It is always gratifying when one of our FEMA team members is recognized by another organization for their outstanding work. So it gives me great pleasure to let you know that Mary Hudak, External Affairs Director for Region IV, received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Hurricane Conference on Tuesday, March 27. It is well deserved recognition for her passion to improve crisis communication in emergency management so that survivors of disasters get the information they need.
Her nomination, which was written by Region IV Administrator Phil May and supported by Administrator Craig Fugate and Associate Administrator Bill Carwile, points to some of her outstanding achievements in how she has impacted the community of emergency managers in such a positive way. Here is an excerpt from her nomination:
Over the course of her more than 30 years of emergency management service, Mary Hudak has shown tireless dedication to excellence in serving those whose lives have been affected by disaster.
In addition to her work with FEMA, her support for the National Hurricane Conference over the years has been unwavering. She has served on both the Planning Committee and the Public Education/Media Committee for years and has been instrumental in getting subject matter experts to participate—from leaders in emergency management, to local and national media personnel, to crisis management specialists— Mary has been a driving force in support of the NHC. Her efforts have added immeasurably to the knowledge base of local, state and federal emergency managers across the country in strategic messaging and crisis communication. Her work has improved the quality of public information and messaging to disaster survivors all around the country and not just with hurricanes but with floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Mary has trained, mentored, coached, advised and taught literally thousands of emergency managers and communicators throughout the country, both “on the job” in her work with FEMA, as well as in settings such as the National Hurricane Conference.
The impact of her work is nearly impossible to measure because those who have learned so much from her carry it forward as they teach, coach and mentor others. Mary has literally touched the lives of thousands upon thousands through her mentoring and work in support of disaster survivors.
On behalf of the entire FEMA team, thank you, Mary. Your leadership and dedication to your work – and to every disaster survivor you’ve worked tirelessly to serve – stand as a model for all who work in emergency management. Well done!