Through networking, professional development, and philanthropic opportunities, our goal is to help make the journey as a woman in the field of homeland security a positive one. We foster a collaborative environment for industry professionals to learn about the discipline and build connections to better understand the roles of public and private sector practitioners in the prevention, protection and response to any type of incident. We’re proud to be the first West Coast organization of this kind, focused on building the homeland security community and improving our nation’s security and intelligence on critical issues.
Board of Directors
Rita Burke, PhD, MPH
Rita V. Burke, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Preventive Medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California where she teaches classes on disaster management, violence and public health leadership. Previously, she worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she led all research efforts in pediatric disaster management and injury prevention.
Dr. Burke has over 60 peer-reviewed publications, over 50 abstracts at local, state and national conferences and book chapters. She is the former co-chair of the Research Committee for the Pediatric Trauma Society, the current co-chair for the Los Angeles Children in Disaster Working Group and co-chair of the Disaster and Emergency Response sub-committee of the American Public Health Association. She is a member of the American Public health Association, Society for Epidemiologic Research, the American College of Epidemiology, and the Education Sub-council for the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. She is the Associate Editor for the peer-reviewed journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness and co-author of Landesman’s Public Health Management of Disasters. She is the Principal Investigator to examine the gaps in preparedness for families with children with access and functional needs as well as another grant that examines the role of faith-based organizations in disaster preparedness.
Dr. Burke received her MPH and PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles where she also received several competitive grants and fellowships while earning her doctorate.
Director of Public Affairs
Katherine Williams, MA
Katherine Williams has over 15 years of communications experience with public policy and political issues and is a recognized expert in security and emergency management. In 2009, Katherine co-founded QuinnWilliams, a crisis management consulting firm specializing in security and emergency preparedness. Katherine brings objective research and analysis to assist their public and private sector clients with planning for, and recovering from, crisis incidents. In the Southern California region, Katherine has collaborated with the City of Los Angeles, LA Metro, LAPD, LASD, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles World Airports, Union Station, UCLA, San Bernardino County and Ventura County.
Throughout her career, Katherine has demonstrated a commitment to outreach and engagement. Prior to QuinnWilliams, Katherine was a political communications consultant, working with political campaigns and for a California clean energy proposition campaign. At the Brookings Institution, Katherine served as senior outreach coordinator and researcher for a nationally syndicated columnist, providing research and communication strategies for issues ranging from governance to the role of religion in public affairs. Katherine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Wake Forest University and her Master of Public Policy degree from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She was a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University from 2012-2014. Katherine is trained in NIMS/ICS and is a member of Infragard.
director of programs
Mimi Teller Rosicky, MA
Mimi Teller is a new member to WHS, and currently volunteers for the Greater Los Angeles Region American Red Cross, as Public Information Officer and Disaster Team Leader. Prior to semi-retiring in 2016, Ms. Teller worked part-time as a professional photographer for 30 years, and full-time as a conference manager, producing worldwide IT conventions and tradeshows.
Ms. Rosicky holds a BA in Design from UCLA and completed the MA program in photojournalism at Syracuse University. Recently returned from PIO duties in Ridgecrest, CA, Ms. Teller has also deployed for national and international disasters, including (but not limited to) typhoon Haiyan, the Woolsey fire, hurricane Michael and Texas flooding. Ms. Rosicky holds leadership and specialist certifications in emergency management, public information and terrorism, from the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent, United Nations, CalOES and FEMA. Ms. Teller divides her time between homes in Redondo Beach and Hollywood, along with her husband Greg and Djinn Djinn, the cutest little rescue mutt.
Director of membership
Alix Stayton, MA
Alix Stayton is an emergency management consultant in Southern California. She works on projects nationwide providing disaster plan development, implementation support, curriculum development and training, and exercise development and management.
She has written disaster plans and provided training and exercises for Los Angeles County, the City of Long Beach, Irvine Ranch Water District, Commerce Casino and the Ford Theatre among others. Alix has provided subject matter expertise on government contracts for the State of California, the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. A selection of her training experience includes Facebook, the City of Los Angeles Fire Department, the City of Long Beach, and American Red Cross Greater Los Angeles.
She serves as a Business Operations Center (BOC) volunteer for the Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Foundation (LAEPF). She is also an active participant in the Los Angeles Children in Disasters subcommittee. A lifelong learner, she completed Master’s coursework in education at Antioch University Los Angeles as an elementary educator. She lives in Los Angeles with her daughter.
Director of philanthropy
I am a Southern California surfer who at a very tender age, has made helping others and keeping our beaches clean a priority. During Christmas, Spring, and Summer breaks throughout my school years, I dedicated my time to volunteer work in but not limited to hospitals, convalescent homes, tutoring children, beach cleanup, feeding the homeless, and teaching kids how to surf. As an ambitious whippersnapper, I wanted to repair all of the things I possibly could to make the world a better place. In short, I wanted to save the world. I currently work for the County of Los Angeles in the Department of Human Resources (DHR) and have observed the gradual changes in the local communities in recent years, from the steady rise of the homeless population, economic inequality, to the devastation left by the recent wildfires. I experienced first-hand the impact public service has had on the communities the County serves. At DHR, I help coordinate and manage the DHR Local Impact Volunteer Program Enterprise (DHR LIVE) events. It is a program that assists noteworthy organizations and causes in making a difference in the communities. In the last year, I have led the team in preparing thousands of meals, removed hundreds of pounds of debris off the coastlines and waterways, served hundreds of meals, and donated hundreds of care packages to those in need. I am extremely motivated by my passion for making a positive difference in the world.
Director of Sponsorship
Anita Hayden-Smith, Captain
Anita Hayden-Smith, Captain, Port of Los Angeles Police Department: Anita is currently employed with the Los Angeles Port Police and serves as a police Captain. In her current role she oversees the Support Services Division, which encompasses: Criminal Investigations Section (CIS) Port and Task Force Detectives, Court Liaison, Crime Analysis/COMSTAT, Labor Relations, Communications, HazMat, Tactical Planning, Fleet and Flight Services. She formerly served and worked at the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Police Department at LAX, for approximately seventeen-years.
Anita began her career in private industry and worked for Northrop Grumman as a quality assurance inspector. Anita received her Master’s Degree in Executive Leadership, from the University of Southern California (USC), as well as a certificate in Public Administration Management. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from California State University of Long Beach, in Professional Studies and Emergency Management. She is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) National Academy and Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP – Boston, Massachusetts). She believes that she is a consummate professional, thoughtful, capable and well-rounded leader and loves her profession: giving back, as well as, serving others.
In addition, she currently volunteers with her daughters Girl Scout Troop, Jack and Jill Inc. of America Los Angeles Chapter, Charles R. Drew University Saturday Science Academy for children, and serves on the Parent Association Executive Committee at her daughters’ school. As a Southern California native, outside the workplace, she enjoys relaxing, jazz concerts and traveling with her family (daughter and husband).
Lorianne Bundick, MA
Lorianne Bundick works for the Office of Emergency Management at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). During her time there, she has had the opportunity to work on updating UCLA’s Emergency Operations Plan, respond to emergencies as part of the Emergency Operations Center, facilitate trainings ranging from Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to emergency preparedness, and development new trainings for the campus community. She has earned bachelor’s degrees in French and International Studies from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in History from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in African Studies, with a concentration in Public Health, from UCLA. She is also currently participating in the Emergency Management Institute’s Basic Academy.
Diana Manzano-Garcia, MA
Diana Manzano-Garcia serves as the Disaster Management Area Coordinator for Area D which is composed of the the 23 cities from the East San Gabriel/Pomona Valley, ad serves as a liaison between her cities and the County of Los Angeles. Mrs. Manzano-Garcia’s career expands over 10 years experience in Emergency Management in the public and non-profit sector. She obtained her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of La Verne with an emphasis in Governance, and a B.S. in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her experience in the non profit sector led her to develop various programs, plans and polices addressing Emergency Management, Business Continuity, Pediatric Surge, Hospital Surge, and Mass Fatality Incident Management and Medical Countermeasures, along with CBRNE training. Her passion for educating communities has led her to participate in various events promoting personal preparedness at home and in the workplace. Mrs. Manzano-Garcia serves as an adjunct instructor for the Hospital Disaster Management Trainnig program. She currently serves in various committee groups in the Los Angeles County Operational Area. She resides in Montclair with her husband and four dogs.