Dateline: San Antonio, Texas – 16 and 17 January 2010

Byline: Don Byrne, CBCP, CDCP, CBRO-M, Lead Auditor, Adjunct Professor, Boston University

The rain and cool temperatures of San Antonio, Texas, did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the newly elected slate of chapter officers and national board members of the Association of Contingency Planners (ACP). A group of about 50 ACP leaders met in the home town of the Alamo to discuss the future and fate of the largest professional group of contingency planners and emergency management professionals in world. Numbering about 3,000 members in 42 chapters across North America, this annual meeting of the leadership attracted a representative mix of members from across the continent.

Much of the group’s time was spent discussing ways to increase ACP’s visibility and impact on topics of national interest such as the PS-Prep program, educational community outreach initiatives, and ways to promote professional development among the members.

Newly appointed president Mike Thomson of ImpactWeather challenged the group to find new and better ways of being “relevant and engaged.” Describing the organization as the “largest unknown group of contingency professionals in the world,” he urged the chapter leaders to focus on building partnerships with other organizations and strengthening their ties with the local business community.

A key area of focus for the meeting was the PS-Prep program which was described as “the most significant bit of legislation to impact the contingency planning and emergency management industry in over thirty years.” Sensitive to the importance of this and other aspects of preparedness planning the association is currently developing plans to make knowledgeable speakers available to businesses and civic organizations on a variety of resiliency planning topics.

The meeting ended with all members feeling reinvigorated and purposeful having developed practical plans that will benefit their chapters, their businesses and their community.

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