EMAT Board of Directors
EMAT Executive Committee
Francisco Sanchez, TEM - 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.
Patrice Reisen-Hicks, CEM, TEM, MCP - Vice President
Patrice Reisen-Hicks began working for the University of Texas System as the Emergency Management Coordinator in January 2013. While working in this position, Patrice has built effective partnerships between the UT institutions, local jurisdictions, and state agencies in order to strengthen emergency management in the State of Texas. With Patrice’s leadership and guidance, UT institutions are active in preparing for and responding to disaster events.
Prior to the University of Texas System, she worked for the Travis County Office of Emergency Management as an Emergency Planner. As an Emergency Planner, she gained significant experience in the areas of grants management, emergency planning, exercises, and business continuity. Her professional experience began in 1996 with the Texas Highway Patrol and she has also held a position with the Texas Division of Emergency Management for three years. During her emergency management career, Patrice has worked responses to several emergencies and declared disasters including Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, and Ike, Tropical Storm Hermine, wildfires during the 2011 drought in Travis County, the 2015 Bastrop County Hidden Pines wildfire, numerous floods and winter storms, the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the UT Austin active shooter incident in 2010, and planned events such as Formula One and the nationally acclaimed Urban Shield Full-Scale Exercise. Most recently, she assisted UT institutions during Hurricane Harvey and was responsible for the systemwide response.
Patrice holds an Associate of Arts degree in Mass Communications and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She is certified as a Master Continuity Practitioner in Business Continuity and as an Incident Command System Instructor. She also holds the Texas Emergency Manager and Certified Emergency Manager designations. Patrice is an active member of the Emergency Management Association of Texas and has served on the Board of Directors since 2013. She currently chairs the Bylaws Committee and serves on the Membership & Marketing and Symposium Committees.
Dee Harrison, CEM, TEM, MCP - Treasurer
Dee was the previous Disaster Behavioral Health Services Manager with IDD and Behavioral Health Services at HHSC. She and her team prepare and monitor various FEMA disaster-related grants and coordinate the provision of behavioral health services to mitigate the adverse psychological impact of emergencies, incidents, and disasters on survivors and emergency responders.
Prior to HHSC, she was the Senior Planner at the Texas Animal Health Commission where she was responsible for developing agency, local, state, and federal-level planning documents, guidance, instructions, and exercises. She served as the Planning Section Chief and Safety Officer during the Joint USDA/Texas Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program along the Texas-Mexico border. Before that, she was the Emergency Management Specialist at the Williamson County Office of Emergency Management, where she oversaw the development and revision of the County’s emergency management plans and coordinated the Emergency Management Performance Grant program. She was the Supervisor of the Homeland Security Policy and Plans Unit of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, where she was responsible for state- and local-level emergency planning, the Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources program. During that time, she served as the State Donations Management Coordinator and the State Voluntary Agency Liaison. Prior to her career in Emergency Management, she worked...
Secretary - Vacant
Billy Ted Smith, TEM- 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.
Kevin Starbuck, CEM, TEM, CPM - Immediate Past 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.