Staff

​Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Staff

​The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office is comprised of eight (8) staff members under the supervision of one (1) Charlotte Fire Deputy Chief.

Chief Cindy Bonham, Deputy Fire Chief / Emergency Management Director

Cindy Bonham is the Deputy Chief of Business Administration with the Charlotte Fire Department. She has been with the department for 26 years. Prior to Deputy Chief, Chief Bonham was the Health and Safety Officer for the department where she was instrumental in the development of the Cancer Task Force and Behavioral Health Program. Chief Bonham has been extensively involved with fire accreditation serving the Charlotte Fire Department as the Assistant Accreditation Manager from 2000-2005 and the Accreditation Manager from 2005-2010. She is a peer team leader, technical advisor, and technical reviewer for the Center for Public Safety Excellence and has been involved with the Center since 1999. Chief Bonham has been a member of the Safety, Health, and Survival Section of the IAFC since its inception. Chief Bonham has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Philosophy from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Emergency Management from University of North Carolina Pembroke. She has been a Chief Fire Officer Designee through the Center for Public Safety Excellence since 2005.

Robert Graham, Battalion Chief / Deputy Director of Emergency Management

Chief Graham is tasked with overseeing the day-to-day operational and planning activities for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office (CMEMO). As the Deputy Director, he serves as the liaison with local, state, and federal agencies including North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #4 Firefighting and #5 Emergency Management, and serves as the manager for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Incident Management Team. Chief Graham joined the CFD in 1996, was promoted to Engineer in 2003, Captain in 2004, and Battalion Chief in 2015. Chief Graham has served in a variety of roles in the department including extensive work assigned to specialty rescue and hazardous materials companies. Chief Graham is a former President of the North Carolina Search and Rescue Advisory Council, current Peer Team Leader for the Commission on Fire Accreditation International and former Accreditation Manager for the department. Chief Graham holds many technical certifications and serves as a fire and rescue instructor and national incident management system instructor for the State of North Carolina and FEMA. Additionally, he serves as an adjunct professor for several universities. Chief Graham holds and Associate of Science in Emergency Preparedness Technology from Caldwell Community College (CCC), a Bachelor of Science in Fire Science Administration from the University of New Haven (UNH), a Master of Professional Studies in Safety and Security Leadership from the George Washington University (GW), and a Graduate Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, (UNC). Chief Graham is also a Chief Fire Officer Designee (CFO) through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. 

Tim Hartsell, Battalion Chief / Hazardous Materials Coordinator

Tim Hartsell is a Battalion Chief and the Hazardous Materials Coordinator for the Charlotte Fire Department. As the Hazardous Materials Coordinator, he acts as the liaison between the NC Division of Emergency Management and the City of Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) in the administration of our Hazardous Materials program and the NC Regional Response Team (RRT). Chief Hartsell is an appointed member of the RRT's Technical Advisory Committee, ensures CFD's compliance with the State RTT Contract, coordinates response plans, works closely with high-risk chemical facilities, and acts as the on-scene Hazardous Materials branch director in state approved missions. Chief Hartsell joined the CFD in 1995, was promoted to Engineer in 2001, Captain in 2003, and Battalion Chief in 2015. Chief Hartsell has served in a variety of roles in the department working as an officer at both Hazmat Stations and serving as a Training Officer for the CFD Training Academy. He has served in multiple roles of the North Carolina Association of Hazardous Material Responders, including President. He is a North Carolina Qualified Instruction in multiple disciplines including Firefighter I and II, Rescue Technician, Live Fire, Hazmat Technician, Fire Officer III, and Instructor Methodology. Chief Hartsell holds an Associate of Applied Science in Fire Prevention Technology from Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) and a Bachelor of Science in Fire Safety Engineering Technology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).

Elaney Katsafanas, Emergency Management Planner

Elaney serves as an Emergency Management Planner for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, and is tasked with all-hazards planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Elaney serves as the health, medical, and human services liaison for the department, and is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #6 Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing and Human Services, #8 Public Health and Medical Services, #13 Public Safety and Security, #14 Long Term Community Recovery, and #15 External Affairs. Additionally, Elaney serves as the functional lead for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg All-Hazards Advisor Committee (AHAC), the Joint Health Operations Committee (JHOC), the department's information technology programs, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg WebEOC system, and the overall readiness of the Mecklenburg County Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Ms. Katsafanas maintains a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Relations from Central Michigan University and is a graduate of the Leading Educating and Developing (LEAD) program at the University of Virginia. Elaney maintains membership in the North Carolina Emergency Management Association (NCEMA) and the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Elaney joined the department as a Grants Administrator in 2015, after previously serving in the public, private, and non-non-profit sectors as a public relations, risk management, and crisis management professional.

Tony Bateman, Emergency Management Planner

Tony Bateman serves as an Emergency Management Planner for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, and is tasked with all-hazards planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Ben is the primary infrastructure and private industry liaison for the department, and is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #1 Transportation, #2 Communications, #3 Public Works and Engineering, #11 Agriculture and Natural Resources, #12 Energy, and #14 Long Term Recovery. Additionally, he coordinates damage assessment, debris management, dam emergency action plan review, training and exercise management, and the fixed nuclear facility and radiological emergency preparedness programs.

Hannah Sanborn Emergency Management Planner - Public Educator

Hannah Panicco serves as an Emergency Management Planner and Public Educator for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office. As an Emergency Management Planner, Hannah is tasked with all-hazards planning, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts. Hannah is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #2 Communications, #14 Long Term Recovery, #15 External Affairs, and #16 Volunteer and Donations Management. As the Public Educator, Hannah is tasked with coordinating vital community-based emergency preparedness instruction for greater Charlotte and Mecklenburg County businesses and residents. Hannah serves as the primary educational instructor for the Charlotte Fire Department Emergency Management Office, and as such, she is responsible for developing and preparing emergency preparedness programs targeted for community members, creating educational visual aids, attending and participating in professional and community meetings related to emergency preparedness, and creating initiatives to generate interest in disaster preparedness. Additionally, Hannah is the functional lead for the CharMeck Alerts public notification and Everbridge systems and serves as the liaison to all Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in Mecklenburg County. Hannah received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Emergency Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2017, Hannah joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office after working as an Emergency Management Program Coordinator at Central Piedmont Community College and a Training and Exercise Specialist at UNCC.

Matt Brown, Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Logistics Planner

Matt Brown serves as the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Logistics Planner. As such, he is responsible for Emergency Support Function (ESF) #7 Logistics Management and Support. Matt is tasked with assisting with coordinating all UASI assets across the ten (10) county operational areas, along with equipment management for the Charlotte Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and Hazardous Material companies. He is responsible for the overall operation of the Mobile Operation Center (MOC), the Mobile Command Post (MCP), and other specialized equipment assigned to special operations divisions. Additionally, Matt supports the Salamander (Rapid Tag) system.

Hal Wishon, Financial Administrator - Department of Homeland Security Programs and Grants

Hal Wishon oversees Emergency Management's administrative functions including budget development and expenditure tracking. He serves as the financial controller for all grant programs associated with the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) as well as other Federal and State grant programs involving emergency response agencies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and within the multi-country urban area. Mr. Wishon has a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Queens University in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems, and a BA from UNCC in Political Science and History. He has served with the Charlotte Fire Department/Emergency Management Office since 1986. Major disasters in which he has been involved include Hurricanes Hugo, Fran, and Floyd, the ChemWay Fire, the 1994 Airplane Crash, Steele Creek Tornado, Southside Tornado, and 25-30 Fixed Nuclear Facility Drills.

Alisha Rebman, Grants Administrator

Alisha serves as the Grants Administrator for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, overseeing all Homeland Security Grant Programs (HSGP) including the Charlotte Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) and the Emergency Management Preparedness Grant Program (EMPG). Additionally, she supports projects and initiatives within the urban area's ten (10) county operational area, including oversight of the Urban Area Working Group (UAWG). Alisha received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) in 2010 and a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Emergency Management from UNCC in 2012. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Grant Writing from the University of Georgia since 2015.