For DRI International and the DRI Foundation, I’m just an instructor and the Volunteerism guy. But I suppose, first and foremost, I am a passionate Business Continuity Planning (BCP) guy who believes in the premise of what we do for a living. In a nutshell, we seek to protect people, stuff. I believe in appropriate, dedicated, focused BC planning to ensure pre-planned and prepared outage response by properly trained staff and leadership. I believe in commitment of resources and engaged thought leadership by the senior management teams. As a DRI instructor and a BC practitioner of more than 20 years, I believe in education and awareness. I have worked to spread the BCP gospel and “make it real” for all who would listen.
Our Conference in Philadelphia brings much of what I just said to the forefront. Last year in New Orleans we volunteered first. We got sweaty and dirty, made new friends, felt good about our blisters and sun burn, and then had the opportunity to learn from so many industry experts. As we then joined together as a family of BCP professionals we were able to study, think, soul search, and validate our BCP methods and procedures.
This conference hit the hot topics and the traditional. We talked about the most compelling issues that confronted us and we drilled down to highlight the solutions that may satisfy our most urgent worries and concerns. Attending the sessions of many really smart and experienced people we filled our toolboxes with some new ideas and reinforced some old ones. At days end, the panel discussions by each of the day’s speakers allowed us to see and hear what we may have missed. We had plenty of time to visit vendor booths, share meals together, and have informational informal chats with new found friends with whom we shared information and insights.
Sharing BCP notes is an age old tradition in this business. Rarely in my many years doing this have I known BCP folks to deny a request for information sharing. We really are a profession of helpers in so many ways. We are happy to share, and happy to celebrate in the successes of our peers at other organizations, and they seek to harden and keep their firms ready for the unexpected. Seeing others succeed with that which helped us be successful is really rewarding. That’s what I think you will find at DRI2013 in June…a community of professionals who have individually and collectively “been down that path” before and aren’t bashful about sharing their thoughts, successes, and pitfalls.
So with that said — and all that Philly has to offer in terms of its culture, history, music, food and entertainment — make 2013 the year you attend our conference. Volunteer with like-minded caring people from all backgrounds and locations, swing a hammer, sort and package food products, help the community, make a new friend or two, learn some new BCP tricks, enjoy our social events, and come away feeling good about your profession and yourself. What could be better?
All the best,
Director of Volunteerism and Vice President