Outgoing Ohio NEMA President Led Organization Through Pandemic

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For Immediate Release: October 15, 2021

Outgoing Ohio NEMA President Led Organization Through Pandemic
State EMAs played critical role in coordinating missions

Cleveland, OH – Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) Executive Director Sima Merick, the first state leader to serve two terms as president of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), concluded her presidency today with the closing of NEMA’s Annual Forum in Cleveland.

Merick presided over NEMA during the brunt of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“I was honored to lead NEMA during this unprecedented time,” said Merick. “Without the coordination and assistance provided by EMAs across the country, far fewer people would have been inoculated at mass vaccination centers, and millions of pieces of Person Protective Equipment would not have been delivered to protect healthcare workers.”

NEMA Forum guest speakers included Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Dr. Richard Spinrad.

Forum agenda items included presentations from NEMA working committees, which are chaired or co-chaired by state EMA directors from across the country and included updates on:

  • Legal Counsel, Resilience, Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), Response and Recovery, Private Sector, and Legislative Affairs.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
  • Cyber Security.
  • Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC).

NEMA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association dedicated to enhancing public safety by improving the nation’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from all emergencies, disasters, and threats to our nation’s security. 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 hosts two national forums annually. The NEMA Mid-Year Policy & Leadership Forum is in the spring and held in Washington, D.C. The Annual Policy and Leadership Forum is held in the fall, traditionally in the home state of the NEMA president for that year, although last year’s forum was canceled because of the pandemic.

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