IAEM-Canada Professional Development Committee

Director, Professional Development Committee
John MacIsaac, BTech (Emergency Management), ACP
Manager, Emergency Preparedness
Nova Scotia Health
Nova Scotia

JJ is the manager for emergency preparedness – projects and planning for Nova Scotia Health. He also has worked as an advanced care paramedic, paramedic educator, and as a sessional instructor teaching emergency management principles for the Healthcare Administration program at Cape Breton University. His Master of Education is in progress and he is working toward the CEM designation.

Professional Development Committee Co-Chair

Carolyn Dumbeck, CEM

Carolyn is a special project lead with Emergency/Disaster Management at Alberta Health Services (AHS). In her role, Carolyn develops emergency response plans that are utilized across AHS’ hospitals, clinics, and corporate sites. Carolyn is also AHS’ CBRN/HazMat First Receiver Program coordinator. During high-impact events, including the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires and the COVID-19 response, Carolyn was deployed to support AHS’ major incident response. Her roles included; planning section chief, liaison officer, and project manager for Operations Public Health Branch. Prior to her current role, Carolyn worked as an advanced care paramedic and firefighter. She is a graduate of Charles Sturt University’s Masters in Emergency Management program. Carolyn is a long-standing member IAEM and holds her Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) certification. She also serves on the IAEM-Canada Core Competency Working Group, and the IAEM-USA Healthcare Caucus. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Committee Members

Sarah Delisle


Sarah Delisle is the senior advisor for emergency management at McGill University. Sarah strongly believes community partnerships, multi-pronged communication, and continuous learning are essential for promoting disaster resilience. This conviction developed from her personal experience of the 1998 Ice Storm in Quebec, and through her work as a disaster logistics coordinator with Manitoba Health during the H1N1 pandemic, and as a municipal recovery liaison with the Government of Alberta for the 2013 Southern Alberta floods and the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies from Brandon University and a Master’s Degree in Geography from McGill. She is a long-standing member of the IAEM and currently also serves on IAEM-USA Mental Health & Wellness Caucus. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Alison Poste

As an emergency manager and Associate Business Continuity Professional, Alison is driven by community resilience. Following a senior civilian role with the Canadian military, Alison has been involved in numerous emergency activations and recovery efforts throughout Alberta and British Columbia. Alison has been the recipient of a number of awards for her work, including the Premier's Medal of Excellence (Alberta) and the Individual Contributor Award for the Alberta Public Service. Recently, Alison co-authored an article on best practices in the ‘virtual’ management of emergencies, published in the Journal of Emergency Management. As the current emergency planner for the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, Alison is working with the 25-member Friendship Centres in British Columbia to develop emergency plans and increase the capacity of urban Indigenous communities to prepare, respond to and recover from emergency events. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Amy Romanas

Amy is an emergency manager who is drawn to epic problems and finding solutions. She has a strong and diverse emergency management background with over 20 years of experience including U.S. military, local government, Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic planner, health system emergency management, and as a deployable resource that has assisted in multiple large-scale events in a variety of leadership roles. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Rick McSpadden

Rick is an experienced and focused emergency and operations management professional with qualifications and experience from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United Kingdom, and recently Canada, specifically Nova Scotia. He has experience with business continuity planning including COVID-19 mitigation measures across a military garrison with a population of approximately 10,000 military, civilian, contract personnel, and service families. Rick’s background is in both civilian and military maritime and transport logistics, and training design and coordination. He has acquired extensive experience within diverse logistics environments. Rick is due to sit for the CEM exam soon as the final requirement before achieving full accreditation. Follow him on LinkedIn.

Miriyam Syed

Mariyam Syed is an emergency management analyst with Alberta Health, Government of Alberta. As part of her role, Mariyam works on creating plans, resources, training materials, and exercises for Department Emergency Operations, Business Continuity as well as how the department relates to its key partners and stakeholders before, during and after emergency events. She has a passion for continuous improvement and evaluation in emergency management. She has been involved in provincial response and recovery efforts for numerous emergency events, including: the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic, 2013 Southern Alberta Floods, 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire, and the 2020 COVID-19 Response. She was recognized by the Alberta Provincial Operations Center with the 2019 Tim Kirk Exemplary Performance Award for her work in the development of a government wide exercise series that explored the business continuity impacts of an influenza pandemic. Follow her on LinkedIn.

Richard Pereira, CEM

Richard is works for Emergency Management Ontario as a training and development officer. In this role Richard designs and delivers IMS training to internal stakeholders such as government ministries, as well as external stakeholders such as municipalities, police, fire, paramedics, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector partners as well. Richard’s training takes place across Ontario and virtually as well. Recently Richard has been working with additional partners in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Public Health Agency and is exploring opportunities to collaborate in training and education. Richard’s career includes EM and operational experience with the Toronto Transit Commission, the City of Toronto’s Emergency Operations Center as well as time within municipal and federal law enforcement. He will finish his Masters of Disaster and Emergency Management degree at York University in the spring of 2023 and is working on a private sector endeavor to enrich the field of emergency management. Follow him on LinkedIn.


Professional Development Members Contribute to Journal of Emergency Management: (Sep. 1, 2021) Members of the Professional Development Committee completed a student and subsequent journal article in the Journal of Emergency Management entitled “More than Technology: Experiences of Virtual Emergency Operations Centres (VEOCs) during the COVID-19 Pandemic Response in Canada.” Contact the Professional Development Committee to learn more.

Join the Committee

Members typically spend approximately 5 hours a month on various tasks, research, attending meetings, etc. There is a requirement to attend a one-hour monthly virtual committee meeting as well as actively participate in group projects. This is an opportunity for you to work towards one of your professional development requirements as you look to obtain/renew your Certified Emergency Management certification.

If interested in volunteering with the Professional Development Committee, please email the chair of the Professional Development Committee.