About Us

Our Firm

Originally founded as Electrical Utility Disaster Specialists, Inc. in 2015, EUDS Consulting is the brainchild of co-founders Gary Grubbs and Ken Smith, both electrical engineers who have each spent years working within the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program. As our founding name indicates, our firm was built upon the unique knowledge and decades of experience our founding partners have established working with both large- and small-scale electrical utility-related disasters. And while this remains an important component of our business, we have the expertise to assist our clients with all their disaster recovery needs.

Our professional staff includes former FEMA employees and other career professionals with years of experience in damage assessment, cost estimating, appeals, grants management, hazard mitigation and other aspects of the PA process. And as a longtime provider of technical assistance contractors to the PA program, we have an in-depth knowledge of the complexities of the PA process and what it really takes to get you the funding you need.

And while we have staff located across the country, we are first and foremost a small business that prioritizes direct client communication and a personalized approach to every job that we take on.

Our Team

With decades of FEMA experience, our team can help you to expertly navigate the pitfalls and opportunities of the Public Assistance program.

 

Gary E. Grubbs, PE

Co-Founder, President & CEO
Full Bio

Ken Smith

Co-Founder, Vice President & COO
Full Bio

Thomas E. Grubbs​

Project Manager & CFO
Full Bio

Steve Clark

Senior Marketing Manager
Full Bio

Dava Jo Brown Bray, MBA​

Project Manager, Electrical Specialist
Full Bio

Chris Brewer, PE, MBA

Project Manager, Water & Wastewater Specialist
Full Bio

John E. Newland, PE

Electrical Engineer/Utility Consultant
Full Bio

Sam LaMar

Engineering/Utility Consultant
Full Bio

John A. Phelps, Jr.

Local Government Consultant
Full Bio

Gary E. Grubbs, PE

Co-Founder, President & CEO

Gary has more than 40 years of experience in the engineering, operation, and management of electric cooperatives and other utilities, and has worked on numerous FEMA-declared disasters from the utility side as well as the state regulatory side. In 2014, he received PA TAC training in Washington DC, including PW writing and CEF and was deployed to Region VII (Kansas City) for 18 months where he served as a Senior Electrical Engineer writing technical reports for appeals as well as working PW close-outs. During March of 2016 he was deployed as a Project Manager to the Jefferson City, MO JFO working DR-4238 DR-4250. Mid-way during this deployment, he was reassigned as the lead for writing Cat A, B, and G PWs for the Missouri Department of Conservation. His responsibilities included gathering of documents to determine eligibility status of the applicants, determining eligibility of their facilities, performing kick off meetings, scheduling and conducting site visits, assessing damages, estimating costs, writing PWs, reviewing PWs written by his Project Specialists prior to submittal, and performing exit briefings with his applicants and state counterparts.

Prior to his FEMA TAC work, Gary held a range of engineering-related positions at all levels of management. He has served as the manager of engineering and vice-president of engineering and operation at two electric utilities. Gary spent three years as the engineering manager and engineering division director for the Kentucky Public Service Commission, following which he worked with a national consulting firm as Senior Electrical Engineer for 8 years. After this, Gary started his own firm working as an independent engineering consultant. He has managed many different levels of technical, professional, and operational work groups and has held the lead position for many projects of all scopes and sizes and has taught numerous classes and workshops in various subjects such as the NESC and NEC.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and is a Professional Engineer registered to practice in Kentucky and Tennessee. He resides in Glasgow, Kentucky with his wife Pam.

 

Ken Smith

Co-Founder, Vice President & COO

Ken has worked in the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) world for over 15 years. During this time, he has been involved in almost every type of disaster and every phase of the PA Program.

Ken has performed Primary Disaster Assessments (PDAs) and worked as a Project Specialist helping applicants to formulate projects, understand FEMA eligibility rules, track and organize project costs, address possible hazard mitigation opportunities, and more. Additionally, he has multiple years of experience working with other parts of the PA process, including as a Quality Control Specialist, Closeout Specialist, and Technical Writer for Appeals response. Ken’s experience also includes working directly with the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, closing out hundreds of millions of dollars of electrical utility projects. This experience has given him a deep understanding of FEMA eligibility issues regarding eligible work, costs, contracts, mitigation, and types of projects (improved and alternate projects).

Before working on FEMA-related work, Ken spent 18 years as a database and software designer. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Northridge. Ken resides in Santa Clarita, California.

Thomas E. Grubbs

Project Manager & CFO

As Chief Financial Officer, Thomas is responsible for the company’s primary financial functions. He also oversees and manages the human resources, communications, and information technology components of the business, as well as assisting with day-to-day business leadership and corporate strategy efforts.

Before joining EUDS Consulting, Thomas worked as a Regional Planner at the Barren River Area Development District (BRADD), where he managed a ten-county Water Management Council and worked to promote a regional approach to infrastructure development and management. In this role, Thomas worked closely with each of the region’s 25+ water and wastewater utilities to develop new capital projects, prioritize long-range planning, pursue various federal and state funding opportunities, and update system data, asset inventories, and GIS mapping of distribution & collection systems. While at BRADD, Thomas also worked closely with the Kentucky Division of Water and the Kentucky Rural Water Association to develop the state’s first new Source Water Area Protection Plan in over 15 years. Thomas also assisted with GIS mapping, community planning and development, and grant writing, including developing applications for Homeland Security, Hazard Mitigation, and Energy Efficiency and Conservation grants.

Prior to this, Thomas worked as a Sustainability Analyst and Research Assistant at the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) at the university of Kentucky, where he developed sustainability assessments for small- and large-scale microalgae production processes; constructed and tested full-scale algal photobioreactors for coalfired powerplant CO2 capture; conducted research into carbon capture and reutilization at a local brewery, including supply chain analyses and life-cycle assessments; conducted solar modeling and analysis to determine best practices for large-scale photobioreactor design; and assisted with the design of a 5-acre photobioreactor project in Zhengzhou, China.

Thomas holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture (with a double major in Environmental & Sustainability Studies), a Master of Arts in Geography, and a graduate certificate in Historic Preservation, all from the University of Kentucky. He is a certified Utility Management Professional and a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Certified Administrator. He is currently working his way through the Emergency Management Institute’s online Independent Study program to learn more about the Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation process.

Thomas lives in Glasgow, Kentucky with his wife Samantha and his dog Alfie.

Steve Clark

Senior Marketing Manager

Steve Clark has more than 13 years of experience across the disaster response and recovery spectrum, having spent five years in state government and eight years in the private sector. Steve is experienced with all aspects of the FEMA PA process, including eligibility, facilities, and policies including damage assessments, scope of work development, cost estimating, the 428 PAAP Program, Section 404 and 406 Hazard Mitigation Programs, Benefit Costs Analyses (BCAs), project closeout, Covid-19 project development and more.

He has supported recovery operations on countless federal disaster declarations, including flooding, tornadoes, winter storms, and pandemics, as well as Hurricanes Katrina, Irene, Sandy, Harvey, Maria, and Matthew to name a few.

Steve is also an experienced Sales Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. He is skilled in negotiation, management, business development, innovative problem solving, construction means and methods, and project delivery. He is a strong program and project management professional with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida
 
Prior to joining EUDS Consulting, Mr. Clark served as a state disaster recovery specialist for the states of Florida, New York, Virginia, and Texas. His federal experience includes multiple FEMA deployments. In addition to having written and submitted hundreds of grant applications across all categories of permanent and emergency work, Steve has also performed closeouts, acted in policy advisory roles, and written numerous determination memos.

Steve is a husband and a father of three. In his spare time, he is a youth baseball and basketball coach, and volunteers with a local non-profit organization focused on providing inner city youth with mentorship.

Dava Jo Brown Bray, MBA

Project Manager

As a project manager for EUDS Consulting, Dava Jo is one of the primary points of contacts for our clients. Her most recent efforts have been in response to DR-4595, assisting with emergency road repairs in Cumberland County, KY on behalf of the Cumberland County Fiscal Court.

Dava Jo has a wealth of experience across a wide array of disciplines, having held the following titles during her varied career prior to joining EUDS: Engineering Co-op, Manufacturing Engineer, Product Development Engineer, Power Quality Engineer, and Project Manager. During college, Dava Jo worked for Ford Motor Company’s Body and Assembly and Electronics Divisions. Upon graduation, she was hired on full time with Ford Electronics Division (which later became Visteon). While at Ford/Visteon, she had the opportunity to work on electric vehicles and distributed generation as both a Product Designer and as a Project Manager. Following the birth of their first child, her husband transferred to Bowling Green, KY to work at GM’s Corvette Assembly Plant. As a result, Dava Jo not only changed jobs but also the industry in which she worked, moving from the automotive industry to working for a rural electric co-op. At Warren Rural Electric Cooperative, Dava Jo served both as Power Quality Engineer and as Program Manager for all commercial and industrial energy efficiency and reliability programs. While there, she also networked with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on rates and metering and served on multiple TVA program development committees related to commercial and industrial customers.

In addition to her work and spending time with her family, Dava Jo also pursues her double “joys” of serving others and exercising. As a member of her church’s local outreach ministry program, she has been afforded the opportunity to work with the impoverished, immigrants, and refugees of all ethnicities and walks of life. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Refuge Bowling Green. And as a certified Functional Aging Specialist and a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, Dava Jo spends at least 6 hours per week teaching spin, weights, and yoga classes at an over-50’s gym. She finds it both inspirational and enlightening to watch her clients achieve their physical and functional goals, all the while staying fit and taking care of themselves both physically and mentally.

Dava Jo was raised in Kentucky but later moved to Michigan with a brief stop in Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI-EMI) and an MBA from Lawrence Technological University. She currently resides in Bowling Green, KY with her husband and three children.

Chris Brewer, PE, MBA

Project Manager, Water & Wastewater Specialist

As a Project Manager and our resident water and wastewater guru, Chris helps our clients with the recovery and repair of their water and sewer systems following disaster events.

Chris has more than 30 years of engineering experience and is an expert in dealing with water and wastewater utilities. During this time, he has worked in both the private and public sectors, including serving as the Construction Superintendent, Assistant General Manager, and Director of Environmental Services for the Barbourville Utility Commission in Barbourville, KY, where he was the manager for all water treatment and distribution, wastewater collections and treatment, and flood control activities. Chris also had oversight of the utility’s electric distribution, cable television, and fiber internet systems.

Chris has more than five years of experience operating under FEMA’s Public Assistance program. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Kentucky, and is licensed operator at the following levels:

  • Class IV-A Water Treatment Plant Operator
  • Class IV-D Water Distribution Operator
  • Class II Wastewater Collections Operator

Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY. Chris resides in Barbourville, KY with his wife Susan.

John Newland (Reduced)

John E. Newland, PE

Electrical Engineer / Utility Consultant

John has almost 50 years of experience in the electrical utility industry and recently retired as the Vice President of Engineering at Kenergy Corp (a consolidation of Henderson Union Electric Cooperative and Green River Electric Cooperative) in Henderson, Kentucky. Prior to serving Kenergy as its VP of Engineering, John served Henderson Union Electric Cooperative as the Director of Engineering & Operations and, previously, as System Engineer. Prior to joining Henderson, John spent five years as a staff engineer for the firm Central Associated Engineers in Versailles, KY. He is the Past President of the Engineering & Operations Association, Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives. John is a registered Professional Engineer in Kentucky & Indiana, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky. He currently assists EUDS in providing engineering support to Henderson Municipal Power & Light as well as general utility and engineering consulting to several of our other clients as needed.

 

Sam Lamar (Reduced)

Sam LaMar

Engineering / Utility Consultant

Sam has almost 40 years in the electrical utility industry, 32 of which were spent working in various roles at Henderson Municipal Power & Light (HMPL), where he recently retired as the Manager of Transmission and Distribution. Previously, he served HMPL as a Journey Linemen, Substation Technician, and Line Supervisor. Sam holds an Associate of Applied Science in Diesiel and Hydraulics Technology from Wabash Valley Jr. College. He currently assists EUDS in providing engineering support to Henderson Municipal Power & Light as well as general utility and engineering consulting to several of our other clients as needed. Sam lives in Henderson, KY.

John Phelps (Reduced)

John A. Phelps, Jr.

Local Government Consultant

John recently finished his third term as the Judge/Executive of Cumberland County, KY. During his 12 years in office, he worked tirelessly to promote and grow his home county. Working together with the Burkesville-Cumberland County Industrial Development Authority, John helped to attract several new industries to the County, including Jomel Seams Reasonable and Southern Kentucky Distillery. He most recently assisted with the purchase of 90 acres for the development of Cumberland County’s first Industrial Park. John also led the County through three consecutive FEMA-declared flooding disasters (DR-4428, DR-4595, DR-4663). During this time, he served his region and state as the President of the Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association (2020), the Board Chair of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District (2019), and the Chairman of the Lake Cumberland District Health Department (2015-2018), among many other appointed or elected positions. Prior to becoming Judge/Executive, John worked as a real estate agent with Davis and Associates; various positions with Union Planters Bank of the Cumberlands and First & Farmers National Banks, including Assistant Vice President and Disaster Preparedness Officer; and as a Processing Engineer and Area Assistant Supervisor with Bob Evans Manufacturing. John is a proud resident of Lawson Bottom, just outside of Burkesville, KY, where he lives with his wife Lesley and raises beef cattle and hay with his 76-year-old mother. John and Lesley have been married for 37 years and have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.