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University of Colorado Denver

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Alumni Profile

Dean Moyer - Executive MPA Graduate

Dean Moyer
Dean Moyer

Executive MPA graduate rolls up his sleeves in an emergency

It’s evident upon meeting Dean Moyer that when it comes to staying calm during an emergency, he’s the right man for the job. Moyer has that solid quality on which people can depend.

The director of finance and IT for Windsor, Colo., played a central role in keeping the town’s 19,000 residents safe when a twister tore a path 35 miles long and nearly a mile wide through the city on May 22, 2008.

“Windsor is a place where everyone knows everyone else for the most part,” explains Moyer, whose humble demeanor belies an accomplished resume with years of experience in local government.

Moyer had finished UC Denver’s executive master’s program in public administration just days before the tornado touched down. The disaster put the emergency-management training he received in a course on local government management to the test.

“When a natural disaster occurs, it takes a while for people to get their arms around what is happening. Cars, houses, buildings—they can all be fixed ... it's the people that take longer,” explains Moyer, whose main role during the catastrophe was getting Town Hall up and running so central operations could be staged from the building.

During a heart-pounding 45 minutes, area residents scrambled for shelter. When it was all over, 80 homes were destroyed and 770 others were damaged. Windsor suffered $193 million in losses. It was the most expensive tornado in Colorado history.

“What was learned in Aden Hogan’s class came in handy,” says Moyer. “More than anything, he stressed the importance of taking care of the people.”

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