KAMM Mitigation Awardees

KAMM is honored to recognize mitigation leaders across the Commonwealth who are working to build more resilient communities. Listed below are the individuals and projects who have received one of our annual Mitigation Awards. Congratulations to the recipients of these prestigious awards!

Mitigation Manager of the Year Awards

Congratulations to our 2023 KAMM
Mitigation Manager of the Year
Matt Powell, City of Bowling Green
Environmental Manager

2022 Mitigation Manager of the Year, Jason York, presents the 2023 award to Matt Powell,
Bowling Green Environmental Manager

Matt Powell is the Environmental Manager for the City of Bowling Green, Kentucky. A graduate of Western Kentucky University, he began his career with the Kentucky Division of Water and joined the City of Bowling Green in 2007. Matt leads the City’s efforts in compliance with state and federal requirements including serving as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Manager and Landfill Manager. He has also held the positions of vice-president of the Kentucky Stormwater Association and the Kentucky representative to the Southeast Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association. During the tornado outbreak of December 2021-January 2022, Matt was essential in the coordination of response efforts and storm debris management. He worked with federal, state, and local officials on recovery response and debris management. See the response largely coordinated by Powell at Disaster Recovery Efforts.

Powell works with an incredibly tight team of professionals and they are constantly looking for new ways to help the community. See: Bowling Green Public Works Applies for Climate Pollution Grant Funding  and Bowling Green Greenway Expansion.

Matt, along with the BG Public Works team, provides an EPSC Certification Training Course to educate contractors about Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control and air quality conditions in the cave system:  Monitoring

Powell regularly participates in local education events like Muddy Water Blues  and the KAMM Region I annual training.

Congratulations, Matt!


Mitigation Manager Awards of the Year Began in 2012.


Justin Gray, Louisville MSD, for Maple Street buyouts in West Louisville, and due to his leadership through many mitigation-related grant and acquisition projects throughout the Louisville Metro area, especially the Maple Street Acquisition project.. 


Esther White for exemplary work with local communities, HMGP, University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy & Administration


Geni Jo Brawner, KYEM, for outstanding leadership in managing the Commonwealth’s mitigation programs


Cindy Minter for entering several Campbell County communities into the Community Rating System (CRS) and working to tie mitigation in with everyday planning and zoning.


Amanda LeMaster, KYEM, for managing numerous mitigation projects and being one of the state’s most effective communicators for mitigation.  This effectiveness is a function of work, study, breadth of experience, and subsequent mastery of this field.


Emory Kidd, Metcalfe County Emergency Management, Because of Emory’s efforts in 2009, Metcalfe County Fiscal Court, Allen County Fiscal Court, and Barren County Fiscal Court applied for 10 stand-alone, single use, community safe room grants in each county.  These safe rooms were constructed at rural fire departments, protecting vulnerable populations from tornadoes and straight-line winds up to 250 mph.  Emory coordinated the Nation’s first pilot program to distribute 6,500 NOAA weather radios to every structure in Metcalfe County.  He also obtained approval to add a transmitter on an existing weather tower to increase signal from 70% coverage to 90% coverage for the entire region. 


Brian Thompson, City of Falmouth CRS program initiative

Brian Thompson brought together local officials, legislators, State and Federal Representatives, community stakeholders, and neighboring counties to tackle rising insurance rates and floodplain development issues.  His initiative led to formation of a Local Floodplain Development Committee with a united goal of becoming a CRS community.

Brian is the committee’s driving force.  He rewrote Falmouth’s Flood Ordinance to the higher CRS regulatory standard, updated the County’s Comprehensive Plan to address floodplain development and guided local officials to institute sound mitigation practices.

Through extensive outreach tools, Brian significantly improved community awareness on flood-related issues.  His diligence resulted in the coveted CRS designation this year for all his jurisdictions an unprecedented initial entry at Level 7 for Falmouth and Butler and Level 9 for the County.  He saved residents over $41, 000 in insurance premiums.


John “J P” Carsone, Louisville MSD , for leadership in Louisville Silver Jackets

JP Carsone has enhanced and energized an agency culture of Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency planning through multifaceted program & project management at Louisville MSD.  His position as the Emergency Preparedness & Operations Resiliency Administrator exemplifies how J P has transformed previously managing multiple mitigation projects into a recognized fulltime role.  A long-time advocate for mitigation planning, he is leading local, innovative Catastrophic Levee Failure Response Planning through mapping and safety drills, engaging with national leaders to develop emergency workshops, developing an agency-specific Emergency Response Plan, and managing Business Continuity Planning for after-emergency resiliency.  While wearing many hats, JP remains active in the Silver Jackets Program.  His personal work ethic to build these programs will have a lasting impact for the city of Louisville and serves as a model deserving to be replicated throughout the Commonwealth.


Joe Sullivan, NWS, Louisville

Joe Sullivan, has been a member of KAMM since our early days.  Joe has devoted the bulk of his career to working with partner agencies to improve communication of critical weather information for the protection of life and property in an effort to build a Weather-Ready Nation.  Joe is a Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the Louisville NWS office.

Joe is the best outreach partner ever for KAMM, often providing NWS perspective in activities such as Silver Jackets and NWS Weather Ready Nation Ambassadors.  Joe’s suggested conference themes, 16 KAMM-dles, was seriously considered before we settled on KAMM in a Virtual World: Can’t Stop KAMM!  Always ready to roll with the punches, Joe’s Thursday morning sessions at KAMM conferences have entertained attendees for years.  His delivery and preparation are always impeccable. 


Lori Rafferty – Louisville MSD

Lori Rafferty is a long-time KAMM member and serves multiple roles at Louisville MSD’s as MS4 and Floodplain Manager and Community Rating System (CRS) administrator. Lori leads a team to ensure all regulatory requirements are met for Louisville’s MS4 permit and Floodplain Management Ordinance, manages grant applications for both floodplain and stormwater quality projects, and manages the CRS program. 


Jason York, Bath County EMA

Jason York, Bath County EMA, leads by example.  Jason’s testimony on the tragedy he witnessed – and was a part of – were the inspiration for the WARN (Weather Awareness for a Rural Nation) project.  His response to the tragic loss of five members of an Amish family in his county in 2020 from a flash flood have fueled a multi-agency grass roots effort to prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy in Kentucky – or any other rural area – because of lack of awareness or information on threatening weather.

While the WARN project was initiated out of an Amish tragedy, it is envisioned that its efforts will help protect ALL rural citizens via improved awareness and response to extreme weather events.  The WARN project will serve to “leave no person behind” regarding weather safety.  In addition to garnering the respect and trust of the Amish Community in Bath County, Jason has engaged the active participation of his University of Kentucky Agricultural Extension Agent into the WARN project, maximizing the involvement of associated agencies in his effort to protect an underserved community.

Lori Rafferty, 2021 Mitigation Manager of the Year with Jason York, 2022 Mitigation Manager of the Year

Floodplain Manager of the Year Awards

KAMM Floodplain Manager of the Year Award Began in 2013 and transitioned to Mitigation Manager of the Year in 2017.


Jason Hart for the City of Richmond Water Street project

Jason Hart as the Floodplain Coordinator & Director of Planning & Zoning for the City of Richmond initiated a Stormwater Management Evaluation Study in 2011.  The purpose of this study was to prepare a comprehensive plan to address all stormwater issues and activities that the city faces.  The first update of that report happened in 2013 and includes key information updates because of flooding rains during the summer of 2012, updated US Census information and use of actual impervious surface information from the City of Richmond GIS program.  The City of Richmond is situated at the headwaters of four drainage watersheds, namely, Otter Creek, Tates Creek, Taylor Fork and Silver Creek.  The study found that many existing stormwater problems are caused by an inadequate stormwater system, development in floodplains, as well as a lack of curb and gutter to direct stormwater runoff into the yard inlets in many neighborhoods.  The lack of a comprehensive management approach has hindered the identification and prioritization of the problems.

By combining the stormwater master plan with the use of the Geosync Go data management program the City has simplified its tracking and filing process.  This has enabled the City to support projects with a timeline of storm events and damage associated with disasters.


Jimmy Kiser for repetitive loss buyouts in Pike County

Jimmy Kiser is the Pike County Flood Plain Manager and works diligently with KYEM on HMA funding opportunities to assist Pike County in being more resilient. The Pike County HMGP Project with the Pike County Fiscal Court focused HMGP funding for a 26 structure Acquisition Project along Raccoon Creek.


Dave Herndon, Hopkinsville for stormwater initiatives

Dave Herndon, The City of Hopkinsville was mitigating flooding before flood mitigation was cool, and Dave has been a major player in these efforts.  Due to the consistent efforts of Dave and his cohorts at Community Development Services over the years, the City may soon be one of KY’s first to have mitigated all SRL properties from the NFIP’s database, a feat not to be taken lightly.


Toby Spalding, Radcliff, for managing the Quiggins/Happy Valley Sinkhole Drainage Mitigation Project

Toby Spalding is City Engineer for the City of Radcliff and its Engineering/Stormwater Department.  Toby manages the Quiggins/Happy Valley Sinkhole Drainage Mitigation Project funded through a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grant.  This mitigation project involves the acquisition of four properties on 36-plus acres that floods due to 86 sinkholes pockmarking the area.  The acquisition area also contains endangered plant and animal species causing additional federal and state regulations to come into play.  Toby is adept at adapting critical administrative paths and budget changes to implement the project and maintains the project schedule.  He has become a local expert in explaining regulations from FEMA, EPA, and USACE.  Toby is an ideal example of a local floodplain manager who values planning and project implementation.  Toby manages Radcliff’s floodplains, and he manages them well.


Brian Bishop, Henderson County in 2017 repetitive loss work and CRS imitative

Brian Bishop is a CFM and has continually led efforts to improve the floodplain management in his community.  Over the last couple of years, he has been appointed Executive Director of the Henderson Joint Planning Commission, entered his 2 jurisdictions into the CRS program, and completed the first Repetitive Loss Area Analysis in KY.  This analysis included a survey, with communication with each owner, of over 150 structures in repetitive flood loss areas. 

Brian has been a key stakeholder in flood reduction efforts on Canoe Creek, including remapping the areas flood maps and completing a LOMA process in his jurisdiction benefiting multiple properties.  Brian has been a KAMM member since the beginning and served as a KAMM Regional Representative for 2 terms.

Mitigation Project of the Year Awards

KAMM Project of the Year Began in 2018


Western Kentucky University/ White Squirrel Weather – The Disaster Science Operation Center (DSOC)

The DSOC was designed to provide all-hazard mitigation and decision support services to Western Kentucky University’s (WKU) campus, local communities, and regional partners. The center became operational just before the December tornado outbreak in 2021. The first activation of DSOC was for the support and response to the tornados that impacted Bowling Green and Warren County. It played a key role in WKU’s response and recovery efforts during and after the incident. The center also partnered with the local Warren County EM office and National Weather Service in Louisville to assist with damage surveys and EOC operations.

DSOC’s focus since has been on providing mitigation and decision support to events, both local and national, and helping students to grow in their professional experience.  The center plans to continue educational outreach to local community members, city leadership, and various high schools in the region once it is fully operational.

Mario Sebastiani, Awards Committee Lead with John Bowen, 2022 Mitigation Project of the Year



Louisville MSD Maple Street Area Acquisitions

Louisville MSD received FEMA HMGP grant funding in 2010 to acquire and demolish 128 structures in the Maple Street area that had been damaged from flood events.  MSD  established a Community of the Future Advisory Committee in 2017 to consider ideas for beneficial reuse of this sizable 18-acre area located along Maple Street. Opportunities for park and recreational uses were identified as a primary objective, and a preliminary design and proposal are currently under review at FEMA.

The Maple Street Area Project staff includes Jennifer Caummisar-Kern, Lori Rafferty and Matt Schaaf.


City of Wayland Drainage Improvements

The City of Wayland did not have a drainage system which resulted in pooling of water that would stand for weeks and sometimes months after a regular rain event.  Several inches of rain produced flooding of at least a dozen structures and the closing of the main insertion in town Route 7/1086. 

Without a working drainage system, citizens were impacted by the health dangers associated with standing water as well as the loss to property due to frequent flooding of homes.  Mayor Jerry Fultz with the help of Regina Hall-McClure pursued and were awarded a $409,000 Hazard Mitigation Grant to address these flooding issues.  Today this project is completed and Wayland’s citizens are no longer facing the impacts of multiple, repetitive flooding issues that have been occurring for decades.



Great Saltpetre Preserve of the Rockcastle Karst Conservancy

The Great Saltpetre Preserve (GSP) is the home of a historic limestone cave once mined for saltpeter that is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The 306-acre property is managed and maintained by a dedicated, nonprofit group of volunteers who are committed to preserving an important part of Kentucky’s natural beauty and history. 

GSP applied for mitigation grant funding to reduce repetitive damages to the grounds and roadway from runoff during heavy rainfall events.  After the grant was awarded in 2017, volunteers completed the drainage improvement project in less than six months. 

Incorporating elements of green infrastructure design including swales and native plantings, the group successfully installed culverts, drains, and rock dispersion structures to effectively control the runoff.  The result is a solution that blends with the natural environment and highlights the beauty of collaboration with dedicated individuals.






Mitigation Matters!  

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