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DRI Board Spotlight: Michele Turner

September 17, 2020 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The boards of DRI International and the DRI Foundation are comprised of some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable professionals in business continuity and resilience, working together to make DRI an indispensable, inclusive, and diverse organization. In this ongoing series of interviews with the board members, you’ll learn more about them and why they’re passionate about the resilience community. We’ll be featuring two board members in upcoming issues of Drive.

Michele Turner, MBCP
Michele L. Turner, MBCP, FBCI, CISA, CRISC, GRCP, has 25+ years’ experience in the areas of governance, risk, and compliance, with a Master’s of Science degree in Business Continuity from Norwich University. She is the Head of Global Business Resiliency for Amazon.

How did you first come into the BCM/resilience field?
One of my co-workers at a major financial institution was going on maternity leave. I was conducting background investigations, and was asked to help out with the business recovery process while she was away, by color coding vendor, BC team roles and responsibilities, and related items in the plan. They provided me with a limited task list, however, I began to see opportunities to do more in terms of recommendations on aligning recovery options and actions. I had so many “recommendations” :), that when the employee decided not to return, they handed the program over to me.

Why did you accept a position on the DRI Board?
I knew the minute that I entered the BC space that this was something that I’d like to not only be involved in from an immediate functional perspective, but for the long term broad perspective. Over the course of my nearly 30 years in the industry, I have been able to be engaged in influencing how things are done at organizational level, at the community level, and the subject area level in terms of professional practice and certification update. The opportunity to have a seat, and a voice at the table to offer thought leadership to the world as a whole, is truly a blessing.

What is your proudest moment or most valuable contribution as a DRI board member?
Since I haven’t been a Board member for too long, I’m going to focus more on my proudest moment as a BC and Resilience professional, engaging on behalf of DRI. The Veterans Outreach Program (VOP) is a program designed to assist veterans as they transition into corporate professions of emergency response, crisis management, business continuity, and disaster recovery. I had the honor of conducting the pilot program for this initiative, with 10 individuals, for one week, at the previous RP6 facility in Lake Wood, WA. This org, now a part of the USO, focused on connecting transitioning troops and their spouses with resources to assist them in tackling life in the civilian world.

Being able to give back to those that gave so much was amazing. The VOP has now gone on to provide even greater support to 100s of individuals, and their families. Seeing this evolution has been wonderful.

What new responsibilities or skill sets do you think resilience professionals should take on?
There are connection points with core components within the organization, cybersecurity being an example. Drilling down in this area will not only open up an increased understanding of potential exposure points, but also potential opportunities to leverage tactics to drive more streamlined approaches to mitigation if necessary.

What words of wisdom do you have for resilience professionals?
COVID has brought additional focus to this space, underscoring the need for understanding operational requirements, dependencies, and opportunities to strengthen employee health and safety efforts. This is great visibility, however, don’t let BC just be the buzzword of the day. Your role is critical. Continue to communicate the value not just in relation to COVID-19, which may be seen as an immediate project, but share the value of the BC program in continuing to support the implementation of the organizations strategy. Identify and apply BC steps for the day, but continue to enhance that framework through lessons learned, which will form the necessary steps for tomorrow and beyond.

What’s one interesting or unique thing that we should know about you?
The most interesting thing that I am proud of is being a grandma to extremely intelligent grandsons –  DeMari (4 years old), and Isaiah (11 months old). They haven’t yet taken the ABCP certification exam, but I’m dropping hints here and there!