Friday, September 25, 2020

Meet Southlake's New Emergency Management Coordinator

benMeet Ben Williamson our new Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Southlake and the Departments of Public Safety. Ben is a native of Texas, growing up in Mesquite and currently residing in McKinney but that’s all about to change. Ben says, “My wife Sheila and I are excited to make Southlake and the surrounding area our home.  I did a lot of research and I am really impressed by what the City of Southlake has to offer.”  Ben has five years of emergency management experience on the local level. Prior to coming to Southlake he served as the Senior Emergency Management Specialist for the City of Garland. Fire Chief Mike Starr says, “We feel fortunate to have someone of Ben’s caliber on our team. We had over 300 applicants and Ben really stood out. We were very impressed with his experience in emergency management as well as being very knowledgeable with data and how to best interpret it to meet our goals and initiatives.”

Ben says he is a perpetual student and loves to learn. He received his Bachelor of Science in Emergency Administration and Planning from the University of North Texas and is currently finishing the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Texas at Arlington. He also carries multiple certifications including Certified Emergency Manager, Certified Texas Emergency Manager, and Project Management Professional. Ben is dedicated to public service adding that, “I find joy in serving my community as both a professional and a volunteer.”  As Southlake’s Emergency Management Coordinator, he will work to reduce the City’s vulnerability to disasters through mitigation and preparedness activities including planning, training and training exercises. “Through these actions, I will ensure Southlake is a resilient community that is prepared to respond to and recover from any disaster in a manner that is as effective as possible,” said Ben.      

Ben takes advantage of his spare time spending it with his family. His wife Sheila and two children, a six-year-old boy named Hayden and a six-month-old daughter named Josephine (Josie). He also likes spending time outdoors whenever he can and volunteers when time permits. His most recent volunteer activity included tutoring elementary students during his lunch breaks each week.

Ben has officially been with the City of Southlake for about two weeks and has hit the ground running. He says, “I can already tell this is an amazing opportunity and I look forward to being here for the long term.  Every day I meet new City employees and they are helpful and supportive as I get acclimated to the City and learning the Southlake way. The residents have been amazing to work with and I have already had the opportunity to meet many of the volunteers that donate their time, talents, and resources to Southlake.”

Welcome aboard Ben!