During the 2018 Annual forum in Savannah, Georgia, NEMA presented Mr. Stan McKinney with this year’s Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award.  This is in recognition of McKinney’s over 25-year career making a national impact in the fields of emergency management and homeland security.

Stan McKinney’s career spans all 3 levels of government from being elected twice as coroner in his South Carolina hometown, to serving as policy advisor to Governor Campbell, leading the South Carolina emergency management division for 9 years, and serving on a detail assignment to the U.S. Department of Justice as a senior emergency management advisor for state and local preparedness issues. 

Under his leadership at the Emergency Management Division, Stan led the conversation to an all-hazards statewide comprehensive emergency management system. He implemented a statewide mutual aid agreement and guided the state’s EMAC legislative efforts.  He’s known for modernizing the state emergency management program.

McKinney served as the president of NEMA from 1997-1998 and provided exemplary leadership on national policy, strategic and operational emergency management issues.  With an eye to the future and a recognition of the need to further professionalize emergency management, he commissioned the development of a white paper on emergency management standards and accreditation that eventually led to the establishment of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). 

According to NEMA Executive Director Trina Sheets, McKinney’s most significant contribution to emergency management came at a critical time for the nation.  “Few people may know about or understand the invaluable influence that Stan provided on behalf of the states during his detail from the State of South Carolina to the Department of Justice.  It was at the time that the initial homeland security grant programs were being developed and DOJ had never worked with emergency management.  His insights and guidance were instrumental in making sure state and local emergency management needs were understood and addressed in those early days.”  McKinney also provided direct support to states on the development of their initial Homeland Security State Strategic Plans and worked directly with the Senate appropriations staff following September 11 to identify necessary funding requirements and state support strategies.  He then served on a DOJ initial planning group for the creation of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School to enhance critically needed homeland security education following the attacks on 9/11. 

After CHDS was created, Stan served as Associate Director and then Director of Executive Education and was instrumental in creating and then delivering hundreds of homeland security workshops, seminars and training for senior state, territorial, local and federal officials. 

NEMA congratulates Stan McKinney on his outstanding career and is proud to name him the 2018 Distinguished Award recipient.
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