North Carolina Emergency Management
2021 Fall Conference
November 1st – 3rd, 2021
Wilmington, North Carolina
Fall Conference Agenda:
Fall Conference Presentations:
The North Carolina Emergency Management Association wishes to “Thank” the members of the
Training Branch of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
for both their conference audio/visual support and their acquisition of the below PowerPoint presentations;
we really appreciate their assistance.
Fall Conference Photographs:
Hotel Ballast and Wilmington, North Carolina
NCEMA Executive Committee Meeting (Pre-Conference Event)
We want to “thank” the New Hanover County Fire Rescue/New Hanover County Sheriffs Joint Honor Guard team
for their participation in the “Presentation of Colors Ceremony” during the Conference Opening Ceremonies.
Honor guard members were Officer Franklin and Corporal Beegle representing
the NHC Sheriffs Department and Captain Walicki representing NHC Fire Rescue.
Mary Beth Newns (Currituck County Currituck County Emergency Management and Communications Director
and our North Carolina Emergency Management Association President) presided over the
North Carolina Emergency Management 2021 Fall Conference “Opening Ceremonies.”
Gordon Deno (Wilson County Emergency Management Director and
our Association Chaplain) provided our conference prayer.
Brent Fisher (Nash County Emergency Services Assistant Director and our Association’s President for
2019 – 2020) “Welcomed” everyone to this year’s conference and briefly discussed
not conducting a face-to-face conference during his term of office.
Then Steven Still (New Hanover County Emergency Management Director) provided
an official “Welcome” to both the conference and to the local community.
Zak Whicker (New Hanover County Emergency Management) provided conference
attendees with a brief review of local parking “difficulties” and “opportunities.”
Then, Angie Ledford (Buncombe County Emergency Management and NCEMA Program
Committee Chairman) provided a review of the 2021 Fall Conference agenda and
other associated activities prior to the close of our “Opening Ceremonies”……
At the Monday Evening President’s Reception
A Look at the Fall Conference Sessions
Fall Conference Presenters
Frank Williams (current President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners),
Randy Thompson (Chairman of the Brunswick County Commissioners and a “Lifetime Member” of our
North Carolina Emergency Management Association) and Laurel Edwards (Manager of Strategic Initiatives
for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners) discussed their organization’s
“100 Counties Prepared” initiative designed to equip county commissioners across North Carolina
with the tools they need to lead effectively in emergency situations.
Nick Petro (Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS Forecast Office in Raleigh, NC), Steve Pfaff
(Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS Forecast Office in Wilmington NC) and Erik Heden
(Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS Forecast Office in Newport, NC) examined large-scale
weather pattern and climate features that could impact North Carolina’s weather during
the next six months and provided an update on NWS warning dissemination
via Wireless Emergency Alerts and recent overreach problems that have occurred.
Star Black (FEMA Headquarters Public Assistance Training Deputy Section Chief) was joined
remotely by additional FEMA staff members and a Senior Attorney Advisor at the
National Council on Disability for a discussion of the provision of personal assistance services in
congregate and non-congregate shelters for people with disabilities during disaster recovery.
Michelle Tuck (North Carolina Division of Emergency Management Field Training Supervisor)
discussed their organization’s “High School Emergency Management Curriculum” program.
Daniel Roten (Emergency Management Director for Alleghany County) provided
a summary of the response and current recovery status of the August 2020 earthquake
from both personal and professional standpoints.
Gordon Deno (Wilson County Emergency Management Director) introduced Jennifer Etheridge
(Training and QA Coordinator for the Wilson County 911 Center) and Rodney Dancy
(Community Preparedness Coordinator for Wilson County Emergency Management)
as they conducted an interactive program on the dynamics of Leadership that was designed to cause
individuals to think “outside of the box” in order to better understand to nature of leadership.
Colby W. Sawyer (Emergency Management Specialist for Chatham County) discussed the
operations and logistics considerations associated with responding to the October 2020
Chatham County ransomware attack that disabled the county’s network,
email, computers, computer aided dispatch and phones for weeks.
Chris Bailey (Emergency Services Coordinator with the North Carolina Division of
Emergency Management) provided an overview of the North Carolina
Search and Rescue program and the organization’s plans for the future.
Samantha Royster (North Carolina CERT Program Manager) reviewed the recently
released “Community Emergency Response Team Standard Operating Guidelines”
and discussed other upcoming updates to the NC CERT Program.
Matt Kemnitz (North Carolina Division of Emergency Management Assistant Director
for Administration)……along with Melissa Arnett Fout and Erik Miller……
provided updates and discussion on the “Preparedness Grants Programs”
and EMAC/State Mission reimbursement and deployment processes.
August Vernon (Director of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Office of Emergency
Management) provided a brief overview of current and emerging threats and
what is required to plan for and respond to a riot or violent protest in their community.
Sarah Robison (State Risk Management Program Coordinator for the
North Carolina Division of Emergency Management) provided an overview
of training requirements and available exercise development resources available
to meet recent revisions to the Risk Management Program.
Colby Baker (a structural forensic engineer based in Charlotte) discussed the North Carolina
Division of Emergency Management program involving structural engineers located
throughout the state trained in emergency response and on-call/available to assist
with construction-related incidents……including the 2020 Sparta earthquake.
Michelle Tuck (North Carolina Division of Emergency Management Field Training
Supervisor) reviewed the North Carolina Emergency Manager certification
program. Gordon Deno (Wilson County Emergency Management Director) discussed the
International Association of Emergency Managers’ Certified Emergency Manager program.
F. Wayne Laney, Jr. (a criminal justice and emergency management instructor at
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College) reviewed how disaster situations, such as
hurricanes in the United States, provide great opportunity for traffickers to
recruit and financially profit through predominately sex and labor trafficking.
Don Campbell (North Carolina Division of Emergency Management Chief of Staff) provided
an introduction for Mark Holland, PhD (associate professor at Liberty University in the
School of Behavioral Sciences and the founding executive director of a behavioral health
solutions firm for emergency responders) discussed how self-care strategies for emergency
management professionals can promote psychological, relational and vocational well-being.
Kathryn Van Tol (Deputy Director of Procurement and Contracting for the North Carolina
Office of Recovery and Resiliency) provided an overview of emergency management’s legal
framework, as well as procurement and contract considerations before and after disasters.
During the Conference “Breaks”
NCEMA “Lifetime Members” Attending the Fall Conference
NCEMA “Lifetime Members” attending the Fall Conference included Ron Campbell, Roger Dail,
Debbie Hatfield, Gary Jones, Doug Logan, Frank Thomason and Randy Thompson.
Visiting with the Vendors……
“Thanks” to them for making our conference a success.
“Networking” and the Banquet
North Carolina Emergency Management Certification Presentations
“Congratulations” to Vivian Lassiter (Vance County) and Samuel Kornegay (Lenoir County),
who were presented their North Carolina Emergency Management “Associate Level” Certifications.
“Congratulations” is also extended to Josh Holloman (Johnston County) who was awarded his
North Carolina Emergency Management “Executive Level” Certifications.
North Carolina Emergency Management Association Awards
(because of coronavirus restrictions, the “2020 Fall Conference” did not take place;
so this year, both the 2020 and the 2021 NCEMA Awards were presented)
The James F. Buffalo Award is presented to the person outside of the Emergency Management family
who has exhibited outstanding support and leadership to emergency management agencies.
The 2020 James Buffalo Award Winner was Sharon Schiro
(Orange County Community Emergency Response Team).
The 2021 James Buffalo Award Winner was The Citizen Soldiers of the North Carolina National Guard.
Colonel Brent Orr accepted the award on behalf of the North Carolina National Guard.
The Vance E. Kee Award is presented to the Local Emergency Management Staff Person
who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their local Emergency Management program,
through promoting Emergency Management among other County and State agencies and elected officials.
The 2020 Vance Kee Award Winner was Misty Tabor (Swain County Emergency Management).
The 2021 Vance Kee Award Winner was Steven Pyle, Jr. (Currituck County Emergency Management).
The Colonel William A. Thompson Award is presented to the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management
employee who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in assisting
Local Emergency Management Coordinators with programs, incidents and information.
The 2020 Thompson Award Winner was Tim Byers (Area 6 Coordinator,
Central Branch Office of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management).
The 2021 Thompson Award Winner was Dennis Hancock (Branch Manager,
Central Branch Office of the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management).
The Colonel Phillip Nichlos Waters Award is presented to the Local Emergency Management Coordinator/Director
who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their local Emergency Management program and
has contributed to the overall good and advancement of the Emergency Management System in the State.
The 2020 Colonel Waters Award Winner was Robin Caldwell (Cherokee County Emergency Services).
The 2021 Colonel Waters Award Winner was Shane Seagroves (Lee County Emergency Services).
Brent Fisher (2019-2020 NCEMA President) recognized Norma Houston (University of North Carolina School of Government)
and Gary Jones (North Carolina Emergency Management Association) for their dedication, support
and contributions beyond what was required to the North Carolina Emergency Management Association.
Mary Beth Newns (outgoing NCEMA President) recognized Michelle Brock (Forsyth County and incoming NCEMA
1st Vice President) and Robin Caldwell (Cherokee County and incoming NCEMA President) for their dedication,
support and contributions beyond what was required to the North Carolina Emergency Management Association.
Outgoing North Carolina Emergency Management Association President Mary Beth Newns (Currituck County)
recognized Brent Fisher (Nash County)……who served as the Association’s 2019 – 2020 President……
for the leadership and dedication he had provided during his term serving as president of our organization.
Newly elected North Carolina Emergency Management Association President Robin Caldwell
(Cherokee County) congratulates “out-going” President Mary Beth Newns (Currituck County)
for her leadership and dedication during the past year of her service.
Then……she spoke briefly concerning her hopes for the future for our Association……
and then she “closed out” the Banquet by “thanking” those who worked so hard to make the evening a success.