The Virginia Emergency Management Association (VEMA) is the state’s only professional membership association representing and advocating for the interest of Virginia’s Emergency Management professionals. On behalf of VEMA, we are excited to learn of and fully support the Governor’s appointment of Erin Sutton as the Commonwealth’s new Chief Deputy State Coordinator. We look forward to our continued relationship with State Coordinator Brown and Chief Deputy Sutton as well as the rest of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. 

Chief Deputy Sutton brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will serve the Commonwealth in both a strong strategic and operational fashion. She previously served as the Environmental Health Manager, and more recently as the Director of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Virginia Beach.  She was responsible for Virginia Beach’s comprehensive emergency operations plan (EOP), the coordination of exercises and planning for special events, management of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during activations, as well as advocating comprehensive emergency management programs for the City.  Chief Deputy Sutton also was a member of the All Hazards Advisory Committee (AHAC) with the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) where was has served as the Chair of the committee the last 2 years.

She brings extensive experience in leadership, organizational improvements, coalition building and both internal and external communications. Over the last 15 years she has developed over 30 exercises ranging from workshops to full scale including hazards such as; public health, active shooter, hurricane, special events, points of distribution/dispensing and many others. She has supported the City of Virginia Beach during several large scale disasters which included declarations of emergency at all levels of government including  Hurricane's Ida, Irene and Matthew, the Naval Air Station Oceana Jet Fuel Spill, the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornet jet fighter crash and the May 31, 2019 mass shooting. 

Chief Deputy Sutton has been a VEMA supporter for more than eight years and has contributed her knowledge, expertise, and experience on multiple occasions at the annual Virginia Emergency Management Symposium. Congratulations from VEMA to Erin Sutton, the Commonwealth’s new Chief Deputy State Coordinator.