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IAEM Emergency Management Awards for Microsoft, GADMC, Randy White and Andrew Friend

The awards will be presented next week at the International Association of Emergency Managers 69th Annual Conference & EMEX, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM)-USA Awards & Recognition Committee of IAEM has announced that the Microsoft Corporation has won the IAEM-USA 2021 Partners in Preparedness Award. 

At the beginning of COVID-19, the Microsoft Corporation aided the Washington State Department of Health (WA DOH). This partnership brought skilled technicians and processes not typically enjoyed by a public organization. Microsoft teams were embedded almost immediately in WA DOH and began meeting seven days a week. These teams assisted in developing public-facing Dashboards which helped manage PPE and vaccine distribution, created a hospital data system (WA Health) within 35-days and registered every hospital in Washington, and partnered with others to create the Vaccine Command and Coordination System (VACCS) which boosted the state’s vaccinations.

In addition, the IAEM-Oceania Awards & Recognition Committee of the IAEM has announced the winner of the IAEM-Oceania 2021 Partners in Preparedness Award. The winner is the Global Animal Disaster Management Conference (GADMC).

The spirit of this event was to reduce the barriers to access to world class expert advice on animal disaster management, and as such was run as a non-profit event by Animal Evac New Zealand, with in-kind administration by a volunteer committee. It relied on the goodwill of presenters to share their experience without charging a fee. They worked to prove through the goodwill of emergency managers, that a world class conference can be delivered for free. This conference has and will further change how animals in disasters are managed around the world. Already GADMC2022 is looking to grow.

The awards will be presented at the Monday Networking Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18, 2021, at the 69th IAEM Annual Conference & EMEX, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Partners in Preparedness Award (Public/Private Partnership) recognizes programs or processes that demonstrate innovative, multi-participant involvement between local governments/governmental entities and private sector businesses, non-governmental organizations/nonprofits, public or private schools, or individuals which have resulted in effective and efficient incident management, emergency management or homeland security processes. The award showcases a public emergency management program and a specific private sector partner whose collaboration made the community more prepared.

The IAEM-USA Awards & Recognition Committee chose Randy White as the winner of the IAEM-USA 2021 Career Excellence Award. This award will also will be presented at the Monday Networking Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18, at the 69th IAEM Annual Conference & EMEX, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

White has guided the City of Simi Valley, California, through many incidents and built an excellent emergency services program. After thirty-one years of service, he left the city well prepared to respond to and recover from all hazards. During his career, he responded to a wide variety of incidents, from a Presidential declaration wildfire to a Presidential funeral. White founded the City of Sima Valley emergency services program based on California’s state emergency management system, and then adapted it when the National Incident Management System was introduced. By partnering with the Ventura County Fire Department to offer Community Emergency Response Team training, he increased the city’s resiliency while also recruiting for the disaster service workers volunteer team he created in 2004. When the 1994 Northridge earthquake destroyed the police station, he designed the new EOC. Additionally, he served as the city’s incident management system expert, training the EOC staff, city manager, city council members and police leadership. White mentored his agency partners, helping them build their programs. He served as a resource to California Emergency Services Association and IAEM members. When a mercury spill occurred in Simi Valley, he presented the lessons learned to the Ventura County Emergency Coordinators Council. White spent his career advancing emergency management through the service he provided others. 

The IAEM-USA Career Excellence Award is awarded to an emergency management practitioner at any level (federal, state, tribal, local, academic, military, and private) as an employee, contractor, academic instructor or researcher, or volunteer who has made significant contributions throughout their career to promote and improve the emergency management profession in the United States.

The IAEM-USA Awards and Recognition Committee has also named Andrew D. Friend, CEM, the IAEM-USA 2021 Emergency Manager of the Year. This award will be presented at the President’s Banquet and Awards Ceremony on October 20 at the IAEM 69th Annual Conference & EMEX, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is being honored for his leadership during COVID-19 response in 2020. 

Friend led the COVID-19 response in two states during the 2020. He was the chief of staff of the State Emergency Operations Center for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency from March through August 2020, before joining the Illinois Department of Public Health as deputy director. In his Illinois position, Friend realigned and conducted quality improvement of the state’s Incident Command System Organizational Chart. Additionally, he identified areas for improvement and executed the improvements to the state Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Receipt, Stage and Store (RSS) warehouse. This occurred before the vaccine roll-out nationally. He oversaw and managed the state’s mass vaccination program and as of Dec. 31, 2020, Illinois led the nation with more than 150,000 vaccinations given. The structure/system that was put in place, led to more than 11.1 million vaccinations given by the end of May 2021. In addition, Friend ran operations/strategic command for the state and worked with the Illinois National Guard to develop the strategy to deploy more than 1,500 troops to 70 of the 102 counties across the state. He also oversaw issuing all missions, which led to the National Guard giving more than 1.7 million vaccinations by the end of May 2021. Finally, Friend built coalitions and brought all local, state, and federal partners to the table, and negotiated and built relationships to execute the states response. 

The Emergency Manager of the Year Award recognizes an emergency management practitioner at any level (federal, state, tribal, local, academic, military, non-government organization, and private) for outstanding contributions to the overall field of emergency management.

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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