Contingency Planners of Ohio

Participants Cite Team Format and Experiential Learning as Positive Elements

Founded in 1986, Contingency Planners of OHIO provides networking, learning, and career advancement opportunities for information security, disaster recovery, and business continuity professionals. It is dedicated to improving the preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery of businesses from disasters and emergencies that affect their organizations, customers, and communities.

According to Rod Keeley, CPO president, the group felt that Attainium’s Disaster Experience interactive training would be a good fit for its 20th-anniversary conference program. “The program was identified to me as a high quality, professional, tabletop exercise. It was a great opportunity for us to put ourselves in a situation and work through contingency plans.”

Jody Davis-Curless, a business continuity manager for LexisNexis in Ohio, “had no particular expectations of the program. The main surprise about it was the format,” she said. “Most of what I’ve experienced has been mass exercises, but this one was done in smaller groups that were able to focus more on the issues rather than on the mechanics of the exercise.

“Sharing experiences was very effective, and we had to communicate effectively with each other to discuss how we would handle this or that situation as it came up,” Davis-Curless said. “The way the scenario was presented also was very effective; Attainium used unique ways to get your attention as new events unfolded.”

“The format of the tabletop was very effective,” agreed Alice Kaltenmark, also a business continuity manager at LexisNexis. “The fact that people worked in small groups helped things flow better, allowed better use of time, and let teams work at their own pace. We all learned from each other’s past experiences as worked to solve the problems presented.”

Kaltenmark liked the way the scenario unfolded and was managed, getting the same message to everyone at the same time without a lot of lecturing or reading at the beginning. “It was controlled but not overbearing,” she said, “and it showed that you don’t have to have an overly complicated scenario and process to be effective. It was simple in architecture but very effective.”

“It was a great session – the best tabletop we’ve had yet,” Keeley said. “It was a definite benefit to the conference and everyone loved it. It was highly rated by all participants.

“I was pleasantly surprised at how many people participated in the program,” he said, “particularly since many of them had to travel in early to do the exercise. The session was identified as the most valuable session of the conference by many participants.

“Attainium was easy to work with,” Keeley said. “They were incredibly prepared and professional. As chair for the conference, I was pleased to say we partnered with them and I recommend them highly. I would encourage anyone who wants to benefit from such a session to use Attainium’s Disaster Experience.”

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