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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Hazardous Materials Safety Assistance Team (HMSAT)

About HMSAT

PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Safety Assistance Team (HMSAT) is responsible for face-to-face outreach and field compliance assistance on the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). HMSAT’s goal is to improve hazardous materials transportation safety and security through increased communication and education. HMSAT members are assigned to each of PHMSA’s regional offices and are available to help businesses comply with the hazardous materials transportation regulations through educational and technical assistance. HMSAT also provides compliance assistance to federal, state, and local governments.

HMSAT Bios

Eastern Region

Wayne Lalicon

Wayne Lalicon has been PHMSA's Eastern Region HMSAT since August 2020. His primary responsibilities include cultivating relationships with industry partners, federal and state agency counterparts, and the public at large; assisting the public in understanding PHMSA's regulations; and relaying and exchanging information and expertise with government colleagues. In pursuit of new challenges and novel solutions to lingering problems, he approaches each task as a possible learning opportunity. By relying on his ability to make personal connections via substantive conversation and keen listening skills, Wayne is at his best connecting individuals to key information and resources.

Prior to joining PHMSA, Wayne had served in the Peace Corps in Rwanda (2014-2017) and Benin (2018-2020) where he honed his interpersonal and multicultural communication skills. He is an alumnus of Rutgers and UC Irvine as well as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Phi Sigma Iota honor societies. For his bachelor's degree and dissertation research, Wayne conducted substantial qualitative research on transnational migration, citizenship, nurses and veterans. He is fluent in French, can converse in Kinyarwanda, and is learning Yoruba.

Have a question? Contact Wayne.

Southern Region

Elizabeth A. LaDow

Elizabeth “Liz” LaDow, joined in March of 2019 and is the lead advisor and liaison for all hazardous material outreach and engagement initiatives and activities for the Southern Regional Office serving the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. She works closely with multiple federal, state and local officials to ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials and other energy products.

Liz LaDow is an experienced materials specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. She is skilled in Administration, Training, Collaborative Leadership, Collaborative Problem Solving, Public Speaking and Project Management. She is a strong operations professional with over twenty-five years of experience working with fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, DOW, FedEx and Northrop Grumman. Her national public speaking engagements, both in-person and web-based, have included work with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles, Inc (COSTHA), and most recently with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and American Craft Spirit Association following the Hand Sanitizer Relief notice that stemmed from the Covid-19 public health emergency.

Liz LaDow, is a veteran of the United States Navy having served in the field of intermediate aircraft maintenance in primarily the location of Misawa, Japan. She completed her Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State College University (HBC) in 1996 and then obtained her Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1997. Liz is married to her husband, Ralph, who is employed at UPS, Inc. The couple live in the Atlanta metro area of Georgia. Her outside interests include both hunting & fishing, youth sports, gardening, reading and cooking.

Have a question? Contact Elizabeth.

Central Region

Neal Suchak

Neal Suchak joined PHMSA in October of 2012. He works out of the Central Region located in Chicago, IL. As a member of HMSAT, he is available to help businesses find the resources needed to comply with the HMR and to provide compliance assistance to federal, state, and local governments, and the private sector.

Neal is a 2009 graduate of Elon University in North Carolina, earning a BS in Political Science. Upon graduation, he accepted a position with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC. His work there focused on environmental contracts to include EPA Clean Water, EnergyStar, but mostly PHMSA’s Hazardous Materials Information Center.

Neal began his federal career in 2012 as a Regulatory Transportation Specialist for PHMSA’s Standards and Rulemaking Division at DOT Headquarters. After 3 years with Standards and Rulemaking, Neal transferred to the Outreach and Engagement Division, where he supported HMSAT efforts nationwide, drafted publications, produced videos for the PHMSA’s YouTube page, and helped develop national outreach strategy. In March 2018, Neal accepted a position with HMSAT for the Central Region and moved to Chicago, IL.

Have a question? Contact Neal.

Southwest Region

Michael Roberts

Mike Roberts is a member of HMSAT for the Southwestern Region. As a member of HMSAT, Mr. Roberts is dedicated to providing hazardous materials education, technical assistance, and outreach throughout the nation. 

A primary goal of this team is to improve hazardous materials transportation safety and security through increased communication and education. This requires interaction and coordination with the modal administrations, industry associations, and state and local government organizations. 

Mr. Roberts’s prior experience includes serving as a state police officer in New Mexico, working the last six years in the commercial motor vehicle division where he received training from the US DOT in all aspects of commercial motor vehicles including hazardous materials transport and inspections. As a police officer, he completed 800 to 1,000 commercial motor vehicle inspections a year. After retiring from the State Police, Mr. Roberts worked for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as an Enforcement Officer.

Mr. Roberts also served in the U.S. Air Force in Munitions and Nuclear Weapons.

Have a question? Contact Mike.

Western Region

Jack Whitley

Jack Whitley is a member of HMSAT for the Western Region. As a member of HMSAT, Mr. Whitley is dedicated to providing hazardous materials education, technical assistance, and outreach throughout the nation. 

A primary goal of this team is to improve hazardous materials transportation safety and security through increased communication and education. This requires interaction and coordination with the modal administrations, industry associations, and state and local government organizations. 

Mr. Whitley’s prior experience includes serving as an Investigator for PHMSA, as a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare Specialist in the U.S. Army (retired), as a Fire Fighter in the U.S. and abroad (Germany and Korea), and as the Hazardous Material Training Officer for the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

Have a question? Contact Jack.

Last updated: Thursday, March 18, 2021