The Cyber City Café, sponsored by Rentsys, opened its doors Sunday afternoon, allowing attendees to check e-mail and surf the Web throught the conference.
Sunday workshops included sessions by: Fred Klapetzky, Mike Smith and Steven Pyle of Ernst & Young; Regina Phelps of Emergency Management and Safety Solutions; Geary Sikich of Logical Management Systems; Regina Brassil and Andrew Fernandes of Agility Recovery Services and Bob Cammack of Canadian Pacific Railway; Barney F. Pelant, MBCP, of Barney Pelant & Associates; and the mock disaster sponsored by PepperCom.
A welcome reception was held in the exhibit hall Sunday evening as attendees got their first look at more than 85 vendors with 100 booths. The exhibit hall was also open Monday and Tuesday.
“Great conference, and especially the exhibitors,” said Gerry Liukkonen of Integrated Management Services. “There was a really relevant group (of exhibitors) at this conference. There were also more than one vendor for the services and offered a chance to evaluate more.”
MessageOne co-sponsored breakfast Monday morning, prior to the official welcome from Disaster Recovery Journal Publisher, President and CEO Richard L. Arnold. Patti Fitzgerald, conference coordinator, introduced DRJ staff members.
The keynote speaker was introduced as Dr. Robert Payne, of the President’s Council on Homeland Security, but it didn’t take attendees long to figure out that
Dr. Payne was actually comedian Durwood Fincher.
Known as “Mr. Doubletalk,” Fincher portrayed Dr. Payne as a bumbling bureaucrat, using a mix of industry jargon and his unique twist on the English language. Once the charade was exposed, Fincher told a few anecdotes and showed a video segment featuring conference attendees.
“I saw people talking notes when he first started,” said Fitzgerald. “Then, when it finally clicked, everyone was laughing. It really went over well.”
Tom Daniel, from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Larry Kamer of Kamer Consulting Group rounded out Monday’s general sessions. Tuesday general session speakers included Bruce Blythe of Crisis Management International, Dr. Richard S. Klasco of Thompson Micromedex, and Jim Simmons of SunGard Availability Services. Tari Schreider of Internet Security Systems, Daniel J. Biby of Plan A, and Barry Pruitt of PruSpeak closed out the general sessions Wednesday.
“The general sessions were all well-received,” said Fitzgerald. “Obviously, Durwood Fincher did an excellent job, and we thank Agility Recovery Solutions for helping make his appearance possible.
“Tom Daniel’s account of the Pentagon disaster of 9/11 was excellent. Bruce Blythe always wows them. Tari Schreider gave some very good insight into the future of business continuance.
“Barry Pruitt’s wrap-up is as good as any keynote speaker we ever have. He does a good job taking everything you’ve learned and putting it in perspective.”
StorageTek co-sponsored lunch before Monday’s first breakout session.
Speakers included: Kelley Goggins, MBCP, of Fidelity Investments; David F. Morgan, MBCP, of Zenith Insurance; Lou Gagliardi of Hewlett Packard; Ralph Selle of Iron Mountain; Tony Arvish of AJA consulting; and Tom Mawson of DRI International.
The second breakout session included: Sandra Sullivan of Sullivan and Associates; Jim Kotowski, CBCP, of Fireman’s Fund Insurance; John Lindeman of SunGard Availability Services; Dr. Asako Takada of Takachiho University; Tommye White of InfoCom Solutions; and Michele L. Turner, CBCP, of EMC.
The third breakout session included: Virginia Miller, CBCP, GCP, of Keane Inc.; Dennis Hodge of McLeod USA; Tom Flesher of E-Net; Ted Brown, CBCP, of Strohl Systems; Mike Cannon, CBCP, of Bank of America; and Gerald Montella of Mail-Gard Concepts.
After a long day of seminars, attendees were treated to Monday Night Hospitality co-hosted by Agility Recovery Solutions.
Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. co-sponsored lunch after Tuesday’s general sessions. The final breakout session followed, including: Bob Gaudreau of Regus; Gerry Printz, CBCP, of Amsador; Mona Hogue of Fujitsu Softek; Dennis Morgan, CBCP, of ABM-AMRO North America; Jarrett Potts of IBM; and Gus Anagnos and Tom Arlow, CPA, of General Motors.
Tuesday afternoon workshops were conducted by: Ted C. Buffington of Vigilant Learning; Regina Phelps of Emergency Management and Safety Solutions; Elizabeth Diamond of Technology Connections; Barney F. Pelant, MBCP, of Barney Pelant & Associates; Norris L. Beren, CPCM, of Risk Reduction Education; and Steve Davis of DavisLogic and All Hands Consulting.
“This was a great experience,” said Erica Oglevie of Pioneer Communications. “I always aim to come back from a conference with three modification tasks to implement in my processes. This week I have 35 pages of ideas to explore when I get home. This conference made a big impact.”
Wednesday morning, prior to the first general session on Sept. 11, 2002, attendees stood silent in honor of those who died in New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania one year earlier.
Later Wednesday morning, Cynthia Ponessa of National City Corporation won the $500 attendance first prize. Robert Burks, CBCP, of Acxiom and Debra Luna of Discover Financial Services each won $250 for second and third prize.
Post-conference courses continued until Friday afternoon. Instructors included: Barry Pruitt of PruSpeak and Michael Herra, CBCP, of MH & Associates; Tommye White of InfoCom Solutions; Regina Phelps of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions; Dr. Raja K. Iyer, CBCP, of Acropolis Inc.; and Dr. Thomas Phelan of Strategic Teaching Associates Inc.
Several hundred people came early and stayed the whole week to take advantage of all the educational opportunities.
DRJ’s 28th conference, Spring World 2003, will take place March 30 - April 2 back in Orlando.
“The venue is the same, but that’s the only thing,” said Fitzgerald. “We may have a few of the same speakers, but it’s a completely different agenda. A lot of our speakers who were involved in recoveries from the World Trade Center attacks were not able to make it to this conference because it fell on the one-year anniversary. They will be there for the spring conference.”
To celebrate our 15th year, DRJ is giving away a Walt Disney World vacation package and 10 passes to take part in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. See a copy of our brochure on pages 79-85 for complete details.
Jon Seals is managing editor of the Disaster Recovery Journal. Please contact him at email@example.com.