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Distinguished Speakers Series featuring Mike Morton
April 16, 2018 | 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Join alumni and students at 7:30 p.m. in Pendleton Hall Auditorium or at http://live.brynathyn.edu as we hear from Mike Morton (BA ’98), director of emergency management for the Province of Ontario, a member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, a published author, and a socially-focused real estate investor.
Mike (BA ’98) graduated from Bryn Athyn College with a B.A. in history and then went on to Villanova University where he earned an M.A. in American history and was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta (the national history honor society), alongside the only other history graduate inductee that year, Rev. Scott Frazier of BAC. Mike later earned a M.Sc. from the University of Leister, graduated from the Ontario Public Service’s Leadership Development Program, and completed a certificate in Aboriginal law from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Mike’s career with the government of Ontario began in 2002 when he joined the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM), having completed eight years of service with the Bryn Athyn Fire Company (BAFC) and co-authored a textbook about firefighter safety that has now sold tens of thousands of copies (a second addition is coming out in 2018). By the time he started his career in Ontario, Mike had been certified as a fire officer, emergency medical technician, and instructor through his service with BAFC. Mike worked his way up the ranks of government quickly and joined management in 2005.
In 2006 Mike successfully completed global training to join UNDAC and has since completed hundreds of hours of training and seven international missions. He was the first UN responder to arrive in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010 and has also completed response missions to the Philippines, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. He has led UN training from China to Indonesia and throughout Europe. Most recently Mike served as editor and a content author for the UNDAC field manual and the international guidelines for coordinating field response amongst countries (the “OSOCC Guidelines”).
In 2011 Mike was loaned by government to the Red Cross and served as their director of disaster management in Ontario for two years. He built significant capacity and entered into service agreements with cities such as Toronto. He played a key leadership role in the Red Cross flood response in Alberta in 2013. He then moved to the Ministry of Transportation where he led a strategic review of the ministry’s emergency management and security programs. He also led the program into an implementation phase that greatly expanded provincial capacity in areas such as debris management and border incident response.
In 2016, Mike was promoted to lead the emergency management branch of the OFMEM. He is currently working to modernize the province’s emergency management programs to place a greater emphasis on policies to reduce disaster risk, offer equitable service levels to First Nations communities and ensure the ongoing readiness of Ontario to prevent and respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies.
When not at his “day job,” Mike is co-manager of several companies based in Buffalo, New York. These include a “micro-development” company, a private real estate fund, and a property management firm. These companies seek to improve Buffalo’s West Side by buying distressed or vacant properties and redeploying them as affordable high-quality rental homes and businesses. These efforts are based on the belief that a small number of properties contribute disproportionally to neighborhood crime rates. Since 2012, the companies have brought over 50 new residential occupancies into use.
Originally from Toronto, Mike now lives between Toronto and Niagara Falls and is an active member of the Buffalo Angels investment group and the Western New York Venture Association, and serves on the board of the Westside Business and Taxpayers Association. He has won various awards, including the Ontario Public Service’s highest award for achievement, the Amethyst Award.