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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Mike Womack
Director, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Mississippi

Governor Haley Barbour appointed Mike Womack Executive Director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in December 2006. Womack previously served as MEMA's Deputy Director and as the agency's Response & Recovery Director.

During Hurricane Katrina, Womack was designated as the State Coordinating Officer and coordinated the state's resources as well as the massive amount of resources provided by other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. He continues to serve as the Governor's Authorized Representative for the continuing Hurricane Katrina recovery.

He has also served as the State Coordinating Officer for Hurricane Ivan and as Deputy State Coordinating Officer for two additional major disaster declarations.

Womack has an extensive operations and management background and brings this knowledge to the emergency management setting. He retired in 2001 after serving 29 years in active and reserve military service as a full time Lieutenant Colonel for the Mississippi Army National Guard. During his time in the National Guard Womack developed plans and exercises in support of states mission for Emergency Response. These exercises fully incorporated the National Guard's support to civilian authorities.

Womack began his career with the Mississippi Military Department in 1985 as the senior active duty officer supervising a 1,000 man armored cavalry squadron. In 1994 he was promoted to the senior full time officer position in the 4,000 solider, 155th Armored Brigade.

Womack has received numerous awards for his military service. Among those 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 Hernando, 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.

Womack is a member of the Mississippi Civil Defense/Emergency Management Association, Regional Vice President for the National Emergency Management Agency and serves on their Legislative Committee, member of the Board of Directors for the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, 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. The couple has a daughter, two sons and four grandchildren.

Current Topic


     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?
According to the 2018 Louisiana Survey, when it comes to trusting news organizations, more Louisiana residents put their faith in local media than national media outlets. Despite that trust, only 36 percent of the state’s news consumers say local news deals fairly with both sides.

So, why is there so much mistrust of the news media? What role has the downsizing of traditional media played in creating a gap in coverage and possibly, community trust? Where are consumers primarily getting their news? And, how can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “News about the News” airing Wednesday, May 23 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recording Tuesday, May 22)

Our panelists are:
• Len Apcar, Wendell Gray Switzer Jr. Endowed Chair in Media Literacy, LSU Manship School
• Jarvis DeBerry, Deputy Opinion Editor, New Orleans Times-Picayune
• Peter Kovacs, Editor, The Advocate
• Lance Porter, Director, LSU Social Media Analysis & Creation Lab

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and journalist and political historian, Bob Mann moderate the discussion. The program features interviews with Michael Henderson, director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab; Ray Pingree, Associate Professor wth the LSU Manship School of Communication; John DeSantis, Senior Staff Writer for The Houma Times and Judi Terzotis, president of The Advocate.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?
 

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