Congratulations to the First Graduating Class of the Emergency Management Advanced Academy offered in Virginia

August 26, 2016  //  

RICHMOND – Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) officials will conduct a graduation ceremony of the first off-campus offering of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute’s (EMI) Emergency Management Advanced Academy today. The Advanced Academy has historically been taught at the EMI campus in Maryland. Virginia was selected to be the first state to pilot an off-campus offering, which began last November.

“Virginia was an ideal place to offer the first off-campus Emergency Management Advanced Academy because of our long-standing relationship with EMI,” said Dr. Jeffrey Stern, Virginia’s state coordinator of emergency management. “Also, Virginia has been faced with a wide range of emergency management challenges—hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding, mudslides and the 9/11 terrorist attack.”

The Advanced Academy is designed for emerging leaders and mid-level managers who want to advance their skill sets in the discipline of emergency management. All of the students are from Virginia and represent a wide area of the Commonwealth—from Charlottesville to Norfolk and Prince George County to Herndon. Members of the 2016 graduating class are:

  • Thomas Berry – Director of Emergency Services, University of Virginia Medical Center
  • Sharon Chamberlin – Senior Emergency Planner, City of Chesapeake
  • Billy Chrimes – Deputy Search and Rescue Coordinator, VDEM
  • Andrea Clontz – Emergency Management Coordinator, Isle of Wight County
  • Susan Collins – Acting Planning Section Chief, VDEM
  • Louis DeRamus – Manager of Environmental Health and Safety Program, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Walter English – Deputy Coordinator and Emergency Management Planner, City of Fairfax
  • Virgil Gray – Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator and Chief, Stafford County
  • Scott Hudson – Regional Liaison, The Olson Group
  • Donald Hunter – Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, Prince George County
  • Derek Koenig – Operations Officer, Virginia Army National Guard
  • Robert Le Monde– Manager of Maritime Incident Response Team and Emergency Operations, Port of Virginia
  • David Long – Program Manager, Hampton Roads Metropolitan Medical Response System, Tidewater EMS Council Inc.
  • Michelle Pope – Emergency Manager, Virginia Department of Social Services
  • Jim Redick – Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response, City of Norfolk
  • Gene Stewart – Chief Regional Coordinator for VDEM Region 3, Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • Mark Stone – Chief Regional Coordinator for VDEM Region 2, Virginia Department of Emergency Management
  • Fred Wilkins – Virginia Civil Air Patrol
  • Lee Williams – Acting Chief of Incident Management Programs, Virginia Department of Emergency Management

The academy is part of the national Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP). The program provides a structured and progressive framework for acquiring the knowledge, skills and abilities to enter and progress through the emergency management field. The academy builds the qualities needed to lead emergency management programs and educates participants in relevant management theories and concepts, using case studies and a collaborative environment to reinforce learning and establish a network of peers. Students learn skills critical to performing leadership responsibilities, such as program management and oversight, effective communication at all levels, integrated collaboration and strategic thinking. The academy also provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their critical thinking ability through a guided research project.

The graduation ceremony will be at 2:30 p.m. at the North Courthouse Public Library at 325 Courthouse Road in Chesterfield.

Florida will be the second state to offer the Advanced Academy and will have a graduation ceremony in a few months.

Anyone interested in enrolling in a future offering of the Advanced Academy should email the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Training, Education and Exercise Division at


Contact Information:
Name: Amanda Reidelbach
Phone: (804) 897-6510 or (804) 674-2400
Address: 10501 Trade Court | Richmond, Virginia | 23226

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund