Vice President, Research, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
Chief Forecast Operations, National Weather Service, Weather Prediction Center (College Park, MA)
Chief, Warning Research and Development Division, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory
Mark Goeller’s career stretches back to 1980 when he started with the U.S. Forest Service. For the last 32 years, he’s worked for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry - Forestry Services Division. Currently, Goeller serves as the Assistant Director/Fire Management Chief for the Agency.
Goeller gained incident management experience from wildfire and all-hazards assignments in 21 states. He served as an Incident Commander (Type 3 and Type 4) on hundreds of multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional wildfires. His career included duties as an Operations Section Chief, Type 2, on the Arkansas/Oklahoma Interagency Incident Management Team and Incident Commander Oklahoma Forestry Services’ State Incident Management Team. He also is a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Risk Management Committee.
In addition to wildland fire experience, Goeller has a total of 18 years of structural firefighting experience for the City of Jay Fire Department and Keys Volunteer Fire Department. He is the current Chairman of Oklahoma’s All-Hazards Standards, Qualifications and Training Committee for Incident Management Teams and a member of the Oklahoma Incident Management Team Advisory Committee.
Acting Chief, Integration and Technology Branch, Office of Environmental Planning/Historic Preservation, FEMA
Social Media and Community Engagement Specialist, Hennepin County (MN) Emergency Management
Lead Education and Outreach Coordinator, Consumer Liaison, Oregon Division of Financial Regulation
Kevin Jeffries joined the Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) in 2011. The Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is Oregon’s consumer financial protection agency and financial business regulator. As the Division’s Lead Outreach and Education Coordinator and Consumer Liaison, Jeffries’s primary role is to provide education and outreach services to consumers. He also represents consumers to the Division’s Senior Policy Team and strives to keep the Insurance Commissioner up to date on consumer-specific issues. In 2017, his agency recovered more than $4,000,000 in unpaid benefits to consumers, assisted in the education of more than 30,000 Oregon students on financial literacy and trained more than 200 insurance agents on financial literacy topics.
Prior to joining DFR, he served as the communications director and legislative assistant to three state legislators. He also taught social studies at the middle school and high school levels before transitioning into state service.
What Jeffries loves most about his job, besides working with the best team in state government, is his ability to join three great passions, education, public policy, and consumer protection.
Senior Research Scientist, Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma
Marc Levitan researches tornadoes and hurricanes, their impacts, and mitigation for the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP), a multiagency program whose purpose is to achieve major measurable reductions in the losses of life and property from windstorms. Levitan served as the first Director (Acting) of NWIRP from 2015-2018. He was also the Lead Investigator for the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Technical Investigation of the 2011 Joplin Tornado and for the NIST study of the 2013 Newcastle-Moore, Oklahoma tornado. He currently leads implementation activities for many of the recommendations resulting from these tornado studies and is actively involved in a new NCST investigation of Hurricane Maria’s impacts on Puerto Rico. Before coming to NIST, 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 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) committee currently developing a national standard for wind speed estimation in tornadoes, which will include major improvements to the EF Scale. He chairs the International Code Council’s committee updating the ICC/NSSA Standard on the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters. He also chaired the committee that wrote the first edition of the Storm Shelter Standard in 2008 and the Committee that wrote the ASCE Guidelines for Wind Loads on Petrochemical and Other Industrial Facilities. Levitan previously served as President of the American Association for Wind Engineering (AAWE) and Vice-President of the Applied Technology Council (ATC).
Brock Long was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and began his service as the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in June 2017. Long has more than 18 years of experience assisting and supporting local, state and federal governments with building robust emergency management and public health preparedness programs.
Since 2011, he had worked as Executive Vice President at Hagerty Consulting, where he provided strategic direction and leadership to the firm’s full complement of emergency management programs and professionals. Long has served as Project Executive for more than 50 projects in all parts of the country, ranging from complex attack scenario exercises to designing multi-jurisdictional, all-hazard evacuation plans for major Urban Area Security Initiative designated jurisdictions.
From 2008-2011, Long served as Director of Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) under Gov. Bob Riley. As Director, he served as the State Coordinating Officer for 14 disasters, including eight presidentially-declared events. Long also served as an on-scene State Incident Commander for the Alabama Unified Command during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Prior to his position as Director at AEMA, Long was a FEMA Regional Hurricane Program Manager, FEMA Hurricane, and Evacuation Liaison Team Leader and statewide school safety coordinator for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.
Long also served as the private sector chairman for the National Emergency Management Association and as a board member of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium.
He is a graduate of the prestigious Executive Leadership Program offered by the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School/Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He attended Appalachian State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Public Health degree.
Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Storm Prediction Center
Chris Meredith has been with Farmers Insurance since 2003 beginning as a claims representative in Oklahoma City. He helped lead the development of the Total Loss Center of Excellence, a centralized processing center for auto total losses. Meredith also helped lead the development of the industry leading National Auto Salvage operation recovering 180,000 vehicles at its peak in 2010. Meredith now serves as the Regional Manager of Legislative Affairs in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Meredith graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in Biology and is a graduate in Claims Administration and a graduate of the Ronald Reagan Library, Presidential Leadership program. He completed his Master's in Business Administration at Capella University in 2015.
Director of Government Relations and General Counsel, The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
Matthew Smith serves as Director of Government Relations and General Counsel for The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud based in Washington, D.C. Smith joined The Coalition staff after retiring as President of Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl Company, LPA. He founded the firm in 1989 after beginning practice as an insurance defense attorney in Florida. From starting as a one-attorney office, the firm grew into a national practice providing insurance law services throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. While working for the firm, Smith also served as Legal Advisor to The Coalition.
Originally from Dayton, Ohio, he is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a degree in Radio, TV, and Film. While working his way through college and law school he served as Director of Marketing Communications for the Kings Island Theme Park Complex in Ohio and founded Smith-Kaufman Public Relations representing such companies as Wendy’s International, Hyatt Hotels and The Cincinnati Reds.
Smith graduated from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He is admitted to practice in both federal and state courts in Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Washington, D.C. as well as the United States Supreme Court.
He is a past President of the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators, the Founding Chair of the Insurance Committee of the International Association of Arson Investigators, and a member of the Defense Research Institute, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance and numerous other insurance law-related organizations.
Specializing in hazard mitigation planning and hazard mitigation assistance grants, Annie Vest has nearly a decade of experience implementing FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation programs. Vest has served as project manager and developed FEMA-approved hazard mitigation plans for 14 counties encompassing 96 municipalities in Oklahoma since 2012, including the City of Tulsa 2019 Update. During her time as the State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Vest received the FEMA Regional Administrators Award for her work on streamlining Hazard Mitigation Planning throughout FEMA Region VI. She was also a key contributing member of the first formal Regional Advisory Council subcommittee for Mitigation Planning where she assisted in the development of streamlined planning tools now being used throughout FEMA Region VI.
Vest serves on the Disaster Resilience Network Board of Directors and is an active member of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, National Emergency Management Association, Oklahoma Emergency Managers Association and Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association.