Benny Benedict, territorial disaster resource coordinator, was this year’s recipient of the annual Presidential Service Award from the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA) for his dedication and inspiration to others involved in managing emergency responses.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be recognized for doing what comes naturally for me,” said Benny. “I also was very moved by the number of emergency managers from throughout the state who came up to me and expressed their approval. It’s been a win-win situation for The Salvation Army in establishing good, working relationships with emergency personnel in Illinois, offering our support and educating them on all the great things the Army is doing in emergency disaster services.”

Benny began his involvement in Salvation Army emergency disaster services (EDS) as a volunteer in the Heartland Division in 2013. Within a year he became a trained volunteer incident commander, then joined the division in a fulltime capacity as its assistant EDS director. Last fall he was deployed on the first territorial EDS team to Puerto Rico. Benny joined the territorial EDS staff earlier this year.

Kevin Ellers, territorial disaster services coordinator, said, “Benny is great at building relationships and networking. His frontline experience and leadership is a great support to the divisions.”

Since 1965, IESMA has served as the voice of local emergency management in Illinois. It provides a conduit from local to state and federal agencies using a collaborative platform to enhance the profession through professional standards, public relations and mutual emergency aid services.

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