January 21, 1998 Panel Discussion

Project Impact:
What's It All About?


Transcript (Unedited text file)
Transcript (Microsoft Word file, edited for readability)

Michael Armstrong
Larry Deetjen
Paul Thompson

Avagene Moore, EIIP Coordinator
Amy Sebring, EIIP A&C Work Group Facilitator

Related Sites:
Project Impact

January 21, 1998 - 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM (EST)

Topic: Project Impact
What's it All About?

The EIIP Virtual Forum presented a panel of distinguished speakers to discuss "Project Impact: What's It All About?" on Wednesday, January 21, 12:00 Noon (EST). Featured speakers were:

Michael Armstrong, Executive Associate Director
Mitigation Directorate - Federal Emergency Management Agency

Larry R. Deetjen, City Manager
Deerfield Beach, Florida - Project Impact Pilot Community

Paul Thompson, Senior Vice President, Merchants & Marine Bank
Pascagoula, Mississippi - Project Impact Pilot Community

EIIP Panel Moderator - Avagene Moore, CEM, EIIP Coordinator
EIIP Virtual Forum Moderator - Amy Sebring
EIIP Virtual Forum Gatekeeper - Kevin Farrell

The audience for the Project Impact discussion was the largest thus far for the Virtual Forum online events --- 45 people logged in to learn about FEMA's Project Impact initiative. Information provided by the panelists gave a broad overview of the status of the two pilot communities represented and also conveyed the expectations of FEMA and the communities spotlighted in the discussion. The panelists had about 15 minutes for questions from the audience. The entire group was alerted to February's schedule that includes "Project Impact - Part II". Next month's panel discussion of this topic will deal more with state and local government involvement as the initiative progresses. The Brown Bag session immediately following the panel discussion was also well attended.

Lessons Learned:
This was the first online event since the installation of an upgrade to the Virtual Forum chat software. There were a number of people, particularly in FEMA, who had trouble fully accessing and participating in the ongoing discussion. These problems demand investigation from all perspectives to ensure access to our discussions. We are hopeful that the problems will be resolved prior to the January 28 Tech Arena presentation.

Promotion continues to pay off in increases in the Virtual Forum audience. Promotion within the FEMA Mitigation Division was obvious in this session with the presence of Regional staff. Promotion continues to pay off in inquiries about Partnership and presentation opportunities also.

Direct messaging is a feature of the chat software that is very beneficial, particularly when the panel and forum moderators sense a problem with the discussion flow. However, we will stress for future online events that direct messaging be limited because it can be very distracting to the moderators and any direct message recipient when you are trying to follow the discussion. It should be used only when absolutely necessary during the formal presentations and discussions. Also related to distractions, the chat software shows the coming and going of each participant; this is somewhat useful to know who is coming into a chat room. However, it can be distracting when there is a lot of movement on the part of a participant who is trying to resolve an access problem. We will investigate limiting in some way these types of messages on the screen in future discussions.


Executive Associate Director
Mitigation Directorate, FEMA

Michael J. Armstrong was nominated by President Clinton on April 28, 1997 and confirmed
by the U.S. Senate on June 12, 1997 to be Associate Director for Mitigation at the Federal
Emergency Management Agency. In his current position, Mr. Armstrong manages a budget
of more than $100 million and administers federal assistance programs to help state and local
governments reduce the risks of natural hazards before and after disasters. These programs
include the new Disaster Resistant Communities initiative, Hazard Mitigation Grants and
Mitigation Assistance Programs, Floodplain Mapping and Compliance, earthquake and
hurricane programs, dam safety and various initiatives involving academic, scientific,
non-profit and private sector organizations.

Mr. Armstrong had been serving as Regional Director of FEMA's Region VIII, after his
Presidential appointment to that position in January 1994. During his tenure as Regional
Director, he coordinated mitigation, preparedness and disaster response and recovery
activities in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. His
regional office was designated as the agency's "Center of Excellence" in developing new
community relations and disaster outreach policies for FEMA field activities, and he also
chaired the agency's reinvention of its employee performance system.

Before joining FEMA, Mr. Armstrong served for more than a decade in state and local
government, including positions as Deputy Director of Energy Conservation for the Colorado
Governor's Office, and 10 years as an Assistant City Attorney in Aurora, Colorado, working
as a prosecutor and specializing in land use and personnel matters. He also wrote for several
Colorado newspapers.

A native of California and a long-time resident of Colorado, Mr. Armstrong holds a B.A.
degree in English and a B.S. degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
He also holds a J.D. from the Pepperdine University School of Law, in Malibu, California,
where he served on the Law Review.

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City Manager
Deerfield Beach, Florida

Larry Deetjen has served as City Manager of Deerfield Beach, Florida, since July of 1994. Prior to his appointment as City Manager in Deerfield Beach, Larry was President of Harding Energy Systems, Inc., a Phase I New Battery Technology firm bsed in West Michigan. In addition, he was an elected county commissioner of Ottawa County, Michigan, and served as City Manager for Grand Haven, Michigan, from 1979 through 1990, and was Assistant Town Manager of Arlington, Massachusetts, as well as serving on the Governor Elect Transition Teams for Governor Engler of Michigan and Governor Quie of Minnesota.

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Senior Vice President
Merchants & Marine Bank
Pascagoula, Mississippi

Paul started his banking career right out of high school in 1981. He worked in a variety of banking positions from Courier and File Clerk to Multi-Department and Branch Management. Presently, he is serving as Vice President of Merchants & Marine Bank, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

He has been educated through Our Lady of Victories Catholic School (now Resurrection Catholic School), Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and the University of Southern Mississippi. He was the youngest student to graduate from the Mississippi School of Banking at Ole Miss, and is currently attending Graduate School of Banking at LSU.

Paul is very active in the community where he is currently a two-term treasurer for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, board member and 1996 Pilot Campaign Chairman of the United Way for Jackson and George Counties, board member of Moss Point Partners in Education, Finance & Organization Coordinator for the 1699-1999 Jackson County Tricentennial Commission, and Finance Committee Chairman for the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Pastoral Council. Paul is a member of the Young Men's Business Club, Moss Point Rotary Club, Moss Point Active Citizens, Southeast Mississippi Home Builders Association, Ducks Unlimited, Knights of Columbus, Pascagoula Country Club, and Singing River Yacht Club.

He is an umpire for Pascagoula Dixie Girls fast pitch softball and the Mississippi High School Activities Association. He is a member of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and member of the National Federation of Interscholastic Officials Association. He serves as Resurrection Catholic Elementary School Field Day Chairman and coaches in youth baseball, softball, and soccer organizations.

He is an avid sports and outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys playing guitar. Paul married his high school sweetheart, the former Laura Lindgren. He has two children, Paul, III and Christina.

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Avagene Moore, CEM

Avagene Moore is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) who served as the Director of Emergency Management for 16 years in Lawrence County, Tennessee. Avagene worked four years (1991-1995) as an Emergency Management Project Manager for the Emergency Management Laboratory, Oak Ridge Associated Universities; her responsibilities included the coordination of the Occupational Safety Special Interest Group (OS SIG) for TRADE. She currently runs her own company, Avagene Moore/Professional Management (AM/PM), and serves as Vice President of TEAM Simulations, Inc., of Tallahassee, Florida. As part of her work, Avagene coordinates the Emergency Information Infrastructure Partnership (EIIP) for the National Coordinating Council on Emergency Management (NCCEM).

Avagene is a 22-year member of NCCEM. She is a Past President of both NCCEM and the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP) and established her name and credibility with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), other Federal agencies and national organizations through speaking engagements, published articles and papers, and testimony before various congressional committees on behalf of NCCEM and the emergency management profession.

Summary of Background/Experience:

Avagene Moore / Professional Management (AM/PM), 10/95 - present
Current Responsibilities as Personal Services Contractor:

  • Write Video Scripts, Training Manuals and Guidance Documents
  • Manage Emergency Information Infrastructure Partners (EIIP) - NCCEM/FEMA
  • Manage and Develop Projects for TEAM Simulations, Inc.
  • Work projects with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 6/91-9/95
Emergency Management Project Manager for the Emergency Management Laboratory; Group Coordinator and Project Manager for Training Resources and Date Exchange (TRADE)

ERP&M, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey 1/91-6/91
Personal Services Contractor:

City of Lawrenceburg, Lawrence County, Tennessee 1975-1990
City/County Emergency Management Director; Chaired Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and 911 Emergency District Board

Professional Affiliations:

National Coordinating Council on Emergency Management (NCCEM)
American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP)
National Association of Female Executives (NAFE)
American Management Association (AMA)
Toastmasters International (TI)
Emergency Management Association of Tennessee (EMAT)

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