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Homeland Security Roundtable recognizes that state and local homeland security professionals often have core responsibilities in traditional public safety or other disciplines.  With this in mind we are inviting contributors to blog on HLSR as representatives of their respective sectors.  Our goal is to assemble a group of experienced homeland security professionals to provide rich content for readers that care about the homeland security enterprise.  HLSR is honored that these experienced professionals have agreed to contribute to this site for the benefit of our readers:

Agriculture Sector

Brad Deacon, J.D.

Brad Deacon is an attorney and state government homeland security professional.  He currently serves as the Emergency Management and Administrative Law Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.  Brad is the Co-Chair of the Michigan Food & Agriculture Protection and Defense Working Group, and represents state government on multiple state and regional homeland security and preparedness boards and organizations, including the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture.  Brad lives and works in Lansing, Michigan.

Energy Sector

Jeffrey Pillon

Jeffrey Pillon is the Director of Energy Assurance for the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). In this capacity he provides technical support to states who have received Energy Assurance funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. These 3 year grants have supported States as they update their energy emergency response plans and work towards enhancing the resiliency of critical energy infrastructure. He also has Special Term Appointment to Argonne National Laboratory, Infrastructure Assurance Center.

Mr. Pillon has lectured nationally on energy assurance planning and preparedness.  He helped design and conduct a series of multi-state regional energy emergency exercises and after action workshops. He is the principal author of the State Energy Assurance Guidelines developed by NASEO and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissions (NARUC). He represents NASEO on the Government Coordinating Council for the Energy Sector under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan and serves on the Electric Power Research Institute’s Energy Efficiency/Smart Grid Public Advisory Group. He is the past chair of the Energy Data and Security Committee for the NASEO, and a past member and chair of the NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure.

Mr. Pillon worked for the State of Michigan from 1973 to 2009. He began work allocating petroleum supplies as the result of the Arab oil embargo in 1973. He managed the State’s response to the oil shortages due to the Iranian revolution in 1979. He served as the Manager of Energy Data & Security for the Michigan Public Service Commission’s where he was responsible for monitoring energy supply and demand, short term energy forecasting, emergency preparedness, and  management of the Commission’s website and information technology applications. He also served as a Departmental Emergency Management Coordinator working in the State Emergency Operation Center during a number of events including the 2003 Blackout. He was a member of the Michigan Homeland Security Preparedness Committee; Michigan Homeland Security Advisory Council; the Pandemic Coordinating Committee; chaired the Michigan Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee and later co-chaired of the Energy Sector Committee of the Michigan Infrastructure Coordinating Committee. Mr. Pillon is a graduate of Michigan State University in Political Science.

Homeland Security Education

Phillip D. Schertzing, Ph.D.

Phil Schertzing retired from the Michigan State Police in June 2002 with the rank of inspector, serving as assistant deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security for the state of Michigan. He is also recognized as the “unofficial” departmental historian for the Michigan State Police.

Appointed as an academic specialist in the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University (MSU) since July 2002, Phil’s instructional responsibilities include both undergraduate and graduate-level courses in Homeland Security, Comparative Criminal Justice, Introduction to Criminal Justice, and Food Protection & Defense. He also serves as adjunct faculty for the University of Maryland University College; as chair of the Regional Advisory Council for FEMA Region V in Chicago; as a member of the board of directors for the Great Lakes Hazard Coalition; as a member of the board of directors of the Tri-County Emergency Medical Control Authority; and on the editorial board for the Journal of Emergency Management.

Phil’s educational achievements include a B.A. degree in Religious Studies and Master of Management degree from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a Ph.D. in American History from Michigan State University. He is a graduate of the 191st session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and he maintains active membership in national and state-level emergency management and law enforcement associations.

Scott Winegar, MA

Scott Winegar comes with experiences from a varied background.  Scott has a BA from Portland State University in Administration of Justice.  He was later selected by Department of Homeland Security to attend the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School.  There he was awarded an MA in Homeland Security.

Scott retired from the Portland Police with more than 27 years of service, achieving the rank of Police Captain.  During his tenure with this agency, he served in a variety of roles, including patrol operations, investigations, gangs, hostage negotiation, personnel, and emergency management.

Scott also served 34 years in the military, most of which in the National Guard. He started his military career as a military policeman.  Upon receiving a commission as a second lieutenant, he attended the Army’s Engineer School.  During his years of service, he commanded a humanitarian aid mission to Jamaica, where his team built schools for several of the underprivileged villages in the country’s interior.  He finished his years of service at National Headquarters in Washington DC.  While there, he worked on a variety of issues, including critical infrastructure protection and intelligence.  His duties also included deployment as the National Guard representative to almost all of the National level disasters occurring over the last few years.  He helped coordinate the response for 4 hurricanes, 2 major wildfires, and finished by working at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

After retiring from the Portland Police, he accepted a job as second in command of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.  He retired from that job to join the faculty at Concordia University-Portland, where he is Director of the Homeland Security degree program.

Public Health Sector

Tom Russo, MA, CEM

Tom Russo currently serves as Director of Emergency Preparedness at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. He has nearly thirty years of strategic planning, project management, and professional development experience, sixteen of which have been in the public health sector. Tom holds the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) credential from the International Association of Emergency Managers and graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security with a master’s degree in homeland security studies.


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