A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Connie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the EMSI cadre. Beginning her Coast Guard career in 1989, she has served in a variety of assignments, including search and rescue boat crew, law enforcement team member, Deck Watch Officer, EMT, Marine Inspector/Investigator, Pollution Investigator, Incident Command System Instructor, and Contingency Preparedness Program Manager. She currently serves as a recurring instructor at the FEMA Incident Workforce Academy (FIWA) teaching ICS-300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents and ICS-400 Advanced ICS – Complex Incidents for students nationwide.
From 1997 to 2001, Connie served as the Chief of the Contingency Preparedness Branch and Emergency Management Coordinator for the Marine Safety Office in Hampton Roads, Virginia. She coordinated USCG responses to a wide array of marine incidents, including oil/hazmat spills, vessel groundings, vessel collisions, waterfront facility fires, and navigation hazards. While assigned to Marine Safety Office Detroit from 2002 to 2005, Connie was responsible for maritime homeland security for the Southeast Michigan area to include extensive inter-agency international response, critical infrastructure security assessments, and the Southeast Michigan Area Maritime Security Plan.
From 2006 to 2009, Connie served as the Chief of Contingency Preparedness and Exercises for the 7th Coast Guard District in Miami and responsible for the response planning, training, and exercises for the USCG in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. As the project coordinator for Unified Support ’07, Connie developed and administered a five-month mass migration training and exercise series that included over 600 responders from 75 federal, state, and local agencies in South Florida.
In 2009, while assigned to the USCG Deployable Operations Group, Connie deployed to Miami in support of Haiti earthquake operations and directed command center incident management operations for response and recovery and the interagency activation of the DHS Homeland Security Task Force-Southeast (HSTF-SE). From May to October 2010, she served as the Special Assistant to Admiral Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, providing oversight to the commander’s schedule, leadership briefings, and a highly aggressive media and governmental engagement plan. In August 2011, Connie was detailed to the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection. In this capacity, she guided strategic programs aimed at fostering multilateral discussions and coordination efforts to further international critical infrastructure security awareness and policy development with other government agencies and the private sector.
Connie has been teaching ICS courses over the last twenty five years and has most recently provided strategic and operational support and advice on contingency preparedness, maritime security, crisis management, incident response, and interagency coordination to leaders at the regional, national, and global levels in the DHS, DOD, NOAA, FEMA, private industry, and state and local agencies. She holds a Master of Science in Adult Learning from Virginia Tech and is a FEMA Master Exercise Practitioner; an International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certified Emergency Manager; and a certified NIMS Planning Section Chief.