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Board of Directors
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EMAT Board of Directors

The EMAT Board of Directors consists of twenty (20) members; 14 regional members, five at large members and one corporate member. The EMAT Executive Committee is selected from the current Board of Directors.

EMAT Executive Committee

Kevin Starbuck, CEM, TEM, CPM - President

Kevin Starbuck is currently the Assistant City Manager of Community Services for the City of Amarillo. Over the course of the last 20 plus years, Starbuck has worked as a leader in both local government and federal government contractor emergency management programs with the City of Amarillo and M&O contractor at the U.S. Department of Energy Pantex Plant. Starbuck remains active in supporting the interjurisdictional emergency management program for the City of Amarillo, Potter County, and Randall County.

Starbuck has served on the EMAT Board of Directors since 2011 representing Region 5 and served as the Sergeant at Arms from 2013-2015 and Vice President from 2015 to 2017. Starbuck is an active member of the Panhandle Regional Emergency Management Advisory Committee (PREMAC) and has served as Chairman of PREMAC since 2012. In addition, Starbuck has served on a number of local, regional, state, and federal committees and advisory boards representing and promoting emergency management.

Starbuck is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security with a Masters in Security Studies (Homeland Defense & Security). His thesis titled “Moral Hazard: How the National Flood Insurance Program is Limiting Risk Reduction” is available through the Homeland Security Digital Library. In addition, Starbuck has received a Certificate in Homeland Security through Texas A&M University, Bush School of Government & Public Service and a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Administration and Planning from the University of North Texas. Starbuck is a Certified Emergency Manger (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers, a Certified Texas Emergency Manager (TEM) through the Emergency Management Association of Texas, and a Certified Public Manager (CPM) through the State of Texas.

Starbuck is active in his community, supporting charitable and service organizations, and serving as a leader in his church. Starbuck resides in Amarillo, Texas with his wife Kara and their two sons, Jack and William.

Francisco Sanchez - Vice President

Francisco Sanchez is liaison and public information officer for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM). HCOHSEM is responsible for disaster preparedness and response in the nation’s third largest county.

Sanchez joined Harris County in 2004 and was lead public information officer during the local response to both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. He led the region’s Joint Information Center operations during Hurricane Ike and the highly active 2008 hurricane season.  In 2013 he was appointed to the Communications Security Reliability and Interoperability Council, an advisory committee to the Federal Communications Commission offering guidance on key issues such as next generation 9-1-1 technology, alerts and warnings and cyber security.

In 2015, Sanchez was named Public Official of the Year by the University of Houston and in November 2013 he was featured as Emergency Management Magazine’s Major Player for his work on emergency public information and proposal for a national dialogue on the topic.

Sanchez is an advocate of integrating emergency public information and Joint Information Center concepts into local emergency response efforts. He has been a featured speaker on these topics at the National Hurricane Conference, National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas Homeland Security Conference, Emergency Management Magazine road show, the National All-Hazard Incident Management Team Training & Education Conference, Texas State Firemen’s and Fire Marshal’s Conference and other forums.

Sanchez is a member of the highly regarded San Jacinto Type-III All Hazards Incident Management Team, one of only 18 such teams sanctioned by the state for deployment as ordered by the Texas governor.  He was a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Practitioner Working Group, which set the groundwork for the Wireless Emergency Alerts network that improved the nation’s public warning system.  As a member of the Houston Area Urban Area Security Initiative Regional Collaboration Committee, he works to build consensus on a variety of measures critical to local preparedness and response capabilities.  Membership organizations include the National Association of Government Communicators, International Association of Emergency Managers, Texas Municipal Information Officers and others.

Sanchez is a graduate of the University of Houston and has served on boards and leadership groups of numerous local and national organizations. Currently is serves on the boards of Houston Achievement Place and the Spay Neuter Assistance Program.  Sanchez is a member of the Ponderosa Volunteer Fire Department and serves on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Ticket Services Committee.   He received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2010 and 2011 Emerging Leaders Award from Big City Emergency.

Dee Harrison, CEM, TEM, MCP - Treasurer

Dee Harrison has more than a decade of experience in the field of emergency management and is currently the Branch Manager of the Disaster Behavioral Health Services Unit at Texas Health and Human Services. Prior to moving to that position, she was the Senior Planner at the Texas Animal Health Commission. She was the Emergency Management Specialist for the Williamson County Office of Emergency Management. She also served as the Supervisor of the Homeland Security Policy and Plans Unit at the Texas Division of Emergency Management, where she was responsible for State and local emergency planning, the Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources program, and developing and delivering a variety of emergency management training courses. She was the State Donations Management Coordinator and State Voluntary Agency Liaison and was deployed to the FEMA Joint Field Offices in El Paso and Waco in those capacities following federally declared disasters. Dee served in a variety of positions during numerous SOC tropical storm and hurricane activations and exercises.

Dee earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Sam Houston State University, majoring in Criminal Justice. Before engaging in emergency management, she worked at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Parole Division from Warrant Officer to Internal Review to managing curriculum development and pre-service and post service training and as a Pre-Sentence Investigator for both the Travis and Williamson County Adult Probation Departments. She is a Certified Texas Emergency Manager (TEM©), a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM®), a Master Continuity Practitioner (MCP) and currently serves on the EMAT Board of Directors.

Cindy Mohat, CEM, TEM - Secretary

Cindy Mohat is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State where she was credentialed with a Life Time Teaching Certification in Geography, Earth Science, and Geology.  She taught school for fourteen years in the state’s public school system.  Wanting to challenge herself and make a career change, she obtained a degree from the University of North Texas Emergency Administration and Disaster Planning program and for seventeen years has practiced Emergency Management at the local, county, state and federal levels. 

At the local level she was a specialist for the city of Dallas.  Responsibilities included school liaison, Plans Section Chief, mitigation planner, Incident Command System planner and trainer.  At the county level in Pitkin County, Colorado she created the first planning documents in response, was the Incident Command System training coordinator and trainer, responded to several incidents and was assigned the role of Resource Status, Situation Report Unit, and Deputy Planning Section Chief.  As a state of Colorado regional coordinator responsible for thirteen counties, she coordinated response efforts during disasters, interfaced with county judges, supported planning efforts in each county, facilitated Homeland Security Grant processes, and trained Incident Command System to responders.  At the federal level, she participated as a Disaster Assistance Employee on four major disasters in all functions of the Planning Section.  Her volunteer efforts include Medical Reserve trainer and participant, Citizen Emergency Response Team Train-the-Trainer, Point of Dispensing trainer, United Way representative for the city of Dallas and Co-Vice Chair for the Community Needs Assessment Committee.

Adding new depth to her experience for the last seven years, she has been the University of Texas at Arlington’s Emergency Management Coordinator and Business Continuity Planner. She has coordinated and facilitated hazard and security assessments on campus; responded to incidents; written disaster plans, exercised different scenarios and trained first responders in the Incident Command System.  

Billy Ted Smith - Sergeant at Arms

Billy Ted Smith is the Emergency Program Manager of Jasper, Newton, and Sabine Counties whose duties include Emergency Management Coordinator, Floodplain Administrator, Homeland Security Director and HazMat Officer.

Smith serves as the President of the Jasper/Newton/Sabine LEPC, the President of the East Texas Mutual Aid Association and Chair of the Deep East Texas Regional Emergency Managers.

He previously retired from ExxonMobil Corporation as Process Supervisor and has held other positions in the past as Environmental Specialist, HazMat Specialist, Safety and Conservation Training and Special Projects.

Billy was Treasurer and on the Board of the Texas Gulf Coast Emergency Management Association (now merged with EMAT) and received the Lou Harrell Award.  He served previously as Director of EMAT and is a member of IAEM.  He serves on the TDEM EMPG Steering Committee.

Billy Ted has over 27 years of Emergency Management experienced.

Jeb B. Lacey, CEM, TEM - Immediate Past President

Jeb B. Lacey, TEM, CEM is the President of RS Network Consulting, LLC, a crisis and emergency management consultancy.  From 2008 to 2014, he also served as Emergency Management Coordinator for the Victoria County Office of Emergency Management.

Prior to coming to Texas, Jeb was an active-duty Non-commissioned Officer responsible for the Emergency Management Operations Section at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. 

Elected to the Board of Directors in 2011, Jeb has served as President of the Board since 2013.  As President, he has led efforts to document policy and procedure, improve EMAT's communication with the membership, and increase visibility with state and federal legislators.

In service to EMAT, he has chaired the Public-Private Partnership Committee and Conference Committee, and been a member of the Communications Committee and Legislative Committee.

He currently serves at EMAT's representative to the Texas Private Sector Advisory Council, on the International Association of Emergency Manager's Public-Private Partnership Caucus, and on the International Disaster Conference and Expo's Executive Advisory Board.

Jeb has a Bachelor of Arts from American Military University, and is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and a Texas Certified Emergency Manager (TEM).

EMAT General Board of Directors

Niki L. Bender - At Large

Emergency Management Coordinator

Galveston Office of Emergency Management

601 54th Street

Galveston, Texas 77551

Phone:  (281) 765-3710


Office Expires:  2019

Steve Rosa - At Large
Emergency Management Coordinator
Brazoria County Office of Emergency Management
111 East Magnolia Street
Angleton, Texas 77515
Office # 979-864-1801
Cell # 979-481-1690
Office Expires:  2019

Maria Galvez - At Large

Emergency Management Coordinator

City of Katy

1417 Avenue D

Katy, Texas 77493

Phone:  (281) 574-8633

Fax (281) 3916515


Office Expires:  2019


Dee Harrison, CEM, TEM, MCP - 

At Large

Branch Manager, Disaster Behavioral Health Services

Behavioral Health Services

Phone: 512-206-5516

Work iPhone: 512-913-1012


Office Expires:  2017

Christopher A. Boyce - Region 3
Emergency Management Coordinator
Nueces County – Office of County Judge Loyd Neal
361-888-0513 office Office Expires: 2019
Cindy Mohat, CEM, TEM - Region 1
Emergency Management Coordinator
University of Texas at Arlington
700 S. Davis St.
Arlington, Texas 76019
Phone:  (817) 272-0117
Fax:  (817) 272-5190
Office Expires: 2017
Patrice Reisen-Hicks, CEM, TEM, MCP -
Region 6

Emergency Management Coordinator
University of Texas System
220 West 7th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
Office: (512) 322-3740
Office Expires: 2017

Patrick Repman - Region 4
District Chief/Deputy EMC
Midland Fire Department
P.O. Box 1152
Midland, Texas 79702
Phone: (432) 685-7337
Fax: (432) 686-1669
Office Expires: 2019
Gary E. Wolfe - Region 4
Emergency Management Coordinator
Upton County
P.O. Box 70
1000 N Rankin St
Rankin, Texas 79778
Phone: (432)693-2042
Fax: (432)693-2333
Office Expires: 2019
Francisco Sanchez - Region 2
Liaison to the Director and Public Information Officer
Harris County Office of Homeland Security & EM
6922 Old Katy Road
Houston, Texas 77024
Phone: (713) 881-3100
Fax: (713) 881-3077
Office Expires: 2019
Billy Ted Smith - Region 2
Program Manager/Coordinator
Jasper, Newton, Sabine Counties Emergency Management
P.O. Box 2030
Buna, TX, 77612
Phone: (409) 994-2543
Fax: (409) 994-9847
Office Expires: 2017

Wendy Smith - Region 7
Office Expires: 2017

Courtney Ring Smith, CEM - Corporate Representative
Director of Development
Hagerty Consulting
Phone: (202) 887-6900
Office Expires: 2017
Kevin Starbuck, CEM, TEM - Region 5
Assistant Manager of Community Services for the City of Amarillo
P.O. Box 1971
Amarillo, TX 79105-1971
Phone: (806) 378-3077
Fax: (806) 378-9366
Office Expires: 2019

Susana Thorne - Region 6

Emergency Manager

Lower Colorado River Authority

3700 Lake Austin Blvd.

Austin, Texas 78703

Phone:  (512) 730-6833

Fax:  (512) 473-3295

Email:  Susana.Thorne@LCRA.ORG

Office Expires:  2019


Christopher A. Boyce - Region 3
Emergency Management Coordinator
Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal
901 Leopard St. Suite 303
Corpus Christi, TX 78401
361-888-0513 Office
361-888-0445 Fax
Office Expires: 2019

Brenda Vermillion, TEM - Region 5
Emergency Management Coordinator
Carson County Emergency Management
P.O. Box 116
Panhandle, TX, 79068
Phone: (806) 537-5395
Fax: (806) 537-3724
Office Expires: 2017

George P Garrett, Jr. - Region 7
Emergency Management Coordinator
Cities of Donna and Mercedes, TX
956-454-1098 Office
Office Expires: 2019

Chief Nim Kidd, TEM
State Coordinator
Governor's Division of Emergency Management
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX, 78773
Phone: (512) 424-2443

Jim Coles - Coles Management Services
Executive Director
2502 Pace Bend Road South
Spicewood, TX 78669
Phone: 512) 589-0675

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