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Volume 31, Issue 1

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DRII column

It has been said that one of the few constants in life is change. We are living in a world where the truth of this statement is on daily display; we wake each morning in this new millennium, and we pick up the newspaper or watch the news on television to see what new developments have occurred since we last checked. The "news" is all about change, and the changes we see every day influence our lives. Some of these changes we cause ourselves, and some we simply try to live with in the hope that more changes of a positive nature will occur. Of the changes we cause, some are significant. We can elect to change our course from time to time, to set sail from the harbor of safety and "the way we’ve always done it" to the open sea of possibility, and risk. Our industry came into being to deal with this open sea, to plot our courses as against possibility and risk, and to ensure the security of our ships. Today, and for the foreseeable future, the seas we face are rough indeed – but dealing with rough seas is what we are for.

DRI International was born in 1988 to support our industry with education and business continuity certification programs. We were the first certification available in this field, and we have been a part of its growing pains ever since. Indeed, we have suffered growing pains of our own. Most of the accomplishments of DRII over the years have come from the support we have been fortunate to receive from the very best minds in business continuity, and these volunteers have given generously of their time and their passion to move our industry forward. We have worked alongside other organizations to accomplish this forward motion, and it is upon these organizations – and the volunteers that have been such an integral part of our progress thus far – that I would like to call to get our ship of industry moving toward the open sea again.

It is time for us to change. We must have common definitions in our industry, and we must work with our colleagues in risk management and security to better define our respective roles in corporate governance. We must come together in a way that makes our ship greater than the sum of its parts. In short, we must become the value proposition that we have been trying to communicate to executive management for all the years I have been associated with disaster recovery and business continuity (which has come lately to feel like a very long time indeed).

DRI International will continue to support the business continuity industry, and the organizations with whom we have traditionally shared this sometimes frustrating but always enduring passion. We have always recognized the need for professional organizations to provide forums for knowledge sharing and to raise the level of awareness that will promote a greater state of preparedness. To further promote membership in these organizations, DRI International will offer a 10 percent discount on the courses we teach to all members of business continuity professional groups. We recognize our shared goals, and we support the need for our industry to come together in networking meetings with are offered by the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP), the Contingency Planning Exchange (CPE), the Contingency Planning Association of the Carolinas (CPAC), the Northeast Disaster Recovery Information Exchange (NEDRIX), and many other similar groups. These associations have played a fundamental role in the history of business continuity planning, and DRII will continue to encourage membership of BCP professionals in local chapters so that we can better share our valuable knowledge and experience.

In addition, to make our certification more practical to obtain, DRII will now allow those professionals having completed one of our core courses to not only take our qualifying examination as an included component of the course, but also to take the examination a second time if necessary without charge – thereby saving the $500 examination fee and making the overall cost of the most recognized credential in our industry not only potentially more economical but more predictable as well.

Our longstanding partner, the Disaster Recovery Journal, will continue to offer our certified professionals a 10 percent discount on DRJ conference registration fees, as they have since 1989.

It is time for business continuity planning to become business continuity management, and business continuity professionals must work together to nurture and guide this change. We must ready our ship to once again set sail into the open sea. The professionals of DRI International are proud to be a part of this journey, as we were when the journey began, and we will do our part to keep this ship on course.


John B. Copenhaver, CBCP, is the president and chief executive officer of DRI International. Copenhaver was appointed by President Bill Clinton as director of FEMA’s Region IV office in 1997, and served in that capacity until 2001.

"Appeared in DRJ's Spring 2007 Issue"