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Leader of the Year Award

Cast your vote and decide who has demonstrated the most outstanding critical communications leadership.

The IWCE "Critical Communications Leader of the Year" award recognizes individuals executives, whose outstanding leadership has resulted in the implementation and success of critical communications in their business and beyond.

The deadline to vote is Monday March 9th.


Andrew Seybold

CEO & Principal Consultant, Andrew Seybold Inc.

Andrew Seybold heads Andrew Seybold, Inc. a wireless consulting, education, and publishing company founded in 1991. Clients of the firm include both commercial and public safety entities around the world, and Mr. Seybold's articles and commentary blog are widely read by both wireless sectors. 


Christy Williams, ENP 

Principal, 911 Program North Central Texas Emergency (NCT9-1-1)

Christy serves as the Director of the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District or NCT9-1-1. They are the planning and administrative agency for 9-1-1 in fourteen counties. Christy has been in the 9-1-1 industry for over thirty years, and previously held the positions of 9-1-1 Program Manager, Operations/Communications Specialist and Public Education/Training Coordinator. Christy has a degree in communications from Texas Wesleyan University. She has developed multiple programs and campaigns; written articles, courses and training materials used throughout the country; and presented at numerous local, state and international conferences. 


Jeffrey Johnson 

CEO Western Fire Chiefs Association

Chief Jeffrey Johnson has an extensive public safety background, with broad experience at the local, national and international level. Chief Johnson rose through the ranks to become the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Fire Chief for 15 years retiring in 2010 after a 32 year career. Chief Johnson served on the Board of Directors and as the Vice Chairman of FirstNet for 6 years after having been a key figure in passing the legislation to create the network.


Neil Horden

Chief Consultant, Federal Engineering, Inc.

Mr. Horden has 35 years' experience in communications, spanning technologies form Land Mobile Radion systems to the cellular market. He has been a member of Federal Engineering for the past 14 years. As Chief Consultant for Federal Engineering, he has led efforts in the design and analysis of systems from statewide LMR to LTE networks, to local and regional voice, data, and microwave systems. 


Nicholas Falgiatore

Senior Technology Specialist, Mission Critical Partners

Nicholas is a wireless engineer working for the professional services firm Mission Critical Partners. He holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and is a registered Professional Engineer. He has spent his career supporting and guiding clients with public safety wireless systems, and is a former IWCE Young Professionals Award winner. 


Niki Papazoglakis

Director, Mobility 4 Public Safety

Niki Papazoglakis has been actively involved in the public safety communications arena for nearly 20 years. She has led numerous ground-breaking projects that have helped advance the state of public safety comms and IT nationally including the first regional broadband requirements gathering project which DHS incorporated into its best practices guidance, the first all-digital PSAP with sub-second connections for wireless callers, and the first large scale operational deployment of PSLTE for Super Bowl LI in Houston which set a standard for the utilization of mobile broadband technologies through seamless interoperability and information sharing. Building on the moment for her role with the Harris County Early Builder program, Niki has formed Mobility 4 Public Safety, a consulting firm specializing in regional, interoperable mobility strategy and public safety collaboration.


Robert LeGrande

Founder, The Digital Decision, LLC

Formerly Chief, Technology Officer for the District of Columbia government. Mr. LeGrande and members of his team have led efforts to achieve comprehensive nationwide Public Safety broadband interoperability. Recently he and his team have been valuable resources for organizations and agencies seeking to achieve the objectives outlined by the 911 Commission. More recently, The Digital Decision has partnered with Wi-Fiber to offer a best in class SMART/IOT platform that delivers shot detection, gunshot detection, Geo-Fence/Intrusion Detect, Pedestrian Count/Activity, Crowds/Pattern Detect, Air Quality/Bio-Hazard, Object/Anomaly Detect and other edge solutions and analytics. As Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia government, Mr. LeGrande led the District's Land Mobile Radio (LMR) network upgrade. As a result the District of Columbia and National Capitol Region received the highest interoperability rating (Advanced Implementation) from the Department of Homeland Security in 2007. 


Shelley Westall

Broadband Program Director, Washington State Public Works Board

Shelley Westall is the Broadband Program Director for the Washington Public Works Board. The program, created during the 2019 legislative session, offers loans and grants to fund the expansion of broadband services to unserved areas of the sate. In her current position, Shelley continues to explore how to address critical communications in statewide broadband planning. Ms. Westall was previously appointed State Point of Contact for Public Safety Wireless Technology by Washington Governor Jay Inslee. As the State Point of Contact, Shelly worked to educate the public and funding decision-makers about the need to support public safety communications. 


Steve Hailey

Vice President of Federal Sales, Knight Sky LLC

Mr. Hailey is an experienced public safety information technology & telecommunications professional. On-site at over 100 domestic and international disasters spanning the past 25 years specializing in emergency communications and business continuity. He is considered a "Thought Leader" in the industry by introducing and integrating proven reliable technologies to disaster and emergency response. 


Teresa Maher

President, ETA International

Teresa Maher, CSS, has been employed with ETA International for 26 years and previously served as the Executive Vice President before her promotion to President in 2007. She has worked in and is familiar with all aspects of the trade association, having experience with the certification processes; building relationships in the education, manufacturing and government segments; assessment development; and evaluating and accrediting course approvals. She has traveled extensively around the globe delivering the ETA message to Departments of Education, Workforce Development Boards, individual schools, industry conferences, manufacturers, and other associations. 


Terry Burnworth

President, Pyramid Architecture, Engineering, and Consulting

Tery Burnworth is an architect, consultant and owner of Pyramid Architecture, Engineering, and Consulting. In addition to being involved with hundreds of PSAP consolidations and procurements across the United States, Burnworth has presented at APCO international, APCO Canda, and IWCE on public safety communication (PSC) procurement methodologies, the integration of social media into PSAP, and sustainable dispatch design. Before starting his AE + Consulting firm, Burnworth was an instructor and professor at two universities. Burnworth has a BS in psychology, BArch, and MS. In his limited spare time, Terry owns a farm that has become a zoo, with more than sixty assorted animals.


TJ Kennedy

Co-Founder, The Public Safety Network

TJ Kennedy is one of the co-founders and principals of the Public Safety Network. TJ has had a 25-year career in wireless technology and public safety. Prior to the Public Safety Network, TJ was the President of the First Responder Network Authority, an independent authority charged with creating the first ever financially self-sustaining broadband nationwide network for public safety.