Staff Bios

Leadership Staff

Julie Rochman

President & Chief Executive Officer

Julie Rochman joined IBHS in late 2007 with more than 20 years of public affairs and advocacy experience representing major corporations, research and safety organizations, and issue-based coalitions. She is often quoted by both traditional and digital media outlets on a wide variety of topics.

Under Julie’s leadership, IBHS has become a world-class research and communications organization; significant accomplishments include creation of the unique, $40 million IBHS Research Center in South Carolina.

Prior to IBHS, Julie held senior positions at a leading Washington, D.C.-based strategic communication and advocacy firm; at the American Insurance Association; and at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. She now serves on several advisory councils and the National Fire Protection Association Board of Directors – and previously served on Boards for the International Hurricane Research Center, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Julie earned a BA in International Relations from Tulane University, and a MA in American Government from the University of Virginia. She resides in Tampa.

Debra T. Ballen

General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Public Policy

Debra Ballen joined IBHS in 2008 as the general counsel and senior vice president of public policy. In this capacity, she is responsible for all of the Institute’s legal matters and oversees a number of important public policy initiatives, including building codes, adaptation, community resilience, and economic incentives for mitigation. In addition, she serves as the organization’s corporate secretary and manages member relations.

Prior to her work with IBHS, Ms. Ballen was the executive vice president of public policy management for the American Insurance Association (AIA). She developed and implemented policy for AIA’s priority federal and state public policy issues.

She also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado and has participated on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) High Level Advisory Board on Financial Management of Large Scale Catastrophes. She is a frequent speaker about the broad benefits of mitigation and has testified before Congress and state legislatures on these matters.

Ms. Ballen graduated with a juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and an A.B. degree from Princeton University. She also has received the CPCU designation.

Anne D. Cope, Ph.D., P.E.

Vice President of Research

IBHS Research Center

Dr. Anne Cope joined IBHS in 2009, after previously working at Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Inc., where she served as a project manager and structural engineer in support of NASA, Department of Defense and commercial launch operations. As vice president of research at the Institute’s new multi-peril research facility in Richburg, South Carolina, she is responsible for developing and guiding the research program. Her previous research has encompassed topics ranging from the simulation of full-scale wind effects on buildings to detailed studies of the vulnerabilities of buildings to natural hazards and the development of damage prediction models.

Dr. Cope’s experience also includes time served as an officer in the United States Army, 35th Signal Brigade (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Clemson University, and her doctorate from the University of Florida. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Florida.

Brenda O’Connor

Senior Vice President, Public Affairs

Brenda O’Connor is a seasoned communications strategist, with more than 25 years of public affairs and government affairs experience. Ms. O’Connor has designed and directed a wide range of advocacy, political communication and media relations campaigns for corporations, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. She joined IBHS in 2008, from the Glover Park Group (GPG) in Washington, D.C., a leading strategic communications firm, where she was a vice president in the public affairs practice directing many complex accounts for financial services and other interests.

Prior to GPG, she was vice president of public affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA), a national public policy advocacy organization for property-casualty insurance companies. Ms. O’Connor managed AIA’s regional public affairs team located in satellite offices around the country. Before joining AIA, she directed government relations efforts for the National Association for Biomedical Research. Ms. O’Connor began her career on Capitol Hill, where she held a variety of positions including staff director of the U.S. House Small Business Antitrust Subcommittee. She earned a master’s degree in public communication from the American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from Boston College.

Timothy A. Reinhold, Ph.D., P.E.

Senior Vice President, Research and Chief Engineer

Named as an Engineering News-Record Top 25 Newsmaker in 2010 for creating the IBHS Research Center, Dr. Timothy Reinhold is a well-respected professional engineer known for developing techniques to build and retrofit new and existing structures for greater resiliency. Dr. Reinhold joined IBHS in 2004 as director of engineering and vice president after 12 years with Clemson University, where he was a professor of Civil Engineering. He was promoted to senior vice president of research and chief engineer in 2008. His professional career includes 10 years as a consulting engineer with firms in the U.S., Canada and Denmark and five years at the National Institute for Standards and Technology. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Reinhold has conducted research on wind effects and structural resistance for most of his professional career. In addition to directing numerous studies to determine wind loads for tall buildings and specialty structures, he has been heavily involved in research relating to the performance of housing and low buildings in hurricanes and other severe wind events. His research includes post-event assessments, model and full-scale laboratory studies, and in situ field structural testing. Dr. Reinhold serves on the American Society of Civil Engineers ASCE 7 Wind Loads subcommittee. He served for eight years on the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) Wind Load subcommittee and is a past member of the Board of Directors for the American Association for Wind Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Colorado, and has authored or co-authored numerous journal papers, chapters of books and conference publications.

Professional Staff

Maureen Acosta

Accounting Coordinator

Maureen Acosta joined IBHS in 2011 as the accounting coordinator. She is responsible for accounting duties including accounts payable and accounts receivable under the direction of the director of finance. Maureen has over 10 years of administrative experience. Prior to working for IBHS, she was an office manager for a food purveyor in Virginia Beach, Virginia and a medical labeling company in Tampa, Florida. She also worked as an administrative assistant for an insurance brokerage in Upland, California.

Remington “Rem” Brown, P.E.

Senior Engineering Director

Remington “Rem” Brown joined IBHS in 2007. He works closely with the FORTIFIED programs and is also involved with other engineering related projects. He is a registered professional engineer with more than 25 years of experience.

He most recently worked as a consultant providing design services to the structural component industry. Rem earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Clarkson University.

Tanya Michelle Brown, Ph.D.

Lead Research Engineer & Director of Hail Research

IBHS Research Center


Dr. Tanya Brown joined IBHS in August 2010 and is a Lead Research Engineer and Director of Hail Research at the Research Center. Her responsibilities include providing engineering leadership on hail, wind, water, and roofing-related research projects. Her research focus is on hailstone formation, hail impact testing, wind-flow characterization and testing, instrumentation, and field measurement and damage assessment studies. Dr. Brown serves the IBHS representative to the RICOWI Board of Directors. Prior to joining IBHS full-time, Dr. Brown was an engineering consultant for IBHS and LNSS & Associates.

Dr. Brown was a National Science Foundation – Integrative Graduate Education Training Fellow while completing her Ph.D. in Wind Science and Engineering at Texas Tech University. Her dissertation topic was “Development of a Statistical Relationship between Ground-Based and Remotely-Sensed Damage in Windstorms.” While at Texas Tech, she was an instrumental member of their field research teams, leading a team in thunderstorm and tornado intercepts during VORTEX 2, participating in hurricane intercepts with the Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team, and conducting numerous post-disaster damage assessments. Dr. Brown also holds a master’s degree in Water Resources Science and a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Kansas, and served as a teaching assistant and academic advisor while at KU. She is currently appointed as a Faculty Associate at Texas Tech University to continue serving with the Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team.

Alex Cary

Manager, FORTIFIED Coastal Programs


Alex is the Manager of the FORTIFIED Coastal Programs at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, providing direct support to communities along the Gulf Coast.  Alex previously served as the Executive Director of Smart Home America and the Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity of Baldwin County, AL.  She has been an active member of Baldwin County for more than 17 years and is a licensed home builder in Alabama. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Springfield College in Massachusetts.  She serves on the Executive Boards of Smart Home America and the Baldwin County Home Builder’s Association and was recently appointed to the Alabama Center for Insurance Information and Research Advisory Board by Governor Robert Bentley.

Warner Chang, P.E.

Lead Project Engineer

Mr. Chang joined IBHS in 2008. He has worked as a structural engineer in Florida since 1994, with design and construction experience in residential, commercial, institutional and health care buildings, governmental facilities, and marine/coastal structures. His engineering experience is extensive and includes design development, interdisciplinary coordination, engineering analysis, inspection, project management, and construction administration.

Mr. Chang received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in civil engineering and a master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University in civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. He is a registered professional engineer and a licensed Special Inspector for threshold buildings in the state of Florida.

Andy Clyde

Director, Electrical & Instrumentation

IBHS Research Center

Andy Clyde joined IBHS in 2010, as an electrical technician responsible for maintaining and operating all electrical equipment, including medium voltage equipment, at the IBHS Research Center. He is responsible for setting up the instrumentation for testing of buildings in the large laboratory, as well specific instrumentation used in component testing in the small laboratory.

Mr. Clyde came to IBHS after serving as superintendent of Powerworks Electric in Chester, South Carolina, where he was experienced in low and medium voltage electrical systems installations and applications. He attended New York Institute of Technology where he majored in Electronics. He is certified in OSHA medium voltage, trained in OSHA 70E/energized work, fire-stop instruction and power activated equipment.

Eddie Cranford

Electrical Technician

IBHS Research Center

Eddie Cranford joined IBHS in 2013 as an electrical technician, where he is responsible for preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, and managing instrumentation inventory at the IBHS Research Center. He also assists in the setup of instrumentation for tests in the large test chamber as well as specific instrumentation used in component testing in the small laboratory facilities.

Prior to coming to IBHS, Mr. Cranford was an Electrical & Instrumentation technician with InChem Corporation, an Electrical & Instrument Specialist with Cytec Engineered Materials and an Instrument Technician with Celanese Acetate, all in Rock Hill, South Carolina. At InChem , he designed, installed, and maintained Allen Bradley PLC-5, MicroLogix, CompactLogix and Honeywell HC900 PLC control systems. He also worked under chromatography expert Dr. James F. Sprouse and assisted in maintaining and repairing gas chromatographs and other laboratory instrumentation.

At Cytec, Mr. Cranford managed and maintained process control systems and served as IT support to solve network and workstation problems and assisted in new installations and upgrades. At Celanese Acetate, Mr. Cranford maintained process control and laboratory instrumentation. He earned an associate’s degree in Computer Engineering Technology from York Technical College and has twenty-five years of experience in the chemical industry. Mr. Cranford is also a HAM Radio enthusiast and electronics hobbyist, his call sign is KI4BPK.

John Emerson

Director – Construction, Equipment and Lab Facilities

IBHS Research Center

John Emerson is the director of construction, equipment and lab facilities at the IBHS Research Center. Mr. Emerson is an operations and manufacturing professional with more than 25 years’ experience ranging from project engineering to overseeing regional general management. He has worked for several national organizations, including James River Corporation, Scott Paper, Laminated Papers, Inc., and James Hardie Building Products. Before joining IBHS, Mr. Emerson owned a luxury RV rental company in Texas. Mr. Emerson’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Montana State University, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.

Siavash “Si” Farvardin

Manager of Codes and Standards

Si has a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Louisville. He also has studied building science at Pennsylvania State University’s Housing Research Center, and wind load design at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and completed training in building and fire plans review at the U.S. Fire Academy. Prior to joining the IBHS team, Si worked as a Senior Evaluation Specialist at the International Code Council Evaluation Service, LLC. He also worked for the National Evaluation Service and as a Project Engineer at the Institute for Building Technology and Safety, and as a building official in Virginia.

Si brings a wealth of experience and expertise about building materials, systems and construction methods, including testing, evaluation, and standards development. He has served as an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) committee member, as a Member of a Panel of Experts that developed a standard for flood-resistant products for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and on task forces developing acceptance criteria (test methods) for evaluation and use of various building materials and systems.

Scott Fowler

Graphics Technician

IBHS Research Center

Scott Fowler joined IBHS in 2011, as a graphic technician. Scott works at the Research Center in South Carolina and assists with various graphic assignments. He formerly worked as photography editor for the University of South Carolina student newspaper The Daily Gamecock.

Scott recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and mass communications. He majored in visual communications and received a minor in criminal justice.

Ian Giammanco, Ph.D.

Lead Research Meteorologist

IBHS Research Center

Dr. Ian Giammanco is a Lead Research Meteorologist at the IBHS Research Center. His responsibilities include providing leadership in instrumentation design and data collection, wind-flow characterization and multi-hazard testing including hail and wildfire, field programs, and provides guidance on weather and climate issues within the public policy program. He is also serving a three year term on the American Meteorological Society’s Committee on Weather and Climate Financial Risk Management. Dr. Giammanco has over a decade of meteorological field research experience, serving as the field coordinator for the IBHS Characteristics of Hail Field Program, which began in 2012, the Texas Tech University Hurricane Research Team, and has participated in numerous severe thunderstorm and tornado research projects, including VORTEX 2. His research interests include boundary layer wind flow characteristics in a variety of conditions, severe convective storms, tropical cyclones, and measurement and instrumentation systems. He is also a technician-licensed amateur (HAM) radio operator with the call letters W5WWX.

Dr. Giammanco received a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2002, where he was also a pitcher for their NCAA baseball team. He also holds a masters degree in Atmospheric Science, as well as a Ph.D. in Wind Science and Engineering both from Texas Tech University. He also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at Texas Tech University examining the wind flow characteristics of tropical cyclones. During his doctoral studies he was appointed as a National Science Foundation – Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training Fellow, and served as an intern at NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division in Miami. In addition to his position at IBHS, he is currently appointed as an Adjunct Faculty Research Associate at Texas Tech University.

Susan Baxter Gibson

Director of Finance

Susan Baxter Gibson joined IBHS in 2010 as the finance manager and has since been promoted to director of finance. Under the direction of the CEO, the director of finance directs, monitors, coordinates, interprets and administers all functional activities related to accounting, finance, budgeting, cash management and financial analysis.

Susan came to IBHS with over 20 years experience as a CFO in the healthcare industry. Susan served as CFO at the Visiting Nurse Association of the Treasure Coast, Baptist Hospital Homecare, Gulfside Regional Hospice and Health Systems Solutions, a publicly traded software company. Susan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at the University of Central Florida before earning her Masters degree in business at UCF and she is a certified public accountant.

Diane Graul

Administrative Assistant

Diane brings more than 35 years of administrative, travel coordination, and human resource experience to her role as administrative assistant. Prior to joining IBHS, Diane worked as a staffing coordinator with Tomlin Tested Staffing and as an executive assistant at Express Scripts Holding Company (formerly Medco Health Solutions).

Michelle Harvey

Director of Administrative Support Services

Michelle Harvey joined IBHS in 2008. Ms. Harvey has more than 15 years of senior executive administration experience and is a polished professional with exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. She began her career with an international travel company and then worked for both American Express and Sony Music Entertainment, managing travel arrangements for VIP clients and senior executives, including negotiating hotel and airline contracts.

Ms. Harvey went on to serve as an executive assistant to C-suite officers at a number of high profile organizations, including the NBA Corporate Offices where she handled international projects and maintained key company databases. She was born and raised in Great Britain where she graduated from East Surrey College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Brent Henzi

Public Affairs Manager

Brent Henzi joined IBHS in 2011, as a communications associate. Prior to joining IBHS, Brent worked as a reporter for the online publication the Florida Tribune, where he covered the state Legislature.

Brent graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications with a Bachelors of Science degree. He has also formerly worked for a daily newspaper and a magazine in Oregon.

Donna Johnson

Office Systems Assistant

Donna Johnson joined IBHS in 2009, with more than 25 years of administrative experience. She is responsible for providing database support to the IBHS member relations director, assisting the office systems senior manager by acting as the liaison with office equipment vendors and suppliers, handling mailing and shipping needs, maintaining office supplies and processing publications requests. She is also responsible for providing administrative support to staff as needed. Prior to coming to IBHS, Ms. Johnson worked as an administrative assistant for a local engineering firm in Tampa.

Vanessa Johnson

Office Manager

IBHS Research Center

Vanessa Johnson joined IBHS in 2010, as the administrative assistant at the Research Center. She provides administrative, accounting and finance assistance for the IBHS Research Center staff. She also provides logistical planning and support for IBHS meetings and special events.

A graduate of Temple University, Ms. Johnson came to IBHS after working as a customer service representative with National Cash Register and many years of previous experience with Ashley Furniture, Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and Coca Cola Bottling.

Tim Johnston

Staff Scientist

IBHS Research Center


Tim joined IBHS in 2015 as a staff scientist at the Research Center. He earned his bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Penn State, and came to IBHS with skills in programming and data analysis, and experience with instrumentation and experimentation.

Prior to joining IBHS, Tim worked as a teaching assistant at Penn State and took part in a NASA Airborne Science Program field campaign where he studied the role of atmospheric boundary layer mixing in the air quality problems of California’s L.A. Basin. He also worked on NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission as a research assistant at the University of Michigan, where he was heavily involved with data analysis related to the investigation of the structure and dynamics of the upper atmosphere of Mars.

Amy Kellogg

Art Director

Amy Kellogg joined IBHS in 2000, as in-house graphic designer to develop and maintain the visual identity of the organization. She is the lead designer for all of the Institute’s major research reports, including Hurricane Ike: Nature’s Force vs. Structural Strength and Megafires: The Case for Mitigation. In addition, Ms. Kellogg is the designer for IBHS’ primary mode of communication with its members, Disaster Safety Monthly. She also has designed annual reports, the archive of the IBHS journal Disaster Safety Review, as well as dozens of consumer-oriented property protection brochures.

Ms. Kellogg is responsible for the web site. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Florida State University.

Stephanie Lesser

Public Affairs Manager


Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Florida State University. She has served as an adjunct writing instructor at Florida State University, the University of Tampa, Kaplan University and the University of Phoenix. She has also worked as a content strategist for a digital marketing agency catering to clients such as Walmart, CVS and eBay. Before joining IBHS in 2015, Stephanie was a freelance writer and editor for a range of clients including several Florida law firms and a Miami-based luxury magazine.


Ross Maiden

Designer/Drafting Technician

IBHS Research Center


Ross Maiden is a design/drafting technician at IBHS’ Research Center and is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He has experience with data analysis and computational modeling from his work with gangway design for Perigee Partners, Inc. in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. He also has many years of experience with landscape design and installation for his family’s business in Great Falls, South Carolina.

Fred Malik

FORTIFIED Programs Director

Fred Malik

Fred Malik is the Director of FORTIFIED Programs at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the FORTIFIED suite of programs, which seek to improve property resilience to natural disasters on a local, regional and national level. Since taking over the program in 2009, Fred has led FORTIFIED’s expansion to include existing residential, new residential and light commercial building standards. Under his leadership, FORTIFIED has quickly become the national building standard for resilience. With more than 20 years of construction experience and a MBA from Virginia Tech, Fred has established himself as a recognized mitigation expert. He is a featured speaker on resilience and its value and practicality at conferences across the country. Fred is married and lives with his family in Florida.

Chuck Miccolis

Senior Engineering Manager, Commercial Lines

Chuck Miccolis joined IBHS in 2010, as commercial lines engineer. He is responsible for creating voluntary commercial construction guidelines and standards focused on mitigating losses from natural and man-made hazards. He also works with other IBHS engineers conducting field research and testing at the IBHS Research Center. Prior to joining IBHS, Mr. Miccolis was in the commercial property insurance business for more than 20 years. He was with FM Global for 18 years, and most recently with XL Global Asset Protection Services.

Mr. Miccolis served as wind team technical specialist, senior loss prevention specialist, and senior property appraiser. He conducted detailed loss prevention surveys of industrial, commercial, and institutional properties to obtain construction, occupancy, fire protection details and determine exposures. He created and prioritized Highly Protected Risk (HPR) mitigation recommendations and loss scenarios for a variety of natural and man-made risks and hazards. He improved and developed facility emergency preparedness and response plans for clients. He reduced potential business interruption for clients by identifying and quantifying their various time element exposures. He worked with risk management, facility management, architects, contractors, and insurance brokers by providing technical expertise and engineering consultant services. He also volunteered as co-coordinator and sector team leader for the Greater Tampa Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Chuck obtained a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Florida.

Gail Moraton

Business Resiliency Manager

Gail Moraton joined IBHS in 2011, as the business resiliency manager. She is responsible for the Open for Business® program, a business continuity and property protection planning tool for small to mid-sized businesses for IBHS member company employees, agents and policyholders. She formerly worked for the Mercury Insurance Group in Clearwater, Florida as a business continuity program officer and senior business systems analysts. She also worked for the company’s Brea, California and Vernon Hills, Illinois branches, where her positions included underwriting branch manager and senior underwriter. Gail is currently a member of the Greater Tampa Bay Association of Contingency Planners. She is also certified as a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) by DRI International.

Murray Morrison, Ph.D.

Lead Research Engineer and Instrumentation Director

IBHS Research Center


Dr. Murray Morrison joined IBHS in 2011 as a research engineer, after being a visiting researcher at the IBHS Research Center as part of a collaboration between the University of Western Ontario, FM Global and IBHS. His areas of expertise include wind tunnel measurements and techniques, boundary layer turbulence, wind induced loads on structures and full scale structural testing. Prior to coming to IBHS, Dr. Morrison worked on numerous research and industrial contracts involving wind loads on full structures and cladding elements at the Boundary Layer Wind tunnel at The University of Western Ontario. He also worked as a technology coordinator at the Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes where he continued development and implementation of the laboratory’s multi-million dollar pressure loading system, instrumentation and data acquisition equipment.

Dr. Morrison earned his doctorate from the University of Western Ontario in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, focusing on the failures of residential wood frame structures when subjected to full-scale realistic wind loading. This research has led him to participate in damage surveys in partnership with Environment Canada following severe thunderstorm wind events in Southwest Ontario. Dr. Morrison also earned his master’s in mechanical and materials engineering from the University of Western Ontario, focusing on turbulence and bluff body aerodynamics.

Russell Murphy

Research Center Technician

IBHS Research Center

Russell joined IBHS in 2013, where he is a Research Center technician-carpenter. He assists in the production and testing manager in the creation, assembly, and movement of buildings and portions of buildings for testing at the center.

Russell has extensive experience in carpentry and construction, with more than 20 years in the design, management and implementation of projects with a number of construction firms including six years with the Carolina Building Group.

Tiffany O’Shea

Director of Public Affairs


Tiffany O’Shea, director of public affairs for IBHS, manages media relations and communications for several other programs, including FORTIFIED and Resilience STAR. She was a communications consultant for IBHS prior to coming on board full-time in March 2014. During her 20-year career, she has worked with several top strategic communications firms and has considerable experience with the property insurance industry having been a regional public affairs director at the American Insurance Association for six years. Tiffany is a consummate communications professional who brings her outstanding strategy, media, writing, editing, and project management skills to IBHS. She is based in Austin, Texas.

Ricardo Paiva

Office Systems Senior Manager

Ricardo Paiva joined IBHS in 1994 and currently holds the position of office systems senior manager. He relocated to Tampa when the organization moved from Boston in 2000 and has held several positions during his tenure.

Mr. Paiva’s current responsibilities include providing IT end user support and website support, managing office equipment vendors and overseeing publications.

Deborah Perricone

Director, Human Resources

Deborah Perricone joined IBHS full-time in 2008, after having served as a consultant to IBHS for human resources issues for the previous five months. Bilingual in Spanish, Ms. Perricone has more than 27 years of experience in all areas of human resources, which includes benefits, employee relations, safety, policy development and administration, recruitment and salary administration.

Prior to joining IBHS, she was the human resources director at Thompson & Co., a leading national direct mail and catalog retailer in the U.S., and before that she was the personnel director for Tropical Garment Manufacturing Co. Ms. Perricone formerly served as a board member of the West Coast Employers Association of Florida and has participated in many community and national human resources forums.

Hank Pogorzelski

Applied Statistician

Hank Pogorzelski joined IBHS in 2008, as the organization’s first applied statistician. His responsibilities include planning studies, conducting surveys and compiling data relating to property losses and injuries for analysis.

Mr. Pogorzelski is also responsible for preparing written reports and graphics to communicate findings. His prior experience includes seven years with a large distributor of computer products and services. He earned a master’s of arts in economics and a bachelor’s in international relations, both from the University of South Florida.

Steve Quarles, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Hurricane/High Wind Building Durability & Fire Protection

IBHS Research Center

Dr. Stephen Quarles joined the IBHS Research Center team in 2011, as the senior scientist for hurricane and high wind building durability and fire protection. He is the S.C. High Wind and Hail Underwriting Association chair at the lab. Dr. Quarles assists with research using his expertise on building performance with regard to wildfire and moisture exposures. Prior to joining IBHS, he retired from the University of California as a cooperative extension advisor in addressing the durability and in-service performance issues of wood-frame buildings, particularly those subjected to wildfires. He originally joined the university in 1985 and was made cooperative extension advisor in 2000. During 2007 and 2008, Steve also worked part-time with the California office of the state fire marshal where he developed, coordinated and served as an instructor for the educational program related to the Wildland Urban Interface (wildfire) Building Code and Standards.

Dr. Quarles is a member of the Society of Wood Science and Technology board of directors, American Society of Testing and Materials, American Wood Protection Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. He earned a Bachelors of Science degree in forestry from Virginia Tech, and later received a masters and Ph.D. in forest products from the University of Minnesota.

Troy Reinhart

Machine Shop Technician

IBHS Research Center


Troy Reinhart joined IBHS in 2014, as machine shop technician at the IBHS Research Center. Mr. Reinhart is a certified welder with more than 20 years of experience working on a wide-range of materials. He is a U.S. Navy veteran, serving as a welder, fabricator and as assault security from 1990 to 1994. After leaving the U.S. Navy, Mr. Reinhart held various positions with awning companies as a welder, fabricator, installer, manager and salesmen. In addition, he also worked as a welder/fabricator for a NASCAR racing team.

Heather Sommers

Staff Scientist

IBHS Research Center


Heather is a staff scientist based at IBHS’ Research Center. She has extensive experience in data analysis, quality control, sample management, and designing experiments. Most recently, she was an analytical chemist at PRI Asphalt Technologies where she established a quality assurance program and conducted research and method development for asphalt, construction materials, and crude oil.

Heather also has more than five years’ experience as a field biologist and has traveled abroad to conduct research projects. Her knowledge of asphalt chemistry and field work will be applied directly to lab studies at IBHS. Heather currently serves as a member of ASTM International. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Florida Institute of Technology.


Andy Stumpf

Machine Shop Manager

IBHS Research Center

Andy Stumpf joined IBHS in 2011, as a technician at the Research Center. Andy comes to IBHS with knowledge in welding, carpentry, plumbing, wiring, and irrigation installation and repair, among many other things.

Andy earned an Associated Arts and Sciences degree in mechanical engineering technologies at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. He formerly worked at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and also as a building maintenance technician at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.

Joy Stokes

Director, Member Relations

Joy Stokes joined IBHS in 2006 and is responsible for the recruitment, retention, communication, training and education of current and potential IBHS member, affiliate member and associate member companies. She works directly with members to customize introductory and topic-specific Webinars for company employees and agents. Mrs. Stokes is the contact person for any and all IBHS member inquires including those related to publications, engineering, building codes, programs, etc. She also serves as the contact person for publication reviews when members use IBHS resources and content. Mrs. Stokes is responsible for overseeing IBHS committees in general and ensuring that expected time commitments of members participating on and chairing committees are reasonable. In addition, she also ensures that there is a high level of participation among committee members.

Prior to joining IBHS, she spent three years working as an office manager and public relations assistant for a Tampa-area nonprofit that was the fundraising arm of firefighter, paramedics and police organizations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of South Florida.

Mary Tavarez

Receptionist/Administrative Assistant


Mary Tavarez joined IBHS in July 2013 as a receptionist/administrative assistant. She manages the front desk and provides administrative functions for the FORTIFIED program, among other administrative duties. Mary has more than seven years of administrative experience in both Tampa, FL and New York, NY in accounting, customer service, human resources, research, purchasing, and sales.

Stacy Williams, APR

Public Affairs Manager

Stacy Williams joined IBHS in 2013, as a public affairs manager. Stacy brings more than 15 years of experience in public relations in government and industry association settings to her current position. In her previous position, she served as a public information officer for Hillsborough County government in Florida, where she coordinated various community outreach and publicity campaigns and assisted with crisis communications. During her time with Hillsborough County, she served as co-chair of the Public Outreach Technical Advisory Committee for the development of the Hillsborough County Post-Disaster Redevelopment Plan, and assisted with various local hazard mitigation and emergency management projects.

Prior to working for Hillsborough County government, Stacy worked as the membership and special projects coordinator for the Builders Association of Greater Tampa. She earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Universal Accreditation Board, a designation demonstrating advanced knowledge and skill in strategic public relations. She also is a graduate of Leadership Hillsborough and a member of the Public Relations Society of America. Prior to joining IBHS, she received the Chief’s Appreciation Award from the Tampa Police Department and a Hillsborough County Employee Recognition Award for communications assistance she provided during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Stacy earned bachelors degrees in communications and international affairs from Florida State University.