Tell us about yourself – your name, company, title, and responsibilities?

I am currently working as a resilience consultant with Zion Resiliency. With more than 15 years of experience across various companies, I’ve specialized in building and enhancing programs. I find contract and consulting work engaging and rewarding, as it allows me to apply my expertise in impact assessments, testing, risk management, and documentation to different industries and clients. This diversity challenges my “proven” methods and provides a unique opportunity for growth.

How did you get into the business resilience industry?

My journey into the business continuity industry began more than 15 years ago when I managed a data center that was going through consolidation. The company needed new resources for its growing disaster recovery (DR) group. I enjoyed the new challenged but within a few years I faced a decision: specialize in this industry or explore other avenues within the company. I chose to specialize, immersing myself in the world of resilience, which has since led to lifelong friendships, valuable colleagues, mentors, and even meeting my husband.

Tell us about some of the challenges you have encountered in your career?

Specializing in DR, I’ve encountered the challenges of being a female in a predominantly male environment. It often requires continuously proving one’s knowledge and abilities. While I’ve seen positive changes with more women and minorities entering the field, I hope this trend continues so future generations of women won’t face the same uphill battle.

Have you had any mentors? Describe the effect they have had on your career.

I’ve been fortunate to have numerous mentors throughout my career. Early on, a mentor in marketing and design taught me the importance of consistently doing my best in every interaction. Another mentor emphasized that effective management is about meeting your team’s needs, not just your own. These experiences taught me to always put my best foot forward and prioritize listening over talking.

What are some lessons learned you still leverage today?

While I rely on my “proven” methods for achieving results, I’ve learned to adapt them to a company’s culture and resilience climate. Understanding how new processes are received, adjusting terminology where needed, and considering recent “disasters” are crucial. Listening and learning before proposing solutions is often the best approach.

What aspects of working in this industry would you like to see change or evolve?

I hope to witness a greater emphasis on integration and collaboration within companies. Instead of operating in isolation, we should seek opportunities to integrate our resilience processes with existing applications/processes and be willing to adapt our approaches as necessary. To often, I’ve observed overly rigid and structed plans simply because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Embracing collaboration, even when it doesn’t achieve perfection, can result in more agile and transparent plans that better suit the ever-changing landscape of resilience. These evolving relationships will be the key to our industry’s continued growth and success.

What types of formal training and certifications have you pursued, and what kinds of learning and networking opportunities are you seeking to continue your professional development?

I’m passionate about learning from others and networking. Conferences and local continuity groups provide insights into industry responses to challenges and upcoming trends. Sharing experiences, including what worked and what didn’t, is invaluable. Networking helps me build a community of peers for learning, brainstorming, and support.

What gets you excited about your career?

I’ve always said this career gives me the opportunity to learn a little about a lot of different areas within a company. With each impact assessment, every documented recovery plan, every testing endeavor, I gain insights into a myriad of critical areas within a company. This diversity keeps me engaged and constantly learning and drives the enthusiasm I have in this industry.

What advice would you give to those embarking on a career in this industry?

I strongly encourage newcomers to attend conferences, connect with professionals on LinkedIn, join local continuity chapters, and actively engage in networking. Building a professional network can lead to invaluable insights and opportunities. Never underestimate the power of interaction and collaboration in this field.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ray Holloman

Ray Holloman, M.B.A., M.S., CBCP, CCRP, MBCI, is a senior program manager for enterprise disaster recovery for F5 Networks and the founder/CEO of Holloman Solutions. He works with teams and organizations to help them understand, implement and enhance their disaster recovery programs. Holloman is helping organizations become more resilient in the ever-changing threat landscape by educating them.

Three Pillars of a Secure Cloud Architecture
Cloud platform providers such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft have invested heavily in creating secure environments for customers to operate...
READ MORE >
The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Disaster recovery plans (DRP) are written to ensure an organization can quickly and efficiently recover from a disaster or unexpected...
READ MORE >
Cloud Security: Reflecting on 2023 to Improve 2024
The world’s cloud computing market is expanding at a high speed. If it continues its current pace, it will grow...
READ MORE >
Fortifying Global Communications Security with Phone Number Intelligence Data
In 2021 alone, U.S. mobile users sent around 2 trillion SMS and MMS messages. That’s already an astronomical figure, but...
READ MORE >