General Sessions – Virtual

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


The Science of Happiness

Monday, October 11, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST

Paul Osincup, Positive Workplace Strategist

85% of the world’s working population is unhappy and unhappy workers cost businesses worldwide more than $7 trillion per year. Unfortunately, being happy isn’t always simple, and for some people it may be more difficult than others. We all have a different baseline day to day level of happiness, but wherever you’re at, wouldn’t you like to be a little happier? Our brains are hardwired to seek happiness, yet we’re not great at predicting what will sustain it. In this talk, we’ll look at evidence from positive psychology, cognitive behavioral techniques, and neuroscience, you can use to create habits that will help you boost and maintain your overall level of happiness.

About Paul Osincup
Paul Osincup is a Humor & Positivity Strategist who helps organizations create happier, healthier, and more connected places to work. Paul’s global mission for workplace happiness has provided him the opportunity to work with hundreds of organizations including Nasdaq, The U.S. AirForce, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Leadership. He’s a content creator for Happify, an app that provides evidence-based solutions for emotional health and well-being for over 17 million users and he’s also a certified Stress Mastery Educator with the American Institute of Stress. His TEDx Talk: “Leading with Laughter, the Power of Humor in Leadership” has been viewed nearly a half a million times and he’s also the host of the “Delivering Happiness Podcast” which highlights leaders and companies creating great workplace cultures. Paul’s work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Forbes, and on his mom’s refrigerator.


No Time to Spare: Meeting the Expectation for Always-On Employee Safety

Monday, October 11, 2021
3:35 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. EST

Sara Pratley, AlertMedia​

As business continuity, disaster recovery, and safety professionals take on even greater responsibility for the business, rapid and accurate threat identification has become a critical component of effective emergency preparedness, management, and response.

From the pandemic to severe weather events, natural disasters, and other critical events, the threats facing organizations and their people continue to increase in size and scale. For many organizations, preventing these threats from impacting employee safety and business operations involves building costly internal intelligence gathering processes and evolving safety policies to ensure they are sufficient to meet the current moment.

In this session, Sara Pratley, Vice President of Global Intelligence at AlertMedia, will share emergency preparedness best practices and outline steps organizations can take to help their teams better identify, verify, and respond to incidents faster. Drawing from her past experience leading the breaking news division at CNN, Sara will offer a framework for improving situational awareness, emergency response strategies, and overall preparedness through a proactive approach to threat identification and employee communication.

About Sara Pratley
Prior to joining AlertMedia, Sara Pratley was VP of National News for CNN’s domestic newsgathering unit, where she led the network’s coverage of major events. During her decade at the network, Sara gained an incredible ability to easily assess, analyze, and decipher information.


Business Continuity: A Pivot is Critical to Enduring Resiliency

Tuesday, October 12 2021
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST

Frank Shultz, Infinite Blue

Business Continuity is largely the same as it was 20 years ago, yet the world and key technologies have evolved exponentially. Planning and response software has evolved, but has our thinking evolved to best utilize what’s available today? Rapid, coordinated, informed responses are required by an increasing dependency on complex systems and third-party vendors. In this session, we will explore new ways of thinking about BC and how to implement a system of continuous improvement that leverages modern data sources and capabilities. Every event, critical or not, has the potential to increase your organization’s resiliency through a better proficiency of purposeful practices.

About Frank Shultz
As a founder of the company, Frank Shultz has overseen the growth of BC in the Cloud, Infinite Blue’s flagship business continuity lifecycle application. His BC/DR expertise allowed him to develop, design, and implement products over the past 16+ years. ​


Digitally Transforming Operational Resilience - Elevate Your Program’s Strategic Value

Tuesday, October 12 2021
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST

Tracey Rice, Fusion Risk Management
Rich Cooper, Fusion Risk Management
John Beattie, Sungard Availability Services

Join Fusion Risk Management and Sungard AS as they discuss the power of digitally transforming your program to make it a strategic asset, how to uncover insights drawn from data, and how it supports focusing on what’s important – customers and the bottom line!

Key session takeaways:

  • The value of digital transformation
      – Efficiency, innovation, value, agility, proactivity
    1. – Keeping up with the pace of change
  • The key tenets of digital transformation apply to Operational Resilience programs regardless of where they are in their maturity journey – it is about:
      – Protecting relationships, reputation, and revenue – not BIAs and building plans
    1. – Assuring that all of the pieces fit together (and of course we’ll convey what are the pieces that must come together across the enterprise)
    1. – Metrics and measurement
  • What’s in it for you and your program?
      – Improvement in the fundamentals like plan development and maintenance efficiency
    1. – The return on digital transformation investment goes well beyond that
      1. • Earning a seat at the risk table
      1. • Identifying risk via data mining
      1. • Establishing an external stakeholder-first mentality (boards, customers, prospects, and regulators)

About Tracey Rice
With more than twenty years of experience in business continuity, Tracey Rice is an accomplished industry leader and a passionate evangelist, who builds relationships with BCM leaders in enterprise organizations across the globe.

About Rich Cooper
Rich Cooper serves as the Global Head of Financial Service Go-To-Market at Fusion Risk Management. Prior to joining Fusion, Rich lead Arbor Continuity Inc. that was a successful boutique consulting company he started after spending 14 successful years at Business Protection Systems International (BPSI), where he held various executive, service, and sales roles including company COO. Before joining BPSI, Richard was a founding partner and CEO of the Packing House Inc. a leading document management company that was ultimately acquired by Iron Mountain Inc. Rich holds MBCI certification from the Business Continuity Institute.

About John Beattie
As Principal Consultant at Sungard AS, John Beattie works closely with organizations to implement 3rd party risk management programs, and reduce operational risk through new BC and DR programs or transforming existing ones to improve effectiveness.


The Importance of Organizational Convergence to Create Sustainable Resilience

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST

Matt Bradley, OnSolve
Ann Pickren, OnSolve

The past 2 years have created an opportunity to rethink resiliency and what it means for our organizations. We can now make a concerted effort to rebuild our programs to better align to this definition of resilience.

Join OnSolve Chief Customer Officer, Ann Pickren, and Vice President of Global Security Solutions, Matt Bradley as they discuss how the convergence of Security operations and resilience professionals can result in an even stronger, more resilient organization.

About Matt Bradley
A veteran security operations expert for more than two decades, Matt Bradley has deep, first-hand knowledge of security operations management, as well as an understanding of the critical challenges facing organizations in the future. Most recently, Bradley served as Regional Security Director for the Americas at International SOS, where he led the security services business and advised key executives on risk management solutions. Prior to International SOS, Bradley worked in Honduras as the Security Director for Tigo Honduras where he handled all matters relating to physical security; health, safety and environment; crisis management; and fraud investigation. He was also a General Manager for I Solution Security, where he advised on security matters for the Honduran President, Minister of Security, and Minister of National Emergency Commission. Previously, Bradley had a distinguished 14-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

About Ann Pickren
Ann Pickren currently serves as the Chief Customer Officer of OnSolve. As the Chief Customer Officer, Ann oversees Customer Support, Customer Journey, Professional Services, Project Management and Implementation and Education Services for OnSolve customers. Since 2003, Ann has been working with companies on the implementation of notification solutions as part of their Business Continuity and resiliency programs. She has been with OnSolve for the past 10 years (incorporating her time at MIR3). Ann Pickren has spent 20+ years in the Business Continuity and Crisis Communications field, having held positions at Comdisco and SunGard for over 16 years. Ann currently holds her MBCI certification and is a member of the DRJ Executive Council, a past board member of the BCI USA Chapter, past President and board member of the Atlanta ACP Chapter Ann holds a MBA from Georgia State University.


The Resilience Movement: What, Why, How… Now

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
3:35 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. EST

Brian Zawada, Castellan Solutions

Operational resilience concepts resonate with C-Suite executives and Board-level audiences.


Uncontrolled resilience-related challenges are challenging them almost every day!

Through data research, open conversation, and observation, we’ve gathered global input to answer many of the pressing challenges that business continuity and operational resilience leaders are facing today when engaging their executive leadership teams. Core to these challenges are topics ranging from how executives think about resilience and what they really care about to what they want from their business continuity and operational resilience programs.

In this presentation, we’ll review our findings and provide you with key insights to help you better understand how to engage your executive leadership team and Board. We will equip you with key actions you can take right now to effectively engage your C-Suite and Board to ensure active involvement over the long-term.

About Brian Zawada
Brian Zawada is the Chief Operating Officer for Castellan Solutions, the largest, global provider of business continuity consulting, software, managed services, and staffing. Brian has more than 25 years of experience managing and building world-class, global business continuity programs that help organizations achieve and sustain the right level of resilience.


Leadership at Time of Crisis: Learnings from the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, October 14, 2021
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST

Regina Phelps, EMS Solutions Inc.
Ramon Pinero, BlackBerry

It’s hard to be a leader in the best of times, and the Covid-19 pandemic crisis has created an entirely new set of challenges. The pandemic has proven to be a crucial test for world leaders and their governments and business executives from both large and small organizations. Experts who study crisis leadership say while some aspects of the pandemic transcend any one person’s power, a few key themes have emerged from countries and organizations that have contained and/or managed the virus and kept the trust of the public and their employees.

It takes a unique kind of leadership to push against the natural human tendency to downplay and delay. Far too many leaders instead try to send upbeat messages assuring all is well — which, in the current tragedy, has unfortunately led to unnecessary lost life at a scale that may never be accurately counted.

Building on both the pandemic leadership demonstrated and the lack thereof across the world, this general session presentation will distill eight lessons from this novel crisis for all crisis and continuity professionals. These skills can inform leaders and their teams moving forward to ensure that their organizations and people emerge whole at the end of any major crisis.

About Regina Phelps
Regina Phelps is an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of emergency management, pandemic and contingency planning. Since 1982 she has provided consultation, training & speaking services to clients on five continents and is the author of three books.

About Ramon Pinero
Ramon Pinero is responsible for the implementation and deployment of AtHoc solutions across all sectors and customer support. In this capacity, Ramon interfaces closely with AtHoc product groups, the CTO and engineering, yielding a field-ready product line, compatible with evolving customer environments and ensuring an outstanding customer deployment experience. In prior positions, Ramon was a web application developer, manager of all presales, implementations, customer support and training for AtHoc. Ramon attended San Francisco State University.


Lessons Learned: Parsing through life with a Continuity and Resilience Twist

Thursday, October 14, 2021
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

Michele Turner, Amazon

As Continuity and Resilience professionals, we are constantly parsing through data to get to those nuggets that will assist us in assessing organizational risk, continuing critical operations, and supporting the priority of employee life safety at the forefront of all that we do. This is a tall order, with the need to manage personal life on the side! How do you balance it all…you don’t, you integrate!! Over the course of my close to 30 year career, I’ve found that the aspects of continuity and resilience have been woven in to my day to day so much so, that I’ve applied some of these tactics to manage through life’s interruptions. PARSE: Prepare, Assess, Remediate, Sustain, and Examine. During this session, we will discuss this methodology, and how it can be used to support both personal and professional life. “it is in the challenge, in the change, that we learn our greatest lessons”.

About Michele Turner
Michele Turner is the head of Global Business Resiliency.