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Volume 31, Issue 4

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The largest DRJ east coast conference was held at the Disney Coronado Springs Resort on September 10-13, 2000. The 12th International Disaster Recovery Symposium and Exhibition brought in an excess of 1,500 total paid attendees, vendors, speakers, board members and staff. The new location of the event at the Disney hotel was a welcome change of scenery and excitement for all involved.

he conference and exhibition was hosted by the Disaster Recovery Journal and co-hosted by Ajilon, Compaq, DRII, FedEx Custom Critical, Hitachi Data Systems, PPBI, and SunGard Business Continuity and Internet Services. The Mock Disaster was sponsored by FM Global and the Cyber Cafe' was sponsored by Rentsys Recovery Services.

The large Disney property seemed to be a successful change. The parks, which included Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, Animal Kingdom and Disney-MGM Studios, supplied a nice break for all. The hotel itself spaced many pools and lakes for spectacular scenery. Because of the large hotel property, the reliable trolleys for DRJ conference guests and vendors were used to get from one's room to the conference center. 

 Attendees were in high spirits and in full gear to learn. Six pre-conference courses began on Saturday, September 9. The featured informational speakers included Ed Devlin, CBCP, from Devlin and Associates with 'Crisis Management Planning'; Cheryl Bieson, CBCP, from Deucalion, Inc. with 'Developing Recovery Strategies'; Sharon Aebersold and Elmer Bomlitz from Harris Disaster Recovery Associates with 'Comprehensive Exercise Development and Implementation Testing and Training'; Jens Norgaard from PruSpeak Consulting and Seminars with 'Writing Skills for the Continuity Professional'; Deidrich Towne, CBCP, and Dr. Tom Phelan from PPBI with 'PPBI - Fundamentals of DR Planning and EM Practices'; and Barry Pruitt from PruSpeak Consulting and Seminars with a revised case study 'Project Management: A Skill Practice, Result Focused Workshop'.

The Cyber Cafe' sponsored by Rentsys Systems, Inc., opened at 12 p.m. on Sunday and was found to be very popular among attendees. This gave attendees a place to check emails and browse the internet before, between and after classes.

The first day of workshop sessions also began Sunday at 1:30 p.m. There were six Sunday workshops including Carl Jackson, CISSP, from Netigy Global Services Practice with 'Business Impact Assessment How To'; Regina Phelps, RN, BSN, MPA, from Health Plus with 'Managing Your Emergency Operations Center During a Sustained Event'; Jeff Williams from Binomial and Len Cotton from Len Cotton Associates with 'I Can Steal Your Stuff: Security is the Greatest Vulnerability in Your Plan'; Hope Fabian and Michael Solter from IBM Business Continuity and Recovery Services with 'E-business Continuity';Geoffrey Wold and Tina Vick, CBCP, from LBL Technology Partners with 'An Efficient Approach for Organizing and Developing a Comprehensive Business Continuity Plan' Mike Morganti, MBCP, from FM Global who sponsor of the Mock Disaster The virtual disaster proved to be a hit among attendees. The Sunday workshops ended at 4:30 p.m.
The exhibit hall opened for the Welcome Reception at 5:30 p.m. where food and drinks were served and Mickey and Minnie Mouse posed for pictures with attendees. 

The first full day of Fall World 2000 began on Monday, September 11, at 6:45 a.m. with a networking breakfast co-hosted by RSM McGladrey, Inc. It was followed by Welcome and Announcements and a sad farewell to the Executive Director of DRII, Jay Bender. He was presented by DRJ with a DR recognition award. Bender announced his retirement in August after DRII Board of Directors reported the relocation and outsourcing of the organization to ASMI in the Washington D.C. area.

General sessions Monday were headed by Comedian David Naster's well received, funny antidotes. The second general session featured Tom Gardner, CEM, FPEM, from Walt Disney World Company with the subject of how the theme park took action last year with the disruption of Hurricane Floyd. The third and final general session of the day included Tari Schreider from Internet Security Systems in Atlanta, Georgia. He spoke on how the business continuity planner must be prepared using venues besides the computer systems and networks in case of an emergency. Lunch was served following the close of the third general session and the rest of the day featured 18 breakout sessions. The exhibit hall opened at 11 a.m. and bustled with attendees until closing at 5 p.m.

Monday evening, Veritas Corporation sponsored a delicious California wine and cheese hospitality. The live music and wide array of cheeses and wine created a night for the attendees to relax and socialize.
Tuesday, attendees began their day in three more general sessions. The first session featured Jim Gravelle from Jim Gravelle Communications with 'Making the News Media Part of Your Contingency Plan'. He was followed by William Gross from the New York City Fire Department speaking about how emergency centers communicate during an disaster. Tuesday's final general session speaker, Robert S. Wilkerson from The Corporate Response Group, Inc., spoke on the subject 'Business Interruption in E-commerce: A New Scale in Crisis Management'. The exhibit hall opened at 11:00 a.m. and lunch followed. The Exhibit Hall closed after a busy day at 3 p.m. Twelve breakout and workshop sessions ended Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, two general sessions featured Bruce Blythe, CEO, of Crisis Management International, Inc. speaking on which tools were needed to facilitate crisis response preparedness, and Jeff Schiebe of Compaq Computer Corporation on e-continuity.
Three cash prizes were awarded next to attendees through a prize drawing. Two $250 prizes were given to Charline Stiegler from Bank of America and Raymond Komajda from Mitretek Systems. The grand prize of $500 prize was awarded to George Delzell from EMC. Congratulations to all three winners!
The final general session of the conference featured Barry Pruitt of PruSpeak with 'If You Save the Caterpillar, You Lose the Butterfly'. Lunch followed. Following the close of the conference, DRII courses began at 1:30 p.m. for those who chose to enroll.

Michelle Saab is an Editor with the Disaster Recovery Journal.