Harvey G. Ryland - July 7, 2013 Print E-mail

It is with a sad heart that we announce the passing of Harvey G. Ryland, the second Executive Director of CUSEC.  Mr. Ryland served as Director of CUSEC from 1989 to 1993, and was the first Executive Director following the relocation of CUSEC headquarters from from Marion, IL to Memphis Tennessee.

In 1993, Mr. Ryland left CUSEC to serve with FEMA Director James Lee Witt (former CUSEC Board Chairman) as Senior Policy Advisor, and later as Deputy Director of FEMA.   It was their personal and professional friendship that developed during their years together at CUSEC that strengthened in their years at FEMA and beyond.  Under Harvey’s leadership, CUSEC made great strides in moving earthquake response, preparedness, and risk reduction efforts forward within the central U.S.  

Harvey will be greatly missed as a friend and colleague of the large family known as CUSEC.  Memorials may be made to Life Path Hospice, 12973 N. Telecom Parkway, Suite 100, Temple Terrace, FL 33637, and Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St, Tampa, FL, 33606.

W.R. "Bud" Harper - March 28, 2012 Print E-mail

W.R. “Bud” Harper, 81, passed away at home in Fort Smith on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. He was born Jan. 6, 1931, in Fort Smith to William Raymond Harper and Helen Olive Jones Harper.  Harper is survived by his wife, Jo Harper, and a son, daughter, and grandchildren.  He was a multifaceted man of tremendous faith and deep love for his family. He loved his church, and he loved Fort Smith and his country. He was a man of great integrity and compassion, and was an avid outdoorsman.  He held a Bachelors of Science from Arkansas Tech Univeristy, and recently, served as chair of the Arkansas Tech University Board of Trustees.  Mr. Harper was also the 1999 recipient of “Outstanding Alumnus of Arkansas Tech University” Hall of Distinction.

After serving two terms on the Sebastian County Quorum Court, Harper was elected Sebastian County Judge in 1983. He served in this capacity for 16 years until he was appointed to Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Cabinet as director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and served from 1997-2003. During this time, he was the point man for Homeland Security in Arkansas.  As director at ADEM, Mr. Harper was also on the CUSEC Board of Directors, and was a former Chairman of the Board.  Mr. Harper was a dedicated community servant, and member of many civic, volunteer, and professional organizations and associations. 

CUSEC offers our deepest condolences to the Harper family.  Memorials may be sent to St. Luke Lutheran Church, 5401 Free Ferry Road, Fort Smith, AR 72903, or to Arkansas Tech University, 1509 Boulder Ave., Room 210, Russellville, AR 72801.

John White, Jr. - August 10, 2011 Print E-mail

CUSEC is saddened by the sudden loss of one our former Board Members, John White.  He served as the Director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency from 1994 until he retired in 2003.  While Director of TEMA, Mr. White served on the CUSEC Board of Directors, and held position of Chairman several times.  The entire CUSEC Board of Directors and staff offer our deepest sympathies to the White family.  Obituary as follows -

WHITE, JR., John Age 60 of Houston County. Retired State Director of the  Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. Preceded in death by grandson, Briton Miller. Survived by his wife, Margaret White of Houston County; daughter, Jamey Moore of Nashville; parents, John and Carrie White of Nashville; step-son, Brett (Jackie) Fayette of Burns; step-daughter, Finee (Freddie) Miller of Dickson; brother, Jimmy White of Nashville; sister, Cathy Reeves of White House; six grandchildren. Visitation will be from 12 Noon until service time Saturday, at Taylor Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 2 p.m., from the Chapel of the Taylor Funeral Home, with Melisa Reeves, Cecil Whaley, Mac Purdy, and Robert Cullom officiating. Burial to follow at the Dickson Co. Memorial Gardens. TAYLOR FUNERAL HOME, (615) 446-2808.

J.E. Maher - April 12, 2010 Print E-mail

CUSEC is saddened to report the loss of one of our founding Board Members, J.E. "Jim" Maher.  Maher passed away on April 12, 2010.  Director Maher was a previous director of Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).  He led MEMA for nearly twenty years as director, holding the post through the administrations of five governors.  Maher was the inspiration for the J.E. Maher Award, an award given to individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the field of emergency management. 

Maher was a decorated veteran, seeing combat in Korea and Vietnam.  He retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1971.  During his years at MEMA, Maher sat on numerous boards and associations including the National Emergency Management Association (President), Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (Chairman), and the Advisory Council for the National Institute of Urban Search and Rescue (Chairman).  The entire CUSEC Board of Directors and staff offer our deepest sympathies to the Maher family.  

Norman C. Hester - December 7, 2009 Print E-mail

Dr. Norman C. Hester, 76, of Bloomington, Indiana passed away on Monday December 7, 2009.  Dr. Hester served for several years as the Technical Director of the Association of CUSEC State Geologists.  He was one of the original founders of the Association and recognized early on the need for a collaborative effort among the CUSEC Member State Geological Surveys.  As Technical Director, Dr. Hester was the face of the Association, working to advise and bring together the States to address common issues and cross boundary problems presented by the earthquake hazard.

Dr. Hester also had a great sense of the importance of bringing together the science and emergency management communities.  In as much, his work over the years with the State Geologists earned him an Ex-Officio position on the CUSEC Board of Directors.  Dr. Hester served as a colleague, mentor, and friend to many people over the years.  His leadership, generosity, and sense of humor will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. 

Jerry Thompson - November 9, 2007 Print E-mail

Jerry Thompson, 61, of Lamar, Indiana, passed away on Friday November 9, 2007. Jerry was the driving force behind the formation of the CUSEC Transportation Task Force.  He held the chairman's position of the group from 2000 until mid 2007. The Task Force is one of three associations which function under the CUSEC umbrella and it serves two purposes: to help facilitate closer interaction between state departments of transportation on issues related to emergency preparedness and to provide a central point for collaboration with other organizations on transportation issues related to both man-made and natural disasters having a regional impact. Jerry served more than 40 years with the Indiana Department of Transportation and his leadership, vision, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

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Lacy Suiter - August 8, 2006 Print E-mail

Lacy E. Suiter, 69, of Nashville, Tennessee, one of the nation's most experienced and respected emergency management and homeland security leaders, died August 8, 2006, after suffering a heart attack on July 25.  Mr. Suiter is a former executive with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Mr. Suiter's career spanned 40 years during which time he led several federal and state emergency management and homeland security orgzations. Mr. Suiter was a pioneer in the evolution of emergency management and played a significant role in developing it into a professional discipline. He was currently serving as director of executive education programs for the Naval Post Graduate School's (NPS) Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, California. At NPS, he directed graduate-level seminars for the nation's governors, mayors, and other senior officials. He was also a consultant to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense and several Washington, DC think tanks.

Mr. Suiter was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 to serve as the Executive Associate Director for Response and Recovery at FEMA. He was retained by President George W. Bush and served FEMA until his retirement from the federal government in late 2001. During his FEMA service, Mr. Suiter was responsible for planning and executing the federal government’s response and recovery operations to hundreds of natural disasters and acts of terrorism. He served as the chair of the federal government’s Catastrophic Disaster Response Group, the senior interagency organization overseeing major disaster assistance to state and local governments.

William R. "Ronn" Padgett - April 2, 2004 Print E-mail

Former CUSEC Board of Directors member William R. "Ronn" Padgett, 57, of Lexington, husband of Muriel Amos "Mickey" Padgett passed away Fri., April 2, 2004. Ronn was born Fri., July 26, 1946, the son of William Fisher and Isabel Lanham Padgett of Perryville, Ky. He retired in 2002 as the Director of the Ky. Division of Emergency Management. He was a graduate of Centre College and held a masters degree in public administration. He was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1969 and retired as a Lt. Col. in the National Guard. He was deeply involved in the Partners of the Americas. He was a member and past president of the Ky.-Ecuador Partners and served two terms as a board member and one term as treasurer on the International Board of Directors of the Partners of the Americas. He was a recipient of a Kellogg Fellowship in International Development.

He was a member of several professional organizations including KEMA, NEMA, CUSEC and the KYNGA. In retirement he worked with FEMA and as a consultant. In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by his children, Gretchen Honican, Kathleen Padgett, and Bomark Padgett; two grandchildren, Abigail and Griffin Honican; a brother, Kenneth L. Padgett; nieces and nephews and cousins.