Speaker Spotlight - Carl Russell

DRJ Fall 2018 Speaker Deep Dive – Carl Russell

The Four Pillars of Event Management: Planning, Training, Notification, and Execution
Carl Russell, senior director of business continuity | Fidelity Investments

DRJ Fall 2018 | Monday, Sept. 24 | Breakout Track 2, Session 1 | 2:45-3:45 p.m.

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Carl Russell loves speaking with people and will be sharing his passion for business continuity with attendees at DRJ Fall 2018. He will present “The Four Pillars of Event Management: Planning, Training, Notification, and Execution” in his Sept. 24 breakout session.

“I enjoy speaking about business continuity,” says Russell. “I have no reservations being in front of an audience.” He has given more than 20 presentations in the last eight years on business continuity to anyone from new employees to senior management. He enjoys sharing facts and real-life examples to bring the topics to life.

“I am very passionate about my topic,” he says. “Having learned from my mistakes, I want to share my experience with others.”

Russell says every business continuity professional at some point in his or her career will be exposed to managing events as a business continuity professional. How successful he or she is relies on four major areas: planning, training, notification, and execution. There are many great “take aways” that a new or seasoned BCP can take from this topic. From a planning perspective, a business professional has to make sure he or she has the right participants on his or her event teams. Specifically, the key decision makers are needed within the organization.

“It is more than just a warm body coming to a conference call during a crisis,” Russell explains. “You need to think about what information about an event you will share with your event teams. You have to strike a balance of sharing the right information so they can make an informed decision.”

From there, Russell says professionals need to provide event teams with training on the “how” and “why” they are important to one’s BCM program. This should include tools that can be used, review, and prepare prior to a potential business interruption. From a notification perspective, using a good industry-wide recognized tool is critical to reaching people in a timely and effective manner. This also means creating a maintenance program for keeping event teams current. Last, executing the planning and training is also important.

“If you put the effort into the planning, training, and setting up of your notification system before an event occurs, the execution will flow well and you will be successful,” says Russell.

Attendees will learn the importance of making sure they have the right teams assembled to tackle events within their companies. Russell emphasizes that pre-planning is the “BIG key to get it right.”

Russell says a quote that really resonates with him is “The 3 C’s: choice, chances, and changes.” He says you must make a choice to take a chance or one’s life will never change. He battled cancer four years ago. “This was my brand before this happened, and this has really helped define who I am as a person both personally and professionally.”

As a business continuity professional and working with event management teams, Russell says, “We have to engage the right people with the right message with the right information to elicit the right response.” He says this really sums up his presentation.

Russell has been a business continuity professional for more than 25 years. Currently he is senior director of business continuity with Fidelity Investments. He has been employed with Fidelity for 16 years.

“I bring a wealth of institutional knowledge on event management as well as other major areas of a BCM program,” says Russell. He’s managed large-scale events at his company, most notably Super Storm Sandy. He assists in developing and delivering comprehensive end-to-end tabletop sessions, which includes topics around review vendor risks, event management scenarios, market events (such as National Day of Mourning), and many other facets of business continuity.

Russell also spent eight years serving in the U.S. Army and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990 and 1991.
Carl Russell
Carl RussellFidelity Investments
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