I was first given responsibility for disaster recovery planning in 1985 while working at, what was then known as, Bank of Virginia in Richmond, VA. We were a UNISYS shop and had a mainframe recovery subscription with a company whose name I no longer remember that had a UNISYS recovery facility in Warminster, PA. I have been working in the fields of disaster recovery, business continuity, emergency response and crisis management, in a corporate management or consulting capacity ever since. You do the math to determine how many years’ experience that equates to – I am not sure I want to!
But, even after all those years, I am still learning new things, new techniques, better solutions, better methodologies, etc., each and every day. And, through conferences such as the just completed 2012 DRJ Fall World, I accelerate that learning process and I meet more and more people that help me grow and learn along the way.
Way back in 1985, I started attending industry conferences, user groups and professional training seminars. Throughout the years, I have attended numerous DRJ conferences – first as a practitioner; then, after gaining experience and confidence, as a presenter; and then, after being employed by DR and BCP services organizations, as a vendor. This year, although I am back in the consulting industry with a new company – I attended the conference once again in a practitioner capacity – and had a wonderful experience.
From the very first General Session on Monday morning where I learned that I am ignorant – but that is not a bad thing – to the very last General Session on Wednesday where I learned how to recall, in order of ratification, the original thirteen colonies of the United States, I was enthralled, entertained and learning new things.
I love the fact that when I attend these conferences, after all these years, it is like having an annual reunion with the so many old friends I have been privileged to make throughout the years and yet, I still meet loads and loads of new folks – some new to the field and others just new to me. I was so happy to see, at this conference, so many new and young faces helping to instill fresh new ideas into our field.
I personally wish to thank the tremendous presenters who so freely shared their knowledge with those in attendance at their sessions in a thought-provoking and often entertaining way. I want to thank the vendors who took time to talk to me about their products and services and who were willing to share their experiences and thoughts with me. And, I want to thank all of the other participants who swapped business cards with me, exchanged challenges and solutions with each other over breakfast, lunch and after session get-togethers. And, of course, thanks goes out to the DRJ Team, management and staff that did a terrific job, once again, in organizing and orchestrating the conference.
I don’t know how four days can go by so fast and yet seem to cram in so much stuff that I feel physically and mentally exhausted but yet energized and eager to put to practice some of the new ideas and knowledge I gained. As my plane is descending into Seattle and I am being told I must power down my electronic device, I am both glad to be home and yet, already looking forward to the next conference.
Oh, by the way, those colonies would be: Dollar Ware (Delaware); two pens (Pennsylvania); Jersey Cow (New Jersey); King George (Georgia); connect his cut (Connecticut); massive block of ice (Massachusetts); Marilyn Monroe (Maryland); pointing south (South Carolina); a new ham (New Hampshire); a Virginia peanut (Virginia); the Empire State Building (New York); point north (North Carolina); and, a Rhode Island Rooster (Rhode Island).