Mr. Justin Kates CEM

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Justin currently serves as the Senior Business Continuity Advisor for America’s favorite convenience store, Wawa, Inc. In this role, he is responsible for architecting a new business continuity program for Wawa’s expanding footprint of over 1,000 stores with over 45,000 associates across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Washington D.C. 

Before Wawa, Justin served 17 years in government, most recently in the City of Somerville, MA as their Director of Emergency Management & Communications. In Somerville, he was responsible for implementing the City’s inaugural comprehensive emergency management program and initiating the integration of their citywide 911 and dispatch operations. 

Prior to joining the Somerville Mayor’s Office, Justin served over ten years as Director of Emergency Management in two Mayoral senior leadership teams at the City of Nashua, NH. He led the strategic shift of Nashua's emergency management program from a formerly response-oriented collateral function in the Fire Department to a consolidated and highly-skilled team excelling in hazard mitigation, recovery planning, and community risk management. While in Nashua, Justin was responsible for coordinating the response and recovery of Presidentially Declared Disasters Tropical Storm Irene, the "Snowtober" Nor'easter, Superstorm Sandy, Winter Storm "Nemo," Winter Storm "Juno," and Pandemic COVID-19. Before his time in Nashua, he served five years as a homeland security consultant for the State of Delaware, managing a range of initiatives from emergency communications infrastructure projects to citizen preparedness education programs.

He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) affiliated with the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and was awarded "NH Emergency Management Director of the year" in 2015 and "Greater Nashua 40 Under Forty" in 2019. Justin attained a Bachelor of Arts concentrated in Emergency Management and Public Administration from the University of Delaware and a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security. In 2021, Justin was elected by peers from across the United States to serve as the 2nd Vice President of IAEM and will serve as 1st Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President in succession until 2025. He also serves as Treasurer of the National Association of Public Safety GIS (NAPSG) Foundation and is a member of the FEMA National Advisory Council. Justin has taught Crisis Management as an Adjunct Professor at Daniel Webster College, Public Health Emergency Preparedness as an Adjunct Instructor at Rivier University, and numerous FEMA state-delivered courses for the NH Fire Academy, NH Homeland Security & Emergency Management, and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. He served as Chair of the NH Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NH VOAD) from 2018-2020 and served five years on the Volunteer NH Board of Directors including as Vice Chair from 2020-2021.