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Working together to make communities safer from hurricanes is more important than ever.
December 3 & 4, 2008

Walt Disney World
Orlando, Florida

This invitation-only event brought together thought-leaders, academics, policymakers and activists to focus on efforts to make coastlines safer and more resilient.

The Hurricane Science for Safety Leadership Forum brought together scientists and public policy leaders to foster relationships with key lawmakers, regulators and others involved in the policy-making process. The private workshop session was designed to raise the profile of loss-mitigation and highlight policy success stories, as well as strengthening the ad-hoc Florida coalitions that work on mitigation-oriented reforms.

CFO Sink was first elected statewide in 2006 as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Sink oversees nearly 3,000 employees and an annual budget of $300 million in the Department of Financial Services. Her varied responsibilities include managing the state’s $24 billion in Treasury funds, serving as the State Fire Marshal, overseeing workers’ compensation and the state’s risk management programs, and licensing all insurance agents and investigating insurance fraud.


As the state’s top fiscal officer, CFO Sink’s goal is to understand and prepare for all issues that may affect the future of Florida’s economy. To better understand the potential threat of climate change, she partnered with Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Charles Bronson to co-host a series of Cabinet Workshops called “Conversations on Climate Change.” Out of these Cabinet-level workshops, the CFO launched a new climate change website at, has joined the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR) – a national network of investors focused on the business impacts of climate change – and as State Treasurer, has become the first Treasury to ask its investment managers for disclosure of climate risk.


Under CFO Sink’s direction, My Safe Florida Home is successfully helping Floridians learn how to harden their homes. At, Floridians in single-family, site-built homes can sign up for free wind inspections. Some Floridians are also eligible for matching grants if they choose to make improvements.


The CFO is also a member of Florida’s Cabinet, which includes the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Cabinet and Governor supervise executive clemency, land acquisition, bond finance and the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs, Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Law Enforcement, and Revenue. As a Cabinet member, the CFO is one of four members of the Financial Services Commission that oversees the appointed commissioners of insurance regulation and financial regulation.

Andrew Fahlund was appointed Vice President for Conservation at American Rivers in 2004. Working with a staff of more than 20, his department is responsible for developing and implementing innovative policy and science tools to protect and restore targeted rivers and watersheds through four principle campaigns: Healthy Waters, Water for Life, River Renewal, and River Heritage.


Mr. Fahlund also serves as the co-chair of the Clean Water Network’s Global Warming working group.  Prior to his promotion, he directed the American Rivers Dam Reform Program. His responsibilities included directing the organization’s national policy and fieldwork in these areas and managing a staff of 12.  Between 1999 and 2005 he served as Chair of the Hydropower Reform Coalition, a consortium of 125 conservation and recreation groups involved in restoring rivers through the licensing of hydropower dams.  He served on the board of directors for the Low Impact Hydropower Institute, which certifies environmentally responsible hydropower for “green” electricity markets.   Mr. Fahlund has served on several governmental advisory groups, has testified before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as numerous federal agencies, and participated in various policy forums and negotiations addressing water policy in the United States.


Mr. Fahlund received his M.S. in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, with honors.

Barney Bishop has served as president and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida, known as “The Voice of Florida Business Since 1920,” since January 2005, managing day-to-day operations. He has been a major force for instituting change, and under his leadership, AIF membership has experienced tremendous growth and has expanded into new policy arenas — notably, education and economic development.


Mr. Bishop has more than 29 years experience in legislative and political affairs.  He was a former aide to State Treasurer Bill Gunter, as well as former Executive Director of the Florida Democratic Party.  His areas of expertise include appropriations, criminal justice and behavioral health care issues.

Mr. Bishop earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political & Judicial Communication and History from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

Chairman Thompson is currently serving his eighth term as the Democratic Congressman for Mississippi’s Second District and his third term on the Homeland Security Committee. With more than 40 years of continuous public service, he is the longest-serving African-American elected official in the state of Mississippi. He served as alderman and mayor in his hometown for years, after which he served as Hinds County Supervisor for 13 years before being elected to Congress in 1993. With six district offices – Bolton, Greenville, Greenwood, Jackson, Marks, and Mound Bayou – Congressman Thompson is committed to empowering those who gave him an opportunity to represent the Second District of Mississippi. 

To begin the 110th Congress, Congressman Thompson was promoted by his colleagues to serve as the first ever Democratic Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, a committee which was created by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.  As Chairman, Congressman Thompson recently introduced and engineered House passage of the most comprehensive homeland security package since September 11th, H.R. 1, the “9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007”.

Drawing on his 26 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, Congressman Thompson understands that our nation’s law enforcement and first responders are our first line of defense in times of emergency. With that in mind he has constantly fought to ensure they are fully equipped with the resources and tools they need to effectively respond to any and all emergencies.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson is President/CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. – FLASH®, a national, non-profit corporation founded in 1998 by a collaborative of non-profit, private and public organizations dedicated to strengthening homes and safeguarding families from disaster.  Today, FLASH is the fastest growing disaster safety education organization in the United States with more than 90 partners, including FEMA, Georgia Pacific, Institute for Business & Home Safety, International Code Council, Mercedes Homes, NeighborWorks, NOAA, South Carolina Department of Insurance, State Farm Insurance Companies, Texas Department of Insurance, Texas Tech Wind Science & Engineering, The Home Depot and Home Depot Foundation, University of Florida, and USAA.


Ms. Chapman-Henderson and FLASH have championed the cause of code-plus construction methods through the creation of Blueprint for Safety® (Blueprint), an educational program for homebuilders, homeowners and design professionals on disaster-resistant construction techniques. 

Among Ms. Chapman-Henderson’s civic, community and professional awards are the 2006 Texas Silver Spur Award for Public Education Excellence, 2006 Governor’s Hurricane Conference Public Information/Education Award, 2005 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Public Awareness Award, 2005 National Weather Association Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award, 2005 NOAA Environmental Hero Award, 2002 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement in Mitigation Award, 2002 FEMA Special Recognition Award, 2002 Florida Fire Chiefs Association Excellence in Community and Public Education Award, 2002 Florida Emergency Preparedness Association Corporate Award, and 2001 Governors Hurricane Conference Public Education Award.


Additional award-winning FLASH outreach projects include two seasons of episodes with the nationally-syndicated programs Bob Vila and Home Again with Bob Vila;  a one-hour, nationally televised multi-hazard PBS Special entitled, Blueprint for Safety … Disaster-resistant Homes; and “A Tale of Two Houses,” a multi-media awareness campaign, showcasing code and code-plus construction success stories. 


Ms. Chapman-Henderson currently serves as a representative on the legislatively-created My Safe Florida Home Advisory Council.  Her past service includes consumer representative and chair for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Advisory Council under Governor Charlie Crist and former Governor Jeb Bush, guest lecturer at the University of Florida – School of Construction and one of the Florida representatives to the Federal Communications Commission WARN Committee.  She was recently elected as a board trustee of the Florida International University – International Hurricane Research Center. 


Other past service includes trustee for the Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation; consumer representative to the Louisiana Uniform Building Code Task Force; consumer representative and vice chair on the 2005 Florida Legislative Task Force on Long Term Solutions for Florida’s Hurricane Insurance Market; and insurance consumer representative to the 2006 Property and Casualty Insurance Reform Committee chaired by former Lt. Governor Toni Jennings.


She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Florida and currently resides in Tallahassee where she is married and has one child.

David Conrad has been actively involved in water resource policy since 1977 and has been with NWF since 1989. In this position, and in previous positions with Friends of the Earth and American Rivers, he has been an advocate for river and water resources protection, concentrating on issues such as hydroelectric power regulation, federal water resources development, and flood insurance reform. Recently, Mr. Conrad’s work has focused on policies and programs to restore ecosystem health to water resources, and redirecting federal flood control programs toward a new and greater emphasis on improved floodplain management.


Mr. Conrad was project director and a principal author of NWF’s 1998 Higher Ground report that addresses repetitive flood insurance claims and argues for voluntary property buyouts as an alternative strategy for reducing flood risks. He was also a principal author of the 2000 Troubled Waters report issued by NWF and Taxpayers for Common Sense, and of the recently published (March 2004) report called Crossroads: Congress, the Corps of Engineers and the Future of America’s Water Resources. Mr. Conrad was a founder and serves on the Steering Committee of the national Corps Reform Network, a group now with more than 160 conservation, taxpayer and civic organizations. In 2000, he received the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Outstanding Public Service Award for his work to promote protection of the nation’s floodplains. In May 2003, the Association of State Floodplain Managers granted Mr. Conrad the Goddard-White Award, its highest honor, in recognition of his instrumental work in the field of floodplain management.


Mr. Conrad holds a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia.

Debra Ballen joined IBHS in 2008 as the General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy. In this capacity, she is responsible for managing all of the organization’s legal matters, as well as overseeing IBHS’ public policy efforts.  In addition, she serves as the organization’s Corporate Secretary.


Prior to her work with IBHS, Ms. Ballen was the Executive Vice President of Public Policy Management for the American Insurance Association in Washington, D.C.  She developed and implemented policy for AIA’s priority federal and state public policy issues.  She has also served on the OECD High Level Advisory Board on Financial Management of Large Scale Catastrophes, which includes a heavy emphasis on mitigation measures..


Ms. Ballen graduated with a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and an A.B. degree from Princeton University. She holds the CPCU designation.

Ms. Ransom joined The Accord Group in March 2007 after serving for almost a decade in the Senate on the staff of the Environment and Public Works Committee and the office of Senator Bob Graham of Florida.  Ms. Ransom served as Professional Staff and Senior Policy Advisor to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for over five years where she managed the Committee’s oversight and legislative agenda for Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Army Corps civil works and water resources, homeland security, and federal disaster response.  Ms. Ransom was the point person on the Committee for Hurricane Katrina response and recovery, advising Committee members on levee reconstruction, hurricane protection systems, disaster response and recovery, infrastructure improvements, ecosystem restoration and federal spending. 


Prior to her time on the Committee, Ms. Ransom worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for Senator Bob Graham of Florida on legislation and appropriations in the policy areas of environment, energy, natural resources, agriculture and disaster preparedness and response.  She staffed his activities on two Senate committees and developed member – level, national campaigns for key issue areas such as national park protection.  In 2000, she led the legislative work to enact the landmark $8 billion, 25-year Everglades restoration program.  Ms. Ransom drafted the first legislation to authorize Federal funding for Alternative Water Supply Projects and Florida Keys Wastewater Improvements and shepherded them through the legislative process to enactment during her tenure with Senator Graham.  In addition, Ms. Ransom managed appropriations for the Army Corps, Interior Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the EPA, and NOAA. She maintains extensive contacts in the state within the environmental community, the Water Management Districts, and with the Florida delegation in Congress.  Before moving to the legislative branch, Ms. Ransom served as an environmental protection specialist for the Chief of Naval Operations.  In addition, she is a Certified Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Logistics Management Professional having worked with the Naval Air Systems Command for 3 years.


Ms. Ransom has a Master’s degree in environmental and energy engineering management from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Penn State University.

Eli Lehrer is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute—a think tank with offices in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, Florida. At CEI, he directs studies of insurance, natural disaster, and credit policies. He has played a leading role in the Americans for Smart Natural Catastrophe Policy coalition and has written extensively about flood policy.

Prior to joining CEI, Lehrer worked as speechwriter to United States Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.). He has previously worked as a manager in the Unisys Corporation’s Homeland Security Practice, as Senior Editor of The American Enterprise magazine, and as a fellow for the Heritage Foundation. He has spoken at Yale and George Washington Universities.  His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Washington Times, Weekly Standard, National Review, The Public Interest,, and dozens of other publications.  He also serves on the board of the independent think tank D.C. Progress.

He holds a B.A. (Cum Laude) from Cornell University and a M.A. (with honors) from The Johns Hopkins University where his Master’s thesis focused on the Federal Emergency Management Agency and flood insurance.

Frank Nutter has been president of the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) since 1991. He held the same position with the RAA from 1981-1984. 

In the interim, he was president of the Alliance of American Insurers and the Property Loss Research Bureau, which have now merged to be part of the PCI (Property Casualty Insurance Association of America).

Mr. Nutter currently serves on the Board of the International Hurricane Research Center; the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, an adjunct to the Harvard University Medical School; the Council of the American Meteorological Society; and the Board of the University Center for Atmospheric Research, a consortium of universities managing the National Center for Atmospheric Research sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the OECD’s International Network for the Financial Management of Large Scale Disasters and has served on the Board of the Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences.

He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute, and the Board of Overseers of the Institute for Civil Justice, a subsidiary of the Rand Corporation. 

Mr. Nutter has a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Nutter was an officer in the U.S. Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.  He is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Ms. Salvatore works closely with national and local media, appearing often on radio, TV and in print as a spokesperson for insurance-related issues that directly affect the consumer, both individual and commercial. She also serves as the industry liaison to numerous consumer, education, safety and community-based organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League and Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.

Ms. Salvatore has fulfilled a variety of roles since joining I.I.I. in 1988. Among her earlier achievements, she became an expert on the issue of insurance fraud and was instrumental in the development of a national agenda to combat it, and co-authored Fighting the Hidden Crime: A National Agenda to Combat Insurance Fraud. She also has served as I.I.I.’s director of crisis communications, and produced a series of state-specific auto-safety conferences that culminated in a national conference. She also directed communications programs on insurance topics such as claim filing, disaster preparedness and home safety.

Ms. Salvatore is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and served as president of the New York chapter in 2000. She holds a B.A. in English from Villanova University and an M.A. in Communications from Columbia University and is an adjunct professor in the graduate school of Mass Communications at Iona College and Columbia University.

Joe Tankersley is a writer and producer for Walt Disney Imagineering. He has worked on the creative development of projects throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. He was head writer for the Millennium Village, part of Epcot’s celebration of the new century. This unique project took him to more than a dozen countries from Brazil to Saudi Arabia. Since then he has worked on projects for Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot.


Currently, Mr. Tankersley leads creative teams developing new projects for Innoventions at Epcot. These projects employ the latest in interactive entertainment technologies to help guests learn more about the world around them.

Dr. Rothstein joined the company in 2007 as Principal Scientist and is responsible for advising WPC and RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. on quantifying the uncertainties associated with the science of climate change for the purpose of advancing adaptive and mitigation-based business solutions.  He has authored or co-authored over 75 articles and book chapters and has served as the editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, one of the premiere science journals in physical oceanography. He was a two-term member of the U.S. Science Steering Committee for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, has served on numerous other national and international scientific committees, and has served on scientific review panels for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. Rothstein holds a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of Hawaii, and is also a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.`

Ms. Lockwood brings over 14 years of professional engineering experience to her position as the Director of Legislative Affairs at Solutia Inc, a global performance materials and specialty chemicals company.  Her responsibilities include working with state legislatures and federal governments to bring about adoption of statewide building codes that increase hurricane resistance.  To date, Ms. Lockwood has helped get stronger hurricane resistant codes adopted in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Louisiana where strong mandatory statewide codes are now in effect.  She is currently working in Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.

Most recently, Ms. Lockwood held the position of Director of Building Codes and Engineering at the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).  Her responsibilities included strengthening building codes to increase the resistance of structures to natural disasters, managing research projects to support state adoptions of building codes and developing educational programs and materials to help consumers and builders understand the importance of better construction.

Ms. Lockwood earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida.  She is scheduled to complete her Juris Doctorate from Concord Law School in June 2009.

Patrick Maroney is the Kathryn Magee Kip Professor in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and Business Law.  He has been a faculty member at Florida State University since 1981.  He currently serves as the director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center.  Prior to that position he served as the associate dean for Graduate Programs in the College of Business from 2003 until January 2008. He also served as the Chairman of the Risk Management and Insurance Department from 1994 until the fall semester of 2001.


Professor Maroney has authored or co-authored more than forty articles and books.  Professor Maroney’s research concentration is in the area of insurance law and regulation.  Articles have appeared in the Journal of Insurance Regulation, Risk Management and Insurance Review, Florida State University Law Review, Florida Bar Journal, Journal of Insurance Issues, Insurance Counsel Journal, and The American Business Law Journal.  He has presented papers at regional and national academic conferences.  He has received a Teaching Incentive Program award for excellence in teaching and has been named Student Organization Advisor of the Year.  He has served as continuing education chair of the Administrative Law section of the Florida Bar and been recognized for outstanding service to the section.  He has also served as an officer and board member of the section.


Professor Maroney was a member of the NCCI Insurance Fraud Commission.  He has served as a board member of the Southern Risk and Insurance Association and as President of that organization.  He was the executive consultant to the Automobile Insurance Task Force and a co-author of the Insurance Study of Sinkholes.

Dr. Peter Vickery joined Applied Research Associates in 1988. He has over 19 years of experience in wind engineering, 12 years experience in the application of hurricane modeling relevant to insurance loss analysis/rate making, and 8 years experience in coastal flood modeling and risk assessment.


Dr. Vickery serves on the ASCE-7 wind load task committee developing wind loading provisions for use in the United States. With Dr. Lawrence Twisdale of Applied Research Associates, Dr. Vickery developed the hurricane missile models used in the wind load damage tools. The hurricane missile model results were instrumental in defining the wind borne debris risk criteria as given in the SSTD-12 missile protection standard and the new ASTM wind borne debris standard. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Meteorological Society and is a Licensed Engineer in the state of North Carolina.


Dr. Vickery was responsible for developing the wind load and damage portion of the loss model used for residential structures and played the primary role in the development of ARA’s hurricane simulation model. Dr. Vickery was Co-PI on ARA’s effort to develop the HAZUS Wind Loss Estimation methodology and software and the Mitigation Grant Feasibility Study for the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund. Dr Vickery is currently working with Dr Lawrence Twisdale to update the loss relativities (or insurance credits) for the Florida Department of Insurance.


Prior to joining ARA, Dr. Vickery completed both his Masters and doctoral studies at the University of Western Ontario.

William Riker joined RenaissanceRe in its founding year, 1993, and retired in December 2007 as a Director, President and Chief Underwriting Officer, with overall responsibility for enterprise-wide modeling and underwriting.  He held the previous positions of Chief Operating Officer of RenaissanceRe, and President and Chief Executive Officer of Glencoe Group Holdings Ltd., the Dallas-based individual risk segment of RenaissanceRe.


Prior to joining RenaissanceRe, Mr. Riker was Vice President of Applied Insurance Research, Inc. and also Senior Vice President in charge of treaty and facultative operations for American Royal Re.  He was responsible for developing analytical tools while holding various positions at American Royal from 1984 through 1993.  Mr. Riker has significant experience in designing, selling, consulting on and using catastrophe models.


Mr. Riker is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, and holds a B.A. in Economics and B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University.

Robert Hartwig is president of the Insurance Information Institute, which is generally recognized to be the most credible and frequently used single source of information and referral for the widely diverse insurance industry.  Since joining the I.I.I. in 1998 as an economist and becoming chief economist in 1999, Dr. Hartwig has focused his work on improving understanding of key insurance issues across all industry stakeholders including media, consumers, insurers, producers, regulators, legislators and investors. He makes frequent presentations to industry associations, company management, industry executives, analysts and clients and speaks internationally on a wide range of insurance issues. Dr. Hartwig serves as a media spokesperson for the property/casualty insurance industry, and is quoted frequently in leading publications, as well as appearing regularly on television.  He has testified before numerous state and federal regulatory and legislative bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.


Dr. Hartwig previously served as director of economic research and senior economist with the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) in Boca Raton, Florida, where he performed rate of return and cost of capital modeling and testified at workers’ compensation rate hearings in many states. He has also worked as senior economist for the Swiss Reinsurance Group in New York and as senior statistician for the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington, D.C.  He is a member of the American Economic Association, the American Risk and Insurance Association, the National Association of Business Economics and the CPCU Society and from May 2005 to May 2008 served on the board of directors of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association of New York. In 2005 and 2006 Dr. Hartwig served on the state of Florida’s Task Force for Long-Term Homeowners Insurance Solutions.


Dr. Hartwig received his Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Hartwig holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) credential.

Julie Rochman joined IBHS in November 2007 with more than 20 years of public affairs and advocacy experience representing major corporations, research and safety organizations, and issue-based coalitions. She is regularly consulted and quoted by national print, broadcast and electronic media on a wide variety of topics.

She joined IBHS from The Glover Park Group, a leading Washington, D.C.-based strategic communication consulting firm, where she was senior vice president of public affairs and managed a portfolio primarily comprising financial services sector clients. She joined the firm from the American Insurance Association (AIA), a national public policy advocacy organization for property-casualty insurance companies. As senior vice president of public affairs and member of AIA’s management team for six years, Ms. Rochman and her staff were responsible for developing and executing integrated communication campaigns to achieve AIA’s public policy goals at both the state and federal levels.

From November 1996 until late 2000, Ms. Rochman was vice president of communications for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), where she successfully managed media relations for the IIHS and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). Upon leaving the IIHS, Ms. Rochman served on the IIHS and HLDI boards of directors for several years. Prior to joining IIHS, Ms. Rochman managed federal communications for the Alliance of American Insurers, worked for the Insurance Information Institute, for a public health organization dedicated to preventing drunk driving, at an advertising agency, and for a global insurance brokerage.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Ms. Rochman earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tulane University and a master’s degree in American Government from the University of Virginia. She now resides in Tampa.

Dr. Rothstein joined WeatherPredict Consulting in 2007 as Principal Scientist and is responsible for advising WPC and RenaissanceRe on quantifying the uncertainties associated with the science of climate change for the purpose of advancing adaptive and mitigation-based business solutions. He has authored or co-authored over 75 articles and book chapters and has served as the editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research, one of the premiere science journals in physical oceanography. Dr. Rothstein was a two-term member of the U.S. Science Steering Committee for the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, has served on numerous other national and international scientific committees, and has served on scientific review panels for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

Dr. Rothstein holds a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of Hawaii, and is also a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.

Ms. Owen Gledhill is a nationally certified land use planner for the Florida Wildlife Federation, a statewide nonprofit conservation organization. She heads up the Northeast Florida field office where she applies her skills and knowledge when addressing growth management issues in seven counties. Ms. Owen Gledhill has provided expert witness testimony in a number of coastal planning hearings. Her involvement with coastal planning began with the Florida Wildlife Federation’s participation with the Town of Marineland’s comprehensive plan.


Ms. Owen Gledhill obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Florida. She received her Master of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida.

Dr. Staudt provides scientific expertise for NWF’s activities on global warming. While at NWF, she has coauthored reports on how global warming will affect severe weather,  wildfires in the American West, aquatic habitats in California, and the Chesapeake Bay. Prior to joining NWF, Staudt was a senior program officer at the National Academies, where her work focused on climate change, air quality, and weather. As a key liaison between the scientific community and the federal agencies that support climate change research, she directed the National Academies Climate Research Committee and helped author more than a dozen reports on topics including the U.S. strategy for supporting climate change research, radiative forcing of climate, past records of surface temperature, how climate and weather affect transportation, and practices for effective global change assessments.


Dr. Staudt holds a Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences and an A.B. in environmental engineering and sciences from Harvard University.

Tofigh Shirazi is a real estate developer based in Houston, Texas, with over three decades of national and international industry experience.  Upon graduating from University of California at Berkley, Mr. Shirazi was hired by Societe Soletranche S.A. in France as a construction engineer specializing in foundation and concrete construction.  In 1977, he moved to the Middle East and worked as construction manager for the Latiyan Contruction Company.  After moving to Houston, Texas in 1980, he became VP of Real Estate Development for Zamin Investments Inc.


In 1981, Mr. Shirazi founded Intercontinental United Investors Corporation, a company of which he is still owner and president today.  IUI has successfully developed and renovated several hundred thousand square feet of office/retail space and several master-planned communities.  He is the town founder of Beachtown Galveston, a nationally recognized and publicized town development project.


Mr. Shirazi graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, then went on to attend Stanford University and UC Berkley, receiving a Masters of Science in Construction Management.  He also studied Civil Engineering and Business and Real Estate Law at Rice University, attended Stanford University’s Executive Management program, and the OPM program at Harvard Business School.

Tami Torres currently serves as the Special Programs Administrator for the My Safe Florida Home Program administered by the Department of Financial Services.  This $250 million program was created in the 2006 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature to help Floridians identify how they can strengthen their homes against hurricanes and to reduce hurricane damage exposure in the State of Florida.


Prior to her role with the My Safe Florida Home Program, Ms. Torres served as the Director of Communications for the Department of Financial Services, Majority Office of the Florida Senate and the Florida Association of Counties.  She has led numerous public relation and communication efforts including: Verify Before You Buy, A+ Plan for Education and Growing Florida’s Economy.  Ms. Torres has also managed and directed message development on issues of statewide importance and legislative policies such as complex financial and insurance issues.


Ms. Torres has a Bachelors of Science in Mass Media Communications from The Florida State University.

Paul VanderMarck is Chief Products Officer of Risk Management Solutions, the leading provider of catastrophe risk models to the global insurance industry. In this role, he has overall responsibility for definition and execution of the firm’s product strategy. Since joining RMS in 1992, he has played a central role both in the development of RMS’ global catastrophe modeling capabilities as well as in advancing the state of practice for using modeling to manage catastrophe risk. In 2003, Mr. VanderMarck was recognized by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute for his contributions to the field of earthquake risk mitigation and management with the Shah Family Innovation Award.


Mr. VanderMarck holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and an M.S. degree in Structural and Earthquake Engineering, both from Stanford University.

Organizations Represented at Hurricane Science for Safety Forum


All Points Screw Bolt and Specialty Co.

Allianz of America

American Rivers

Applied Research Associates

Associated Industries of Florida

Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR)

Blank & Meenan

Caribbean Conservation Corporation

Carlton Fields

Charlotte County Office of Emergency Management

Citizens Property Insurance

City of North Port

Cohen Strategies

Colodny, Fass Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate, P.A.

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Cote & D’Ambrosio, Inc.

Department of Financial Services-My Safe Florida Home

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. – FLASH


Florida Department of Financial Services

Florida Division of Emergency Management

Florida House of Representatives

Florida State University

Florida Tech

Florida Wildlife Federation

Focus Insurance Consultancy

Freddie Mac

Glencoe Group Holdings Inc.

Government of Bermuda

HomeWise Insurance

Institute for Business & Home Safety

Insurance Information Institute

Intercontinental United Investors, Inc.

International Hurricane Research Center

JVI Inspection Division

K&L Gates LLP

Keiser University

Magnolia Insurance Company

Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting

Midland Radio Corporation







National Wildlife Federation

National Wildlife Federation

Okeechobee Emergency Management


Planning and Growth Management, Hillsborough County, Florida

Property Casualty Insurers Assoc of Amer

Reedy Creek Emergency Services

Reinsurance Association of America

RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.

Riker Consulting

Risk Management Solutions

Sarasota County Emergency Management

South Carolina Safe Home Program

South Carolina Dept. of Insurance

Simpson Strong-Tie


Solutia Inc.

St. Johns River Water Mgmt

State Farm Insurance

Florida Department of Financial Services

Texas Senate Committee on Business & Commerce

The Accord Group

The Florida Council of 100

Tower Hill Insurance Group

University of California Berkeley, Department of Geography

University of Central Florida

University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center Coastal Management

Volusia County Emergency Management

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.

Wyndham Partners Consulting

Yale Law Schoo