General Sessions

About These Sessions

The morning General Sessions are tailored to a broad audience covering topics that appeal to all conference attendees.

Start your day of learning and networking with sessions that focus on the best business continuity strategies, trends and topics in the industry.


General Session 1

High Performance Humor for Proven Leadership

Monday, March 26, 2018
8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Karyn Buxman, TEDx speaker

Karyn Buxman

High performers—in business and life in general—have something in common: they understand that applied humor is an important trait for effective leaders. Churchill, Kennedy and Reagan were all masters at using wit on the world stage; the characters in M*A*S*H used gallows humor to retain their sanity amid horrendous conditions; and you can learn how to use humor more effectively for heightened performance, and greater quality of life. People who master High Performance Humor™ expand their influence, create stronger relationships, and boost their resilience. Karyn Buxman brings 30 years of research, study and application to people worldwide. “Karyn presents insights cleverly disguised as humor.”

About Karyn Buxman
Karyn Buxman is a TEDx speaker, successful author, and neurohumorist (she lives at the intersection of humor and the brain.) A pioneer in the emerging science of applied humor, Karyn helps high performers expand their influence, strengthen their relationships, and boost their resilience. Karyn is serious about humor!



General Session 2

Building Global Resilience for Your Organization

Monday, March 26, 2018
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Daniel Graff-Radford, OnSolve, LLC
Ann Pickren, OnSolve, LLC

Read interview with speaker

Daniel Graff-Radford Ann Pickren BCI Certified

For many organizations, the decision to expand globally is focused on the need to maintain strong growth rates and diversify market risk. However, as a global organization, there are a variety of external risks, both manmade and natural, that threaten core business continuity. Access to global markets may benefit the top line, but they also present a myriad of additional challenges for business continuity professionals.

This session focuses on the international evolution of business continuity planning, beginning with identifying and mitigating risks unique to global expansion. With a panel of experienced practitioners from multinational corporations, the session will detail important, but sometimes overlooked, considerations for building a successful global business continuity program. Any organization with current or planned locations outside of their headquarters country will benefit from the experiences shared in this interactive panel discussion.

About Daniel Graff-Radford
Daniel Graff-Radford is Chief Product Officer at OnSolve. His expertise includes Product Management, Consumer Electronics, Business Development, Government Contracting, Information Technology, electronic monitoring, GPS, and Sales Management with a passion for creating meaningful products that are used on an everyday basis.

About Ann Pickren
Ann Pickren currently serves as the President, Commercial for OnSolve, LLC. In this role, Ann leverages her deep domain expertise and years of experience in the notification industry to oversee all Customer Care functions for OnSolve, including Customer Success, Customer Support and Customer Services. As a passion, she also makes time to consult directly with OnSolve customers to help develop best practices regarding the implementation and use of automated notifications.



General Session 3

Leadership Perspectives – your questions answered

Monday, March 26, 2018
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Heather Merchan, BCI US Chapter
Linda Gerull, CCSF- DT
Joe Easter, CapitalOne
Frank Lady, BCI US Chapter

Read interview with Speaker

Heather Merchan Linda Gerull Joe Easter Frank Lady BCI Certified

DRJ has assembled a panel of senior leaders representing a broad spectrum of organizational resilience roles to share insights and answer your questions. The session will comprise three key themes: (1) Evolving trends and 2018 priorities. (2) Leadership – gaining buy-in and demonstrating the value of your program. (3) The skill-set of our future industry leaders; what executives are looking for when identifying high-potential talent.

This is your opportunity to raise questions that you may not have a chance to ask. Our panel will provide insights to aid you in navigating the industry, your organization and your career. Join us for a lively debate – we challenge you to identify an action to evolve your program or skill-set as a result.

Email your questions in advance to Patti Fitzgerald, the DRJ Conference Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Heather Merchan - (Moderator)
Heather Merchan, BCI US Chapter President

About Linda Gerull
Linda Gerull, CIO & Director - San Francisco’s Dept of Tech

About Joseph Easter
Joseph Easter, Operational Risk Management - Capital One

About Frank Lady
Frank Lady, SVP - Business Continuity for a Fortune 50 Financial Institution



General Session 4

How Do You Get Ready For An 8.0 Earthquake? Central Bank Of Peru Is Doing It

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Regina Phelps, EMSS
Marco Granadino, BCRP

Regina Phelps Marco Granadino

Peru is one of the most seismically active countries in the world. Peru’s National Civil Defense Institute forecasts up to 50,000 dead, 686,000 injured, and 200,000 homes destroyed if Lima (the nation’s capital) is hit by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. Lima is home to a third of Peru’s population, 70% of its industry, 85% of its financial sector, its entire central government, and the majority of Peru’s international commerce.

A Central Bank is essential for a country’s financial system and health. They do this by controlling the monetary policy of the country and work closely with bank regulators, the Ministry of Finance, and the commercial banks and markets. Because of these critical roles, it is essential that the Central Bank is functional after any major crisis.

Attend this session and learn how the Central Bank of Peru is readying itself and working with the financial system of the country to prepare for a major quake.

About Regina Phelps
Regina Phelps, CEM, RN, BSN, MPA, president/CEO, Emergency Management & Safety Solutions.

About Marco Granadino
Marco Granadino is Head of Risk Management for the Central Bank of Peru.



General Session 5

Building Resiliency with Proven Effective Leadership

Wednesday, March 28, 2017
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Robert Chandler, Lipscomb University

Robert Chandler

Leadership is the most influential and critical element of successfully managing a disaster or crisis. Effective leaders have the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to inspire and impact their employees, customers, clients and other constituents. A good leader understands the core mission and objectives, as well as the mission critical actions, plans and goals for effective crisis management. Proven effective leaders turn challenging situations into success opportunities.

This general session calls our attention to key leadership traits, skills and abilties. It briefly reviews the marks and characteristics of effective leadership which can apply at the executive level down through localized team managers.

About Robert Chandler
Robert Chandler, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert on multiple aspects of communication and human interaction in specialized contexts. He currently holds an academic appointment as a professor at Lipscomb University.



General Session 6

Lessons Learned from Hurricane Irma…
and the issues that local communities face

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Ronald Plummer, Orange County Office Emergency Management (OEM)

Ronald Plummer

2017 proved to be a banner year for disasters. Wildfires and mudslides on the West Coast, Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Irma in Florida, and Maria in Puerto Rico, just to name a few. Hear how the high-level activities taken by the Federal, & State, Emergency Management Agencies, volunteer organizations (VOAD), and local businesses responded to these unprecedented events. Learn how they responded to the needs of the citizens within their communities. The Orange County Office of Emergency Management will share the lessons learned during Hurricane Irma… and tips on how to prepare now to combine forces between business, the community, and agencies to be prepared for the next event.

About Ronald Plummer
Ron Plummer is Division manager with the Orange County Office of Emergency management (OEM), a division within the Orange County Fire & Rescue.



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DRJ Fall World '18
September  23-26, 2018
Phoenix, AZ

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