About

National Homeland Security Association

Branch Strickland President (NYC)
John Shaw Vice President (Jacksonville)
Dawn HeartsongSecretary (Cleveland)
Kathy Crandall, Treasurer (Columbus)
Kim Gathers, (Phoenix)
Rocky Vaz(Dallas)
Jonathan Shultz (Niagara)
Jeffrey Dean (San Antonio)
Garry Lisiewski (Tampa)

president [at] nationalhomelandsecurity.org
vicepresident [at] nationalhomelandsecurity.org
secretary [at] nationalhomelandsecurity.org
treasurer [at] nationalhomelandsecurity.org
program [at] nationalhomelandsecurity.org
speakers [at] nationalhomelandsecurity.org
jonathan.schultz [at] niagaracounty.com
jeffrey.dean [at] sanantonio.gov
Garry.Lisiewski [at] ci.tampa.fl.us

The National Homeland Security Association sponsors the National Homeland Security Conference. The Conference is the annual meeting of local Homeland Security and emergency management professionals from the Nation’s largest metropolitan areas. It has become the best attended and most highly anticipated homeland security and emergency management conference of the year as it focuses on all emergency response disciplines at all levels of government.

Background

This conference was originally conceived of as an information sharing opportunity by the Charlotte and Southeast Florida Urban Areas who, along with other UASI programs, recognized a distinct need for an effective information sharing platform among UASI jurisdictions. The first conference was held in Dallas, Texas in 2005 and was supported by the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association. This conference was attended by fire chiefs and UASI administrative professionals, who recognized the need for greater information sharing.  Based on this conference, participants concluded that a larger conference was needed to provide similar information sharing across all first responder disciplines from all Urban Areas. The 2007-2013 National Conferences grew exponentially to include all of the designated urban areas and representatives from critical homeland security disciplines.  The conference offered panel discussions, “lessons learned” and cutting edge technology demonstrations for attendees.

The 2010 Conference, hosted by the New Orleans UASI, looked to further build upon this strong foundation by including the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS), Port Security Grant Program (PSGP), and Transportation Security Grant Program (TSGP) participants.  The inclusion of these programs provided for a greater opportunity to share best practices and lessons learned among the larger homeland security community.  The exhibitors’ display area was significantly expanded to provide access to a broad array of homeland security products and services and offered an increased opportunity for attendees to speak with companies that create most up-to-date technology solutions.

The 2011 National UASI and Homeland Security Conference in San Francisco was the largest of our conferences to date and continued our legacy of providing best practices to the Homeland Security community.  The 2012 conference expanded to include non-traditional Federal agencies that provide great support to regional and local emergency managers. For the first time ever, we hosted presentations on Defense Support to Civil Authorities, U.S. Northern Command, and other Federal Departments and agencies.

The National Homeland Security Association hosted its 7th annual conference in Los Angeles, California June 4-7, 2013. For the first time, we partnered with the Leadership in Counterterrorism Conference (LinCT) and the Major Cities Chiefs Intelligence Commanders Group Meeting. The theme for 2013 was: "Homeland Security Begins with Hometown Security" The conference provided an opportunity for stakeholders from all areas of homeland security and emergency preparedness to gather together and exchange important information to make our country safer.

The 2014 National Homeland Security Conference embraced the patriotic spirit in the host city of Philadelphia, PA.  Home of the Liberty Bell and Constitution Center, and featuring the famous Philly Cheesesteaks and Tasty Cakes, Philadelphia served as a welcoming and dynamic host.  The Conference provided the over 1000 attendees a diverse educational and information sharing environment that included over fifty peer-to-peer breakout sessions and an in-depth presentation on the Boston Marathon Bombings.  Free time provided attendees the opportunity to experience the Constitutional walking tour which boasts 20 of the most popular historic sites including the liberty bell and independence hall.

The 2015 National Homeland Security Conference was held in San Antonio Texas at the Henry B. Gonzalez Conference Center with a backdrop of the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk. With over 1100 in attendance, this conference was an outstanding educational and networking event made even more exciting by Texas style entertainment that included a long-horn steer, armadillo races, mariachi bands and riverboat rides. The conference delivered over fifty dynamic peer-to-peer sessions, multiple Town Halls offering Q&A with leaders from DHS and HHS, and featured Mr. Pierre Collex, police attaché, embassy of France, who presented a detailed report of the Paris Terrorist Bombings

The 2016 National Homeland Security Conference celebrated its tenth conference back in the state of its origin, Florida – this time hosted in Tampa.  The Sunshine State did not disappoint, drawing over 1,300 attendees, our largest to date.  Attendees witnessed a spectacular exercise, encompassing first responders from land, sea and air.  Our exhibitor social featured flamenco dancers and the host social at the Florida Aquarium drew a ‘standing room only’ crowd.  Dynamic speakers filled the three-day event, including Pierre Colliex, Police Attache’, Embassy of France – who unfortunately had a new round of terrorist attacks to brief since the prior year’s conference, Chief Jarrod Burguan, San Bernardino Police, outlined the San Bernardino Terror Attacks, and post-conference, Lieutenant Sam McGhee, Aurora Police Department outlined the investigation behind the infamous theatre massacre; along with dozens of peer-to-peer presentations and networking opportunities.