Molly O’Toole of Molly O’Toole & Associates accepted the award for “Trak,” with ASFPM Executive Director Chad Berginnis. Photo by John Hays.
Every year, the awards
committee receives incredible nominations. And often hard choices are made to
pick ONE winner. This year, the committee could not pick just one, so, we have
a second Meritorious Lifetime Achievement in Floodplain Management Award
Winner—William “Trak” Trakimas.
“Trak” retired this May and
wasn’t able to attend our conference. But he has given his career to floodplain
management. He was instrumental in the creation and success of the NFIP’s
Community Rating System. Beginning with his work at the Indiana Department of
Natural Resources in 1976 as the NFIP state coordinator, and continuing into
his duties as the CRS program manager for Insurance Services Office, Trakimas
has spent a career bringing out the best in others, seeking their unique
strengths, building upon their best abilities, creating pride and a “we can get
it done” style.
His enthusiasm, distinctive optimism and skill at
finding solutions have left many floodplain managers strengthened in their
resolve, and the communities they serve safer and better prepared. Trakimas’ significant contribution to floodplain management has been his dedication to
the CRS, first as an ASFPM representative on the CRS Task Force, and then as
the CRS program manager for ISO. The CRS “creation” began in the 1980s and was
officially launched as a program in 1990. Initially, 295 communities joined the
CRS and today, more than 1,500 communities participate. Trakimas has worked to
assist communities in improving in the CRS and these efforts have resulted in a
reduction in the nation’s flood-risk portfolio. Regardless of a community being
small or the largest city in our country, he encourages CRS participation to
facilitate communities doing more flood-risk reduction each year. This
commitment, without a doubt, serves the mission of FEMA, of states and of
ASFPM. His presence will be missed.