KEMA Awards 2013

KEMA Awards 2013

Outstanding Service

Outstanding Service Award is presented to individuals/groups inside or outside the Association, who have put forth significant effort either during a specified period of service, or for a specific action or accomplishment, which furthers the aim of the Association and is beyond mere performance of regular duties.

2013 Nominations for Outstanding Service:
National Weather Service-Dodge City
Ray German, William Newton Hospital, Winfield KS
Shannon Mongeau & Darlene Rose Stierlen, Great Plains Regional Animal Response Team
Vanessa Pearce, National Weather Service-Wichita

Vanessa Pearce2013 Outstanding Service Award Recipient:
Vanessa Pearce, National Weather Service-Wichita

Saline County Emergency Management and several community partners have been working with Vanessa since February 2011 on several projects aimed toward the non-English speaking population, starting with revising some publications on weather safety.

Vanessa has attended annual Storm Spotter presentations to personally meet with some community members that had been part of the project on how to educate others on storm safety.

She was invited to attend Emergency Preparedness team meetings and work closer with members of the City of Salina Human Relations Department to bring more awareness of severe weather and safety measures for the non-English speaking populations.

Vanessa has been working on a Safety Video aimed towards non-English speakers in Salina County communities. It is almost complete and will be a valuable resource.

She is working on these projects while still doing duties at Wichita NWS and working on her Master’s Degree. 

Vanessa has a great passion for sharing her knowledge of weather with others and wants to reach all people so they can be education on the natural hazards we face in Kansas.


Life Member

Life Member Awards are presented to members who have significantly contributed to the purposes of the association over a period of years

Charlene MillerLife Member Recipient:
Charlene Miller, Butler County 

Charlene started with Butler County Emergency Management in 2002. She had no emergency services background but was eager to learn and experiment with the job she had fallen in love with.  Charlene achieved a leadership status among her peers that belied her youth and spoke of experience, knowledge and an uncanny ability to bring everyone together for a common goal. 

She has numerous disaster responses under her belt and molded these lessons into her exercise design and classes she taught.

Charlene was extremely active in KEMA, serving as Secretary and South Central Vice President. 

In 2013 she was recruited, and hired, as 4-H Youth Agency for K-State Extension Service in Butler County.  She is using her knowledge and experience to teach a whole new generation about preparedness and planning for disasters and emergencies.


Randy Reinecker Instructor of the Year

Randy Reinecker Instructor of the Year Award is presented in recognition of an instructor who has performed exemplary service in providing emergency management related education and training programs. This award was named after long time McPherson County Emergency Management Coordinator Randy Reinecker, one of the first local coordinators to provide training for Kansas Emergency Management and who traveled extensively throughout the State of Kansas training emergency managers and other emergency responders to better protect their communities and the State of Kansas.

Dustin Nichols, Shawnee County Emergency Management

Dustin Nichols2013 Randy Reinecker Instructor of the Year Award Recipients:
Dustin Nichols, Shawnee County Emergency Management

Classes instructed: Homeland Security Exercise & Evaluation Program (HSEEP) 2 times; Incident Command System (ICS) 300 5 times and ICS 400 five times; Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Academy multiple sessions within Shawnee County, Terrorism Awareness 1 session at the KDEM Preparedness Conference 2012, Exercise Design at the KDEM Preparedness Conference 2013.

Dustin has provided in excess of 211 hours of instruction for agencies in Shawnee County and across the state. He is one of the most requested instructors from the KDEM Training Cadre. Dustin utilizes his experience in law, fire and military in his training making the information relevant to his students.

This past year has been a rebuilding year for the KDEM Training Cadre. Dustin has not only assisted in the presentation but has also assisted in recruiting a number of instructors from a variety of service backgrounds (Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement & Military) to assist in rebuilding a strong cadre with a diverse background to meet the needs of all Kansas Emergency Agencies.


Leon H Mannell Outstanding Emergency Management Support Professional

Leon H Mannell Outstanding Emergency Management Support Professional is presented in recognition of an individual who provides critical support, or behind the scene services vital to the success of an Emergency Management organization, and that are above and beyond routine responsibilities. This award was renamed the Leon H Mannell Award to honor a former RADEF Officer of the Kansas Division of Emergency Preparedness.

Sue Cooper, Salina Regional Health Center/North Central Hospital Region Coordinator
Kirby Stokes & John Smith, Allen County CERT Coordinators

John Smith2013 Leon H Mannell Outstanding Emergency Management Support Professional Award Recipient:
John Smith & Kirby Stokes, Allen County CERT Coordinators 

John Smith started in 2001 with the Neighborhood Watch Program. He moved to Arkansas where he became certified as CERT Water Patrol. John moved back in 2009 and continued his involvement as a volunteer for numerous organizations.

Kirby Stokes, a lifelong resident of Allen County, started volunteer work in 2001 as a volunteer firefighter for rural fire department in Allen County.

In 2010 Kirby and John teamed with Allen County Emergency Management to start a CERT Program. They graduated from the program in 2010 and have assisted in training & supervising 24 CERT members (as of 2012). 

Allen County Emergency Management acquired an ambulance in 2011 for CERT to use for deployments. Both Kirby & John donated countless hours and monetary donations to outfit the ambulance as a mobile rehab unit for all responders. The MIRV is equipped with everything needed to sustain Allen County CERT as well as responders on an emergency scene. 

In 2012 CERT team members were deployed a total of 1498 hours including the 3 day King of America Race and wildfires covering approximately 5200 acres. John & Kirby were in charge of CERT at each event. Both men support the local weather spotter program putting in numerous hours and are also certified amateur radio operators, playing a large part in communications for emergency management as well as being back up for Allen County if needed.

July & August 2012 Allen County experienced an overwhelming amount of wildfires due to drought conditions. During an August 23rd wildfire John, Kirby & the MIRV responded along with deploying all CERT members. CERT eventually pulled back to man the staging area. John & Kirby were put in charge of check in, resource ordering, and tracking & accountability. This fire ended up recording over 222 equipment hours with 113 responders from 20 different agencies. During this time another wildfire was reported in the southeast part of the county threatening a resident and nearby tank batteries. This fire had 14 units respond with 28 personnel. John & Kirby split CERT resources and were able to maintain both scenes putting in approximately 12 hours that day assisting the first responders.

John & Kirby have devoted their time to the emergency management program and life safety of Allen County citizens.

Kirby Stokes passed away on August 20, 2013. His wife, Peggy and son, Quinton Stokes, accepted the award in honor of Kirby. 


Col Mahlon G Weed Outstanding New Emergency Management Professional

Col Mahlon G Weed Outstanding New Emergency Management Professional is presented to an individual who has served 24 months or less in the position and has made specific accomplishments and/or improvements in the local program. This award was renamed to honor Col Mahlon G Weed, former Deputy Director of Kansas Division of Emergency Preparedness

Jolan Csukas

Jolan Csukas, Cowley County Emergency Management

2013 Col Mahlon G Weed Outstanding New Emergency Management Professional Award Recipient:
Jolan Csukas, Cowley County Emergency Management

Jolan was instrumental in the development and implementation of several major projects and programs.  When she learned of the availability of the NOAA Weather Radio grant she led the effort to apply for the grant and developed the idea to solicit a local match from area businesses. Over 200 radios were distributed to residents during several preparedness presentations conducted throughout the county.

With the loss of future Citizen Corps funding for groups within Cowley County Jolan led the charge to develop CCERV, a 501 c3 umbrella organization to serve as a funding source for the four (4) key agencies in the county, which secures a potential funding source for years to come.

Jolan was also the driving force behind the County Animal Response Team (CART) for Cowley County, recruiting members and providing support.

She has also been an advocate for personal preparedness using Cowley County Emergency Management’s social media incorporating interesting tie ins with amusing holidays (National Cheesecake Day, Mosquito Day, etc).


Owen U Turrentine Emergency Management Professional of the Year

Owen U Turrentine Emergency Management Professional of the Year is presented in recognition of an Emergency Management professional and leader who exemplifies the ideals of professional public service and has met professional certification requirements. This award was renamed to honor Owen U Turrentine, former operations coordinator with Kansas Division of Emergency Preparedness

Rex Beemer, Gray County Emergency Management
Don Button, Grant County Emergency Management
John Crosby, Sedgwick County Emergency Management
Bill Ring, Ellis County Emergency Management
Jillian Rodrigue, Douglas County Emergency Management

Jillian Rodrigue2013 Owen U Turrentine Award Recipients:
Jillian Rodrigue, Douglas County Emergency Management

Jillian started with Douglas County Emergency Management in 2007 and continues working to better herself, her department, and emergency management throughout the state.

She has exhibited exceptionally high standards and professionalism during disaster response. Jillian had only been two (2) weeks into the job when she volunteered to assist in Greensburg.

She is the program manager for the North East Incident Management Team (IMT) maintaining applications, rosters, databases and deployment of members.

Within Douglas County Jillian has assisted with the 2007 flooding, 2008 tornado, 2008 Final Four/Championship, 2009 winter storm, 2010 severe thunderstorm, 2011 snow/blizzard, 2012 tornado, 2012 Final Four/Championship, 2013 significant show, and numerous deployments of the mobile command vehicle.

Jillian has helped build strong partnerships with Lawrence, Eudora, Baldwin City, Lecompton and Douglas County. 

She assisted Lawrence Public Schools rewrite their Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) and was a great resource helping audit tornado shelters and providing input on safety & security, etc.

Jillian revamped training and education programs for the citizens of Douglas County utilizing her meteorology background.

She has increased Douglas County Emergency Management’s involvement in the community with weather presentations, building walk-throughs, various symposiums, exercises, and media interviews.

With Jillian’s emphasis on training and education she is always working toward the goal of obtaining new materials to ensure the community has updated information.

Jillian has revitalized the volunteer program in Douglas County, taught weather safety at Lawrence Police Department’s Kids Camp, and she coordinates the annual Severe Weather Symposium.

Jillian is a valuable asset to KEMA with her knowledge of the Cvent program, and is currently the Chair of the Scholarship Committee and North East Region Vice President.