Program Agenda

May 19-20, 2016

Missouri Southern State University – Billingsly Student Center

SuPaying It Forward Cover JPGmmit Downloads and Videos

Downloads and videos for the summit can be found underneath the session descriptions below.  We are adding content as we receive it and can process it.  Please continue to check back on this site for additional downloads.  We were able to video the general sessions and a limited number of breakout sessions. Any handouts provided by speakers can be found after their sessions.

Click on the link below to download the essay collection “Joplin Pays It Forward: Community Leaders Share Our Recovery Lessons”, 47 essays written by Joplin leaders active in the recovery process. (also available on Amazon for 99-cents)

Click Here for the Download Site for Joplin Pays It Forward

Thursday, May 19

1:15 pm – 1:30 pm
Welcome and Conference Overview – MSSU BSU Ballroom

Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert; Jane Cage, Joplin Proud Committee

Summit Program PDFDownload  Summit Program PDF

Thursday, May 19

1:30 pm – 3:15 pm CDST


The Road to Resilience – MSSU BSU Ballroom

City Leaders from across the central United States talk about the long road of recovery and resilience after experiencing some of the worst recorded disasters in the past decade. This will be the first time that they have been together to discuss the lessons they have learned as their cities rebuild. Beth Freeman, Regional Administrator from FEMA Region VII, moderates a panel consisting of:

  • Bob Dixson – Mayor, city of Greensburg, KS
  • Sandi Fowler – Assistant City Manager, city of Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Steve Eddy – City Manager, city of Moore, OK
  • Walt Maddox – Mayor, city of Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Miranda Schuler – City Councilwoman, city of Minot, ND
  • Sam Anselm – City Manager, city of Joplin, MO
  • Troy Bolander – Director, Planning, Development and Neighborhood Services, city of Joplin, MO

Our opening session was broadcast as a nationwide webinar.

Click on the links below to watch the entire session.

Watch: The Road to Resilience – Part 1 

Watch: The Road to Resilience – Part 2

Thursday, May 19

Ensuring Safety After a Disaster: The Role of Police and Fire Departments – MSSU BSU Room 356

Chaos in the aftermath of a disaster is unavoidable. In this session, Joplin’s former police and fire chiefs relay their experiences and lessons around search and rescue operations and maintaining order in the days immediately following the disaster. Topics such as site access, mutual aid and the clear designation of responsibilities will be discussed. Learn about how the two departments cooperated to make decisions that led to an efficient operation.

  • Keith Stammer – Moderator – Director, Joplin/Jasper County Emergency Management, Joplin, MO
  • Lane Roberts – Director, Missouri Department of Public Safety (former Joplin Police Chief), Jefferson City, MO
  • Mitch Randles – Fire Chief, (former Joplin Fire Chief), city of Temple, TX

Download: Ensuring Safety After a Disaster PowerPoint Presentation

Watch: Video presentation of Ensuring Safety After a Disaster

The Long-Term Recovery Committee: Responding to Individuals and Families in Need – MSSU BSU Room 309

A long-term recovery committee (LTRC) is a cooperative body of representatives from faith-based, non-profit, government, business and other organizations working within a community to assist individuals and families as they recover from disaster. No matter how a group is structured or what it calls itself – unmet needs committee, interfaith, organization, coalition, roundtable, partnership, coordinating council, etc. The LTRC goal is the same: to unite recovery resources with community needs in order to ensure that even the most vulnerable in the community recover from disaster. You will learn how the personality and operation of each group is unique and reflects local needs, available resources, cultural diversity, leadership style, and community support as described by two leaders of LTRCs in large scale disasters.

  • Renee White – Moderator – Executive Director, Community Clinic, Joplin, MO
  • Stephanie Brady – Assistant Executive Director, Independent Living Center, (former Chairman, Long-Term Recovery Committee), Joplin, MO
  • Robin Eddy – Program Director, Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project, Moore, OK

Download: The Long-Term Recovery Committee: Responding to Individuals and Families in Need PowerPoint

Facts in Flux: Crisis Communication after a Disaster – MSSU BSU Ballroom

A disaster requires deliberate and accurate communication inside your organization, with residents and business owners, and a concerned public. Each audience has an insatiable need for information. Hear the perspectives of communication officials across the spectrum of community agencies and media outlets about balancing accuracy, privacy and timeliness during a crisis. Come away from the session understanding what questions to expect, how and when to communicate and effective ways to broadcast needed information – and all of this under pressure.

  • Miranda Lewis – Moderator – Director of Development, Mercy Health Foundation, Joplin, MO
  • Lynn Onstot – Public Information Officer, city of Joplin, MO
  • Kirstie Smith – Communications Director, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Joplin, MO
  • Carol Stark – Editor, The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO
  • Kristi Spencer – News Director, KOAM-TV, Joplin, MO
  • Rebecca Williams – Administrator,  Joplin Tornado Info Facebook Page, Neosho, MO

Watch: Video presentation of Facts in Flux: Crisis Communication after a Disaster

Hand-out: Joplin Public Information Partnership – Expedited Debris

Hand-out: JACC Fact Sheet May 2016 – 5 Year

Avoiding Financial Disaster after a Natural Disaster – MSSU BSU Room 341

Disaster recovery for a community largely depends on cash – How can you minimize your out-of-pocket expenses and receive maximum reimbursement from FEMA and other agencies after a disaster? It’s a question that weighs heavily on community and organization leaders. Hear perspectives from panelists with in-depth experience from disasters of different scales. Panelists will discuss their varied approaches on working with insurance companies and agencies using in-house resources or consulting assistance. Learn about the must-haves in terms of process, protocols and record-keeping that can make all the difference in the reimbursement a community receives.

  • Tony Robyn – Moderator – Assistant Director of Planning, Development and Neighborhoods, city of Joplin, MO
  • Paul Barr – Chief Financial Officer, Joplin Schools, Joplin, MO
  • Leslie Haase – Finance Director, city of Joplin, MO
  • David Weaver – Assistant to the Mayor, city of Duquesne, MO

5:30 pm – 7:00 pm 
WELCOME RECEPTION – Mercy Hospital Joplin

Join us for the opening reception and networking with appetizers and spirits at the newly built Mercy Hospital – a highlight of our recovery. You’ll have a chance to learn about the special construction involved in the hospital and take a tour if you desire.

Mercy Hospital, Joplin. I-44 and Main Street

Friday, May 20

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Paying It Forward: Defining Moments in Disaster Recovery 

This session brings together three compelling speakers to share stories of what they discovered on the road to disaster recovery. These TEDx style talks provide firsthand, unique perspectives of the moments that made a difference for each community in their recovery process.

  • Jane Cage –  Moderator – Joplin Proud Committee, Joplin, MO
  • David Mink – “Recovery, Through the Lens of a Younger Me,” Editor, Joplin Regional Business Journal, Joplin, MO
  • Gary Bandy – “What If It Happens to You,” former Joplin KSNF Meteorologist, Joplin, MO
  • Walt Maddox – “After the Storm,” Mayor, city of Tuscaloosa, AL

Downloads: Paying It Forward: Defining Moments in Disaster Recovery PowerPoint – Bandy and Mink

Watch: Video Presentation Part 1 – Gary Bandy “What If It Happens to You”

Watch: Video Presentation Part 2 – David Mink ” Recovery, Through the Lens of a Younger Me”

Watch: Video Presentation Part 3 – Walt Maddox “After the Storm”

Friday, May 20

Cleaning Up: Strategies in Debris Removal to Speed Recovery and Minimize Expense – MSSU BSU Room 356

Removing debris is more than just cleaning up – it’s the first step in the rebuilding process that allows citizens to resume their lives. A key challenge for communities is the proper and timely disposal of debris. Proper planning allows your community to prepare for and manage debris removal as a primary responsibility. It can be a daunting logistical challenge that requires proper staging and handling of different types of debris to meet various regulations. On the backside there are issues and best practices related to duplication of benefits, payments and collection. Local officials from Vilonia, Arkansas and Joplin, Missouri share experiences about approaches and challenges of debris removal to help your community be prepared.

  • Barb Sturner – Moderator – External Affairs, FEMA Region VII, Kansas City, MO
  • Leslie Haase – Finance Director, city of Joplin, MO
  • David Hertzberg –  Manager, Capital Improvement Projects, city of Joplin, MO
  • Allen Dodson – Former County Judge, Faulkner County, AR


Post-Disaster Philanthropy: Dealing with Whatever Comes or Doesn’t Come Your Way – MSSU BSU Room 309

When news of a disaster breaks, the donations timeframe for your community may be long, short or worst of all, sometimes no one comes to your aid. This session explores philanthropy through three lenses. First, learn how to manage and leverage donations of goods and how to encourage the kind of donations that you may really need. Second, learn how to be prepared to receive monetary donations in a way that honors the intent of the givers and demonstrates fiscal responsibility to avoid negative consequences. Third, understand that there are paths to recovery for your community when your disaster seems to goes unnoticed by the giving public. As a result, your organization can begin recovery no matter the situation.

  • Renee White – Moderator – Executive Director, Community Clinic, Joplin, MO
  • Jono Anzalone – Division Disaster Executive, American Red Cross (Former Volunteer Agency Liaison, FEMA), Omaha, NE
  • Louise Knauer – Sr. Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Springfield, MO
  • Nancy Beers – Midwest Early Recovery Fund Program Officer, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Download: Post-Disaster Philanthropy – Dealing with Whatever Comes or Doesn’t Come Your Way PowerPoint

Watch: Video presentation of Post-Disaster Philanthropy

All Disasters Are Not Created Equal: Understanding the Factors that Determine Recovery Resources – MSSU BSU Ballroom

No disasters are alike; and it isn’t limited to Mother Nature’s impact. Many variables affect the level of resources, which ones are available, and how they are employed. Recovery resources may be determined by government thresholds, result from disaster damages or the visibility of the event. Other times the vision and innovation of the resource provider will determine availability of resources. Regardless of the extenuating factors, the creativity and resolve of community stakeholders play a significant role in applying resources to the community and its people. Listen to the perspectives of people that learned how to negotiate the complexities of not only the resources themselves, but the complexities of getting assistance to the people and organizations that need them.

  • Steve Castaner – Moderator -Economic Development Administration, Denver, CO
  • Walt Maddox – Mayor, city of Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Sallie Hemenway – Director, Business and Community Services, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Jefferson City, MO
  • Libby Turner – Federal Coordinating Officer, FEMA Region IV, Atlanta, GA
  • Kim Neiman – Village Clerk, village of Pilger, NE

Watch: Video Presentation All Disasters Are Not Created Equal: Understanding the Factors that Determine Recovery Resources 

Stemming Population Loss: Short-term and Long-term Solutions to Resupply Housing and Keep Residents in Your Community – MSSU BSU Room 341

Natural disasters are unpredictable. So too are the strategies a community can use to address housing recovery needs. Citizens must make hard choices about their future and leaders must lay a foundation for residents to remain. This session explores creative and unique efforts by three communities to blend short and long-term housing needs with limited or restricted resources. Session highlights include a buyer equity program to encourage homes to be rebuilt in a devastation zone.

  • Benjamin Alexander –  Moderator – Principal, InsightFive22, Atlanta, GA
  • Sandi Fowler – Assistant City Manager, city of Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Troy Bolander – Director, Planning, Development and Neighborhood Services, city of Joplin, MO
  • Robin Edgeworth – Recovery Coordinator, city of Tuscaloosa, AL

Watch: Video presentation of Stemming Population Loss

Friday, May 20

11:00 am – 12:00 pm


Leading Through Crisis and Change: Lessons from Meta-Leadership and Swarm Intelligence

Dr. Leonard Marcus, Co-Director, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint program of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Center for Public Leadership, Cambridge, MA

What is it about a crisis that can bring people together in extraordinary ways? How can leaders build unity of effort at the times when it matters most? Meta-Leaders are leaders of leaders, forging connectivity of effort across the breadth of people and organizations whose work together is critical in leading up to and in the aftermath of disaster. NPLI researchers discovered that when Meta-Leadership practices are carefully followed, another phenomenon is likely to emerge: Swarm Intelligence. How might the five principles of Swarm Intelligence describe what occurred during the Joplin response and in actions following other disasters? The principles are:

  1. Unity of effort, save lives;
  2. Generosity of spirit and action;
  3. Stay in one’s lane and assist others to succeed in theirs;
  4. No ego – no blame; and
  5. A foundation of trusting relationships.

In this provocative keynote, Dr. Marcus will encourage disaster response leaders to consider how they can foster the conditions that encourage Swarm Intelligence to emerge. While it is impossible to be prepared for every event, when leaders are ready to lead and lead well, communities are more likely to find the energy and the adaptability to build resilience and a more constructive road to their future.


Watch: Lessons from Meta-Leadership and Swarm Intelligence

Handout: Meta-Leadership

Handout: Swarm Intelligence

Friday, May 20

We’re here to Help: Maximizing and Managing Volunteers and Faith-Based Response After a Disaster – MSSU BSU Room 309

Before the wind is gone or the floodwaters recede, volunteers of every variety appear. These volunteers may be supplied by government agencies, faith-based groups or simply show up on their own. It takes effort to effectively manage volunteers in meaningful service and activities. Learn how to manage and maximize volunteers’ vital role at a time when resources are already strained. Our speakers relay the story of how volunteers saved Joplin over $17 million as a local match for FEMA projects and how Greensburg, Kansas managed housing and hospitality for volunteers. You’ll gain an understanding of voluntary or faith-based entities and their defined roles for disaster recovery.

  • Sam Anselm – Moderator – City Manager, city of Joplin, MO
  • Amanda Mitchell – Business Development Manager, Freeman Health Systems (former Volunteer Coordinator, Rebuild Joplin), Joplin, MO
  • Bruce Bailey – Executive Director, AmeriCorps St. Louis, MO
  • Matt Deighton – Volunteer Coordinator, city of Greensburg, KS
  • Marty Knight – Chairman, Rebuild Vilonia, AR

Download: We’re Here to Help: Maximizing and Managing Volunteers and Faith-Based Response PowerPoint

Watch: Video presentation of We’re Here to Help: Maximizing and Managing Volunteers 

The Role of Schools and Mental Health Organizations in Trauma Recovery – MSSU BSU Room 341

Disaster survivors look for emotional and spiritual support to find meaning in the chaos. This session explores the post-disaster strategies, programs and intervention used in Joplin. “Healing Joplin” a community collaboration led by Ozark Center, offered emotional first aid for children, adults and senior citizens. Joplin Schools employed crisis counseling teams working in the schools to help students adjust. Hear from leaders of these programs and discover how your community might prepare for the emotional support after a crisis.

  • Terry Wachter – Moderator – Former author of Community Connections Program, Mercy Hospital, Joplin, MO
  • Vicki Mieseler – Vice-President, Clinical Services, Ozark Center, Joplin, MO
  • Renee White – Executive Director, Community Clinic of Joplin, MO

Download: Vicki Mieseler – Ozark Center Presentation

Leading through a Disaster: The Sprint that Becomes a Marathon – MSSU BSU Ballroom

Almost every leader accepts challenges during their career, but not many expect the enormous responsibilities and challenges that come after a disaster. Under normal circumstances, Community agencies and municipalities are used to dealing with limited resources. What happens when a crisis or disaster multiplies the workload exponentially, new skillsets are required or the finish line is out of sight? This session explores the realities of long-term community recovery for leaders and their citizens. Participants will speak about the political aspects of recovery, the extended timeline of recovery, acknowledging adequate time for personal grief, understanding resource limitations, the changing moods of citizenry and how to assist and support leaders.

  • Libby Turner – Moderator – Federal Coordinating Officer, FEMA Region IV, Atlanta, GA
  • Kim Neiman – Village Clerk, village of Pilger, NE
  • CJ Huff – President, The CJ Huff Group (former Superintendent Joplin Schools), Joplin, MO 
  • Steve Eddy – City Manager, city of Moore, OK
  • Linda Langston – Linn County Supervisor, Cedar Rapids, IA

Watch: Video presentation of Leading through a Disaster: The Sprint that Becomes a Marathon

Handout: Leading Through a Disaster

Dealing with Public Health Concerns Post Disaster: From the Walking Wounded to Radioactive Materials – MSSU BSU Room 356

 There is a broad range of public health related topics post-disaster – performing triage of medical supply and demand; evaluating the health care impacts and loss of facilities, and tracing long-term care and special needs clients. This session explores a cross section of key issues, such as deploying mobile medical units, caring for the wounded, locating injured patients, providing vaccinations, deploying pest control, and tracking vulnerable populations. Even accounting for radioactive materials and medicines in compromised facilities becomes a post-disaster challenge.

  • Gary Duncan – Moderator – former CEO, Freeman Health Systems, Joplin, MO
  • Dan Pekarek – Director, Joplin Health Department, city of Joplin, MO
  • Harold Kirbey – Director, Missouri Division of Community and Public Health, Jefferson City, MO
  • Dennis Manley – Chief Nursing Officer, Mercy Hospital, Joplin, MO

Lost and Found: Strategies for Recovering Precious Possessions – Pets and Photographs – MSSU BSU Room 343

Losing your possessions is traumatic for any disaster survivor. Two of the most mourned categories are family photographs and family pets. This session promises to be one of the most uplifting of the entire conference as you hear about the efforts of two organizations whose goal was to reunite survivors with these precious possessions. The National Disaster Photo Rescue is a group born after the Joplin tornado. Volunteers have rescued, cleaned, indexed and stored over 35,000 photos and other documents blown away after the storm. Almost one-half have been successfully returned to their owners. The Joplin Humane Society led a mammoth and heroic effort to rescue, return and re-home over 1,200 lost pets post-tornado. Hear leaders from both organizations tell their inspiring stories.

  • Carole King – Moderator – C.L. King Communications, Joplin, MO
  • Dan Pekarek – Director, Joplin Health Department, Joplin, MO
  • Lysa Boston – Shelter Manager, Joplin Humane Society, Joplin, MO
  • Thad Beeler – Outreach Director, National Disaster Photo Rescue, Carthage, MO

Download: Lost and Found: Strategies for Recovering Pets and Photographs PowerPoint

Watch: Video

Emotional Stabilization and Healing: Community Connections, Art Feeds – MSSU BSU Room 341

Joplin was forced to find a new normal–communicating under new circumstances, dealing with new trauma, and trying to support each other in the best manner we could with the resources that were available.  Several amazing programs emerged in Joplin–some were developed from examples from other communities and some developed organically due to the specific circumstances in Joplin. Hear about two of those programs that proved particularly successful. Community Connections provide a way for neighborhoods to reconnect through monthly dinners that included a grief counseling program. Art Feeds gave school children throughout Joplin a way to express their griefs and fears through weekly art sessions at every Joplin elementary school. Since that time, Art Feeds has served other disasters including Moore, Oklahoma, and Colorado flooding.

  • Renee White – Moderator – Executive Director, Community Clinic of Joplin, MO
  • Meg Hulsey – Founder, Art Feeds, Joplin, MO
  • Terry Wachter – Former author of Community Connections Program, Mercy Hospital, Joplin, MO

Download: Terry Wachter: Mercy Connections PowerPoint

Citizen Engagement: A Force Multiplier for Long-Term Community Recovery – MSSU BSU Ballroom

The most powerful tool for disaster recovery exists in every community –  citizens rallying together to shape the community’s vision and future. By providing an opportunity for everyone and anyone to work through a structured conversation, it helps people envision a path to recovery for themselves and their neighborhoods.  Skills and perspectives you never knew existed can be found, cultivated and empowered to bring unity and excitement to the chaotic and sometimes controversial process of recovery. Hear from panelists that used public engagement in their communities and how it benefited recovery by generating ideas, inspiring leadership and creating long-term support.

  • Kathy Fitzgerald – Moderator – Principal, InsightFive22, Denver, CO
  • Jane Cage – Former Chairman, Joplin Citizens Advisory Recovery Team, Joplin, MO
  • Marty Knight – Chairman, Rebuild Vilonia, AR
  • Troy Bolander – Director of Planning, Development and Neighborhood Services, city of Joplin, MO
  • Charlotte Haden – Public Administrator, Cedar County, MO

Rebuilding from the Ground Up: Economic and Community Redevelopment from a Clean Slate – MSSU BSU Room 309

Mark Twain wrote, “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”  Never is there more opportunity than when there is great chaos.

Economic and community development core principles link directly with community success for preparedness to and recovery from disasters.  The speakers in this session will talk about the opportunities realized after a disaster and how they saw opportunity in catastrophe apply economic and community development principles to support disaster progress.

  • Steve Castaner – Moderator – Economic Development Administration, Denver, CO
  • Rob O’Brian – President, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Joplin, MO
  • Miranda Schuler – City Councilwoman, city of Minot, ND
  • Sallie Hemenway – Director, Business and Community Services, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Jefferson City, MO

Downlaod Disaster Recovery Points – Rob OBrian Handout

Where Do You Go if You Can’t Go Home? – MSSU BSU Room 356

A portion of your community can become homeless in minutes. What are your alternatives for providing citizens with much needed shelter. An agreement signed by the American Red Cross and Missouri Southern State University less than a month before the tornado made all of the difference in being prepared. You’ll learn how preparation can lessen the time it takes to get a shelter up and running.

  • Keith Stammer – Moderator –  Director, Joplin/Jasper County Emergency Management, Joplin, MO
  • Darren Fullerton – Vice-President, Student Affairs, Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO
  • Debi Meeds – CEO and President, United Way of the Ozarks (former Regional CEO American Red Cross), Springfield, MO

Download: Where Do You Go If You Cant Go Home PowerPoint