Meet Disaster Tech

Our team is on a mission to save lives, protect the environment, and build resilient communities through our technology platform - PRATUS.

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Our Team

Veteran owned small business and public benefit company led by former White House, Department of Defense, Energy, and private sector crisis management and preparedness professionals.  Comprised of a talented team of engineers, practitioners, scientists, and academics, Disaster Tech works hard to provide you with the most advanced crisis management, business continuity, and preparedness tools on the planet.

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Sean Griffin
CEO
Sean Griffin is CEO and co-founder of Disaster Tech. Before founding Disaster Tech, Sean served as Director for Incident Management Integration Policy on the U.S. National Security Council at the White House and is an active-duty veteran of the U.S. Navy and Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
 
During his White House term under two U.S. Presidents, Sean led the Executive Office of the President and inter-agency policy coordination for major disasters and incidents.  Additionally, Sean led emergency management, training, and exercise programs at the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of State, Defense Logistics Agency, and National Institutes of Health.
 
Sean is the loving father of two sons Miles and Charlie and coaches youth soccer and basketball.
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Roger Coleman
President & Chief Strategy Officer

Roger Coleman is a distinguished leader with a profound commitment to advancing societal welfare and global resilience. With a remarkable career spanning over three decades, Roger has left an indelible mark in both the public service and financial sectors.

As a devoted firefighter and Chief of the Plandome Fire Department for six years, Roger's unwavering dedication to public safety was epitomized during the harrowing events of September 11, 2001, when he and his battalion bravely responded to the call at Ground Zero. Motivated by this experience, Roger co-founded Tuesday’s Children, an organization dedicated to providing lifelong support to families affected by terrorism, military conflict, or mass violence. Serving as a founding board member, Roger has been instrumental in guiding Tuesday’s Children to positively impact over 60,000 individuals, with a high focus now on the Gold Star Families and continues to lead the organization with distinction.

In the financial realm, Roger's influence has been equally profound. With a career spanning 36 years, he is renowned as a pioneer in the financial services industry, notably as the founder of Corporate Services, a groundbreaking initiative that revolutionized global equity administration. His tenure as Managing Director at Morgan Stanley saw him oversee a team of over 300 professionals, manage assets exceeding $60 billion, and cultivate relationships with over 225 Fortune 500 clients. Recognized for his expertise, Roger has been consistently featured in Barron's Top 100 Global Advisors and was recently inducted into Barron’s Hall of Fame—an accolade reserved for the industry's elite.

In 2016, Roger sold his business at Morgan Stanley, with distinction, and embarked on a new chapter with the founding of Coleman Group Partners LLC., where his passion for impact investing drives the firm's ethos. Leading a multi-billion-dollar Private Equity fund, Roger focuses on identifying mid-to-late-stage investment opportunities that deliver positive social and environmental outcomes, yielding returns that consistently rank among the industry's top performers.

Furthermore, Roger's visionary leadership extends to Disaster Tech, a public benefit company he co-founded and serves as President. Partnering with industry giants such as Microsoft, NVIDIA, bp, US Army, and the U.S. Air Force, just to name a few. Disaster Tech pioneer’s cutting-edge solutions for disaster management and resilience. Roger's foresight in leveraging the Microsoft ecosystem, with an emphasis in building the company’s tech stack in Teams, has positioned Disaster Tech as a premier provider of real-time analytics and decision support, empowering Emergency Manager stakeholders across all sectors to mitigate risks and safeguard communities, before, during, and after disasters hit, be it natural or man-made.

Roger Coleman's legacy as a leader, philanthropist, and innovator continues to shape a more resilient and compassionate world—one defined by unwavering dedication to the greater good.

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Chris Okerberg
Chris Okerberg
Software Engineer

Chris Okerberg is the Director of Engineering at Disaster Tech. He has previous experience in developing software for asset-sharing marketplaces, online training courses, and interactive museum experiences.

With a background in user experience and interaction design, Chris is fascinated by the intersection of society and technology. Chris has used his over 8 year long career in software development to gain a first-hand understanding of the manner in which technology continues to shape how people view themselves, their possessions and the world around them.

Chris is delighted to contribute to the mission of Disaster Tech, and to pursue the next step in the arc of his interest in the positive impact of technology on human life.

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Dr. Jason Shafer
Director of Utilities

Jay is a technology-minded and people-oriented innovator with a passion for putting knowledge to work for good. He currently leads business development, solutions engineering, and operational storm communication for electric utilities and other extreme weather use cases across the company. He is passionate about helping clients understand risk better in support of storm-based emergency management decisions and long-term system resiliency planning. 

Jay was a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Vermont State University where he taught the art and science of weather forecasting for nearly two decades. His specialties include mountain weather, winter weather, with applications to transportation and the power grid. Jay is most proud of his many former students who have gone onto successful careers in media, graduate school, and the private sector. This teaching experience honed his communication skills of taking complex topics and making them simple for broad audiences. 

Jay is an award-winning forecaster, issuing numerous forecasts in support of winter roadway maintenance, power outage prediction, and mountain climbing expeditions. He helps clients with extreme weather risk consequence analysis by communicating uncertainty with certainty using a combination of technology and human-in-the-loop. 

Jay is an experienced entrepreneur and deep tech innovator. He founded Northview Weather to put knowledge into action and was able to successfully patent and commercialize products supporting electric utility storm preparedness decisions. Disaster Tech’s acquisition of Northview Weather brought Jay and his team to Disaster Tech where he continues to grow extreme weather applications to storm-based emergency management and climate intelligence around power system resiliency planning.

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Dashia Yandell
Director of Operations & Client Success

Dashia Yandell is the Director of Operations & Client Success at Disaster Tech. Dashia has 20 years of management experience and developed proposal departments in the education, healthcare, and travel industries. She has a background in marketing, writing, editing, and spent 16 years as the VP of Customer Relations for a small publishing company. Dashia completed her Master’s degree in Education and her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

Having grown up in a military family, Dashia has lived in many locations around the U.S. and abroad. This has given her an appreciation of the different needs and nuances of other cultures and our changing world.

Dashia currently resides in rural Arkansas with her loving husband, overachieving daughter, and unruly dog. She enjoys hiking in the natural beauty of Arkansas, being involved in her local church and community, gaming, reading, and laughing with or at her family.

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Nikko Mitrano Schaff
Director of Innovation

Nikko Mitrano Schaff is a Software Engineer at Disaster Technologies Incorporated. Nikko received his Masters of Engineering in Computer Science at Cornell University, where he is pursued disaster communications research with the All-Hazards Preparedness and Response Education Program.

Previously, Nikko worked for Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology as an Applications Developer, serving the diverse needs of over one-hundred faculty members and external clients such as the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Follow the red link below to read Nikko's full bio.

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Vince DePersio
Director of Product

Vince DePersio is the Program Manager for Disaster Tech’s Exercise Management capability. He retired from U.S. Air Force Special Operations after more than 20 years of service as a Flight Engineer on the MH-53 PAVE LOW helicopter. Upon retirement he was a C4I planner and MSEL Manager for AFSOC’s “EMERALD WARRIOR” exercise for six years. He designed the concept for the Exercise Management capability that Disaster Tech now has in their Pratus platform. After Disaster Tech acquired the exercise management capability, Vince was asked to join as the Program Manger and lead the renewed effort of his previous vision and incorporate it into Disaster Tech's Pratus platform. 

Vince graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development, and a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Vince is married and has two grown children. He enjoys hiking and camping in the Smoky Mountains, and photography.

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Nella Juma
Director of Product Growth

Nella Juma is a joyful maximizer and PMP/SAFe Scrum Master, with 10 years of project management experience in the social and private sector. She has a colorful array of experience organizing and facilitating growth for businesses in healthcare, entertainment, and finance.

Prior to joining Disaster Tech, Nella managed the mental health professional's response to the 2015 San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, conferences highlighting women in technology in London, DC, and Long Beach, as well as coached three scrum teams developing greenfield and brownfield products. Nella's start in healthcare management showed her that not only do patients and customers need advocates but so do the staff members that keep these products and services viable. It is her vocation to listen for stakeholder needs, advocate for her team, and foster an atmosphere for continuous improvement.

Nella lives in Southern California where she received her B.A in Political Science International Affairs from the University of California Riverside and MBA from Zapara School of Business at La Sierra University. She enjoys splitting her time between her family in the United States and Kenya.

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Emily Lu
QA/QC Engineer

Emily is a QA engineer at Disaster Tech. She’s been working in the IT field for more than 8 years.  Prior to her position with Disaster Tech, Emily worked on several QA projects to provide high-quality products, including mobile apps, web applications and mobile devices. Emily is also knowledgeable about web development and brings that experience to everything in her current role. Her passion for technology and learning new skills makes her uniquely capable as a QA engineer.

Having started her career in Taiwan, Emily brings cross-cultural experience to Disaster Tech. She is delighted to contribute to the Disaster Tech team and work together to promote the company’s mission of quality assurance. Outside of work hours, Emily likes traveling. She has been to 25 cities across 20 states in America.

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Claire Pearce
Executive Assistant

Claire Pearce graduated from Davidson College where she earned her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Educational Studies. While studying psychology, Claire discovered passions for organizational efficiency and leadership development. Through her studies and post-graduate internship, she has experience consulting on organization development issues including onboarding, turnover, and employee engagement. Claire recently relocated from her hometown of West Bloomfield, MI to Arlington, VA. She is excited to join Disaster Tech as the Executive Assistant supporting the C-suite and helping continue the success of the company.

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Mark Ehler
DevOps Engineer

Mark Ehler, as a DevOps Engineer at Disaster Tech, builds tools that serve a multiplicative beneficial impact.  He has turned his career from
in-person service in a clinical setting and healthcare engagement through the Peace Corps, towards tech development with the goal of saving more lives. He brings a well-rounded approach to development from his previous role on the Northview Weather DevOps team. In his free time, Mark enjoys mountain ultramarathons.

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Kemi Babarinde
DevSecOps Engineer

Kemi Babarinde is a dynamic and dedicated Site Reliability Engineer hailing from Upper Marlboro, MD! With over a decade of experience in the field, Kemi brings a unique blend of responsibility, creativity, and technical prowess to every project she tackles. Her expertise spans across various platforms, including government compliance-based Linux systems, fintech API services, and cutting-edge cloud networks, all underscored by a steadfast commitment to cyber security. Kemi's professional journey has taken her through esteemed roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Department of Justice, and even NASA Goddard, where she honed her skills and made invaluable contributions.

When she is not busy optimizing systems and ensuring seamless operations, you can find Kemi exploring the wonders of the Smithsonian museums or jet-setting on adventures with her fiancé.

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Stefanie Babb
Marketing Manager

Stefanie Babb is the Marketing Manager at Disaster Tech. She has experience as a marketing copywriter and technical writer. As Marketing Manager, Stefanie will be helping with product documentation, proposal writing, and marketing functions.

Just before joining Disaster Tech, Stefanie worked in the cybersecurity industry as a marketing copywriter and ran Cabana Communications.

Stefanie earned her MSc in Strategic Communications and Public Relations from the University of Stirling (Stirling, Scotland) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) through a unique joint degree program. This program provided her with the opportunity to reside in both Scotland and Spain for the duration of her graduate program, enriching her global communications expertise.

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Kevin Cronin
Software Engineer

Kevin’s passion for weather led him to pursue a degree at Rutgers University where he graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology. From there Kevin accepted an internship at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire. While working atop Mt. Washington he experienced a 120 mph wind gust and over 6” of rain from Tropical Storm Irene as it transitioned into an extratropical storm. Kevin then attended graduate school at Plymouth State University, receiving a Master’s Degree in Applied Meteorology in 2015. Kevin’s thesis examined Mount Washington’s extreme winds.

Upon graduation from Plymouth State University, Kevin worked as a Contractor for the Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) at NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate.  He collaborated with many seasoned meteorologists and helped to debug new software for SAB’s fire and smoke analysis desk. Kevin currently conducts research for Northview working with large weather and climate datasets, helping to make this data into usable information. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys going for hikes and walks with family and friends.  

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Darwin Angeles
Darwin Angeles
QA/QC Engineer

Darwin Angeles was born in New York and raised in New Jersey. He became an EMT at 16, and attended Montclair State University for his undergraduate degree in Communication Studies. He simultaneously went through the Air Force ROTC, and upon graduation, commissioned in to the US Air Force. After separating, he entered the software development field as a software tester, accumulating over 10 years of software quality assurance experience. In his spare time, he is an avid cook, private pilot, indoor rock climber, and video/board gamer. 

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Kevin Diaz
Software Engineer

Kevin Diaz is an experienced full-stack developer with expertise in web development using React and Node. He has worked in the field for several years, including on a social media enterprise system resembling Twitter and Twitch. Kevin graduated from the University of South Florida and is passionate about his work as a web developer.Currently, Kevin is actively involved in building tools for the US Navy's Incident parts, focusing on enhancing incident management capabilities. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and reading books. Kevin values the friendships he has cultivated with his colleagues, recognizing the importance of collaboration and teamwork.Kevin's motto, "Smarter work not harder," reflects his commitment to finding efficient and intelligent solutions to challenges. With his experience, passion, and dedication, Kevin Diaz is a valuable asset in the web development field and beyond.

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COL (Ret), Maria P. Eoff
Senior DoD Consultant

Maria P. Eoff is a retired U.S. Army Ordnance and Logistics Corps Colonel whose service spanned over 30 years. Born in Afghanistan in 1967 to parents who worked with the U.S. Department of State, Maria left Afghanistan in 1980 following the Soviet invasion. Maria received her commission through the ROTC Program at the University of California, Berkeley and was a Distinguished Military Graduate. Maria has held a variety of leadership assignments throughout her career, commanding at the brigade level as a Garrison Commander in South Korea (2014-2016). She spent almost half of her career overseas with assignments in Turkey, Germany, and South Korea, along with combat deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait. In her final deployment to Afghanistan (2016-17), she served as the Joint Logistics Officer for U.S. Forces - Afghanistan and was responsible for all logistics and sustainment operations throughout Afghanistan and in support of allied nations. Her professional military education includes a Masters in National Security Strategy from the College of Naval Command and Staff, United States Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island; and a Masters in National Security and Resource Strategy from the Eisenhower School, National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington D.C. She is Airborne and Air Assault qualified.

She has been married to Robert W. Eoff for over 31 years; they have two adult children and two granddaughters.

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Patrick Ryan
Software Engineer

Patrick is a full-stack engineer with more than a decade of expertise in crafting high-performance web applications. Prior to joining DisasterTech, he worked in the education technology sector, building systems tailored for medical schools, community colleges, and textbook companies.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Patrick dedicates his spare time to community engagement. He serves on the board of a local sports league, lending his expertise to support recreational activities in his area. Additionally, he participates in local food rescue initiatives, embodying his commitment to social responsibility.

Patrick’s bike is his primary form of transportation, and he bikes from DC to the Alexandria office whenever the weather permits (and sometimes when it doesn’t).

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David Bang
Software Engineer

David Bang is a dedicated front-end engineer at Disaster Tech, where he channels his passion for UI/UX and web design into developing intuitive digital experiences. With a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the esteemed University of Virginia and an MBA from George Mason University, David Bang came to Disaster Tech with a mix of technical proficiency and strategic vision.

Prior to joining Disaster Tech, David honed his skills as a government contractor for 3.5 years. It was here that David learned how much he enjoyed contributing to the goal of making the world a better place. This same enjoyment brought him to Disaster Tech, where he continues to develop product usability and intuitiveness.

When David isn’t focused on improving the PRATUS™ user experience, you can find him at the gym, strategizing over a chessboard, or getting lost in the pages of a compelling book.

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Sean Plankey
Senior Consultant

Mr. Plankey is a Senior Consultant to Disaster Tech, providing strategic advice on products and sales, go-to-market guidance for critical infrastructure, government and industry, markets, and government affairs.

Mr. Plankey served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response in the Department of Energy.  Prior to joining the Department of Energy, Mr. Plankey served on the National Security Council as the Director for Maritime and Pacific Cybersecurity Policy, where he designed national security policy to address threats from cyberspace. He has also served as the Global Cyber Intelligence Advisor for BP, and as the Deputy Chief Information Officer for U.S. Navy Intelligence.

Sean served 13 years as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, including a tour as the Offensive Weapons & Tactics Chief at US Cyber Command. During this time, he completed a deployment to Afghanistan, where he was the first U.S. Coast Guard Officer deployed to Afghanistan to conduct offensive cyber operations. He also held the role of Operations Officer and Law Enforcement Boarding Team Leader for two Coast Guard Cutters, one deployed on the Great Lakes and the other in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.

Sean Plankey is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He holds multiple professional cybersecurity and information technology certifications.

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Brian Barnier
Senior Advisor

Brian Barnier brings a long history of experience in emergency management, communications and business continuity. He is currently the director and head of analytics at ValueBridge Advisors (US) and Burnt Oak Capital (UK) and a Senior Advisor for Disaster Tech.

In his telecom career, Brian was the representative of his local exchange carrier to public safety communications centers from New York City to California. This included the exchange carrier’s connections to emergency centers and providing managed services to customers. He then led product management for the 9-1-1 group at Lucent Technology with its roots in the creation of 9-1-1. There, he led teams to 6 patents for emergency and location-based calling. Brian also led product management for services in the IBM Business Resilience organization. He holds a US FEMA Incident Command Certificate with the hospital specialty.

Beyond this, he has worked to bridge business continuity with other areas of managing risk in business operations including as the author of The Operational Risk Handbook, from Harriman House in the UK and a contributor to the book Risk and Performance: Guide for Government Decision Makers published by Wiley. Additionally, he served on the team that created ISACA’s Risk IT based on COBIT for their 100,000 members and was the public face of that initiative in North America and led the sub-team for business continuity for the Shared Assessment Program criteria used in the outsourcing industry.

Brian is the past co-chair of the Corporate Risk Oversight Committee of International Corporate Governance Network. The ICGN is a membership organization for investors with over 26 trillion dollars of assets under management.

As a part time academic, Brian has taught graduate operations management at the University of Detroit Mercy and currently teaches graduate data analytics at the City University of New York.

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Maj Gen (Ret) Stephen Clark
Senior Advisor

Stephen brings 32 years of senior military leadership in Special Operations, combat operations and Department of Defense resource programing. He is currently the Chief Business Officer for Summit Technology Laboratory (STL), a deep-tech start up specializing in automated precision projected light and its application to multiple market segments. Stephen serves as an Independent Director for two companies, Education Loan Finance dba ELFI, a not-for-profit financial holding company and Support Systems Associates Inc, a small defense contractor. Stephen also serves on the Board of the Jack and Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation (JAJF.org) a national non profit who’s mission is “Treating families to WOW! Experiences®, giving children who will lose their Mom or Dad to cancer a timeout to create indispensable memories as a family… while they can”.

Prior to his retirement from the military, he was the Director of Programs for the United States Air Force leading the development, justification, and consolidation of the Air Forces five-year resource allocation plan totaling over $800B. Previously, Stephen served as the Director of Plans, Programs, Requirements, and Manpower for the United States Special Operations Command leading the development and consolidation USSOCOM's five component Commands integrated resource plans. He also served as the Deputy Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command. Stephen has commanded at the Squadron, Group,Wing level. During his command of the 27th Special Operations Wing he was responsible for over 4000 Airmen, Civilians and their families, $15B worth of infrastructure and aircraft, a multi-year construction program worth $1.5B, the operations of a military base, airfield, training range, and the execution of over 5000 combat hours globally. He has deployed in support of operations in Bosnia, Somalia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq and other classified operations.

Stephen earned his bachelor!s degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, Masters in Public Administration from Troy State, Masters in National Security from the Naval War College, and was a Senior Defense Fellow at Harvard!s Center for International Affairs. He is a command pilot with over 3300 hours primarily in the AC-130H/U Gunship. Stephen is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Great Falls Rotary Club. He is an avid cyclist, skier, and enjoys fly fishing. Stephen and his wife Cynthia have two grown daughters Shelby and Sydney and reside in Herndon Virginia. 

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Katherine Herleman
Senior Advisor

Katherine is the Executive Director of Innovation for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship team. In this position, Katherine grows corporate partnerships to support research and philanthropic activity for Cornell Engineering. Herleman is also a McNair scholar and former Teaching Assistant Development Consultant in the Engineering Learning Initiatives office at Cornell Engineering. Katherine's graduate work at Cornell University focused on industrial waste stream management - conducting geochemical investigations of the Marcellus shale alongside environmental policy analysis in order to identify both the environmental risks and inconsistencies in state regulation of technologically-enhanced, naturally-occurring, radioactive materials (TENORM). Prior work as a McNair Research Scholar at Florida International University focused on characterizing risks to water resources, public health, and public infrastructure in the Greater Miami Area due to sea level rise and other climate change impacts.  

At Herleman's last position, she was the Energy Resiliency and Sustainability Analyst at Ecology & Environment, a Member of WSP, where she served as the co-lead on developing clean energy and climate change resiliency projects in New York State. She is a broadly trained geoscientist who develops municipal solutions for the increasingly complex resiliency challenges which must be addressed by local governments, such as future proofing public infrastructure and preparing vulnerable populations for extreme weather events. 

Katherine also previously served as both the Extension Disaster Education Coordinator for the All-Hazards Preparedness and Response Education Program at Cornell University and as the Public Information Officer for sixty-two county-level offices which comprise the Cornell Cooperative Extension network in New York State, where she engaged in research related to standardizing agricultural damage assessment and automating PIO functions. Prior to that role, she also served the NYSERDA Communities & Local Governments team and NYSDEC Office of Climate Change by developing and implementing both the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities and NYSDEC Climate Smart Communities programming - uniquely successful, flagship programs currently being replicated across the United States which support local municipal training and action across the disaster cycle. 

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Mike Vaughn
Senior Advisor

Mike Vaughn is the co-founder and President of Visual Awareness Technologies and Consulting, LLC, a company delivering innovative solutions and services helping Special Operations and Conventional Forces, partner nation, intelligence professionals, and federal agencies meet the challenges of an increasingly complex world. As President, Mike leads VATC's global operations, ensuring the company’s ability to develop, deliver, and execute advanced training solutions in support of complex missions.

 Before starting the company in 2003, Mike was a Senior Management and Training Consultant to USSOCOM Headquarters on Force Development and Transformation, with a particular emphasis on International Joint Training. He has additional experience managing engineer, geospatial intelligence operations, and global distributed mission operations for USSOCOM and Air Force Special Operations Simulations and Aircrew Training. Before entering the defense industry, Mike served 21 years in the U.S. military, spending most of his career in Special Operations. 

In addition to his role at VATC, Mike is also the co-founder of Warrior Outdoor Leadership for the Future, or WOLF, a nonprofit organization that provides college or career-bound children of fallen Special Operations and Intelligence Agency personnel with a program focused on Leadership development, STEM-based skills education for Industry 4.0 careers, and introduction to industry leaders for mentoring and future career opportunities. Mike holds a B.S. Degree from Eastern Illinois University, and a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Management and Operations from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

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GEN Robert B. Brown, USA Ret.
Senior Advisor

General Robert B. Brown assumed command of the United States Army's largest Service Component command, U.S. Army Pacific (USARPAC), April 30, 2016. The command is headquartered at Fort Shafter, Hawaii with portions of the command-forward deployed and based throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific. USARPAC's 106,000 Active, Reserve Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians support the nation's strategic objectives and commitment to the region.

     Prior to this assumption of command, General Brown most recently served as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he led the synchronization of education; leader development; training support & development; and the development and integration of the doctrine the U.S. Army uses to fight and win our Nation's wars.

     During various times during his service, General Brown has served twelve years with units focused on the Indo-Asia Pacific region, including Commanding General, I Corps and Joint Base Lewis-McChord; Deputy Commanding General of the 25th Infantry Division including a second deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom; Training & Exercises Director J7, United States Pacific Command (USPACOM); Executive Assistant to the Pacific Command Commander; Plans Officer, United States Army Pacific (USARPAC); and Commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (Stryker), 25th Infantry Division including a deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom.


     General Brown was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry from the United States Military Academy in May 1981, and has served in many leadership positions from platoon to Corps, including as Platoon Leader and Company Commander in mechanized infantry units at Fort Carson, Colorado; Battalion Commander of 2-5 Cavalry, a mechanized infantry battalion at Fort Hood, Texas including a deployment to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of OPERATION JOINT FORGE; and Commanding General of the Maneuver Center of Excellence (Infantry and Armor Forces) and Fort Benning, Georgia.

     General Brown has also served in numerous staff positions including: Assistant Professor of Military Science and Deputy Director, Center of Enhanced Performance, United States Military Academy; Plans Officer at USARPAC; Operations Officer, Executive Officer and Chief, G-3 Training in the 25th Infantry Division including a deployment in support of OPERATION UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti; Personnel Assignment Officer in Human Resources Command; Aide-de-Camp/Assistant Executive Officer to the Vice Chief of Staff, Army; Plans Officer in the Department of the Army G-3/5/7; a Program Analyst in the Dominant Maneuver Assessment Division, Joint Staff (J8); Executive Assistant to the U.S. Pacific Command Commander and Director, J-7 (Training and Exercises) at USPACOM; and Chief of Staff United States Army Europe (USAREUR) / Deputy Commanding General U.S. Army NATO.

     His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal (two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (Oak Leaf Cluster), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters) and the Army Achievement Medal. He has earned the Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

     General Brown holds a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Education from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Science in National Security and Strategic Studies (Distinguished Graduate) from the National Defense University.

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Jim Wilt
Senior Advisor

Renowned for his technological innovations, Jim Wilt has made significant contributions in various fields including aerospace, where he automated composite fiber placement, and manufacturing, where he developed automated robotic systems and the Octahedral Hexapod. His expertise extends to cloud & operating systems, where he played a key role in the architecture of the Burroughs MCP & applied architecture for Microsoft Azure adoption. He has left his mark in the health sector through hospital systems & medical device services, fintech with his work in insurance & banking, and retail with his involvement in telecommunications & electronics. He has also pioneered data transformation where he delved into creating new data engineering roles, introduced machine learning & artificial intelligence, and promoted generative AI. He currently fosters engineering empowerment and autonomy through software & platform modernization and digital transformation leveraging cloud-native platforms.

His passion for these subjects has led him to share his knowledge as an adjunct professor at the Kellogg School of Management, teaching topics such as Cloud Economics & the Internet of Things (IoT), as an active participant in Iasa Global architecture certification through coaching & review boards, and as a member of the Chief Architect Forum (CAF).

Jim has a B.S. in Physics, Mathematics, and Computer Science from Central Michigan University and has attained the MCA, CITA-P, and CITA-D board level master architect certifications. He continues his pursuit of enlightenment from a stance of endless curiosity sharing learnings through articles in the Architecture & Governance Magazine.

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Rear Admiral Meredith Austin, USGC (Ret.)
Senior Advisor

LRear Admiral Meredith Austin assumed command of the Fifth Coast Guard District in April 2016. In this capacity, she has the overall responsibility for the full range of Coast Guard maritime safety and security missions carried out in the Mid-Atlantic region from central New Jersey through North Carolina. This area encompasses 1.4 million square miles of ocean, bays, and rivers that are unique and filled with historical significance, several major Mid-Atlantic ports, the largest naval base in the world, and our Nation’s Capital. Prior to arriving at the Fifth Coast Guard District, Rear Admiral Austin served as the Deputy Commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area (PACAREA). Other assignments include Commander, Coast Guard Personnel Service Center (PSC). PSC supports mission execution by recruiting, accessing, assigning, and developing careers, maintaining well-being, compensating, separating, and retiring all enlisted, officer, Active Duty, and Reserve Coast Guard personnel. Additionally, she previously served as the Chief of Staff for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii. The District spans over 12.2 million square miles and includes the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and activities in Saipan, Singapore, and Japan. Rear Admiral Austin has held several commands including Sector Delaware Bay, executing the Coast Guard’s eleven statutory missions along the coasts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania; the Pacific Strike Team; and the National Strike Force, responding to oil and hazardous substance spills and threats from Weapons of Mass Destruction in support of Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Defense Federal On-Scene Coordinators throughout the United States, its territories, and other nations. She worked closely with port and response partners from local, state, and federal agencies, foreign governments, as well as private industry and non-governmental organizations. Rear Admiral Austin has responded to many of the major incidents which have occurred since 2001 including the World Trade Center disaster, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, supported the Capitol anthrax and ricin incidents, and in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Rear Admiral Austin served first as Deputy Incident Commander, then as the Incident Commander for the state of Louisiana, directing the activities of over 19,000 responders. Rear Admiral Austin is a 1985 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy with a degree in Marine Science. She earned a Master of Science in Public Health in Industrial Hygiene from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1994 and a Master of Arts in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 2007. Rear Admiral Austin is a NIMS certified Type I Incident Commander, and has earned the designations of Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Emergency Manager. Rear Admiral Austin’s personal awards include four Legion of Merit Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals, two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the DOT 9-11 Medal, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, two Commandant's Letter of Commendation, and the Marine Safety Designation.

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Julie Roberts
Senior Advisor

Julie Kay Roberts is a strategic communications and emergency management veteran with two decades of experience in the public and private sector. After a decade of serving in state and federal government positions, Roberts returns to the private sector as President of JK Roberts, LLC, specializing in strategic planning, crisis communication, emergency management, media relations, and risk assessments with continuity planning. JK Roberts, LLC is an SBA designated Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB).

Building on the work from her time in state and federal government building private-public partnership programs, in late 2021, Ms. Roberts co-founded the Private Sector Emergency Management Association (PSEMA). PSEMA is the only national association for business and industry focused on preparing for disasters, providing resources during and after a crisis to aid in response and recovery. PSEMA provides business to business networking opportunities, resources for the business community, and activation of the network to respond when a disaster happen

Roberts most recently served as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where she developed and implemented the agency’s strategic communication plans for on-going operational programs. Serving as a liaison between NOAA and the Department of Commerce senior leadership, she supported NOAA priorities and travel for senior leadership to NOAA facilities. Ms. Roberts developed a strategy for a public-private function within the Communications Office to build on existing relationships while expanding new partnerships.

Prior to NOAA, Ms. Roberts served as the External Affairs Director for the Florida Division of Emergency Management where she built a robust private-public partnership office. When the 2016 Pulse Nightclub mass shooting occurred the relationships cultivated with the private sector came together to support survivors and victims’ families. The best practices developed during the incident would go on to be used in other mass shooting events.

Ms. Roberts credits her success to the strong women in her life that positively influenced her personal and professionally. She is committed to supporting the next generation of women leaders by serving as an advisor to the Zeta Tau Alpha.

A native of Marshall, Texas, Ms. Roberts holds a Certificate in Emergency Management from the International Association of Emergency Managers. Furthering her professional experience, she completed the Center for Homeland and Domestic Security (CHDS) Executive Leadership Program at the Naval Post Graduate School, the FEMA Executive Leadership Program, and the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI) through Harvard Kennedy School Center for Public Service.

Ms. Roberts earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Political Science from East Texas Baptist University.

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Fred Strobel
Senior Advisor

Fred Strobel is Managing Director, Global Head of Human Resources at Tradeweb Markets (Nasdaq: TW), and a member of the Executive Committee. In his role, he leads the efforts on building and developing the strategies and programs to recruit, retain and develop the best talent for the company. His team focuses on all aspects of HR— including talent and succession planning, learning and development, compensation design and administration,  benefits and organizational strategy.

Prior to joining Tradeweb in 2015, Mr. Strobel had over 20 years of human resources leadership experience at  Morgan Stanley and State Farm Insurance, both in the New York area. An active mentor and coach to many, he has dedicated himself to helping others as they grow and navigate their lives and careers.

Mr. Strobel is on the Board of Directors for Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit that provides long-term healing originally for 9/11 family members and now focuses on military families of the fallen. In 2022, he joined the Board of Directors for StreetWise Partners—an organization that provides mentorship and career opportunities for those in overlooked and under-resourced communities. Through Mr. Strobel, Tradeweb has built a strong, successful relationship with StreetWise. 

He has a B.S. from St. John’s University and a Master’s in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.

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The Honorable Doug Fears
Board Member

Prior to serving as Senior Advisor with Disaster Tech, Doug served at the White House as the eighth Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to the President and Deputy Assistant to the President. During that assignment, Doug also served concurrently as the acting Deputy National Security Advisor for four months. In earlier National Security Council assignments, he served as the Senior Director for Resilience Policy and Director for Central American and the Caribbean. Doug also served time in the U.S. Coast Guard as a ship driver, serving in eight ships, including as commanding officer for the cutters Hamilton, Diligence, and Sitkinak. Doug retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2022 as a Rear Admiral. Doug is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations: his research interests include emerging threats to global security and the U.S. interagency. Doug has an MPA from Harvard, an MA from the U.S. Naval War College, and a BS from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

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James Harpel
James Harpel
Board Member

Mr. Harpel is a serial entrepreneur. He is currently a general partner of both Palm Beach Capital, a mid-range Private equity firm; and of First Reserve Corp, a large energy related private equity firm—both of which he helped found. Additionally, he is also a founder and Senior Partner of Two Road Development a substantial real estate development company in Florida.

He is also involved in a series or ventures ranging from a revolutionary vaccine company to a fintech mortgage software company. He enjoys the challenge of solving problems and building companies. Over the years he was also a well-known successful money manager and even a corporate turnaround manager at a young age.

Mr. Harpel has been very involved with Harvard for many years. He started and sponsored a multiyear, interfaculty substance abuse research group. On the Board of The Kennedy School of Government, he has an endowed Chair at the School. He was on the Dana Farber Board for many years and has been on The Belfer Center Board at Harvard for many years.

He also ran an International Council for the Harris School of Government at the University of Chicago for about ten years.  In Addition, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In Palm Beach, Mr. Harpel is on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Kravis Center.

With grandparents who emigrated from Russia in the 1880’s, Mr. Harpel is always conscious of the role Ellis Island has played in enriching the country.

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John Cahalane
Board Members

John Cahalane is a Managing Director and Head of Tradeweb Direct, one of the largest fixed income marketplaces in the U.S. for financial advisors, sell-side traders and buy-side investors. He is also a member of the firm’s Operating Committee. Cahalane has extensive knowledge of electronic fixed income markets from over a decade of experience focused in electronic trading.

As Head of Tradeweb Direct, Cahalane is responsible for retail and middle market trading in Municipal Bonds, U.S. Corporate Bonds and Certificates of Deposits (CDs). He also oversees the business’ platform enhancements, sales channel expansion and client system integration.  

Cahalane joined Tradeweb in 2010 as Head of Tradeweb Retail, and focused his efforts on restructuring and growing the business. In 2013, he led the acquisition of BondDesk Group LLC, integrating the business with Tradeweb Retail to create Tradeweb Direct. 

Previously, Cahalane held several fixed income positions at Morgan Stanley, including Executive Director and Director of Third-Party Distribution for Capital Markets and Vice President, Director of E-Commerce.

Cahalane serves as the Chairman of the Board for Tuesday’s Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the 9/11 community and communities worldwide affected by terrorism and traumatic loss including Military Families of the Fallen.

Cahalane received a B.S. from the University of Scranton. He holds his FINRA Series 7, Series 24, Series 53 and Series 63 licenses.

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Brian Flood
Senior Advisor

Brian currently serves as Vice President with the Private Client Services Division of HUB International Northeast. Based out of the Woodbury, NY and New York City offices, Brian holds over three decades of experience working with high-net worth individuals, family offices, and mid-sized organizations on risk reduction strategies and comprehensive insurance protection solutions.

Utilizing a highly personalized approach to personal risk management, Brian is recognized for developing creative risk management solutions and concepts unique to each individual or organization. Prior to his current role at HUB, Brian was the Vice President of the Flood Group in Floral Park, NY, until its acquisition by HUB International Northeast in 2015. There, Brian managed a team of personal and commercial insurance specialists to provide a complete suite of insurance/risk management products and services.

Brian is an avid industry speaker and editorial contributor. In 2013, Brian authored a book on personal risk management concepts titled “Wealth Exposed: Insurance Planning for High Net Worth Individuals and Their Advisors”.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management from Hofstra University and has earned industry designations as a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate Risk Management (ARM). He holds insurance licenses for Property & Casualty and Life, Accident & Disability.

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Nicole Franks
Board Member

Ms. Franks has over 26 years of professional experience in environmental regulatory compliance and emergency response planning, training, and exercises. She has designed and executed many large (300+ persons) and smaller focused emergency response exercises for all types of facilities and vessels around the globe. She designs tailored training courses in various aspects of emergency response including the Incident Command System, and is experienced at training different audiences from facility operators to emergency responders and company executives.

She has also developed a multitude of response plans for petroleum industry clients, including terminals, tank farms, pipelines, and tank/non-tank vessels. Twenty-five years ago, Nicole founded NJ Resources, the recognized expert in emergency response preparedness in the petroleum industry.

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Carlos Torres
Board Member and Senior Advisor

Carlos D. Torres has over 35 years of broad Utility leadership experience first as an executive for Consolidated Edison of New York, Incorporated (Con Edison) and then as an independent consultant. As an independent consultant, he has worked on several strategic and operational consulting engagements including being assigned by the Governor of Puerto Rico as the Power Restoration Coordinator for the restoration of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s transmission and distribution electric systems following Hurricanes Maria and Irma, development and implementation of a Business Continuity (or Continuity of Operations) Plans and evaluating/assessment of plans and procedure implementations during full-scale exercises. At Con Edison (and Orange & Rockland Utilities), he served as the Vice President of Emergency Preparedness & Business Resiliency (EP&BR). During his over 32-year career at Con Edison, he also held numerous leadership and operational positions in electric, natural gas, steam, and construction operations throughout the company.

In his role as Vice President of EP&BR, he was responsible for planning, implementing, and overseeing the company’s emergency and crisis management, business continuity and pandemic planning activities. He was responsible for all aspects of designing, exercising, testing, and executing the Incident Command System (ICS). He served as incident commander for many responses as well as the Incident Management Assist Team (IMAT) member for the companies Incident Commanders during major, full-scale events and crises (role of the VP of EP&BR). He oversaw Con Edison’s response to numerous weather events, including major storms (e.g., Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene), and emergencies such as the 9/11 attacks and the 2003 Northeast Blackout. He was also responsible for the implementation and continuous improvement of the ICS leading and supporting the enterprise through not only major storm restorations and other electric/gas/steam system events, but also a labor strike contingencies and business continuity/pandemic events. This involved both drilling/exercising for such events as well as response to actual events As the company’s lead emergency response liaison, he worked closely with federal, state, and local agencies from both the response, coordination as well as from the emergency planning perspective through drilling and exercising (both joint, individually or observation/evaluation). As the continuous improvement leader in the application of ICS in the Utility industry, He has worked on numerous exercises with federal agencies such as GridEx and Clear Path exercises for all types of events including major storm restoration, earthquake/tsunami events, cyber events and physical attacks.

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Dr. David Wild
Board Member

Dr. David Wild is a leader in the fields of data science, informatics and crisis technologies. He led one of the largest and most innovative graduate data science programs in the country at Indiana University, and has over 25 years' experience in data science and computing in industry and academic roles as well as extensive experience in emergency management and emergency medical services.

In his role as Professor in the Luddy School at Indiana University, Bloomington, David has seen the growth of the graduate Data Science program to over 600 students including highly innovative online and residential curricula that are helping define the field. His teaching includes training informatics students in the intersection of technology and disasters and emergency response, and graduate data science students in real-world project skills. He has published research in fields as diverse as pharmaceutical drug discovery, crisis and emergency response, and data science practice and process, with over 100 research publications in total. He founded the Integrative Data Science Laboratory (ISDL) and the Crisis Technologies Innovation Laboratory (CTIL), bringing in over $15m in academic research funding. He is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and is trained in Emergency Management.

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Danny Zaragoza
Board Member

Daniel Zaragoza is a retired utility executive with over 40 years of extensive electric operations experience, specializing in electric transmission and distribution operations, emergency management and fire risk mitigation.

Prior to retiring in early 2017, Zaragoza was Director of Emergency Management for San Diego Gas & Electric, one of Sempra Energy’s regulated California utilities serving 3.6 million customers in San Diego and Southern Orange Counties. In this role, Zaragoza was responsible for managing and executing the utility’s response to major emergencies that had the potential to cause severe customer and infrastructure impacts to the gas and electric system in San Diego – the second largest city in the state of California.

Zaragoza managed both the Fire Coordination and Meteorological teams to ensure operational decisions were made using data and expertise from weather and fire mitigation experts. As part of the company’s commitment to keeping the communities it serves safe, Zaragoza was instrumental in developing one of the most comprehensive and robust fire risk mitigation programs in the industry designed to improve grid resiliency. This included significant strategic investments to fire-harden the power grid, increase situational awareness, update operating protocols and enhance the region’s ability to respond to wildfires. Under his leadership, Zaragoza launched the Meteorology team which continues to play a critical role in identifying mitigating solutions to the challenges of a dramatically changing climate.

Zaragoza has an extensive background in the electric sector, a rapidly changing industry that is currently undergoing a major transformation as power providers try to meet stringent state goals to reach renewable energy mandates. As a former director of electric distribution operations, Zaragoza managed a power grid serving millions of people, pioneered the launch of technologies and programs that would enhance employee and public safety, reliability and help reduce climate and weather-related risks and vulnerabilities, such as wildfire. Under his leadership, SDG&E was recognized as a best-in-class, award-winning reliability program enhancing customer satisfaction.

During his tenure, Zaragoza helped lay the foundation for a more resilient grid by partnering with the public and private sectors, academia and government agencies to accelerate investments in technologies, practices, and policies. Some examples include the development and deployment of America’s largest utility-owned weather network, deploying major capital projects, and working to become the first utility in the nation to obtain FAA approval to test fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) in select test areas.

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