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DRI Young Leaders in Resilience: A Letter from the Chair and a Night in NYC!

September 5, 2018 Leave a comment DRI Admin

Hello Young Leaders in Resilience –

I am excited and honored to kick off our first Young Leaders in Resilience (YLR) newsletter. My name is Amber Elias and I am your Committee Chair. Today I’d like to tell you about the YLR Committee as well as a bit about myself.

The YLR Committee aims to serve as a forum to connect students and professionals early in their careers with relevant content and access to a network that will help you begin or grow your career in business continuity, risk management, and related disciplines. The Committee is affiliated with DRI International, supporting relationships amongst its practitioners and other DRI groups. This is accomplished by hosting programs, tours of facilities, networking happy hours, and community volunteer events. Both young professionals and supporters established in their careers are welcome to participate. We encourage you to define what “young” means to you.

The Committee and I would like to grow the YLR network and this year we are focusing on two initiatives. First, is this newsletter. We hope to keep you connected to each other, share hot topics and what other YLR group activities are happening. Second, is to make connections. I’ve personally relied on my network for support and advice throughout my career and we hope that you can also meet some new people and start that same journey. 2018 is all about raising awareness and getting Young Leaders excited and interested in the resilience space!

We encourage you to help us get this initiative started!  Whether you are starting your career, switching careers, feel like a newbie or are just young at heart, we want to hear from you!

We are looking for:

  • Volunteers to help plan events (we will give you the tools to network in your own city, who doesn’t love talking about a crisis over happy hour!?!?).
  • Folks interested in contributing to this newsletter, we would love to hear your story, a challenge you solved, a career path that is unique, and much much more!
  • Ideas on how we can grow the YLR network to make this a fun and useful space for you.

As a mini bio, I’ve worked in resilience for my entire career with the catalyst being Hurricane Katrina. I was drawn to disaster response after Lake Pontchartrain flooded my apartment. My career has taken many twists and turns since; working in the financial industry, consulting, legal industry and now the tech world. I currently head up Enterprise Resilience Operations at Splunk. Granted, life isn’t all about work. I’m an avid reader, runner (my last race was in Cuba), wino and lover of board games.

As we are trying to gain momentum, the New York Chapter had an event earlier this year…


A Night in New York: I’m So Prepared #SaidNoOneEver

In our first event of 2018, the New York chapter of DRI’s Young Leaders in Resilience Committee was honored to host two fantastic speakers for a discussion on resilience and engagement. Hosted by HBO at their midtown headquarters, the discussion was followed by a brief networking happy hour nearby.

Our first speaker was Allison Pennisi, Director of Communications for NYC Emergency Management. Allison educated us on all the ways that the city of New York works to engage its population in discussions about resilience. With everything from a notification app to a custom superhero, Allison showed us how the city creates and promotes resources that will appeal to its residents. Before leaving, she had us all download NotifyNYC, the emergency notification app for mobile, and I can now report that there isn’t a silver alert or train suspension that has escaped my notice since.

Next up we had Elizabeth Watkins, Doctoral Candidate at Columbia University who gave a riveting presentation titled “Transparency, Storytelling, Consistency and Expertise: Nudging Humans towards Security Compliance.” Elizabeth’s case study followed journalists that worked on the Panama Papers story and the steps that they took to protect their sources and information. She breaks down the steps that they took successfully get team members comply with their security protocol. Elizabeth’s presentation can also be found in the resource library at

Thank you to everyone who braved the beginnings of Winter Storm Toby to join us for the event. It wouldn’t have been possible without all of you and the dedicated members of our New York committee: Ryan Hagen, Kathryn Howard, Alex Resnick and Matthew Ricci.

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