Welcome once again to the 2014 IEMA Annual Conference! The strength of this conference continues to be the invaluable knowledge and experience brought by the 1,200+ attendees who come to share their insights and participate in the extensive training and networking opportunities.
As always, the past year in Illinois saw many challenges but none were more impactful than the statewide tornado outbreak of November 17. Twenty-five confirmed touchdowns in a span of three and a half hours across more than two thirds of our state presented unique and difficult challenges, but the local first responders supported by the essential mutual aid network proved equal to the task once again.
While the recovery continues and will go on for years to come, I could not be more proud of the public safety professionals who work together in Illinois. The lessons learned during these events will be an integral part of this year's conference and I strongly encourage all of you to absorb as much as you can. Building on the successes of the past, we will continue to engage on important topics such as school safety, crude oil transportation and a more coordinated, collaborative approach to cybersecurity.
I look forward to working with all of you to continue protecting the people of Illinois.
Jonathon E. Monken, Director