Witt Associates to Merge with O'Brien's Response Management

by Lance Turner  on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 11:05 am  

James Lee Witt, a native Arkansan who is a former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will lead Witt O'Brien's as its executive chairman. (Photo by Mike Pirnique)

James Lee Witt's crisis management firm, Witt Associates, and O’Brien’s Response Management on Tuesday said they will combine the two companies to form Witt O’Brien’s by Dec. 31.

The companies said the deal will bring together "two of the nation's leading preparedness, crisis management and disaster response and recovery organizations."

"Witt O’Brien’s will bring a new approach to the crisis and disaster industry by combining each company’s unparalleled crisis and disaster experience with innovative planning, training, exercise, and software solutions," the companies said in a news release.

Witt, a native Arkansan who is a former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will lead the combined firm as its executive chairman. 

Ken Burris will be CEO, and Tim Perkins will be president and COO. The company will be based in Washington D.C., with offices in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington, as well as the United Kingdom and Brazil.

Financial details of the merger were not disclosed.

"This transaction strengthens the combined company’s crisis and emergency preparedness, management and response services in the United States and around the globe," Witt said in a news release. "Our combined clients will have access to the leading crisis and emergency management company."

Witt Associates had been growing in the past two years, expanding its presence in Little Rock and topping $40 million in revenue in 2010.

Witt Associates' Arkansas clients have included the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, Clinton National Airport and the University of Central Arkansas.

The firm has also worked with Arkansas Tech University's nationally renowned emergency management programs, which it helped establish.



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