December 3 - 8, 2023
North Bay Fires (2017) Kincaid + Walbridge Fires (2019), Glass Fire (2020)
Founder & CEO, After the Fire USA; Executive Director, Rebuild NorthBay Foundation; Bipartisan Policy Center Disaster Response Reform Task Force
Subject Matter Expertise: Community Recovery, Long-Term, Federal Advocacy, Wildfire Leadership Network, Frontline Community Support, Local + Federal Government; Public Policy
"We advocate, educate, collaborate to address the Era of Megafire."
Named as one of Forbes "50 over 50" IMPACT Leaders in 2022, Jennifer Gray Thompson has helmed Rebuild North Bay Foundation since January of 2018, right after the North Bay megafire of October of 2017. Gray Thompson took a fledging organization and made it into a powerhouse national nonprofit that is the recognized national leader in recovery from megafires. She serves on the Bipartisan Policy Center Disaster Response Reform Task Force making recommendations to Congress in 2024/25 on reforms.
Jennifer is a lifelong resident of Sonoma Valley in Northern California. After teaching high school for 10 years, Jennifer earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from University of Southern California’s Price School of Public Policy. Post-graduate school, Jennifer worked for the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. After the devastating fires in the North Bay of San Francisco in October 2017, she accepted a position as Executive Director of the newly formed 501c3 nonprofit Rebuild NorthBay Foundation (RNBF), an organization dedicated to helping the region rebuild better, greener, safer, and faster.
Since "paying it forward" in the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fires of 2018, Jennifer has led delegations to 18 counties, again paying lessons forward to virtually every wildfire affected community in the American West. In response to the growing crisis, RNBF created After the Fire USA to help solve the issue of megafire, a climate-based disaster affecting millions of people globally. This initiative was born of practice in communities for several years and the increasing threat of the Era of Megafire.
As CEO of this organization, Jennifer has designed an effective and innovative Wildfire Leadership Network, implemented a Survivor Deployment Model for newly fire-affected communities, provided immersive and actionable After Action Reports to national organizations and communities, advocated with wildfire survivor leaders for sane and smart federal policies, and hosts a national summit on Wildfire Leadership annually in Sonoma, drawing upon leaders from frontline communities as well as the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
Jennifer is committed to equitable and resilient recoveries for every community, regardless of their ability to pay. ATF USA (501c3) does not charge communities for their services. After the Fire USA is committed to supporting locally led and designed recoveries.
ATF USA has fostered a thriving resiliency program in partnership with CalFire and USDA/RCPP under the Parent Organization, Rebuild North Bay Foundation, that is the lead agency for nearly $10M in state and federal grants for wildlands fuel mitigation programs. These innovative programs are now being transferred to wildland management organizations, having proved the model and innovated to address a serious gap in service delivery.
Jennifer is nationally recognized as a leader in the space of wildfire and has presented at several national conferences at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, HAC, Fannie Mae, Brownsfield, Smart Cities, FEMA, and more.
Jennifer is the creator and host of the “How to Disaster” podcast, which highlights proven and effective leaders with great ideas in the space of disaster.
Vice President Disaster Recovery, Good360
Subject Matter Expertise: Corporate + Philanthropic Connections; Relationships + Logistics Post-Disaster
As Good360 Vice President, Disaster Recovery, Jim’s goal is to work across public, private, and non-profit sectors to increase the efficiency and impact of in-kind donations in the disaster space. Since 2016, he has cultivated corporate and foundation relationships that expand the Good360 donor network, increase nonprofit collaboration and connect government and association entities. Jim’s primary focus areas are products and funding partnerships that support pre-positioning of products and long-term recovery efforts, while providing thought leadership to all stakeholders.
At Good360, Jim partners with Corporate Social Responsibility, Community Engagement, and Sustainability departments along with Reverse Logistics and Supply Chain teams. He also works with foundations to amplify the impact of the missions they support, leveraging over 40 years of experience in Communications, Media, Partnerships, and Operations.
Good360 makes it easy to donate products, do some good, and see valuable ROI. Their 100,000+ non-profit network member organizations benefit from the goods donated by corporate and foundation partners.
Jim lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, dog, and two cats. They have two adult children, Michelle and James. Outside of nonprofit work, Jim enjoys tennis, hiking, writing, and travel.
Woolsey Fire (2018)
City Manager, Malibu (ret)
Subject Matter Expertise: Public sector leadership before, during and after disaster; City + County Management; Coastal Issues
Reva Feldman is an executive level leader with over 25 years of public sector experience working in city management and disaster preparedness, response and recovery to help ensure that local and state municipalities are prepared for emergencies and are able to respond quickly and efficiently before and after a disaster.
Ms. Feldman first served as the chief operating officer for a state park agency and then served as city manager for the City of Malibu, CA. Her strong leadership skills, knowledge, experience, and profound dedication to local government spurred her many notable achievements, including leading Malibu through the 2018 Woolsey Fire. Ms. Feldman retired from public service in 2021 and opened a consulting firm that supports local government and the city management profession. She serves as a Senior Fellow at Portland State University entities and is a frequent speaker for public and private organizations.
Co-Chair, Disaster Response Reform Task Force, Bipartisan Policy Center:
Subject Matter Expertise: Housing + HUD + Long-Term Recovery Navigating Federal Programs; Legislation; Public Policy
Stan Gimont is Senior Advisor for Community Recovery. Stan entered private practice in 2019 after 32 years of service with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Stan is an experienced and trusted strategic advisor, providing support focused on HUD Programs, housing issues, and long-term community recovery. He is also a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Disaster Recovery Reform Task Force and provides BPC with support as a subject matter expert.
From August 2016 through July 2019, Stan served as HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs. In this role he provided management direction and oversight for all aspects of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, including long-term disaster recovery (CDBG-DR). As Director of HUD’s Office of Block Grant Assistance from 2008-2016, Stan managed approximately $60 billion in federal funding to assist the nation’s communities in addressing housing, development, and disaster recovery needs.
Marshall Fire (2021)
CEO, Community Foundation Boulder County
Subject Matter Expertise: Regional Philanthropy; Fund Dispersement; Post-Disaster Community-Based Leadership
Tatiana Hernandez joined the Community Foundation Boulder County as CEO in July 2020. During her tenure, the foundation has led numerous disaster-related philanthropic efforts including responses to COVID, a mass shooting and multiple fires. The foundation is currently responsible for the largest philanthropic response to a natural disaster in Colorado history.
Prior to joining the foundation, Tatiana served as President of the Emily Griffith Foundation and was a Senior Program Officer at the Kresge Foundation. In Boulder, Tatiana served as Arts Director for the Hemera Foundation where – in partnership with the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries – she developed Arts in Society, Colorado’s largest private-public funding program for the arts.
Tatiana began her philanthropic career at the Knight Foundation, where she led the Knight Arts Challenge, supporting artists and arts organizations in eight cities. She oversaw a portfolio of more than $100M in investments and distributed $10M annually.
Prior to philanthropy, Tatiana worked in the nonprofit sector on issues ranging from college access to climate change. Originally from Miami and a native Spanish speaker, she has served on numerous boards and committees. She currently serves on the board of Philanthropy Colorado.
Tatiana has received several awards throughout her career including being named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Denver Business Journal, a “Rising Star” by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, and a “50 Most Influential Business Leader” by BizWest.
The daughter of Cuban and Colombian immigrants, she was a first-generation graduate of The George Washington University, and is committed to cultivating a more equitable and inclusive United States, one community at a time.
Marshall Fire Survivor 2021 - Smoke Damage
Director, Superior Rising
Trustee, Town of Superior
Subject Matter Expertise: Post-Disaster Community Leadership, Local Government (elected)
As Director of Superior Rising, a non-profit formed to support residents in their recovery from the Marshall Fire, Kaaoush has been advocating directly for them since the fire. This includes: streamlining government processes, sourcing funds and resources, pushing upwards to state and federal authorities to put people first, opening more funding, and removing obstacles that slow the community’s recovery and future planning efforts.
Kaaoush understands the high likelihood of another horrible event affecting Colorado in the future, and is using her knowledge, relationships, and experience to ensure other communities will not have to relearn all the lessons the Marshall Fire victims have garnered in the aftermath of this disaster.
Kaaoush currently serves on the Town of Superior Board of Trustees. She has also served on the Town’s Planning Commission, the Town’s Parks and Recreation Committee, and on the Board of the Democratic Women of Boulder County. Through her work as a Planning Commissioner and Superior Rising leadership, Jenn has cultivated collaborative relationships with local, regional, state and national community members. Kaaoush is a fourth generation Army Veteran and a Former Diplomat having served in embassies in the Middle East region.
Long-Term Recovery and Resiliency Professional
Subject Matter Expertise: CDBG-DR Implementation; Short + Mid + Long-Term Recovery; Navigating Federal Agencies (FEMA, HUD, SBA); Trauma Informed Service
Christa López, PhD, is a long-term recovery and resiliency expert with thirty years of experience in disaster, trauma informed leadership, and implementation of federal policy at the state level.
Dr. Lopez spent over 25 years in the government and higher education sectors and has served in roles to support elected officials overseeing disaster recovery for the State of Texas. While working for Texas General Land Office, she was the director of the direct housing mission funded by FEMA but administered by the State, a first of its kind program, during Hurricane Harvey recovery. She is well known for experience in both FEMA funded and HUD funded programs.
Christa shares that 'being of service to others' has been her life motto and guiding mantra. Over the past several decades of professional work, Christa has focused on how her work can improve the lives of others. Beyond professional work, Christa demonstrated her motto of service through decades of volunteer work as a park naturalist, in search & rescue, as a volunteer firefighter/EMT-B, and in disaster response.
Associate Director, Housing & Infrastructure. Bipartisan Policy Center
Subject Matter Expertise: Public Policy, Legislation; Infrastructure, Housing
Owen Minott is an Associate Director at the Bipartisan Policy Center where he helps to lead efforts on federal policy issues related to housing, infrastructure, and disaster recovery. Prior to joining BPC, he was a management analyst at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in the office of Strategy, Planning, and Program Management. Owen is a Fulbright scholar and has a B.A. from Bates College and a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University.
Marshall Fire (2021 )
Survivor - Total Loss
Subject Matter Expertise: Digital Communities + Leadership; Post-Disaster Community Advocacy (State and Local)
Reina Pomeroy is a Marshall Fire total loss survivor, in the process of rebuilding her home. She co-founded Marshall Together, a grassroots non-profit organization built by fire survivors with the mission to get as many people home as possible.
Early in the Marshall Fire recovery, Reina leveraged her professional background in virtual community building and built a Slack and email list of verified fire survivors. This resource has become the source of truth for many who are in the process of recovering. Through organizing and partnerships, the Marshall Together organization has been able to advocate for tangible changes that have put millions of dollars back into the pockets of survivors and gotten more families home at an unprecedented speed of recovery.
Senior Advisor, Individual Assistance and Disaster Housing
Subject Matter Expertise: Senior Leader Advisor - Local, State, Federal Government Emergency Management – Disaster Recovery, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – Public Policy
As a career local, state and federal emergency management official, a foundational element of Chris’s working philosophy is to build community resilience, especially in the wake of disaster. A convener and collaborator, Chris focuses on engagement – involving stakeholders at each level of government and community members to build and execute programs and capabilities that mitigate against the impacts of disaster and facilitate robust recovery efforts. Chris is a staunch advocate for disaster service work, he served on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) Board of Directors (2015-2022).
Prior to his current work in the private sector, Chris led FEMA’s Individual Assistance Division (2015 – 2022). He administered federal recovery operations in over 175 presidential disaster declarations, delivering approximately $51B in federal funding to disaster survivors to support their individual recovery efforts. Before Mr. Smith went to Washington, D.C., he served as Nevada’s Chief of Emergency Management, Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor (2011-2015) and a local emergency manager in Reno, Nevada (2005-2011). Chris is a former member of FEMA's National Advisory Council (2013-2015) where he and other members worked to improve FEMA’s disaster recovery policies. He began his professional career as an educator, serving as a middle school teacher and principal prior to his transition into public safety. Chris holds degrees (B.A., M.Ed.) from the University of Nevada and makes his home in Reno, Nevada.
Camp Fire (2018)
Survivor : Total Loss
Community Leader + Rebuilder
Board Member: Rebuild Paradise Foundation
IBHS Wildfire Prepared Home Certified Home
Founder and Superintendent, Achieve Charter Schools of Paradise
Subject Matter Expertise: Community Leadership Pre and Post Disaster + Education
Casey is the founder and Superintendent of Achieve Charter Schools of Paradise. After the 2018 Paradise Camp Fire, Casey led her team in reopening schools temporarily in church facilities in the neighboring city of Chico. During that time, she also started building a permanent school facility in Chico “just in case” they could never return to Paradise. In the 2021-22 school year, Casey opened Achieve Charter School of Chico at the new facility and reopened Achieve Charter School of Paradise at the original campus in Paradise. She and her team are working to reopen Achieve Charter High School in Paradise in the coming years.
Casey is a Paradise native committed to providing high-quality educational options to the community, especially during the rebuilding process. Casey returned home to Paradise in 2021 and has the first wildfire-prepared home in the nation. She sits on multiple Boards, including the Rebuild Paradise Foundation, Valley Contractors Workforce Foundation, the Paradise Rotary Club, and the California Charter Schools Association. She currently supports other school leaders across the state in rebuilding schools after disasters. She is frequently asked to share Achieve’s story to inspire others and advocate for state and federal support.
North Bay Fires (2017) Kincaid + Walbridge Fires (2019), Glass Fire (2020)
Director, Permit Sonoma
Subject Matter Expertise: Rebuilding Post-Disaster; County Leadership; Mutual Aid, Debris Removal; Permit Processes
Tennis Wick has served as Permit Sonoma (Permit and Resource Management Department) Director since November 2013. The agency balances environmental protection and sustainable development of Sonoma County’s natural resources through the agency’s planning, engineering, building, fire prevention, natural resources, code enforcement and administration divisions.
Before joining the County of Sonoma, Wick worked as a principal at Berg Holdings responsible for government affairs, site acquisition, design and entitlement. Previously, Tennis practiced as a partner at the engineering and planning consulting firm CSW/Stuber-Stroeh Engineering Group, Inc. He began his career with the County of Marin where he led current planning as Development Chief.
Wick is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (10447) and the American Planning Association. Tennis Wick holds a Juris Doctor degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Public Service Emphasis from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
A long-time Petaluma resident, Tennis Wick has been civically active twice serving as a City Planning Commissioner and as Board President of the Friends of the Petaluma River, Petaluma Peoples Service Center and the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce. Wick currently serves as past president of the California County Planning Directors Association.
Tennis is part owner of Hen House Brewing Co. He and his wife Holly have four grown daughters and three granddaughters and are active in endurance sports, cooking and gardening.