Col. Joseph Booth
Director, Research & Operations
Director, Business Development
Project Manager, Center for
Manager of External Relations
IT Program Manager
Henry “Paco” Capello
Information Systems Program Manager
Emergency Management Program Analyst
Project Manager,Education & Training
Judy H. Walker
Col. Joseph Booth
Col. Joseph Booth is the Executive Director of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. Prior to joining SDMI, Col. Booth was the Homeland Security and Public Safety Solutions Manager in the IT sector of Northrop Grumman Corporation. He is an acknowledged subject matter expert with over 25 years of experience in command and control environments, communications interoperability, and information fusion. He was a member of the Northrop Grumman Combined Homeland Security Integration Group, and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Integrated Strategy Team that develops corporate business strategy to transition sophisticated technologies into the state and local government homeland security market.
Prior to Northrop Grumman, Col. Booth served as a Deputy Superintendent of Louisiana State Police (LSP) and was the critical incident commander over preparation and response for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. While with the LSP, he chaired the State Emergency Response Commission, and served as a subject matter expert for the Department of Defense (DOD) Inter Agency Board. He also served as the State Program Manager for the DOD Homeland Security Command and Control Advanced Concepts and Technology Demonstration, and a DOD sponsored cyber security program designed create a private and public sector partnership to protect critical infrastructure from cyber attacks. He has received commendations from several Governors, the Louisiana National Guard, NASA, and other government agencies.
Col. Booth initiated and led Louisiana’s communications interoperability program and formed a multi-state Gulf Coast Coalition to implement an integrated, single architecture for first responders in the multi-state area. He also led the implementation of the nation’s initial effort in 700MHz technology for public safety communication. He is an original member of Zola’s Group, an affiliation of federal and military intelligence and information-gathering agencies seeking to remove administrative and bureaucratic impediments to intelligence sharing in the post-9/11 environment.
In addition to earning his bachelor’s in law enforcement from Southeastern Louisiana University, Col. Booth holds a master’s in criminal justice from Northeast Louisiana University and a juris doctorate in law from Southern University School of Law.
Colonel (Retired) Pat Santos joined the Louisiana Army National Guard in June 1979. In December 1981, he was commissioned a Distinguished Military Graduate from the ROTC program at the University of New Orleans.
As a member of the famed 1-141st Field Artillery Battalion, he served in various command and staff positions and was activated for Desert Storm in 1990 with the 256th Combat Brigade. While serving in the State Headquarters he was the lead project officer launching the first Louisiana State Partnership Programs with the countries of Uzbekistan and Belize.In August 1999, he was assigned as the Director of Military Support where he and his staff developed critical emergency plans and procedures while managing the military response and assistance efforts to numerous state emergencies and special events.
His 25-year military experience played a key role in coordinating the unprecedented support efforts during both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. In January 2006, he accepted a position at the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (LOHSEP) as the Chief of Homeland Security. He served as the Deputy Director of Emergency Management within the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) where he had primary oversight of all of the State’s emergency management functions. He was a principal advisor to the Governor and the State Unified Command during emergencies such as Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, the Deep-water Horizon Oil Spill in 2010 and Hurricane Isaac in 2012. He was also appointed by the Governor to serve as Interim Director from July-December 2011.
In 1981, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management in 1997. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Staff School and the Command and General Staff College. He was awarded a fellowship and completed the National Preparedness Leadership Program at the Harvard Kennedy School for Executive Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2010. He completed the Naval Post Graduate School Executive Leaders Program in Monterey, California in 2013 and is currently serving as an appointed member to the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC).
Brant Mitchell began his career with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) in 2001 as a staff member with the Louisiana National Guard attached full-time to GOHSEP. In this capacity he served as the National Guard’s Counter-Terrorism Program Manager and eventually became the Program Manager for the Homeland Security Grants for Louisiana. In August 2006 he officially joined GOHSEP as the Section Chief for the newly formed Regional Support Section and was later promoted to Deputy Director of Management, Finance and Interoperability.
Brant was also responsible for the introduction of Virtual Louisiana, which is a Google Earth Enterprise software product utilized by over 700 local, State and Federal government agencies and currently supports over 4,000 users. He later introduced Louisiana Earth, which is the first publicly released version of the Google Earth Enterprise software and designed to assist citizens in Louisiana to prepare for disasters by providing critical information during disasters and information that is necessary to help citizens prepare their own family disaster plans. Brant also represented GOHSEP on the State’s Geographic Information System Council where he served two years as its Vice-Chair.
Since July 2008 Brant has served as Chairman of the Statewide Interoperability Executive Council (SIEC), which is responsible for providing governance of the Louisiana Wireless Information Network (LWIN), one of the nation’s first statewide digital 700 MHz radio systems. Today LWIN is the largest digital radio system providing voice communications to over 67,000 users across the State. In 2010 in response to the BP Oil Spill, Brant let the efforts to coordinate and provide the U.S. Coast Guard mission critical voice communications by establishing GulfWIN, which involved providing hardware and software connections between stand alone radio systems in Louisiana, Mississippi, Orange Beach, Alabama and five separate systems in Texas. GulfWIN allowed first responders responsible for mitigating the impact of the BP Oil Spill to have seamless voice communications from Corpus Christie, Texas to Pensacola, Florida. In 2011, Brant was selected as a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety Advisory Committee for the Emergency Response Interoperability Committee in which he assisted in developing technical specifications for the eventual nationwide build out of a broadband network. Brant also serves as a board member for LSU’s Gulf Coast Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency.
Brant has been a member of the Louisiana National Guard since 1989. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom where he commanded an Infantry company in Baghdad, Iraq. Brant is currently a Major assigned to the J-6 in the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters.
He is married to the former Maria Schneider and they have three children, Megan, Davis and Claire. The Mitchells reside in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Lexie Andrews is the Project Manager for the Center for Business Preparedness, in which she oversees the direction of the Center. She is responsible for the management of grants to establish a central point of collaboration for research, knowledge sharing, and outreach to address challenges to small businesses while working to enhance and evolve private sector resilience.
Prior to joining SDMI, Lexie gained experience in the field of emergency management and preparedness in the private industry as well as at the local government level. As a Hazard Mitigation Specialist for IEM, Inc., Lexie served as a technical writer for the development of numerous hazard mitigation-related proposals. As the Task Lead for the Small Rental Property Program (SRPP) for IEM, Inc., Lexie managed the Long Term Compliance and Monitoring Team (LTC&M). Under the Community Development Block Grant, the SRPP funded small rental property owners whose properties were damaged during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Property owners under the program provided affordable housing to low-to-moderate income tenants, and the LTC&M Team monitored the actions of these property owners.
As Chief of Operation and All Hazards Planner for the East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (EBR OHSEP), Lexie was responsible for maintaining and revising the Emergency Operations Plan, including Continuity of Operations plans and Standard Operating Guidelines. She applied for, managed, and tracked state and federal grant opportunities and directed the Local Emergency Planning Committee and their meetings. Also, Lexie served as a liaison between representatives for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and outside agency officials. Lexie’s experience with the EBR OHSEP includes the long-term emergency activation of the EOC for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Lexie is a native of Baton Rouge and holds a Master of Science degree in Geography from the LSU School of Geography and Anthropology, with a concentration in climatology. She conducted her thesis research in climatology, focusing on hurricane and tropical storm return periods in the Caribbean region. Lexie also received her undergraduate degree from LSU, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Geography with a Minor in Spanish.
Lauren Bourg is the Manager of External Relations of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. At SDMI, Lauren is responsible for overseeing all marketing and outreach efforts of the institute. She manages the coordination of public relations, communications, and special events. She also chairs the communications committee for the newly established Food & Agriculture Protection Training Consortium (FAPTC).
Prior to joining SDMI, Lauren worked in public affairs for the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, coordinating its communications and outreach efforts. She also managed all outreach efforts for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC).The NDPC is a partnership of several nationally recognized organizations whose membership is based on the urgent need to address the counter-terrorism preparedness needs of the nation’s emergency first responders within the context of all hazards including chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) hazards.
Lauren Bourg earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication in December of 2007, with a minor in Business Administration.
Benjamin joined the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute as the Program Manger of Information Technology, Interoperability, and Cyber Security. As such, he designs, develops, and maintains information systems and projects related to the research and education of disaster response management with a focus on interoperability and cyber security. Benjamin also maintains all of SDMI’s IT infrastructure and related telecommunications requirements for internal users, the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center (LA-BEOC), and SDMI’s Disaster Lab located on LSU’s South Campus.
Prior to joining SDMI, Benjamin served as the Communications Section Chief at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). In this role, he was responsible for the maintenance, operation, and security of interoperable communications throughout the State, served as the State Emergency Support Function (ESF) 2 – Communications – representative, and maintained the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan. Benjamin also worked on the Louisiana Wireless Information Network (LWIN) – the 700 MHz statewide communication system supporting first responders.
Since May 1989, Benjamin has served in either the Louisiana Army National Guard or the United States Army Reserves. Commissioned as a Military Intelligence officer, he has deployed in support of Operation Noble Eagle (2001), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2004), and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Relief (2005). Benjamin is currently a Lieutenant Colonel assigned to the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Individual Mobilization Augmentation (IMA) program as a Regional Emergency Operations Officer.
Benjamin is a native of Baton Rouge and earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University in 1993. He also earned his master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University in the field of Information Systems with a concentration in Information Security
Henry “Paco” Capello
Henry Capello joined the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute as an IT Consultant and serves as the Program Manager for Information Systems. As such, he oversees the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and manages teams in the development of Enterprise-Geographic Information Systems (E-GIS) and responsive web/mobile applications for use in field mapping, data collection, and disaster management. In addition, Henry provides program support to SDMI’s cyber security initiative and other disaster management programs.
Prior to joining SDMI, Henry served as IT Coordinator and Geographical Systems Manager for the LSU Agriculture Center Information Technology. In this role, he lead a team of software developers, served as project manager for web and applications development, and was responsible for developing the LSU Agriculture Center’s first ever Enterprise-GIS System. Henry worked closely with faculty and staff to integrate information technologies into their grants and research, and served as Co-Principle Investigator on numerous disaster mitigation grants. Henry was also responsible for the creation of the Louisiana FloodMap Portal, which is a responsive website using ESRI ArcGIS Server. The portal is used by Louisiana’s floodplain administrators and citizens to easily find their flood hazard using the web, and receives more than 300,000 visits per year.
Henry has been a member of the Louisiana Army National Guard since January 1994. Commissioned as an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers, he has deployed oversees in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III (2004-2005), Operation Iraqi Freedom X (2010), Operation New Dawn (2010), and deployed stateside in support of Hurricane Isaac (2012), Operation River Guardian (2011), Hurricanes Gustav and Ike (2008), as well as many other state emergency activations. Henry has served in myriad leadership positions from Platoon Leader to Battalion Commander of the 256th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, and currently serves as the commander of the Louisiana Army National Guard (LAANG) Cyber Network Defense Team (CND-T), a newly formed unit responsible for defensive cyber operations in support of civil authorities.
Henry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science with a concentration in Information Systems Decision Sciences from LSU in 1999, a Master’s of Science degree in Information System Decision Sciences from LSU in 2009, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Resource and Leadership Development at LSU.
Margaret M. Pierce is the Emergency Management Programs Analyst at LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. She conducts applied research and implements projects on a variety of emergency management topics including the growing trend of business emergency operations centers, business continuity, disaster response and recovery, and training.
Pierce joined SDMI with professional management experience in disaster response, planning, mitigation, and education from the LSU Agricultural Center, American Red Cross, and parish-level Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
As the Response Director at the Louisiana Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross in Baton Rouge, Pierce was responsible the agency’s coordinated disaster plans, logistics and emergency feeding and sheltering. She has coordinated volunteer and government disaster response efforts on the local and state levels for events including Hurricanes Charley, Katrina, and Rita and the 2007 Texas floods.
Pierce served as Assistant Director of the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP). During her term in Ascension, she assisted in the parish’s response to both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita through the coordination of emergency operation center activities, including preliminary damage assessment, bulk distribution of donated supplies, and shelter support.
Pierce holds a B.A. in Secondary Education with a minor in Journalism from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a M.A. in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. She earned a graduate certificate in Emergency Management from the Institute for Emergency Preparedness at Jacksonville State University in Alabama and completed the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s Professional Development Series.
Lauren Stevens is a native of Florida and a graduate of The Florida State University. In 2002 she was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the United States Army as a Transportation Officer stationed at Fort Eustis, VA and Fort Benning, GA.
Following her military service, Lauren began her career in Louisiana with the Southern Anti-Terrorist Regional Training Academy (SARTA) as Operations & Finance Officer. While with SARTA, Lauren coordinated and provided oversight to the academy curriculum, instructor staff, budgeting, and day to day operations which resulted in counter-terrorism training for thousands of law enforcement/first responder personnel nation-wide.
During Hurricane Katrina, Lauren was moved over to work at the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in the State Emergency Operations Center. After working for over 8 months with LOHSEP still assigned to SARTA, she accepted a position as Exercise Officer with the agency in mid – 2006. LOHSEP, now GOHSEP – Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Lauren has worked in both the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Exercise and Training Programs at the officer level. She then moved to manage the Training and Exercise Programs including the Radiological Group as Branch Manager. While under her supervision, Louisiana’s All Hazards exercise program became one of the largest, most robust and well respected programs in the nation at the state level. Under her direction, Louisiana conducted the nation’s first Naval Post Graduate School Executive Education Seminar for Business Emergency Operations Center (BEOC)/Private & Public Partnerships, as well as the nation’s first BEOC Functional Exercise. She has served on national working groups for Department of Homeland Security’s National Exercise Division and National Training and Education Division. Most recently, Lauren served as Assistant Chief and Chief of the GOHSEP Preparedness Section, overseeing the Training, Exercise, Radiological, Planning and Critical Infrastructure programs for the State. She has also worked operations for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, Gulf Oil Spill, 2011 Mississippi river flooding, as well as many other state declared disasters.
Lauren was certified a Master Exercise Practitioner (MEP) in 2008 through FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute.
Judy H. Walker
Judy Walker is the Business Manager of the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. At SDMI, Walker is responsible for reconciling all accounts, preparing regular monthly financial reports in coordination with the associate director, and ensuring that all accounting transactions are processed and submitted to the appropriate administrations office. Walker is responsible for planning and scheduling events, conferences, and meetings for SDMI. She also supervises all SDMI graduate students.
Eneida Allison is a Geospatial Analyst at the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. She is currently responsible for the daily administration of mapping applications that includes the collection of geospatial data through imagery, database, and field research across several parishes (counties). She is also responsible for LABEOC mapping and analysis.
Prior to her current project, Ms. Allison worked with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency as a Project Manager for 3001, Inc. and Northrop Grumman in the Intel Defense division. Her projects included Topographic Line Maps (TLM); Joint Operations Graphics (JOG); 3-D Feature Extraction at the 1:50K, 1:100K, and 1:250K scales; and Aeronautical Charts. She has managed teams of 5-25 and was responsible for all subcontractors working within the projects. Ms. Allison also developed 6 training modules, as well as a parent training program in order to oversee the modules and keep record of documentation of training course completion.
Ms. Allison holds a BA and MA in Geography from the University of New Orleans and is a certified Project Manager Professional (PMP) and Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP).
Cody Beard is a Geospatial Analyst for the 9-1-1 addressing project at the Stephenson National Center for Security Research and Training. Cody plays a leading role in the creation of a critical infrastructure database that will support selected parish and Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness agencies. He is responsible for collecting, analyzing, editing and verifying the accuracy of database information both remotely and in the field.
Cody comes to SDMI by way of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Geography from Florida Atlantic University, with an Advanced Certificate in Geographic Information Science. Cody is a certified wildland firefighter and prescribed burn specialist who enjoys being a resource management volunteer for many state and national parks.
Megan Dingle is a Geographic Information System Analyst at the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute working on the Hazard Mitigation Geospatial Project, and the State-wide 911 Addressing Program. Her responsibilities include the collection and analysis of geospatial and remote sensing data for the creation of a critical infrastructure database.
Megan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology, with a focus in Archaeology, from Franklin Pierce University in May 2010.
Bio coming soon
Stuart Nolan is a Geospatial Analyst at the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute working on the Hazard Mitigation Geospatial Project. Under the direction of the Associate Director, he is responsible for the daily administration of mapping applications that includes the collection of geospatial data to support the creation of a statewide critical infrastructure database.
Stuart’s professional career began in Cultural Resources Management (CRM) as an archaeologist. Beginning In 2001, he briefly worked as a contract archaeologist for Centennial Archaeology, Inc., Greystone Environmental Consultants, and Metcalf Archaeology Consultants; working on a variety of CRM projects on the High Plains of Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas.
In April of 2002, Stuart was hired by Earth Search, Inc. (ESI) of New Orleans. During his tenure at ESI, he worked on all phases of archaeological projects throughout the Gulf Coast region in both terrestrial and maritime contexts. He has assisted in project planning and has been an author or co-author of several technical reports. Stuart has extensive experience conducting cultural resources surveys, and has participated in numerous data recoveries on both historic and prehistoric archaeological sites.
In addition to the intensive work in the field, Stuart also began training as a Geospatial/Remote Sensing Specialist while at ESI. His responsibilities from this included creating digitized maps for field crews, maintaining GIS project databases, operating/maintaining GPS equipment, producing horizontal and vertical datasets for site analysis using a Total Station, and performing marine remote sensing surveys. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region in the fall of 2005, Stuart responded by assisting ESI’s Architectural History Division in the recordation of structures adversely affected by the disaster, as well as evaluating NRHD zones for redistricting. These responsibilities included collecting structural attribute data within a GIS database, architectural photography, and assessing buildings, structures and objects using NRHP criteria (36CFR 60.4 [a-d]).
Stuart became a member of the ESI Marine Archaeology Division in 2006. Tasks within the division included archaeological diving, utilizing both SCUBA and surface air supply diving systems, and analyzing GIS data acquired from remote sensing surveys using magnetometer, sub-bottom profiler, and side-scan sonar. Maritime projects Stuart has participated in include a remote sensing survey for the South Pecan Island Freshwater Diversion Project, a remote sensing survey of portions of the Vermillion River, remote sensing surveys and Phase II diver evaluations of anomaly targets in Chandeleur Sound and Lake Pontchartrain, and a remote sensing survey and Phase II diver evaluation for the possible remains of the steamboat New Camelia (1920) in the Tchefuncte River.
During the summer of 2010, Stuart briefly worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a GIS Analyst for the disaster response to the BP Oil Spill. His major responsibilities during this event were to maintain and update the NOAA database, and to assist in designing overflight maps for the NOAA Corps and Icelandic Coast Guard.
Stuart is a native of Louisiana and was awarded a B.A. in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSUD) in December of 2000. He is currently working on an M.S. in Geographic Information Science from Northwest Missouri State University.
Scott Owens began his career shortly after earning a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Forestry Management from LSU in 1999 and was employed by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry in Baton Rouge as a SAFIS/FIA Forester. The Southern Annual Forest Inventory System (SAFIS) Program was developed as a partnership among the U.S. Forest Service, state foresters, forest industry, universities and others to perform forest inventories throughout the United States. It is a continuous inventory system designed to sample a percentage of all Forest Inventory Analysis plots each year. Measurement of the plots on an annual basis provides stable and uniform confidence intervals on data collected. Data collection in Louisiana began in 2000. As a SAFIS Forester, Scott assisted USFS Foresters with duties that included aerial interpretation, forest cruises, chaining, mensuration, tree identification, vegetation profiles, GPS collection, data input/management and daily field reports.
Later, Scott joined the 3001, Inc. Team, a leading Geospatial Firm in New Orleans, LA, as a Geospatial Specialist specializing in Remote Sensing and Digital Orthophotography. Scott was responsible for the rectification, mosaicing, post processing, QA/QC, metadata, archival, workflow development and overall production management of all digital orthophotography projects for 3001, Inc. Milestones consisted of the implementation of the first Z/I DMC Large Format Digital Aerial Sensor in the United States for commercial use. First projects with the Z/I DMC Aerial Sensor included the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office (LOSCO) State-wide DOQQ Program. Scott later worked for Northrop Grumman Co. also as a Geospatial Specialist continuing the Orthophotography efforts under Civil Works for Federal, State and Local Government entities. Scott was credited for developing a company-wide workflow for Digital Aerial Products provided by Northrop Grumman Co. consisting of 8, 12 and 16-bit multi-banded digital aerial imagery.
Today, Scott is a Geospatial Analyst for the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. He is responsible for GIS related efforts associated with the State-wide 911 Addressing Program and Remote Sensing/Orthophotography developments.
Chris Rippetoe is a Geographic Information System Analyst with the Stevenson Disaster Management Institute. At SDMI, Chris is responsible for the collection of commercial and industrial data throughout all parishes within the state of Louisiana. He is also responsible for the compilation and integration of the collected data into the Virtual Louisiana software. Chris has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Business Administration from Louisiana State University.
Bio coming soon
Michael Vetter is a Geospatial Analyst for the 911 addressing project. He is responsible for collecting addresses in the field, digitizing structures from aerial photography, and QA/QC the points. Before coming to SDMI, Michael interned at Landpoint, Inc. in Bossier City. While at Landpoint, he digitized pipelines, pipeline right of ways, roads, and road right of ways. He also helped to create a mapbook of pipelines that surveyors would in the field.
Michael graduated with honors from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in GIS.