Valerie Sanders, President/Meteorologist
Valerie began her career in the private weather industry in 1993 working for Weather Services International (WSI) Corporation representing their value added products and services to government and industry markets during the deployment of the modernized National Weather Service (NWS) Doppler weather radar network (NEXRAD).
She worked extensively with emergency management and public safety agencies at a local, state, and federal level when NWS dissemination policy changed from free direct end-user access to weather radar data to fee-based NWS-authorized, private company dissemination. Valerie handled the NWS contract for acquiring the NEXRAD-derived value-added weather radar mosaic product (NOWRAD) used in the specialized NWS centers.
From 1997 through mid 2002, she managed a program for Baron Services, Inc facilitating public/private partnerships to fund placement of weather radar graphical workstations for displaying value-added radar analysis and display services in public safety agencies.
From 2003 to early 2007, she worked in a consultant capacity, including WeatherData, Inc. who provides weather risk-management programs using WDI value-added products and services to a variety of industries.
In 2007, she founded her own company, Media Weather Innovations, which developed WeatherCall®, a state-of-the-art NWS severe weather warning notification delivery system based on NWS “storm-based warnings” methodology. WeatherCall is currently in use in approximately 85+ weather-sensitive local television markets throughout the US. A commercial grade version of WeatherCall is in use by hundreds of companies of varying types and sizes throughout the country.
Valerie has a BS degree in geosciences and secondary education from SUNY Buffalo (Magna cum laude). She is an active member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association, and is frequently invited to participate on panels and other volunteer activities at national meetings. She lives in Parker, CO, has two adult children, and rides her dressage horse for recreation.
Mike Fannin, Chief Technology Officer
Mike Fannin is the man behind the code and the reason WeatherCall’s infrastructure and communication systems work with the timely efficiency it does. His ability to write computer code and manage our complex series of network systems is what makes WeatherCall’s success second to none.
Mr. Fannin has over 30 years of experience in the computer industry, including major experience in voice/fax processing and computer telephony integration. Prior to co-founding Weathercall, he served as a vice president of @Link Networks, a nationwide DSL company. He has also served as Director of GenuTec Business Solutions, Inc., from September 1998 to August 2004.
Mike co-founded two voice processing companies, VMX Inc. and Tigon Corporation and directed the development of the world’s first voicemail system, which was installed at the 3M Company. He holds the world’s first patent on voice mail, which includes over 20 claims covering voicemail systems and networking.
Mike and his wife Elizabeth currently resides in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.
CEM, CBCP, Enterprise Sales Manager
Mr. Goldhammer’s career in emergency operations began in 1969 when he became a volunteer member of the Ithaca, NY Fire Department while attending Cornell University. In 1974, he went to work for Hillsborough County Emergency Medical Services (EMS). He worked with the department in many capacities until his retirement in March 1997.
He completed the FEMA Professional Development Series in September 1993. In November 1994, Bob received his certification as an emergency manager (CEM) from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Bob received his BS degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida in 1995.
In March 1997, Bob moved to Des Moines, IA to become the emergency management coordinator for Polk County, IA. In July 1999, Bob received his Certified Business Continuity Professional certification from the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII). In July 2002, Bob received his Masters in Teachers in Geosciences from Mississippi State University.
Mr. Goldhammer left his position with Polk County in March 2003 to pursue a variety of opportunities. His duties for WeatherCall include working with the Enterprise clients. He is also currently a member of the FEMA Hurricane Liaison Team.
Bob served as an IAEM regional president for approximately 10 years. He currently represents the organization on the National Weather Service(NWS) StormReady Advisory Board. He is on the planning committee for the NWS Severe Weather Workshop.
Bob and his wife Nancy live in Des Moines, IA.
National Notification Consultant
Because local broadcast stations are the primary way the public receives its information when dangerous weather is occurring, Mr. Huffines applied his professional meteorology knowledge and passion for helping to save lives in this industry for over 27 years. He served as Chief Meteorologist at WAAY-TV in Huntsville, AL, after working in similar positions in Spartanburg, SC, Savannah, GA, Sherman, TX, and Tulsa, OK and was part of the CNN weather team for over 6 years. He also served as the Director of Meteorology for a company called WeatherPlus, where he helped manage and launch a weather and traffic network in the Netherlands, while partnering with the ANWB in The Hague.
Mr. Huffines has been a contract instructor with DHS/FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD since 1996. He teaches emergency information dissemination and meteorology, in Integrated Emergency Management Courses, also teaching the EMI’s G272 Warnings Coordination Course at the International Association of Emergency Managers Conferences as well as EMI’s Advanced Public Information course in Emmitsburg, MD. He also teaches and presents at seminars, community gatherings, and as an invited subject matter expert on meteorology and emergency notification nationwide.
Brad joined the WeatherCall team in May of 2011 just weeks after the densest tornado outbreak in history occurred in North Alabama on April 27. On that tragic day, he stayed on-air for 18 straight hours, where there were 92 tornado warnings producing 40 confirmed tornadoes, including 3 EF-4’s and 2 EF-5’s (the strongest categories of tornadoes), during and after which 238 Alabama residents were killed and over 2,000 injured. On that day, he saw WeatherCall play a significant role in delivering vital NWS warnings and save many lives under the most extreme conditions ever seen.
Mr. Huffines holds a Bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. He currently lives in North Carolina.
Certified Broadcast Meteorologist
National Notification Consultant
Gene is an award-winning meteorologist, having spent the past 20 years delivering impactful forecasts to millions of TV viewers in Houston, Atlanta and Birmingham. He has a passion for public safety and has been credited for providing life-saving information during severe weather episodes. He knows first-hand the value of WeatherCall, having introduced it in Houston at the onset of the arrival of Hurricane Ike. Prior to his TV career, Gene developed software as a member of the Spaceflight Meteorology Group, ensuring high-quality weather data for the Space Shuttle program.
Customer Service Manager
One of the many things that place WeatherCall head and shoulders above others in the field of emergency weather notification is Customer Service. Elizabeth Paynter manages our team of customer service representatives. Whether the user is a technological novice or extremely technologically savvy, Elizabeth’s team of customer service representatives handles them all with patience, expertise, and kindness. Mrs. Paynter also coordinates all of WeatherCall’s webpage content for our client television stations who each offer WeatherCall and StormCall services nationwide.
A Michigan native she now resides in Franktown, Colorado with her family. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Computer Information Systems. Her first job out of college was teaching adults accounting and DOS, the precursor to what we now know as Windows. Mrs. Paynter has also worked in insurance sales, high school food services and an executive assistant and office manager for TCI. She started working for WeatherCall when it was still in its infancy as a Customer Service Representative and became the Customer Service Manager as the company grew.
Elizabeth says, “It makes me feel good when I know that what I do has helped save lives.”
Regional Notification Consultant
John Kashirsky is a Regional Notification Consultant for WeatherCall Services Enterprise product and manages the development of Social Weather Feeds™. John created the first live audio stream for the National Weather Service (NWS) Springfield SkyWarn weather spotter network, while also creating the Southwest Regional SkyWarn Facebook page, where he and his team of contributors provide real-time notification of NWS issued severe weather warnings. Followers of his page frequently credit the information on that page with saving or affecting their lives in giving them the information to take the proper action during severe weather warning situations.
John has completed numerous training courses in Virtual Storm Spotter training and basic to advanced SkyWarn training, including COMET training on the role of the storm spotter, weather radar fundamentals and radar signatures for severe convective weather. Along with his education, John has been a co-instructor of FEMA’s Warnings Coordination course at the International Association of Emergency Management’s annual conference. John was storm spotting near Joplin, MO, when the deadly tornado developed on May 22, 2011, and was one of the first to arrive to help rescue the survivors. This experience greatly increased his passion to vastly improve the warnings information dissemination process in order to prevent future death and injury associated with destructive severe weather.
John lives in Republic, Missouri, and is married with 3 boys.