New Sensation: Charles Wallace, Grays Harbor County Emergency Management, Deputy Director

Posted on August 20, 2014

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Background Check


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Charles T. Wallace is a 24 year retiree from the Philadelphia Fire Department and has served as the Deputy Director of Emergency Management for Grays Harbor County, WA since 2009. He is responsible for all emergency management efforts, as well as coordination, cooperation and emergency notifications between nine cities, 15 fire districts and two tribal nations.

Chuck currently serves as the Vice Chairperson for the Washington State, Region 3 Homeland Security Workgroup and as the Vice Chairperson for the Region 3 Homeland Security Type 3 Incident Management Team. He is also an executive board member of the Region 3 Healthcare Preparedness Coalition for Washington State. as well as performing duties as an elected Fire Commissioner and Fire Chief for Grays Harbor County Fire Protection District #11 along the Washington Coast.

Chuck received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from The Evergreen State College and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College.

Q & A with Charles


(Complete these phrases) Best thing about the….

80’s was……. Collapse of the Berlin Wall

90’s was…… Mandela Released from prison

00’s was….. Mobile phones and texting

Last year was….. Voters in the Ocosta School District, Westport WA voted to fund and build the first  vertical evacuation, tsunami engineered building in the US.

Today is….change can happen at any time.

Tell us about three accomplishments that you are most proud

  • Being a husband for 30 years
  • Being a father
  • Finally finishing my college degree 32 years after starting

(Complete this sentence) I feel old when I……

……talk about the Vietnam era or Martin Luther King Jr and many people don’t understand what I’m talking about.

Name two or three people that would you want in your dream (1)

George Washington

Bishop Tutu

Howard Zinn

Tell us about two mistakes that you’ve made that we can learn from.

Taking too long to make a decision.

Making a decision too quickly.

Our annual conference will be held in October 2014. Name three topics or speakers that should be included on the conference agenda.

  • Any topic on initiating change
  • Topics on taking chances always includes the  possibility of failure
  • Leading isn’t about personal accolades

Parent(s) can be influential in career choices of their kids. What was the career path of your parent(s)?

Both in the Mortgage Banking industry

Name three of your mentors and describe them in five words.images (1)

Martin Luther King Jr. – the movement isn’t about me.

George Washington – peaceful transition of government

Benjamin Franklin – inventor, leader, diplomat

Your hometown…..what is it best known for?

Philadelphia, PA – known for cheesesteaks, hoagies, and Rocky

How can ELGL best contribute to the public sector?

Assist future leaders in attaining the knowledge to create positive change.

Give us two items that are broken in local government.

images (2)Recession has crippled government to the point of non-action; fear of the cost of creating change and fear of the repercussions of failure

Majority of local government officials are there to help, however they’re ill prepared for duties they must assume, many times unaware certain problems or decisions exist awaiting their attention.

Fast forward one year, what will factor into your decision on whether to renew your ELGL membership?

I will see if ELGL offers me opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Give us two ideas for attracting and retaining talented individuals to the public sector.

You must offer something other organizations don’t offer – not just another group of the same people. I can join hundreds of groups if I just want to say I belong. It has to be different and have meaning.

“It must be more than about money…you need to get them to believe what you believe” Simon Sinek



What questions should we have asked?

  • What is leadership?
  • Given your choice, would you rather have power or influence? Explain

What question(s) do you have about ELGL?

Why have I never heard of ELGL before?

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