The winner of the 2019 William Gray Award was announced in South Padre Island, Texas yesterday at the National Tropical Weather Conference (NTWC). Leslie Chapman-Henderson, who serves as President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), was given the award in honor of her twenty-year legacy of service to the cause of hurricane preparedness, safety, and resilience.
The annual award is named after the late William “Bill” Mason Gray who was emeritus professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University (CSU), leading their Department of Atmospheric Science’s Tropical Meteorology Project. Gray is widely regarded as a pioneer in the science of tropical cyclone forecasting, issuing accurate seasonal outlooks for the Atlantic Hurricane Season during his tenure. While Gray passed away in April of 2016, Dr. Phil Klotzbach continues his research and work, issuing annual Hurricane Seasonal Outlooks, including the 2019 outlook which was released yesterday at the NTWC.
“Leslie, FLASH and their many partners provide life-saving information about how to best protect families and homes from the threat of natural disasters,” said Alex Garcia, President/CEO of the National Tropical Weather Conference. “This award is a testament to Leslie’s leadership in the disaster safety and resilience movement and the work she does every day to protect America’s families from hazards of all kinds.” In addition to his role with NTWC, Garcia serves as the Chief Meteorologist for the local FOX affiliate in San Antonio, Texas.
“I am humbled to receive this award given in the name of one of the greatest heroes of our movement, and I would like to thank the National Tropical Weather Conference for the honor,” said Chapman-Henderson. “Dr. Gray was brilliant, kind, and unfailingly supportive of our mission to strengthen homes and safeguard families. He inspired us twenty years ago when we started this journey, and his legacy inspires to this day.”
FLASH is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, FEMA, Florida Division of Emergency Management, International Code Council, Kohler Power Systems, NOAA/National Weather Service, North Carolina State University, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie, State Farm, Texas Tech Wind Science & Engineering, The Home Depot, University of Florida, USAA and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc.