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Dennis Gorges | general manager of enterprise risk management | Jack Henry & Associates

DRJ Spring 2019 | Monday, March 25, 2019 | Senior Advanced Track 1 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Dennis Gorges will share his more than 20 years of expertise with DRJ Spring 2019 attendees with two sessions.

Gorges, CRISC, with Jack Henry & Associates, is general manager of Enterprise Risk Management. He has been in the risk management and business continuity profession for more than two decades.

One of his presentations will be “Status Reporting to Executive Management and the Board of Directors.” His second presentation will be “Executive Views at Managing Risk in an Uncertain World.”

According to Gorges, presentations to the executive team or board of directors can be challenging. “In many cases, they can’t tell you what they want to know, but they can tell you what you told them isn’t it,” says Gorges. He will share his efforts from the past 20 years in identifying what is the proper level of detail to be prepared to discuss with these two groups.

For his session on executive management and the board, he will share how these two groups have different goals and the importance of understanding their roles and the impacts on documentation.

Gorges says the presentations will be most effective if attendees participate in the discussions and share their successes with the group. He will encourage interactive participation to broaden the views on what constitutes an effective presentation to senior leadership.

He adds that his presentation is different in that he focuses not only on encompassing enterprise continuity, but he also works to get attendees to understand the roles within an organization and how that impacts the depth of information being provided.

“Knowing your audience is as important as the data you are providing since you can gain or lose their attention based on their belief on whether the information applies to their situation,” says Gorges.

Although this is Gorges’ first time speaking at a DRJ conference, he is a regular presenter at JHA client conferences.

“Mike Henry, the former Jack & Associates CEO, said 20 years ago, ‘If you don’t like change, you need to find a new profession.’ It still rings true today,” says Gorges. “Change brings risk and uncertainty. Your success will be determined by how you adapt to an ever-changing environment.”

Gorges adds that his team is his strength. “I surround myself with smart people who are committed to doing the right thing and that helps me sleep at night.”

Gorges has been with Jack Henry & Associates for 24 years, focusing on regulatory compliance, internal audit, and enterprise risk management. JHA is a software provider to more than 9,000 customers nationwide. Gorges’ most significant employment has been his 32 years of experience within financial services as a bank examiner, banker, and at JHA.

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Delroy Ross | global business continuity officer | Cigna

DRJ Spring 2019 | Monday, March 25, 2019 | Senior Advanced Track 2| 1:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Delroy Ross will be leading one of three break-out sessions on the afternoon of March 25 as part of DRJ Spring 2019’s Senior Advanced Track.

This session, titled “To Improve Resiliency is to Change,” is set for 1:30-5:15 p.m.

According to Ross, managing an enterprise-wide business continuity management program and the response and recovery of disruptive events in an ever-changing environment includes having the right team, tools, support, and processes in place. But it also requires flexibility and being open to change. Continuous improvement is necessary in order to meet future needs.

This hands-on session with audience engagement will review how Cigna revamped its program to better position itself to respond to change and provide additional value to the business.

“I usually walk back and forth on stage and call upon audience members for survey answers to find out how many have done this,” he said.

He said attendees’ level of knowledge and experience on this topic is different since everyone struggles with change and the problem of how to improve their programs.

“We all live and breathe it every day and have the same frustrations,” he said. “My presentation will talk about those frustrations and how we turned them into successes.”

The beginning of every program, he said, starts with the team. “Is everyone rowing the same boat? If not, help that person find a new role at the same time by making your team stronger.”

Although this is Ross’s first time speaking at a DRJ conference, he has given many presentations to large groups internally at Cigna and at other conferences.

The Senior Advanced Track day will conclude with an exclusive “Meet the Experts” reception in the evening.

Ross, CBCP, CISA, is director and global business continuity officer for Cigna. He has been in the business continuity profession for six years and has led Cigna’s business continuity and corporate crisis programs for the past three years. His responsibilities include enterprise crisis management and global business continuity planning.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s from the University of Hartford.

Ross resides in Charlotte with his wife, three daughters, and infant son.

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Suzanne Loughlin | founder and general counsel | Crisis Risk Strategies, LLC

DRJ Spring 2019 | Monday, March 25, 2019 | General Session 2 | 9:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

This General Session 2 will focus on the changing landscape of risk, which falls into several categories: known, unknown, and the “unknown unknowns.” This March 25 session, titled “Managing Risk in a Rapidly Changing World,” will specifically focus on the “unknown unknowns.”

This session will be co-presented by Suzanne Loughlin and Ann Pickren.

According to Loughlin, identifying and managing risks in today’s environment is magnitudes beyond what have been managed in the past. Managing risks now means expanding the focus to independent risks but also includes the consideration of systemic risks, both internal and external. Today’s risk landscape does not resemble any other time. Futurists have said the “next 20 years will see more change than the last 300,” while “the last 20 years will have nothing to do with the next 20.” Loughlin says this is precisely the rate of change that poses the greatest risk of all.

She and Pickren will discuss emerging risk and the “unknowns” and how professionals can plan for the exposures presented by these risks. They will build out a crisis management framework to ensure readiness to respond to threats when they materialize so they don’t become crisis events.

Loughlin’s goal during this and any other presentation is to have the audience leave with the feeling that they can take immediate action based on something they heard. In fact, her goal is to empower her audience in two ways: to think differently about emerging risk and risk that falls in the category of the “unknowns,” and to position them to play a more strategic role in their organizations.

“The skills and discipline a professional develops in the business continuity industry are transferable to playing a key supporting strategic role in the C-suite and board,” says Loughlin. She wants her audience to leave with an understanding of the mindset and framework needed to identify threats and vulnerabilities in today’s rapidly changing world.

“They will hopefully leave knowing they can play a more strategic role with respect to ‘risk’ management in their organizations,” says Loughlin.

Loughlin says the people at DRJ Spring 2019 play a key role in the protection of critical organizational assets. “Our goal is to educate people on how to take something that should theoretically be ‘unmanageable’ and turn it in to just a disruption.” She adds that it’s also important to “slow the crisis down so you can focus on what really matters.”

Loughlin has spoken at past DRJ conferences and also regularly speaks at other national conferences. She is founder, EVP, and general counsel for CrisisRisk Strategies, LLC. She has been in the business resiliency and business continuity industry for more than 30 years. Loughlin has extensive consultative experience in risk management, crisis management, crisis communications planning and response on behalf of clients ranging from the world’s largest global companies to educational institutions and government entities.

Loughlin’s hands-on crisis management experience, and the approach to crisis communications and victim and family management that evolved from that experience, combined with her training and practice in legal exposures, enable her to provide critical decision support to clients in urgent crisis events. She is a regularly requested speaker by associations and organizations in all industry sectors. She has inspired hundreds of groups and thousands of listeners on these topics.
Before founding CrisisRisk, Loughlin spent 20 years in the insurance industry before she co-founded Firestorm Solutions, a nationally recognized crisis management firm which she sold in 2017. She served as chief administrative officer and general counsel of a NASDAQ company, director and chief administrative officer of a NYSE insurance holding company, a litigator with a major New York City law firm handling professional liability matters, and managing attorney of a law firm with multiple offices throughout the country. She has also completed extensive Emergency Management Institute training, including certification with FEMA. In addition, she is a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals.

Loughlin serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and Rhinebeck Bank. She has received numerous awards for her service, including the Anti-Defamation League’s “Americanism Award.” She is also co-author of the book Disaster Ready People for a Disaster Ready America.

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John Allen | account manager | BC in the Cloud

DRJ Spring 2019 | Sunday, March 24, 2019 | Solutions Track 1 | 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

DRJ Spring 2019 attendees will want to hop aboard John Allen’s unique presentation.

Titled “All Aboard the BC/DR Train,” this session will be Allen’s first time to present at a DRJ conference. He plans to use his decade of experience as a middle and high school educator to create a dynamic and energetic presentation that will include small-group discussion and large-
group sharing.

“My focus is not so much on concrete procedures and strategies but more on the broader concept of relating to colleagues and remembering that a company is made up of human beings,” says Allen, “so I plan to bring an element of classroom style discussion and collaboration to my presentation.”

Allen will use his role as a former educator and current role in business continuity as an account manager for BC in the Cloud to show attendees to effectively get people in their company to first consider human needs, wants, emotions, and interests when dealing with employees. “By humanizing your approach with an air of empathy and understanding, you will be more successful at convincing others that BC/DR is important to the company and them as individuals,” Allen says.

Allen says one of the biggest challenges for individuals who are in charge of business continuity and disaster recovery for their companies is getting people within the company to have buy-in to what is attempting to be accomplished. Executives tend to be more focused on allocating resources toward growth instead of resiliency.

“In other words, they care more about a good offense and less about a solid defense,” says Allen.

When it comes to the rest of the workers at the company, they already have multiple responsibilities on their plate without having to devote time toward planning, prepping, and exercising for an incident that may or may not happen. Due to this overall lack of interest, it becomes part of anyone’s job who is in charge of business continuity and disaster recovery within the company to not only perform the tasks in their job description but also find a way to get their colleagues to see the value of what they are trying to do.

“My presentation will address these pain points and provide strategies to develop that necessary interest from the rest of the company in order to have a more effective BC/DR program,” Allen says. He adds that the main points of focus for his presentation will be education, humanization, and relevancy.

He says that the use of these three approaches “will increase interest from co-workers and executives, thus decreasing points of friction for those in charge of BC/DR for their company.”

“If you want the workers to care about the company, they have to know that the company cares about them,” Allen says, “and in order for your colleagues to care, you have to make it relevant to them.”

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Michele Turner | senior manager for the business resiliency| Amazon

DRJ Spring 2019 | Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | General Session 5 | 9:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Calling all artists! Michele Turner will be showing attendees how to pull the pixels together to create a “masterpiece” at DRJ Spring 2019.

Turner, MBCP, FBCI, CISA, CRISC, GRCP, is senior manager for business resiliency, corporate business continuity, and risk for Amazon. She is presenting General Session 5 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on March 27. Her presentation, titled “The Art of Business Continuity – A Color of Risk, A Palette of Success,” will show participants how teamwork makes dreamwork.

According to Turner, business continuity is quite a scary swirl of colors. Were the right colors, or critical functions, selected to begin the masterpiece? Are the necessary brushes, or tools and templates, available to turn the swirl into a modern-day “Starry Night” like Vincent van Gogh? Is it understood which colors really blend together – the dependencies – in order to create a rich hue?

During this discussion, Turner will show attendees plenty of examples of strong methods to discover all of these answers – and more. She will share case studies, when controls and policies were not fully understood that turned a beautiful canvas into something less than appealing. The goodness is when there is a set of instructors who start with a charcoal drawing – exercises and tests – and see what corrections need to be made ahead of time so the color of risk, no matter from which prism it is viewed. It can be so sharp it sets the stage for a stunning palette of success.

Turner said while there are business continuity frameworks, methodologies, and maturity models, by definition of the word science, it is a “state of knowing.” And this practice is much more of an art than science itself.

“There is a difference in the knowing vs. applying to action, and therein lies the beauty in creating business continuity programs,” said Turner.

There are examples of organizations not considering key aspects such as critical functions and dependencies when addressing business continuity-related items (such as emergency preparedness needs). With this, Turner said, they potentially miss the mark on selecting the necessary colors and blending as needed. Further, policies and controls meant to accentuate can be misapplied and turn a potential work of art into a disaster.

Attendees will explore examples of strong and challenging methods used to address the above. Turner will share her experiences on how certain approaches have been used.

During her discussion, Turner will share examples of events across the world which underscore the criticality of addressing key points such as critical function review, dependency analysis, and policy management. She will lead this general session with interactive discussion. She will also guide participants as they explore the content from an artist’s viewpoint to determine requirements needed to further evolve business continuity programs into works of art.

“I actively engage the audience to comment on the discussion, share thoughts, and learn together,” said Turner. “I’m not one to read slides word for word. I share stories that bring those words a bit more to life!”

She said she is looking forward to visually depicting the presentation from sketch to masterpiece based on the examples shared. “By our creating this work of art together, I see it cementing certain BC tools which can be used, and perhaps trigger thoughts of other ‘brushes,’ or tools, necessary to continuously ‘touch up’ our BC masterpieces.”

Turner will use her more than 25 years of experience in the areas of governance, risk, and compliance. She also possesses a master’s degree in business continuity from Norwich University. She has been a presenter at previous DRJ conferences.

In her role, Turner has developed and managed the global framework and methodology used to drive the business continuity and risk program globally within the Amazon corporate organization.

Prior to her role at Amazon, Turner led governance, risk, compliance, and business continuity roles within Microsoft, initiating the operational risk management vertical for this organization. She is also an instructor within the Disaster Recovery Institute International and director within the DRII Foundation Board, which assists organizations and communities impacted by disaster to engage with relief organizations worldwide efficiently and effectively as they begin the recovery process.

Turner is a previous member of the Disaster Recovery Journal Editorial Advisory Board and founding member of the Generally Accepted Practices initiative within this organization.

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