Freese and Nichols Hires Annie Vest, Expands Expertise in Hazard Mitigation Planning

We have expanded our expertise on hazard mitigation issues facing public and private clients with the addition of Annie Vest, a planner with national experience in community resilience.

As the Mitigation and Disaster Planning Lead based in Tulsa, Annie has more than 12 years of experience in hazard mitigation, pre-and post-disaster, and emergency management. She is also the Vice President of the National Hazard Mitigation Association and currently serves as a Subject Matter Expert to the Department of Homeland Security Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency, Resilient Investment Planning, and Development Working Group.

Annie has assisted various clients in achieving community resilience. In 2020 she assisted the City of Tulsa in achieving a Class 1 status through FEMA’s Community Rating System. Annie remains actively involved in the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Association, where she serves as the Community Support Committee Chair and oversees the Mitigation, Community Rating System, and Stormwater Quality sub-committees. In her role at Freese and Nichols, she will lead our hazard mitigation and disaster recovery planning services and support our clients in identifying and pursuing mitigation funding solutions through her in-depth knowledge of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs.

“Annie’s extensive, real-world experience in hazard mitigation can benefit clients in the Central Plains region and nationwide,” said Chance Sparks, Freese and Nichols’ Urban Planning and Design Group Manager. “She is a proven leader and is often invited to participate in policy discussions at the national level.”

As the former State Hazard Mitigation Officer in Oklahoma, Annie has conducted the FEMA G318 Local Hazard Mitigation Planning workshop throughout Oklahoma and has assisted in developing streamlined planning tools now being used throughout FEMA Region VI.

Her experience bridges a broad range of disciplines, including:

  • Stormwater
  • Water Resources
  • Energy
  • Resiliency Planning

In 2016, Annie received the FEMA Region VI Regional Administrators award for her exceptional efforts to expand mitigation across the FEMA Region VI states. She received a dual master’s degree in Adult and Community Education and Executive Development for the Public Sector from Ball State University and a bachelor’s in Psychology and Disaster Management from Northwest Missouri State University.