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Dominick Mireles

In April of 2022, Dominick Mireles was appointed director of OEM by Mayor Jim Kenney. Mireles, who has been with OEM for over seven years, previously served as the office’s Deputy Director for Operations. In his new role as OEM Director, Mireles will oversee all aspects of the City’s planning for, response to, and recovery from emergencies, disasters, and complex planned public events, working jointly with other city, state, federal and non-governmental entities in the execution of this mission.

As the Deputy Director for Operations, Dominick provided strategic guidance and oversight to four program areas in the application of an all-hazards emergency management program. These programs included the emergency operations center, information technology, logistics, and the Regional Integration Center.

Dominick also served as OEM’s Logistics Program Manager and the Group Leader for OEM’s Regional Integration Center. In these roles he had primary responsibility for an inventory of emergency vehicles, equipment, supplies, and facilities; lead the logistics planning portion for the City’s emergency plans; coordinated internal training and communications; and served as a project manager for new and sensitive initiatives, including the roll-out of ReadyPhiladelphia.

Prior to joining OEM, Dominick was a Security Operations Supervisor for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts, where he planned and executed the safety and security components of major entertainment and sporting events, as well as response to unplanned incidents. He also supervised the dispatch communications team, which functioned as the nerve center of the complex.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and is currently enrolled in a master’s program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. Mireles also volunteers with Team Rubicon, which mobilizes veterans to help people prepare, respond and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises.



The Operations Division develops and applies technical infrastructure, systems and processes, and equipment to advance the preparedness mission of OEM. Operations contains the physical footprint of OEM and manages the City’s Emergency Operations Center, Regional Integration Center, Mobile Command Post, response vehicle fleet, and warehouse. The division also focuses heavily on incorporating and innovating technology platforms and geospatial data to provide emergency responders and officials with prompt and comprehensive information on incidents. Operations directly supports the work of the Planning and Public Affairs divisions to ensure that emergency plan needs are met with reliable systems and equipment.

Michael Giardina
Deputy Director Operations

Previously as OEM’s Regional Integration Center Program Manager, Michael was responsible for overseeing the staff and operations of the 24/7 emergency management watch center. These efforts include policy development, quality assurance of information products, and developing training and exercise programs all with the goal of strengthening situational awareness processes.

Michael also served as both Homeland Security Planning Coordinator and Regional Integration Center Coordinator with OEM for several years. In these roles, Michael coordinated special event planning efforts, worked with public safety officials on various planning projects, and maintained 24/7 situational awareness in OEM’s 24/7 watch center.

Before joining OEM, Michael worked as an emergency medical technician and EMS operations supervisor with several agencies in New Jersey. In his supervisory positions, Michael oversaw planning and operations for major incident response and special operations. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security and a minor in Political Sciences from Stockton University, and has participated in the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Emergence Program.

Mark Sharper
Information Technology Program Manager

As the Information Technology Manager, Mark plans and oversees all IT efforts within the Office of Emergency Management.  This includes providing technical resources that support the mission during emergency operations.

Prior to joining OEM, Mark served as a Senior Team Lead for the Office of Innovation & Technology. Mark over saw citywide IT projects, trained new technicians, and assisted executive management with all IT requests. Before joining the City of Philadelphia, Mark worked as a Cybersecurity Administrator.

Mark is a Philadelphia native and has received his bachelor’s degree in information technology management from Peirce College.

Rick Stechman
Information Technology Coordinator

Rick Stechman has been with Emergency Management since January 2004. His position with OEM is the IT Coordinator. Rick has over fifteen years’ experience in IT and 33 years experience in electronics. He has been with the City of Philadelphia since May 1995. He started work for the city in the Dept. of Public Property working on the cities radio system. Rick was employed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard from May 1982 till it closed in 1995. At the shipyard, Rick performed repair and overhaul of complex electronic equipment for naval ships. Prior to working at PNSY Rick served in the US Navy maintaining the ships weapons systems.

Justin Friend
Emergency Management Technology Program Manager

Justin developed and enhanced his technical capabilities through years of service in OEM’s Regional Integration Center, Emergency Operations Center, and Mobile Command post in numerous incidents and special event responses. Through this, Justin learned the intricacies of interoperability, technical new user education, and support of complex incidents to forge capabilities uniquely suited for the tasks of the Emergency Management Technical Program Manager. Recently Justin has focused on building stakeholder capability in interoperable communications.

Prior to joining OEM, Justin worked in Upper Merion Township’s Public Information Office overseeing resident outreach campaigns, production of a variety of publications, and emergency notifications to community stakeholders. Justin holds a master’s in Public Administration from Villanova University, as well as a graduate certificate in City Management from the International City/County Management Association.

Philip Plourde
Logistics Program Manager

Philip, a native resident of Philadelphia, oversees OEM’s Logistics Division. In addition to managing the office’s vehicle and deployable equipment, Philip is also responsible for non-standard interdepartmental coordination within the city and aid requests from external partners.

Prior to joining OEM, he served in the Pennsylvania National Guard as an Engineer Officer for over 8 years. He served on multiple state active duty and national response missions, most recently as a deputy base commander supporting logistics support for Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve, and as a company executive officer for Operation Capitol Response II.

In his civilian capacity, Philip worked as a project manager in a Center City Philadelphia high-rise property. There he worked on a variety of capital projects, the building’s fire response plan and with city agencies for elections support. Philip earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics from St. John’s University.

Michael Balan
Logistics Program Coordinator

As a Logistics Program Coordinator, Michael supports emergency and special event logistics for the Office of Emergency Management. In this role, Michael assists in the inventory of emergency vehicles, equipment, supplies, and facilities. He works jointly with other city, state, federal, and non-governmental entities to support public safety operations. Prior to this role, Michael previously worked as a Regional Integration Center Coordinator in OEM’s 24/7 watch center.

Michael graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He also holds an associate’s degree in Aviation Operations from the Community College of the Air Force.

Michael currently serves as a C-5 Loadmaster in the U.S. Air Force Reserve stationed with the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base.

Mary Elizabeth Newsom
Operational Coordination Program Manager

Mary Elizabeth previously served residents in the Philadelphia Area with the America Red Cross for over five years. During that time, she managed teams of volunteers serving in all aspects of Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. She also served in Emergency Humanitarian Disaster Relief Deployments Nationally for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Florence. Before discovering her passion for Emergency Management, she worked as a Law Librarian here in Philadelphia.

M.E. has a master’s degree in Library Science from Drexel University and is a proud alumna of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, where she achieved a B.A. in History with a minor in Music. Though she has lived in several states on the east coast, she considers South Philly to be her home.

Erin Mossop
Alerts and Warning Coordinator

As the Alerts and Warning Coordinator, Erin Mossop is responsible managing the technical and strategic aspects of the public alert and warning systems to protect the public, while working in close consultation with the OEM Regional Integration Center (RIC), OEM Public information programs and other stakeholders.

Erin previously worked in international development with Save the Children where she organized international training workshops for USAID funded food aid programs. Prior to joining the OEM she volunteered with the American Red Cross on the Island of Oahu with the Disaster Response office and the local preparedness organization Ewa Beach Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Erin graduated from Georgetown University with a master’s degree in Emergency Management and has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from American University.

Sara McDonnell
Logistics Planning Coordinator

Sara McDonnell is OEM’s Logistics Planning Coordinator, responsible for development of emergency logistics plans for the city of Philadelphia and its regional partners.

Sara is a native of Ohio with a Bachelors in World Politics, Foreign Policy, & Security from The Ohio State University. She holds masters degrees in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from American Public University.

When not in the office, Sara coaches youth football in Southwest Philadelphia.

Matthew McGill
Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Program Manager

As the Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Program Manager, Matthew is responsible for organizing and executing GIS projects for analysis, mobile field data collection, data development, predictive analytics and data modeling for OEM.

Prior to joining OEM, Matthew worked six years for the U.S. Army as a Geospatial Engineer, Geospatial Engineer Sergeant, and Senior Geospatial Engineer Sergeant. While assigned to the 543 GPC, Army North, Matthew assisted TF-51, JTC-CS, and FEMA in natural disaster response and homeland security. He is currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in GIS.

Vanessa Lyman
Response Planning Program Manager

As Response Planning Program Manager, Vanessa ensures that OEM specific actions identified in citywide emergency operations plans are well documented, trained, and exercised in the field or from the City’s Emergency Operations Center.

Previously she served as OEM’s Emergency Management Liaison Officer Group Leader where she was responsible for coordinating the on scene operational mission, tasked with the coordination and support of emergency response resources.

Vanessa also worked with OEM as a Regional Integration Coordinator and as the Tier II Intern after years of working as an engineering assistant at a helicopter firm. Prior to joining the OEM, Vanessa volunteered in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake and volunteered with the American Red Cross as a dispatch specialist and as a disaster action team member. When not responding to emergency events, Vanessa supports other OEM program areas such as community engagement and planning.

Vanessa graduated from Millersville with a Master’s degree in Emergency Management and has a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture from Philadelphia University.

Daniel Stasson
Emergency Management Liaison Officer

Prior to joining OEM, Dan served in the U.S. Air Force as a Base Defense Operations Controller, Criminal Investigator and Military Liaison Officer for the San Antonio Police Department.  Dan currently serves in the Air National Guard as a RED HORSE member tasked with providing a highly mobile civil engineering response force in support of contingency and special operations worldwide.  Dan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Columbia Southern University.

Arnauld Agbanvo
Emergency Management Liaison Officer

Arnauld began his career at OEM in the Logistics section before being promoted to EMLO. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard. Agbanvo, who is originally from the country of Benin in West Africa, became a U.S. citizen while working at OEM in March of 2021!

Kate Hartigan
Emergency Management Liaison Officer

Prior to joining OEM, Kate worked for the Philadelphia Police Department as a Communications Dispatcher. Kate has also worked in private security offering expertise in building security architecture and design, as well as on site security and surveillance. Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security and Counterterrorism from Southern New Hampshire University and maintains an active certification as a National Registered Emergency Medical Technician.

Virgil Edmonds
Public Health Operations Support Worker

Prior to OEM, Virgil gained valuable expertise in logistics and warehouse operations through his extensive experience in diverse industries. He is a dedicated professional and a proud veteran who served active duty as an Electrician in the U.S. Navy. With a strong commitment to attention to detail, Virgil supports PDPH and OEM operations to ensure the timely delivery of resources. Being a lifelong Philadelphian and passionate Philly sports fan, Virgil possesses a deep-rooted connection to the city and his community. In addition to his professional commitments, he takes pride in being a devoted father and husband.



OEM’s Planning Division leads citywide efforts developing strategies that address the risks posed by natural disasters, accidents, and human-caused incidents. These professionals conduct all-hazards planning and develop programs for health and human services, critical infrastructure protection and homeland security, public works and recovery, and training and exercises. As part of this process, they collaborate with departments and agencies from all levels of government and a range of non-governmental organizations.

Typical projects that OEM planners oversee include how the City handles incidents with mass casualties, mass fatalities, neighborhood and citywide evacuations, debris management, resource recovery, and evaluating public schools for use as emergency shelters.

Carolyn Caton, MS
First Deputy Director

Carolyn Caton is First Deputy Director for OEM and oversees the planning division, an interdisciplinary team focused on emergency coordination, response, and recovery planning across six program areas. She leads emergency management response teams through major incidents, emergency operation center activations, large-scale and National Special Security Events, and presidentially declared major disasters and emergencies. Carolyn regularly collaborates with regional, state, and federal partners, serving as co-chair of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force Emergency Management Workgroup, Chair of the Regional Critical Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Vice Chair for the Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), Delaware Bay, Managing Board.

Prior to her role as First Deputy Director, Carolyn served as Deputy Director for Planning and Infrastructure Program Manager for OEM. Before joining OEM, Carolyn worked for the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and served as a graduate intern for the UNICEF HQ Child Protection in Emergencies Unit. She is a 2018 Drexel University LeBow College of Business Leading for Change Fellow, and a 2012 Monterey Institute for International Studies Frontier Market Scout Fellow.  She holds a Master of Science degree in social work and social enterprise administration from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Emma Giardina
Hazard Mitigation Program Manager

Emma leads Philadelphia OEM’s Hazard Mitigation Program which works closely with numerous local, state, federal, private-sector and community partners to maintain, update, and implement Philadelphia’s All-Hazard Mitigation Plan. She works with other City departments to align priorities and pursue funding to support the implementation of risk reduction projects throughout the City. Emma also serves as a Response Team Leader, leading interagency coordination in the field and in Philadelphia’s Emergency Operation Center (EOC) during emergencies and disasters including the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Remnants of Tropical Storm Ida, and the I-95 bridge collapse.

Emma has held a variety of positions at Philadelphia OEM since 2017, including Infrastructure Program Manager, Hazard Planning Coordinator, and Community Resilience Coordinator. She previously led the three-year planning effort to update Philadelphia’s 2022 All-Hazard Mitigation Plan, which engaged a record number of planning partners. Emma draws on her prior experience as a middle school science teacher to engage, educate, and collaborate with the community and other City partners throughout planning processes. Emma holds a BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Education from Stockton University.

Noah Palau
Hazard Planning Coordinator

As the Hazard Planning Coordinator, Noah is responsible for working with a variety of city, state, and federal partners to develop and coordinate a comprehensive hazard mitigation program for the city. Noah updates and maintains the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan and other hazard-based plans in the Infrastructure Program.
Previously, Noah worked on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure planning projects as a transportation planning intern at the City of Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS).

Before working for the city, Noah worked for the University Ambulance Service at Penn State as an EMT and completed two internships for the Federal Highway Administration- Eastern Federal Lands division focusing on construction management/inspection and highway design.
Noah currently holds a master’s degree in City Planning with a concentration in sustainable transportation and infrastructure from the University of Pennsylvania and two bachelor’s degrees in Civil Engineering and Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University.

Ajay Persaud
Infrastructure Program Manager

Ajay leads Philadelphia OEM’s Infrastructure Program which works closely with numerous local, state, federal, and community partners to address critical infrastructure hazards and needs across the city. In this role, he leads efforts to develop and implement infrastructure-related emergency preparedness plans, ensuring the city is ready to respond to a variety of potential disasters and incidents.

Before joining OEM, Ajay served as a Climate & Crisis Preparedness Senior Program Associate at the National Network of Public Health Institutes, where he supported key programmatic work in environmental public health and climate & crisis preparedness. Ajay also has experience as an Emergency Medical Technician across the Northeast Region, bringing valuable hands-on emergency response and healthcare experience to his current role.

Ajay holds a Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science with a minor in Emergency Health Services from The George Washington University, Milken School of Public Health.

Zorina Morton
Infrastructure Planning Coordinator

As the Infrastructure Planning Coordinator, Zorina is responsible for a range of activities including researching and reviewing best practices related to citywide disaster planning and operations. She also develops and updates comprehensive response plans for a variety of citywide emergency plans, including, severe weather, damage assessment, debris management, and utility disruptions.

Prior to joining OEM, Zorina was employed at a pharmaceutical company as a Quality Assurance Inspector to track Covid- 19 vaccine quality assurance metrics and meet reporting requirements set by State and Government contracts.

Zorina is a Philadelphia native with a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Administration with an emphasis in Public Health degree from Mary Baldwin University. She also has a Master of Science degree in Disaster Medicine and Management from Thomas Jefferson University.

Matthew Breidenstein
Regional Preparedness Program Manager

Before joining OEM, for 5 ½ years Matthew worked for the Southeast Region of the American Red Cross as both a Disaster Program Specialist and Manager. In these roles, Matthew managed the day-to-day preparedness, logistics and response activities of the Red Cross within Southeastern Pennsylvania and coordinated Red Cross’s disaster relief operations for small and large-scale disasters. He also acted as a liaison to local emergency managers and community partners. On behalf of the Red Cross, Matthew has deployed to several national disasters as a member of the Red Cross’s Community Engagement and Partnerships team, coordinating with private and non-profit disaster relief organizations to effectively and efficiency’s deliver disaster relief.

Matthew is a proud Alumnus of the University of North Florida where he earned a master’s in public administration with a concentration in non-profit management and bachelor’s degree in political science.

David Natale
Health and Human Services Program Manager

Prior to joining OEM, David worked for over ten years with the American Red Cross here in Philadelphia.  While with the Red Cross, David served in many different capacities, including in the areas of emergency communications, preparedness, response, and recovery.  David is excited to continue his development and experience in these areas while working with Philadelphia’s OEM.  David was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Bucks County.  As the mass care planning coordinator David will be responsible for writing and updating citywide response plans for a variety of mass care related issues such as sheltering, family assistance and reunification centers, emergency preparedness processes, and human services recovery planning.  David has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in business, from Skidmore College.

Sarah Bailey
Mass Care Planning Coordinator

As the Mass Care Coordinator, Sarah Bailey focuses on human services recovery, including planning for emergency sheltering and family assistance centers. Sarah also works to make sure residents with a variety of access and functional needs are included in emergency planning.

Prior to joining OEM, Sarah served as a FEMA Corps Team Leader in Denver, CO. In this role, she helped provide assistance to people affected by major disasters throughout the country. Sarah was also an OEM fellow.  Sarah has a master’s degree in Disaster Science and Management from the University of Delaware.

Adina Karten
Disability and Access and Functional Needs Planning Coordinator

As the Disability and Access and Functional Needs Planning Coordinator, Adina ensures disaster mitigation response is inclusive, with a particular emphasis on planning for those who have access and functional needs. She is responsible for the integration of universal design and social inclusion for all aspects disaster planning.

Adina is a believer in community capacity building, having researched local innovations for inclusion in India, England, Italy and United States previously.  She has worked in inclusion, health advocacy, and development spheres for eight years. During this time, she has written policy, designed social inclusion programs, and implemented interventions to increase resources for those with disabilities. She has contributed to multiple working papers and knowledge documents for the United Nations’ Social Development Division in Asia and the Pacific. Adina currently volunteers as a mentor for GELA Youth Development Center.

Adina holds a Master of Arts in Poverty and Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Sociology.

Shakira Blackwell
Regional Disaster Housing Planning Coordinator

As the Regional Disaster Housing Planning Coordinator, Shakira focuses on emergency housing planning for residents who are displaced from their homes. This includes working to develop short-term housing options for these vulnerable populations.

Shakira served in different capacities before coming to OEM, including in housing coordination for those living with HIV/AIDS with non-profit agencies within this region. She was raised in Northeast Philadelphia and holds a master’s degree in public health policy and administration from Capella University.

Gary Spector
Homeland Security Program Manager

As the Homeland Security Program Manager, Gary is responsible for developing plans and aiding in the development of security protocols, guidelines and policies that promote interoperability, situational awareness, and common operating protocols. Gary also participates in the planning, operations and assessment of large special events or mass gatherings.

Before joining OEM, Gary served on active duty with the Israel Defense Force (IDF) in the 900th Kfir Brigade, 92nd Samson Battalion. After concluding his military service, Gary returned to the U.S. and earned a BA in Government Studies from Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster City, Pennsylvania. During his time in Lancaster, he was a Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician. After graduating, he joined New York City Emergency Management Department working as a logistics ground support planner.

Sean Grasso-McClain
Homeland Security Planning Coordinator

As the Homeland Security Planning Coordinator, Sean focuses on Special Events planning and risk mitigation through the development of security protocols and interagency coordination. Sean prepares and briefs local and regional partners on threat assessments and disaster response plans in order to maximize public safety and continuity of operations.  Sean serves as an Officer in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard with the 876th Engineer Battalion and as Decontamination Officer of the CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package, a group that responds to disasters throughout FEMA region 3.  Sean graduated from Allegheny College with a bachelor’s degree in Biophysics with a focus in biomedical research.

Joshua Martenson
Training and Exercise Program Manager

Joshua Martenson is responsible for shaping OEM’s Training and Exercise Program through the development of original exercises and partnerships with other agencies to achieve their exercise objectives. As Training and Exercise Program Manager, Josh is also responsible for identifying appropriate training opportunities for OEM staff in order to enable them to better meet the agency’s mission. Josh previously served as the Human Services Planning Coordinator for OEM, where he developed plans such as the Mass Care and Shelter Plan and other initiatives for the provision of essential services to those impacted by a disaster.

Prior to his arrival at OEM, Josh was employed by the American Red Cross in Greater New York for more than eight years in the roles of training and exercise, workforce management, government operations, and emergency communications. Joshua has a bachelor’s in sociology from Colby College.


Public Engagement

The Public Engagement team focuses on increasing community engagement and public awareness of emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery. Additionally, the public engagement team also focuses on increasing Philadelphia’s emergency preparedness via the READYHome and READYBusiness workshops, and the READYCommunity program.

Angel Roebuck
Deputy Director for Strategy, Engagement, and Administration

Angel Roebuck is the Deputy Director for Strategy, Engagement and Administration for Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management. She provides strategic guidance and oversight to four program areas which includes Community Preparedness, Finance and Administration, Public Information, and Training and Exercise.

Angel began her emergency management career as a Disaster Program Manager for the American Red Cross serving Southeastern PA.  In this role, she supervised large diverse teams mixed with paid staff and volunteers. In this role, Angel not only supported local responses, but she also deployed nationally for large hurricane relief efforts. As a respected, passionate, and dedicated professional, she has the ability to lead, motivate and inspired effective teams. Her ability to be flexible and adaptive has allowed her to foster relationships with key stakeholders to help build resiliency and capacity within at-risk communities.

Angel is a Philadelphia native with a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology from Lincoln University of PA. She also has a master’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in Social and Community Services from Capella University.

Brian Elliott
Continuity of Operations/Government Program Manager

Prior to becoming the Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government Program Manager, Brian served as Logistics Planning Coordinator where he was responsible for the development of a suite of plans and guides to support city and region-wide logistics operations.

Before joining OEM, Brian worked seven years for the Arkansas Department of Health as an Emergency Communications Specialist, Exercise Coordinator, and the Planning Section Chief. He is currently pursuing his Master Exercise Practitioner Certification at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI).

Dar’Rel Lucky
Community Engagement and Constituent Services Program Manager

Dar’Rel is OEM’s liaison between the office and residents and businesses, tasked with educating the community about emergency preparedness along with other critical support.  In her prior role as a Community Outreach and External Affairs Coordinator at The School District of Philadelphia (SDP), Lucky has handled community relations, event management, and engagement strategies for one of the country’s largest and most diverse school districts. With over three decades of experience in communication and administration, Lucky has a proven track record of delivering compelling and transparent stories, managing complex projects, and leading diverse teams. Lucky’s expertise includes event planning, social media strategies, brand identity, website design and management, and contract administration. Lucky has coordinated district-wide events and assisted with marketing campaigns, budget management, payroll management, and high-level admin support for the Chief of Communications. Lucky is passionate about serving the communities within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and enhancing educational and life safety measures for its most vulnerable communities.

Bianca Garcia
Community Resilience Coordinator

Bianca has a long history in public service. Before joining OEM, she worked with both the PA Parole Board and PA Department of Corrections as a Parole Agent in Philadelphia for 8 years. Serving as both a Field Training Agent regionally, and as a unit Supervisor in Northwest Philadelphia, Bianca has extensive field and supervisory experience through daily operations, training development, and policy implementation. Her biggest achievement was aiding in the creation of the statewide Field Training program and acting as an Adjunct Instructor at the PA Department of Corrections Basic Training Academy.

Bianca is a North Philadelphia native, proud dog mom, and fan of the Philadelphia Eagles. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Temple University in Sociology and Geography/Urban Studies, and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration through the University of New Haven. 

Jeffrey Kolakowski
Public Information Program Manager

In his role as Public Information Program Manager, Jeffrey Kolakowski is in charge of writing and publishing content on OEM’s website and social media accounts. This position also involves media relations: writing media advisories and press releases as well as serving as a liaison between journalists and OEM. The public information program manager position also consists of crisis communication and public education to residents and businesses in the city to be prepared for emergencies. This includes promoting the ReadyPhiladelphia program which looks to educate and alert the public to take an active role in emergency preparedness.

Jeff has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in speech communications with an option in broadcast journalism from Millersville University.

Allison Miller
Communications Coordinator

As the Communications Coordinator, Allison is in charge of writing, creating, and publishing content to OEM’s social media accounts. This position also supports crisis communications and the community outreach team. Allison encourages the public to take an active role in emergency preparedness by promoting the ReadyPhiladelphia program through digital media and public outreach.

Before joining OEM, Allison worked as a Digital Communications and Outreach Specialist for Philly311. In this position, Allison produced videos and other forms of digital media regarding services and information provided by the City’s customer service center for non-emergency inquiries. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in Film and Video from Drexel University.



Homeland Security Grant Program

The City of Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the fifth largest city in the United States.  As a result, the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding region receive UASI (Urban Area Security Initiative) and SHSGP (State Homeland Security Grant Program) funding.

Brandon Lapsley
Finance and Administration Program Manager

In his position as Finance and Administration Program Manager, Brandon Lapsley supports the coordination of projects among stakeholders, including public safety, emergency response, and City of Philadelphia agencies, as they move through Federal, State, and local grant processes.  Brandon manages tracking for project deliverables, equipment and inventory, procurements, contracts, and amendments.

Prior to joining OEM, Brandon worked as a Program Specialist with the US Agency for International Development, supporting US Government programs in transitioning communities.  He also served as a Program Manager with the Community Action Agency of Delaware County, helping low-income Veterans overcome housing crises.  Brandon holds a master’s in International Affairs from American University and a bachelor’s in Political Science from Penn State University.

Jessica Shea
Homeland Security Grants Program Coordinator

Jessica joins OEM with a background in community health, grants management and academic research support. In this position, Jessica supports all tracking, procurements, expenditures, equipment and service requests on the Homeland Security Grant Program and UASI (Urban Area Security Initiative) Grant Funding. Her prior experiences include serving as an EMT in the State of New Jersey since 2015, and many years of Academic Research Grant Management (NSF, DOD, & HHS) at Rutgers University on both the Newark and New Brunswick Campuses. She has also served as an Officer in the EMS Council of New Jersey and Vice-President of Califon First Aid Squad. Jessica has a master’s degree in labor studies and a bachelor’s degree in English, both from Rutgers University.

Jake Nightlinger
Finance and Administration Program Coordinator

In his position as Finance and Administration Program Coordinator, Jake is tasked with ensuring the Office of Emergency Management and the City can prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters from a contracting perspective. Jake is responsible for drafting and overseeing both just-in-time and pre-contracted Procurements with the goal of ensuring the City has adequate contracts in place to handle emergent needs.

Before joining OEM, Jake worked as the Logistics and Warehouse Coordinator for Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia, helping to process donated items such as clothing, books, toys, and hygiene items into ready-made packs for distribution to impoverished children in the region.  Jake received his Bachelor of Arts from Arcadia University in 2019 with a major in International Studies.


Regional Integration Center 

The Regional Integration Center (RIC) serves as a primary interface and point of contact for Emergency Management personnel to provide critical information, updates, and support during the monitoring, response and recovery phases of the emergency response cycle.

Derryck Cromwell
Regional Integration Center Group Leader

Prior to joining OEM, Derryck spent more than 10 years in the communications industry, working for fulfillment contractors hired by cable providers in various regions of the country. He started as a service and install technician, advanced to collections, and ultimately became a Project Manager for the largest fulfillment contractor for Comcast in Philadelphia. Derryck holds a bachelor’s in community and regional planning from Temple University.

Isaiah Goldwire
Regional Integration Center Coordinator

Prior to joining OEM, Isaiah worked in the consulting field for over a year. Isaiah holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in public relations from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Isaiah was a member of the Philadelphia Fire Explorers for five years, earning the title of corporal while in the program.

Sydney Wilson
Regional Integration Center Coordinator

Prior to joining OEM RIC, Sydney graduated from West Chester University in 2023 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health and a minor in Anthropology. During her time at WCU she spent her first two years volunteering as an EMR with the Quick Response team on campus. She later became a nationally registered EMT through MONTCO EMS. She was introduced to the Emergency Services and Emergency Management industry by her father, a veteran and PFD member of almost 30 years. She also spent about 8 years with the Philadelphia Fire Explorers and under the mentorship of the program instructors achieved the highest officer rank of Sergeant First Class before her final year with the program. She still volunteers her free weekends to help current explorer cadets.

Gabriel Ritter
Regional Integration Center Coordinator

Prior to joining OEM, Gabriel worked for the city as a Strategic Design Analyst for the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, and separately for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection under the State Park Police. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Cyberpsychology with a minor in Forensic Science and is currently working toward a master’s degree in Behavioral and Decision Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Amanda Reilly
Regional Integration Center Coordinator

Prior to joining OEM, Amanda worked in business immigration services. She also worked for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in public safety grants management and training/exercise roles. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago as well as a legal studies certificate from Drexel University. When not in the office, Amanda serves her community by volunteering with the Lutheran Settlement House.

Jack Rubins
Regional Integration Center Coordinator

Prior to joining the OEM team Jack worked as an Operations Coordinator and Aircraft Rescue Firefighter at Westchester County Airport in New York. Jack graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2023 a double major in Business Administration and Psychology. While there he was an active member of MCEMS (Muhlenberg College Emergency Medical Services) in the role of crew chief and is proud to have served as its President in his junior and senior years. He has been an EMT since 2019 and continues to maintain his certification today.

Benjamin Mendez
Regional Integration Center Coordinator

Ben comes to OEM from the non-profit and public service world, previously working for three years within the Commission for Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, in collaboration with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), facilitating screenings of healthcare professionals applying for an occupational visa to work in the United States. He has a background in local Journalism working apart of NBC/CW affiliate WWBT Gray Television for production assignments on Breaking News and Emergency Incidents. He has a bachelor’s degree of Mass Communications Concentrated in Broadcast Journalism and Media Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University.