Kate Cocke is co-founder and owner of SAFEq™ Institute, Inc. The Institute brings together Southern California’s cities and building owners with information, activities, and professional services to minimize business loss in the event of a severe earthquake or other disasters.
Kate is also co-founder of Structural Focus, a Southern California-based structural engineering firm and has served as CFO since the company’s inception in 2001. She brought her previous experience from Bechtel where she worked for 21 years and became well versed in preparedness and emergency response. There, she worked on projects such as the siting study for the first high-level nuclear waste repository in the U.S., as well as the development of radiation protection and emergency response programs for Bechtel-designed nuclear power facilities. She also managed several hazardous waste projects for Superfund sites and developed numerous EPA-approved mitigation plans.
Kate received a B.S. in Health Physics from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in Health Physics from California State University San Jose.
David Cocke, S.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, F.SEAOC
David Cocke is co-founder of SAFEq™ Institute. David is a recognized expert in building business resiliency and continuity related to disaster risks. He was an on-the-ground responder, inspecting buildings for weeks after the Loma Prieta, California earthquake.
Working with the challenges of getting people back in their buildings and back to work fueled his belief that preplanning and partnerships with Cities can substantially minimizing business interruption in the wake of an earthquake or other disasters. That belief was the driving idea behind the SAFEq™ Institute, serving as a resource for post-disaster inspections information and providing direct services to government entities. David has been instrumental in introducing the Back to Business (B2B) to cities and building owners in Southern California.
He co-founded Structural Focus, a Southern California-based structural engineering firm, in 2001 after 20 years in the structural engineering business. He is a leader in structural design for all building types with special expertise in historic buildings and film industry structures.
David is an active participant at the Buildings at Risk Summits, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, California Preservation Foundation, Pasadena Heritage, the California Historical Building Safety Board and the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California. He is a registered Volunteer Disaster Service Worker for the California Emergency Management Agency. David is a licensed Structural Engineer with a B.S. from Virginia Tech and an M.S. from San Jose State.
Samuel Mengelkoch, S.E.
Director of Operations
Samuel Mengelkoch is a member of the SAFEq™ Institute leadership team and joined Structural focus in 2004 after moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco where he had practiced as a part of a large A/E firm. He has worked closely with major film production studios in their planning and preparedness for earthquakes.
Sam is committed to the idea of City resiliency and has seen struggles first hand having volunteered with the California Office of Emergency Services to provide structural engineering support in areas heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in and around New Orleans. Sam has been instrumental in introducing the Back to Business Program to cities and building owners in Southern California.
Sam is an active member of the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and the Urban Land Institute, and is a registered Volunteer Disaster Service Worker for the California Emergency Management Agency. He is a licensed Civil and Structural Engineer and holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and an M.Eng. from the University of California Berkeley.
Russell Kehl, S.E.
Director of Engineering
Russell Kehl is a member of the SAFEq™ Institute leadership team and joined Structural Focus in 2001. Russell has project managed several major seismic retrofits for historically prominent buildings including the Hotel Del Coronado, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, as well as comprehensive building evaluations for a major entertainment studio in Burbank.
He has experience working on a variety of challenging projects that include structural analysis, computer modeling, seismic evaluation, historic renovations, the design of new structures, and the seismic retrofit of existing structures.
Russell is a registered volunteer Disaster Service Worker for the California Emergency Management Agency and a member of the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Institute of Steel Construction. He is a licensed Structural Engineer and earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University and an M.S. in Civil Engineering in 1998 from The University of Texas at Austin.