Director Johnny Vanderpool
Johnny Vanderpool is the Director of the Office of Emergency Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Environmental Science from Middle Tennessee State University, is recognized as a Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers, a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager from the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management.
Johnny has served in many positions, which have included many areas such Environmental Health and Safety, Emergency Management, and Special Events during his 22 years at Vanderbilt University.
Senior Safety Officer Tamara Cooley
Tamara Cooley is the Workplace Safety Officer for Vanderbilt University, in the Office of Emergency Management. She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Health from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She is certified as an Industrial Hygienists through the American Board of Industrial Hygienists and a Safety Professional through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Ms. Cooley began her career at Vanderbilt in 2000, where she worked for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of Clinical and Research Safety. She transferred to the Vanderbilt University Public Safety Emergency Preparedness Team in 2016. In her current assignment, her area of responsibility includes compliance with all State and Federal OSHA regulations, and she provides training, resources, policy development, and consultation services to all Vanderbilt University departments.
Program Manager Jessamyn Davis
Jessamyn Davis is the Fire Safety Officer and Program Manager for Vanderbilt University Office of Emergency Management. She graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and has recently obtained her master’s degree in Emergency Management and Homeland Security from Arizona State University. Additionally, she is certified as a Fire Inspector-1, and Certified Emergency Manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).
During the COVID-19 Public Health crisis, Jessamyn worked within the university’s Central Command Center where she assisted with COVID-19 case management and supported contact tracing efforts. She received the Anchor Down, Step Up Excellence Award in 2020 for her work on the PHCCC. Additionally, in June 2019, Jessamyn facilitated a unique training opportunity for the Nashville Fire Department in the university’s Carmichael Tower 4, which was slated for demolition later that summer. More than 800 Nashville fire fighters participated in the 12-day training where they focused on high-rise response, forced entry techniques, and search and evacuation procedures.
Jessamyn began her career at Vanderbilt in 2014. In her current role, works to ensure code compliance in university buildings, as well as providing fire safety training and education to the community. Jessamyn assists with the emergency management program for the university, which includes all hazard response planning and training, overseeing the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and managing the emergency notification system (AlertVU), as well as the university’s safety application, VandySafe.
Captain Mark Stannard
Mark Stannard is the Captain of Special Events for Vanderbilt University Public Safety. He holds several certifications in firearms instruction and various types of police/security training. He is an active member of the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.
Prior to his career at Vanderbilt, Capt. Stannard worked as a patrol officer for the Lenox and Great Barrington Police Departments in Massachusetts for 18 years. He attended and graduated from the Edward W. Connelly Criminal Justice Training Center, Agawam, Mass. in 1989.
Capt. Stannard began his career with Vanderbilt in 2007, and has served as a patrol officer, shift supervisor, and GDI of the training unit. In his current assignment, he oversees the department’s Incident Command Planning Section for large and pre-planned events, and manages staffing for all special events, including un-planned and critical incidents.
Program Coordinator Caitlyn Perry
Caitlyn (French) Perry is the Staff Meteorologist and Program Coordinator in the Office of Emergency Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Kentucky University in Meteorology and minored in Floodplain Management and American Sign Language. Additionally, she is seeking an Associate Emergency Manager Certification through the International Association of Emergency Managers.
Prior to Vanderbilt, she worked as an Administrative Specialist, Meteorologist, and Incident Command System Trainer for Warren County Emergency Management in Warren County, Kentucky.
Mrs. Perry started her career at Vanderbilt in 2020, where she coordinates several Emergency Preparedness programs, including Weather Safety, and develops procedures for the Vanderbilt University Emergency Operations Center and the emergency mass notification system, AlertVU. Additionally, she supports critical weather incidents, large events, and un-planned activations of the Emergency Operations Center in coordination with the Emergency Management team.
Program Coordinator Haley Ballard
Haley Ballard is a Safety Coordinator for Vanderbilt University in the office of Emergency Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Safety and Health Administration from Murray State University. He is a Graduate Safety Practitioner recognized by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Haley began his career at Vanderbilt in January 2022. In his current role, his area of responsibility includes compliance with all federal and state OSHA regulations, and assists with training, resources, policy development and consultation services to all Vanderbilt University departments.
Program Coordinator Erika Taylor
Erika Taylor is the Program Coordinator for Special Events in the Office of Emergency Management. She holds a master’s degree in Emergency Management from Millersville University in Pennsylvania. Prior to working at Vanderbilt, she was the Disaster Program Manager at Hands On Nashville and served as the administrator for the Nashville VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). During her time at Hands On Nashville, she was actively involved in the community response and recovery efforts for the 2020 tornado, Christmas Day bombing, and 2021 flood.
Ms. Taylor began her career at Vanderbilt in 2022. In her current position, she works with Captain Mark Stannard to coordinate public safety resources for special events on campus.
Program Manager Justin Kessinger
Justin Kessinger is the Program Manager for Operational Continuity in the Office of Emergency Management. He holds bachelor’s degree in Communication Theory and Human Relations from Park University and is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) recognized by Disaster Recovery Institute International.
Justin began his career at Vanderbilt in February 2016 in Vanderbilt University Information Technology as an IT Consultant. In October 2022 he transitioned to the Program Manager role in the Office of Emergency Management. This role is responsible for continuity consultations, developing impact assessments, continuity plans, and co-managing the university’s continuity application Fusion in conjunction with IT. He also supports planned and unplanned activations of the Emergency Operations Center with the Emergency Management Team.