Click on a speaker name to read biography.
Debra T. Ballen
(October 8, 2014) Debra Ballen joined IBHS in 2008 as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing all of the organization's legal matters and overseeing IBHS' public policy efforts. In addition, she also serves as the organization's Corporate Secretary.
Prior to her work with IBHS, Ms. Ballen was the Executive Vice President of Public Policy Management for the American Insurance Association in Washington, D.C. She developed and implemented policy for AIA's priority federal and state public policy issues. She also has served on the OECD High Level Advisory Board on Financial Management of Large Scale Catastrophes, which includes a heavy emphasis on mitigation measures.
Ms. Ballen graduated with a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and an A.B. degree from Princeton University. She also has received the CPCU designation.
, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy
Institute for Business and Home Safety
(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.
(December 3, 2008) David Conrad has been actively involved in water resource policy since 1977 and has been with NWF since 1989. In this position, and in previous positions with Friends of the Earth and American Rivers, he has been an advocate for river and water resources protection, concentrating on issues such as hydroelectric power regulation, federal water resources development, and flood insurance reform. Recently, Mr. Conrad's work has focused on policies and programs to restore ecosystem health to water resources, and redirecting federal flood control programs toward a new and greater emphasis on improved floodplain management.
Mr. Conrad was project director and a principal author of NWF's 1998 Higher Ground report that addresses repetitive flood insurance claims and argues for voluntary property buyouts as an alternative strategy for reducing flood risks. He was also a principal author of the 2000 Troubled Waters report issued by NWF and Taxpayers for Common Sense, and of the recently published (March 2004) report called Crossroads: Congress, the Corps of Engineers and the Future of America's Water Resources. Mr. Conrad was a founder and serves on the Steering Committee of the national Corps Reform Network, a group now with more than 160 conservation, taxpayer and civic organizations. In 2000, he received the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Outstanding Public Service Award for his work to promote protection of the nation's floodplains. In May 2003, the Association of State Floodplain Managers granted David the Goddard-White Award, its highest honor, in recognition of his instrumental work in the field of floodplain management.
Mr. Conrad holds a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia.
, Senior Water Resources Specialist
National Wildlife Federation
(June 23, 2009) Andrew Fahlund was appointed Vice President for Conservation at American Rivers in 2004. Working with a staff of more than 20, his department is responsible for developing and implementing innovative policy and science tools to protect and restore targeted rivers and watersheds through four principle campaigns: Healthy Waters, Water for Life, River Renewal, and River Heritage. Mr. Fahlund also serves as the co-chair of the Clean Water Network's Global Warming working group. Prior to his promotion, he directed the American Rivers Dam Reform Program. His responsibilities included directing the organization's national policy and fieldwork in these areas. Between 1999 and 2005 he served as Chair of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, a consortium of 125 conservation and recreation groups involved in restoring rivers through the licensing of hydropower dams. He served on the board of directors for the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, which certifies environmentally responsible hydropower for ?green? electricity markets.
Mr. Fahlund has served on several governmental advisory groups, has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as numerous federal agencies, and participated in various policy forums and negotiations addressing water policy in the United States.
Mr. Fahlund received his M.S. in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, with honors.
Sarah Owen Gledhill
(December 3, 2008) Ms. Owen Gledhill is a nationally certified land use planner for the Florida Wildlife Federation, a statewide nonprofit conservation organization. She heads up the Northeast Florida field office where she applies her skills and knowledge when addressing growth management issues in seven counties. Ms. Owen Gledhill has provided expert witness testimony in a number of coastal planning hearings. Her involvement with coastal planning began with the Florida Wildlife Federation's participation with the Town of Marineland's comprehensive plan.
Ms. Owen Gledhill obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Florida. She received her Master of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida.
Dr. Robert Hartwig
(December 3, 2008) Robert Hartwig is president of the Insurance Information Institute, which is generally recognized to be the most credible and frequently used single source of information and referral for the widely diverse insurance industry. Since joining the I.I.I. in 1998 as an economist and becoming chief economist in 1999, Dr. Hartwig has focused his work on improving understanding of key insurance issues across all industry stakeholders including media, consumers, insurers, producers, regulators, legislators and investors. He makes frequent presentations to industry associations, company management, industry executives, analysts and clients and speaks internationally on a wide range of insurance issues. Dr. Hartwig serves as a media spokesperson for the property/casualty insurance industry, and is quoted frequently in leading publications, as well as appearing regularly on television. He has testified before numerous state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Dr. Hartwig previously served as director of economic research and senior economist with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) in Boca Raton, Florida, where he performed rate of return and cost of capital modeling and testified at workers' compensation rate hearings in many states. He has also worked as senior economist for the Swiss Reinsurance Group in New York and as senior statistician for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the American Economic Association, the American Risk and Insurance Association, the National Association of Business Economics and the CPCU Society and from May 2005 to May 2008 served on the board of directors of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association of New York. In 2005 and 2006 Dr. Hartwig served on the state of Florida's Task Force for Long-Term Homeowners Insurance Solutions.
Dr. Hartwig received his Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Hartwig holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) credential.
(December 3, 2008) Eli Lehrer is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute?a think tank with offices in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, Florida. At CEI, he directs studies of insurance, natural disaster, and credit policies. He has played a leading role in the Americans for Smart Natural Catastrophe Policy coalition and has written extensively about flood policy.
Prior to joining CEI, Lehrer worked as speechwriter to United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.). He has previously worked as a manager in the Unisys Corporation's Homeland Security Practice, as Senior Editor of The American Enterprise magazine, and as a fellow for the Heritage Foundation. He has spoken at Yale and George Washington Universities. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Washington Times, Weekly Standard, National Review, The Public Interest, Salon.com, and dozens of other publications. He also serves on the board of the independent think tank D.C. Progress.
He holds a B.A. (Cum Laude) from Cornell University and a M.A. (with honors) from The Johns Hopkins University where his Master's thesis focused on the Federal Emergency Management Agency and flood insurance.
, Senior Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Nanette J. Lockwood
(December 3, 2008) Ms. Lockwood brings over 14 years of professional engineering experience to her position as the Director of Legislative Affairs at Solutia Inc, a global performance materials and specialty chemicals company. Her responsibilities include working with state legislatures and federal governments to bring about adoption of statewide building codes that increase hurricane resistance. To date, Ms. Lockwood has helped get stronger hurricane resistant codes adopted in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana where strong mandatory statewide codes are now in effect. She is currently working in Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.
Most recently, Ms. Lockwood held the position of Director of Building Codes and Engineering at the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). Her responsibilities included strengthening building codes to increase the resistance of structures to natural disasters, managing research projects to support state adoptions of building codes and developing educational programs and materials to help consumers and builders understand the importance of better construction.
Ms. Lockwood earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida. She is scheduled to complete her Juris Doctorate from Concord Law School in June 2009.
(December 3, 2008) Patrick Maroney is the Kathryn Magee Kip Professor in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and Business Law. He has been a faculty member at Florida State University since 1981. He currently serves as the director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center. Prior to that position he served as the associate dean for Graduate Programs in the College of Business from 2003 until January 2008. He also served as the Chairman of the Risk Management and Insurance Department from 1994 until the fall semester of 2001.
Professor Maroney has authored or co-authored more than forty articles and books. Professor Maroney's research concentration is in the area of insurance law and regulation. Articles have appeared in the Journal of Insurance Regulation, Risk Management and Insurance Review, Florida State University Law Review, Florida Bar Journal, Journal of Insurance Issues, Insurance Counsel Journal, and The American Business Law Journal. He has presented papers at regional and national academic conferences. He has received a Teaching Incentive Program award for excellence in teaching and has been named Student Organization Advisor of the Year. He has served as continuing education chair of the Administrative Law section of the Florida Bar and been recognized for outstanding service to the section. He has also served as an officer and board member of the section.
Professor Maroney was a member of the NCCI Insurance Fraud Commission. He has served as a board member of the Southern Risk and Insurance Association and as President of that organization. He was the executive consultant to the Automobile Insurance Task Force and a co-author of the Insurance Study of Sinkholes.
(May 2, 2011) A former journalist and legislative staffer, Peter Mitchell got into social marketing a decade ago when he was asked to direct the marketing campaign for a new anti-tobacco initiative in Florida. The campaign became ?truth? ? an effort that transformed tobacco control and got replicated on a national scale after Florida showed the first statewide drop in teen smoking in 19 years. Since then, Mr. Mitchell has developed and directed dozens of social marketing campaigns across the globe, first as a senior marketing specialist for the Academy for Educational Development, a large international non-profit, and later as a founder of Marketing for Change, which is now part of Salter>Mitchell.
A graduate of Colgate University, Mr. Mitchell spent a decade as a reporter, including covering Florida for The Wall Street Journal, and served as the policy coordinator for Florida's Senate President. Over the years, he has designed behavior-change campaigns domestically and in Bangladesh, India, Jordan and Tanzania, for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Healthy Kids Corporation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the United Nations and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
(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.
(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.
, President & Chief Executive Officer
Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS)
Lewis M. Rothstein
(December 3, 2008) Dr. Rothstein joined the company in 2007 as Principal Scientist and is responsible for advising WPC and RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. on quantifying the uncertainties associated with the science of climate change for the purpose of advancing adaptive and mitigation-based business solutions. He has authored or co-authored over 75 articles and book chapters and has served as the editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, one of the premiere science journals in physical oceanography. He was a two-term member of the U.S. Science Steering Committee for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, has served on numerous other national and international scientific committees, and has served on scientific review panels for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Dr. Rothstein holds a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of Hawaii, and is also a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.
, Principal Scientist
University of Rhode Island/WeatherPredict
Jeanne M. Salvatore
(December 3, 2008) Ms. Salvatore works closely with national and local media, appearing often on radio, TV and in print as a spokesperson for insurance-related issues that directly affect the consumer, both individual and commercial. She also serves as the industry liaison to numerous consumer, education, safety and community-based organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League and Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.
Ms. Salvatore has fulfilled a variety of roles since joining I.I.I. in 1988. Among her earlier achievements, she became an expert on the issue of insurance fraud and was instrumental in the development of a national agenda to combat it, and co-authored Fighting the Hidden Crime: A National Agenda to Combat Insurance Fraud. She also has served as I.I.I.'s director of crisis communications, and produced a series of state-specific auto-safety conferences that culminated in a national conference. She also directed communications programs on insurance topics such as claim filing, disaster preparedness and home safety.
Ms. Salvatore is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and served as president of the New York chapter in 2000. She holds a B.A. in English from Villanova University and an M.A. in Communications from Columbia University and is an adjunct professor in the graduate school of Mass Communications at Iona College and Columbia University.
, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs
Insurance Information Institute
(December 3, 2008) Tofigh Shirazi is a real estate developer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of national and international industry experience. Upon graduating from University of California at Berkley, Mr. Shirazi was hired by Societe Soletranche S.A. in France as a construction engineer specializing in foundation and concrete construction. In 1977, he moved to the Middle East and worked as construction manager for the Latiyan Contruction Company. After moving to Houston, Texas in 1980, he became VP of Real Estate Development for Zamin Investments Inc.
In 1981, Mr. Shirazi founded Intercontinental United Investors Corporation, a company of which he is still owner and president today. IUI has successfully developed and renovated several hundred thousand square feet of office/retail space and several master-planned communities. He is the town founder of Beachtown Galveston, a nationally recognized and publicized town development project.
Mr. Shirazi graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, then went on to attend Stanford University and UC Berkley, receiving a Masters of Science in Construction Management. He also studied Civil Engineering and Business and Real Estate Law at Rice University, attended Stanford University's Executive Management program, and the OPM program at Harvard Business School.
(December 3, 2008) CFO Sink was first elected statewide in 2006 as Florida's Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Sink oversees nearly 3,000 employees and an annual budget of $300 million in the Department of Financial Services. Her varied responsibilities include managing the state's $24 billion in Treasury funds, serving as the State Fire Marshal, overseeing workers' compensation and the state's risk management programs, and licensing all insurance agents and investigating insurance fraud.
As the state's top fiscal officer, CFO Sink's goal is to understand and prepare for all issues that may affect the future of Florida's economy. To better understand the potential threat of climate change, she partnered with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charles Bronson to co-host a series of Cabinet Workshops called "Conversations on Climate Change." Out of these Cabinet-level workshops, the CFO launched a new climate change website at www.FloridaClimateChange.com, has joined the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) ? a national network of investors focused on the business impacts of climate change ? and as State Treasurer, has become the first Treasury to ask its investment managers for disclosure of climate risk.
Under CFO Sink's direction, My Safe Florida Home is successfully helping Floridians learn how to harden their homes. At www.MySafeFloridaHome.com, Floridians in single-family, site-built homes can sign up for free wind inspections. Some Floridians are also eligible for matching grants if they choose to make improvements.
The CFO is also a member of Florida's Cabinet, which includes the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Cabinet and Governor supervise executive clemency, land acquisition, bond finance and the Departments of Veterans' Affairs, Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Law Enforcement, and Revenue. As a Cabinet member, the CFO is one of four members of the Financial Services Commission that oversees the appointed commissioners of insurance regulation and financial regulation.
, Chief Operating Officer
State of Florida
Dr. Amanda Staudt
(December 3, 2008) Dr. Staudt provides scientific expertise for NWF's activities on global warming. While at NWF, she has coauthored reports on how global warming will affect severe weather, wildfires in the American West, aquatic habitats in California, and the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to joining NWF, Staudt was a senior program officer at the National Academies, where her work focused on climate change, air quality, and weather. As a key liaison between the scientific community and the federal agencies that support climate change research, she directed the National Academies Climate Research Committee and helped author more than a dozen reports on topics including the U.S. strategy for supporting climate change research, radiative forcing of climate, past records of surface temperature, how climate and weather affect transportation, and practices for effective global change assessments.
Dr. Staudt holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences and an A.B. in environmental engineering and sciences from Harvard University.
(June 23, 2009) Joe Tankersley is a writer and producer for Walt Disney Imagineering. He has worked on the creative development of projects throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including StormStruck: A tale of Two Homes(TM), which opened at Epcot in 2008. He was head writer for the Millennium Village, part of Epcot's celebration of the new century. This unique project took him to more than a dozen countries from Brazil to Saudi Arabia. Since then he has worked on projects for Disney's Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Currently, Mr. Tankersley leads creative teams developing new projects for Innoventions at Epcot. These projects employ the latest in interactive entertainment technologies to help guests learn more about the world around them.
Congressman Bennie G. Thompson
(June 23, 2009) Chairman Thompson is currently serving his eighth term as the Democratic Congressman for Mississippi's Second District and his third term on the Homeland Security Committee. With more than 40 years of continuous public service, he is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. He served as alderman and mayor in his hometown for years, after which he served as Hinds County Supervisor for 13 years before being elected to Congress in 1993. With six district offices - Bolton, Greenville, Greenwood, Jackson, Marks, and Mound Bayou - Congressman Thompson is committed to empowering those who gave him an opportunity to represent the Second District of Mississippi.
To begin the 110th Congress, Congressman Thompson was promoted by his colleagues to serve as the first ever Democratic Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, a committee which was created by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. As Chairman, Congressman Thompson recently introduced and engineered House passage of the most comprehensive homeland security package since September 11th, H.R. 1, the "9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007". Drawing on his 26 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, Congressman Thompson understands that our nation's law enforcement and first responders are our first line of defense in times of emergency. With that in mind he has constantly fought to ensure they are fully equipped with the resources and tools they need to effectively respond to any and all emergencies.
(October 8, 2014) Mr. Tillman serves as President of WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., a U.S.-based RenaissanceRe affiliate that provides intelligence on natural perils to a range of entities. In his current role at WeatherPredict, 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.
Mr. Tillman currently serves as an Executive Director for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. Mr. Tillman is also a Director for the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes. He 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.
(June 23, 2009) Tami Torres currently serves as the Director of the Division of Consumer Services and the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program administered by the Florida Department of Financial Services. The MSFH program, is a $250 million program created in the 2006 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature to help Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes against hurricanes and to reduce hurricane damage exposure in the State of Florida.
Prior to her role with the Division of Consumer Services and the My Safe Florida Home Program, Ms. Torres served as the Director of Communications for the Florida Department of Financial Services, Majority Office of the Florida Senate and the Florida Association of Counties. She has led numerous public relation and communication efforts including: Verify Before You Buy, A+ Plan for Education and Growing Florida's Economy. She has also managed and directed message development on issues of statewide importance and legislative policies such as complex financial and insurance issues.
Ms. Torres has a Bachelors of Science in Mass Media Communications from The Florida State University.
, Special Programs Administrator
My Safe Florida Home
(December 3, 2008) Paul VanderMarck is Chief Products Officer of Risk Management Solutions, the leading provider of catastrophe risk models to the global insurance industry. In this role, he has overall responsibility for definition and execution of the firm's product strategy. Since joining RMS in 1992, he has played a central role both in the development of RMS' global catastrophe modeling capabilities as well as in advancing the state of practice for using modeling to manage catastrophe risk. In 2003, Mr VanderMarck was recognized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his contributions to the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management with the Shah Family Innovation Award.
Mr. VanderMarck holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and an M.S. degree in Structural and Earthquake Engineering, both from Stanford University.
(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.