Partners in Emergency Preparedness Conference

Chris Heeter - Wednesday Opening Keynote Speaker

Wild Collaboration: Dogsledding and the Art of Building Partnerships and Support Networks

What’s in it for you and your area of emergency preparedness when it comes to collaborating? Your work is fast-paced, intense, constantly changing, and often urgent. Reaching across sectors introduces yet another range of different personalities and dynamics to manage. Look no further than a sled dog team to help prove positive the benefits of taking the time to connect across areas. Join speaker, author, and wilderness guide Chris Heeter for a journey into the world of dogsledding. With surprising and spot-on parallels from dogsledding equipment and hilarious stories of the range of personalities on her dog team, Chris seamlessly connects the world of dogsledding to emergency preparedness.The benefits of Wild collaboration are evident and essential in order to stay present and sharp, and to gain perspective and fresh ideas. Join Chris for this journey to the Wild side, with down to earth tools and ideas for finding each other’s strengths, embracing a wide range of personalities, and reaping the benefits of a more connected system of emergency preparedness.

Gary Norland - Thursday Opening Plenary Speaker

Deborah Needham - Thursday Keynote Speaker

Leading Through Crisis

What does it take to effectively lead others through crisis? Deborah Needham offers a fresh and perhaps unexpected perspective as a synthesis of her two worlds: as a career emergency manager and former paramedic, and as a leadership coach and organizational consultant. Through a variety of disciplines - psychology, social science, organizational systems, and neuroscience - she highlights the most neglected areas of crisis leadership development and shares insights and practical tips as a personal roadmap for those who want to be better at what they do. 

Deborah is the Emergency Management Director for the City of Renton. At Crisis Optimist Coaching & Consulting, she also serves as a facilitator, organizational consultant, and certified executive coach. She has an extensive background working with people, groups, and communities within the context of crisis and change. Deborah possesses a keen understanding of human dynamics and delights in partnering with others to explore challenging and uncertain situations. She sees possibilities and potential where others see dead ends, and is gifted with a contagious optimism that she readily transmits to others.