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Staff

Amy Hughes is Director of the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium and has been with the program since 2006. Ms. Hughes holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Kentucky and a Masters in Safety, Security and Emergency Management from EKU. She has extensive experience in state homeland security and disaster management policy issues. She served as senior government policy analyst for the National Emergency Management Association and the Emergency Management Assistance Compact administrator, supporting the mobilization of more than $30 million worth of human and equipment assets during the multi-state mutual aid response to hurricanes Katrina, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne in 2004. Ms. Hughes is a published researcher and author and has been involved in non-profit and grant management and administration for the past 13 years. Watch Amy discuss how the Training Delivery and Operations unit of the RDPC ensures that RDPC training is delivered to first responders nationwide.

Brian Simpkins is the Associate Director of Research and Evaluation for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium. Mr. Simpkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Marshall University, a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), and is pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at EKU. Mr. Simpkins has extensive experience in researching, testing, and evaluating first responder equipment and technologies for numerous mufti-year, national-level programs as well as focused research in the areas of training needs, course evaluations, and critical infrastructure protection. Mr. Simpkins is also a part-time faculty member within the Department of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management at EKU where he teaches classes on topics such as critical infrastructure protection, physical security, and homeland security technology. Mr. Simpkins' professional memberships include American Criminal Justice Association, American Society of Criminology, and the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

Jeffrey Gegler is the Senior Curriculum Developer for the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium. He holds a Bachelor of History from Utica College of Syracuse University, a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Masters of Business Administration/Public Administration. Jeff worked 10 years for the New York State Department of Corrections as an adult educator, taking leading roles in revamping the state curriculum, facility accreditation, staff training, and coordinating the facility's college program. He currently is an instructor for the University of Phoenix and is a former school board member, where he gained experience with strategic and disaster planning at the local level.

Leah Baldwin is the Senior Operations Specialist and holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky. She joined the RDPC in 2006 and is responsible for the coordination and fulfillment of training delivery for more than 300 deliveries each year. Ms. Baldwin is a former staff member of the National Emergency Management Association.

Michelle Day is a Project Administrator with the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education; a Graduate-level Certificate of Completion in Homeland Security; and a Masters in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management, all from Eastern Kentucky University. Ms. Day began her career in the public school system and later transferred into private industry where she worked with various government-based organizations. She has spent the last five and a half years managing the RDPC training center in Valley Oak, KY from where all RDPC training delivery requests are processed and fulfilled. Ms. Day works on a daily basis with state and local jurisdictions to identify their training needs and facilitate requests for training through the approval process. She is also an active member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) in Laurel County, KY