Change is Good at PPBI
By DEIDRICH E. TOWNE, Jr. MBCP, MBCI
Feedback is important to everyone and of course, statis- tics help us measure our success. Following the recent publication of the Winter DRJ, I received more feedback from readers on the PPBI article than I have ever experienced. I will tell you that some of it was solicited, and some of it
came from family who were grateful to have a happy ending. But
that was part of the plan. And why is that important to you and
to me and to PPBI? Well there are a litany of reasons, but in my
opinion, the feedback came from the lessons that were anecdotal
to the personalization of that story. And that feedback has come
around to offer each of us some reflection in how we manage the
change going on around us.
In the last year we have seen extreme weather, strikes, riots,
shortages, utility failures, cyber-crime, terrorism, and pandemic.
La Nina has produced some of the most dramatic weather phenomena the world over. The floods in Australia, the freezing
temperatures in the deep south of the U.S., and how about the
December and February storms in the northeast? These are really
unusual events. The most recent political changes in Egypt,
Tunisia, and several other Middle Eastern countries, changes that
will ripple and play cause and effect with social order, economies,
world security, and even perceptions. These, too, are very unusual,
and I would offer that statistics may validate this level of change
does not happen to every generation. The economic meltdown
of our banking, financial institutions and housing sectors, which
some had predicted, was for all of us personally impactful. Each
of these “changes” offers us exposure to challenges, responsibilities, and opportunity like never before. We all must stay involved.
I know many of you are aware of the mission, the dedication, and genuine passion for
our industry and profession of those who
support the work of PPBI. Recently we have
been working our way through some growth
in managing our strategic direction and putting some bounds around the tactical execution of that strategy. To that end the board
recognized the need for expertise in negotiating the PS-Prep landscape and leveraging the talents within
PPBI to support our private and public partnerships. The manifest for that expertise included an invitation to Lynnda Nelson to
join PPBI and the board of directors. Nelson is the president of
TheICOR and well known for her passion, understanding, and an
expertise in all things “PS-Prep.” She will probably laugh at this
representation and humbly deny the same, but she’s the real thing.
We think this will be good for our partners, PPBI, and TheICOR.
One of the suggestions that we have been bouncing around
is developing materials that would feed into a workshop venue
similar to the incident management offering PPBI has supported
50 DISASTER RECOVERY JOURNAL SPRING 2011 SPRING 2011
Charlie Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation, was the
most-recent recipient of the PPBI Best Practices award prior to a general
session at DRJ’s Spring World 2011. Stokes was presented the award by
Deidrich Towne and Ken Schroeder.
in the past. The interactive format we use in the workshop offers
what we see as one of the most useful networking opportunities
immersing participants in every aspect of the workshop. We are
interested in your thoughts and your immersion here, so let us
know what would provide you with the most benefit.
PPBI continues to invest in developing a more resilient society. We do this through a number of offerings that promote building partnerships that make a difference. Using video, workshops,
mock disaster exercises, the Web, and teleconferences, PPBI volunteers have tried to make that difference. To help us continue
our success, we are asking you to get involved in this dialogue.
We are asking you for more feedback on how we can help you
make that difference. We referenced feedback on lessons we
have learned at the beginning of this article; let us know what
your feedback is to the larger questions that stand in your way.
With your participation and advice we can navigate through the
changes and all become better prepared.
We at PPBI are looking forward to your response and participation. We answer all our messages and can be reached at ppbi@ppbi.
org or take a look at our website at www.ppbi.org and get involved!
Deidrich E. Towne, Jr. MBCP, MBCI, is a senior consultant, solution design at HP. Towne
has more than 40 years of experience in information technology committed to infrastructure management, business continuity planning, disaster recovery, and incident management in the areas of strategy, consulting, solution design, business process outsourcing,
project management, business impact analysis, high availability, business resilience,
exercise design, execution, and training. He has transitioned from the role of a business
and industry first responder to assist clients in assessing, designing, and implementing
recovery solutions for their data centers, networks and mission critical business processes.
In his role as the chairman of the board of directors at Private and Public Businesses, Inc.
(PPBI), he leads the all volunteer efforts of an organization with the mission to develop
and nurture partnerships in peacetime that will make a difference when incidents disrupt