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Speakers - Build It Better Leadership Forum

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Sherrod Banks

(May 16, 2013) Sherrod Banks is President of Banks Law Firm and serves as the Vice Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law.

He has taught seminars and lectured extensively in the area of affordable housing and community economic development law for the American Bar Association, Duke University Law School, North Carolina Central University School of Law, Institute of Government, Carolina's Council of Housing and Code Officials, North Carolina Community Development Initiative, North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations, and Duke University's Certificate Program in Nonprofit Management. Mr. Banks published an article entitled "PHAs Engaged in Mixed-Finance Transactions: Material Participation Versus Significant Functions" in the Fall 2000 edition of the ABA Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law.

He received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1988.

Sherrod Banks, President
Banks Law Firm
David Canaan

(May 16, 2013) Dave Canaan is the Director of Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services in Charlotte, North Carolina. His position involves providing the overall direction and guidance on financial, budgetary, organizational, planning and regulatory matters related to storm water/floodplain management; and land development services in Mecklenburg County.

From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Canaan served as the Chair of the North Carolina Association of Floodplain Managers (NCAFPM). In 1997 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) and served a two-year term.

In 1999, Mr. Canaan received both the State of North Carolina and the national Larry R. Johnson Award for Local Floodplain Manager of the Year. He received the Mecklenburg County Employee of the Year Award from the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce in March 2000.

From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Canaan served as the Co-Chair of the Floodplain Management Committee of the National Association of Stormwater and Floodplain Management Agencies (NAFSMA), and represented NAFSMA on FEMA's Community Rating System Task Force.

Mr. Canaan has over 25 years of experience in civil engineering, water resources and storm water management. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1987.

David Canaan, Director
Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services
Leslie Chapman-Henderson

(May 16, 2013) Leslie Chapman-Henderson is President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, International Code Council, Kohler Power Systems, NOAA/National Weather Service, North Carolina State University, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, Texas Tech Wind Science & Engineering, The Home Depot, University of Florida, USAA and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.

Ms. Chapman-Henderson and FLASH have championed the cause of disaster-resilient construction methods through the creation of groundbreaking consumer awareness programs like StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort; and Blueprint for Safety®, an integrated educational program on disaster-resistant construction techniques for homebuilders, homeowners and design professionals.

Ms. Chapman-Henderson's civic, community and professional recognition include the 2010 designation by Cable News Network as a member of the CNN New Guard of the South - an elite group of leaders from academic, business, entertainment, government, nonprofit, philanthropy and sports fields. She and FLASH have received a myriad of awards including: the 2011 National VOAD Partner of the Year Award, 2011 Governor's Hurricane Conference Governor's Award, 2009 Governor's Hurricane Conference Corporate Award for StormStruck®, 2008 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Mitigation Award, 2008 Governor's Hurricane Conference Corporate Award, 2006 Texas Silver Spur Award for Public Education Excellence, 2006 Governor's Hurricane Conference Public Information/Education Award, 2005 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Public Awareness Award, 2005 National Weather Association Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award, 2005 NOAA Environmental Hero Award and many more.

Ms. Chapman-Henderson has served as co-chair of the legislatively-created My Safe Florida Home Advisory Council, as a board trustee for Florida International University - International Hurricane Research Center, an advisory council member for the Florida State University Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center, consumer representative and chair for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council, guest lecturer at Florida State University and the University of Florida - School of Construction and as a Florida representative to the Federal Communications Commission WARN Committee.

Other past service includes trustee for the Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation; consumer representative to the Louisiana Uniform Building Code Task Force; consumer representative and vice chair of the 2005 Florida Legislative Task Force on Long Term Solutions for Florida's Hurricane Insurance Market; and insurance consumer representative to the 2006 Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee chaired by former Lt. Governor Toni Jennings.

FLASH program successes include television appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC and nationally-syndicated programs This New House, Bob Vila and Home Again with Bob Vila; production of a one-hour, nationally televised multi-hazard PBS Special entitled, Blueprint for Safety - Disaster-Resistant Homes; and "A Tale of Two Houses" a multi-media awareness campaign showcasing code and code-plus construction success stories in wildfire and high-wind zones.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President & CEO
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. - FLASH®
Michael Cohen

(November 20, 2019) Michael Cohen is the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for RenaissanceRe, a global provider of reinsurance and insurance. Prior to his current position, he was a director of industry and state relations at Freddie Mac.

He also served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the White House Community Empowerment Board in the Clinton White House, was the White House liaison at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and ran the Office of Special Actions for HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

Mr. Cohen was a legislative assistant in U.S. House of Representatives and has held various other positions both in and out of government. He grew up in Miami, Florida and earned a B.A. at Columbia University and a J.D. at Emory University School of Law.

Michael Cohen, Director
RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation
Margaret Davidson

(May 16, 2013) Margaret Davidson was appointed Acting Director of the NOS Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) in April 2012. In this position, she plays a leading role in the OCRM and the Coastal Services Center plan to join forces and bring a greater and better coordinated level of products and services to their constituents.

Previously, Ms. Davidson served as special counsel and assistant attorney general for the Louisiana Department of Justice and was the executive director of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium. She joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the Director of the NOAA Coastal Services Center in 1995. She also served as the acting assistant administrator for NOAA's National Ocean Service from 2000 to 2002. She holds a faculty appointment at the University of Charleston and serves on the adjunct faculties of Clemson University and the University of South Carolina.

Ms. Davidson has served on numerous local, state and federal committees and has provided leadership for national professional societies. She has focused her professional work on environmentally sustainable aquaculture, mitigation of coastal hazards and impacts of climate variability on coastal resources.

Ms. Davidson has been an active participant in coastal resource management issues since 1978, when she earned her Juris Doctorate in natural resources law from Louisiana State University. She later earned a master's degree in marine policy and resource economics from the University of Rhode Island.

Margaret Davidson, Director
National Ocean Service (NOS) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
Chris Estes

(May 16, 2013) Chris Estes became President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Housing Conference (NHC) in 2012. Formed in 1931, the nonprofit National Housing Conference has been dedicated to helping ensure safe, decent and affordable housing for all in America. He leads NHC's policy and advocacy work both in Washington and throughout the country.

NHC has earned its strong reputation as the United Voice for Housing by actively engaging and convening its membership in nonpartisan advocacy for effective housing policy solutions at the local, state and national levels. NHC's research affiliate, the Center for Housing Policy, works in concert with NHC's policy, advocacy and education efforts to highlight evidence-based learning and best practices in housing development.

Mr. Estes comes to NHC after nine years as Executive Director of the North Carolina Housing Coalition, one of the nation's best-known state housing groups. Prior to his work with the Coalition, Mr. Estes worked for CAHEC, a regional tax-credit equity syndicator, and DHIC, a nonprofit affordable housing developer in Raleigh as well as several other area nonprofits as a resource development officer.

Mr. Estes graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he double-majored in Economics and Industrial Relations. He also holds two master's degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill: one from the School of Social Work with a concentration on community practice and the other from the Department of City & Regional Planning with a concentration on housing and community development.

In 2007 Mr. Estes co-authored The Economic Cost of Substandard Housing Conditions Among North Carolina Children with Dr. David Chenoweth. In 2008 he was named a Local Urban Community Advisor for the Triangle Chapter of the Urban Land Institute and a Fannie Mae Fellow. Mr. Estes was appointed to the Housing Study Committee of the NC General Assembly in 2009 and in 2011 he joined the Board of Directors of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. He has served two years on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (2012 in Charlotte, NC and Baltimore, MD in 2013).

Chris Estes, President & CEO
National Housing Conference
Wayne Goodwin

(May 16, 2013) Wayne Goodwin was first elected as Insurance Commissioner by the citizens of North Carolina in 2008, and returned to office for a second term in 2012. As Insurance Commissioner, Mr. Goodwin has been a champion for consumers through fair rate-making, injury prevention efforts, and close regulation of insurance company solvency and industry practices.

Since taking the oath of office, he has redoubled the department's efforts in fighting insurance fraud and has saved approximately $1.4 billion for North Carolina's consumers and businesses.

Commissioner Goodwin has also been very active with the work of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, where he has focused on preserving state-based insurance regulations.

In addition to his responsibilities as Insurance Commissioner, Mr. Goodwin is also the State Fire Marshal where he plays a vital role in protecting lives and property in North Carolina. The Office of State Fire Marshal is responsible for training fire and rescue personnel, administering the state building code, securing property insurance for state-owned buildings, and reviewing construction plans for state building projects.

A native of Hamlet, North Carolina, where his family was active in agriculture, banking and textiles, Mr. Goodwin served as the Assistant Insurance Commissioner from 2004 to 2008. Prior to joining the Department of Insurance, he served four consecutive terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives where he represented Richmond, Scotland, Montgomery and Stanly Counties.

Mr. Goodwin is a Morehead Scholar and U.S. Senate/William Randolph Hearst Scholar. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with honors in political science, and received his juris doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law before practicing law in Richmond County for 13 years.

Wayne Goodwin, Insurance Commissioner & State Fire Marshal
North Carolina
Tom Hall

(May 16, 2013) Tom Hall has 23 years of engineering experience conducting loss investigations following hurricanes, floods, tornados, storm surges, hail storms and roof collapses due to snow loading or rain water ponding. Mr. Hall has missed only a few of the major hurricanes or floods in the eastern United States in the past 20 years.

Mr. Hall is a specialist in roofing design and analysis for wind resistance, as well as fire ratings. A major focus of his career has been devoted to the field evaluation of roofing and building envelopes for resistance to wind and hurricane related damage.

Mr. Hall is a founding member and former president of the Carolinas Chapter of the Roof Consultants Institute. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues, which is a technical research group focused on weather related roofing failures and performance.

Tom Hall, Technical Director - Natural Hazards
Zurich North American - Risk Engineering
Richard Knabb, Ph.D.

(May 16, 2013) Richard Knabb, Ph.D., is the Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

Dr. Knabb received his Bachelor's Degree in Atmospheric Science from Purdue University (1990) and his Masters of Science and Doctorate in Meteorology from the Florida State University (1993, 1999). He completed his postdoctoral work at the University of Hawaii (2000).

From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Knabb was a Research Meteorologist and Lead Forecaster at the Mauna Kea Weather Center. He joined Risk Management Solutions, Inc., in Newark, California, in 2001 as an Assistant Product Manager for Weather Risk.

Later that year, he joined NOAA's National Hurricane Center as the Science and Operations Officer, and was a senior hurricane specialist there between 2005 and 2008.

In 2008, Dr. Knabb became the Deputy Director of NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He served in that capacity until 2010, when he joined The Weather Channel in Atlanta, Georgia as its on-air Hurricane Expert and Tropical Science Program Manager.

He is a member of the American Meteorological Society.

Rick Knabb, Ph.D., Director
NOAA National Hurricane Center
Michael Lingerfelt, FAIA LEED AP

(May 16, 2013) Michael Lingerfelt is a high-energy executive with more than 33 years of experience in design and project delivery. His resume documents a results-oriented executive with a proven ability to lead large, complex projects and multi-disciplined design teams. To date, he has built over $3.6B in hard construction. This diverse portfolio of projects ranges from schools, theme park attractions, merchandise, restaurants, health care and hospitality facilities.

Mr. Lingerfelt has served on the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Disaster Assistance Committee (beginning in 2007 and currently as chair in 2013), represented the AIA at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute's Strategic Plan 2009 - 2014 Focus Group, participated in the Haiti Rebuilding Summits (2010 and 2011) and has been a California Emergency Management Agency Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Trainer since 2008. To date, he has trained over 1,185 architects, engineers, building officials and inspectors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas and the US Virgin Islands.

He has provided safety assessment evaluations for Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA (2004), Northridge, CA Earthquake (1994), Birmingham, AL (2011), as well as fire and flood assessments in California.

Mr. Lingerfelt has completed the Emergency Management Institute's Professional Series (2009) that includes IS 100 - Introduction to the Incident Command System, IS 139 - Exercise Design, IS 200 - ICS for Single Resources & Initial Action Incidents, IS 230 - Principles of Emergency Management, IS 235 - Emergency Planning, IS 241 - Decision Making & Problem Solving, IS 240 - Leadership & Influence, IS 242 - Effective Communication, IS 244 - Developing & Managing Volunteers, IS 700 - National Incident Management System (NIMS) an Introduction and IS 800 National Response Framework and Introduction.

He has been responsible for negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding between the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects and the Building Officials Association of Florida, the City of Orlando, Orange County Government and is finalizing one with the Florida Department of Emergency Management.

Mr. Lingerfelt was elevated into the prestigious American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2012 for his efforts in advocating that architects should serve the public surrounding a disaster. The Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. Out of a total AIA membership of over 80,000, over 3,000 members are distinguished with this honor.

Michael Lingerfelt, FAIA LEED AP, Chairman, Disaster Assistance Task Force
American Institute of Architects
Stephen Ludwig

(May 16, 2013) Steve Ludwig is a Vice President at The Hartford Financial Services Group, and leads the Catastrophe Risk Management group within the Insurance Risk Management area. Steve is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society, and also holds the CFA and CPCU designations. He earned a Bachelors degree in Statistics from Purdue University, and has been with The Hartford for over 35 years.

Stephen Ludwig, Vice President
The Hartford Financial Services Group
Frank Nutter

(May 16, 2013) Frank Nutter has been president of the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) since 1991. He held the same position with the RAA from 1981 to 1984. In the interim, he was president of the Alliance of American Insurers and the Property Loss Research Bureau.

Mr. Nutter currently serves on multiple boards, including the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, an adjunct to the Harvard University School of Public Health, and the Advisory Board of the OECD's International Network for the Financial Management of Large Scale Disasters. He has also served on the Council of the American Meteorological Society; the Board of the University Center for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of universities managing the National Center for Atmospheric Research sponsored by the National Science Foundation; and the Board of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences.

Mr. Nutter has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Worker's Compensation Research Institute, and the Board of Overseers of the Institute for Civil Justice, a subsidiary of the Rand Corporation.

Mr. Nutter has a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.

Frank Nutter, President
Reinsurance Association of America
John Plodinec, Ph.D.

(May 16, 2013) John Plodinec is the Associate Director, Resilience Technologies, for the Community and Regional Resilience Institute (CARRI). In this role, he is responsible for identifying and evaluating technologies useful for enhancing community resilience.

Mr. Plodinec also played the lead technical role in development of CARRI's Community Resilience System. He developed CARRI's Resilient Home Program, aimed at improving the survivability of American homes to disaster. This built on earlier work he did while at Mississippi State University, where he led the university's efforts to develop programs related to severe weather events. He is the author of a chapter in McGraw-Hill's latest Encyclopedia of Homeland Security dealing with implementation of Whole Community efforts at the community level.

Mr. Plodinec is also an internationally recognized expert in nuclear and chemical waste management. He headed a team to assist the Indian glass and metal foundry industries to convert to natural gas from coal to prevent further deterioration of the Taj Mahal in India. As part of a NATO-sponsored team, he prepared recommendations that have been followed by the government of Estonia in cleaning up the Sillamae site, reputedly the most contaminated site in Europe.

John Plodinec, Ph.D., Associate Director, Resilience Technologies
Community and Regional Resilience Institute
Karthik Ramanathan, Ph.D.

(May 16, 2013) Dr. Ramanathan is an Engineer in AIR's Research and Modeling group, working primarily on the wind vulnerability of civil engineering systems.

He has been involved in the development of hazard and vulnerability paradigms of the storm surge component of the US Hurricane model. Most recently, he participated in a damage survey following Hurricane Sandy.

Dr. Ramanathan holds two Masters Degrees in Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Materials from the University of Pittsburgh and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a special focus on earthquake engineering. The central focus of his dissertation research was on the seismic vulnerability and risk assessment of highway bridge classes in California, in support of risk mitigation efforts for highway transportation networks in the state.

Karthik Ramanathan, Ph.D., Engineer
AIR Worldwide
Bill Read

(October 8, 2014) Mr. Read currently serves as an on-air contributor for KPRC in Houston, Texas, as the hurricane expert and analyst during times of significant weather activity.

Mr. Read retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) in June 2008 after serving 40 years, including the honor of Director, National Hurricane Center in Miami from 2008 through June 2012. Previously, Mr. Read was the meteorologist in charge at the Houston-Galveston Area NWS forecast officer from 1992 to 2007. He was the operational and administrative leader of many significant weather operations as well as major technological and organizational changes. In this capacity, he led the office through the installation of the NEXRAD Doppler radar, WSR-88D, and had added responsibilities associated with the restructuring of the field operations of the NWS. Mr. Read has also been a member of the Hurricane Liaison Team, augmenting the staff at the National Hurricane Center to brief high level governmental agencies for land falling hurricanes; specifically, Isabel (2003), Charley (2004), and Katrina (2005).

Bill Read, Former Director
National Hurricane Center
Tim Reinhold, Ph.D, PE, SVP, Research & Chief Engineer
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety
Ann Roberson

(May 16, 2013) Ann Roberson, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, has been employed with the South Carolina Department of Insurance for 14 years. She serves as the Executive Assistant to the Director for External Affairs and Public Information Officer. Among her responsibilities, she works as the Liaison to the South Carolina Building Codes Council and the State Emergency Management Division. She also serves as the agency representative for the Interagency Coordinating Council for the State Hazard Mitigation Plan. Ms. Robinson also manages the SC Safe Home Mitigation Grant Program which was created by the Omnibus Coastal Property Insurance Act in 2007.

Ms. Roberson is a 2003 graduate of the South Carolina Executive Institute. She has always been very interested in outreach and education. The state-wide outreach program she developed for the department entitled Held in Trust, A Child Safety Seat Awareness Program, received the Governor's Year of the Child Community Hero Award in 2001.

Prior to joining the staff at the department, Ms. Roberson worked for the Town of Hilton Head Island, the Lowcountry Council of Governments and the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a grants and special projects coordinator and public relations manager.

Ann Roberson, Public Information Officer and Manager, SC Safe Home
SC Department of Insurance
Julie Rochman

(June 2, 2016) Julie Rochman joined IBHS in late 2007, with nearly 30 years of public affairs and advocacy experience representing major corporations, research and safety organizations, and issue-based coalitions. She is often quoted by both traditional and digital media outlets on a wide variety of topics.

Under Julie’s leadership, IBHS has become a world-class research and communications organization; significant accomplishments include creation of the unique, $40 million IBHS Research Center in South Carolina.

Prior to IBHS, Julie held senior positions at a leading Washington, D.C.-based strategic communication and advocacy firm; at the American Insurance Association; and at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. She serves on several advisory councils and the National Fire Protection Association Board of Directors – and previously served on Boards for the International Hurricane Research Center, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

A native of Omaha, Julie has a BA in International Relations from Tulane University, and a MA in American Government from the University of Virginia. She resides in Tampa.

Julie Rochman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS)
Mark Shelburne

(May 16, 2013) Mark Shelburne works for the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency's rental investment department, which is responsible for the federal and state Housing Credit, HOME, state housing trust fund, and tax-exempt bonds. Together these account for over $250 million in annual subsidy allocations and the monitoring of approximately 60,000 apartments.

His primary responsibilities include coordinating the annual Qualified Allocation Plan, Housing Credit application review, interpreting legal authorities, and the agency's supportive housing partnership with the state Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Shelburne has also testified before Congress and worked with over half of the nation's housing finance agencies.

Immediately prior to working for the Agency, Mr. Shelburne was the general counsel of a Housing Credit equity investor. He also practiced law in the areas of commercial real estate and land use regulation.

His community involvement includes serving on the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development, Tax Credit Advisor Editorial Advisory Board, National Association of Homebuilders' Housing Credit Group, and RBC Capital Markets Tax Credit Equity Group Advisory Board.

Mark Shelburne, Counsel & Policy Coordinator
North Carolina Housing Finance Agency
Gavin Smith

(May 16, 2013) Gavin Smith is the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters (UNC Hazards Center) and the Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence - Coastal Hazards Center. The UNC Hazards Center research areas include modeling, land use planning, technology applications, the social implications of hazards and disasters, environmental hazards management, law and policy, public health, business and economics. Dr. Smith is currently engaged in planning-related research within the center, focused on a national evaluation of local and state hazard mitigation plans.

Dr. Smith is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Recently, Dr. Smith completed the text, Planning for Post-Disaster Recovery: A Review of the United States Disaster Assistance Framework (Island Press 2011) and is currently serving as the co-editor of the text, Adapting to Climate Change: Lessons from Natural Hazards Planning (Springer 2013).

Following Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Smith worked in the Mississippi Office of the Governor, serving as the Director of the Office of Recovery and Renewal. In this role, he and his staff focused on four primary tasks: the identification of federal, corporate, non-profit and foundation financial assistance; the provision of education, outreach and training to local governments and state agencies; providing counsel to the Governor, his staff and state agency officials regarding disaster recovery policy issues, and the implementation of the Governor's Commission Report; After Katrina: Building Back Better than Ever. In this role he testified before Congress twice, providing recommended policy changes to improve the delivery of post-disaster recovery and reconstruction activities. He also developed the concept and wrote policy guidance associated with the $400m Alternative Housing Pilot Program, an initiative intended to test the construction and deployment of improved emergency housing alternatives following Hurricane Katrina.

Dr. Smith served as the Assistant Director for Hazard Mitigation in the State of North Carolina. During his tenure with the Division, the Mitigation Section administered mitigation and disaster recovery grant funds in excess of $800m associated with 10 Presidential disaster declarations leading the acquisition and relocation or elevation of over 5,000 and 500 homes respectively. Following Hurricane Floyd, he served as an adviser to Governor Hunt on policies and programs associated with long-term recovery in North Carolina, including the development of 22 state programs that addressed local needs not met by federal assistance.

Gavin Smith, Executive Director
UNC Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters
Diane Standaert

(May 16, 2013) Diane Standaert is a Legislative Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). Ms. Standaert focuses on state-level legislative and policy solutions for curbing abusive financial practices. She works directly with stakeholders and policy makers in their efforts to promote responsible lending in their state. Ms. Standaert's articles on consumer finance, mortgage lending, and foreclosures have appeared in national publications for lawyers and community development practitioners.

Ms. Standaert currently serves on the Governing Committee for the American Bar Association's Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law and as the Legal Redress chair for the Durham Branch of the NAACP. She is the co-editor of the upcoming book, "Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster: A guide for affordable housing and community development practitioners", to be published by the American Bar Association in May 2013. The book features contributions from the General Counsel and staff of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and chapters and case studies by more than 20 housing and community economic development practitioners examining equitable disaster recovery frameworks that expand opportunities in communities for affordable housing and strong local economies.

Prior to joining CRL, Ms. Standaert served as staff attorney at the University of North Carolina Center for Civil Rights, working with communities in the rural south to gain access to clean water, build wealth through preservation of family-owned land, and combat discriminatory housing practices.

Diane is a graduate of Florida State University, where she was recognized as Humanitarian of the Year, and received her law degree from the University of North Carolina, during which time she directed the law school's Pro Bono Program.

Diane Standaert, Legislative Counsel
Center for Responsible Lending
Craig Tillman

(November 20, 2019) Craig Tillman is President of WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., a U.S.-based RenaissanceRe affiliate that provides intelligence on natural perils. In his current role, he directs a team of advanced scientists with specialties in oceanography, meteorology, wind engineering, structural engineering, seismic risk and computer simulation. Mr. Tillman also serves as President and Director of RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation Inc., a non-profit foundation that supports advanced scientific research in natural catastrophes, the development of risk mitigation techniques to safeguard communities, efforts that reduce the economic turmoil following disasters, and organizations that preserve coastal habitats. He currently serves as an Executive Director for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). Mr. Tillman holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mathematics, as well as the Associate in Reinsurance (ARe) and Risk Management (ARM) designations. He is a longstanding member of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Craig Tillman, President
WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.
Peter Vickery

(May 16, 2013) Dr. Peter Vickery joined Applied Research Associates (ARA) in 1988. Prior to joining ARA, Dr. Vickery completed both his Masters and doctoral studies at the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory at the University of Western Ontario.

Dr. Vickery has over 30 years of experience in wind engineering. He has 20 years experience in the application of hurricane modeling relevant to insurance loss analysis/rate making, and 15 years experience in coastal flood modeling and risk assessment. He has published numerous peer reviewed journal papers related to hurricane risk and additional papers related to wind loads on buildings and other structures. The hurricane hazard model developed by Dr. Vickery was used to define the design wind speeds given in ASCE 7-98 through ASCE 7-05. The updated hurricane hazard model is used to define the ASCE 7-10 design wind speeds, as well as the design wind speeds to be used in the Caribbean.

Dr. Vickery was Co-PI on ARA's effort to develop the HAZUS Wind Loss Estimation methodology and was responsible for developing the wind load and damage portion of the loss models used in both HAZUS and ARA's HURLOSS tool.

Dr. Vickery was responsible for developing the hurricane hazard model and the damage functions employed in ARA's proprietary hurricane loss model.

Dr. Vickery serves on the ASCE-7 wind load task committee developing wind loading provisions for use in the United States. With Dr. Lawrence Twisdale of Applied Research Associates, Dr. Vickery developed the hurricane missile models that were subsequently used in defining the wind borne debris risk criteria as given in the SSTD-12 missile protection standard and the ASTM wind borne debris standard. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Meteorological Society and is a Licensed Engineer in the state of North Carolina.

Peter Vickery, Ph.D., Principal Engineer
Applied Research Associates
Robin Smith Westcott, Esq.

(May 16, 2013) Robin Smith Westcott is currently serving as the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate, having been appointed to the post in July 2011 by Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater.

Ms. Westcott began her legal career in 1993 with the Florida Department of Insurance, Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation as an attorney handling legal matters relating to the receivership estates of insolvent companies. Robin served with the Receiver until 2001 when she left to enter private practice. Robin returned to the public sector in 2002 with the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation where she served as Assistant General Counsel and Counsel to the Florida Partnership for School Readiness.

In 2004, Ms. Westcott returned to the Office of Insurance Regulation as an Assistant General Counsel. Robin was appointed as the Director of Property and Casualty Financial Oversight in 2007 and served as the Acting Deputy Commissioner for Property and Casualty prior to being selected by CFO Atwater to serve as Executive Director for the Medicaid and Public Assistance Strike Force in March 2011.

As Florida's Consumer Advocate, she has sought to engage with consumers to identify broad public policy insurance issues that deserve redress and to bring facts, data and analysis to assist policymakers in developing good public policy to respond to these issues.

Ms. Westcott earned a Juris Doctor from the Florida State University College of Law and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1993. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University in 1991.

Robin Wescott, Esq., Insurance Consumer Advocate
Florida Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate

"We are grateful to our eminent speakers who volunteered their time to help Forum participants learn more about disaster safety and help advance the disaster safety movement's mission of making coastal communities safer."

Stephen Weinstein, Chairman of the RenaissanceRe Risk Sciences Foundation

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