SPEAKERS

Kelley Adley

Kelley Adley

Director, Strategy and Policy, AT&T FirstNet Program

Kelley Adley is responsible for building and maintaining key strategic public safety relationships for the AT&T FirstNet organization. He is also responsible for leading strategy/policy development and FirstNet innovation based on specific and evolving first responder needs. His special focus areas include law enforcement, intelligence, land mobile radio technologies, information sharing and technology/application/communications innovation.

Adley began his public service career in law enforcement at the City of Euless, Texas. Adley’s career path led him into criminal investigations with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office then to the Collin County District Attorney’s Office specializing in forensic and felony criminal crimes.

After 17 years in law enforcement, Adley went into sales with Harris Corporation specializing in regional business management and upgrading radio networks for public safety agencies within the mid-central U.S.

Adley holds a Master of Business degree from LeTourneau University, a Bachelor of Business Management from Northwood University and a Master Peace Officer certification from the State of Texas. Adley is still an active police officer as a reserve officer in Texas.

Daniel Alexander

Daniel T. Alexander

Director, National Integration Center

Daniel T. Alexander is currently the Director of the National Integration Center within FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate. Mr. Alexander is responsible for the policy and doctrine development and technical assistance provided to support the implementation of the National Preparedness System and the National Incident Management System across the nation. In this role, Mr. Alexander has led the development of new national emergency management initiatives, including the rollout of the National Qualification System.

Prior to his appointment at the National Integration Center, Mr. Alexander served as the Deputy Director for Operational Coordination and Senior Advisor to the Assistant Administrator in the Field Operations Directorate of FEMA’s Office of Response and Recovery. Here he was responsible for directing all policy development and performance evaluation for FEMA’s disaster field operations activities. He also served as the principal advisor to the Assistant Administrator regarding the Directorate’s management of disaster workforce, field leadership, operational assessments, and federal interagency coordination activities. Prior to that, Mr. Alexander served as an Assistant Director in FEMA’s Office of Federal Disaster Coordination, where he had management responsibilities over the 10 Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators across the country. Previously, he served as both a Federal Coordinating Officer and Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator for FEMA Region VIII in Denver, CO after coming to FEMA in 2011. Prior to that, Alexander served as the Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the City and County of Denver. In this capacity, Alexander managed the City and County’s emergency management program, homeland security grant initiatives, including the Urban Area Security Initiative. Alexander was appointed as the Vice Chair of FEMA Region VIII’s Regional Interagency Steering Committee, the Governor’s Homeland Security Senior Advisory Committee, and was appointed as a subject matter expert to FEMA’s National Integration Center’s Emergency Management Workgroup. He also served on President Obama’s Policy Advisory Committee on the National Security Information Program for State, Local, Tribal, and Private Sector Entities. Prior to that, Alexander served as the Homeland Security Director for the City of Milwaukee, managing the City’s emergency management and homeland security’s programs and spent approximately 13 years as a law enforcement officer with the Milwaukee Police Department.

Mr. Alexander is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and did some post-graduate work in the Ph.D. Program in Urban Studies. Mr. Alexander has taught extensively in both undergraduate and graduate programs in the fields of Criminal Justice, Research Methods, Urban Studies, and Homeland Security.

John Allen

John Allen Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Meteorology, Central Michigan University

John Allen is an Assistant Professor of Meteorology in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Central Michigan University (CMU). He completed his B.S. in Meteorology and Applied Mathematics at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Allen went on to pursue an honors degree in Meteorology and a Ph.D. at the same institution exploring the influence of a warming and variable climate on severe storms in Australia. From 2013-2016, he completed a post-doctoral appointment at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, later becoming an Associate Research Scientist, a position he would hold until he joined the faculty at CMU in the summer of 2016.

Allen's research interests span operational forecasting of severe storms to applied analysis of risk statistics, and historical climatology of hail and tornadoes to assessing the impacts of climate change and variability on the likelihood of occurrence. In particular, his research has explored the nature of hail observations in the United States and abroad, including identifying the true underlying historical risk of large hail and the application of these risks to insured losses.

James Bell

James Bell

Windstorm Coordinator, ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions

Jim Bell has 40 years of experience in the door and hardware business, including 16 years within the ASSA ABLOY Group. Throughout his career, he has worked in the door and hardware industry in South Florida and the Midwest. He was president of the Gold Coast Chapter of the Door and Hardware Institute when the state moved to strengthen its building codes in response to Hurricane Andrew. Bell is a past Board of Director and currently serves as chairman of the Legislative committee and sits on the standards and planning committees for the National Storm Shelter Association. He was a participant on the ICC 500 commentary committee for the Application and Administration, Means of Egress and Test methods chapters. Bell works with the federal, state and local agencies on windstorm codes mostly in training to both hurricane resistance and tornado shelter codes including sessions at 2017 National Tornado Summit and National Hurricane Conference on the need for shelters. Bell is a vocal advocate of instituting strong windstorm codes and consistent product testing requirements in areas of the country prone to hurricanes and tornados.
Harold Brooks

Harold Brooks, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, National Severe Storms Laboratory

Harold Brooks is a research meteorologist and Senior Scientist in the Forecast Research and Development Division at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma where he’s worked since 1992. Brooks is also a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. During his career, Brooks’ work has focused on why, when and where severe thunderstorms occur and what their effects are. Brooks has been an author on two IPCC Assessment Reports and a U.S. Climate Change Science Program report on extreme weather. He has also organized the Weather-Ready Nation workshop to identify scientific priorities for severe weather forecasting. Brooks received the United States Department of Commerce’s Silver Medal in 2002 for his work on the distribution of severe thunderstorms in the U.S., the NOAA Administrator’s Award in 2007 for work on extreme weather and climate change and the Daniel L. Albritton Award for Outstanding Science Communicator in 2012 from NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.
Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown

Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Hurricane Specialist Unit, National Hurricane Center, NOAA

Daniel Brown is a senior hurricane specialist and warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami. He’s served in various positions at NOAA since 1993, and his current role involves the issuance of track, intensity and wind radii forecasts as well as associated watches and warnings for tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Oceans. As the warning coordination meteorologist, Brown coordinates NHC’s outreach and training activities and works with FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute to develop hurricane preparedness training courses for emergency managers. Brown has also assisted in the development of several tropical cyclone-related COMET training modules.

Brown has served on the AMS Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones. He also serves on the Meteorology Topic Committee for the National Hurricane Conference and is an officer of the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference. Brown was part of an NHC team that received a National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009 for the development of the NHC Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook. Brown was also part of an NHC team that received the regional NWS Isaac Cline Award in 2013 for enhancing public awareness of hurricane threats through innovative and effective use of social media. In 2016, Brown won a National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement Award and a Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference Public Education Award for work related to the FEMA Hurricane Preparedness course and the NWS Effective Messaging Course. Brown received a regional and national NWS Isaac Cline Award in 2017 for his work in bringing hurricane science and preparedness webinars to elementary schools across hurricane-vulnerable areas of the United States.

Brown received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from the University of North Carolina-Asheville in 1993.

Tanya Brown-Giammanco

Tanya Brown-Giammanco, Ph.D.

Vice President, Research, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

For more than eight years, Tanya Brown-Giammanco has been providing engineering leadership on hail, wind, water and roofing-related research projects at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). Her research focus is on hailstone formation, hail impact testing, wind-flow characterization and testing, instrumentation and field measurement and damage assessment studies. Brown-Giammanco also serves as the hail chair for the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association. Prior to joining IBHS full-time, Brown-Giammanco was an engineering consultant for IBHS and LNSS & Associates.
Sean Burgess

Sean M. Burgess

Xactimate Certified Trainer, Watermark

Sean Burgess conducts online and classroom training for estimating and repairing property damage using Xactimate estimating software. His classes routinely include residential and commercial building contractors, adjusters, appraisers and other insurance professionals who are interested in learning Xactimate for the first time or seasoned users interested in fine-tuning their estimating skills.
Greg Carbin

Greg Carbin

Chief Forecast Operations, National Weather Service, Weather Prediction Center (College Park, MA)

In his position as Chief of Forecast Operations for the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Prediction Center (WPC) in College Park, MA, Greg Carbin supervises 33 meteorologists with responsibilities for issuing rainfall, snowfall and medium-range weather forecasts for the nation. Prior to returning to the East Coast, Carbin served as the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NOAA NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman, OK. Carbin’s career with SPC spanned 20 years, and he performed in a variety of operational capacities at the center responsible for all tornado and severe storm watches for the nation. Greg began his career with the NOAA in Charlotte, NC, in 1993 and also worked in the private sector, in New York and Vermont, after earning a B.S. degree in Meteorology from Lyndon State College in 1985. In addition to graduate course work at the University of Oklahoma, Carbin is a 2011 graduate of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Executive Leadership Development Program. Carbin is also a recent recipient of the Theodore Fujita Research Achievement Award from the National Weather Association "for his groundbreaking work on severe weather climatology which has revolutionized the way the meteorological community visualizes and uses severe weather statistics."
Michael Couch

Michael Couch

GIS Principal, Meshek & Associates, LLC

Michael Couch joined Meshek & Associates in 2006. He currently serves as the Principal of the GIS Division and offers over 14 years of experience in GIS. He is a certified GIS Professional (GISP) and a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) in the state of Oklahoma. His experience in GIS has covered the full gamut of GIS development: field collection of infrastructure information, data conversion, needs assessments, data analysis, and launching and customizing online map data portals. He has also contributed to hazard mitigation plans and needs assessment reports, performed FEMA benefit-cost analyses and assisted in Community Development Block Grant administration.
Jason Elliott

Jason Elliott

Senior Service Hydrologist, NOAA/National Weather Service, Baltimore/Washington

Jason Elliott is the Senior Service Hydrologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) Baltimore/Washington Forecast Office. In this role, Elliott serves as the hydrology and flooding expert for a service area which includes much of Maryland, the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and the eastern West Virginia panhandle. Elliott has held this position since November 2010. Previously, he was a meteorologist at NWS offices in Huntsville, AL, Memphis, TN and Mobile, AL. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography with a concentration in Meteorology from the University of South Alabama and a Masters of Education in Human Resource Education, specializing in Distance Learning, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Jeffry Evans

Jeffry Evans

Meteorologist in Charge, National Weather Service, Houston/Galveston

Jeffry Evans, an Oklahoma native, has been with the National Weather Service (NWS) for more than 27 years, starting with the agency in Wyoming as an entry level meteorologist in August 1991 and then a forecaster. Evans accepted a position with the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in 1995 as a severe storm forecaster for the nation where he spent 15 years working as a specialist on severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, becoming a lead at SPC in 2002. In 2010 Evans left the SPC to become the Warning Coordination Officer at the NWS office in Tallahassee, FL where he dealt with a number of tropical storms and flood events, and he worked as a primary liaison between the NWS and the State of Florida. In 2014 Evans was selected to run the NWS office in Houston/Galveston as the Meteorologist in Charge where he oversees and manages the operations and services for the agency across southeast Texas. In this role Evans has supported five federally declared national disasters (including Hurricane Harvey), a Super Bowl and multiple other local, state and federal-supported events.
Rob Galbraith

Rob Galbraith

Author, The End Of Insurance As We Know It

Rob Galbraith has over 20 years of experience pursuing and implementing new, innovative ideas in the P&C insurance industry to expand markets and improve profitability. Known as The Most Interesting Man In Insurance for his travels and commentary, Rob is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, media contributor, and recognized thought leader who specializes in underwriting risks in disaster-prone areas.
Alan Gerard

Alan Gerard

Chief, Warning Research and Development Division, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory

Meteorologist Alan Gerard leads the Warning Research and Development Division of the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). He came to NSSL after a 25-year career with the National Weather Service (NWS), including 17 years as the science operations officer and then meteorologist-in-charge of the NOAA NWS Forecast Office in Jackson, MS. Gerard oversees several programs developing new warning techniques for all types of weather hazards, including the Forecasting A Continuum of Severe Threats program, or FACETs, and flash flood forecasting initiatives.
Mark Goeller

Mark Goeller

Assistant Director, Fire Management Chief, Oklahoma Forestry Services

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.

Jared Guyer

Jared Guyer

Leader Forecaster, National Weather Service, Storm Prediction Center (Norman, OK)

Jared Guyer’s responsibilities as the Leader Forecaster at the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) are the issuance of Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Watches and nationwide severe weather outlooks. Guyer 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, NE (2000-2003) and La Crosse, WI (1999-2000). He earned a B.S. in Meteorology and Communications from Valparaiso University in 1999 and an M.B.A. from Oklahoma Christian University in 2014.
E Harrington

Emily Harrington

Social Media and Community Engagement Specialist, Hennepin County (MN) Emergency Management

Emily Harrington has been passionate about studying the weather and helping others since a very young age. Her first class about the weather was in ninth grade Earth Science, which led to her pursuing an Associate’s Degree in an effort to take another weather-related course before graduating from high school. She graduated from community college and high school in May 2014 and June 2014, respectively. From there, she attended St. Cloud State University (St. Cloud, MN) to become a meteorologist while working on her Minnesota Basic Emergency Management Certificate. She graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Meteorology and a minor in computer science. After volunteering with Hennepin County Emergency Management (HCEM) during college, a position opened and she applied. Harrington is now the Social Media and Community Engagement Specialist at HCEM. She also helps with meteorology tasks and the Hennepin-West Mesonet, while taking courses to complete the Minnesota Emergency Management Director Certificate.
Tracey Hayes

Tracey Hayes, Esq.

Senior Planner of the Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits, City of Birmingham AL

Tracey Hayes has over 12 years in the public sector field. Tracey began her career at the City of Birmingham in 2007 as a Planner for the Birmingham Planning Commission where she handled the review of location, character, and extent of public facilities. In 2009, Tracey transitioned to the day-to-day permit operations of the Floodplain Management and Disaster Mitigation Program and served as the City’s CRS (Community Rating System) Coordinator. During the 2011 Tornado event, Tracey has designated as the City’s Representative for all Wind Mitigation projects in the City of Birmingham as well as the City’s liaison to communities that were affected by the storm. In 2012, she was promoted to Senior Planner of the Floodplain Management and Disaster Mitigation program where she managed and coordinated floodplain development permits and assisted with grant management, administration, and implementation of the City’s Public Assistance Program, and hazard/disaster mitigation programs including City’s Community Safe Room Projects. Tracey currently manages all rezoning cases and site development plan review approvals as well as assists with other regulatory boards and agencies in the City of Birmingham. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Toledo and a Master’s Degree in Urban, Planning, Design and Development from Cleveland State University. Tracey obtained a Juris Doctorate from Miles Law School. Tracey is also an active member of the Alabama State Bar Association and was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in 2013.

James Hock

James Hock

State Broadband Coordinator, Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services

In his role as the State of Oklahoma Broadband Coordinator, James Hock is tasked with implementing the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) throughout the state and coordinating this solution with Land Mobile Radio and NextGen 9-1-1 Initiatives.

Prior to his work with the NPSBN, Hock worked in the Interoperable Communications Division of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and the Federal Programs Division of the Oklahoma State Department of Education. He also served as a public school teacher where he taught Spanish, Technology and Computer Media courses.

Hock is bilingual (English and Spanish) and specializes in Implementing Communications Solutions, Federal Grant Management, Technology Integration across Disciplines and Non-Governmental Organization Leadership. Hock holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Language and a Master’s Degree in Applied Sociology from Oklahoma City University.

Kurt Hondl

Kurt Hondl

Deputy Director, NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory

Kurt Hondl earned an M.S. degree in Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and has been employed by the NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory since 1993. He has led various programs including the Warning Decision Support System and the Multifunction Phased Array Radar Research and Development program. Hondl was promoted to the position of Deputy Director in January 2018.
Randall Ishikawa

Randall Ishikawa, Sr.

Director Product Innovation of EagleView and Former President of the Property Drone Consortium, EagleView

Randall Ishikawa has an extensive background in the Property and Casualty insurance industry, spending more than 26 years of his career with Allstate Insurance Company, in various positions in the areas of Claims, Information Technology and Underwriting. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento, and Master’s Degrees in both Business Administration and Information Systems Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Ishikawa is currently responsible for Product Innovation Strategy for EagleView and was the former President of the Property Drone Consortium.
Jason Jackson

Jason Jackson

Senior Director, Emergency Management, Wal-Mart

Jason Jackson leads Emergency Management for Walmart, Inc. He is responsible for global crisis management for the Fortune 1 supporting more than 2 million associates, 350+ million customers a week, more than 12,000 physical locations operating in 27 countries across 60+ banners, e-commerce operations, plus supporting infrastructure.

Jackson’s role encompasses the entire spectrum of crisis management including enterprise business continuity planning, preparedness, response operations and recovery /mitigation across natural and man-made disasters, security-related events and epidemiological issues. The team is based out of the Global Emergency Operations Center located at the company’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Jackson has been with Walmart for 16 years and has led the company through some of the largest disasters of the last decade and a half while evolving the crisis framework to support the enterprise for today and for the future.

Jackson has also had the opportunity to lead other areas of the Walmart business to include teams in global innovations, strategy, digital, and operations. Prior to Walmart, Jason worked in law enforcement and the fire service.

Kevin Jeffries

Kevin Jeffries

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.

Frank Keating

Honorable Governor Frank Keating

Former Oklahoma Governor

An attorney by training and a former partner of Holland and Knight. Formerly, he was the president and CEO of the American Bankers Association. The ABA is a 140 year old association that represents banks of all sizes and charters and is the voice for the nation's $13 trillion banking industry and its two million employees. Keating became ABA's president and CEO on January 1, 2011, and stayed through December 31, 2015, following seven years of service as the president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers, and after serving two terms as Oklahoma's 25th governor.

Born in St. Louis, Frank grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma. His 30-year career in law enforcement and public service included serving as an FBI agent; U.S. Attorney and state prosecutor; and Oklahoma House and Senate member, including service as a Republican Senate leader.

He served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the Treasury, Justice, and Housing departments. His Justice and Treasury service gave him responsibility for all federal criminal prosecutions in the nation and oversight over agencies such as the Secret Service, U.S. Customs, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Marshals, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service and all 94 U.S. Attorneys. As assistant secretary of Treasury and general counsel and acting deputy secretary of HUD, Keating worked on banking issues that are demanding attention today—including housing finance, lending practices, securitization, and Bank Secrecy Act issues.

In 1993 Keating returned to Oklahoma to run for Governor. He won a three-way race by a landslide and was easily re-elected in 1998, becoming only the second governor in Oklahoma history to serve two consecutive terms.

As the governor of Oklahoma, Keating won national acclaim in 1995 for his compassionate and professional handling of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. In the aftermath of the tragedy, he helped raise more than six million dollars to fund scholarships for the nearly 200 children left with only one or no parents. His accomplishments as Governor include winning a successful public vote on right-to-work, tort reform, tax cuts, and major road building and education reform.

Keating is the chairman emeritus of the Board of the Washington based Bipartisan Policy Center and served on the Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force, a group of former cabinet members, elected officials and key stakeholders of both parties that recommended a series of tough measures to address the nation's fiscal challenges. He also served on the BPC’s Housing Commission. He was previously chairman of the Advisory Board of Mt. Vernon and president of the Federal City Council. He also served on the boards of the National Archives, the Jamestown Foundation and as chair of the National Catholic Review Board.

Keating also is the author of five award-winning children's books, biographies of Will Rogers, Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Standing Bear, the Ponca Indian chief who argued Native Americans deserve the same rights as white Americans. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees.

He and his wife Cathy live in Oklahoma City, OK. They have three children and eleven grandchildren.

Sean Kevelighan

Sean Kevelighan

President & Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Information Institute

Sean Kevelighan joined the Insurance Information Institute as President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2016. Previously, he was Group Head of Public Affairs for Zurich Insurance Group where he oversaw Government and Industry Affairs as well as Corporate Responsibility. He joined Zurich in May 2013 as Head of Government and Industry Affairs for North America, with responsibility for driving the public policy agenda in the region. Prior to that, he worked at Citigroup, Inc., as Head of Strategic Communications for its Global Consumer Banking business, and for Zurich, as Head of Group Media Relations in North America. He has served in various public sector posts in Washington, D.C. As a political appointee in the administration of President George W. Bush, he served first in the Department of Treasury as a spokesperson for economic issues, and eventually became Senior Advisor for the Office of Tax Policy. He was also the Press Secretary for the White House Office of Management and Budget. Additionally, he worked on Capitol Hill, serving on the staff of members of Congress; most notably as Legislative Director for Representative Bob Schaffer of Colorado. Sean's private sector experience in Washington, D.C. included positions at public affairs firms such as Edelman and Hill & Knowlton. He advised numerous multinational and FORTUNE 100 corporate clients on policy issue management programs, corporate reputation campaigns, and crisis communications. Sean is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. He and his wife Annik have two children. He is an avid enthusiast of exercise and outdoors, participating regularly in triathlons and other sporting events.
Kevin Kloesel

Kevin Kloesel

University Meteorologist, University of Oklahoma Office of Emergency Preparedness

As the University Meteorologist, Kevin Kloesel is responsible for weather forecasting and decision-making for every outdoor event on the University of Oklahoma campus, and he serves as an advisor to OU’s president on all weather matters, including campus closure and event emergency planning. Kloesel has also co-authored the University’s weather and communications annexes to the OU Emergency Operations Plan and is responsible for authoring and reviewing the weather plan for every event at OU. In addition, Kloesel chairs the Weather Advisory Board for the Event Safety Alliance and is a contributing writer for Campus Safety Magazine, Protocol - The Journal of the Entertainment Technology Industry, and Event Safety Insights Magazine. He has appeared on numerous national, regional and local media programs including The Weather Channel’s WXGeeks, SXSW Eco, WeatherBrains and the National Academies of Sciences Distinctive Voices. Kloesel is a certified Oklahoma Emergency Manager, the Director of the Oklahoma Climate Survey and an associate professor in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at OU.
Erica Kuligowski

Erica Kuligowski, Ph.D.

Research Social Scientist, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Erica D. Kuligowski is a research social scientist in the Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Group of the Fire Research Division of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Kuligowski holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, as well as a B.S. and M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Kuligowski's Ph.D. dissertation focused on occupant decision-making and behavior performed during the pre-evacuation period of the 2001 World Trade Center disaster. Her research interests are human behavior in emergencies, focusing on decision-making and response of people under imminent threat, and the role that emergency communication plays in this process. Kuligowski joined NIST in June 2002 and has expertise in evacuation and response behavior, people movement and behavioral data collection and analysis from fires and other emergencies, emergency communications and evacuation modeling.
Michelle Kuzera

Michelle Kuzera

Title Coming Soon

Bio Coming Soon

Daphne LaDue

Daphne LaDue, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist, Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms, University of Oklahoma

Daphne S. LaDue is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Oklahoma's Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms. She has a B.A. in physics (Anderson University, 1990), M.S. in Atmospheric Science (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1992) and Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education (University of Oklahoma, 2011). LaDue is a social scientist with several ongoing projects including studies of how emergency managers in the Southeastern U.S. make decisions and deal with unique vulnerabilities given the inherent uncertainties in severe weather forecasts and warnings. She has also worked with emergency managers from across the country in a multi-year research and development project in NOAA’s Hazardous Weather Testbed that aims to improve the National Weather Service’s decision support services for Integrated Warning Team partners.
Marc Levitan

Marc Levitan, Ph.D.

Research Wind Engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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).

Craig Lott

Craig Lott

National Account Sales Manager, Malarkey Roofing Products

Craig Lott is the National Account Sales Manager at Malarkey Roofing Products. Malarkey Roofing Products is a Portland Oregon based roofing manufacturer that leads the industry in product innovation and performance.

At Malarkey, Craig’s role entails working with Malarkey’s largest distribution and contractor customers across the U.S. Craig’s work within the roofing industry, through networking activities, gives him a high-level insight on the wind, impact and application performance of roofing materials.

Prior to joining Malarkey, Craig co-founded and was active in the operation of Texas Wholesale Building Materials and SouthWest Roofing Supply over a 15-year span. These companies were regionally based building material distributors growing from a startup of 13 employees to 135 at the time of its sale.

Outside of work, family time is special with Maury (his wife), 3 grown children and a new grand-daughter. Craig is a pilot and enjoys anything that takes him outdoors, from clay target shooting to snow skiing.

Matthew Marchetti

Matthew Marchetti

Co-Founder, CrowdSource Rescue

On the first night of Hurricane Harvey, Matthew Marchetti helped create CrowdSource Rescue as a way to help organize rescues in his flooded Houston neighborhood. The next-gen management app has since helped rescue nearly 40,000 people by connecting them to almost 12,000 spontaneous, vetted volunteers via integrated communications, instantaneous background checks, and GPS technology.
Patrick Marsh

Patrick Marsh, Ph.D.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service, Storm Prediction Center

Patrick Marsh is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Patrick earned both a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma after obtaining a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Arkansas. While a graduate student, Marsh worked as the National Severe Storms Laboratory's Liaison for the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed. This experience afforded Marsh the opportunity to work with leading researchers on the creation and evaluation of new diagnostics for utilizing numerical weather prediction models in the forecast of high-impact convective weather. As part of his duties, Marsh oversaw the Operations Center for VORTEX2, the largest meteorological field program to study the origins of tornadoes. These experiences led Marsh to the SPC as a Techniques Development Meteorologist in early spring 2013. In December of 2015, Marsh became the third Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the SPC. Marsh plays an integral part in SPC messaging, including placing information in historical context and creating new methods of visualizing forecasts of severe thunderstorms and their associated hazards. Additionally, Marsh has extensive experience in the creation, visualization, and interpretation of large datasets, including maintaining and updating the U.S. Severe Weather Database.
Jennifer Mason

Jennifer Mason

Security Manager, Walt Disney World Emergency Management

Jennifer Mason graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology. While in school she interned with the United States Customs Department. Jennifer began her Walt Disney World career in 1998 and has held roles in different Lines of Business finally joining Walt Disney World Security in 2013. In 2010, she was chosen for the coveted role of Walt Disney World Ambassador and served for the 2011/2012 term. In her role, Jennifer was the face of the Company during Cast, Community and Media events which allowed her to really get to know the Walt Disney World Resort and meet all the partners that work together to maintain the Disney Brand. Currently, as the Security Manager of WDW Emergency Management, Jennifer brings her partnering skills and FEMA training together to focus on training and exercises that will assist all Walt Disney World Cast to create a safe and secure environment for our Guests.

Chris Meredith

Chris Meredith

Regional Manager of Legislative Affairs, Farmers Insurance

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.

John Miller

John Miller

PE, Forensic Engineer, Donan

With 32 years of engineering experience, John Miller serves as the Principal Consultant and CAT Manager for Donan. His area of expertise is structural engineering with an emphasis on structural damage from impact, wind, and flood. Miller has completed approximately 1,900 forensic investigations, working in the following industries: bridge design and inspection, bridge and highway structure inspection, highway design, and home construction and remodeling. He is a licensed professional engineer in 12 states. Miller earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. He is a frequent presenter for Donan University where he teaches with a high level of expertise and a little humor.
Tracey Murdock

Tracey Murdock

Senior Public Safety Advisor, FirstNet Authority

Since 2015, Tracey Murdock has served at FirstNet, which is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce authorized by Congress to develop, build and operate the first nationwide, broadband network for public safety. Prior to joining FirstNet, Murdock served as Region Emergency Management Program Director for Navy shore commands in an eleven state region. Her responsibilities encompassed emergency dispatch, emergency operation centers, consequence planning, defense support to civil authorities and coordinating a national level multi-agency response task force for nuclear weapon incidents. Murdock’s experience includes actual disaster response as well as planning and directing large-scale exercises in Europe and Asia. Murdock also has 24 years’ experience serving in the U.S. Navy.
Christopher Meyer

Christopher Meyer

Program Manager, Howard County Office of Emergency Management

Christopher Meyer is the Response Operations and Logistics Program Manager for the Howard County Office of Emergency Management. Chris grew up in Ellicott City, MD and began his public safety career 14 years ago with Howard County Fire and Rescue before transferring to the Office of Emergency Management. Chris oversees the preparedness and readiness of the County's Emergency Operations Center and Emergency Services Command Unit. He also manages the systems and equipment required to complete the Office of Emergency Management’s mission areas. Chris has a B.S. in Policy Science from University of Maryland, University College and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Law from the University of Maryland, Carey School of Law.
Matthew Nielsen

Matthew Nielsen

Senior Director, Government Affairs, RMS, Inc.

Matthew Nielsen is responsible for maintaining relationships with regulators, legislators, and rating agencies on behalf of the company to establish open channels of communication around RMS models and solutions. Nielsen is a meteorologist and geographer with extensive experience in North American catastrophe risk. In his prior role at RMS, he was responsible for developing the RMS climate peril models for the Americas, including the severe convective storm, winter storm, flood and hurricane models. He has conducted field reconnaissance for major catastrophes including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. Before joining RMS, Nielsen conducted remote sensing in satellite meteorology research at the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. He holds a BS in physics from Ripon College, where he won the Henry Knop Award in Physics, and an MS in atmospheric science from Colorado State University. Matthew is a member of the American Meteorological Society, the International Society of Catastrophe Managers and the American Association of Geographers.
Glenn Overcash

Glenn Overcash, PE

AECOM Civil Engineer, Building Resiliency Group

Glenn Overcash has more than 15 years of experience performing residential structural design, plans review, field observations and providing technical support for FEMA's Building Science Branch through codes and standards monitoring and the development and review of design and construction publications and training. He managed the project to update FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes, Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms (2015) and provides ongoing support for FEMA's Safe Room Helpline.
Nick Parsons

Nick Parsons

Director of Operations - CrowdSource Rescue

In 2005, Nick Parsons found his calling in the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. After heading up a spontaneous civilian response team which rescued hundreds in Louisiana and Mississippi, Nick dove deep into the disaster relief world. In 2006 he founded the Disaster Relief Coalition, a network of small and medium-sized disaster relief nonprofits that met the needs of survivors from the time they were pulled from the wreckage until they were fully restored. In 2013 Nick co-founded Outdoorsmen in Action, a civilian response nonprofit that recruits and trains skilled outdoorsmen and their families to meet the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of disaster survivors.

During Hurricane Harvey, Outdoorsmen in Action began networking with what would become CrowdSource Rescue, utilizing their platform to rescue over 1,000 hurricane survivors in south Texas over a 2-week timespan. The relationship between the two organizations grew into a strategic partnership, with Nick now overseeing Operations for CrowdSource Rescue. To date, Nick and his teams have deployed to 22 stateside disasters and spend the off-season training and advocating for spontaneous civilian response across the country.

Jeff Partin

Jeff Partin

Director, Corporate Security, Emergency Preparedness & Business Continuity, The Home Depot

At The Home Depot, Jeff Partin is responsible for the coordination, facilitation, and oversight of the company-level response to all emergency events which affect THD locations or associates. Partin oversees the Global Security Operations Center and, when activated, the company’s Emergency Operations Center to appropriately address any emergency event to ensure the response works in coordination with both private and public sector entities.

Partin has been with The Home Depot since 2002 in a wide variety of roles. Partin has also held roles in other private sector companies in various levels of responsibility in the Loss Prevention and Asset Protection. Partin served for eight years in the United States Army and Tennessee Army National Guard, and he graduated from The University of Tennessee Chattanooga in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

Kyle Pfeiffer

Kyle Pfeiffer

Group Leader, National Preparedness Analytics Group

Kyle Pfeiffer is the Manager of the National Preparedness Analytics group within the Decision and Infrastructure Sciences Division at Argonne National Laboratory. In this capacity, he leads a multidisciplinary team of national and homeland security professionals conducting applied research to strengthen the security and resilience of people, assets, and systems to an array of global threats and hazards.

Pfeiffer leads Argonne’s support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Resilience, Response and Recovery components. He is also the principal investigator for projects with the Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response and supports work with the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate. He is temporarily assigned to FEMA Headquarters in Washington D.C. as an advisor for the revision of the National Response Framework.

Pfeiffer maintains a joint appointment with Northern Arizona University’s School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems where he conducts research on the resilience of food, energy and water systems.

Prior to joining Argonne, Pfeiffer spent several years as an emergency management consultant—most recently as part of the Justice and Homeland Security team at Booz Allen Hamilton. He also spent four years as an Emergency Medical Technician in Maine working for hospital-based, university-based and private ambulance services.

Pfeiffer has a BA in Political Science, an MA in Emergency and Disaster Management and a Master of Criminal Justice. He is also a certified Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP).

Genae Raines-Wilkerson

Genae Raines-Wilkerson

Senior Planner/Disaster Mitigation Specialist, City of Birmingham, AL

Genaé Raines-Wilkerson has more than 16 years’ experience working in the areas of contract management, community development, and hazard mitigation. She currently serves in the Department of Planning, Engineering and Permits in the Floodplain Management and Disaster Mitigation Services section for the City of Birmingham, AL. In this role, Raines-Wilkerson has the pleasure of working with change agents throughout the city. In addition, she serves as grant manager of approximately $5 million in FEMA Hazard Mitigation and Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants awarded to the City of Birmingham for the construction of six community safe rooms and has assisted with the post disaster recovery and debris management planning efforts.

Raines-Wilkerson also served as project manager of the City of Birmingham’s Public Assistance Program. She managed large projects and served as the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery program manager for Individual Assistance for single and multi-family structures, which were damaged or destroyed by tornadoes in 2011.

Russ Schneider

Russ Schneider

Director, NOAA-NWS Storm Prediction Center

Russell Schneider has served as Director of the NOAA-NWS Storm Prediction Center (SPC) since August 2010 and led the Center through the historic 2011 tornado season. The Storm Prediction Center is responsible for the protection of life and property through official 24/7 nationwide forecasts and warnings for hazardous mesoscale weather phenomena including tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and wildfires. Russ began his NWS career in 1992.

Schneider’s responsibilities span all facets of SPC programs, from critical operational weather forecasting to integration the latest science and technology into SPC operations. He provides strategic direction for both the Operations and Science Support Branches and assists National Weather Service Leadership in establishing and executing strategic plans for NOAA nationwide severe weather services.

Schneider earned B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Atmospheric Science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Schneider was awarded a Department of Commerce Bronze Medal for his contributions to US weather services in 2007 and the American Meteorological Society Kenneth C. Spengler Award for his efforts to bring diverse communities together within the collaborative environment of the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed in 2011. Schneider was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2012. Along with nine other NWS colleagues, Schneider was recognized by President Barack Obama for severe weather forecasts and warnings prior to the May 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado in a departure ceremony at Tinker Air Force Base next to Air Force One.

Pataya Scott

Pataya Scott

Civil Engineer, Building Science Branch, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Pataya Scott has seven years of experience in the safe room and storm shelter industry and was on the project teams for the latest updates of FEMA’s safe room guidance (FEMA P-361 and FEMA P-320) and the commentary for the ICC 500 storm shelter standard. Scott has been on post-disaster damage investigations for both tornados and hurricanes to research the effectiveness of adopted building codes and standards for mitigating disasters. The findings are used to propose updates to further improve building performance and lessen impacts on communities. Currently, she is on the committee for the next edition of the ICC 500 and chair of the Structures chapter working group. Scott is also the historian and member of the ASCE/SEI/NWS Wind Speed Estimation standard committee and an associate member of the ASCE 7 Wind Loads Subcommittee. She is a Ph.D. Candidate at Texas Tech University in Wind Engineering and is conducting her dissertation research on tornado damage as a Guest Researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Matthew J. Smith

Matthew J. Smith, Esq.

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.

Patrick Spoden

Patrick Spoden

Science and Operations Officer, National Weather Service (Paducah, KY)

Patrick Spoden has been the Science and Operations Officer at the National Weather Service (NWS) in Paducah, KY since 1994. Prior to that, he was an instructor at the Operations Training Branch (currently the Warning Decision Training Division) in Norman, OK from 1991 to 1994. Spoden taught NWS meteorologists how to use the Doppler radar. He started his NWS career in Evansville, IN in 1987. Prior to his NWS career, he worked at a private forecasting firm in Chicago after graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1986.
Christine Standohar-Alfano

Christine Standohar-Alfano Ph.D.

Associate Engineer, Haag Engineering

Christine Standohar-Alfano is an Associate Engineer with Haag Engineering. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from Valparaiso University and the University of Miami, respectively. She also holds a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. Her research interests include risk analysis for meteorological hazards and methods for improved performance of the built environment to natural hazards including tornadoes, straight-line winds, and hail.
Lisa Teel

Lisa Teel

Emergency Preparedness Manager, University of Oklahoma

Lisa Teel is the Emergency Preparedness Manager for the University of Oklahoma. Teel is a certified instructor for Community Emergency Response Team, National Incident Management System and many other classes on emergency preparedness. Some of the topics Teel teaches include how to recognize and investigate bomb threats on campuses and how to become more equipped to handle emergencies with programs such as Stop The Bleed aimed at getting bystanders to help until emergency professionals arrive.

Teel is a member of the Oklahoma Emergency Management Association, Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Teel has a Master’s degree from OU in Administration and has worked in higher education since 2001.

Annie Vest

Annie Vest

Planning and Grants Administrator, Meshek & Associates, LLC

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.

Chad Williams

Chad T. Williams, P.E.

Principal Engineer for Insight Forensics, Inc .

Chad Williams has more than 15 years of engineering experience. Williams focuses his expertise on forensic evaluations and has a wide-range of experience conducting forensic evaluations including boat docks; residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities; and damage caused to structures from all types of natural disasters. He has expanded his experience to the assessment of damage related to construction defects, engineering and other design errors, foundation movement, and failures, hoarding behaviors, pavement failures, surface and subgrade plumbing systems, surface and overland soils and ground movements and vehicle impacts to buildings. He’s also assisted with operations engineering in support of the military, aviation, and industrial facilities.
Pamela Williams

Pamela Williams

Vice President, Navigators Global, Executive Director, BuildStrong Coalition

Pamela Williams currently serves as the Executive Director of the BuildStrong Coalition, a group of firefighters, emergency responders, insurers, engineers, architects, contractors and manufacturers, as well as consumer organizations, code specialists, and many others committed to building a more resilient America. She most recently served as Counsel for the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management and has more than 15 years of federal agency and congressional experience.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Ms. Williams advised the Committee and Congressional leadership on Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Stafford Act, and disaster-related matters. Most notably, she was the principal drafter and successfully led negotiations with multiple committees, House leadership, the Senate, and the Administration, culminating in the enactment of the most transformational piece of legislation since Hurricane Katrina, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, P.L. 115-254.

Previously, Ms. Williams served as the Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs for FEMA, where she was responsible for directing and executing the Agency’s legislative program. Prior to joining the FEMA Congressional Affairs office, Ms. Williams served as the Associate Chief Counsel for Legislation and Policy for FEMA, where she managed the Agency’s response to the congressional, White House and departmental investigations. During this time, Ms. Williams served as an Advisor to FEMA, DHS leadership, and the Administration on congressional actions, dispositions, and recommended legislative activities. She was also detailed to the House Appropriations Committee, Homeland Security Subcommittee to work on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) portfolios.

Ms. Williams holds a J.D. from the University of Denver, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University. After growing up in Central Texas, Pam now lives with her two children, Camilla (9) and Gabriel (5), along the Potomac River in Virginia.

Christine Wittich

Christine E. Wittich, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Civil Engineering

Christine Wittich’s research expertise focuses on the dynamics of uplifting and freestanding structural systems. She has extensively utilized remote sensing techniques including lidar scanning and unmanned aerial systems to document complex geometries and capture detailed deformation patterns. Wittich received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in structural engineering from the University of California, San Diego, preceded by the B.S. degree in civil engineering from Lafayette College (Easton, PA).
Arn Womble

J. Arn Womble, Ph.D.

PE, Research Engineer, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety Assistant Professor, West Texas A&M University (Canyon, TX)

Arn Womble has been examining the effects of high winds on structures since 1989, and it continues today with his career as an assistant professor and a research engineer. Womble was recently honored with the CAREER Award which is the most prestigious award given by the National Science Foundation. The award provides funding for the forensic investigation of tornado-damaged structures using remote-sensing technologies. Womble’s consulting engineering background includes structural design, wind-tunnel testing of structures and failure analysis. He also worked extensively in engineering expert-witness investigations for wind/water damage causation studies in the unprecedented insurance litigation after Hurricane Katrina. Womble’s academic research emphasizes the use of remote-sensing technologies for visual and automated wind damage assessment, and he currently chairs the Remote Sensing Subcommittee of the ASCE Standards Committee for Wind Speed Estimation in Tornadoes.
Richard Wood

Richard L. Wood, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Department of Civil Engineering

Richard Wood’s research interests lie within structural dynamics, the response of structures to extreme loads, and the remote sensing and nondestructive assessment of various structures and civil infrastructure networks. He has recently focused on structural characterization using lidar scanning and drones for structures following natural disasters to aid forensic engineering analyses. Wood received his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with a concentration in structures from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. He also earned his Master’s and Ph.D. in structural engineering at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA. Wood currently co-chairs the Remote Sensing Subcommittee of the ASCE Standards Committee for Wind Speed Estimation in Tornadoes with fellow National Tornado Summit speaker J. Arn Womble.