Home2020 Nevada Preparedness Summit Speakers
Media Relations Manager
UNLV School of Medicine
Paul Joncich spent the first 30 years of his career as an Emmy winning television news anchor and reporter. Now he’s using his experience and knowledge of newsrooms and the 24-hour news cycle to promote the UNLV School of Medicine.
As manager of media relations, Paul’s responsibilities include providing information to members of the media and public about the people and programs that make the UNLV School of Medicine unique.
Paul feels the school, one of the newest medical schools in the country, is a “gold mine of compelling stories.” Smart, local students, many from difficult circumstances, pursuing their dream of becoming doctors so they can provide healthcare to their underserved community. Talented faculty physicians using the latest technology to perform procedures that are only available at a few places in the country. Researchers carrying out painstaking work that may someday provide answers to medicine’s biggest questions.
While helping grow the image and reputation of the school is one of his jobs, he is also responsible for keeping university leadership, supporters and stakeholders abreast of any notable developments. Less than two years after welcoming the first class, the UNLV School of Medicine has grown to more than a thousand employees, roughly one-third the size of UNLV.
Paul grew up in Southern California and received his BA in Communications from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
He joined the UNLV School of Medicine in 2017 from KLAS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas, where he spent five years anchoring the 4 pm and 6 pm newscasts. Prior to that, Paul anchored and reported in Cleveland, Ohio for WOIO-TV (CBS).
Paul was also the primary anchor for CBS-13 in Sacramento, where in addition to anchoring, his reporting took him to the former Soviet Union, where he spent a week covering the collapse of communism. In March of 2000, Paul was a witness inside San Quentin’s death chamber during the execution of serial killer and rapist Darrell Keith Rich.
As a reporter, Paul was known for throwing himself into assignments. During Operation Desert Storm, he went through the rigors of qualifying for Army Ranger training. For a story that aired during halftime of a Super Bowl, Paul played semi-pro football… and still bears the scar from a violent hit to the chin.
Paul has also anchored and reported at KNXV in Phoenix and KUSA in Denver, winning two Emmy awards and receiving more than 15 Emmy nominations and Associated Press awards.
Capt. Cedric Williams (Ret.)
Public Information Officer
North Las Vegas Fire Department
Captain Williams (Retired) was assigned as the Public Information and Community Liaison Officer for the North Las Vegas Fire Department. He has been an instructor and lead instructor for two North Las Vegas fire recruit academies, served as Vice-President of the Fire Prevention Association of Nevada (FPAN), a Governor appointed Commissioner for the Nevada Volunteers Board, a State of Nevada Senate appointed member of the Nevada Vision Stakeholders Group, and a former Mediations Specialist with the Clark County Neighborhood Justice Center. Captain Williams also serves as a motivational speaker for many organizations to include the US Military, Clark County Parks and Recreation, and youth organizations, etc.
Captain Williams earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). He also earned an Associate’s degree in Fire Science Technology with an urban emphasis from the College of Southern Nevada, and a graduate of the Advanced Public Information Officer course from the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD. He joined the North Las Vegas Fire Department in 1994.
Captain Williams has dedicated nearly 30 years to serving his country and community. As a member of the United States Army from 1989-1992 on active duty and five years reserve, he was a small arms and Supply Specialist; upon being honorably discharged he worked as a mail carrier before being selected for the North Las Vegas Fire Department Recruit Academy in 1994. Captain Williams has been an athletic coach with USA Track and Field (USATF) for more than 25 years. He currently serves as the Head Coach for a USATF team (Las Vegas Heat) and is the former Vice-President of USATF for the State of Nevada, as well as former Western Zone Representative and Western Zone Vice-Representative for (USATF). Captain Williams was an active member of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), United Firefighters of Southern Nevada, Safe Kids Clark County Coalition of Nevada, and Partnerships for Youth at Risk, a juvenile fire-setters organization. Captain Williams also continues to volunteer with Camp Brotherhood and Camp Sisterhood and served as the Treasurer for the inner-city Non-Profit youth program, for compromised youth.
Nevada Department of Public Safety
Sheri Brueggemann has served the State of Nevada for over 15 years. Prior to being appointed Deputy Director in June of 2019, she was an integral part of the Nevada Department of Public Safety, Director’s Office management team for 14 years, and held the position of Senior Fiscal Officer since 2014.
Brueggemann is the first civilian (non-sworn personnel) to be appointed Deputy Director of the Nevada DPS.
As Deputy Director, she works together with the Director to oversee the Department’s Divisions and Offices, which include the sworn Divisions of the Nevada Highway Patrol, Parole and Probation, Investigations, Capitol Police, State Fire Marshal, Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
Sheri Brueggemann began her career in the casino and resort industry, advancing to the position of Hotel Director with Harvey’s Resort and Casino in Northern Nevada.
Brueggemann has been a Nevada resident since 1980, moving from Northern California to the Northern Nevada area.
Nevada Division of Emergency Management
Justin Luna was appointed in August 2019, as Chief of the Nevada Division of Emergency Management and Office of Homeland Security, within the Department of Public Safety.
He has been with the division since November 2014, previously serving as the Chief Fiscal and Administrative Officer. During this time, the division has transitioned to focus on resilience throughout the state with a vision to continue efforts to build a more resilient Nevada.
Justin’s previous experience includes time with the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services; the Nevada Division of Health Care Financing and Policy; and the Nevada Department of Corrections. Prior to state service, he worked in Las Vegas for almost nine years in the private sector with a national homebuilder. Justin is a graduate of Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he played collegiate volleyball.
He grew up in Tennessee but ended up marrying a Nevadan over 20 years ago. Justin lives in the quaint Nevada town of Minden, about a half hour south of the state capital, Carson City, in the beautiful Reno/Tahoe area, where he spends his spare time with his family enjoying various outdoor activities.
He is currently a master’s candidate at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
FEMA Region IX
Robert J. Fenton, Jr. was appointed Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX in July 2015.
Previously, Mr. Fenton served as the Deputy Associate Administrator in the Office of Response and Recovery at FEMA Headquarters and was responsible for coordinating the Federal response in support of States during major disasters. He coordinated and integrated Federal interagency all-hazards disaster planning and response operations; managed emergency response teams; and oversaw disaster emergency communications programs.
Mr. Fenton came to FEMA Headquarters in July 2009 to serve as the Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Response, where he was instrumental in crafting the reorganization of the Response Directorate and the Office of Response and Recovery, as well as leading the Response Directorate’s focused efforts on whole community catastrophic planning, doctrine development, staff training/credentialing, and exercises. Mr. Fenton previously worked at FEMA Headquarters as the Acting Deputy Operations Branch Chief in 2007, leading the development and implementation of the Incident Management Assistance Teams.
From 2006 to 2009, Mr. Fenton served in the dual roles of Director of Disaster Assistance and Acting Director of Disaster Operations in the FEMA Region IX Office. Mr. Fenton was responsible for the delivery and coordination of all hazards disaster planning, and response and recovery activities in the Region, which serves Arizona, California, Nevada, and Hawaii, as well as Guam, American Samoa, the Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, and Micronesia. Mr. Fenton also served as Chief of the Region IX Response Branch, where he led interagency work groups in the development of the National Incident Management System and the National Response Framework. He was also responsible for conducting interagency training, coordination, and exercises with Federal Emergency Support Function agencies in preparation for disaster response.
Since joining FEMA in 1996, Mr. Fenton has played a significant role in numerous large-scale response and recovery operations in the U.S. and has responded to more than 50 Federal disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, the four Florida Hurricanes of 2004, the Southern California Wildfires of 2003 and 2007, the Super Typhoon Pongsona in Guam, and the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
Prior to joining FEMA, Mr. Fenton served as the Chief of Field Operations for Portable Water Supply System, based in Redwood City, California. In that capacity, he deployed to Central Africa as a lead member of the U.S. emergency response relief effort to bring lifesaving assistance to Rwandan refugees.
Nevada Emergency Preparedness Association
Yuri Graves has been an emergency management practitioner for over 25 years. During his first 20 years of his professional life he served in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) leading many different missions related to disaster preparedness and response, salvage, wreck and debris removal, environmental protection, law enforcement, search and rescue, maritime safety, illegal migrant and drug interdiction, and port security.
During his tenure, he was a founding member of the USCG’s International Port Security program and served a liaison to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), US. Customs and Border Protection’s Container Security Initiative program, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation. He retired as a Commander from the USCG and joined the city of Henderson as the city’s Emergency Manager in 2013. He served in this capacity for 4 ½ years.
Yuri currently serves as the Emergency Manager at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He is also the current President of the Nevada Emergency Preparedness Association (NEPA).
John Fildes, M.D.
UNLV School of Medicine
Dr. John Fildes is an internationally renowned trauma surgeon, researcher, educator and administrator in the fields of medicine and medical education.
A professor and inaugural chair of the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Surgery, Dr. Fildes was appointed UNLV School of Medicine Interim Dean by UNLV President Marta Meana.
Under Dr. Fildes’ guidance, University Medical Center, the main training hospital for the school of medicine, has become a national leader in trauma medicine. Of those who arrive alive at the trauma center where he has served as medical director -- many patients have less than a 1 percent chance to live – 96 percent survive and are discharged.Dr. Fildes established the nation’s first acute care surgeryfellowship program atUMC.
An honors graduate of Union College in Schenectady, NY, Fildes graduated with high honors from the medical school at the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. He completed a residency and fellowship in general surgery at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in New York City and a fellowship in surgical critical care, burns and trauma at Cook County Hospital in Chicago.
In the early 1990s Dr. Fildes became so respected for trauma work in Chicago that he became president of the Chicago Metropolitan Trauma Society and earned leadership roles in Chicago with the American College of Surgeons. He moved to Nevada in 1996 to become head of the UMC Trauma Center.
In the wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., Dr. Fildes was asked to testify before the U.S. Senate on the readiness of the nation’s trauma centers. He became national chair of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma in 2006.
After the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting on the Strip that took the lives of 58 people and wounded more than 800, President Donald Trump commended Dr. Fildes and his surgical team.
Homeland Security and Emergency Manager
Nevada Department of Transportation
After serving six years in the United States Marine Corps as a Ground Radio Technician, Mr. Walker returned to school and earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University.
He began working in emergency management as a Public Assistance Inspector on the Governor’s Flood Recovery Task Force soon after the Floods of ’97. Since that time, he has continued to work in the field of emergency management and held the positions of Public Assistance Officer, Hazard Mitigation Officer and supervisor of the Planning, Training and Exercise program at the Nevada Division of Emergency Management.
He has also spent time as the Energy Reliability Program Manager for the Nevada State Energy Office, and more recently as the Homeland Security and Emergency Manager for the Nevada Department of Transportation.
Mike Heidemann is the Emergency Manager of Churchill County after retiring as Assistant Chief and Training Chief/EMS Coordinator for the Hawthorne Army Depot Fire & Emergency Services Dept. and has 25 years of service with the Lovelock Volunteer Fire Dept. He also works as an adjunct instructor for the Nevada State Fire Marshal and serves as the lobbyist for the NSFA at the Nevada Legislature.
He also serves as one of two Nevada representatives to the National Volunteer Fire Council where he holds a seat on the Health, Safety and Training Committee as well as the Legislative committee. Mike serves on the advisory board for the FireShowsWest training conference held each fall in Reno. Mike has been appointed by two different Governors and the Nevada Health Division to serve on the Nevada EMS Advisory Board, as well as being a member of the Nevada Intra-State Mutual Aid Committee.
Mike holds a Master Fire Instructor certification as well as a two time recipient of the Nevada State Firefighters Association Instructor of the Year Award. Mike was recently honored with a plaque bearing his name placed on the wall for Distinguished Contributions to the Nevada Fire Service at the Nevada Firefighter Memorial in Carson City.
Emergency Manager (Ret.)
Gila River Indian Community
Robert DeLeon has 39 years in public safety experience, has a Masters Degree in Organizational Management and was selected as the 2018 Arizona Emergency Manager of the Year. He has served as an emergency manager for a large tribal community, and the City’s of Mesa and Scottsdale Arizona. He retired from the City Mesa after 25 years as an assistant fire chief and was part of the executive team that created the Scottsdale Fire Department. He has collaborated with others in the creation of life safety codes, public safety education, planning for signature events such as two Super Bowls and professional golf tournaments.
He has served as an Incident Commander for a Type III Incident Management Team, and is an instructor for the State of Arizona and FEMA (National Emergency Management Basic Academy, National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) courses).
In addition, he is the CEO of DeLeon Consulting, specializing in instruction, emergency planning, THIRA, grants and strategic planning.
Dr. Tamara Herold
Associate Professor, Criminal Justice
Dr. Tamara D. Herold is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Graduate Director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). She serves as Director of the Crowd Management Research Council and Associate Director of the Center for Crime and Justice Policy.
Dr. Herold is an American Crime Scientist and completed her criminal justice doctorate with an emphasis in crime prevention at the University of Cincinnati. She uses the crime science perspective to study the criminological impact of the design and management of places, including crowd dynamics that lead to violence. Her research and teaching projects involve working directly with police, private security, and stadium/venue operators. Her work has appeared in various journal outlets, including Criminology and Justice Quarterly. She has published numerous practitioner-focused research papers, including two Problem-Oriented Policing Guides funded by the COPS Office. With Dr. Ken Peak, Dr. Herold is working on the fourth edition of her textbook, Introduction to Criminal Justice: Practice and Process. Her book, Preventing Crowd Violence (co-edited with Johannes Knuttson), has been translated into two foreign languages.
Dr. Herold co-developed the internationally recognized violence reduction strategy P.I.V.O.T. (Place-based Investigations of Violent Offender Territories). P.I.V.O.T. is designed to stop shootings in chronically violent urban locations. Police, city departments, and local communities work together to disrupt opportunities for violence, using a problem-oriented approach that focuses on uncovering and dismantling place-networks that facilitate violent activities. In 2017, P.I.V.O.T. received the international Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing.
After being selected as a 2008 finalist for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars — Inspire Integrity Award, Dr. Herold was the recipient of the 2009 Greenspun College of Urban Affairs Outstanding Teaching Award, the 2011 CSUN Faculty Excellence Award, and the 2011 UNLV Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2014, she was appointed as a UNLV Faculty Development Fellow in recognition of her research and teaching accomplishments.
Dr. Herold currently serves as an Editorial Advisory Board member for several journals, lead reviewer for the Assistant Attorney General’s Office: Evidence Assessment of Justice Programs/Practices, guest faculty for the International Association of Venue Managers Academy for Venue Safety and Security, and International Association of Crime Analysts subject-matter expert.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Emergency Management
Diana Cordeiro was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2012. Diana’s undergraduate experiences led her to the Basque Center of Brain, Cognition, and Language located in San Sebastian, Spain where she obtained a Master of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience of Language. She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Administrative Leadership at the University of Oklahoma.
Diana joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department over five years ago, in an analyst capacity, embedded within the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center (SNCTC). Working within the SNCTC as both a crime analyst and analyst for the Emergency Management Section she has served in capacities that have strengthened her passion for continuing education, building relationships, collaborating with team members, as well as leading and managing projects.
Working within a local law enforcement agency’s Emergency Management Section has afforded Diana the opportunity to partner with various critical infrastructure stakeholders to include schools, malls, utilities, casinos, nightclubs, special event facilities and organizers. She has planned, coordinated, and conducted a multitude of multi-discipline, multi-agency exercises during her time in the Emergency Management field promoting the assessment and growth of the emergency management capabilities in Southern Nevada through a whole community approach.
Sgt. Justin Van Nest
Multi Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Sergeant Justin Van Nest has been a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for the last 9 years. He is a certified defensive tactics instructor and has worked in several different sections on the department. In addition to being an Academy TAC Officer and Field Training Officer, he has also worked in the Problem Solving Unit (PSU), and the Enforcement/ Saturation Squad.
Sgt. Van Nest also led one of the department’s Community Oriented Policing Units in which his team emphasized faith-based partnerships in an effort to build trust and reduce crime within the Las Vegas Valley.
Most recently he has taken over the Multi Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC) unit within the Organized Development Bureau. Sgt. Van Nest has been involved with MACTAC for the majority of his career and was working as an overtime supervisor at the Route 91 harvest festival during the events of 1 October. Sgt. Van Nest has a passion and a personal interest in educating both law enforcement and the public in the MACTAC principles.
Misty Robinson, M.A.
Senior Public Health Preparedness Planner
Southern Nevada Health District
A native of Dallas, Texas, Ms. Robinson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master of Arts in international relations, both from the University of North Texas. Prior to joining the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) in 2006, Ms. Robinson gained experience in a variety of roles within emergency management as a regional planner in homeland security and criminal justice, as well as a grants monitor for the State Homeland Security Grant Program and state coordinator for the thirteen Texas cities who received the Metropolitan Medical Response System grant.
Since joining the SNHD, Ms. Robinson has led the District’s preparedness efforts through funding and guidance from the Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement, previously under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She develops plans for the Health District’s response to all hazards, especially in response to public health emergencies and then conducts exercises and training to prepare the District for a real emergency. She has responded to multiple real events including the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting.
As part of her responsibilities with the Health District, Ms. Robinson serves as a public health liaison to the Southern Nevada Counterterrorism Center and works there one day a week providing public health support to the fusion center. Ms. Robinson also supports the Las Vegas Urban Area BioWatch Program with the local planning component.
Dee Dee Khayat, B.A., M.S.
Public Health Preparedness Planner
Southern Nevada Health District
Dee Dee Khayat has worked in Public Health at the Southern Nevada Health Distrist (SNHD) for the last 21 years, to include 12 years in Public Health Preparedness. During this time, Dee Dee has developed and written required public health emergency preparedness and response plans, training curricula, and other media materials related to public health.
As a SNHD PHP planner she serves as the Public and Closed POD coordinator and POD exercise planner. Dee Dee co-leads an active Closed POD Working Group. The Closed POD program allows for public and private businesses, and agencies to participate in emergency planning to dispense lifesaving medications to their employees and families in the event of an emergency or bio-terrorist event.
In the past year the SNHD has implemented ICS to address the current Hepatitis A outbreak in Southern Nevada. As Planning Section Chief, Dee Dee has assisted in all levels of training and efforts to mitigate and effectively address this crisis.
FEMA Region IX Regional Integration Branch
Fred Wehrenberg has over three decades of emergency management experience in government, private industry, and the military. He began his career in the U.S. Coast Guard where his responsibilities included search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, and hazardous materials incident response. Following his Coast Guard service, he entered private industry as a consultant to the energy sector where his work focused on emergency planning and response.
Mr. Wehrenberg joined FEMA in 2006 and currently serves as the Chief of the Regional Integration Branch at FEMA Region IX. In this position, he is responsible for Homeland Security training and exercises, FEMA’s Continuous Improvement Program, and support of California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, and the Pacific Territories.
Mr. Wehrenberg has a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from Western Carolina University and is a veteran of over 35 disaster and emergency response operations including major oil spills, hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.
Information Security Manager
City of Henderson
Terry Daus is the Information Security Manager for the City of Henderson, NV. In 2017, the City received a DHS grant to create a Cyber Security Incident Response (CSIRT) plan. Using NIST and FEMA (ICS) frameworks, the plan creates an integrated response plan for cyber incidents, incorporating not just Information Technology and Emergency Management, but other City departments and external agencies and partners. The plan has been shared as a standardized template with the Office of Cyber Defense and Coordination (OCDC) for other agencies in the State to develop their own CSIRT plan.
Prior to joining the City in his current role 10 years ago, Terry spent 20+ years in IT security supporting commercial employers, including 10 years as owner and CEO of his own cybersecurity company before it was acquired by a nationwide reseller.
Terry holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Business Administration from California Lutheran University. A Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP) since 2002, he has numerous other technical and cyber-related certifications.
Terry is also co-founder and past-president of the Las Vegas Information Security Systems Association (ISSA), a nonprofit organization for the information security profession committed to promoting effective cyber security on a global basis .
University of Nevada, Reno Police Services
Chief Renwick is the Assistant Vice President and Chief of Police for the University of Nevada, Reno Police Services, Northern Command. Chief Renwick’s law enforcement career spans over 27 years, 22 of which have been with the University of Nevada. He has worked in municipal, K-12 education, and higher education law enforcement. He is a graduate of the 2003 FBI National Academy 212th Session and 2002 Southwest Command College.
Chief Renwick has directed the operation of several large-scale sporting events, presidential visits, and high profile and controversial speakers. Most recently, he managed the July 5, 2019 Argenta Hall explosion, which caused significant damage to two major residence halls, the university’s main dining hall which served 16,000 meals a day and displaced approximately 1400 student beds.
Chief Renwick leads a department of approximately 70 employees, including sworn officers, civilian staff, part time reserve officers and student workers.
Manager, Organizational Resilience
University of Nevada, Reno
Since 2016, Ms. Windes has been creating a comprehensive emergency management and continuity program at the University of Nevada, Reno in the new position of Organizational Resiliency Manger in the Office of the Provost, after over 14 years’ experience in all hazards emergency management for the Department of Defense.
While at The University of Nevada, Reno Ms. Windes has implemented the Stop the Bleed Campaign on campus, joined National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid Agreement (NIMMA), responded to two Stafford Act Disaster Declarations for severe winter storms, flooding and mudslides impacting Northern Nevada in 2017, has been part of numerous wildfire support operations, oversaw the response, recovery and continuity operations for the Argenta and Nye Hall Explosions on 5 July 219 and deployed as part of the state’s incident management team to support Lincoln County Area 51 Event 17-21 Sept 2019
Ms. Windes graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and an Unlimited Third Officer License from the United States Coast Guard, upgrading her license to Unlimited 1600 Ton Master and Second Officer. She holds a Master of Arts in National Defense and Strategic Policy with an area of study in Homeland Defense and Security from the Naval War College and a summa cum laude Master of Science Public Health in Emergency and Disaster Management from Trident University International.
Ms. Windes is a member of International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), Disaster Resilient Universities (DRU) and Nevada Emergency Preparedness Association (NEPA) as the Higher Education Committee Chair and State Certification Board Member. She is an alumna of the FEMA National Executive Emergency Management Academy and FEMA Advanced Academy. Her greatest achievement and blessing will always be her incredible children.
Emergency Management Administrator
City of Las Vegas Office of Emergency Management
Carolyn Levering, Emergency Management Administrator for the City of Las Vegas Office of Emergency Management (OEM), develops and maintains emergency response plans, manages federal and state grant programs, and conducts routine training and exercises. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has been a Certified Emergency Manager since 2005.
Prior to leading the Las Vegas OEM, Mrs. Levering served as Plans and Operations Coordinator for Clark County, NV and Chapter Operations Director for the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada.
Mrs. Levering is adjunct faculty to UNLV’s Executive Master of Science in Crisis and Emergency Management program, teaching the Community Preparedness course since 2007.
Current appointments include: Chair, Nevada State Emergency Response Commission- Planning and Training Sub-committee; Senior member, Nevada Commission on Homeland Security Finance Committee; State of Nevada Resilience Advisory Committee and Advocacy Chair for the Nevada Emergency Preparedness Association.
Mrs. Levering has served as President of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) USA - Region 9 and has served as Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning SubGroup for the national InterAgency Board.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center
Jodi Carl was appointed to senior analyst in the Emergency Management Section of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in June, 2016. As a senior analyst, Ms. Carl is responsible for various tasks including procedure manual revisions, Department Operations Center administrative group manager, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Special Events and Critical Infrastructure Data Call. In addition, Ms. Carl serves as the Utility and Pipeline Coordinating Group and school safety working group chair. Ms. Carl’s main focus is on critical infrastructure protection and she has earned the TEEX Critical Infrastructure Protection certificate.
Prior to her appointment, she spent nine years as a crime analyst in the Southern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center. She has also spent time as a Transportation Screening Officer at McCarran International Airport, a juvenile probation officer, youth worker, and a drug court clerk for the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.
Ms. Carl earned her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and in criminal justice administration from Park University in 2003 and her master’s degree in public affairs, with a disaster and emergency management emphasis in 2007 also from Park University. She is currently simultaneously enrolled in the Emergency Management Basic Academy in Emittsburg, MD and the Emergency Management Advanced Academy – Las Vegas Cohort.
Senior Safety Compliance Advisor
Stephanie Daus holds a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management & Homeland Security and has been an emergency management practitioner for over 11 years. During her early career Stephanie worked as a FEMA contractor responding to 23 presidentially declared disasters.
Upon moving to Nevada, Stephanie worked at the City of Henderson Office of Emergency Management where she led the award winning Get Ready Stay Ready preparedness program. During her tenure at NV Energy, Stephanie has worked in Emergency Management and Safety as a Senior Safety Compliance advisor.
Fire Mitigation Specialist-Fire Chief
Mark Regan, a former Fire Marshal with nearly three decades of experience, was hired by NV Energy in 2019 as NV Energy’s first-ever Fire Mitigation Specialist-Fire Chief. He is part of the NV Energy team that is implementing the natural disaster protection plan required by Senate Bill 329, which includes the Public Safety Outage Management program. Regan also works with fire departments statewide on efforts to reduce the risk of wildfires and to develop trainings.
This past year Regan serviced as the President of the Nevada Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators and was the lobbyist for the Northern Nevada Fire Chiefs the last six years.
Prior to joining NV Energy, Regan spent seven years as Fire Marshal and Division Chief for the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, and before that worked in multiple roles for the Sierra Fire Protection District. He has served as incident commander for numerous wildland fire emergencies and has been the lead investigator for multiple wildland fires and was part of National Type 1 and Type 2 incident management teams. He also has an extensive background in public safety education and outreach, having led 35 evacuation drills, including the largest full-scale drill in the state and the first bi-state evacuation drill with California and served as a public information officer.
Director of Communication, Education and Outreach
Southern California Earthquake Center
Mark Benthien is Director for Communication, Education, and Outreach for the Southern California Earthquake Center, headquartered at the University of Southern California. Mark received a Bachelor of Science in Geophysics from UCLA and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from USC.
Mark communicates earthquake knowledge to in order to increase awareness, reduce economic losses, and save lives. Many of these efforts are in coordination with members of the Earthquake Country Alliance, a partnership of organizations that provide earthquake information and services, for which Mark serves as Executive Director and lead organizer of the annual Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill (more than 10.4 million participants in 2018). Mark was recognized in 2012 by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his role in managing the California ShakeOut and also supporting the many other states and countries who now participate (63 million participants in 70 countries worldwide in 2018).
Director of School Safety
Tony York is the Director of School Safety for Academica Nevada. Prior to joining Academica, Tony worked 28+ years with the CCSD Police Department. Honorably retiring in 2018, he was number one in seniority and as a Captain was second in rank to the Chief of Police.
He has extensive experience in community-oriented policing, training, juvenile law, special events, emergency management and crisis response. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, holds a Master of Public Administration Degree, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
Tony holds five Nevada POST Commission Certifications: Executive, Management, Advanced, Intermediate, Basic.
Rowena Marie Krifaton
TV Talk Show Host
"FYI With Rowena"
Rowena Marie Krifaton is currently the host of the television show “FYI With Rowena" on the CW Network.
At the age 17, she was discovered and recruited by a renowned fashion designer. Her career path in modeling took Rowena all over the world with long stints on the runway in Europe, the United States and Asia. She modeled for internationally celebrated fashion designers like Versace, Custo of Madrid, Calvin Klein as well as Asia’s best designers. She has been a celebrity guest on several TV shows in the Philippines and the U.S. Rowena has also been featured and has graced the covers of magazines such as WOMEN's, MOD, Island Lifestyle, Season's Magazine.
In 1995, Rowena became the first Filipina to win the Ms. Asia World competition.
She also established and founded two non-profit organizations: Shine Family Foundation and Beauty With A Mission whose main mission is to help the families of U.S. military deployed and returning vets in whatever capacity.
In 2014, for her outstanding achievements and leadership and recognition to her contribution in our state, Rowena was named as one of the “Most Distinguished Women of Nevada."
Preparedness & Recovery Coordinator
Clark County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security
Cheryl Nagy is employed as the Preparedness & Recovery Coordinator for Clark County Office of Emergency Management & Homeland Security (Clark County Nevada). Prior to joining Clark County OEM Cheryl served as one of six Emergency Services Officers and was the Division Public Information Officer for San Bernardino County Fire, Office of Emergency Services (San Bernardino County California).In addition she was lead in forming the San Bernardino County PIO Coalition, author of the San Bernardino County JIS/JIC Plan, and was charged with creating the Joint Information Center for San Bernardino County.
Since joining Clark County OEM Cheryl has been assigned to serve as the Co-Chair of the Las Vegas Security Chiefs Association’s Emergency Management Committee, board member of the Southern Nevada VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), executive board member and government liaison for the Nevada State VOAD, Chair of the NEPA (Nevada Emergency Preparedness Association) Special Events Committee, Chair of the Clark County LEPC Public Information Sub-committee, and member of the Nevada 2-1-1 Ambassadors Alliance Group. Cheryl is the Immediate Past President of the California VOAD and is the Immediate Past Chair of the National VOAD Community Preparedness Committee. She currently serves as a member of the National VOAD Community Preparedness Committee and Secretary of the National VOAD Disaster Health Committee. For over six years Cheryl served as the Director of Community Recovery in the non-profit world, where she assisted the San Bernardino Mountain Communities of Southern California with recovery from the 2003 Old Fire and 2007 Grass Valley/Slide Fires.
Cheryl is an instructor for the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management (DEM) training program, teaching PIO courses and Local Volunteer and Donations Management. She is also a certified CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) instructor and CERT Program Manager Course instructor.
Cheryl serves on the U.S. Coast Guard Family Support CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) Team assisting families when disaster strikes our USCG servicemen and women.
In 2016 Cheryl was recognized at the White House as one of FEMA’s National Strategy Affirmers for Youth Preparedness Education. In 2017 she was the recipient of the Award of Excellence for outstanding contributions in the field of Emergency Planning and Preparedness – BICEPP Los Angeles, CA.
Cheryl is a graduate of EMI’s (Emergency Management Institute) National Emergency Management Advanced Academy – 2018 LA Cohort.
Adventist Community Services Disaster Response
Charlene Sargent joined Adventist Community Services Disaster Response as a volunteer in 1999. She was named Director of the Pacific Region in 2004 and has served as Assistant Director and Interim Director for North America. She currently serves as the Secretary for the National VOAD Mass Care Committee and is the immediate past chair of the Donations Management Committee. Charlene has been a member of the National Mass Care Council, National Incident Management System National Integration Center Mass Care and Credentialing Working Groups, Multi-Agency Feeding and Distribution Plan Task Forces, and National Association of State Emergency Donations and Volunteer Coordinators.
She is a contract instructor for the Emergency Management Institute, California Specialized Training Institute and is also an Adjunct Instructor for Nevada. She has also provided courses and presentations in 34 states, Guam, Saipan, Canada, Bolivia, and China. Charlene was also privileged to serve as a panelist for a United Nations ARISE Annual General Meeting.
She provides an expertise in volunteer and donations management and has deployed in responses to fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoon, flooding, shooting, explosion, and volcanic eruption from New York to Saipan and Florida to Canada.
sUAS Program Coordinator
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department
David began his more than 24-year career in law enforcement while serving his country in the United States Air Force. After serving his country, he became a police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 1998.
In the State of Nevada, David is one of the pioneers in establishing sUAS use in public safety. He was instrumental in establishing the sUAS Program for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and currently over sees the program as the sUAS Program Coordinator. In April of 2017, he was appointed to the NFPA Technical Committee for Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
He is currently a Technical Expert with DroneResponders and holds seats on other Public Safety Drone Committees. David has assisted in training several Southern Nevada Public Safety Agencies in sUAS deployment.
Douglas Spotted Eagle
Founder & Director of Educational Programming
Sundance Media Group
As the Director of Educational Programming for Sundance Media Group, Douglas is the primary UAS instructor and industry consultant for Sundance Media Group and VASST. Douglas is a well-known musician and a world-traveled speaker/instructor; a giant in the video and audio industries, having received Grammy, Emmy, DuPont, Peabody, and many other awards. Douglas is the author of several books and DVDs and continues to serve as an adviser and guide for videographers, software manufacturers and broadcasters. Douglas now focuses his energy and experience within the UAV/sUAS industry. Douglas was a co-founder of SMG in 1996.
Skydiving since 2006 and instructing UAS since 2012, Douglas is an accomplished aerial photographer who thrives in the adrenaline-filled world of fast-action videography. Appointed as a Safety and Training Advisor in the aviation world, he is a risk management/mitigation subject matter expert. Douglas is an audio and imaging pro with numerous awards for his productions; with an intimate knowledge of the FAA FARs and FSIMs, Douglas’ vision is to incorporate his years of imaging and aviation experience into best-practices for everything drone/UAV/UAS. Douglas is a frequent (and dynamic!) speaker and consults on UAV cinematography, public safety implementation of UAS, commercial and infrastructural UAV applications, UAV risk management, night UAS flight, aerial security systems, and 107 training to ensure pilots clearly understand the FAA laws.
Dr. Craig dePolo
UNR Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering
Craig dePolo was born and raised in Sacramento, California. He received a Bachelor of Science in Geology from California State University, Sacramento, and a Master of Science and PhD. in Geology from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Craig has worked on earthquakes and earthquake faults since 1976. In 1986 he joined the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to work on the proposed High-Level Nuclear Waste Facility at Yucca Mountain and has continued working for the Bureau for the last 34 years.
Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
Catherine Nielsen is the Projects Manager for the Nevada Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. She started with the State of Nevada Public Health Preparedness program before transitioning to her current role, which works towards system’s change, capacity building and self-advocacy efforts for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the State of Nevada.
Catherine holds a Bachelors in Applied Behavioral Science from Ashford University and is a native Nevadan born and raised. She is married to a Nevada Army National Guard veteran with three daughters and when she is not advocating for others, she spends her time with her family and dogs fishing, hunting and hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
The Response Group, Inc.
Currently serving as a Senior Consultant for The Response Group, Inc. in Cypress, Texas. David has held numerous emergency response and management positions in Texas. Including Region 2 Coordinator for the Texas Division of Emergency Management. Additionally, he has served as adjunct instructor for FEMA’s National Emergency Training Center and served as a Type 3 Planning Section Chief trainee for FEMA’s National Planning Cadre. In his 34 years of public safety experience as an Emergency Responder, Manager, Peace Officer, Fire Marshal and member and facilitator of type 3 incident management teams, he has conducted all hazard response, planning and training nationwide as well as facilitating Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program approved exercises. David is recognized by FEMA as an All Hazard Incident Commander, position specific and Integrated Emergency Management Program instructor. Recognized by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (FEMA) as a Gold Level ICS Instructor.
Some of David’s more significant activities in the area of Emergency Response includes: Planning Section Chief Santa Fe School Shooting, Incident Commander for numerous natural manmade disasters. Coordinated and supervised the response and recovery efforts for disasters and major emergencies across Southeast, Texas.
Other activities that Dave has been involved in include the development, design and implementation the National Incident Management System Incident Command System train the trainer curricula for the State of Texas.
In 2008, Dave was the State On-Scene Coordinator for Hurricane Ike for the response and recovery effort in Galveston, Texas. As State On-Scene Coordinator he served as state coordinator handled over 10,000 request for equipment, resources and personnel.
Public Assistance Officer
Nevada Division of Emergency Management
Suz began work at the Division of Emergency Management in December of 2014. She has broad administrative and management experience drawn from diverse fields of construction, non-profit management, and public safety. As the Public Assistance Officer at the Division of Emergency Management, she manages the Public Assistance grant program for the State Of Nevada. She has the primary responsibility for updating and maintaining the Public Assistance Administrative Plan, Nevada Disaster Recovery Framework, and the Response & Recovery Guide to Local Governments. She is primary point of contact for the State Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) team and in 2017 she collaborated with the Nevada Division of Forestry (NDF) to help transform the PDA data collection process at the State level.
Nevada Department of Education Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment
Christy McGill has over 18 years of experience in community organizing, community positive change, and grass roots initiatives that used collective impact strategies.
In her current role within the Nevada Department of Education, Ms. McGill provides all guidance, direction and oversight of the Office of Safe and Respectful Learning Environment’s projects of school safety, behavioral health, and school climate throughout the 17 Nevada school districts and 120 charter schools.
Ms. McGill has several publications around community and school based collective impact projects and her Rural Health Hub project was just recently awarded runner-up in the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize in Lyon County Nevada.
Superfund Branch Supervisor
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
Rebecca J Bodnar supervises the Superfund Branch for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. This Branch includes oversight of Nevada’s Superfund Sites and other large remediation sites, the Brownfields Program, the Certification Program, and the Environmental Assistance Program (EAP).
Ms. Bodnar’s Bachelors is in Environmental Science from Salish Kootenai College emphasizing in stream restoration. Her Masters of Science work was in Environmental Geochemistry at the University of Montana emphasizing in the fate and transport of heavy metals in river systems due to historic mining. She has been in this supervisory role for five years and has 25 accumulative years in environmental protection and remediation.
As part of management of the EAP, she restructured the emergency protocols for NDEP and hazardous materials incidents including the reorganizing of the Nevada 24-hour spill hotline. This included a more collaborative effort within NDEP, with Tribal jurisdictions, other State agencies including Nevada Emergency Management and Department of Transportation, Local Emergency Planning Commissions, and private entities including Nevada Energy, Union Pacific Railroad, and Nevada Gold Mines.
The goal of the EAP is to preserve and enhance the environment of the state in order to protect public health, sustain healthy ecosystems, and contribute to a vibrant economy expediently, efficiently, and effectively.
Disability Integration Specialist
FEMA Region IX
Roxann Crawford serves as the Disability Integration Specialist for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region IX. She has been in the role since 2016. Before working in the region, Roxann was the Disability Integration Advisor on the National Incident Management Assistance Team –West, one of three elite national first response teams.
On deployment, Roxann operates as the lead expert principle advisor to the Federal Coordinating Officer, ensuring a fully inclusive federal response, including accessible communication, programmatic, and physical accessibility for all residents impacted by disasters. Roxann partners with all federal program areas to educate and foster a whole community response that is fully inclusive of the needs of people with disabilities and provides direct programmatic and process review to create more inclusive and fully accessible options during disaster response operations, Identifying barriers, and finding solutions.
Roxann began her career with FEMA as a Disaster Assistance Employee/Reservist following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, providing planning and administrative support to the agency’s Individual Assistance Mobile Home Operations Branch. In 2006, she transferred to Community Relations (CR) and External Affairs as a report's manager, providing overview and leadership for reports teams over the next seven years and managing External Affairs reports on over 15 presidentially declared disasters. She regularly served in multiple positions during disaster response and recovery, acting as a Special Projects Coordinator, Special Assistant for Field Administration, CR Manager, CR Unit Lead, and External Affairs Liaison.
Dr. Malinda Southard
Health Program Manager
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services - Public Health Preparedness
Malinda Southard is the Public Health Preparedness (PHP) Program Manager for the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health. She has been involved as the Project Manager for the Statewide Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) Plan, and led all planning efforts for the revision of the Statewide Medical Surge Plan in 2015-16.
In the spring of 2017, Malinda began the 18-month Certified Public Manager Program through the State of Nevada in May 2017. Malinda’s education includes earning an Associate Degree (with Honors) from San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton, California; a Bachelor’s Degree, and a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) Degree from University of Western States (formerly Western States Chiropractic College) in Portland, Oregon.
Malinda moved to Northern Nevada in 2009 and managed her own private chiropractic practice in Carson City for 4 ½ years before coming to State service in 2014.
Lt. Col. John Brownell
Commander, 92nd CST
Nevada National Guard
Lieutenant Colonel Brownell serves as the Commander of the 92ND Weapons of Mass Destruction –Civil Support Team for the Nevada National Guard, Joint Force Headquarters, Carson City, Nevada. As Commander he is responsible to provide critical support from the Department of Defense to civil authorities in the event of an incident involving WMD’s. He is also responsible to the State of Nevada Governor, Adjutant General and Director of the Joint Staff to support civil authorities in the event of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high yield Explosive (CBRNE) and/or a natural/man-made disaster through identifying, assessing, advising and assisting local first responders.
Lieutenant Colonel Brownell is a 2011 Trident University graduate with a Master of Science in Health Sciences, with an emphasis in Emergency Management. Lieutenant Colonel Brownell is also a graduate of Georgetown University’s Government Affairs Institute and a 2003 graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, with a Bachelors in General Studies. He enlisted in 1995, where he was assigned to 152ND Aerial Port Flight as a Transportation Specialist. Lieutenant Colonel Brownell was promoted through the grade of Staff Sergeant before being commissioned in 2005 at the Academy of Military Science in Knoxville, Tennessee. Upon graduation he was assigned as the Operations Officer of the Aerial Port Flight. Since commissioning, Lieutenant Colonel Brownell has served in various positions including Chief of Supply, Deployment and Distribution Officer, International Affairs and Plans and Programs Officer.
Lieutenant Colonel Brownell has deployed in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, OPERATION NORTHERN WATCH, OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH, OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE and OPERATION JOINT GUARDIAN. He has served as the Intra-theater Airlift Officer, Deployments and Distribution Operations Center, European Command, 2006, where he received the Joint Service Achievement Medal. He has served with both the 101st and 82d Airborne Division, Bagram, Afghanistan as their Fixed Wing Air Cell Movements Officer, 2009, receiving the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Lieutenant Colonel Brownell was temporarily assigned as the Security Cooperation Office Chief, at United States Embassy, Fiji.
Kevin Wickersham, M.S.
Preparedness and Response Unit Supervisor
Washington State Department of Health
Kevin Wickersham serves as the Preparedness and Response Unit Supervisor in the Office of Communicable Disease Epidemiology at the Washington State Department of Health, where he leads the Rapid Health Information NetwOrk (RHINO) syndromic surveillance program and the state’s disaster epidemiology program. Kevin serves as a member of the DOH Incident Management Team (IMT) and during the two measles outbreaks in 2019, served as one of the agency’s Incident Commanders, having overall responsibility for DOH’s response activities. Kevin holds a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Emergency Management from the Boston University School of Medicine and is a graduate of the FEMA National Emergency Management Executive Academy.
Assistant Director for Response
California Office of Emergency Services
Eric Lamoureux is the Assistant Director for Response. Prior to his current position he has held several positions within the agency, including acting Deputy Director of Finance and Administration, Inland Regional Administration and Chief of Media Relations.
Washoe County School District
Roy Anderson, a Nevada native, is the Emergency Manager for the Washoe County School District (WCSD). WCSD has approximately 64,000 students and 8,000 staff members in 104 schools.
Roy earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2006 and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University in 2016. In 2017, Roy graduated from FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute National Emergency Management Basic Academy. Mr. Anderson is currently pursuing a Doctor of Emergency Management at Capella University. Roy is also a proud member of the Nevada Emergency Preparedness Association and begins his term as NEPA President in February 2020.
From 2006 to 2018, Roy worked at the Clark County School District (CCSD) at the Department of Student Threat Evaluation and Crisis Response and then the CCSD Police Department Office of Emergency Management. Roy was responsible for the creation and update of CCSD’s Crisis Response Plan (CRP) template. District administrators use this template to create their school’s Crisis Response Plan.
Roy has conducted over a hundred drills at schools and non-instructional sites to test the site’s response to various crises and to ensure the site’s Crisis Response Plan is functional.
Roy has also responded to hundreds of school lockdowns, evacuations, hazardous material incidents, postvention’s, and other emergencies at schools and administrative non-instructional sites to assist in the management and support of the crisis.
For the 1 October incident in Las Vegas, Roy served in Clark County’s Multiagency Coordination Center (MACC) both as the CCSD liaison and in the Planning Section. Roy is a State of Nevada instructor for the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Emergency Management Basic Academy. Mr. Anderson has presented at campus and school safety conferences across the nation. Mr. Anderson also enjoys delivering training to the administration and staff of the Washoe County School District.