HISTORY OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION OF TENNESSEE
The Executive Board met on January 17, 2011 with President-Elect Jimmy Floyd (Tullahoma) acting as Chairman in lieu of President Bill Brown. The new secretary, Janet Kelley (Hickman County) was present and the minutes were approved. The Treasurer's Report was given by Chairman Floyd and showed over $49,000 in the bank. Bills that were paid were pocket calendars from Myron Manufacture for $674 and $178.20 for QTH Communications for a 3-year renewal of the web site.
Dean Flenor from TEMA presented a new smart-phone application for emergency managers from TEMA. Three new CEMP's were approved: James Fountain, Jeremy Heidt of TEMA and Michael Harris of TEMA.
It was announced that TEMA could no longer sponsor K-9 missions due to legal and liability issues. (Editor’s Note: The insurance carrier for K-9 activities had recently refused to renew their insurance coverage of EMAT due to potential claims from K-9 team members, and TEMA discovered that the state could be sued for liability if insurance did not cover the K-9 team.) It was recommended that K-9 deployment be requested as mutual aid county-to-county and covered by county insurance. Due to the same issues EMAT suspended its accreditation of the K-9 program and withdrew sponsorship. A notification letter was sent to all EMA's, Sheriff's Departments and handlers.
On February 9, 2011 President Bill Brown called the meeting to order and announced that the Treasurer could not attend. The bank balance remained at just over $49,000. TEMA has requested a complete conference budget. It was determined that since conference registration requires more than one person can do, so he suggested that Tony Reavley (Chattanooga-Hamilton County) take over this process and use his staff to support the registration for the next conferences.
The next conference will be held in Sevier County on September 11-13, 2011 for a cost of nearly $68,000. TEMA is prepared to issue a letter to cover training and quarters for $70,000.
It was announced that HEPACO has agreed to provide the main "give-away" this year. A motion was approved to increase the vendor's fee to $50.
President-Elect Jimmy Floyd has agreed to place a notice on the web site of the change in the K-9 program.
Executive Officer Donnie Smith of TEMA and member of the CEMP committee accepted the job of registration this year after the association. He also began to review the CEMP applications. The president was then notified by Mr. Smith of an over-payment of $11,663.14 by the State of Tennessee to Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, the hotel agreeing to apply this amount to the next conference.
An email was sent by Jody Zorsch to Secretary Janet Kelley on February 16, 2012 that Treasurer Danette Rolen was still at the hospital with a family member and could not attend the meeting.
On March 10, 2011 Chairperson Jody Zorsch called the Executive Board to order, and President Bill Brown joined later. The guest speaker was Larry Howlett, a CPA from Bowling Green, KY who explained how to organize a non-profit organization. He explained that the association could obtain his services for a fee of $150 per hour. He agreed to set up the association's tax returns and handle the financial accounts at no charge. Treasurer Danette Rolen was unable to attend.
It was announced by Mr. Donnie Smith (TEMA Liaison) that House bill 0544 passed through subcommittee and will appear before the full committee in five days. This is the local emergency managers hiring and education requirements bill.
President-Elect Jimmy Floyd said he had received a letter from Director Jim Bassham of TEMA providing a $70,000 grant for the conference. The rules for spending these funds came in the letter.
TEMA Executive Officer Donnie Smith recommended improvements in the CEMP process in order to clarify the requirements. After TEMA's review, the nominations for approval will be submitted to the board.
A motion was passed to scan all CEMP applications older than 6 years and then archive them. This archive requirement went to TEMA for implementation since the data was in the TEMA computers. The Training Division was never happy with this requirement, and it did not take place.
On April 14, 2011 President-Elect Jody Zorsch opened the regular meeting of the EMAT Executive Board. Chairman Zorsch noted that the Treasurer's Report shows a balance of $38,76.86 as of March 31, 2011, but there were expenditures of $170.89 for speaker travel, $1000 for conference expenses, and $500 for printing and postage, and a deposit of $150 from membership renewals.
President Janice Newman, who joined the meeting in progress, reported that she has the conference packet ready for mailing. It was also recommended to send a letter or email (reminder to attend) to those receiving an award at the conference.
A request was made that EMAT send TEMA a registration list for EMAT renewals and conference registrations. It should be noted that a letter of invitation has been sent to directors who are not currently EMAT members.
A venders list has been prepared for the hotel, and a registration process has been developed to hold down member confusion.
Acting President Jody Zorsch has agreed to get with Kingsport to begin to put together a packet together for next year's conference. The speaker will be from the Federal Aviation Authority. Jody has agreed to arrange for a speaker on the Sullivan County High School shooting.
Edwin Hogan reports that the association should have 501c(3) recognition by midsummer.
Maury County EMA Director Mark Blackwood has been nominated for CEMP approval and the motion passed to recognize him for CEMP level. It should be noted that the CEMP rules and guidelines are now on the web site.
Chairman Ricky Graves reported that EMPG was fully funded and was not cut. EMAT legislation did not pass and requires more local director involvement.
Patsy Hargis, K-9 Subcommittee, reported that K-9 training continues every Tuesday. A discussion ensued regarding coverage of K-9 dogs deployed by counties or TEMA. It was recommended to get an Attorney General opinion on this issue.
A motion was passed to set up an EMAT booth at the DOE Emergency Management Forum in Oak Ridge on September 8, 2011.
On June 30, 2011 the association bank balance was $43,0992.43.
On July 21, 2011, Acting President Jody Zorsch reported that there is a balance of $43,092.43 on hand with expenditures this past month of $1,345.00 for the conference speaker, $850.00 for the application to the US Department of the Treasury for IRS 501(c)(3) status, $500 to the CPA, Valerie Kemp Dreier, for filing fee, and a $15 bank analysis fee. Although not in the bank, the hotel has a credit of $11,663.14 against the next conference. President Zorsch asked Donnie Smith if TEMA can provide CEU’s with the certificates at the conference, and he said he would work the issue.
Donnie Smith reported that EMAT has received 43 applications for CEMP so far. President Zorsch said she would send a reminder through EMAT for others to submit their applications. A letter from Director James H. Bassham, TEMA, was received by President Zorsch that provides the foundation for using state funds to “help diminish the impact of incidents and catastrophes,” and goes on to say that “TEMA will support significant training of county emergency managers, directors, responders and other employees who are in the business of saving lives and protecting property.” This letter underpins the decision by Director Bassham to provide up to $70,000 as a grant to support training during the TEMA/EMAT conference.
The discussion moved to the conference, and Chairman John Smoot (Benton County) deferred to Ricky Graves (Gibson County). Mr. Graves moved to accept the draft EMAT conference agenda and the motion carried. Donnie Smith provided the board with the TEMA rules for reimbursement, and a copy was sent to the conference hotel. A recommendation was made to change the website to state that attendees should go through their local directors to reduce confusion on lodging expenses. FEMA will not reimburse volunteers at the conference (due to the type of money applied to training). Individuals arriving on Sunday night need to make their own reservations, and it is possible the state rates may not apply. Venders must make their own reservations, but they will be included under EMAT and state rates.
President-Elect Bill Brown is working on next year’s conference location to be in Gatlinburg (September).
Samples of EMAT gifts to the membership were reviewed, and the board agreed upon a backpack costing $19.49 each. Conference Chairman John Smoot said he will check with HEPACO regarding possible sponsorship and look at supplying something inside the backpack. Some items that were suggested were flashlights, an auto organizer, a first aid kit, and a notebook.
President Zorsch said that male board members will wear a polo shirt and female board members will wear a long sleeve shirt. Janice Newman was charged with e-mailing a web site to members to review their choices between hunter green, black and royal blue with a decision due at the next meeting to ensure an order in time for the conference.
A motion was made and passed to recognize vendors by name at the Tuesday luncheon.
A review of the conference menu and choices will be made at the next meeting.
Treasurer Danette Rolen reported that she has received a notice from the IRS that our application for 501(c)(3) status has been received.
Chairman of Constitution and By-Laws Edwin Hogan reported that an update of the by-laws is ready for mail out. A motion was made and carried to reimburse him for printing and postage.
Legislative Chairman Ricky Graves reported that legislation had been passed as of May 30, 2011 (finalization of the emergency management director bill). He said the sponsors were Representative Halford, Hardaway, Evans, Sanderson and Senator Finney. A plaque of recognition is proposed for presentation to these sponsors. A motion was made by Janice Newman not to spend more than $50 per plaque. The motion passed. A motion was also passed to support Chairman Graves to start working on funding the legislation.
K-9 Subcommittee Chair Patsy Hargis reported that Shane Petty of Tennessee State Parks called TEMA on the July 4th weekend with a K-9 assistance request to search for two missing persons at Rock Island. Lisa Crowter and K-9 “Bobby Joe” and Heather Wilkerson and K-9 “Be-Be” responded to the call. Both dogs made a hit in the same area which narrowed the search to the Blue Hole area where they found the bodies the next day. She reported that K-9 training continues.
An announcement was made about DOE holding its Emergency Management Forum in Oak Ridge on September 8, 2011.
President Jody Zorsch opened the Executive Board meeting at the SEOC in Nashville, TN on August 16, 2011. The financial report was presented by the president since the treasurer was not present. The cash on hand is now $83,658.99.
Legislative Committee Chairman Ricky Graves reported that there is no action pending by the committee, although he recommended that the board move forward with recognizing the members of the legislature who helped pass the local emergency management director’s education bill.
Constitution and By-Laws Committee Chairman Edwin Hogan (Cheatham County) reported that the latest revision to the by-laws was now posted on the web site.
Awards Committee Chairman James Medling reported that only 2 nominees were submitted for awards, one for print media and one for broadcast media. He announced that the Bill Hyder Award will be presented to Roger Allen, EMA director in Rutherford County. A suggestion was made to study the possibility of giving an award to an elected official who furthers the cause of EMAT. The motion was carried.
The K-9 Subcommittee report was presented by Chairperson Patsy Hargis who discussed the status of insurance and the status of responses in West and Middle Tennessee. Several issues surrounding volunteers were discussed, and the board asked that a special study group be established to look at this area. Jimmy Floyd (Tullahoma EMA) was appointed as chairman and the members named were Donnie Smith (TEMA Liaison), Deborah Burnett, Cecil Whaley, (TEMA) Ricky Graves (Gibson County) and Edwin Hogan (Cheatham County).
Janice Newman, Conference Registration Subcommittee Chairperson said the number of people who had registered was low, but many counties have not had their budgets approved and may be waiting for that to happen before applying for travel to the conference. She expects the number to improve after September.
John Smoot, Vendors Subcommittee Chairman, said he had provided vendors with a code number for the conference so it would be easier to separate them from the membership registering at the front desk.
Jody Zorsch, the Conference Meals and Clothing Subcommittee Chairperson, said lunch and evening meal menus had been selected. She also said shirts had been selected and announced.
Since TEMA prepared the training agenda for the conference, Charlie Bryant (deputy director at TEMA) presented the board with a draft copy of the schedule. After a long discussion regarding subject matter and funding, Mr. Bryant said he and other board members would work on it and submit it back to the board for approval.
Donnie Smith (TEMA Liaison) reported that CEU certificates would be given to those attending the conference. It was also announced that any directors who have EMPG requirements for training based on grants, the exercise scheduled in the latter part of the conference would be counted as 1 of the 3 exercises required for the 2012 year’s training. This decision would be placed on the EMAT web site, he said.
On August 31, 2011, the bank balance was $54,449.45.
On September 12, 2011, President Jody Zorsch called the Executive Board to order and skipped the Treasurer’s Report since Danette Rolen was not present and the minutes were approved. President Zorsch reported she had purchased airline tickets for the conference speaker from Fort Hood. Immediate Past President Janice Newman reported she had deposited $7000 in conference deposits.
President Zorsch reported that the conference shirts had arrived and been issued. The conference agenda was reviewed and revised, and training certificates will show 12 CEU’s for training attendance. Reservation acceptance letters have yet to be mailed. A list of attendance will be provided to the hotel to check on those who have arrived for registration. Pictures will not be on the conference ID’s (identification cards) this year, but they will be printed prior to check-in and presented at registration. The ID’s will be scanned for sign-in at registration, the dinner meal, and the tabletop exercise. There is a list of names for those who should help at registration and for those needing to arrive early on Sunday for a meeting at noon. Janice is bringing plaques for awards. Chairperson Zorsch, Janice Newman, and Secretary Kelly will visit the local Chamber of Commerce for local items to be placed in the gift baskets for speakers. “Hillbilly hoagies” and London broil have been chosen for lunch and dinner. Breaks will occur in the Vendor’s Room. Ron Watkins (Henry County) will print certificates for vendors. TEMA will print training certificates for conference attendees. A motion was passed to have Ron purchase and distribute 300 calendars for the year 2012. HEPACO has agreed to sponsor 300 laptop bags, but a review should determine what the bags look like. A motion was made and passed to select a black and silver bag for EMAT handout. Members of the board should wear the blue shirt on Monday, white on Tuesday, and blue on Wednesday.
Copies of the revised EMAT constitution and by-laws have gone out to the members for review in time for the floor vote.
A discussion occurred on how to recognize committee members for their service to EMAT, and John Riley suggested that they be listed on the EMAT web site as well as be recognized at the conference.
The EMAT (Directors) display board is in extremely poor condition, and it is recommended that we donate it to someone to try to refurbish it (ha!). It was decided to check on costs and submit a report at next meeting. John Smoot requested that he take possession of the board and pass it to Jody to bring to the next meeting. Chairperson Zorsch requested to use the West Tennessee board at the conference.
On September 30, 2011 the bank balance for the association was $70,492.49.
On October 3, 2011 an executive board meeting was held by President Bill Brown, but there are no minutes to support the events of the meeting.
The EMAT/TEMA Training Conference was held in Murfreesboro, TN on October 10-12, 2011. The conference theme was "Lessons Learned." The principle featured speaker was a person involved in the Fort Hood shooting. Other speakers are from the FAA with the topic "handling a plane crash in your jurisdiction." The registration amount was set at $125.00. Jimmy Floyd (Tullahoma EMA) became President-Elect and regional vice presidents were not recorded.
President Jody Zorsch called the Executive Board to order and then read the Treasurer’s Report with $63,901.22 in the bank. This amount did not include any arrivals at the conference who had not yet paid. Constitution and By-Laws Chairman Edwin Hogan (Cheatham County) reviewed the changes proposed to the by-laws, but they were not read into the minutes. Legislative Committee Chairman Ricky Graves reported that the education legislation for emergency management “managers” (sic) and directors was passed into law.
A letter from TEMA to President Bill Brown on October 28, 2011 confirmed Director Jim Bassham’s intent to support EMAT by officially authorizing a grant of up to $70,000 to support training of local emergency management personnel and responders. EMAT was able to utilize $64,800 of this grant at the conference. When the contract arrives, it must be forwarded to Melisa Hucks for review. TEMA has also agreed to assist with sound, projection, information technology issues, etc. Charlie Bryant requested EMAT provide a diagram of the main room for the conference. A generic agenda is requested for the web site. Two guest speakers have been scheduled. Giveaway calendars have been ordered. Vender packets are ready to be sent out by Monday at the latest. A briefing has been scheduled with vendors.
It was announced that member registration must be accomplished by August 10 or EMAT will not pay for the rooms.
Louis Friedman (TEMA Operations) announced an upcoming Interoperability Conference on June 21-22 and encouraged attendance at the Cool Springs Marriott (Nashville).
Chairman Ricky Graves reported that the local director's education bill has been passed and recorded as TCA 58-2-133. It requires that local directors receive training in hazardous materials awareness.
A motion was approved for Janice Newman to spend up to $50 for a memorial item to Ron Watkins (Paris) due to the passing of his mother.
A motion was approved for President-Elect Jimmy Floyd to spend up to $300 for tax preparation.
In spite of all the troubles announced with the education legislation, the bill was finally passed. A copy of the local emergency management director's education law was read into the minutes (TCA 58-2-133). To summarize, it requires the following prerequisites for appointment. An applicant must be at least 18 years of age, be a citizen of the United States and of Tennessee, be a high school graduate or equivalent, not have a record of a felony, have a valid Tennessee driver's license, and have at least four years of experience in emergency management, or two years’ experience and an associate's degree, or have a baccalaureate degree. There are a number of duties, skills and abilities a director should have. The law requires that within two years of appointment the appointee must have completed the TEMA hazardous materials operations level course, damage assessment workshop, and any NIMS courses that are offered during the two-year period. The appointee must complete FEMA independent study courses and must apply for professional certifications in a timely manner.
On October 31, 2011 the bank balance was $69,818.11.
On November 10, 2011 President Bill Brown called the Executive Board to order and approved the Treasurer’s Report from Danette Rolen, $70,155.85 before paying the hotel.
President Brown then named new committee members and announced officers as follows: President-Elect Jimmy Floyd (Coffee County); Treasurer Danette Rolen (Sevier County); Assistant Treasurer Jody Zorsch (Morgan County); Secretary Janet Kelley (Hickman County); Donnie Smith, TEMA Liaison (Rutherford County); Awards Chairman James Medling (Dyer County); Conference Chairman Ron Watkins (Henry County); Membership Chairman John Riley (Coffee County); K-9 Chairman Jimmy Floyd (Coffee County); Oversight Chairman John Smoot (Benton County); CEMP Chairman Jimmy Floyd (Coffee County); and Legislative Chairman Ricky Graves (Gibson County).
Questions were raised regarding the rules to follow for EMAT-recognized K-9 teams. A motion was passed to have K-9 Subcommittee Chairperson Patsy Hargis to bring in the original K-9 standards, guidelines and policy used to certify K-9 teams.
Treasurer Danette Rolen has received a notice from Becky (last name?) of Embassy Suites for a charge of $5,160.00. It is uncertain if this amount is included in the total charges being reviewed by TEMA. Donnie Smith (TEMA Liaison) will follow up on this issue with Becky. The board received a notice from TEMA regarding the bills from Embassy Suites stating that EMAT should pay a balance of $19,717.57 to Embassy Suites, but TEMA will pay the balance of $70,000 as agreed. TEMA will not include the cost of TEMA memberships in the $70,000 cap. A motion to approve this payment was passed.
Rickey Graves had visited River Terrace Hotel in Gatlinburg and recommended that we hold the conference there in 2012. A motion was passed to approve River Terrace Hotel for 2012 followed by a motion to schedule the conference for September 18-20 or September 11-13. The motion passed. It was recommended that door prizes be purchased prior to the conference. HEPACO notified the board that they would like to sponsor the 2012 conference. It was moved and passed to allow the Treasurer, Danette Rolen, to spend up to $500 on door prizes through the year.
Following this a discussion ensued regarding whether to charge for a single day attendance at the 2012 conference. It was decided to charge for this and it on the registration form. The motion passed to charge $50 per day.
A motion was approved for the conference theme of “Listen, Learn, then Lead in Tennessee” was presented by CEMP Committee Chairman Jimmy Floyd and it carried.
Shortly after this meeting an undated letter from Sherri Webb, Sales Manager, at River Terrance Resort, Gatlinburg, verified the conference dates as September 10-12 or 11-13 for 205 rooms.
On December 5, 2011, EMAT received a notice from Patsy Hargis (Bell Buckle) that she could no longer serve as coordinator of services for K-9 handlers on a statewide basis. Her reasons, listed as concerns, were no liability coverage for civilian volunteer K-9 handlers in the event of injury and no understanding of the K-9 program.
On December 5, 2011, President-Elect Jimmy Floyd convened the Executive Board on this date, but no minutes exist.
An email from Ms. Becky Vealy, Director of Sales and Marketing, Embassy Suites Hotel, was sent to President Bill Brown on December 7, 2011 notifying him that a refund of $6,503.14 was due to EMAT, but the check would need to be processed through the corporate office and that would take 2-3 weeks. A check will be sent to Pigeon Forge, TN when it is issued.
On April 3, 2012, President-Elect Jimmy Floyd (Interoperable Communications Officer, Coffee County EMA&HS) requested a voided check and an exempt-status letter from the state in order to update the association’s 501(c)3 status. He said address changes were required for the change of Treasurer address.
On April 19, 2012, President Bill Brown reported a balance of $63,229.09, which includes the Embassy Suites refund. There was no quorum at the last meeting, but there are 12 in attendance at this meeting.
Donnie Smith (TEMA), member of the CEMP Committee and acting for Chairman Tyler Smith, submitted Gary Rogers (Perry County) for approval of CEMP.
Jody Zorsch turned in a packet for Gary Beazley of TEMA to be reviewed for CEMP approval.
On May 10, 2012, President Bill Brown called the meeting to order and received the Treasurer's Report from President-Elect Jimmy Floyd. The balance on hand was given as $63,071.35 (in the black). The conference report was given reflecting all registration forms having been received. If someone needs to use a credit card, they will need to see Jody Zorsch. TEMA's list of attendees will be forthcoming with payment to the hotel. The conference agenda is nearly complete. A count was taken of those needing shirts for the conference. The next meeting is set for June 21 at the Marriott Cool Springs Hotel.
On July 12, 2012, President Bill Brown called the meeting to order and received the Treasurer’s Report submitted by Danette Rolen, Treasurer, (who was not present) as having a balance of $65,170.60, but the SunTrust Bank statement as of July 11, 2012 reflected a balance of $72,986.53. Gary Beazley of TEMA was approved for CEMP recognition. The conference agenda will be ready for review at the next meeting, and the conference menu must be discussed. Legislative Chairman Rickey Graves promised to check on the cost of hiring a lobbyist for the association. (Editor’s Note: This later proved to be outside the purview of an IRS 501(c)(3) organization which can provide information but cannot lobby.) Donnie Smith, TEMA Liaison, provided the TEMA membership numbers, 111 members. IPAWS has been added to the conference training agenda.
On September 11, 2012, President-Elect Jimmy Floyd opened the EMAT membership meeting (on the floor) at Gatlinburg, TN (Westgate River Terrace Resort, new owner hotel title change) and received the Treasurer's report. Total income was stated as $70,563.19 and expenses as $31,359.24, showing a profit margin of $39,203.95. Total liabilities and equity were shown as $104,131.17. The Treasurer’s Report by Jody Zorsch showed $100, 351.39 cash in the bank.
The bill for the Edgewater (overflow hotel) has been paid, but the final bill from the River Terrace is still pending.
He made several officer changes. Alan Lendley was appointed as Legislative Committee Chairman; Jeremy Holly was appointed to Constitution and By-Laws Committee; Faye George Morse (Cannon County) was made Conference Committee Chairperson; James Medling remained Awards Committee Chairman, John Riley was VOAD Chairman, and Mac Purdy was appointed CEMP Committee Chairman. Elected positions were Tony Reavley and President-Elect, West Tennessee Vice President Jamison Peevyhouse, Middle Tennessee Vice President Mac Purdy, and East Tennessee Vice President John Mathews. Jody Zorsch remained Assistant Treasurer and Janet Kelley remained Secretary.
Past President Bill Brown was recognized for his service a president in 2012.
General Jim Bassham, director of TEMA, attended the meeting and recognized the excellent presentation of Jim Thacker to the conference. He suggested that EMAT notify the membership of the 2013 conference as soon as possible to allow TEMA time to identify the funding streams needed to support the next training conference.
President Floyd announced that the EMAT-supported legislation passed last year needs a little clean-up, and he implied that he would lead that effort. His reference was in regard to all the different ways a local director would be qualified to be hired in the position. In the language of the act, any one of the following would qualify a person,
Is a high school graduate or possesses equivalency
Has graduated and received a baccalaureate degree
Has graduated and received an associates degree and possesses at least two years of experience in an emergency management or related field.
Possesses at least four years experience in an emergency management or related field.
Is serving as a director of a local emergency management agency on July 1, 2011.
His feeling was that only the minimum requirement was necessary (the first bullet) and that the others were unnecessary and confused the issue. The last bullet item was necessary to provide a grandfather clause for currently serving directors. The law was never changed in fear of getting something worse.
Donnie Smith (TEMA Liaison) reported that the commissioner of Financial Institutions, Greg Gonzales, had recommended that local banks and local emergency managers work together to prepare a disaster plan. He has suggested this issue to be brought up at the TEMA regional director’s meetings.
CEMP Chairman Mac Purdy announced his intention to insert CEMP completions in the TEMA database and track new additions by computer. He wanted to create a training committee that would combine with the CEMP committee to develop plans and suggested this would require a change in the by-laws. A motion was passed to change the CEMP Committee to the CEMP and Training Committee.
President Floyd would like the committee to work on a new vision for the coming year and find a way to remove the walls (or divisions) that exist between emergency responders (that is, law enforcement, fire, emergency medical service, and East, Middle and West Tennessee emergency management) and formulate a policy to maintain this.
A motion was passed to have the Treasurer to open a new savings account and to create a new post office box. The intent is to have Bill Cooper of TEMA to receive mail and deliver to the box. A question arose as to whether the association has paid its taxes or even filed. No one knew, but it would be investigated.
A motion was passed to hold the next conference in Jackson, TN (2013 conference). President Floyd said the Doubletree and Conference Suites are the recommended hotels. A conference period of September 10-12 is recommended.
An e-mail from Valerie Kemp Dreier, CPA, arrived on November 6, 2012 asking several questions about the 501(c)(3) status and then reporting to IRS. Questions were presented regarding the number of Forms 1099 filed, any wages on Forms W2, the number of voting members in the governing body, the number who are independent (not being paid), will the governing board get a Form 990, is there a written conflict of interest policy in place and whether members are required to disclose annually (and enforcement policy), is there a written whistleblower policy, is there a written retention and destruction policy, how are tax returns and other documents made available to the public (paper copies), the physical address and telephone number of the person in possession of the financial books and records, and for each officer, listing the average hours per week worked on organization issues and projects and the reportable compensation from the organization, whether any contributor gave over $5000 to the organization during the year and name, address and amount given. Each of these questions were required to be answered to meet requirements for 501(c)(3) status.
On November 8, 2012 President Jimmy Floyd (Madison County) convened the board in Gatlinburg to discuss the 2012 conference and the 2013 conference following. Karen Bibee of TEMA attended this meeting for Donnie Smith, TEMA liaison, who could not travel at that time.
On November 16, 2012 President Jimmy Floyd called a special EMAT Executive Board meeting by conference call on November 19, 2012 to authorize someone to conduct financial business for the organization, to purchase new checks with an updated address and to take care of “other urgent financial business.” It stated that a quorum is required to conduct this meeting and that EMAT could not move the money in the bank in Gatlinburg until ownership is changed. Ownership was shown as Danette Rolen, James Barnes and Diane Pryor.
On November 19, 2012 the teleconference was convened with a quorum on-line. President Floyd said that banking information had not been updated in several years and reported again what he had said in his e-mail about who was authorized to handle EMAT funds. Members who were present on-line were Jimmy Floyd, Jody Zorsch, Tony Reavley, Janet Kelley, John Mathews, James Medling, Jeremy Holley, and Bill Brown. Donnie Smith, a non-voting member, was also present on-line. President Floyd received a motion, which was passed, to remove the original names from the bank and replace them with Jimmy Floyd, Tony Reavley and Jody Zorsch. It was also decided (and passed) to order new checks with a new EMAT address shown. There was no other financial business.
On December 20, 2012, President Jimmy Floyd convened the Executive Board and asked if there were any corrections to the minutes. None were submitted, and the Treasurer’s Report was presented by Jody Zorsch. No corrections were recommended. Both reports were approved. Jody said she had ordered new checks and had sent John Mathews some deposit forms so he could make deposits. TEMA reported again this year
that they would cover expenses for the 2012 conference. Donnie Smith (TEMA Liaison) said they are in the process of paying the invoice.
President Floyd pulled the old CEMP document form from the website to update it and will have the executive board approve the changes.
President-Elect John Mathews said he has a meeting set up with Danette Rolen on December 21. He wants to start a new membership list, and President Floyd said he had approved some new members on the website. He reported 285 members on the EMAT e-mail list. A discussion ensued regarding the current membership process, and the board decided to change the membership year from a fiscal year to a calendar year. More discussion was heard to extend the current membership year to cover the entire 2013 calendar year (without charge), and this plan was approved unanimously.
Donnie Smith (TEMA Liaison) said that if anyone wants to change the CEMP program (since there were several discussions about changes and the current rules), he needs to know as soon as possible. He recommended a working committee to approve CEMP applications. President Floyd said he would get with Mac Purdy to see if he has made any progress with CEMP. President Floyd said TEMA will focus on air space control with the FAA in upcoming exercises TNCAT-13, TNCAT-14 and also on HAZMAT LEPC electronic reporting submissions.
There were 46 responses to the 2012 conference survey questions, and Jeremy Holley will re-send the survey to the EMAT mailing list to try to obtain as many other members as possible. There was no indication regarding trends.
A preliminary contract had been received for the 2013 conference to be held in Jackson. The Doubletree Hotel had 130 rooms, the Conference Suites had 50, and the All Suites Hotel had 50 rooms. Regular rooms were $77 per night, suites were $99. The Doubletree will comp one room for every 25 booked. The Doubletree has one small conference room. The dates for the conference were set for September 9-12, and the president asked for a motion to approve the dates. The president also asked for a motion to set vendor rates at the previous level. These motions were approved.
The association came up 75 flash drives short for association members as a conference gift, so President Floyd asked for a motion to buy more USBs. The motion to purchase 75 more flash drives was passed.
Jim Bassham, Director of TEMA, and the creator of the expanded emergency operations center and crisis management team, retired in the first months of 2013. During his tenure, the state of Tennessee emergency management program was accredited and then re-accredited, a signal accomplishment. EMAT presented him with its highest award, the Hyder Award, a very rare event for a TEMA director. He earned almost universal praise by his insistence on centralized control with de-centralized execution and consistently focusing on education as a steppingstone to success. Emergency management operations excelled during the 10 years he was director, professionalism of emergency managers improved, and the gains mentioned significantly advanced the safety of the citizens of Tennessee. Due to his contributions, the State Emergency Operations Center (known colloquially as “the pit”) was named the James H. Bassham EOC. Many states have subsequently recognized Tennessee as a leader in emergency management due to General Bassham’s innovations and strong support of the counties.
Retiring two months later after Jim Bassham (end of April), Donnie Smith, one of his executive officers, completed 10 years of service at TEMA, and then was appointed as Secretary of the association by President Tony Reavley. Just prior to retirement, Smith was presented the EMAT Achievement Award and was recognized for being team leader for the implementation of NIMS in the state and each county after obtaining Governor Phil Bredesen’s proclamation, team leader for EMAP (emergency management accreditation program) state accreditation, and then co-team leader for EMAP re-accreditation, coordinator for TEMA legal issues, the official liaison to EMAT from TEMA, conference registration and front desk support, TEMA contact for CEMP applications and review, and many other duties providing support to EMAT.
Both were present at the conference in Jackson.
On March 14, 2013 President Jimmy Floyd called the Executive Board to order with the first order of business being the discussion of an update to the by-laws, specifically Article 4, Section 1 (membership fees). President Floyd asked the Constitution and By-Laws Committee to present recommendations by next meeting. A new membership certificate was created by John Riley who said he would e-mail a copy of the certificate to the board for approval. He also said he is updating contact information on all 300 members in the process (where possible). The CEMP Committee reported collecting $500 for applications since the first of the year and is creating a brochure to help members to understand the application process for CEMP. President Floyd believes that many people get “hung up” many hours in writing the narrative and suggests that we should create a sample narrative. Donnie Smith reported that there are 29 states that are accredited for EMAP (Emergency Management Accreditation Program), and that we need to encourage the counties to become EMAP accredited, too. President Floyd said we need to do a conference site visit, and he will contact the affected board members with an e-mail to set up a date. He said that training will need to be “laid down” for the conference, and the agenda needs to be completed. He suggested that the registration needs to be on Monday and Tuesday of the conference. He said that giveaways would need to be ordered, and that flash drives and calendars were the only gifts selected. Still, he said he wanted some other ideas.
Minutes for the April-August 2013 period are missing due to a computer crash.
The 2013 Conference was held in Jackson on September 12, 2013 with the theme, “Listen, Learn, then Lead.” The Jackson conference saved a great deal of money and helped the association to stabilize fiscally. President Floyd was a communications specialist in Tullahoma, but when he moved to Madison County, he served in Operations. The meeting facilitator for the full membership meeting was President Floyd, and he reported cash on hand was $118,265.62. He would later be hired as a
communications specialist for TEMA. Janet Kelley of Hickman County was appointed Secretary of EMAT.
On September 12, 2013 President Jimmy Floyd called the membership of the conference to order and approved the minutes from the 2012 Gatlinburg conference meeting (apparently a comparative review of the previous conference to improve the next one) and approved the current Financial Report. The financials showed $70,100.57 in a certificate of deposit and $22,113.72 in checking and $26,051.33 in savings, a total of $118, 265.62 in liquid assets. President Floyd introduced the 2012-2013 Executive Board members and the committee chairs. He gave a special recognition to Faye Morris and Jody Zorsch on a job well done in planning the 2013 conference and workshop. A discussion ensued regarding the upcoming election of officers for 2013-2014, specifically the President-Elect and the Vice Presidents. John Mathews explained the changes to the annual membership dues and announced the dues would track from January 1 to December 31. Those who have paid their dues for this membership year will be extended membership for the remainder of the year to December 31, 2014. To date, EMAT has 333 current members with 170 conference attendees of which 150 are active members.
A “Walking Tall” stick was presented to Lee Ann Duke, Director of Sales and Catering, Double Tree Hilton and Mary Ross, Catering and Sales Manager, Double Tree Hilton for their outstanding support of the Jackson conference. President Floyd then addressed the members with a little “food for thought.” He said Tennessee is divided into three regions, East, Middle and West, but we are one state. He said great progress has been made in removing divisional walls, and we need to continue this work on bringing everyone into one region and one state with no boundaries to divide us.
The floor was opened for nominations for President-Elect with John Mathews of Sevier County being put forward. No other nominations were made, and he was accepted by acclamation. Then, the members were asked to gather in their respective regional caucus and then vote for vice presidents. East Region (with 21 members present) nominated Bill Brown (Greene County). Middle Region (with 46 members present) nominated Jeremy Holley (Giles County). West Region (with 8 members present) nominated Tommy Dunivant (Tipton County). All nominations were accepted without further discussion.
Then new President Tony Reavley gave a special recognition to Jimmy Floyd for his leadership and hard work as EMAT President in 2013.
On October 2, 2013 the Treasurer’s Report showed $105,321.74 in cash assets. The conference budget was not balanced, however, showing expenses of $18,839.92 and a deficit of $14,975.29. This continued the normal procedure of using membership fees to fund the conference.
EDiTORS NOTE" Minutes for November 2013-December 2014 are missing due to a computer crash. If recovered, this area will be corrected.
In the 2014 conference, John Mathews (Sevier County) became President. President Mathews proposed a change of name for the EMAT Executive Board to officially become the EMAT Board of Directors, and he proposed to extend the term of the President by a year to allow for executive programs to be implemented before changing. President Mathews took action to improve many procedures of the association and using the principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) improved its efficiency significantly.
He appointed Jody Zorsch as Treasurer of the association.
Upon appointment President Mathews immediately held a meeting using the concepts of TQM and captured many thoughts and ideas of the board members regarding goals for the coming year, and after the barnstorming session collected these ideas into 9 points of emphasis, each of which were given a committee chairman (chairperson) and had goals to achieve:
Membership Committee -
Develop a map of the state to show EM Directors who belong to EMAT and who should be encouraged to join EMAT
Push for 100% county EMPG membership
Strategic Planning (Long Range Planning) Committee -
Develop a program of instruction for new EM Directors (EMD 101)
Develop a program of instruction for county PIO’s
Finance, Ways & Means Committee -
Prepare a budget that shows the conference supporting itself
Standards, Training & CEMP Committee -
Develop a training plan for regional training (by May)
Prepare to train new directors in EMD 101 (by July)
Historical Committee -
Relocate existing EMAT records, office equipment, records, furniture and plaques to the new EMAT office in TEMA
Acquire a computer, network line and keys to the EMAT office
Create the EMAT President’s Roll of Honor Plaque in TEMA and locate it in the EMAT office within TEMA
Prepare a list of past Hyder Award recipients (back to 2012)
Awards & Nominations Committee -
Develop a protocol for presentation of EMAT awards
Develop a plan to take CEMP recipients’ photos
Utilize the EMAT PIO to distribute award information to the media
Develop a new EMAT Service Award for directors
Conference Committee -
Announce the Conference theme early (by January)
Submit earlier invitations to the vendors for better attendance
Develop a 2016 Conference neutral balanced budget (by January)
Prepare a request for proposal for the 2017 conference (by March)
Announce a date and location for the 2017 conference (by July)
Develop a “Pass the Gavel” process (before the conference)
Review 2015 membership surveys (before the conference)
Constitution & By-Laws Committee -
Be prepared to develop changes presented by the board
Write new by-laws and place them on-line (web site)
Legislative Committee -
Set a date for EMAT Day on the Hill (Third week in February)
Promote EMAT Day on the Hill to achieve 25 or more attendees
Coordinate a room at the Legislative Plaza for EM directors to meet for EMAT Day on the Hill
Prepare handouts and props as necessary
Amend TCA to define “first responders”
Obtain bill sponsors (already done: Senator Janice Boling/ Representative Curtis Halford agreed to sponsor legislation
Consider the impact of drones and whether further guidance is required
Determine the feasibility of a fulltime executive director by 2018
He accomplished most of these goals or set them in motion so that they were eventually accomplished in a subsequent administration. Some goals such as reaching 100% county EMPG enrollment could not be achieved because some counties would not agree to make the local match of funds to federal funds for enrollment, $10,000 initially. He revitalized the committees and checked on progress of the objectives.
President Mathews also changed the EMAT fiscal year to January 1 through December 31 and created a Strategic Planning Committee with a Five Year Calendar, he deleted the VOAD committee (which he felt was already represented as an ESC in TEMA), and created a Historical Committee (to provide a measurement tool for progress and improve implementation of programs) which was confirmed by vote of the membership at the 2015 conference.
With the approval of the body of the membership, the years of service change went into effect immediately and extended President Mathews’ time in office into 2016. The 2016 platform was essentially an extension of the original 2015 platform, but with a re-focus of emphasis on passing legislation to enhance responder benefits.
Since the bill in its original form failed, great effort was placed in succeeding months upon information for the legislators understand why there was a need to define “emergency management first responders” and to add a benefit of $25,000 to the bill for the families of an emergency responder killed in an emergency. The cost, although not large by state budgetary standards, eventually saw the bill pigeon-holed after having been approved by the House and Senate for several years, but finally passed in 2019.
Political weakness became a catalyst for the president to push for a joint effort with the Tennessee County Services Association (TCSA), which includes mayors, county commissioners and county road superintendents, to pursue a stronger information program to the legislature, the public and other influential officials. The “merger” was a test to determine if it would help the EMAT association in serving the public and to enhance the stature of emergency management.
President Mathews pointed out that affiliating with the TCSA would do more than any other action to make the EMAT an influential organization that could explain the need for emergency management law changes and new policy. With the new information flow, emergency management became better understood in its approach to serving the citizens of Tennessee. The economical step of spending $15,000 per year to support the joint executive director also prevented the jarring prospect of the association having to pay for a fulltime EMAT executive director alone. It also provided a new center for accurate disaster information distribution.
TEMA Public Information Officer Jeremy Heidt left in July and Executive Officer Dean Flener picked up his duties, to include interface with EMAT. The EMAT Conference in 2014 was held in Nashville at the Maxwell House Hotel.
The first full year of John Mathews’ term was in 2015.
The minutes for 2015 are missing due to a computer crash. Minutes saved at TEMA also are not available due to a similar problem.