Wendy Smith-Reeve

DollarDays Partner: Wendy Smith-Reeve

You probably know Wendy Smith-Reeve as the former Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At DollarDays, we know her as a champion of those in need, underserved, or in crisis in our communities. We are proud to partner with Smith-Reeve in her continued effort to ensure that our communities are better prepared for emergencies and have access to essential health, hygiene and safety supplies.

While her resignation from ADEM was mired in talk of politics, Smith-Reeve has never been one to allow her political leanings to influence her leadership during crises. When asked if politics played a part in her departure from ADEM, she responded, “The thing about disasters and emergencies and crisis situations is it’s all bipartisan. It’s affecting everyone.” It is this sense of purpose and compassion that has guided her long career in crisis management and disaster relief.

Smith-Reeve began working for ADEM in 1996 as a finance specialist for the Public Assistance Program within the Recovery Section. She later became Deputy Manager, then Manager of that program. In 2009, she was named Assistant Director of the Recovery Section before becoming the Director of ADEM in 2013.

Over the course of her 25-year career in crisis management and disaster relief, Ms. Smith-Reeve has served the people of Arizona through 10 presidential disaster declarations and over 80 Arizona state disaster declarations. From supplying displaced citizens with blankets and sheets to providing homeless kids with health and hygiene supplies, DollarDays has been honored to help provide disaster relief for those who most need it.

Throughout her career, Ms. Smith-Reeve has also been at the forefront of helping Arizona prepare for the future by leading and participating in various symposiums and conferences about crisis management and disaster relief. With an eye on some of Arizona’s most pressing issues including wildfires, water shortages, and other environmental issues, cyber-security and counter-terrorism, and ensuring the safety of vulnerable populations, Smith-Reeve understands that complex problems rarely have easy solutions. Strong partnerships and teamwork are essential to any successful crisis management plan.

Regardless of the gravity of the situation, Smith-Reeve brings calm and capable leadership. She has seen devasting fires, floods, dust storms, and extreme heat plague her state but maintains practical strategies to recover from and prepare for whatever disaster or crisis strikes. She has served as an instructor for several recovery courses offered by ADEM and helped develop FEMA courses regarding recovery operations to train and prepare emergency service providers, emergency managers, and local government officials for many crisis scenarios.

Since last spring, Ms. Smith-Reeve has served as a coronavirus analyst for local news station ABC 15 and established her own consulting firm. Using her professional expertise and years of experience, Smith-Reeve continues to help Arizona’s at-risk populations. While the current border crisis continues across Arizona, Smith-Reeve and DollarDays are working to provide shelters with tarps, children’s clothing, pandemic supplies, and other personal care essentials.

Smith-Reeve has built her long and distinguished career on tackling complicated and critical issues from assuring our natural disaster preparedness due to climate change to combatting homelessness to ensure all citizens’ safety. Though there are never easy answers, she does not shy away from asking difficult questions and making difficult decisions. With a balance of common-sense practicality and tender concern, she provides both comfort and hope to those who need it most.

Whether it’s helping to supply shelters with non-perishable foods, bedding and cleaning supplies, or feeding the homeless, DollarDays is always ready to offer assistance with quality wholesale products and a commitment to helping the underserved and those in need. Working together we can create a stronger community and brighter future.

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