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2019 Iowa Homeland Security Conference logo

2019 Iowa Homeland Security Conference

This year's Iowa Homeland Security Conference will be Oct. 30-Nov. 1, 2019 (Wed.-Fri.), at the FFA Enrichment Center on the Ankeny DMACC Campus. Click here to see a campus map.


Our conference is designed to incorporate speakers sharing the experiences and lessons learned from real world events along with a variety of other relevant topics. This year, as we developed our conference agenda, our goal was to incorporate topics related to Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) being updated by local emergency management coordinators in support of the state Planning, Training and Exercise Strategy (PTE Strategy). The focus for ESF updates this year include: ESF 1-Transportation; ESF 3-Public Works; ESF 7-Logistics and ESF 12-Energy.


Register to attend the 2019 Iowa HSEMD Conference here:


Click here to access the Credit Card Payment Form (PDF)
. You can save this document to your computer before printing and sending it (except in Google Chrome). Please FAX the form to 515-323-4319.

Register to be a vendor here:



FFA Enrichment Building


Book your hotel: Click here for more information


The following hotels have a limited number of rooms set aside for conference attendees. The deadline to receive the identified hotel rate is October 4, 2019.

AmericInn logo

(Price TBD)

1610 SE Oralabor Road, Ankeny

Block name: Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.964.2004

Comfort Inn logo

Comfort Inn
($89.99/night + tax)

2602 SE Creekview Drive, Ankeny

Block name: Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.963.1100

Country Inn and Suites logo

Country Inn & Suites ($104/night + tax)

2510 SE Tones Drive, Ankeny

Block name: Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.965.2646


Fairfield Inn and Suites logo

Fairfield Inn & Suites ($108/night + tax)

215 NE Delaware Avenue, Ankeny

Block name: Iowa Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.965.8400

Hampton Inn and Suites logo

Hampton Inn & Suites ($97/night, state government rate + tax)

6210 SE Convenience Boulevard, Ankeny

Block name: Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.261.4400 or Book Online

Holiday Inn Express logo

Holiday Inn Express & Suites ($108/night + tax)
2402 SE Tones Drive, Ankeny

Block name: Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.965.2400

Homewood Suites Logo

Homewood Suites
($108/night + tax)
2455 SE Creekview Dr, Ankeny
Block name: Homeland Security Conference
To reserve: Call 515.963.0006

Quality Inn logo

Quality Inn & Suites
($65/night + tax)
201 SE Delaware Avenue, Ankeny

Block name: Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.964.8202

Ramada logo

Ramada ($85/night + tax)

133 SE Delaware Avenue, Ankeny

Block name: Homeland Security Conference

To reserve: Call 515.964.1717




This agenda is tentative and subject to change.

(Last edited: July 31, 2019)

Day 1 - Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019

8:00 am-12:00 pm

Vendors Move In


Vendor Hall

8:00 am-12:00 pm

IEMA Business Meeting


Breakout Room

1:00-1:30 pm

Welcome from Governor Reynolds,
Opening Comments


Kim Reynolds, Joyce Flinn, & John Benson

1:30-2:30 pm

Surviving the Storm and Coming Back Vermeer Strong


Steve Flann, Liz Sporrer, Jeff Anderson

3:00-4:30 pm

Topic TBD


Speaker TBD

4:30 pm

End of Day 1


Day 2 - Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019

8:00-9:15 am

Railroad Emergency Response and Hazardous Materials Awareness


Derek Lampkin, Tony Houdyshell

8:00-9:15 am

Lessons and Best Practices: 104 Day River Flood


Dave Donnovan, Nicole Gleason

8:00-9:15 am

Time to Exercise the Emergency Support Function


Steve O'Neil

8:00-9:15 am

Topic TBD


Speaker TBD

9:45-11:00 am

Livestock Truck Rollovers: Preparing for the Safety Issue


Bonnie Castillo, Mike Telford

9:45-11:00 am

Public "Works"


Scott Mitchell

9:45-11:00 am

Logistics for Community Resources


Jeremy Sroka, Zac Ellison

9:45-11:00 am

State and Local Nuclear Power Plant Decommissioning


Stuart Jordan, Dean Curtland

11:15 am-1:15 pm

Lone Offender Terrorist Actors

Lunch Speaker

Molly Amman

1:30-2:45 pm

Passenger Train Emergency Response


Gary Miller

1:30-2:45 pm

Small Communities-Big Disasters: Navigating the Recovery Process


Tricia Sandahl, Michelle Sponheimer

1:30-2:45 pm

Public Safety Impacts: Coordinating Power & Comms


Rodney Cooper

3:15-4:30 pm

Doon, IA Train Derailment/Crude Oil Spill


Arden Kopischke

3:15-4:30 pm

Flooded in a Flash-A Disaster Decades in the Making


Jonathan Gano

3:15-4:30 pm

Using Technology to Your Advantage


AJ Seely

3:15-4:30 pm

Improving Iowa's Energy Resiliency


Shelly Peterson

4:30 pm

End of Day 2


Day 3 - Friday, Nov. 1, 2019

8:00-10:00 am

Topic TBD


Speaker TBD

10:30 am-12:30 pm

Victim Assistance in Mass Casualty Events


Karen Gale

12:30 pm

End of Day 3


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Each year, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management strives to find knowledgeable speakers to provide conference attendees with interesting and relevant information from a variety of homeland security, emergency management, and response fields.


As in past years, this year's conference presenters come from all over Iowa and the United States.


2019 Iowa Homeland Security Conference Presenters


Molly Amman

Molly Amman

Supervisory Special Agent (SSA)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Molly Amman manages two FBI offices in Iowa, the United States, with oversight over criminal and national security programs. Prior to this assignment, SSA Amman served in the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit from 2010 until 2018, focusing largely on threats of violence posed by individuals and groups, threats related to school and workplace attacks, protracted crisis operations, and stalking and communicated threats. SSA Amman served as the BAU's program manager for threat assessment from 2012 until transitioning to domestic terrorism matters.


SSA Amman has co-authored several publications including the 2017 monograph on targeted violence, Making Prevention a Reality: Identifying, Assessing and Managing the Threat of Targeted Violence. Prior to joining the BAU, SSA Amman was on faculty at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia. SSA Amman has also been assigned to the Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Counterterrorism divisions of the FBI, and has completed numerous overseas deployments. SSA Amman graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, followed by a Juris Doctorate from Drake University. After practicing law as a prosecutor, SSA Amman joined the FBI in 1998.

Rodney Cooper

Rodney Cooper

Director, Federal Emergency Response Sprint Corporation

Rodney has been with Sprint since 2001, where he began his communications career serving the Public Safety community across western Virginia. Rodney's experience in emergency response began April 16, 2007 where he led Sprint's Emergency Response Team's mission in support of local, state, and federal first response and law enforcement agencies responding to the Virginia Tech active shooter incident.


Today, Rodney is the east region Director for Sprint's Emergency Response Team where he serves as strategic planner, business development manager, primary liaison, and operational command across 32 States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, with national level responsibility for all Federal agencies. In his capacity, he focuses on the strategic development and deployment of Public Safety communications technologies such as satellite communications, deployable broadband systems, interoperability, and semi-autonomous aerial and ground based systems. When not working on corporate strategy, Rodney spends time in the field working behind the scenes with both government and commercial entities in the development of communications continuity plans and all-hazards emergency response frameworks.


Mr. Cooper also serves as liaison to Sprint's Enterprise Incident Management Team where he consults on the design and implementation of best practices, policies, and procedures necessary to enable continuity of Sprint's services and operations, community assistance, and rapid response capabilities. Rodney directs strategies that influence how Sprint supports the whole ecosystem of Disaster Planning, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery including Government Relations, Corporate Alliances, Cross-Sector Partnerships, and Non-Profit Relationships. Rodney is a strong advocate for public-private partnerships. He is a member of and continues to participate in advisory and chair positions including CUSEC, NISC, EIS Council, NY-NJ-CT-PA RCPT, NPSTC, various other state and federal level private sector integration efforts and continues to seek other opportunities to engage in areas of partnership with both government and industry sectors.


During his career at Sprint, Mr. Cooper has led Sprint’s ERT response in multiple planned and unplanned events such as Hurricanes Michael, Florence, Maria, Irma, & Sandy, Gatlinburg Tennessee Fires, and numerous tornado events. Rodney has also led Sprint's support role in other events including law-enforcement actions such as the Wythe/Pulaski County Manhunt, and a number of National Special Security events such as the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, 2013/2017 Presidential Inaugurations, and NATO Conference as well as a number of National Level and State Level Exercises such as Shaken Fury, NLE 2014, CUSEC Capstone New Madrid Exercise, and numerous Vigilant Guard and other exercises.

Dean Curtland

Dean Curtland

Site Director, Duane Arnold Energy Center

Dean Curtland is the Site Director of the Duane Arnold Energy Center. Mr. Curtland is responsible for the governance and oversight of all functions at the station. Prior to his most recent assignment, Mr. Curtland was the Vice President of Fleet Engineering for the NextEra Energy fleet in Juno Beach, Florida. Previous positions included Site Vice President at the Seabrook Station, General Manager, Fleet Engineering and a number of roles at the Duane Arnold Energy Center including Plant General Manager, Engineering Director, Training Director and Operations Director. He began his career at Duane Arnold as a shift technical advisor.


Curtland received a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1983. He earned his NRC Senior Operator License at Duane Arnold in 1988, and in 1999 attended the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations' Senior Nuclear Plant Management Course.

Dave Donovan

Dave Donovan

Director of Scott County Emergency Management Agency, Scott Emergency Communication Center

Dave Donovan is the Director of Scott County Emergency Management Agency and the Scott Emergency Communication Center. Prior this position, Dave has also been the Emergency Management Coordinator and the Director of Facility and Support Services, during a 30 year career with Scott County in Iowa.


Dave graduated from Davenport West High School, Scott Community College (Computer Science) and Western Illinois University (Board of Trustees with Emphasis in Public Policy). In addition, he has earned a Graduate Certificate from Michigan State University in Facility Management and a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from Drake University.


Dave is married with two adult children, Ben, who is attending graduate school at Penn State University, and Alexandra who is a physician assistant in the Iowa City area. Dave and his wife, Mary, live in Le Claire. Dave and Mary enjoy traveling and playing golf.

Zachary Ellison

Zachary Ellison

Preparedness Bureau Chief
Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Zachary Ellison joined Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in 2010, where he served as a Disaster Project Specialist within the Recovery Division. While working in the Recovery Division, he worked with both the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation grant programs. In June 2015 he was promoted to Strategic Planner within the Response Division. As the Strategic Planner, he was in charge of the State Strategy, the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment Report (THIRA) as well as the Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR). Mr. Ellison has also served as an Operations Officer within the State Emergency Operations Center, as well as the 24/7 on-call Duty Officer.

In June 2019 he became the Preparedness Bureau Chief, overseeing many different preparedness activities the Department manages such as: Disaster Response Planning, Critical Infrastructure Planning, Radiological Emergency Preparedness Planning, Strategic Planning and Volunteer/Donations Management.

Mr. Ellison is a 2009 graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning.

Steve Flann

Steve G. Flann

Senior Director, Environmental, Health, Safety & Security Vermeer Corporation

Steve Flann is the Senior Director, Environmental, Health, Safety and Security for Vermeer Corporation. He is responsible for developing, managing and implementing the Vermeer Global EHS&S strategic plan.


Prior to joining Vermeer Corporation, Steve had 20+ years of EHS experience in the chemical, aerospace, appliance and defense industries. He is a retired officer with the US Army and has spent a significant amount of his career identifying and evaluating risk and implementing control measures for radioactive subassemblies of weapon systems in maintenance, repair and overhaul operations.


Steve holds a Master of Science in Industrial Technology emphasizing Occupational Safety from Iowa State University and is a Certified Safety Professional.

Karen P Gale

FBI Victim Specialist

Karen entered on duty with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, September of 2005, in the Omaha Division, Des Moines Resident Agency.

Karen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Arts degree in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma.

Karen's area of responsibility includes FBI Resident Agencies in Des Moines, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities in Iowa. She provides comprehensive victim services to identified victims of federal crimes, including, white collar crime, bank robbery, fraud, human trafficking, on-line sexual exploitation and crimes against children.

Karen provides training, statewide, on a variety of topics, to include On-line Sexual Exploitation, Human Trafficking and Internet Safety. Karen has provided training and informational presentations to thousands of individuals, schools, businesses and groups throughout Iowa.


Karen was a member of the FBI Victim Services Rapid Deployment Team (VS-RDT) from 2012-2018 and responded to mass casualty events, to include: Sandy Hook School; Inland Regional Center, San Bernardino, California; Pulse Nightclub, Florida and the First Baptist Church shootings in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Karen also works with the Iowa victims in the Las Vegas Harvest Festival shooting.

Before joining the FBI, Karen was part of the Army's Family Assistance Program and built the first Victim Advocacy Program, and served as Coordinator, for Fort Richardson Army Post, Alaska.

She has received the FBI Director's Award for "Distinguished Service for Assisting Victims of Crime" for both the Sandy Hook and San Bernardino mass casualty events and was awarded the 2018 Crime Victim Rights Week, Award of Excellence in Victim Services 2018, by the US Attorneys' Offices in Iowa.

Karen has over 20 years' experience in victim advocacy.

Nicole Gleason

Nicole Gleason

Assistant City Administrator & Director of Public Works
City of Davenport

As the City of Davenport's Assistant City Administrator and Director of Public Works, Nicole Gleason manages the complex programs and services of public works' 15 divisions and over 350 employees, including the City's Flood Plan. Prior to her current position, Nicole held the position of Logistics Manager and Assistant Public Works Director for the City of Davenport from 2014-2016.


Before coming to the City, she held multiple positions in the supply management field at John Deere and DENSO Manufacturing.  Nicole holds an MBA from the University of Iowa and a degree in Supply Management from Western Michigan University.


Since joining the City, Nicole has used her leadership skills and background in operations and supply management to initiate operational changes focused on improving accountability, and overall efficiency of service delivery through data-supported analysis. The most critical change included launching a new public works asset management system.

Stuart Jordan

Health Physicist
Bureau of Radiological Health,
Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH)

Stuart Jordan is a health physicist for the Bureau of Radiological Health at the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). He is responsible for licensing and inspection for radioactive materials and industrial x-ray machines in Iowa. He is also part of the IDPH response team for providing independent dose projections and technical advice during a radiological emergency in Iowa. Stuart earned his BS degree in radiation sciences from the University of Iowa.

Arden Kopishcke

Arden Kopishcke

Lyon County Emergency Management

Arden Kopishcke has been involved in the emergency services for over 35 years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with the Little Rock Fire Department and serving as Fire Chief for 12 of those years. In addition, he has been a fire instructor for the Fire Service Training Bureau and Northwest Community College for 18 years. In 2014, Arden began serving as full time Emergency Management Coordinator and 911 Director for Lyon County. He is also currently serving on the four county Fire Advisory Board and EMS Advisory Board.

Prior to his position as Lyon County EM, Arden was a building contractor for 32 years. He resides in Little Rock, Iowa and enjoys spending time with his wife of 39 years, three daughters, and four grandchildren.

Derek Lampkin

Derek Lampkin

Manager Hazardous Materials, Field Operations,
and Emergency Response, BNSF Railway

Derek Lampkin is a Hazardous Materials Field Manager for the BNSF Railway, based out of Kansas City, KS. Some of Derek's roles at the BNSF Railway include managing hazardous material incidents involving rail transportation, emergency responder training, community outreach, and various other emergency preparedness responsibilities. Throughout the years Derek has held positions as a private hazardous materials contractor, emergency responder, and Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager for various companies. Derek earned his bachelor’s degree in Safety Management and a minor in Fire Science from the University of Central Missouri.

Gary Miller

Gary Miller

Regional Emergency Manager, Amtrak

Gary Miller is an Amtrak Regional Emergency Manager. Mr. Miller is one of Amtrak's 7 Regional Emergency Managers. He is responsible for all aspects of Amtrak’s emergency response and preparedness for a 17 State Region to include Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming. He has over 20 years in railroad operations with over 6 years in his current position; prior to coming to Amtrak. Mr. Miller had worked for Union Pacific Railroad as a Dispatcher and Manager.


Miller is also a retired Colonel of the US Army where he has over 32 years with experience as the State of Illinois’ Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer for the Department of Defense and has experience in Military Support/Defense Support to Civil Authorities as a member of the Illinois National Guard and the Army Reserve.

Scott Mitchell

Senior Highway Technician
Iowa Department of Transportation

Mr. Mitchell comes from a family of nine, born and raised on the family farm five miles east of Hornick. He graduated from Westwood School District in 1990 then started working odd jobs in packing houses, grain elevators, soybean plants and ethanol plants. He currently works for the Iowa Department of Transportation as a Senior Highway Technician in Sioux City.

Scott became a member of the Hornick City Council in January of 2010, then Mayor in 2015. On March 13, 2019 the City of Hornick was put to the test with major flooding. With the help of the city council, city clerk, water and sewer superintendent, fire department, the county and state agencies, and my family everything worked out for the best.

Steve O'Neil

Steve O'Neil

Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management Agency

My wife, Susan, and I have been married and living in Manly for 32 years. We have two children, Patrick, deceased, and Hannah, age 28. A few years ago I received my certificate in Theology and Congregational Leadership from Wartburg Seminary. I have served on our church and synod councils for many years. I also teach our adult classes and serve as a lay minister in our synod. I started my EMA career in 1995 in Worth County and have been serving Cerro Gordo County since 2001. My wife and I are avid bird watchers, and I enjoy collecting books on naval history and space exploration.

Shelly Peterson

Shelly Peterson

Energy Team Program Manager
Iowa Economic Development Authority

Shelly Peterson has worked with the State Energy Office, housed at the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), since 2010. Her role includes management of energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy research projects funded by state and federal programs. She participates in inter-agency energy assurance, energy resiliency and energy code planning and implementation projects and acts as IEDA's technical lead on efforts to advance bioenergy and Combined Heat and Power. She also serves as contract manager for planning partners carrying out the $97M HUD award to the state of Iowa for The Iowa Watershed Approach for Urban and Rural Resilience - a resilience project designed to improve unmet needs from past disasters while addressing the vulnerabilities potentially impacted during future disasters. 


Shelly has a MS in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and a BS in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University (Ames, IA).  

Tricia Sandahl

Planning and Zoning Manager
City of Mason City, Iowa

Tricia Sandahl is the Planning and Zoning Manager for the City Mason City, Iowa where she is the first point of contact for new development in the community and serves as the city's Flood Plain Administrator.


After historic flooding in 2008, Sandahl was responsible for managing the City's acquisition of 175 flood-prone properties acquired and demolished with FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds, FEMA Public Assistances funds, and HUD Community Development Block Grant funds. She also coordinated the relocation of five buyout houses, including the historic Egloff House, as part of the historic mitigation treatments arising out of the buyout. 


Sandahl also provides technical support for the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment and Historic Preservation Commission. She serves on the Board of the North Iowa Farmers Market and is active the local foods movement in the region.  Sandahl holds a B.A. degree in Political Science from Iowa State University.

AJ Seely

AJ Seely

Dallas County Emergency Management Coordinator

AJ Seely currently serves as the Dallas County Emergency Management Coordinator. AJ began a career in public safety beginning as a firefighter/paramedic. AJ obtained his Associates Degree in Fire Science in 2014 and his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, majoring in Emergency Management in 2017. His education and experience led him to serve as the Chickasaw County Emergency Management Coordinator from 2017 to 2018 where he was responsible for emergency management, 911 and a countywide EMS system.


AJ's significant accomplishments during his tenure in Chickasaw County included implementation of a countywide land mobile radio system, increasing responder retention and technologically transitioning emergency management and the countywide first responder service. Throughout AJ’s career, he has focused on process improvement and efficiency, many of which can be found with emerging technologies. In late 2018, AJ transitioned to his current role in Dallas County. AJ is a recent graduate of the FEMA Basic Academy.

Michelle Spohnheimer

Michelle Spohnheimer

Housing & Community Development Director
City of Marshalltown

Michelle Spohnheimer is the Housing & Community Development Director for the City of Marshalltown, and has served the City since February 2001. Michelle attended Iowa State University for Community and Regional Planning with an emphasis on Housing. She worked briefly with the City of Ames during college and shortly after before moving to Marshalltown. In Marshalltown she is responsible for administration of Planning & Zoning, Code Enforcement, Building Inspections, Rental Housing Inspections, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, HUD Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Grant and other various grant programs that are awarded to the City.


Since July 19, 2018 Michelle has been a key person involved in the FEMA Public Assistance Declaration administration. She has served on the Iowa NAHRO Board, the Region 6 Planning Commission Board and Region 6 Local Housing Trust Fund Board along with many other local committees over the years. She has secured more than $20 million in grant dollars for Marshalltown during her employment. On the side she is co-owner of Buzzed Bee Meadery with her husband Wayne which is located in rural Marshall County where they make Mead (honey-wine).

Liz Sporrer

Liz Sporrer

Corporate Communication Manager, Vermeer

Liz Sporrer leads the corporate communication team at Vermeer Corporation, a global industrial and agricultural equipment company making a real impact in a progressing world.


Liz received her B.A. in Communication and Fine Arts from Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa and her Master's in Business Administration from the University of Iowa. Prior to coming to Vermeer Corporation in 2012, Liz spent time in the healthcare and retail industries in various areas including graphic design, visual branding, Internet marketing and public relations. In her current role, Liz and her team are ultimately focused on the development of internal and external channels and content creation to help drive business initiatives and goals. Corporate brand and talent brand advocacy are driven through employee communications, media relations and executive visibility. Coming together, these key areas of influence help carry the culture and drive progress in a family-owned organization with a global reach.


In her free time, Liz enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

Mike Telford

Mike Telford

Executive Director, Iowa Farm Animal Care

Mike Telford is Executive Director of Iowa Farm Animal Care. He's a graduate of Iowa State, former Farm Broadcaster at WHO, was Executive Director of Iowa Pork for 20 years, served as Director of External Affairs for the College of Agriculture at Iowa State, and is a private industry consultant for other National organizations.

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If you have any questions, please contact Beth Lewis or Steve Warren at 515.725.3231 or