During the 2013 gala, inWEM will recognize former Community Relations Cadre Managers Angeles Morillo Thompson, FEMA Region II, and the late Benard “Ben” Dew, FEMA Region X. Inaugurated in July 2013, and in honor of Angie and Ben, the “Neighbors Who Make A Difference” annual award pays tribute to a nominee’s contribution to empowering neighbors and communities in the spirit of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”
A resilient community requires first responders, emergency management officials, private sector representatives, and community leaders to empower existing networks that create a culture of preparedness. This concept was nurtured in the late 1990s by Ms. Thompson, and in 2004, the late Mr. Dew, founded the official “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” program in response to the 2004 Florida hurricanes. Their vision continues to this day. We support continued implementation and offer our support and experience as lead of the NHN program during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita response and recovery strategy.