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Speaker Spotlight - Michele Turner

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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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