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.
Emergency Operations Center Manager
Robert Keehfuss serves as the Emergency Operations Center Manager for the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management. Previously Robert served as the Regional Integration Center Manager.
Prior to joining OEM, Robert spent 16 years with the Philadelphia Housing Authority as a Non-Routine & Emergency Supervisor. He has also worked with numerous city departments, including Licenses & Inspection and the Philadelphia Fire Department. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Urban Search & Rescue Team as a Logistics Manager, and was deployed to Hurricane Floyd in North Carolina and to the World Trade Center in New York City.
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.
Response Planning Program Manager
In his position as Response Planning Program Manager, Sam ensures that OEM specific actions identified in citywide emergency operations plans are well documented, trained, and exercised. Sam also manages the administrative and planning functions for the Field Response Program.
Previously, Sam served as the Logistics Coordinator and as a fellow with OEM. Prior to joining OEM, Sam worked as a Firefighter and EMT in Chester County where he was also a member of the Hazardous Materials Team.
Sam holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Villanova University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in homeland security and geospatial intelligence from Pennsylvania State 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.
Derek Ziegler, MCP
Deputy Director for Planning
As Deputy Director for Planning, Derek Ziegler leads a team of professionals focused on the areas of health and human services, infrastructure, and training and exercises.
In his 8 years at OEM, Derek previously served as Training and Exercises Program Manager and Operations Planning Coordinator for OEM.
Prior to his arrival at OEM, Derek was Executive Director of a non-profit in Camden, New Jersey, focused on expanding community access to data and information. He was also employed as a Management/Financial Analyst for a transportation planning and consulting firm in Philadelphia.
Derek has a bachelor’s in political science from Drew University and a master’s in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Carolyn Caton, MS
Infrastructure Program Manager
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.
Recovery Planning Coordinator
As the Recovery Planning Coordinator, Nicola is responsible for developing and updating comprehensive response plans for a variety of citywide emergency plans, including federal disaster reimbursement coordination, evacuation and transportation planning, utility disruptions, and restoration and reconstruction planning. She also works to research, review, and synthesize best practices in citywide recovery planning and operations.
Prior to joining OEM, Nicola worked as a transportation planner with the New York City Department of Transportation. Her responsibilities included supporting the development of the New York City Smart Truck Management Plan (Citywide Freight Plan) through research, data analysis, and stakeholder and community engagement; producing a citywide study on truck-involved bicycle and pedestrian crashes; and working in collaboration with academic partners to research and advance best practices in urban freight and land use planning and policy, including street design and curb management strategies.
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.
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
Morgan started at OEM as an Infrastructure Fellow, followed by a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA, where she primarily focused on the inclusion of people with Access and Functional Needs in emergency plans. In her current role as the Health and Medical Planning Coordinator, Morgan engages with various healthcare stakeholders and develops health and medical response plans. She is also responsible for the Tier II program and chairs the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). Prior to her time at OEM, Morgan interned at Jefferson Hospital in the Public Safety Department. Morgan holds a B.S. in Meteorology and an M.S. in Emergency Management from Millersville University.
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 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 partnership 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.
Noëlle Foizen, MS
Deputy Director for Public Engagement
Noelle Foizen has been with the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management since 2011, where she began in the health and human services division before being charged to lead the public engagement efforts.
Foizen’s leadership led her to be named a Big City Emergency Manager Emerging Leader in 2015.
Her background, which includes a master’s degree in social work and bachelor’s degree in political science, was put into practice this past year as Philadelphia dealt with a disaster that occurred over 1,500 miles away, but came to the city’s front door: Hurricane Maria.
Foizen led an executive team facing the challenge of providing aid to thousands of disaster survivors who came to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection from Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands by developing the Disaster Assistance Service Center and building framework for the Greater Philadelphia Long-Term Recovery Committee.
Foizen manages the Public Engagement Division where her team developed OEM’s crisis communications messaging including social media strategies and ReadyPhiladelphia alerts while focusing on outreach and community engagement to increase emergency preparedness.
She started her tenure with OEM as the Volunteer Management Coordinator where her responsibilities included the development of strategies and programs for disaster volunteer coordination and regional planning with Southeastern Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SEPA VOAD). Continuing on with OEM, Noëlle became the Health & Human Services Program Manager, where her responsibilities included the development of operational plans for Community Resilience, Health and Medical, and Human Services program areas. Her team of planners engaged local, state, and federal government as well as private and nonprofit partners in efforts to promote emergency readiness for the City of Philadelphia.
Before joining OEM, Noëlle worked in the nonprofit sector and has experience in program management, program evaluation, and research. She also served as an Americorps Team Leader in Philadelphia with National School & Community Corps and as a member of New York City’s Community Emergency Response Team.
Noëlle holds a master’s in nonprofit administration and social enterprise from Columbia University’s School of Social Work, and a bachelor’s in political science from Temple University.
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 Program Coordinator
Prior to joining OEM, Michael worked as an emergency medical technician and EMS operations supervisor in New Jersey. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security and a minor in Political Sciences from Stockton University.
In his role as Communications Manager, Jeff 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 the 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.
Prior to joining OEM, Jeff worked in journalism as a television news-manager where he earned four Edward R. Murrow awards and multiple Emmy nominations. He covered 9-11, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 2000 Republican National Convention, Hurricane Sandy along with every other bit of news over his 17-year career.
Jeff has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in speech communications with an option in broadcast journalism from Millersville University and resides in the city of his birth, Philadelphia.
Community Preparedness Program Manager
As the Community Preparedness Program Manager, Lynn works with residents, businesses and communities to achieve a more ready and prepared Philadelphia. She is the primary contact for workshop and outreach requests for OEM.
Prior to joining OEM, Lynn served as the Communications Technical Coordinator for the City of Midland, TX, Public Safety Communications Center. Lynn has experience working closely with first responders, city and county officials, and the public. Before joining the field of emergency management, Lynn was a science and dramatics teacher, and dean of students for 10 years in a boarding school. Lynn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Experiential Education from Appalachian State University.
Community Resilience Coordinator
As the Community Resilience Coordinator, Emma works with communities to foster a strong, resilient neighborhood – ready for any emergency. Accomplished in curriculum writing, Emma is the principal writer and researcher in the READYCommunity workbook, a comprehensive guide to community resilience planning on the block level in Philadelphia. Emma also teaches in the READY, or not? Program; preparing businesses, communities and residents to be ready and resilient in the face of disaster.
Emma has a solid background in education. Prior to joining OEM, she was a 7th and 8th-grade science teacher with The School District of Philadelphia and an 8th-grade science teacher in Hamilton Township, NJ. Emma spent considerable time working at environmental education centers in the eastern PA and southern NJ region. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Stockton University.
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
Priyanka Kumar directs the Office of Emergency Management’s Regional Integration Center, also known as the RIC.
The RIC is OEM’s 24/7 watch command center that works with public safety partners to monitor current and potential hazards while keeping city leadership and associates informed. The RIC is also responsible for messaging the public and partners through the city’s mass notification system, ReadyPhiladelphia, which Priyanka directs.
Prior to joining OEM, Priyanka attended an aviation college in Florida. While in school, she completed three internships with the local/federal government and the private sector, covering emergency management, aviation safety and security, and international security. Priyanka holds a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security with a minor in Business Administration.
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
Before accepting a position at the Office of Emergency Management, Jacqui completed various internships focusing on emergency management, GIS, and criminal law. Jacqui holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Monmouth University in Homeland Security with minors in Political Science, GIS, and Psychology. She is currently working on completing her masters at Penn State in Homeland Security and Public Health Preparedness.
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.
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
As the Homeland Security Grant Program Coordinator, Ivy 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.
Prior to joining OEM, Ivy worked as a Project Coordinator at Gallagher Marine Systems where she created and maintained federal and state approved contingency plans for clients in the maritime industry. Ivy holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Leicester.