General Sessions

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

*Please Note:  New Virtual Days/Times


The Courage To Go Together - Three Questions to Change How You Work, Live and Lead

Monday, March 29, 2021
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. EST

​Shola Richards, Shola Richards​, Inc.

In Shola’s flagship keynote, the Go Together™ strategy presented provides the audience with actionable strategies to transform their work culture, amplify team civility, and inspire themselves and others to consistently bring their best to their work.

This keynote is ideal for individual contributors, leaders, and teams who are:

  • Dealing with the constant appearance of toxic work behaviors (e.g., gossip, incivility, and bullying) that are getting in the way of healthy workplace culture and optimal business results.
  • Struggling to keep themselves engaged, energized, and positive when managing the nonstop challenges and complexities of the workplace.
  • Feeling as if they do not have the influence, professional title, or education to make meaningful change in their organization.

The audience will leave with:

  • The three key questions that they need to ask themselves to increase the likelihood of civil, engaged, and productive work culture.
  • The answers to the most common objections to beginning the important (and challenging) work of positively transforming their work culture.
  • The self-awareness to become mindful of how their words, actions, and behaviors affect others.

About Shola Richards
Shola Richards is a dynamic keynote speaker, the best-selling author of Making Work Work, the author of the newly-released book—Go Together, he’s an in-demand workplace civility expert, and he is a positivity writer with a passionate worldwide following.

As a speaker, Shola has shared his transformative message with leading healthcare organizations, top universities, Silicon Valley, the motion picture industry, the TEDx stage, and in his greatest honor to date, as a keynote speaker for the Department of Homeland Security three days before the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, under the Obama Administration.

Speaker Spotlight


Model Your Business – Not the Crisis!

Monday, March 29, 2021
3:00 p.m – 4:00 p.m. EST

Mike Campbell, Fusion Risk Management
Delroy Ross, Cigna

Operational resilience, defined as the ability to prevent, respond to, recover and learn from operational disruptions, has become the top priority for firms across industries. Having experienced the struggles of pivoting mid-pandemic without complete, reliable data, executives worldwide share a renewed focus on their organization’s resilience measures to improve their agility in decision-making.

While achieving operational resilience is a complex journey, it depends on business continuity as its cornerstone. As risk and resilience leaders, the COVID-19 pandemic offers us a chance to revolutionize how we manage business operations, inform executive decision-making, and enable teams to navigate the frontier of change. To do so, organizations require a robust operational resilience program, built of an integrated range of activities connected to governance, risk management, and compliance.

This keynote led by Fusion Risk Management CEO, Mike Campbell and Delroy A. Ross, MBA, CBCP, CISA Global Business Continuity Officer at CIGNA, discusses the operational resilience journey that firms are facing and outlines what it takes to move from the current state of planning to the north star of coordinating a true resilience strategy.

About Mike Campbell
Michael Campbell brings more than 35 years of software development and technology experience to Fusion. His exceptional executive management background includes several executive leadership roles and board membership positions, as he spent the beginning of his professional career co-founding and developing several successful start-ups. With a unique global perspective and strategic insights, Michael’s vision is to lead the company for growth and scale.

Previously, Michael had extraordinary success as an entrepreneur, founding Campbell Software in 1989, the company being recognized twice by Inc. Magazine for company growth. He led the organization through its acquisition by SAP in 1999. He then assumed senior and executive roles within SAP through to 2001. He has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at FICO and CEO at International Decision Systems.

Michael received his Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and was recognized as a Distinguished Engineering Alumni and Outstanding Aerospace Engineer in 2009. He is a proud father to three beautiful and intelligent daughters.

About Delroy Ross
Delroy Ross is the Global Business Continuity Officer and Enterprise Crisis Lead for Cigna, with responsibility to ensure over 70,000 employees in 30+ countries can continue operations without disruptions. With 8+ years of experience in the space, Delroy and team try to cultivate ideas from other companies and research to continuously improve the program for Cigna. Recent initiatives include revamping the Governance around Business Continuity Management, integration of multiple methodologies via merger & acquisitions, and currently remodeling the corporate Business Impact Analysis to minimize the subjectivity. Delroy leads a diverse multifaceted team committed to continuous improvement.

Delroy received a MBA from University of Hartford in 2011 and a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut in 2005. Delroy resides on the outskirts of Charlotte with his wife, 3 daughters and toddler son.


How AI and Machine Learning Will Transform Critical Event Management

Making the World Safer. Keeping Your Business Running. Providing Duty of Care.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021
10:45 a.m – 11:45 a.m. EST

Rich Thompson, BlackBerry
Ramon Pinero, BlackBerry

Imagine a new type of critical event management solution that can detect an upcoming disruption to a business process and provide an early warning so that an organization can to start taking action to mitigate risks and minimize the impact on business. That’s the power of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and predictive analytics.

Intelligently surfacing and leveraging disparate information is a critical factor in an organization’s ability to respond to an impacting event. Silos between business groups, business operations and emergency systems, coupled with a lack of visibility into a situation can cause delay and confusion, resulting in ineffective decision making and prolonged recovery. A critical event management solution with the predictive power of AI/ML can allow businesses to have greater visibility and warning of business impacting critical events before they happen, allowing businesses to be more proactive in preparing for future risks.

During this session, BlackBerry’s Rich Thompson and Ramon Pinero will discuss how AI/ML will completely transform the  Critical Event Management landscape, what a next-gen critical event management system would look like, and provide a use case to illustrate the dramatic impact AI/ML can have on a cyberattack disaster response. Rich and Ramon will also provide a visionary roadmap of how BlackBerry sees these capabilities evolving over the next few years to manage modern-day threats from cyberattacks and IT system outages to operational and supply chain disruptions, physical security and man-made incidents, and natural disasters.

About Rich Thompson
In his role as the VP of Solution Strategy, Rich is responsible for all pre- sales
technical efforts in the Americas. Rich is responsible for a team of Sales
Engineers that conduct product demonstrations, technical evaluations,
architecture reviews, solution consulting with our clients and partners. Rich and
his teams support the Sales and product teams on Go- to market activities,
product review, product strategy, and roadmap considerations. Rich has been
with BlackBerry for 6 years, joining the organization in October for 2014. Rich is
our subject matter expert on the retail industry and PCI compliance.

Prior to joining Cylance in 2014, Rich has 25+ years of experience in security. This
includes 21 years leading security efforts at the regional and national level in the
retail industry, and 5 years leading Sales Engineering and Professional Services
efforts in the enterprise software industry. His expertise in forensics, incident
response, electronic discovery, information risk management and governance
leads Blackberry in the vision of protecting every endpoint under the sun.

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. 


Operational Resilience and the Enhancement of Business Continuity

Tuesday, March 30, 2021
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

Brian Zawada, Castellan Solutions

Increasingly, there is a focus on Operational Resilience as a means of building more adaptable organizations. Around the world the themes are very much the same, and the terminology and concepts are now finding traction across many industry sectors. However, all industry sectors in all geographies should understand its core tenets and how Operational Resilience thinking can add value through a perspective that truly resonates with executive leaders and boards of directors.

In this keynote Brian Zawada, Chief Operating Officer at Castellan, will share his thoughts on why this shift in thinking is more than just a change in name, why some of its core components are important for your existing continuity program and how adopting the key principles of Operational Resilience can re-invigorate your work and bring focus to program outcomes.

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.

Outside of his work with Castellan and its clients, Brian previously served as the Head of the United States Delegation to ISO Technical Committee 223, the authors of ISO 22301. Brian contributed to ISO 22301 and led the project team that created ISO 22317, the business impact analysis standard, and ISO 22331, the business continuity strategy determination standard.

Brian is a frequent author and speaker, currently serving on the Editorial Advisory Board of Continuity Insights magazine. Brian previously served as the Business Continuity Institute US Chapter Board President and as the President of the Northern Ohio Chapter of the Association of Contingency Planners. Brian is certified as a Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute.


Business Resiliency in 2021: Managing a Dispersed Workforce

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
10:45 a.m – 11:45 a.m. EST

Matt Bradley, Onsolve

2020 has been an unprecedented year, with businesses disrupted as employees migrated to remote work and a distributed workforce became standard. Without question, the pandemic exposed a gaping hole in today’s business continuity strategy – a lack of timely and relevant risk intelligence. Enterprises have now recognized the need to accurately detect events that pose a threat to their business, and then have the capabilities in place to respond to those threats before they harm their greatest assets: people, places, and property.

Business continuity and duty of care are continuously evolving. 2021 will present even more complex challenges, like bringing a remote workforce back to the office, managing vaccine distribution and keeping ahead of additional unforeseen critical events amidst a new presidential administration. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the need to prepare for the unexpected.

As enterprises prioritize securing, protecting and managing a dispersed workforce and operations, they should think about security through a risk intelligence lens, implementing solutions that continuously monitor and filter data to identify critical events in key areas in order to maintain business continuity in the wake of another disaster. Furthermore, they must establish best practices for reaching specific employees and create a plan for communicating smaller-scale critical events to the wider enterprise.

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).

Speaker Spotlight


Beyond 2021: A New Era of Resiliency

Wednesday, March 31, 2021
3:00 p.m – 4:00 p.m. EST

Vanessa Vaughn Mathews, Asfalis Advisors
Tom Clark, USAA
Dan Bailey, Gateway First Bank
Colleen Herrmann, Amazon
Dan Newton, PNC Financial Services

We have been facing a radically different business environment with new challenges and norms for over a year. Our profession is now recognized as critical, having delivered solutions that have kept businesses operational and efficient during these challenging times. How do we sustain this new organization-wide focus on resiliency? What new challenges will we face beyond 2021? What is the best way for us to be prepared for what’s next? 

This session will be a lively, candid discussion with seasoned experts on the frontlines of managing risk and resiliency.

About Vanessa Vaughn Mathews
Vanessa Vaughn Mathews is the founder and chief resilience officer of Asfalis Advisors.

About Tom Clark
Tom Clark currently works for USAA in the Enterprise Operations Risk Management organization responsible for governance and oversight of USAA’s enterprise-wide threat analysis and risk assessment management practices, specifically focused on Business Continuation.

About Dan Bailey
Dan Bailey is the SVP, Operational Risk Management at Gateway First Bank.

About Colleen Herrmann
As Head of Corporate Business Continuity, Colleen is responsible for the strategic direction and tactical implementation of Amazon Corporate’s Global Business Continuity Program.  She manages engagements in all of Amazon’s regions in organizations as diverse as Global Real Estate and Facilities to Alexa Devices to Prime Video, to ensure we always deliver for our customers.  She is an expert risk manager and uses a risk focus to drive planning and response.

About Dan Newton
Dan Newton has 20+ years of risk management and disaster recovery experience with 14 years in the Financial Industry.


How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Our Industry & How Can You Prepare?

Thursday, April 1, 2021
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. EST

Regina Phelps, EMS Solutions Inc.

The COVID-19 pandemic was everything we had feared and prepared for many years. Those of us who wrote and developed pandemic plans were brought into the light during the heightened avian flu scare in the 2000’s culminating in the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Fortunately for the world, the 2009 pandemic was mild by all accounts. We had planned for something that could be just as bad as 1918, but fortunately, that didn’t happen. The world then fell back into a slumber and pandemic planning became a box to check on a compliance form but not a fully developed or robust plan. “After all, 2009 wasn’t that bad.” Fast forward to 2020 and the great coronavirus pandemic. It was all we dreaded and more.

Does the pandemic secure the positions of business continuity (BC) and crisis management (CM) or could we find ourselves in a compromised position? I hope for the later but I fear the former. Going forward all BC/CM professionals will need to know how to discuss and demonstrate the value we continue to bring to the organization. You know the old saying – out of sight, out of mind.

Topics covered:

  • As a profession, what has worked and what needs improvement with COVID-19?
  • As the pandemic winds down, how critical is BC/CM?
  • How do you define the value of BC/CM to your organization?
  • What are the top values that BC/CM brings to your organization?
  • Understand how to demonstrate BC/CM value to management

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 and speaking services to clients on five continents.

Speaker Spotlight


Leading for Resilience: New Challenges and Opportunities

Thursday, April 1, 2021
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

Eric McNulty, Harvard University
Dr. Steve B. Goldman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

In these unprecedented times, business continuity teams are being tested as never before. Leaders face multiple simultaneous threat scenarios, requiring that they keep themselves and their teams stronger, longer. Their effectiveness is dependent upon the ability to create a culture of resilience as much as on any specific skill set. In this interactive session, the presenters will draw from decades of experience and share pragmatic approaches to building organizational capacity and capability to successfully navigate turbulence: accurate anticipation, nimble pivots, and trust-based relationships.

Participants with a better understanding of how to lead and manage multi-dimensional incidents, leverage time and pacing to optimize preparedness and response, and engage disparate stakeholders in unified action.

About Eric McNulty
Eric McNulty writes and speaks on leading through crisis and change. He speaks to audiences globally about leading in fast moving, unpredictable circumstances. Eric is co-author of the book, You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When it Matters Most.

Speaker Spotlight

About Dr. Steve B. Goldman
Dr. Steven B. Goldman is an internationally recognized expert and consultant in Business Continuity, Crisis Management, Disaster Recovery, and Crisis Communications. He has 30+ years experience across many aspects of business continuity.