Julie Shiyou-Woodard is President and Chief Executive Officer for Smart Home America, a not-for-profit organization whose work intersects disaster resilience, policy, and housing and insurance affordability.
Under her leadership, Smart Home America has created a culture of resilience. By intentionally not duplicating the efforts of others, she bolsters local efforts to scale proven solutions that strengthen homes, businesses, and multifamily dwellings to reduce disaster-related losses and insurance costs. Since 2014, her advocacy has led to policy change that enhances building methods, building codes, and incentives for beyond-code construction.
Julie has developed and managed environmental and hazard mitigation projects and funding in collaboration with federal, state, and local agencies. With over 20 years of experience in government, Julie has unique insight into what regulators and decision-makers need to make informed decisions. Her no-nonsense approach to collaboration and negotiation allows her to work alongside local, state, and federal leaders to implement policies that support property mitigation and disaster resilience.
Smart Home America is a catalyst for more than 36,000 FORTIFIED Home™ designations and over 160 FORTIFIED Commercial™ and Multifamily™ projects. Julie has been instrumental in expanding FORTIFIED and sees the critical importance of logic and efficiency when integrating mitigation at local and state levels. As an avid speaker and educator, Julie teaches about the benefits of FORTIFIED construction, flood mitigation, land use planning, and insurance as financial and economic tools to avoid disruption and reduce damage and loss after a disaster.
Julie understands that resilience is for everyone and works tirelessly to ensure the equity and insurance gaps are closed to protect our most vulnerable populations. She is purposeful in choosing pragmatic, collaborative, innovative, and persistent partners, board members, and staff. Under her guidance, Smart Home America has doubled its staff, added CEU certifications in 14 states, and diversified its mission to improve workforce housing. Julie has also successfully provided technical support for legislation and code adoption in numerous states.
Throughout her career, Julie has led with a purpose. As Principal Planner at the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, she provided vision and guidance to identify, fund, and execute environmental and hazard mitigation projects. She was also part of the original FEMA Project Impact. As a Planning and Economic Development Specialist with the State of Alabama Forestry Commission, Julie was a Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator for 33 counties helping communities achieve FireWise status. She was the Community Program Director at the Mobile County District Attorney's Office. Julie maintained community partnerships and managed a 1.2M budget to ensure successful programs. She also secured over 2.7M for programs across seven states during her time with the Youth Advocate Programs.
Julie is from Pass Christian, Mississippi, and lives in Mobile, Alabama, with her husband, two children, and their dog Charlie.