Speaker Spotlight - James Callahan

DRJ Fall 2018 Speaker Deep Dive – James Callahan

“We Plan for All Hazards – But This?”
James Callahan, senior director | AmerisourceBergen Corporation

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

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“The only thing harder than planning for an emergency is explaining why you didn’t.” That quote by an unknown author is one that James Callahan believes is especially important and relevant to his upcoming DRJ Fall 2018 presentation. He feels every disaster is an opportunity, so professionals should make sure they put in the necessary effort to turn their lessons observed into lessons learned.

“Rigid business continuity plans cannot possibly address every conceivable situation,” he says. “Maintaining situational awareness is essential to anticipating how your plans may need to evolve during the course of an event to ensure a successful outcome.”

Callahan plans to use audience interaction and multimedia examples mixed with humor to keep his attendees engaged and relaxed during his Sept. 24 session. His presentation, titled “We Plan for All Hazards – But This?” will include photos, videos, and case studies from multiple record-setting events that occurred and impacted global operations of 2017.

“I project a level of confidence that comes from being well-prepared and passionate about the topics on which I choose to speak,” Callahan says.

He explains that despite it being a topic of discussion for many years, the development of private-public partnerships for coordinating responses to major disaster events is still very immature. He says professionals should get out there and make it happen.

Although an all-hazards approach requires planning for a broad spectrum of emergencies and provides a solid foundation for preparing responses and recovery activities, it is important to realize that it does not require planning for all imaginable emergencies, which is not possible.

Callahan uses the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season as an example of record-setting destruction that included 17 storms and was the costliest in recorded history. Typhoons in Asia, earthquakes in Mexico, and wildfires across the western U.S. only added to one global company’s Emergency Operations Center’s busy schedule last year.

Attendees will gain a variety of lessons learned from a healthcare solutions provider who successfully dealt with unanticipated challenges, including nearly complete destruction of a U.S. territory’s core infrastructure. This company managed to continue providing critical products and services to its customers despite adverse circumstances. Session participants will learn strategies to help improve their business’s emergency planning.

Callahan, CBCP, MBCI, is senior director of global business resilience at AmerisourceBergen Corporation. He has been at ABC for almost five years and has more than 25 years of experience in security, risk management, business continuity, and crisis management.

In addition to his responsibilities at ABC, Callahan is accredited by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications as a firefighter, fire officer, and fire service instructor by the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a vehicle rescue technician. He also possesses certifications in hazardous materials operation and other fire service-related topics. Callahan serves his community as deputy chief of the Black Rock Volunteer Fire Company and previously served as chairman of the Upper Providence Township Fire and Emergency Services Board.

AmerisourceBergen is ranked No. 12 on Fortune 500, with more than $150 billion in annual revenue. The company is headquartered in Valley Forge, Penn.
James Callahan
James CallahanAmerisourceBergen Corporation
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