Some 1,200+ contingency planning professionals, including attendees, speakers, and exhibitors, gathered at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina in San Diego, California, for DRJ’s 18th conference.
The conference dates were Sunday, March 15 through Wednesday, March 18, 1998. DRJ chose these dates for the convenience of the attendees. A Sunday starting date allowed attendees to travel over a weekend, making it more affordable. Having all the events in one hotel also made it easier for attendees to network before, during, and after conference events.
"I would like to extend my congratulations to you, the DRJ staff and vendors who participated in the San Diego Seminar. This particular conference was extraordinary and abound with ‘world-class’ features," said attendee Wyman Reese, CBCP.
"Great guest speakers and applicable topics. This one was really good," added another attendee, Teresia Harwell.
The seminar began on Sunday afternoon with six in-depth workshops. Workshop leaders were Kathleen Lucey, Solutions with Technologies; Jack Wiles, Oltronics Security Services; Ben Woodworth, First Tennessee Bank; Michael Braham, Bell Atlantic Federal; Barney Pelant, Barney F. Pelant & Assc.; and Tari Schreider, Paranet, Inc.
The workshops were three hours in length and were attended by a majority of the conference participants.
"I like the way the conference stays on track. I always learn something new," said Linda Young, a conference attendee.
A welcome reception, hosted by DRJ, on Sunday evening capped off the days’ activities. The reception provided a way for attendees to meet one another and visit with exhibitors.
"Very well done. Most beneficial," said attendee Herb Lewis.
On Monday, motivational speaker Lou Heckler kicked off the conference with a rousing speech entitled "Tough Times Don’t Last...Tough Planners Do!".
General Session 2 featured a panel discussion on "Lessons Learned From Public and Private Sectors." The panel members were: Dr. Richard Andrews, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services; James J. Petroni, California Specialized Training Institute; John Jackson, Comdisco; John Nevola, IBM Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation; Chris Bach, City of San Diego; and Kenneth A. Smith, SunGard Planning Solutions.
Attendees were able to view the exhibit hall during the welcome reception on Sunday evening and again, beginning at 10:30 a.m., on Monday.
The exhibit hall was packed with more than 80 vendors. They were displaying some of the latest products and services available in the contingency planning industry. Ample time was provided for viewing and networking with the exhibitors. Prize drawings and refreshments in the exhibit hall provided additional attractions.
Following lunch and dessert on Monday, the afternoon breakout sessions began. These sessions are held in six tracks: strategic, technical, managerial, communications, emergency response, and information. There were three separate breakout session time slots on Monday afternoon.
The first time slot, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m., featured the following speakers and topics: Michael Kadar, Detroit Edison, "The Foundation of Quality BC Planning: Customer Requirements"; Roseann McSorley and Bob Cassiliano, JP Morgan, "Trading Floor Recovery"; Jim Grogan, SunGard Recovery Services, "Recovery Planning for the PC LAN and WAN Environments"; David Mounce, The Options Clearing Corporation, "Escalation, Notification, and Plan Activation"; Bob Campbell, Peak Consulting, "Disaster Recovery/Network Security"; and Armando Garza, NOAA National Weather Service, "Weather Events - Impacts and Partnerships".
Following a break, the second breakout sessions were held from 2:45 - 3:45 p.m. The speakers and topics were: Tonya York, Charles Schwab, "Servicing the Enterprise DR System"; Joe Rocheleau, Dayton Hudson Corporation, "Where Will Your Business Units Go?"; Jeanne Powell, IBM BRS, "Disaster Recovery Considerations for LANs/WANs"; Len Neuzil, The Options Clearing Corporation, "Systems/Business Recovery Readiness for the New Millennium"; Fred Luevano, Jr., Northrop Grumman, "Developing and Testing the DRP"; and Joan Warren, Nike, Inc., "Leveraging New Techniques to Meet End-to-End Recovery Challenges".
The final breakout sessions on Monday were held from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. The speakers and topics presented during this time slot were: Anthony Adame and Angela Towler, Ernst & Young LLP, "Validating the Business Continuity Planning Process"; Roseann McSorley, JP Morgan, "Business Continuity Awareness: Just An Awareness Program or Culture Change?"; Jim Owens, IBM Corporation, "Coldsite: Myth or Reality"; Pat Moore, Strohl Systems, "Planning for Recovery and Continuity of Operations in a Manufacturing Environment"; Dan Josephites, Hewitt Associates, "Enterprise Virus Control - One Company’s Approach"; and Jay Bender and Bill Langendoerfer, DRI International, "Certification Programs for BCPs".
Monday evening attendees and others were treated to a hospitality reception sponsored by StorageTek. The festivities provided another opportunity for networking and sharing among attendees, exhibitors and others.
Tuesday kicked off with two more general sessions. The first of the day, General Session 3, was led by John McDonald of Fleishman-Hillard/St. Louis. His topic was "TWA Flight 800". General Session 4 featured Ernest Del Bueno of The Corporate Response Group. His topic was "Crisis Management 101: Problems and Options".
Tuesday afternoon, additional breakout sessions were held from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m. The presenters and their topics included the following: Robert Jensen, Fatality Management Systems, "Mass Fatalities: Overview on Corporate Roles and Responsibilities in Protecting Business Rights"; Norman Harris, Norman Harris Associates, Inc., "The Management Challenge: Building the Business/Disaster Recovery Culture"; Carl Jackson, Ernst & Young LLP, "Business Impact Assessment How-To"; Jeffrey Williams, Binomial International, "Incident Command Escalating to Disaster Declarations"; Ray Rudnitskas, SunGard Recovery Services Inc., "Disaster Recovery Networking"; and Richard Corcoran, Eastman Kodak, "Bridging the Gap From Policy to Procedures".
Following a break with prize drawings and refreshments in the exhibit hall, Tuesday afternoon workshops began at 3:00 p.m. The presenters and their topics were: Barry Pruitt, PruSpeak Consulting, "Managing a Safe Workplace Environment"; Ed Devlin, Peak Consulting, "Communicating During A Crisis"; Conrad Melton, Stress Defusing and Recovery Systems, "Accelerating Employees’ Recovery After A Disaster"; Frank Bartolone, Standard Life Assurance, and Stephen Piggot, Comdisco Professional Services, "Business Continuity 101"; John Laye, Contingency Management Consultants, "EOC Operations and Logistic Management"; Randy Middlebrooks and Rod Florendo, IBM Corporation, "Workgroup Recovery Workshop".
On Tuesday evening, many attended various hospitalities hosted by several exhibitors. In addition, an attendee trip to Tijuana, Mexico, was an entertainment option.
On Wednesday, the last day of the conference, attendees heard the three final General Session speakers.
General Session 5 was led by Greg Nelson of Microsoft Corporate Security. His topic was "Gunman on Campus: What Happens When Your Plan Is Put to the Test?".
General Session 6 featured a three person panel moderated by Cris Castro of Ernst & Young LLP. The panel topic was "Year 2000 Roundtable" and the members were: Allan Graham, Comdisco; Jim Dibrino, SunGard Recovery Services Inc.; and Anthony Martinez, IBM Business Recovery Services.
General Session 7 featured W. Christopher Jesse of Tangram Enterprise Solutions, Inc. His topic was entitled, "The Naked Emperor: Exposing the Ignored Critical Issues of the Distributed Enterprise".
The conference closed following Wednesday’s lunch. Certification classes, given by DRI International, were held Wednesday through Friday, for those who wished to participate.
Janette Ballman is a senior editor for the DRJ.
Many people visited the DRJ booth and ordered copies of the new World CD.