FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 26, 2006
GOVERNOR BARBOUR NAMES WOMACK INTERIM DIRECTOR OF MEMA
(Jackson, Mississippi) - Governor Haley Barbour has named Mississippi Emergency Management Agency deputy director Mike Womack to head the agency on an interim basis. Womack’s appointment is effective July 1, 2006.
Barbour said while his search for a permanent MEMA executive director continues, he wants an experienced hand guiding the state’s emergency management operations, especially since the 2006 hurricane season has begun. Womack has been MEMA’s deputy director since July 2004 after serving for two years as director of the agency’s Response and Recovery Bureau.
“Mike Womack has been a strong MEMA deputy who is also knowledgeable about local emergency management operations and the issues we will face in case of a significant disaster. I am pleased he has accepted this interim appointment and confident he will do an outstanding job,” Governor Barbour said.
As deputy chief of MEMA Womack has been instrumental in helping the state deal with a round of emergency situations, including hurricanes, tornadoes and accidents involving hazardous materials. Womack is also a prime author of the state’s newly-revised emergency operations plan, which was largely re-written on the basis of lessons learned after Hurricane Katrina.
A biographical sketch follows:
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
Mike Womack was appointed Deputy Director of MEMA in July 2004 after serving for two years as MEMA’s Director of the Response and Recovery Bureau. Womack has an extensive operations management background and brings this knowledge to the emergency management setting.
Womack served 29 years in active and reserve service, retiring in June 2001 as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Mississippi Army National Guard. He has served in numerous positions during his tenure including Administrative Officer, Operations Officer, Intelligence Officer, Civil Affairs Officer and Chief of Staff of a 5,000-soldier armor brigade.
He began his career with the Mississippi Military Department in 1985 as the senior fulltime officer at the 108th Armored Cavalry Squadron in Senatobia, Mississippi, which was later reorganized into the 2-198 Armor Battalion. He has held various positions of responsibility, including Recruiting and Retention Officer, and was the Chief of Staff of the 155th Armored Brigade supervising all of the fulltime soldiers in close to half of the armories throughout the state. Upon leaving reserve service, Womack worked as a college student recruiter until his employment with MEMA.
Womack has received numerous awards for his military service. Among the awards is the Mississippi Magnolia Cross, which is the highest peacetime award presented by the state. He is also the recipient of multiple Army Commendation Medal awards and Meritorious Service Medal awards.
A native of Swainsboro, Ga., Womack moved to Mississippi where he graduated from Hernando High School. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in music from the University of Mississippi and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. He served seven years in the U.S. Army as a member of the 101st Airborne Division Band in Fort Campbell, Ky., and the 98th Army Band in Fort Rucker, Ala. After leaving active duty with the U.S. Army, Womack worked as a high school band director for three years in Ripley and Yazoo City, Miss.
Womack is a member of the Mississippi Civil Defense/Emergency Management Association, The National Guard Associations of Mississippi and the United States, and the United States Army Armor Association where he holds the Order of St. George, signifying significant contributions to the advancement of the Cavalry and Armor Units.
Womack is married to the former Jonie Eatwell of Hernando, Miss., and they have a daughter, two sons and five grandchildren.