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Office of Recovery, Resiliency Names Leaders

RALEIGH –  The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency, a new office within the Department of Public Safety, announced Thursday that key leaders have been selected.

The new organization, which will work alongside state Emergency Management on recovery and rebuilding from past and future disasters, is working to streamline the process for administering federal block grants for Hurricane Matthew recovery and planning for additional federal funding for residents affected by Hurricane Florence, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

The office will also oversee recovery work funded by the state legislature through the North Carolina Disaster Recovery Acts of 2017 and 2018. The office will administer U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -funded Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery for hurricanes Matthew and Florence.

Erik Hooks

So far, North Carolina has awarded more than $8.6 million in Community Development Block Grants for Disaster Recovery funds to homeowners recovering from Hurricane Matthew. The office has been working to streamline the process of getting help to Matthew survivors and is working with HUD in planning the HUD-funded relief program for Hurricane Florence survivors.

North Carolina has been awarded $236 million in HUD block grants for Hurricane Matthew recovery and is awaiting notice from the federal government of block grant awards for Hurricane Florence recovery.

“This strong team’s combined experience will serve us well as we continue to provide for Hurricane Matthew survivors with HUD block grants, and as we work toward administering an even larger HUD-funded recovery for Hurricane Florence survivors,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik A. Hooks, in a statement.

The announcement named the following:

  • Laura Hogshead, chief operating officer. Hogshead served as chief operating officer and deputy chief of staff for budget and policy at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and has worked on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer for HUD-related appropriations committees. Most recently, she served on the executive staff at the Center for Community Self-Help in Durham.  She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
  • Jim Klingler, finance chief. Klingler served in senior finance positions at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, and as a fiscal analyst at the state General Assembly.  He is an Army veteran and a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • John Ebbighausen, director of recovery operations.  Ebbighausen has been leading the resiliency section at state Emergency Management since early 2018. He retired from the National Guard as a lieutenant colonel serving as deputy director for strategic plans and policy.
  • Ryan Flynn, acting chief of staff. Flynn has served in the Governor’s Recovery Office since the start of the Cooper administration.
  • Norma Houston is to serve the Office of Recovery and Resiliency in an advisory capacity while continuing her work as a faculty member at the UNC School of Government. Her expertise in local government procurement and Federal Emergency Management Agency programs will assist the office and communities in recovery operations, officials said.
  • Mike Sprayberry is to continue to serve as director of Emergency Management and Office of Recovery and Resiliency. Additional staff members will be integrated from the Resiliency Section at Emergency Management, along with new hires.

The office is in the process of hiring the remainder of its workforce of 45 employees and is seeking employees with experience in community development, affordable housing or disaster recovery for positions in housing programs, infrastructure planning, construction management, procurement and contracting, internal auditing, program monitoring and compliance, environmental compliance, public information and customer service.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.