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Director - Emergency Preparedness, Emergency Communications & Security

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

This public safety essential administrative position has responsibility for enterprise emergency management, organizational continuity, disaster drills, emergency communications, and academic security capabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  This includes the oversight of approximately $4.5 million in budget for personnel, systems, and contracts as well as the administrative and executive oversight of a 24/7 emergency communications center and 50 contracted security guards.

To facilitate these  programs, this position routinely interfaces with high level administration including Vice Presidents, Deans,  and Directors representing institutional units such as academic affairs, finance, human resources, business services, libraries, facilities management, information technology, health sciences and public relations.  Moreover, these activities worked in close partnership with internal and external public safety and emergency response organizations  as well as state and federal agencies.

Additionally, this position is responsible for institutional emergency management and continuity planning, exercises, training, and alerting.  The emergency preparedness and continuity functions include the identification and assessment of risk from a variety of natural, human-caused, environmental, or other factors  that may increase risk to life and property around the VCU community.  Furthermore, because of the urban environment, this risk assessment routinely engages city, regional, and state resources to ensure collaboration in addressing these risks.

This position also serves as an emergency management and business continuity consultant to the VCU-Qatar campus in Doha, Qatar.  This includes the review of emergency management plans and the creation of a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and corresponding Business Continuity Plan for that campus.  This function also is responsible for exercise and planning development to support the VCU Health System's compliance with Joint Commission accreditation.

Additional responsibilities for this position include special projects (ex: major special events) and standing and ad hoc public safety committees such as Threat Assessment Team(s),  Title IX, Annual Safety Report, Clery compliance, and building evacuation protocols.

Jul 2008Feb 2012

Assistant Director

Johnson County Emergency Management & Communications

This position served as the community contact and representative to citizens, community groups, businesses, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations, and other governmental agencies to facilitate the improvement of emergency management activities and general community preparedness.

Specifically, I maintained program responsibilities related to public education, community planning, resource coordination, public information, media management, management of multiple grant funds, and the administration of all internal and external training and exercise opportunities.This required planning, preparedness, training, exercises, and presentations on a variety of emergency management topics related to preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation to community groups of all sizes, demographics, perspectives, and philosophies.In addition I provided program oversight and technical assistance to other jurisdictional departments and other local districts on issues related to public engagement, community planning, and citizen education during all phases of emergency management.

This position served as a 24/7 on-call, deployable duty officer with responsibilities to support localized emergency preparedness, response, and recovery as well as support for other neighboring jurisdictions requesting support and mutual aid. This included numerous localized emergencies and disasters including severe weather, flooding, hazardous materials, fires, ice storms, blizzards, and continuity of operations.  

I actively participated in the research and writing of the County Emergency Operations Plan for my jurisdiction.This plan included the national model of fifteen emergency support functions (ESF) and various support sections including mitigation plans, debris management plans, and joint information center plans.As part of this process, I had direct responsibility for ESF 5, ESF 7 (resource management), ESF 14 (damage assessment & recovery), and ESF 15.Moreover, I have facilitated regional planning processes that support emergency management function facilitation throughout the Kansas City Metro area.These responsibilities include ESF 1, ESF 5, ESF 8, and ESF 15.

Dec 2007Jul 2008

Homeland Security Planner

Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security

This position facilitated the programmatic support and direction for all-hazard and all-phases emergency management planning within the jurisdiction.This included technical assistance to multiple jurisdictions and multiple disciplines from throughout the community including hospitals, public health, schools, universities, public works, and various other partners.Specific planning functions including writing the Joint Information Center (JIC) plan as well as a community-wide Debris Management plan.The Debris Management plan included information related to disaster-recovery and response where debris management would be necessary to facilitate short-term and long-term recovery within the community.

I served as a 24/7 on-call and deployable Duty Officer responsible for the operation and management of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).To help facilitate the improve operation of the EOC, I lead local efforts to formalize the EOC planning process to ensure efficient and effective responses to all emergencies and disasters that might need response or recovery related efforts.While serving in this role, I spent numerous hours in the management of the EOC in response to local hazards such as severe weather, winter weather, and hazardous materials.This also included complex communications with various local jurisdictions, response agencies, executive management, and elected officials.

Apr 2005Dec 2007

Emergency Response & Information Coordinator

Platte County Health Department

This position had the primary responsibility for planning and coordination related to all emergency preparedness activities for public health hazards in the community.To meet these responsibilities, I routinely wrote, updated, and maintained local emergency operational response and communication plans to ensure compliance with the local emergency operations plan as well as other regional and statewide plans and guides related to public health planning and response. These plans included material support for preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation activities including initial damage and disaster assessment and long-term recovery after a public health event.

In addition, I supported the local emergency management office on all issues related to public health hazards such as bioterrorism, pandemic flu, and localized flooding and response.This included the assistance of information, subject matter expertise, and operational response related to localized flooding in the summer of 2007. Moreover, I created several pandemic preparedness plans that were designated as “promising practices” by the Center for Infectious Disease Response and Prevention (CIDRAP). Additionally, I generated situation reports for pandemic influenza that was distributed to hundreds of response partners throughout the world.This report was distributed during the Avian Flu outbreaks and prior to the formal recognition of the pandemic influenza outbreak in 2009.

To facilitate the public health preparedness activities, I helped facilitate a new departmental division to focus on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Public Information to ensure adequate focus on the issues related to response. Once this division was established, I also helped establish a Health Operations & Training Center to begin to facilitate operational readiness to respond and recovery from localized events.

Certifications & Training

Certified Emergency Manager (2008-2018)

Commonwealth Management Institute (2016)

Disney Institute -- Quality Service (2017)

Lean Six Sigma (2016)

Enhanced Supervisor's Institute (2014)

Master Exercise Practitioner (2015)

Associate Business Continuity Professional (2013-2015)

Kansas Certified Emergency Manager (2013-2015)

Amateur Radio Operator License (2010-2020)

Teaching & Course Development

Virginia Commonwealth University (2013-2017)

Park University (2008-2016)

University of Central Missouri (2010-2017)

South University (2017)

Awards & Recognitions

VCU Extraordinary Achievement Recognition Award (2015)

IAEM - Public Preparedness, Division 2 (2016)

CIDRAP "Promising Practice" (2006)

VCU Globe Fellow (2016)