July 5, 2018
By Laurence E. Parisi, AIA
When Superstorm Sandy devastated New Jersey in 2012, it reassured us how relevant Disaster Training is for the Architectural Community, enabling us to better serve the people of New Jersey. We quickly organized and set about to hold our training session at NJIT School of Architecture as soon as possible. I reached out to Jim Barnes, P.E. of California, who at the time was head of California Emergency Management Agency, (Cal-EMA), and expressed our plea to develop a Safety Assessment Program training session going as soon as possible.
Jim recommended Michael Lingerfelt as a trainer, who he described as the “Energizer Bunny”, he just keeps going and going. I thought, okay let’s do this and contacted Michael who without hesitation came on board. I quickly followed through organizing and putting together the necessary components for this session.
Giving up one’s Saturday to sit through 7 to 8 hours of disaster training for the cause can be a long and drawn out day. Michael actually made a dry course in disaster training a lot of fun, injecting his own personal experiences during disaster recovery. He kept such an amazing pace from early morning through the day that it was lunch before you knew it and suddenly we were signing off at 5 PM with a feeling of exuberance knowing we’ve been saturated with inciseful knowledge delivered by a very experienced expert like no other.
For me personally, the best was yet to come. Like myself, Michael is a true foodie. Anyone with several food apps on their phone as Michael did, could be classified as a foodie. Michael loved the “Diners, Dives and Drive-in’s series hosted by Guy Fieri. Michael wasn’t looking for fancy smancy restaurants he wanted to go where really good food was plated up with gusto and identified by the TV Food Maps app.
During our times together we got to know each other well. I was so amazed how fortunate and wholesome Michael’s life was. He was truly blessed with loving family, a great career with Disney and his own practice. This is all reflected in the genuine friendly, humble and sincere person that Michael was. I am privileged to have known and worked the training sessions with Michael, he was a true mentor in many respects. He will be missed by me and many of our colleagues. The Lord must have needed Michael for special training in heaven. He took Michael in the kindest way possible but a little too soon for most all of us. God blessed you Michael and you deserve it.
Architects are skilled professionals who listen to you, interpret your wishes, help realize your building dreams, and add value at every stage of a project.