NWSA Executive Director Debbie Miley has been an integral part of this organization since its inception. From a small conference room in Reno, Nevada in 1991, the first NWSA members elected Debbie to their Board of Directors. Her depth of fire industry experience – more than 26 years – has helped her guide the Association to the role they play today.
Debbie is committed to helping NWSA members grow in capacity and professionalism as emergency service providers by offering training and education opportunities for its members. As the head of the association, Debbie works tirelessly to help the public, agencies and legislators better understand and support the wildland fire contracting industry.
For more than a decade, Debbie and her husband Jim owned XL Hotshots, Inc., providing handcrews, engines, tenders and dozers to regional and national agencies. Upon retiring from the contracting industry, Debbie, who was already on the NWSA Board of Directors, was asked to serve as Executive Secretary and then Executive Director. She has been in those roles since 1997.
Melissa grew up in a home that owned a wildland firefighting company during her youth. She and her siblings spent many hours on the road to fires, filling up water canteens, sorting fire clothing and helping with the family business as she got older.
She lives in the foothills of the Cascade Mountain range with her husband, Stephan and three children, McKenzie, Emmy and Ashten. She is very involved in her community helping with the sports programs, and school district as a volunteer.
Missy joined NWSA full time starting January 2017, and she is handling membership services as well as working with vendors for Region 6 Equipment Inspections. She offers support to the Executive Director as needed on project work, and also handles our vendor show at the NWSA Conference.
NWSA Office Staff
Teresa joined the NWSA staff in December of 2015. She grew up on a ranch in Vale, Oregon and then moved to the Santiam Canyon where she resides with her husband and children.
Teresa is the assistant to the NWSA Training Coordinator in additional to overseeing the Record Inspection for Region 6.
She also provides support to the NWSA Executive Director and is the voice you most often hear when you call the NWSA Office.
The high-caliber NWSA training program is a significant benefit to its membership. The Database Storage System, which tracks instructor and firefighter qualifications, supports this nationally-recognized program. Stan Kunzman coordinates all NWSA training. Stan retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 1994 and is currently a consulting forester. He has coordinated the NWSA training program since 1996.
Stan’s work in the U.S. Forest Service began in 1963. His experience spans the globe, not only across North America, but to Russia.
Stan was active for 15 years on National Incident Management Teams functioning as Operations Section Chief, Planning Section Chief and Incident Commander. He has also served as Area Commander, Military Liaison, and MAC Coordinator and was on the training cadre at the National Advanced Resource Technology Center for Fire Generalship.