Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

The Hagerty Advantage – Our People: Michelle Bohrson and Michael Levkowitz

September is National Preparedness Month, and, throughout the month, we are highlighting Hagerty employees working to support our clients’ disaster preparedness needs. During this third week of National Preparedness Month, we feature Managing Associates Michelle Bohrson and  Michael Levkowitz, MPA, CFM.

Tell us about yourself – how did your career path lead you to Hagerty?

Michelle: When I joined the firm, I had recently completed my Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning. While pursuing my degree, I recognized a gap in how planners think about growth and development, and the pattern of repetitive disaster loss impacting communities across the nation. I wanted to be a part of a solution to support better and more comprehensive community planning. I have gained a lot of experience understanding how cities, counties, and states manage risk and consider ways to integrate resilience into planning efforts.

Michael: My entry into the field of emergency management began while pursuing my Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree, when I had the opportunity to work with a Tribal community to develop a strategy for mitigating ecosystem impacts from increasing shoreline armoring. Prior to joining Hagerty, I worked in positions with Washington State’s Department of Ecology, the State’s Division of Emergency Management, and supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Risk Mapping, Analysis, and Planning (Risk MAP) Program, helping me gain an understanding of hazard mitigation and resilience-building at the local, tribal, state, and federal levels.

I joined Hagerty Consulting soon after moving from Seattle, Washington to Omaha, Nebraska, where my wife and I moved to allow her to pursue her own career opportunities. Being entirely new to Nebraska, I was thrilled to find an opportunity with Hagerty through which I was able to both plug in to support work throughout the country and support a long-term recovery planning project in my new home state.

What do you find most meaningful about the work you do here at Hagerty?

Michelle: Every day, I understand the impact I am having on communities across the country. These days, there seems to be a new disaster every week; and, I can see states, cities, and even my personal friends getting overwhelmed by the frequency and scope of the disasters occurring nationwide. I appreciate waking up every day and knowing that I get to be a small piece of the puzzle that is making a difference.

Michael: People look to us for help. Across our service lines and projects, our role is consistently focused on supporting our clients to make their communities as safe, livable, and resilient as possible for all residents. Working for Hagerty provides me with opportunities every day to help other dedicated individuals around their country build capacity to help their respective communities more effectively and efficiently.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it?

Michelle: I love to play with my two energetic dogs (Woody and Juniper) and care for my houseplants. If I am feeling more active, I also love to run and do yoga.

Michael: A lot of my spare time is filled with podcasts, but I do my best to multitask when listening. Cleaning out the gutters is way less boring with an episode of ‘My Favorite Murder’ entertaining me in the background.

Michelle Bohrson is a Managing Associate with Hagerty Consulting’s Preparedness Division. Michelle primarily supports pre- and post-disaster recovery planning and hazard mitigation planning projects. Michelle earned her Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from the University of Michigan and is based out of the Austin, TX office.

Michael Levkowitz is a Managing Associate with Hagerty Consulting’s Preparedness Division with strategic expertise in mitigation planning and funding. Michael has served in a variety of roles supporting local, state, tribal, and federal agencies with hazard mitigation and long-term recovery planning, emergency preparedness, and risk communication. Prior to joining Hagerty, Michael served as the Mitigation Strategist for Washington State Emergency Management Division. He earned his Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Washington.