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Kansas Emergency
Management Association

KEMA Awards 2023

Outstanding Service Award

Winner: Natasha Cundy, KCEM

Throughout Natasha’s career, she has consistently demonstrated a high principle of community preparedness, professional expertise, and commitment to the safety of our local citizens.

Natasha has played a vital role as the KCEM recertification chair, overseeing, and streamlining the recertification process for emergency management professionals. Her attention to detail, thoroughness, and commitment to maintaining the highest standard for professional certification has significantly contributed to our association’s continued growth and excellence.

Natasha has made significant efforts in raising awareness and enhancing community preparedness through numerous weather presentations, CERT, and ICS trainings. Her ability to effectively communicate complex information clearly and engagingly has empowered our local citizens to make informed decisions during severe weather events, ultimately saving lives and minimizing property damage.

Natasha’s proudest achievement is the successful launch of the “Adopt a Siren” program. This innovative initiative revolutionized our community’s approach to warning systems and demonstrated Natasha’s visionary leadership.

Beyond her specific accomplishments, Natasha consistently embodies the ideals of professionalism, integrity, and selflessness that are the hallmark of an outstanding emergency management professional. Her willingness to go above and beyond their duties, her tireless efforts to support and uplift her colleagues, and their unwavering commitment to the well-being of our community make her a true role model and inspiration to others in the field.



  • Natasha Cundy, Saline County Emergency Management
  • Ryan Husted, National Weather Service - Goodland
  • Melissa McCoy, Saline County Health Department
  • Nicole Perez, Barber County Emergency Management

Winner: Ryan Husted, National Weather Service - Goodland

Ryan and the entire Goodland National Weather Service Team are exceptional in the service they provide to the region. They are always eager and ready to assist in whatever capacity that is needed and have always provided professional service when assisting with weather-related events.

When emergency managers are just getting started, Ryan and his team have been busy keeping a watchful eye on all weather-related events to keep us safe and providing local updates for various activities from outdoor community events to include county fairs, sporting events, local county exercise support and host Spring Storm Spotters classes from basic spotting to advanced spotting.

Ryan and his team take their mission seriously, they are continually seeking out different ways to provide weather information for everyone; the I-70 Visitors Center is an example of this outreach service. He strives to build solid working relationships with all partners by offering training, classes, informational webinars, and tabletop exercises.

The Goodland National Weather Service provides coverage to three states: Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. During significant weather events, they have provided real time updates with storm impacts, threats, and general information through a live webinar feed. This type of information and professional integrity are invaluable to the responder world. Ryan goes above and beyond what is expected.


Winner:  Eddie Aldrine, Nemaha County Emergency Management

Eddie has demonstrated exceptional dedication and outstanding achievements in improving outreach, fostering collaboration, and enhancing preparedness and response capabilities in Nemaha County, Kansas. Under his leadership, Nemaha County has witnessed remarkable progress in community engagement and stakeholder involvement. Recognizing the significance of preparedness, he has tirelessly worked to engage stakeholders, citizens, and emergency services agencies, ensuring they are well-equipped and informed to respond effectively to disasters. One notable accomplishment is Eddie’s collaboration with regional and state partners to enhance the county's readiness for possible fallout from a nuclear power plant.

Eddie has been proactive in attending various training opportunities and exercises throughout the state including a large-scale exercise with the Kansas Incident Support Team. He has created an exercise planning committee to assist him in developing and conducting exercises.

Eddie has been repairing relationships between citizens, local first responders, KDEM, and Nemaha County Emergency Management. This is evident in the resurrection of the Nemaha County LEPC and citizen involvement. Eddie exemplifies the true spirit of collaboration and support for fellow emergency managers in neighboring communities. He consistently reaches out to them before and after severe weather events, offering assistance and sharing knowledge and resources. Only 11 days on the job, he assisted Marshall County Emergency Management after a handful of tornadoes hit the area. His selfless dedication and genuine concern for the welfare of others serve as a testament to his exceptional character.

Eddie is an active member of the Northeast Kansas Healthcare Coalition, the Northeast Kansas Regional Homeland Security Council and Northeast KEMA. Many in the Northeast KEMA region have recognized the outstanding work Eddie has done to build the Nemaha County Emergency Management Department. And we aren't the only ones, he will soon have the responsibility of creating safety and security measures and training for staff as he adds another title to become the Nemaha County Government Safety and Security Manager.



  • Marcy Hostetler, KCEM, Marion County Emergency Management
  • Matt Matheis, KCEM, University of Kansas
  • Michelle Weis, KCEM, Saline County Emergency Management

Winner: Marcy Hostetler, KCEM, Marion County Emergency Management 

In 2022, she stepped into the role of Emergency Management Director for Marion County. She fully embraced the role and strived to learn everything she could from other seasoned Emergency Managers in her area because she wanted to do the job to the best of her ability.

Marcy has developed a culture of collaboration in Marion County, and successfully brought ALL ofthe Emergency Services together for the first time in decades. She has brought new life into the LEPC Meetings in Marion County that have added speakers on topics that need addressed and tours of various facilities within the county. These meetings now have great attendance and participation.

Marcy also shares her time with the Marion County Health Department. She has been very passionate about helping the county’s vulnerable population and works with area kids to get them thinking about safety at an early age through the Safe Kids and the Safe Paths to Schools programs.

Marcy is a huge support on the large wildland fires. She lines up everything ranging from fuel to food while the firefighters are fighting the fires. One Marion County Fire Chief said “Marcy is a very humble person. She has a positive attitude towards everyone working together. She is truly a gem for us County Firefighters.” The Marion County Commission Chairperson shared “There is no way to put this into words until you experience the “Marcy Effect.” Every time you talk to her, you will come away with more energy and optimism than when you first met. Her constant enthusiasm and optimism is infectious!”

2023 Life Members

Garry Berges, KCEM, Geary County Emergency Management 

Garry has been a KEMA member for nearly 20 years. He has served on the KEMA Board, a Member of the Incident Management/Support Teams, was on the ground at Chapman during both Tornadoes, and never turns down a request to help out other jurisdictions when they are impacted.

Garry serves as an invaluable member and mentor on the NEKSHS Regional Council and strives to ensure Northeast Kansas has the best equipment and training possible.

Chance Hayes, National Weather Service - Wichita

Chance Hayes has been a KEMA member since before the current record-keeping started. He has contributed so much the Association and its members, starting with his term as South CentralRegional Vice President in 2007 and 2008.

His job as Warning Coordination Meteorologist for National Weather Service-Wichita has meant that, for many years, Chance has been a regular contributor and presenter to not only the annual KEMA Conference, but to Southcentral and Southeast regional KEMA meetings as well.

Among his many contributions to the EM field, the one he may be most known for is his annual storm spotter training presentation, which he dubbed Storm Fury on the Plains. Chance’s presentations took what, for years, had been a dry, boring requirement, and made it a funny, entertaining and educational class that spotters look forward to each year. The number of EM’s and spotters his programs have reached tallies well into the thousands.

Another major accomplishment was the work he and the Wichita office started in 2005 to move the NWS off ofCounty-Based Warnings and into Storm-Based Warnings and the polygons we all know today. Chance helped push the initiative forward, first through educating the staff on the intricacies of this major operational shift, then through outreach and education of Emergency Managers, and eventually the public when this groundbreaking idea was adopted nationwide in 2008. This has drastically reduced the amount of warning over-shoot and false alarms, leaving us with warnings that the public believe in and take action.

For many years he has been the organizer and the face of the Integrated Weather Team meetings. He would be the first to point out that he had lots of help from the Wichita office and all the other WFO’s that serve the state, but it was Chance at the front of the room who was facilitating these important discussions between EM’s, NWS personnel, and our media partners.

As part of National Teams for the NWS, Chance had a voice in shaping policies and practices that affect EM’sto this day; such things as NWS Chat, Hazard Simplification, and leading the charge, first regionally, then nationally, to change the severe thunderstorm criteria from ¾” to 1” hail. This has helped ease warning fatigue among the general public and made it easier for us to get citizens to pay attention to severe storm warnings. Chance’s loveable personality, combined with his easy Okie drawl, have made him a friend to everyone he’s met in KEMA. Even if his office doesn’t serve your county, everyone knows and respects Chance Hayes. We hope he stays around for many more years, but if he does decide to retire, he will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.

President's Choice Award - Selected by KEMA President Katheen Fabrizius

Winner: Laurie Harrison, KCEM, Riley County Emergency Management

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