Adam K. Thiel
Adam K. Thiel was appointed Director of the Office of Emergency Management in April of 2019. Along with serving the City at OEM, Thiel also is the 20th commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department. He began as commissioner in May 2016 and is responsible for leading its almost 3,000 members in every facet of protecting the city from fires and emergencies arising from all hazards. His 27 years of field experience spans five states; before coming to Philadelphia, he held posts including Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Chief of the Fire Department in Alexandria, Virginia. Thiel earned a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University, and has completed doctoral coursework in both public administration and public policy. He is a 2018 Eisenhower USA Fellow and a 2017 Leadership Philadelphia Fellow.
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.
Deputy Director for Operations
As the Deputy Director for Operations, Dominick provides strategic guidance and oversight to four program areas in the application of an all-hazards emergency management program. These programs include the emergency operations center, information technology, logistics, and the Regional Integration Center. Dominick’s focus is on ensuring that all assets and systems are brought to bear in any emergency that the City may face. He works jointly with other city, state, federal and non-governmental entities in the execution of this mission.
Previously, Dominick served as the 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. Dominick holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Information Technology Program Manager
In his role as Information Technology (IT) Program Manager, Igor Goluboy oversees OEM’s technology infrastructure and support. His primary function is to direct all IT efforts within the office.
Prior to joining Office of Emergency Management, Igor served as an IT Director and Adjunct Faculty for Touro College South in Miami Beach. Igor has 12 years of experience in developing, implementing, and managing IT infrastructure, as well as developing and delivering curricula for adult education. Since 2006, Igor has taught numerous traditional, blended, and online college courses for students at both graduate and undergraduate levels. Besides his expertise in information technology, Igor is an expert in instructional technology, distance learning and computer-based training.
Igor holds a Bachelor of Science from Touro College in Management Information Systems, and a Master of Science in Instructional Technology.
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.
Logistics Program Manager
Elliott Grace leads emergency and special event logistics for the Office of Emergency Management. In this role, Elliott has primary responsibility for an inventory of emergency vehicles, equipment, supplies, and facilities. He works jointly with other city, state, federal and non-governmental entities in support of operations and leads the logistics planning portion for the city’s emergency plans.
Prior to joining OEM, Elliott worked as a Supply Chain Manager in the private sector, where he was responsible for supervision and instruction of various teams through all phases of warehouse operations. He was also a firefighter in Montgomery County and serves as a logistician for both regional and federal medical response teams. Elliott holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Pennsylvania State University.
Logistics Planning Coordinator
As Logistics Planning Coordinator, Brian is responsible for the development of a suite of plans and guides to support city and region-wide logistics operations.
Prior to 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).
Logistics Program Coordinator
As Logistics Coordinator, Jacqui manages OEM’s inventory of vehicles, equipment, and warehoused emergency response products. In this role, Jacqui also assists with city-wide emergency logistics policies, plans, and procedures, working with both governmental and non-governmental agencies.
Prior to being promoted to this position, she gained experience in emergency management coordination, communications, and logistics support after various internships and serving as a member of OEM’s Regional Integration Center team.
Jacqui holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Monmouth University in Homeland Security with minors in Political Science, GIS, and Psychology and a Master of Professional Studies from Pennsylvania State University in Homeland Security and Public Health and Public Preparedness.
Emergency Management Liaison Officer
As an Emergency Management Liaison Officer, Martin Hicks is responsible for coordinating the on scene operational mission. He is tasked with coordination and support of emergency response resources.
Before coming to OEM, Martin was the Disaster Program Specialist for the American Red Cross, covering the City of Philadelphia. His responsibilities consisted of engaging, developing and managing a robust volunteer cadre responsible for the implementation of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery programs as well as collaborating with local, state, and federal, partner agencies. During his time with the American Red Cross he has deployed nationally several times in support of disaster response, and worked many large local operations while also being a member of the Philadelphia Second Alarmers.
Martin is a proud Marine and Emergency Manager.
Emergency Management Liaison Officer
As an Emergency Management Liaison Officer, Vanessa Lyman is responsible for coordinating the on scene operational mission. She is tasked with the coordination and support of emergency response resources. When not responding to emergency events, Vanessa supports other OEM program areas such as community engagement and planning.
Vanessa previously worked with the 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.
Vanessa graduated from Millersville with a Master’s degree in Emergency Management and has a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture from Philadelphia University.
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
Deputy Director for Planning
Carolyn manages the infrastructure program at OEM and conducts emergency planning for critical infrastructure systems, disaster recovery, and hazard mitigation. She is an appointed co-chair of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force Infrastructure Workgroup, where she leads the development and implementation of projects to advance the region’s homeland security priorities.
In addition to her planning work, Carolyn leads an emergency response team that responds to various incidents, emergency operation center activations, and designated special events. Before joining the City, Carolyn worked in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service and served as a consultant for UNICEF’s child protection in emergencies unit in New York.
Carolyn is a 2018 Drexel University LeBow College of Business Leading for Change Fellow, a 2012 Monterey Institute for International Studies Frontier Market Scout Fellow, and holds a masters degree in international social welfare from Columbia University in New York.
Regional Preparedness Program Manager
As the Regional Preparedness Program Manager, Nicola works to ensure that Southeastern Pennsylvania remains at the highest state of readiness. This work is driven by the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process, developed by the federal government to measure and validate regional threat and hazard scenarios. The findings of this analysis are used to identify funding opportunities and to develop planning programs to ensure regional preparedness.
In addition to managing the regional coordination of the THIRA process, Nicola is working to build out a private sector outreach program in the event of a large-scale disaster or significant event in Philadelphia in coordination with the Delaware Valley Regional Intelligence Center (DVIC). She is also tasked with developing opportunities in the region to support supply chain resilience to ensure the safe and efficient movement of goods to support regional incident response and recovery operations.
Nicola was previously the Recovery Planning Coordinator for OEM and was responsible for developing and updating comprehensive response plans for a variety of citywide emergency plans, including federal disaster reimbursement coordination, evacuation and transportation planning, and utility disruptions. Prior to joining OEM, Nicola worked as a transportation planner with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT). Her responsibilities included urban freight transportation research, data analysis, and stakeholder and community engagement.
She is also an adjunct faculty member in the Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design Urban Strategy program.
Nicola holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning with a concentration in transportation and land use planning from Rutgers University and bachelor’s degrees in both planning and public policy & political science from Rutgers University.
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.
Disaster Supply Chain Coordinator
As the Disaster Supply Chain Coordinator, Jackie is responsible developing a Regional Disaster Supply Chain Resilience Plan, supported by FEMA’s Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. The overall purpose of this work is to inform strategic decision making that will ensure equitable access and distribution of critical goods and services throughout the Philadelphia region.
Prior to joining OEM, Jackie worked on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure planning projects at Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (oTIS). Prior to working for the city, Jackie founded a non-profit leadership organization built around advancing innovation clean energy solutions across the country and has nearly a decade of experience working to build clean energy projects and climate policy initiatives.
Jackie holds a master’s degree in city planning with a concentration in sustainable transportation from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics from the University of Delaware.
Senior Lead GIS Analyst
As the Senior Lead GIS Analyst, Alyssa’s main role is to manage OEM’s GIS Program. She is responsible for producing maps, running data analysis, and developing geospatial applications and business intelligence tools. She supports activities ranging from desktop analysis and map making to building and maintaining GIS databases, applications, and tools.
Prior to joining OEM, Alyssa worked as a GIS Analyst at the Philadelphia Fire Department where she produced reports for budget and grant requests, created geospatial applications and maps for use in the field and planning / logistics, developed tools to alleviate workflow barriers, and analyzed health and fire data. She previously worked as a geospatial Senior Research Staff Assistant at Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network. Prior to entering the world of GIS, Alyssa was as a 6th and 9th grade Biology teacher in the Bronx, NY.
Alyssa holds an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s in Biology and Education from Manhattanville College.
Hazard Planning Coordinator
As the Hazard Planning Coordinator, Emma 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. Emma updates and maintains the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan and other hazard based plans in the Infrastructure Program.
Emma was previously the Community Resilience Coordinator for OEM, focusing her efforts on building Philadelphia’s resilience to disasters at the neighborhood level and planning for community long term recovery. Prior to joining OEM, she was a middle school science teacher and spent a considerable amount of time working at environmental education centers in the eastern PA and southern NJ region. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Stockton University.
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.
Health and Medical Planning Coordinator
As the Health and Medical Planning Coordinator, Allison Walker focuses on developing and maintaining comprehensive response plans for a variety of health and medical related issues as well as updating certain aspects of citywide plans to ensure all health related needs are met during the various phases of emergency management.
Prior to joining OEM, Alli worked at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital as the lead Clinical Research Coordinator for the Brain Tumor Division. In this role, she worked closely with the patients, surgeons, physicians, hospital staff, and sponsors to provide the best care possible to her patient population. Alli has a Master’s of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
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.
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.
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.
Homeland Security Program Manager
In his role as Homeland Security Program Manager, Ryan Ford oversees planning initiatives for critical infrastructure protection, business continuity, special event planning, and hazard mitigation. Additionally, Ryan collaborates with federal, regional, state, and local officials regarding projects to improve interoperability, situational awareness, and common operating protocols. Prior to this role, Ryan served as a member of OEM’s Regional Integration Center team.
Ryan has gained experience in emergency management communications, coordination, and operations after working for Pinellas County (FL) Safety & Emergency Services, the American Red Cross, and serving in the U.S. Army. Ryan graduated from the University of South Florida with a master’s in public administration, the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health with a graduate certificate in community preparedness and disaster management, and West Chester University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Homeland Security Planning Coordinator
As the Homeland Security Planning Coordinator, 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.
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.
Alert and Warning Coordinator
As the Alert and Warning Coordinator, Katie manages the strategic and technical aspects of several alert and warning platforms, including the ReadyPhiladelphia notification system, the Emergency Alert System (EAS), and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Katie previously served as a Regional Integration Center Coordinator at OEM.
Prior to joining OEM, Katie was a contractor working for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance supporting international humanitarian assistance and disaster response coordination efforts. She graduated from Lehigh University where she majored in International Relations and Political Science.
Community Resilience Coordinator
As the Community Resilience Coordinator, Joshua supports long-term community planning and increased disaster resilience throughout Philadelphia neighborhoods.
Joshua has over a decade of experience in the mental/behavioral health field, including five years as a case manager here in Philadelphia. Most recently, Joshua was a response planner for the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral health and disability Services (DBHIdS). Joshua holds a bachelor’s degree in Biopsychology from Messiah College and a Master’s degree in Emergency Management from the University of New Haven.
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.
Regional Integration Center Program Manager
As the Regional Integration Center Program Manager, Michael is 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 is also responsible for ensuring the Regional Integration Center operations are properly integrated into other OEM and City planning products.
Prior to this role, Michael 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.
Regional Integration Center Coordinator
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.
Regional Integration Center Coordinator
Prior to joining OEM, Ted volunteered as an Emergency Medical Technician in his hometown in New Jersey. Ted has gained further experience in emergency and disaster management since working towards his Master’s in Public Administration at the Metropolitan College of New York. His coursework involved assisting nearby agencies in New York to develop their emergency response plans.
Regional Integration Center Coordinator
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.
Regional Integration Center Coordinator
Prior to joining OEM, James worked in a number of different fields including agriculture, auto repair, online visibility, and logistics. He found his calling however as a Firefighter and EMT in Chester County where he gained valuable experience in emergency management and technical rescue. James holds a bachelor’s in Health Science with a minor in Earth Science which included an independent study on the emergency management of natural disasters.
Regional Integration Center Coordinator
Prior to joining OEM, Vanessa worked for the City of Philadelphia for over 4 years in the Philadelphia International Airport’s Division of Aviation: Marketing & Public Affairs, assisting federal agencies with international arrivals by serving the traveling public in the immigration process and providing language interpretation as needed by CBP. She also participated in various research internships with the University of Pennsylvania and with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia while in school. Vanessa holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Temple University.
Regional Integration Center Coordinator
Prior to joining the OEM, Lyndon worked as a Police Corporal with the Trinidad & Tobago Municipal Police Service. As a police officer, he responded to, recovered, and assisted in many emergency response situations. He also has many other skills which could label him as a “Jack of all Trades”. He obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from West Chester University, while he worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in the Security Department. Soon after, he graduated with a Master’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, with a concentration in Environmental Management, Homeland Security, and Risk Assessment & Management from Saint Joseph’s University.
Regional Integration Center Coordinator
Prior to joining OEM, Michael worked in the financial and non-profit industries before transitioning into emergency management. Michael also serves as a C-5M Loadmaster in the U.S. Air Force Reserve stationed out of Dover Air Force Base. He currently holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and is currently working on completing his masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Delaware.
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.
Homeland Security Grant Program Manager
In his position as Homeland Security Grant 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.
Homeland Security Grant Program Coordinator
In her position as Homeland Security Grant Program Coordinator, Bernadette Stanko assists with the coordination of projects among stakeholders. She also assists with tracking project deliverables, equipment, and contracts.
Prior to joining OEM, Bernadette worked as a Grants Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. There she worked within the School of Medicine to support the Department of Surgery and then the Department of Dermatology. Bernadette did the financial coordinating and budgeting for a variety of medical research grants and clinical trials. She was also responsible for tracking billing, invoicing, subcontracts, supply purchases, and travel reimbursements. Bernadette hold’s a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s in Communication from LaSalle University.