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NEMA President Kicks Off Technical Program with Opening Plenary Keynote

Wednesday, January 7, 2015  
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Building Innovation 2015 Day Two

Today, Building Innovation 2015—The National Institute of Building Sciences Third Annual Conference and Expo continued with the start of the technical program. The day began with an opening plenary keynote by Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and President of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA).

Koon talked about creating high-performing resilient communities and provided Florida’s perspective on disaster management and the steps that state has taken to improve mitigation for its jurisdictions. He emphasized the value of collaboration and highlighted efforts Florida made at the state level, having gone through the re-accreditation process for the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP), to assist counties and local communities.

"We recognize that if we stay in our own individual lanes, none of us will be able to get where we want to go with this,” said Koon. "Or we could leverage our handiwork.”

Since the state went through the re-accreditation process a year and a half ago, the number of counties that participated in the accreditation process has increased from three to seven, and lowered costs by over half. One proposed project will centralize the emergency notification system at the state level, which will help to achieve economies of scale and remove the burden from cities and counties, allowing them to unlock funds to support their other local mitigation efforts.

The Security & Disaster Preparedness Symposium: Means and Methods for Creating Resilient Communities, focused on ways to improve resilience and prepare for disasters. Speakers addressed a range of topics, from facilities hazards and risk assessment, through codes and governance, to social considerations and economics, and community resilience.

During its Annual Meeting, the Consultative Council released its 2014 Moving Forward Report, which includes findings and recommendations to advance the industry and the nation. The report focused on three high-priority areas, where action, coupled with measurable results, would drive advancement.

The Information Resources and Technologies Symposium: Improving Facilities with the Power of Information looked at the opportunities that exist for the owner of an information-rich facility. It started with the end in mind, optimizing facility operations, then looked at resilient facilities and information’s role when disaster strikes; construction as an information goldmine; Vision 2021: The Challenge; getting started on the right foot and taking the first critical steps; and then a wrap up session.

Innovations from the leading companies and organizations exhibiting during the conference were highlighted by a Walking Lunch where attendees networked while seeing the latest innovations and activities from the exhibitors. The evening ended with the Exhibitors Reception, which was sponsored by IAPMO, offered attendees more time to interact with colleagues and exhibitors.

Day Three of the Conference will continue with the Industry Leadership & Advocacy Symposium, Facility Performance & Sustainability Symposium, Beyond Green™ Awards Luncheon and the Institute’s Annual Reception and Award Banquet, which will feature the retirement celebration honoring the Institute' Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Earle Kennett.

Walk-in registration is still available. View the full list of conference activities.

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