Chuck Wallace is the Deputy Director of Emergency Management for Grays Harbor County, WA and is the current president of the Washington State Emergency Management Association. He is a 33 year veteran of the fire service, retiring from the Philadelphia Fire Department in 2007 and currently the Fire Chief at Grays Harbor County Fire Protection District #11. He also serves as an elected Fire Commissioner for Grays Harbor County Fire Protection District #11. He was a member of the first graduating class of FEMA’s Emergency Management Executive Academy held at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD. He is the current Vice Chairperson for the Washington State Homeland Security Region 3 Committee and a member of the Washington State Emergency Management Council. Chuck holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Evergreen State College.
Donna Boyce Director, Recovery and Resiliency Programs Solix, Inc. Donna Boyce serves as Solix’ Director of Recovery and Resiliency Programs and is a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 2016 Community Resilience Fellow. Boyce’s background developing and managing programs assisting vulnerable populations, including those affected by natural disasters or economic difficulties, provide unique qualifications, making her a recovery and resilience resource for communities both pre and post disaster. Boyce’s experience includes serving as Director of Sandy Housing Recovery Programs at Community Development Corporation of Long Island. Combined with chairing the Long Island Long Term Recovery Group Housing Subcommittee, this work encompassed the full scope of housing recovery, from policy to implementation, resilient rebuilding, creating guidance materials for disaster case managers and using U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other funding to assist survivors. A frequent conference speaker, Boyce previously served in local and county government on Long Island administering federally-funded projects and in sustainable community development. She earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from the State University of New York – Albany, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.
Ed Thomas is a Floodplain Manager, and Disaster Response and Recovery Specialist, and a practicing Attorney. His primary concern is the prevention of misery to disaster victims, the public purse, and to the environment. Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation through advocacy and development of locally orientated policies and procedures with a strong economic, moral and legal foundation is his chosen method of accomplishing this goal.
Attorney Thomas is the President of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association; and an elected member of both the Fellows of the American Bar Association Foundation; and the Council of the State and Local Government Section of the American Bar Association. He is also the Chair of the Hazards Sub-Committee of the Land Use Planning and Zoning Committee, of the ABA. In addition, Ed serves on the Advisory Committee of the Natural Hazards Center of the University of Colorado; and is an active member of the American Planning Association, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, the Association of State Wetland Managers and the American Geophysical Union.
During his 35-year career with HUD and FEMA, Ed worked on about two hundred disasters and emergencies, serving as the President’s on scene representative, the Federal Coordinating Officer, dozens of times.
Ed is a frequent lecturer on Emergency Management issues, especially the Constitutional and Legal Aspects of Floodplain Regulations. He has authored dozens of publications and articles on various Disaster related issues.
Ed has received numerous national and international awards including the nation’s highest award for Floodplain Management: The Goddard-White Award from the Association of State Floodplain Managers. In addition, he received the Gulf of Maine Visionary Award from the International Gulf of Maine Council, for his efforts in helping develop the NOAA StormSmart Coasts Program.
Attorney Thomas is a graduate of Fordham College and a magna cum laude graduate of the New England School of Law, in Boston. He manages a private practice of Law, Edward A. Thomas Esq., LLC and lives with his wife in the floodplain of beautiful Marina Bay in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Jim Mullen is a private consultant specializing in emergency management. He served as Director of the Washington State Emergency Management Division for 8 ½ years, retiring from the State of Washington in March 2013. He is currently sole proprietor of “EM Northwest Consulting” based in Seattle.
Prior to serving as Washington State Director, Mr. Mullen was Director of Emergency Management for the City of Seattle, WA for 12 years. His tenure there was marked by numerous awards to his staff for innovative program development. Seattle was a pilot Project Impact city in 1998, winning widespread praise for its effective pre disaster implementation of mitigation in schools and residences. In 2003 he was honored by the International Association of Emergency Managers “For outstanding contributions to the field of emergency management and for establishing himself as an outstanding representative of our discipline.”
While at the state of Washington he ushered in the development of a 2-way day to day interaction between private industry and the state emergency management division. He established a logistics planning capability, and created an exercise and training section that coordinated a thematic E&T effort statewide. Throughout his tenure, he engaged in developing recovery and long term post disaster restoration capabilities, culminating in 2012 with the Evergreen Quake Exercise Series, in which a substantial amount of time and planning was divided among logistics planning, response, and introducing a “Resilient Washington” concept in the restoration/recovery phase of the Series. That concept remains the catalyst for innovative advance planning for post disaster restoration and redevelopment following a catastrophic event. That exercise series also marked the first time that the cross border Pacific Northwest Emergency Management Agreement (PNEMA) was operationally tested with staff deployment across borders and direct interaction in exercise play between the Governors of Alaska and Washington State as a well as the Premier and Solicitor General of British Columbia.
At his direction the nationally recognized Map Your Neighborhood program was designed and implemented in Washington State and has since been adopted in many other states, and has been introduced in several other nations as well.
He served as President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) from January 2011 to October 2012.In the years prior to assuming the presidency of NEMA Mr. Mullen chaired the NEMA Mitigation Committee, where he spearheaded the organization of the National Mitigation Alliance. Mr. Mullen was a forthright advocate for consideration of interdependencies beyond the disaster and for greater emphasis on maintenance of supply chains: uncommon a few years ago but now a staple of state director discussions. A major accomplishment was the solidification in a divided Congress of the worth of the Emergency Management Performance Grants, and the introduction of a White Paper by NEMA that proposed a comprehensive reform of Homeland Security related grants to assure the flexibility for local and state emergency managers while guaranteeing the accountability Congress and federal Administrations rightfully expect. Although initially controversial, the essence of that Homeland Security Grant Reform proposal can be easily found within the President’s proposed 2015 Budget.
Mr. Murphy has 36 years of corporate and project management experience, including 32 years as a consultant to the USACE, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)/FIA. This effort includes providing dam/levee policy recommendations related to risk and mitigation since 1984.
National Policy Expert for Infrastructure, Dams/Levees for DHS, USACE, FEMA
Mr. Murphy is currently serving as Vice-Chairman for the DHS/OIP CIPAC subcommittee on dams and levees including the development of recommendations for the Tier 1 and 2 eligibility criteria for critical infrastructure. He is working with the USACE as a reviewer for the recommendations of the National Committee on Levee Safety as part of the National Levee Safety Act. He is also on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) committee developing the “Infrastructure Report Card” which provides and update on the status of the Nation’s infrastructure (including dam/levees) to Congress and the American people. For the first time all categories of infrastructure will include recommendations/status of resiliency. He has just been appointed as a member of the Public Policy Committee on America’s Infrastructure.
FEMA’s Flood and Hazard Mapping/Identification Programs – Including Levee Policy Guidance and Dam Risk Procedures.
Mr. Murphy assisted in developing recommendations on how to address levee issues including the creation of the new levee inventory and database that is now used by both the USACE and FEMA. Other recommendations included adopting the Corps’ risk based methodology for H&H analysis and conducting more rigorous assessments and review of current levee conditions and operations and maintenance procedures. He was and member of the FEMA interagency policy review committee to address “The National Levee Challenge”. Mr. Murphy also assisted in the development of the Code of Federal Regulations 65.10, defining the engineering and other requirements for levee certification. Mr. Murphy is currently overseeing the development of two FEMA task orders to develop standardized procedures on how to conduct a dam failure consequence assessment, and how to model and map dam failure inundation areas.
Hazard Guidelines and Building Code Assessments
As a member of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Advisory Committee under contract to FEMA for the integration of building codes, created innovative, implementable solutions to the challenges of building in a multi-hazard environment. This included investigating conflicts between different building codes and FEMA mitigation recommendations.
Risk Reduction to Infrastructure Systems
Mr. Murphy served as a member of the advisory committee to the American Lifelines Alliance (ALA) initially under ASCE and then the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Their mission is to establish a public-private partnership between FEMA and industry, with the goal of reducing risks to lifelines (utility, transportation, communication systems) from natural and man-made hazards. Developed guidelines and specifications for industry to follow to mitigate losses and build in redundancy and resiliency. He was Project Manager for the ALA ‘Hazard Matrix” which compiled the Nation’s guidance for reducing damage to infrastructure from both natural and manmade hazards, including terrorism.