large audiences.

Outside of weather, Chris also has worked on multiple film and photography projects, is a communications/marketing consultant, and lives with his wife and two pugs in the OKC metro area.

Ken Slack

Ken Slack

Senior Treaty Underwriter, Swiss Re

Ken is a Senior Treaty Underwriter working within the Property & Specialty Division of the US Regional and National hub for Swiss Re holding the title of Vice President.

His Insurance/Reinsurance career spans over 35 years dating back to 1977 in London when he joined the claims department of The Aviation & General Ins Co, transferring to the Underwriting staff in 1983. In 1986 he joined GAN’s Reinsurance arm who specialized in both Property and Aviation Catastrophe Reinsurance but Property became the dominant class for the company and he was granted specific US and Intl Property Catastrophe Underwriting Authority in 1991. After leaving GAN in 1998 he moved into the London branch office of TIG Re and then into Lloyds as Short Tail Treaty Class Underwriter for AE Grant Syndicate 991 and XL Brockbank Syndicate 588/861. Swiss Re acquired GE Insurance solutions in June 2006 whom Ken had joined in Dec 2002 as the US Cat Product lead and was relocated from London to their offices outside Chicago in Oct 2003 where he is currently based.

During his career Ken has represented the London Market as a Committee member of the Under 35s Reinsurance Discussion group on whose behalf he has participated and co-led market educational visits to both the USA and Australia and during his time with GEIS/Swiss Re has authored several articles on issues relating to the US Catastrophe arena in addition to participating as a panelist at various industry events.
Rick Smith

Rick Smith

Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office

Rick Smith is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Norman Forecast Office. He manages NWS Norman’s hazardous weather preparedness, outreach and decision support services activities for the office’s 56 county area of responsibility. Rick and the NWS Norman staff work closely with the media, emergency managers and other state, county, tribal and local government officials to ensure that communities in central and western Oklahoma and western north Texas are ready when hazardous weather threatens.

Rick has been a meteorologist with the National Weather Service since 1992, and worked in Memphis, Tennessee, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Fort Worth, Texas before assuming his position in Norman in January of 2002. Rick and his wife Christina live in Norman with their four children.
Jacqueline Snelling

Jacqueline Snelling

Individual & Community Preparedness Division, National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA

Ms. Snelling currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor to the Director in FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD). Her responsibilities include national policy and guidance, research, and initiatives to support individual and community preparedness and resilience. As part of these duties, she is the manager of a project to review the research base for protective actions for specific hazards. Since joining DHS in 2005, Ms. Snelling’s work has included development of programs and partnerships for integrating government and nongovernmental resources for preparedness, development of strategic metrics for reporting progress on preparedness, and research, analysis and reporting on the status of individual and community preparedness. Ms. Snelling’s work for DHS/FEMA builds on a 30 year public service career of senior policy and management positions at all levels of government and extensive volunteer community service. Ms. Snelling received her undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Harvard University.
Brandon Sullivan

Brandon Sullivan

Founder, Hazard Notifications LLC, Meteorologist, AccuWeather

Brandon is a meteorologist and storm chaser, and has been featured on a number of documentaries and news networks across the globe. As a graduate of the University of Oklahoma in 2014, Brandon founded his own company, Hazard Notifications LLC, which focused on providing easy to understand weather graphics, and advanced forecasts for tornadoes and severe weather. In 2015, AccuWeather Inc purchased Hazard Notifications, and Brandon began working as a meteorologist for AccuWeather, continuing the mission for more advanced severe weather forecasts.
Emily Sutton

Emily Sutton

Meteorologist, KFOR

A Chicago native, meteorologist Emily Sutton joined the 4Warn Storm Team in December 2009. She started on air a few weeks before Oklahoma City's largest snowstorm, the "Christmas Eve Blizzard," and has been experiencing Oklahoma extremes ever since.

Her storm chasing in May of 2013 gained national recognition with video showcased on CNN, MSNBC and The Weather Channel. Sam Anderson profiled her storm chasing experiences for "The New York Times Magazine" and blog "The 6th Floor" in August 2013. The May issue of "Popular Mechanics" profiled Sutton's work as a storm chaser. She was a part of a team that recently won a National Emmy for coverage of the 2013 Moore Tornado.

Besides weather, Sutton loves to sing and had the honor of singing in front of thousands at Tennessee's famous NASCAR track, Oklahoma City Baron's hockey and Thunder basketball. In her spare time, Sutton loves to swim, cycle, travel, cook and spend time with her Springer Spaniel rescue pup, Okie. Sutton races in triathlons for charity. In November of 2014, Emily Sutton crossed the finish line of her first Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run). Her team raised more than $200,000 for leukemia and lymphoma research through a local non-profit, "The Go Mitch Go Foundation."
Dr. Louis Uccellini

Dr. Louis Uccellini

Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Director, National Weather Service

Dr. Louis W. Uccellini is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, and Director of the National Weather Service. In this role, he is responsible for the day-to-day civilian weather operations for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters, and ocean areas.

Prior to this position, he served as the Director of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) for 14 years. He was responsible for directing and planning the science, technology, and operations related to NCEP’s nine centers: Central Operations, Environmental Modeling Center, Ocean Prediction Center, Hydrometeorological Prediction Center, Climate Prediction Center, all in Camp Springs, MD; the National Hurricane Center in Miami, FL; Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK; Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, CO; and the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, MO. Dr. Uccellini was the Director of the National Weather Service’s Office of Meteorology from 1994 to 1999, Chief of the National Weather Service’s Meteorological Operations Division from 1989 to 1994, and section head for the Mesoscale Analysis and Modeling Section at the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Laboratory for Atmospheres from 1978 to 1989.

Dr. Uccellini received his Ph.D. (1977), Master (1972) and Bachelor of Science (1971) degrees in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in books on subjects including analysis of severe weather outbreaks, snowstorms, gravity waves, jet streaks, cyclones, and the use of satellite data in analysis and modeling applications. He is the co-author of a widely acclaimed two-volume American Meteorological Society (AMS) monograph Northeast Snowstorms, published in 2004, and authored chapters in the 1990 AMS publication Extratropical Cyclones, the 1999 AMS publication The Life Cycles of Extratropical Cyclones, and the 2008 AMS publication Synoptic Dynamic Meteorology and Weather Analysis and Forecasting.

Dr. Uccellini has served on many national and international research and field experiment programs. He has received many awards in recognition of his research and operational achievements including the Maryland Academy of Sciences Distinguished Young Scientist Award (1981), the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1985), the AMS’s prestigious Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award (1985), and the National Weather Association’s Research Achievement Awards for Significant Contributions to Operational Meteorology (1996). He was elected as a Fellow to the AMS in 1987and served as Co-Chief Editor of Weather and Forecasting from 1988-1992. In 2001 he received the U.S. Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award and in 2006 he received the U.S. Presidential Distinguished Rank Award. In January 2012, Dr. Uccellini was elected the President of the AMS and served from 2012 to 2013.
Gene Veno

Gene Veno

President, American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters

Gene G. Veno serves as President and Chief Executive Officer at The American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, with offices located at 1050 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington, DC 20036. Veno has served in this capacity for the last seven years advocating on behalf of Public Adjusters nationwide appearing before Department of Insurance Commissioners and Regulators insuring that all laws and regulations are adequately addressed and upheld in accordance with The National Association of Insurance Commissioners Model Act. Veno earned his Master of Science Degree from Marywood University in Public Administration Management in 1983, and obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from Elizabethtown College in 1972 in Business/Accounting. Veno also studied accounting and achieved an Associate Degree in Accounting from Lackawanna Business College in 1970. Most recently Mr. Veno was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2007 from the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. Mr. Veno was an adjunct professor for 15 years at Lebanon Valley College lecturing at the Graduate Division on Marketing and Business Management and in 2001 was awarded at the Commencement Ceremonies a “Distinguished Service Award” for his accomplishments on behalf of his students.
Bruce Vogt

Bruce Vogt

Owner, Vogt Consulting Services

Bruce started his professional career in the pharmaceutical industry. He held positions as Regional trainer, National trainer and District management. He then became as National director for one of the largest manufactures of dehumidifiers in the world. In his capacity as director he was trained in the science of psychrometry. He has consulted with ASHRAE engineers, Design Spec Engineers and The Building Science foundation.

His area of expertise is in understanding psychrometry and the effects and role moisture (excess humidity) has on structures, building materials, and contents, including the effects on indoor air quality in terms of promoting bacteria and fungi growth. In that regard Bruce has designed humidity control systems for hospitals, manufacturers, the United States Military, the Smithsonian Institute, museums, libraries, schools, universities and a variety of governmental agencies.

In 1990 Bruce became involved with the water damage restoration industry. He consulted and trained some of the largest restoration companies and the major franchise organizations on how to properly dry water damaged structures.

Bruce was a leading figure in driving the restoration industry to put together an independent certification standard and guidelines for water damage restoration. The first standards were published in 1994 by IICRC the certifying organization. Bruce was a major contributor to those standards. He contributed to the dehumidification and drying section. This of course is his area of expertise.

In 1999 Bruce started writing continuing education courses for insurance agents and adjusters. His CE courses have been approved for CE credits in more than 40 states.

Bruce has written articles on a number of subjects discussing water damage restoration, moisture control, humidity control, indoor air quality, Fungi, mold, other factors affecting indoor air quality and occupants’ health.

He has also written motivation and training articles for the business world.

Bruce is a member of the National Speakers Association.

Comments from Attendees at Bruce’s CE courses and seminars consistently mention how much they learned, how much they enjoyed the course and this CE course is the best they have ever attended.
Eric Wenger

Eric Wenger

Director Public Works for The City of Oklahoma City

Eric Wenger is the City Engineer and Director of Public Works for the City of Oklahoma City. He became an Oklahoman when he graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1994 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

Eric began his career with the City in May 1994 following the passage of the original MAPS initiative. He served as the project manager for the Bricktown Ballpark and the Downtown Arena (now the Chesapeake Arena). Eric’s responsibilities grew in 2001 when he was appointed to direct the MAPS for Kids initiative where he oversaw the $700 million reconstruction of more than 70 Oklahoma City schools. In 2009, he was appointed to lead MAPS 3, the $777 million program to improve the City’s central core, parks, river, transportation and other public facilities. Most recently in 2011, Eric was appointed the City Engineer and Director of Public Works. The Public Works Department responds to all disasters including tornadoes, flooding, wind storms, snow, ice and wildfire events which included the May 2013 tornado, the May 2013 flooding and the May 2015 flooding events in Oklahoma City.

Eric is a registered professional engineer and an accredited floodplain administrator for the State of Oklahoma.

J. Arn Womble

J. Arn Womble, PhD, PE

Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, West Texas A&M University

J. Arn Womble is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. He is a graduate of the wind engineering programs at Colorado State University and Texas Tech University, and he has examined the effects of high winds on structures since 1989. His consulting engineering background includes structural design, wind-tunnel testing of structures, and failure analysis. He worked extensively in engineering expert-witness investigations for wind/water damage causation studies in the unprecedented insurance litigation following Hurricane Katrina. His academic research emphasizes the use of remote-sensing technologies for manual and automated wind damage assessment. He currently chairs the Remote Sensing Subcommittee of the ASCE Standards Committee for Wind Speed Estimation in Tornadoes.