SOURCE: Previstar, Inc.

October 17, 2007 11:00 ET

Ken Burris Joins Previstar Advisory Board

Former FEMA COO Adds Extensive Experience in Emergency Services to Software Firm

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - October 17, 2007) - Ken Burris, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has joined Previstar's Executive Advisory Board.

Previstar provides the industry's most comprehensive software to help first responders, emergency managers and medical organizations plan, exercise and train for, respond to, and recover from any incident or event.

"Ken's depth of experience in all aspects of FEMA's day-to-day operations gives him a 'real world' perspective on emergency preparedness, response and recovery," said Keith Stringfellow, Previstar's President and CEO.

"In addition, he served as a senior advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, so he has an intimate understanding of executive concerns in this critical area of public safety," he added. "His insights will help us to effectively communicate the advantages that a comprehensive preparedness software suite such as Previstar delivers to chief decision makers."

At FEMA, Mr. Burris' responsibilities included the day-to-day operations of the agency's 8,000 full-time and contract employees and its $7 billion budget. Prior to assuming the duties of COO, Mr. Burris served as director of FEMA's Region IV where he oversaw disaster response and recovery preparedness for the Southeastern United States.

In 2006 he received the Department of Homeland Security's Silver Medal for service to America from Secretary Chertoff, and was awarded the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive by President Bush and recognized as a leading Senior Executive in the government.

Before joining FEMA, Mr. Burris served as the Chief Operating Office of the United States Fire Administration and Acting U.S. Fire Administrator, and was instrumental in establishment of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. This grant program currently distributes over one billion dollars annually to local fire departments for the purpose of preparing the nation's fire service to respond to events of all types.

Prior to his tenure in the federal government, Mr. Burris spent twenty-three years in the City of Marietta Fire Department in Marietta, Georgia -- service that culminated in being named Fire Chief. While he was Chief he held numerous national fire service leadership positions including the President of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs, and Treasurer of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. He is a Fellow in the Institution of Fire Engineers.

Mr. Burris has a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, and a MPA from Kennesaw State University from which he was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1999.

About Previstar

Previstar's Continual Preparedness System is a web-based, easy-to-use, automated incident management system, providing real-time GIS situational awareness, comprehensive resource management, predictive modeling, and command and control functions, all precisely aligned with NIMS, HICS and ICS guidelines.

First responders, emergency managers, and medical organizations have used Previstar to protect schools, prepare for bioterrorism attacks, safeguard the Salt Lake City Olympics, and recover from the multiple 2004 Florida hurricanes and hurricane Katrina.

Previstar is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia and conducts research and development activities at its facility in Knoxville, Tennessee.

About the Advisory Board

Previstar's Executive Advisory Board works with the company to enhance its relationships with the private and public sectors, identify partnering opportunities and assist in new product development.

The board is headed by Andrew B. Maner, former Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Homeland Security. Board members include:

--  Major General Donna F. Barbisch (Ret), president of Global Deterrence
    Alternatives and Director of the Institute for Global and Regional
--  Major General Philip G. Killey, Adjutant General, South Dakota
    National Guard;
--  Former New Orleans CIO and Deputy Mayor, Greg Meffert;
--  Ken Burris, former FEMA Chief Operating Officer
--  Martha Braddock, former Policy Director of the Federal Emergency
    Management Agency (FEMA);  and
--  Robert L. Freeman, Jr., Master Firefighter and a Maryland Task Force 1
    planning and safety officer.

For more information about Previstar, please visit our website at or contact: Joe Gordon, AVP Sales & Marketing Support,, 813-244-7774; or Doug Morgan, VP Marketing,, 202-251-8402.

Contact Information

  • For more information contact:
    Doug Morgan