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We are pleased to announce the key contributors for Understanding Risk Vancouver 2017: William AdamsSimone BalogBecky Denlinger, Fiona Dercole, Susanna Haas LyonsMurray JourneayAlex KaplanTamsin LyleAndrea ReimerJessica Shoubridge. and Daniel Stevens.

William Adams
Vice-President, Western and Pacific Region, Insurance Bureau of Canada

William Adams has more than 20 years of experience in government relations and strategic communication planning for the public and private sectors. He joined IBC in 2004 as Manager of Government Relations. In this role, he worked with the governments of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. As Vice-President, Pacific and the West, Adams directs the industry’s government relations in western Canada and oversees daily operations at IBC’s offices in Edmonton and Vancouver. 

Before joining IBC, he held a number of senior communications positions including Communications Director, Halifax Port Working Group; Director, Community and Government Relations, Greater Halifax Partnership; and President, Atlantic Smart Growth Management. Adams graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and also studied at the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of New Brunswick. Adams was a Board Member of the Offshore/Onshore Technology Association of Nova Scotia; Chair of the Halifax board of Big Brothers Big Sisters and currently sits on the national board as well. He has also served on the New Brunswick Highway Safety Committee and Nova Scotia’s Road Safety Advisory Committee.

Simone Balog
World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduciton

Simone is a DRM Analyst with the GFDRR Innovation Lab, leading efforts to translate scientific and technical analysis on disaster risk and climate change so that this information is available, understandable, and usable by non-specialists. In addition, she manages the Understanding Risk (UR) Community through greater collaboration, information sharing and hosting of local, national, regional and international UR forums. Prior to joining GFDRR, Simone held a variety of positions focused on scientific communication of weather and health risks in the UK Government Office of Science, a biopharmaceutical company and a weather crowdsourcing startup. A US national, Simone holds a Master of Science in Risk Analysis from King’s College London and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Boston College.

Rebecca (Becky) F. Denlinger
Deputy Minister for Emergency Preparedness, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Rebecca (Becky) F. Denlinger was appointed Deputy Minister of Emergency Management within the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure effective July 30, 2015. Becky’s success is reflective of her 37 year career in public service in which she has taken on progressively more senior responsibilities at the local, provincial/state and national levels.

Prior to her most recent appointment, Becky served as Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development, effective June 10, 2013, where she brought together key government services and supports, boosting economic growth for BC communities.

Becky also served as Assistant Deputy Minister / Fire and Emergency Management Commissioner responsible for Emergency Management BC, effective September 16, 2009, following her original appointment as Fire Commissioner of BC on February 23, 2008. Becky was a member of the Senior Officials Responsible for Emergency Management and the Canadian Council of Emergency Management Organisations, and was actively engaged in numerous international, national, provincial and regional emergency management and fire service committees.

Prior to Emergency Management BC Becky was Fire Chief of the Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services department in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia area. Her career with Cobb County began in 1977 when she was hired as a Firefighter, culminating in her appointment as Fire Chief. She held the position of Fire Chief from 1997 until her retirement in January 2008. Denlinger served on numerous committees, boards, and councils during her tenure as chief, including the Georgia Homeland Security Task Force, the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the National Infrastructure Advisory Council to which she was appointed by President G.W. Bush, and until just recently, the Board of Directors of the National Fire Protection Association.

In addition to activities as part of the Deputy Minister team in BC, Becky is currently active on the Provincial/Territorial (PT) and Federal/Provincial Territorial (FPT) Committee of Deputy Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management.

Becky attended Manchester College (North Manchester, Indiana), DeKalb College (Decatur, Georgia) and Thomas Edison State College (Trenton, New Jersey). She holds associate and bachelor degrees in Liberal Arts from Thomas Edison.

In 2009 Becky completed the Harvard Senior Executives in State and Local Government Fellowship Program. She also enjoys Chief Fire Officer Designation from the Institute for Public Safety Excellence and is a Member of the Institute of Fire Engineers.

Fiona Dercole
Section Manager Public Safety, District of North Vancouver

Fiona leads the District of North Vancouver’s Natural Hazards Management Program – working with various levels of government, District departments, the public, consultants, scientists and academics to build resiliency by integrating risk assessment, mitigation and community awareness of natural hazards and risk. Previous to her position in the Engineering, Parks and Facilities division at the District of North Vancouver, Fiona worked as an avalanche specialist in Whistler, BC and led river rafting expeditions in remote areas of Northern BC and Yukon.

Susanna Haas Lyons
Public Engagement Specialist

Susanna is a civic engagement specialist who facilitates complex conversation, develops strategy and provides training for better public conversations. Bridging online and face- to-face methods, Susanna has worked on some of North America’s largest and most complex citizen engagement projects. Susanna is an Instructor of engagement skills at post-secondary institutions such as Simon Fraser University and the Justice Institute of BC, as well as for provincial governments. She is certified by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) and has an M.A. in sustainability from the University of British Columbia.

Murray Journeay
Research Scientist, Land and Mineral Sector - Natural Resources Canada

Dr. Murray Journeay was born and raised in the deserts of Arizona. Murray has long been fascinated by the form and evolution of landscapes and the ways in which we make sense of place through science and art. As a geologist with the Earth Science Sector of Natural Resources Canada, he has studied the architecture and evolution of mountain systems in western North America and the ways in which communities interact with this landscape. In addition to earth science studies, Murray is part of regional sustainability initiative in the Georgia Basin region of western Canada, and co-leads an interdisciplinary project (Pathways) within Natural Resources Canada aimed at building a web-based architectural framework to situate and promote the use of integrated earth science information, knowledge and expertise within a broader societal context. Current projects focus on groundwater resource management and natural hazard mitigation in the Georgia Basin and Okanagan Basin regions of western Canada, with an emphasis on the process and tools of collaborative place-based planning, and community design.

Alex Kaplan
Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships, Swiss Re

Alex Kaplan is Vice President of Global Partnerships for Swiss Re developing and executing innovative risk transfer solutions to help governments, international financial institutions and NGOs at all levels manage their financial risks. Prior to joining Swiss Re, Kaplan served as the Deputy to the Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs for the United States Department of the Treasury under Secretary Henry M. Paulson. Kaplan also worked with the Organization for International Investment and the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Tamsin Lyle
Principal, Ebbwater Consulting

Tamsin Lyle is principal and founding engineer with Ebbwater Consulting, a Vancouver based company that is wholly focussed on flood management. Over her academic and professional careers she has she has developed in-depth technical knowledge of flood mechanisms along with a broad understanding of flood policy and planning. She works across the country to help communities mitigate their flood risk, and often speaks out on the need to manage floods in a holistic and integrated manner. She is especially interested in understanding how to best make risk-informed decisions in the uncertain environment of climate non-stationarity.

Andrea Reimer
Councillor, City of Vancouver: Lead Councillor, Greenest City Action Plan and Chair of the City's Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities

Councillor Andrea Reimer has led the City of Vancouver's award-winning efforts to be the Greenest City in the world by 2020 and was instrumental in Vancouver becoming the first major city in North America to commit to 100% Renewable Energy.

First elected to Council in 2008 with Mayor Gregor Robertson, Ms. Reimer previously was elected to the Vancouver School Board under the Green Party banner, a first in Canada. She was Vancouver’s first permanent Deputy Mayor and currently chairs the City’s Policy and Strategic Priorities Committee.

Ms. Reimer is also appointed to Metro Vancouver Regional District board, where she serves as the Vice Chair of the Climate Action Committee and a member of the Regional Planning Committee. Nationally, she sits on the Green Municipal Fund Council which awards federal dollars for green infrastructure.

Prior to being elected, Ms. Reimer ran the largest membership-based environment group in Canada. She has won a number of notable awards including the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal and the World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award. She was also chosen as one of the first Canadians to be trained by Al Gore for his Inconvenient Truth presentation.

Jessica Shoubridge
Principal, Thrive Consulting International

Jessica is a Planner and graduate of UBCs School of Community and Regional Planning. For the past 7 years, she has been working on projects that build resilience in the Lower Mainland, and more broadly BC. She has worked across all orders of government, academia, non-profits and the private sector to help bridge gaps between science, policy and action for risk reduction and resilience building. She led the development of the City of Vancouver's Earthquake Preparedness Strategy, has helped develop the Lower Mainland Flood Management Strategy, sits on the board of directors for EERI-BC and is generally passionate about developing integrated policy and win-win-win solutions to some of today's trickiest resilience challenges. Otherwise, she can most often be found riding a bike of some sort, probably in the woods!

Daniel Stevens
Director of Emergency Management, City of Vancouver

Daniel Stevens is the Director of Emergency Management for the City of Vancouver with responsibility covering the City’s operational readiness, inter-agency emergency planning, emergency volunteer programs, and community resilience building. Daniel has been involved in the management of numerous emergencies in Vancouver and was deployed for 30 days to Christchurch, New Zealand, in support of their 2011 earthquake response.

His current focus is continuing the building of organizational capacity to respond to catastrophic events, leveraging the power of the community to build resilience for small and large emergencies, and furthering the assessment of disaster risk in Vancouver.

Daniel has a B.A. in urban geography and an M.Sc. in geospatial analysis.

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