Ben has more than 30 years’ experience in managing public works staff, construction projects and more than 15 years in disaster recovery consulting. As Deputy PA Officer in support of MEMA’s Hurricane Katrina recovery effort, Ben handled complex issues and developed comprehensive strategies and solutions daily. This capacity includes relocation of schools out of the floodplain as well as the use of PA and 404 mitigation funds to create area shelters. Ben has resolved numerous issues between FEMA and local governments to avoid appeals, all of which were resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.
In the tornado outbreak in the spring of 2011, he worked on behalf of a local school board in the renovation of an old unused school campus to create a temporary high school for 500 students and provided construction oversight of the construction of a new high school destroyed by an EF-4 tornado. Ben worked with FEMA to include a “safe room” construction at the new facility. In his role as a Public Works Director for the largest cities in the State of Mississippi, Ben has been involved in numerous disaster recoveries from a local perspective and has years of experience dealing with all aspects of recovery.