Dr. Katharyn Kryda

Dr. Katharyn Kryda

Dr. Katharyn Kryda

Dr. Katharyn Kryda is a public health veterinarian with a particular interest in disaster preparedness and emerging infectious disease issues involving travel and trade. After practicing clinical veterinary medicine for seven years, Dr. Kryda was selected as an ASPPH Public Health Fellow, marking the first time this position was offered to a veterinarian. She served at the U.S. Department of Transportation, where she supported COVID-19, biodefense, and global health security engagements. At Gryphon, Dr. Kryda applies her interdisciplinary expertise to projects to improve preparedness for and response to infectious disease outbreaks, with a focus on One Health approaches to combatting zoonotic diseases. Dr. Kryda earned her DVM and MPH concentrating in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois, and she graduated from FEMA’s National Emergency Management Basic Academy in July 2021.

Katharyn loves all modes of transportation with a particular fondness for trains, ships, and bicycles. Her favorite cycling adventure to date was a week-long trip across The Algarve in southern Portugal, potentially inspired by too many viewings of Breaking Away during her childhood.

Lauren Plaine, MPS, RN, CEN

Lauren Plaine, MPS, RN, CEN

Lauren Plaine, MPS, RN, CEN

Lauren Plaine, MPS, RN, CEN is an emergency management and medicine professional with 10 years of practice leading, guiding, and teaching others though crises and disasters. Her work at Gryphon focuses on emergency management planning, policy, and training, particularly related to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense. Previously, she supervised a hospital emergency department within a Level 1 trauma center. Lauren holds a BSN from Old Dominion University and an MPS in Emergency and Disaster Management from Georgetown University. Her graduate research focused on Crisis Standards of Care within COVID-19.

Lauren enjoys tending to her 20 house plants as well as propagating them to share, which include a collection of herbs she uses to spice up home cooking projects.

Ken Stroech

Ken Stroech

Ken Stroech

Mr. Stroech has more than 40 years of experience supporting the federal government in emergency preparedness and critical infrastructure protection, through which he has developed expertise in policy development, fostering interagency collaboration, and training exercises. During his 35-year government career, he was a senior emergency preparedness professional with the White House Office of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), where he served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Office of Infrastructure Protection. Mr. Stroech led the development of major organizational components for these agencies, overseeing large teams of federal and contractor staff and assisting in the management of multi-million dollar program budgets. At Gryphon, Mr. Stroech continues to work on emergency preparedness for the DHS Federal Emergency Management Agency and other government clients.

A West Virginian for the past three decades, Ken enjoys supporting the West Virginia University Mountaineers, traveling and sightseeing, and attending music festivals with his family in their motorhome.

Stephen Tarnacki

Stephen Tarnacki

Stephen Tarnacki

Stephen Tarnacki

Stephen Tarnacki

Stephen Tarnacki has been supporting federal agencies for over 20 years in a vast range of CBRN Consequence Management projects. After serving 10 years in the US Army in CBRN defense, he returned to the public sector supporting CBRN logistical and technical support activities. Some of his key roles have been supporting the National Guard WMD Civil Support Teams at the consequence management support center and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) CBRNE Response Team (CRT). At Gryphon, Mr. Tarnacki manages CBRN technical, logistics, and training management support activities for PFPA/CRT. He’s a subject matter expert in CBRN COTS equipment life cycle management.

Stephen is a craftsman who works in wood and clay. He’s made countless gifts ranging from retirement shadow boxes to hand sculpted statues of emergency responders in hazmat suits. 

Louise Sumner, MPH

Louise Sumner, MPH

Louise Sumner, MPH

Louise Sumner, MPH, has supported federal agencies on projects to improve public health for over a decade, with a particular interest in biosurveillance, emerging infectious disease, and population health. Her work has focused on the interplay between biology and human behavior with the goal of developing evidence-based disease models, risk assessments, and surveillance applications. Her work in population health has included chronic and infectious disease epidemiology, and evaluations of healthcare needs following an outbreak or attack. Ms. Sumner holds a BS in Biology from the University of Virginia and an MPH concentrating in Epidemiology from Harvard University.

Dance with our star, Louise, a competitive ballroom dancer specializing in “Latin” (cha cha, rumba, samba, paso doble, and jive) and “Standard” (waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and Viennese waltz).

Robert Stephan

Ret. Col. Robert Stephan

Colonel Robert Stephan (USAF RET)

Robert Stephan

Colonel Robert Stephan (USAF RET)

During a 24-year Air Force career, Col Stephan held a variety of key positions including mission commander during Operation Desert Storm. With the activation of DHS in 2003, he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary and then Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection. He led the development of the National Incident Management System, the National Response Plan, and the National Infrastructure Response Plan—key documents that guide the nation’s emergency response and recovery strategies. At Gryphon, he continues to work on emergency preparedness and infrastructure protection for a variety of government and private sector clients.

In his off time, Bob likes to experience the wonderful scenery, history, culture and people that exist 55 miles and 150 years due West of Washington, D.C.  

Froggi Jackson

Dr. Froggi (Shawn) Jackson

Dr. Froggi (Shawn) Jackson

Froggi Jackson

Dr. Froggi (Shawn) Jackson

Dr. Froggi (Shawn) Jackson brought a unique blend of experience in environmental and biomedical sciences when she joined Gryphon in 2013. With an undergraduate degree in marine science from Duke, Froggi earned a PhD in Virology from Harvard, studying HIV vaccine immunology in animal models. She combined her interests in immunology, virology, and marine biology in post-doctoral studies of anti-viral immunology in fish, sharks, and frogs, with an emphasis on viruses important to the aquaculture industry. At Gryphon, Froggi has expanded her expertise, leading a variety of studies of chemical and biological risk assessment.

Froggi is a real-deal “soccer mom”. When she’s not ferrying around 2 boys, she’s kicking the ball herself, refusing to give in to age and injury. The supply of dark chocolate in her office may or may not be directly related.

Mikaela Finnegan

Mikaela Finnegan, MPH

Mikaela Finnegan

Mikaela Finnegan

Mikaela Finnegan

Mikaela Finnegan holds a BS in biology from the University of Virginia and is currently pursuing her MS in epidemiology from George Washington University. Joining Gryphon in 2013, she has supported many disease risk assessments and decision-support tools and has gained experience in the curation and standardization of data to support those projects. Her primary interests lie in emerging infectious diseases and neglected tropical diseases.

Mikaela is an American and English football fan and a die-hard Potterhead who can tell you everything about the Harry Potter series. She knows all the rules of Quidditch and wishes she could travel with capacity enhancing extension charms.

Kent Duke

Kent Duke

Kent Duke

Kent Duke

Kent Duke

Kent Duke comes from a strong military background with 22 years’ experience as a logistician, 5 years in hazmat management and 10 years as a hazmat first responder. He then became a Government contractor for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) logistical and technical support activities on military installations throughout the United States, Japan and Korea. Currently Mr. Duke is the Operations technical and logistics support lead for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) CBRNE Response Team (CRT).

Kent is a history buff and former Civil War Reenactor who portrayed a Union Soldier in parades and small skirmish battles. He also taught the public about Civil War history as a living historian

Dr. Jennifer Corbin

Dr. Jennifer Corbin

Dr. Jennifer Corbin

Dr. Jennifer Corbin is a biomedical scientist who has worked on scores of projects to investigate the health effects of CBRN agents and medical countermeasures (MCMs) used for prevention and treatment. Her work has investigated of the effect of particle size, period of exposure, timing of medical countermeasure administration, the effects of MCM non-compliance, and treatment side effects. Considered a subject matter expert in the prevention and treatment of CBRN agents, she is a co-author of a technical manual for DTRA describing current practices in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.

Jennifer is a farm owner in her home state of Iowa. If you care to learn about soil fertility, she can talk at length about the effects of set aside, no-till farming, and corn-soybean rotation.