Piatt named Emergency Manager of the Year
John Nihart, CEM and NMEMA vice president, presents UNM's Byron Piatt (l.) with a plaque honoring Piatt as Emergency Manager of the Year.
Credit: Steve Carr

University of New Mexico Emergency Manager, Byron Piatt, was recently awarded Emergency Manager of the Year award by the New Mexico Emergency Management Association (NMEMA).

Awards were distributed based upon performance and contributions in the field of Emergency Management.

“I am humbled to be so honored by my peers,” Piatt said. “I take our collective safety and security seriously, and strive to assure that we all make it home safely every night, whether it be from work, school or within the community. Our institution is a community within a community. I am happy to see that our efforts at UNM are recognized across the state.”

The criteria included: NMEMA member in good standing; must be NMCEM certified and/or CEM certified; must have participated in a major planned event/exercise; helped another jurisdiction in an activity or state of disaster/emergency; or have managed an emergency in their own jurisdiction.

Piatt was nominated for the award by Marc Arellano, the Solution/Security Architect for PNM Resources and a NMCEM. Arellano cited Piatt’s passion and drive to fulfill his responsibilities at UNM as emergency manager.

The citation read in part:
“Piatt manages a complex campus at UNM with a large geographic area of responsibility and a variety of critical infrastructure with limited resources allocated; he provides proactive emergency management initiatives for the University, while balancing his own professional growth through attendance of formal emergency management courses and his primary job responsibilities effectively. 

“Piatt is technically proficient, he continually collaborates with supporting entities and focuses on process improvement. His passion and drive to ensure campus faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors are safe; separate him from the general EM pool within the state. Through his leadership and experience levels, Piatt has managed to successfully provide the most effective and efficient EM services to the University in a professional manner.”

The New Mexico Emergency Management Association serves the emergency management community by offering opportunities for networking, development of professional standards, conducting trainings, and fellowship.