It is my distinct honor and pleasure to report to you today about the activities, events and accomplishments of the MidAmerica Contingency Planning Forum (MCPF) during the just-concluded year and our strategy for 2018. As always, our members are guided in what we do by the MCPF’s purpose, as defined in its By-laws:
“To facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information regarding all aspects of contingency planning in both the private and public sectors, including business interruption avoidance and business resumption planning, contingency operations, business continuity and disaster recovery planning.”
Memberships have privileges and that is certainly true of being a member of the MCPF. Yet as I think about my 2 years as a member, and 2 years on the board I realize that it is an “active membership that has its privileges”. The opportunity for professional development is certainly one of the privileges. However, there is so much more, the opportunity to meet people across the Midwest from the private & public sectors with roles & responsibilities that are pivotal to our individual and organizational successes. To benefit from these opportunities, you have to take an active part… Not only be a member, but an active member; one that gets involved in order to get the most that one can. This is something the state board has been working on for several years; how to increase the membership. Thanks to all of you that have seen the need to join the MCPF and have caused us to make this giant step in building our membership. 2017 was a great year for the MCPF, but there is room for improvement and we are on the verge of change to support an increase in membership and to increase the value to our members.
I would like to take a moment to highlight some successes we had in 2017:
Presentation and discussion on “The Effect of Degraded Branch & Remote Operations on Business Continuity.” Guest speaker provided yielded nearly 20+ years IT/DR-related experience.
Training opportunity provided by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC). Training highlighted the public safety partnership between local, state, and federal agencies and the private sector in an effort to collect, evaluate, analyze, and disseminate information and intelligence to the agencies tasked with Homeland Security responsibilities in a timely, effective, and secure manner.
Presentation and discussion on “St. Louis Area Earthquake & Liquefaction Hazards.” Provided by guest speakers from the Center for Earthquake Research & Information (CERI), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and AB Consulting.
Roundtable (World Café Style) - Developing a Culture of BCP, Defining Data Reporting, Developing Relevant Exercises, and Defining Preparedness.
Presentation and mini-exercise on “Risk Forecasting.” Provided by Michael Keating (RGA Group of America VP, Business Continuity).
Presentation and discussion on “Floods, Flood Aggravation, and Understated Risk in the St. Louis Region.” Provided by guest speaker, Washington University Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Dr. Robert E. Criss.
Presentation and discussion on “Incident Command System (ICS).” Provided by guest speak, Washington University Program Manager of Business Continuity, Brandon Robbins.
2nd Annual Tabletop Exercise (TTx) at St. Louis County Emergency Operation Center (EOC). TTx included private and public sector participants and was based on a cybersecurity attack against a fictional organization, which required a unified cross-functional response and recovery effort by all participants.
3 MCPF members (David Reddick, Jim Sharp, and Brandon Robbins) were hand-selected to present at the American Red Cross Preparedness Academy and another MCPF member (Sherry Apel) was selected for the Red Cross Community Preparedness & Resiliency Award.
It is a sad necessity, but we must take a few moments to think about our members who may be ill or hospitalized or, even sadder, are no longer with us. I especially wish to mention Paul R. Thomas, Jr., who played an instrumental role in MCPF’s initiation in participation within Local and State EOC activations as Essential Support Function (ESF) 16 – Business & Industry.
Early in this Report, we highlighted some of our successes and I would like to take time to thank all MCPF Board members for all their hard work and continued commitment to the MCPF. As members of the Board, these individuals are “in charge” of the MCPF, while also completing the specific responsibilities of their official positions; helping to plan and organize all of the MCPF’s activities and events; and respectfully and efficiently maintain the functioning of this venerable organization. Let us recognize, honor and thank them one more time:
Officers: Steve Seton (outgoing President, President Emeritus); Sherry Apel (Program Director); Jim Sharp (Communications Director); Marc Stephenson (Treasurer); Brandon Robbins (Membership Director); Lisa Carroll (Secretary); Shawnee McDonough (outgoing President Emeritus)
2018 will yield several important improvement objectives, which will include updating our MCPF web-site and LinkedIn page in an effort to generate discussion and keep members informed of internal/external training, certification, and conference opportunities. Another important improvement will be refining our coordination and integration efforts with key public/private stakeholders at the local, state, and national-level. Individual members have an opportunity to assist with improvement as well, by:
Help us promote MCPF membership to peers.
Support our efforts by at least providing one representative from your organization, per event.
I cannot thank you all enough for your help and support, and most of all, for continuing to participate and be involved with this nearly 25-year-old non-profit organization. Thank you again, and best wishes always!
Michael J. Schormann, CEM, MBCP