Jeff Morgan is Chairman and Co-Founder of the Foundation and President & CEO of the Foundation's partner Aviem International, Inc. Aviem is a full service emergency services company dedicated to helping companies prepare for disaster with planning, consulting, training, exercises, and disaster support services.
Jeff created Aviem International, Inc. after a 20-year career with Delta Air Lines, Inc. During his last six years at Delta he was instrumental in creating Delta’s first dedicated emergency management department, responsible not only for aircraft emergency response procedures but general emergency preparedness, disaster recovery, and business continuity planning.
He is widely recognized within the airline industry for creating the program that set the standard for how airlines respond to disaster with the joint Delta/Swissair response to the Flight 111 tragedy in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Jeff has taken his wealth of knowledge and experience to expand Aviem’s services well beyond just aviation and mass transportation and works with many organizations involved in emergency management including various governmental and public safety agencies, healthcare, gas/petroleum and other corporate clients. Jeff also works with strategic partners around the world to provide an integrated network of resources that bring “best of breed” to every service provided to all clients.
Dr. Carolyn V. Coarsey is the President and Co-Founder of the Foundation. She is the President of Higher Resources, Inc., and serves as Executive Vice President of Corporate Philosophy and Family Assistance Programs for Aviem International, Inc. She has an innovative approach to designing effective family assistance training: she interviews survivors, family members, and responders to discover post-accident practices that are helpful and those that are not. These results form the basis for her curricula and approach to working with individuals and families in crisis.
Carolyn created Higher Resources in 1989 and since that time has produced videos and training programs for organizations that are designed to improve post-disaster response. Her Human Services Response™ training programs highlight the unique role of employee responders of industrial tragedies and are used by aviation and rail companies, cruise lines, energy providers, and multiple agencies and organizations throughout the world.
She is a family survivor herself of a mass transportation tragedy, having lost her fiancé, on Delta Air Lines Flight 191 in August 1985. She is an airline industry veteran, having worked for Eastern Airlines during three fatal crashes and Braniff International Airlines, where she was Director of Human Resources during the shutdown of the airline in May, 1982.
In addition to being a psychotherapist, Carolyn holds a Ph.D. in Training and Learning Technologies from the University of New Mexico, with a program emphasis on managing trauma in the workplace. Her doctoral dissertation, titled Psychological Aftermath of Air Disaster: What Can Be Learned For Training? is one of the first scientific studies of commercial air disaster survivors. Her research has clearly shown the importance of an organization’s employee response on long-term emotional adjustment of survivors. In addition to studying survivors, Carolyn has conducted studies for the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board on issues surrounding employee stress. She has also conducted research on the post-traumatic effects of fatal accident responses on fire, police and other rescue personnel sponsored by government grants. In 1991, she participated on a task force with the American Hospital Association that developed the guidelines for handling mass transportation disasters. Carolyn has also worked with the US Department of Defense casualty bureau to address issues of dealing with families after military disasters, terrorist attacks and suicides.
In addition to her work at Higher Resources, Carolyn has conducted training around the world in such diverse areas as Japan, China, South Africa, Northern Africa, and Europe. Her book, The Handbook for Human Services Response, details nearly twenty years of her own research as to best practices for helping disaster survivors.
Dede is the Administrator of the Foundation. She was deeply involved in the Memorial efforts for American Eagle Flights 3378 & 3379 since joining the organization in 2012. She is responsible for the planning and logistics of FAF sponsored conferences and meetings as well as overseeing fundraising for memorials. She manages the Foundation’s database containing our corporate and individual Members, as well as over 9,100 trained response team members around the world. Dede interacts with corporate members on training programs and membership details and is the creative director for FAF’s newsletter, Sharing the Journey. On a daily basis, Dede ensures all aspects of the Foundation’s operations are running smoothly.
Dede was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN and graduated from the University of Georgia with a BFA in Graphic Design. She lives in Roswell, GA and is married to Steve and has two boys, Stephen and Garrett. In her spare time she enjoys tennis, running, gardening and traveling.
Kelly moved to Georgia at the age of nine and grew up in Stone Mountain, GA. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’ degree in Accounting, passed the CPA exam, and accepted a position at Deloitte & Touche public accounting firm. She worked in public and private accounting for the next eight years and then took a break to raise her three boys.
Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband Scott and their three boys, attending their boys’ sporting events, exercising, cooking, entertaining, and reading.
Mark Besen, Ph.D.
Mark is the Foundation's Clinical Adviser. He is a clinical psychologist who has been involved in leadership and program design in large community behavioral health agencies and managed care systems as a clinical director, vice president of operations, and CEO for over 20 years.
Mark obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Hahnemann University. He has worked in suicide prevention and intervention with the QPR Institute since its inception in the early 1990s. He was a member of the initial implementation of QPR and QPRT across a large behavioral health organization (Spokane Mental Health) for which the project received a Negley Award for excellence in risk management through the National Council in 1996.
He is a national suicide prevention consultant for the QPR institute and has worked with communities, hospitals, behavioral health providers, state and federal government, universities and school districts in building cultures of hope, access to evidence based treatment and implementation of organizational policies and practices consistent with zero suicide initiatives. Mark has trained professionals and advocated for improvement in risk detection and treatment for behavioral health problems including substance use and other psychiatric disorders.
Mark is currently the Director of Program Development at NeuroRehab Services, a national traumatic brain injury consulting group, and maintains a private practice in North Carolina.
Sandra Novak is a social worker who divides her time between a clinical practice in Hollywood, Florida and as Director, Care Team Operations for Aviem International and the Family Assistance Foundation. Sandra is also a trainer/facilitator of family assistance and employee support programs for Aviem International and the Family Assistance Foundation.
After 30 years with Delta Air Lines, Sandra’s second career in mental health began after many of her flying partners died in an air disaster in 1985. Determined to understand how survivors (victims, families, and employees) could be better supported by the mental health field as well as the organization they worked for, Sandra began the work she does today as a therapist specializing in crisis and trauma response.
Sandra has trained airline, cruise line, industrial and healthcare employees on how to assist victims and families as well as other responders following traumatic loss in the workplace. She has personally assisted families and employees at major air disasters such as Swissair 111, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 1998; Comair 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky, August, 2006; and Santa Barbara Airlines 518, February, 2008. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Sandra was instrumental in assisting numerous flight crews in their ability to regain their trust in flying and return to the cabin and cockpit.
In addition to Sandra’s clinical experience and training expertise in trauma response and support, she has also performed work with victims of domestic violence in the court system, group and individual cases with families and children in cases involving emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, inpatient and out patient treatment with dually diagnosed patients, and chemically dependent adults and children.
Anchorage resident Jeff Arnold is the Foundation’s Regional Director for Alaska.
Traveling on business in 1999, Jeff was one of 134 passengers and crew to survive the crash of American Airlines Flight 1420 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. Sadly, ten passengers and the flight's captain perished.
The experience led Jeff to begin presenting at training sessions for airline Care Teams and other organizations, all of whom found his insights valuable in improving their plans and procedures. During a visit to Alaska Airlines, Jeff mentioned that it would be helpful for survivors and families to have something tangible describing what the Care Team does and how to get in touch. In response, the airline created a foldable business card, variations of which are now in use all over the world.
Jeff’s professional resume includes his commissioning in the US Army Reserves in 1981, followed by his graduation from Central Michigan University and active duty with the US Army. He trained as a Quartermaster Officer and earned his Parachutist’s Badge by completing the rigorous Army Airborne School. Military assignments took Jeff to many places before he left active duty to return to Anchorage and join the Alaska Army National Guard in 1989. He has since served on Alaska’s State Emergency Response Commission and Joint Terrorism Task Force, and earned a Masters of Strategic Studies from the US Army War College in 2004.
Jeff is a regular blood donor; visits patients as part of the Spiritual Care Department at a local hospital; is the current Chair of Anchorage's Operation Stand Down program to assist homeless veterans; and is active in his church as Sacristan Coordinator, lector, and lay Eucharistic Minister.
Rosangela joined the Foundation as Manager of Member Services - The Americas. Prior to joining the Foundation she led Guest Relations teams on board cruise ships for many years, ensuring optimum customer service, complaint resolution, and adherence to protocols. Rosangela has participated in multiple Care Team and emergency preparedness training programs. She deployed numerous times worldwide, supporting passengers and families during medical emergencies, bereavement, and accidents on board and on land. She fostered relationships and collaborated with local authorities, government agencies, tour operators, port agents and ground services teams to best support those impacted.
Rosangela has extensive experience with emergency drills, coordination, and logistics involving thousands of people. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Modern Languages and Literatures and speaks Italian, English, Spanish and French.
Ana Maria Dumitru
Ana joins the Foundation as Manager, Member Services - Europe, Middle East, Africa. She was an experienced former Cruise Line Shipboard Manager having deployed and supervised hundreds of CareTeam activations onboard and shoreside in her tenure. Her responsibilities also included overseeing the Hotel Operations on board as needed supervising the largest team onboard. She was selected to lead new ship start-ups and take delivery of several vessels in Europe. Ana lead the teams onboard by advocating the company's service values to include CareTeam awareness and training on all her ships. Her first Human Services Response™ training was in 2007, and continued participating in yearly onboard Care Team trainings until retiring in 2015. Her experience in collaborating with domestic and international partners provided the best support for her guests and crew during emergencies. Ana's partnerships and work with Port Agents, Tour Operators, Ground Handlers, and Transportation Companies, demonstrated her keen ability to establish relationships in advance and utilize all appropriate resources as needed for the particular emergency. With her extensive training, experience and focus on operations and safety, Ana is able to adapt to multiple industries' needs and provide support and guidance as needed.
Ana studied Management and Business from Transilvania University in Romania and speaks Romanian, English, Spanish and Italian.
Our Global Team:
James is the Vice President, Asia Pacific, of Aviem International, servicing clients throughout Asia, Australia, and the Pacific, and supporting Aviem globally when his expertise is required. Prior to his career in aviation, James worked in the finance industry as an IT Infrastructure Manager, where he developed business continuity and disaster recovery processes, designing fault tolerant systems architectures as well as managing service delivery and project management teams.
Over the last decade, James held a number of roles within Virgin Australia, and his achievements include the project management of its first international subsidiary (Pacific Blue) and its MRO (Virgin Tech). James developed the Virgin Australia enterprise-wide risk management framework with an emphasis on the practical application of risk to improve safety and business outcomes and which formed the foundation for the airlines Safety Management System.
During his time at Virgin Australia, James worked relentlessly to establish the Virgin Australia emergency response program. James expanded this program to Africa, Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific where he delivered training and used a risk based approach to ensure the capability of the program addressed the unique challenges in international locations as Virgin Australia expanded its operations.
James was also instrumental in developing the highly successful Virgin Australia Special Assistance program. James has responded to a variety of crisis events both domestically and internationally including Earthquakes, Floods, Tsunamis, Volcanic Ash, Mass Food Poisoning Events, Major IT Systems Failures in addition to a number of major aviation related responses for which he has received a letter of thanks from the Australian Minister of Aviation.
Jaume is the Foundation's Managing Director for Europe. He is located in Barcelona, Spain.
Mike Kavanagh is a 39-year veteran of the airline industry in New Zealand and Australia. He was employed by Singapore Airlines from 1976 until his department was outsourced in 2007. A passenger transport enthusiast, he actively participated in the company’s growth into one of the industry’s most admired carriers.
Following the in-flight destruction of a Boeing 737 of subsidiary airline SilkAir in 1997, and the crash of a Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 in 2000, Mike undertook training in the airline’s family assistance programme. He had previously lost colleagues in the crash of Pan Am flight 816 in Tahiti and the Air New Zealand DC10 disaster in the Antarctic. After leaving Singapore Airlines, Mike undertook further family assistance training at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Virginia.
The motorcoach industry has been Mike’s avocation since childhood, and his research indicated that little had been done to prepare operators for the responsibilities of a major incident. Mike has published a guide to assist Australian motorcoach operators in the preparation or update of their crisis management plan. Mike is also working to raise awareness of family assistance in Australia and New Zealand.
Steve is a seasoned business professional who specializes in corporate training and small business development services. He has over 15 years of combined experience in aviation, insurance sales, and education. His training interests are in management, research, eLearning, and small business management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an MBA in Banking and Finance.
Our Regional Directors:
Barbara is the Foundation's Regional Director, Northwest US/Canada. She resides in Blaine, Washington, USA.
Denisse is the Foundation's Regional Director, Latin America. She resides near Dallas, TX, USA.
Janey is the Foundation's Regional Director for Africa. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Leo is the Foundation's Regional Director for India. He resides in Mumbai, India.