Fall World 2014

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Summer Journal

Volume 27, Issue 3

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BC/DR Profession Helping Itself

A primary purpose of DRJ’s Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) is to assist in enhancing DRJ conferences and magazine. The board is staffed by 16 experienced BC/DR professionals with an excelsior mindset. It is also a group that changes, by design. There are term limits and that means people roll-off and new members are elected.

At our board meeting during Spring World 2011, three members completed their initial service to the EAB. Martin Myers, David Shimberg and Sara Williams all completed two consecutive terms. David and Sara contributed many valuable ideas and countless hours of service; and we all thank them very much (and also know they will continue their support and involvement with EAB committees).

However, I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank Martin Myers. Martin has served as the EAB chairperson for the last two years; as well as the first chairperson of the rules and regulations committee. Martin is a superb leader and anyone who has ever met him knows he is a true “southern gentleman.” As David and Sara will no doubt continue supporting DRJ EAB committee work; Martin will continue to be a driving force with the rules and regulations committee. As Martin’s chairperson successor, I know that Martin is available to me for advice and guidance. Thank you Martin, David and Sara.

As three EAB members completed their service, the board elected three new members. Cole Emerson, Colleen Huber and Theresa Crawford are beginning their terms and we look forward to their expertise and passion to enhance DRJ conferences and magazine.

Our Profession Helping Itself


In my travels around the country, I have the pleasure of seeing a broad perspective of our profession and would like to make two observations. Just this week I attended a community-wide tabletop exercise at an ACP meeting. It was an excellent exercise that challenged the participants through several realistic issues they had little to no control over, but definitely impact business.

One element of the scenario was weather-related and the exercise facilitator reached out to a local news station and involved the evening anchor and chief meteorologist to present situation updates; just as they would present them on-air. They did a phenomenal job! The chapter even arranged for the district’s US Congressman to participate.

Various types of local user groups are organizing community-wide tabletop exercises. BC/DR planners are gaining valuable knowledge and partnerships (both with peers and public sector agencies) that will contribute to them enhancing their entities’ BC/DR program, plans and capabilities. Our profession is helping itself by sharing experiential insights and proven practices to help each other get better at what we do – add value to our organizations.

Another example of our profession helping itself is the proliferation of formalized BC/DR program frameworks. More and more companies are developing greater structure to their programs; which will strengthen and sustain the recovery readiness of the entity and ultimately enhance the customer experience. I will admit that there are various degrees of robustness of programs in our profession; but establishing baseline program elements is better than developing isolated plans and capabilities in a vacuum. It has been proven that policies, standards, governance and reporting processes reduce risk and add value to the business when they become part of the companies’ DNA.

Years ago only the larger corporations invested in programs. That trend is shifting. More and more small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) recognize the value a comprehensive program adds to the business. Sure regulatory requirements, audit issues and risk appetite are determinants of BC/DR investments.

Whether you believe is it an appropriate decision factor or not, many companies do base at least part of their decision on how much to invest in BC/DR on “What is our competition doing? What level of resilience/readiness do they have?” Our profession is helping itself by enhancing BC/DR programs - and not just updating recovery plans once a year.

As a managing consultant in Forsythe’s business continuity practice, Peter Laz, MBCP, helps customers design, implement and manage risk management programs. He is responsible for executive oversight of BC/DR engagements and development of best-practice methodologies. Peter is also the chairperson of the DRJ Editorial Advisor Board.