Yvorra Leadership Development (YLD) is a non-profit private foundation designed to promote leadership development among members of the fire, hazardous materials, and emergency medical services communities. The Foundation was created to continue the efforts of James G. Yvorra who dedicated his life's work to the betterment of fire and emergency medical services.

How YLD Operates

The Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation (YLD) is a non-profit, tax exempt organization. The Foundation operates under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) and 509(a) of the Code. In compliance with Federal requirements, YLD prepares annual financial reports and submits them to the IRS. All financial reports are submitted to a certified public accountant for third party review and are a matter of public record.

The Foundation's Board of Directors is primarily responsible for the administration and management of the organization. All members of the Board of Directors and the Scholarship and Awards Committee serve without compensation or remuneration.

The Scholarship and Awards Committee is established under the Board as a free-standing and impartial group for the sole purpose of evaluating applications and selecting suitable candidates. No member of the Board serves on the Awards Committee; however, the Committee Chairperson serves as a non-voting member of the Board.

The Scholarship and Awards Committee reviews qualified applicants in the fall of each year and selects award recipients by letter ballot. Awardees are selected based on five broad criteria. These include:

  • Potential to have a positive impact upon the future of his or her organization and the emergency response community
  • Formal education and previous training, particularly in the areas of management and administration
  • Commitment to professionalism in the emergency response community
  • Analysis of three favorable written recommendations submitted with the application

Board of Directors

Rose M. Cogan, Ed.D.
Training Consultant, (retired), Elkridge, MD

George D. Dodson, President
Red Hat Publishing Company, Inc., Chester, MD

Michael Eversole
U.S. Secret Service, Washington, D.C.

Michael S. Hildebrand, Partner
Hildebrand and Fish LLC, Mount Dora, FL

JoAnne F. Hildebrand, Academic Director and Associate Professor (retired)
Fire Science, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD

Gregory G. Noll, CSP
GGN Technical Resources LLC, Lancaster, PA

James P. Zeigler, Ph.D. Principal
J.P. Zeigler LLC, Richmond, VA

Donna Hawley, Flight Paramedic, Havre de Grace, MD

John Hess, U.S. DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration, Washington, D.C. (retired), Hagerstown, MD


Scholarship & Awards Committee

G. Crawford Wiestling (Committee Chairman), President
Investigative Loss Control, Inc., (retired), Minneapolis, MN

Adam K. Thiel, (Committee Co-Chairman), Fire Commissioner
Philadelphia Fire Department, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Bryan E. Bledsoe, D.O.
EMS Author-Physician, Arlington, TX

Alan V. Brunacini, Chief (retired)
Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, AZ

Charles J. Burkell, Program Chair (retired), Executive Development
National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, MD

Richard B. Emery, President
Emery & Associates, Inc., Vernon Hills, IL

Chris Hawley, Deputy Project Manager
Computer Sciences Corporation, Alexandria, VA

Douglas R. Williams, President & CEO
DRW Consultants LLC, Orrtanna, PA

Donald E. Sellers, AMI (in memoriam)
Medical Illustrator– Publisher


TEXAS H.E.A.T. Awards Committee

Larry D. Jantzen, Assistant Chief, (Committee Chairman)
Austin Fire Department, Austin, TX.

Harry Evans, Assistant Fire Chief (retired)
Austin Fire Department, Austin, TX

Marty Herrin, Chief
Williamson County Hazardous Materials Response Team, TX

Theron Proctor, Captain (retired)
Austin Fire Department, Austin, TX.

Craig Walker, Division Chief
Austin Fire Department, Austin, TX