Ohio EMA's Merick named NEMA President

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


For Immediate Release: October 30, 2019

Ohio's EMA Merick Elected NEMA President


COLUMBUS — Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) Executive Director Sima Merick was named president of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), beginning a one-year term leading the professional organization of emergency managers.

Merick, a long-time Ohio EMA employee, was elected Tuesday by her peers, emergency management directors from other U.S. states and territories at the 2019 NEMA Annual Forum in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She begins her term immediately.  

“It is an honor to serve my fellow emergency managers and represent Ohio on the national stage,” Merick said. “This is a robust year for emergency management as we look at implementing the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 and the pre-disaster Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program.”

BRIC will focus on reducing the nation’s risk by funding public infrastructure projects that increase a community’s resilience before a disaster affects an area, said Merick who has served as NEMA’s secretary, and most recently, vice president.

Merick has been an employee of the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) for nearly 35 years.  She began her career as a dispatcher for the Ohio State Highway Patrol in 1985 and held other non-sworn positions within that division until 1996, when she then began her career in emergency management. She was appointed assistant director of Ohio EMA in 2011 and was appointed executive director in 2015.

“Sima has dedicated her career to public safety, emergency management, and preparedness,” said ODPS Director Tom Stickrath.  “Ohio will only be stronger because of her continued leadership at the national level.”

About NEMA NEMA is the professional association of and for emergency management directors from all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. NEMA provides national leadership and expertise in comprehensive emergency management; serves as a vital emergency management information and assistance resource; and advances continuous improvement in emergency management through strategic partnerships, innovative programs, and collaborative policy positions. NEMA began in 1974, when state directors of emergency services first united to exchange information on common emergency management issues that threatened their constituencies.   In 1990, NEMA became an affiliate organization of The Council of State Governments (CSG).  CSG supports NEMA in its goals to provide an information and support network among state directors of emergency management and to interface with other national and regional organizations involved in emergency management and state government policy in general.  The CSG–NEMA partnership recognizes the commitment by both parties to the mutual advancement of their respective agendas to promote the role of the state in our federal system of government and to foster excellence in the functions of government.

# # #