Major General (ret) Ken Wisian, Ph.D., brings decades of military and government experience to bear on leading edge science and technology issues as well as disaster response and recovery. Dr. Wisian served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for 33 years, General Wisian has 3,800+ flying hours in all types of aircraft including B-52s, C-130s, and Special Mission aircraft, and he commanded an MQ-1 Predator Wing. General Wisian has participated in and led operations for multiple national disaster response and recovery, and border security efforts (as both a military and state government executive), and qualified as a Dual Status (state and federal forces) Commander. General Wisian holds a Ph.D. in geophysics from SMU, an M.S. in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College, an M.S. in Geology from Centenary, and a B.A. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School with more than 70 hours of medium and high-risk test flights. General Wisian has combat time in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.

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Earnest Vance is a United States Army Master Diver, SAPPER and retired Master Sergeant with 22 plus years of service. Earnest started his diving career by attending Second Class dive school in 1998 at the Naval Diving Salvage Training Center located in Panama City Florida.  Throughout his career he would return to NDSTC to complete the Salvage Construction Demolition Diver course, First Class diver course and Master Diver Evaluations to earn the title of Master Diver. Simultaneously he led Surface supplied and SCUBA diving operations in both domestic and global settings throughout the United States and overseas in Cambodia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. Earnest is also credited with training entry level diving operations while stationed at Fort Leonard Wood Missouri as senior instructor as well as training both United States Navy divers and Kuwait Navy Divers in emergency and hypobaric procedures for injured divers while deployed in support if Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He is also certified in Lean Six Sigma, Sexual Harassment / Assault Response and Prevention, Diving Systems International Technical Service Certification, Quincy Compressor Division Technical Training, and 80 hour Instructor Training Certification from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. His civilian education consist of Associates of Science Degree in Marine Technology, National Polytechnic College of Engineering and Oceaneering, Wilmington, CA and a Bachelors Degree of Professional Studies in Business and Management, Excelsior Albany, NY


First Responder

Assisstant Chief Michael Wolford 

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Matt Mackowiak is an Austin and Washington, DC-based political and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group (PSG), LLC, which provides political consulting to conservative campaigns and media relations and crisis communications assistance to companies, groups and individuals.  He has served in senior roles for two U.S. Senators and a Governor, in the Bush administration, and in winning campaigns, and has developed a deep network of media and political relationships nationwide. In addition to offering counsel to individuals and corporations, Matt appears regularly on MSNBC, Fox News, Sky News, BBC News and CBC-TV, and provides political analysis three times a week for KTBC Fox 7 in Austin.  He is an exclusive columnist for The Washington Times, The New York Observer and The Hill newspaper and is a biweekly columnist for The Austin American-Statesman, with his column syndicated to over 200 newspapers nationally. His weekly  national  politics  podcast, “Mack  On  Politics,”  which  is  produced  in  partnership  with  The Washington Times, has surpassed 40,000 downloads and features interviews with leading newsmakers. Matt is currently serving as Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. He is a Director of the Center for Public Policy and Political Studies at Austin Community College. He serves as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Texas Cowboys and for the Veterans non-profit Luke’s Wings. He is a 2016 delegate to the British-American Project and a member of the Washington, DC-based Council for National Policy.

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emergency management

Rebekah Frost is a financial consultant who has advised individuals, companies, and government agencies globally. She has an expertise in international trade compliance and government contracts. As a Lieutenant and Medical Officer in the Army National Guard, Ms. Frost supervised seven departments in support of some 26,000 soldiers. While serving in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan, her analysis and findings on agricultural value chains were published and implemented by the U.S. Embassy on a nationwide basis. She has served as an advisor to Chief of Staff, Commanding General, the National Guard Bureau, and Veteran’s Administration departments to ensure compliance with state and national regulations. In the private sector, Ms. Frost has performed feasibility analyses for international investment projects, negotiated terms for overseas investment contracts, and advised international clients on the migration of funds from foreign countries to the United States. She also led the audit team responsible for ensuring compliance with the largest stateside privatized government contract.