Posted by: Lynn Canton, Regional Administrator, FEMA Region II
As several blog posts have pointed out, strengthening the emergency management team is vital to how well communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from, disasters. After two and a half years as the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) Director, I would like to welcome back Mark Walters to our regional office in New York, NY.
Mark's career with FEMA can be directly attributed to his personal experience with Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), he was working in St. Thomas when his employer's entire fleet of seaplanes were lost due to Hurricane Hugo's devastation. Out of work, Mark became a FEMA local hire, and he's never looked back.
In 2008, when he was asked by USVI Governor John de Jongh Jr. to consider coming back and taking over VITEMA, Mark seized the opportunity. Through an Interagency Personnel Agreement, FEMA Region II loaned Mark to the USVI in June 2008. During his tenure, Mark has tackled extensive personnel and fund management issues, reorganized VITEMA, and overhauled the territory's 911 system. He was also instrumental in acquiring 42 generators for the territory's critical facilities.
Mark's hard work and leadership has strengthened the emergency management team. Read more about Mark’s story in the Virgin Island Daily News.
February 9, 2010 -- FEMA and U.S. Virgin Island representatives meet in Puerto Rico. Pictured from left to right: Alejandro DeLaCampa (Director, Caribbean Area Division, Region II), Mark Walters (former Director, VITEMA), USVI Governor John de Jongh, Jr, Lynn Canton (FEMA Region II Administrator), and Michael Moriarty (FEMA Region II Deputy Administrator).