The Salvation Army is pleased to have as our plenary session speakers VIPs from both the worlds of The Salvation Army and emergency management. Additional plenary session speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. We are pleased to welcome the following special guests:
Terry Israel is a Major in The Salvation Army, presently assigned as the Community Relations and Development Secretary of The Salvation Army Southern Territory. Israel began his career with The Salvation Army as a Community Relations Director in the Orlando, Florida command. It was there that he met his wife Donna. Upon completion of two years at The Salvation Army College for Officer Training in Atlanta, Georgia, he was commissioned as Lieutenant in 1984. Together with his wife, Major Donna Israel, they have served commands in Virginia (Suffolk, Arlington, Prince William and Alexandria), Texas (Dallas, Texarkana) and North Carolina (Charlotte, Burlington, Asheville, Winston-Salem) Most recently they served on the staff of The Salvation Army Texas Divisional Headquarters where he held the position General Secretary. Israel's “fifteen minutes of fame” are made up of a hole in one on the 12th hole of Shady Oaks Country Club (home course of the legendary Ben Hogan), completion of seven marathons, and a trek to the base camp of Mount Everest.
W. Craig Fugate served as FEMA's Administrator from May 2009 to January 2017. Previously, he served as Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Emergency Management Director from 2001-2009. Fugate led FEMA through multiple record-breaking disaster years and oversaw the Federal Government’s response to major events such as the Joplin and Moore Tornadoes, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, and the 2016 Louisiana flooding. During his tenure, Fugate set a clear and compelling vision, mission, and priorities for FEMA and relentlessly drove the Agency to achieve better outcomes for survivors. Under Fugate’s leadership, FEMA fostered a balanced, "whole" community oriented approach to emergency management that builds sustainable and resilient communities before and after disaster strikes. Fugate has also been stalwart supporter of voluntary agencies and volunteers and the role they play in supporting the disaster relief process. It was under Fugate's leadership that a new Statement of Understanding was signed with The Salvation Army in 2016.
Bryan Koon has served as the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management since February, 2011. Prior to joining the Division, he worked with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc for five years as Operations Manager and Director of Emergency Management. Bryan’s experience within emergency management includes the private sector, federal government, and state government. Bryan worked at the White House Military Office for seven years where he was a Watch Officer in the President’s Emergency Operations Center while on active duty with the U.S. Navy. He also spent two years as Training Officer for Presidential Contingency Programs, conducting training and exercises for the White House Military Office, United States Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and others. In addition to leading the State of Florida's effort to prepare for and respond to both natural and manmade disasters, Bryan also servies as the President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), Vice Chairman of the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Information Sharing Consortium. Bryan has a BS in Natural Resources from Cornell University, and an MBA and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Crisis Management from the George Washington University.
Mary Carlson is the Director of Preparedness at Amtrak. She has more than 17 years of experience in designing and developing preparedness programs including training and exercises, corrective action planning and post incident analysis for Federal, State, local, tribal and private sector organizations. In her current role, Ms. Carlson’s responsibilities include directing counterterrorism training and exercise programs for Amtrak employees to include the preparation and deployment of Amtrak’s Incident Response Team. She leads the execution of security awareness programs aimed at traveling passengers, while providing leadership, guidance and preparedness strategic planning. Prior to joining Amtrak, Ms. Carlson led exercise programs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and others. Ms. Carlson served as a Public Information Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and supported multiple private sector clients as a crisis communication specialist at Ogilvy Public Relations.
Lieutenant Colonel James K. Seiler serves as the Secretary for Business Administration for The Salvation Army in the USA Southern Territory. In connection with this appointment he serves as the Treasurer of The Salvation Army, A Georgia Corporation. Seiler served previously as the Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army North and South Carolina Division. Seiler was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in 1994. He served in corps and administrative appointments throughout Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Texas. Seiler worked for 11 years in Finance for The Salvation Army, including two years as the Divisional Finance Officer in Texas, seven years as the Divisional Financial Secretary in Texas, and serving the Southern Territory as the Assistant Territorial Financial Secretary for two years. Along with his expertise and experience in finance, Seiler has a love for working with people. “One of the parts that I have enjoyed most during my officership is working with Advisory Boards and community leaders. Through them, I am connected to the community, giving me an understanding of the needs of the people The Salvation Army is committed to serve.”