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BY JOSH PRESLEY
West Point-Clay County Emergency Management Interim Director Kerrie Gentry-Blissard received the 2014 Emergency Manager of the Year award last week at the Mississippi Partners in Preparedness summit in Biloxi.
Nomination committee members of the Mississippi Civil Defense Emergency Management Association (MCDEMA) accepted qualified candidate applications on behalf of the MCDEMA Board of Directors for the award. Nominees were presented at the summit, and attendees at the conference chose the winner from the top two nominees.
Blissard said she was surprised to be chosen, and honored that her peers respected her work enough to nominate her and give her the award.
â€śI was overwhelmed with emotion,â€ť Blissard said. â€śIâ€™ve never been at a loss for words, but I was that night.â€ť
Blissard has worked in emergency management since 1989, when she was a junior in high school, working with Lowndes County EMA.
â€śI worked with them throughout the rest of high school and college,â€ť she said. â€śI came to West Point in 1994 and have been here ever since.â€ť
Blissard was named interim EMA director in the wake of former director Johnny Littlefieldâ€™s retirement, and she said her duties havenâ€™t changed much other than having more responsibility.
â€śIâ€™m doing the same thing that I was doing before,â€ť she said. â€śNow I have to go to the board meetings and work sessions and keep City Hall informed of whatâ€™s going on.â€ť
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