In a recent announcement, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has moved to develop a robust small business preparedness plan and along with that effort, Don Byrne, a frequent and major contributing writer to this website, has organized a webinar entitled, “PS-Prep and Small Business: Examining the Issues”. 

The objective of the webinar is to develop a dialogue which will focus our reader’s attention on this important topic and the challenges many small businesses face as they consider, debate and eventually make the decision to prepare their organization for PS-Prep.

The staff of this website very much supports a recent statement made by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano when she stated, “Ensuring that America’s small businesses have the critical information and training they need to better respond to disasters will strengthen the entire nation’s preparedness and resilience”, and, we encourage our readers to attend this webinar. 

This webinar will be held on Monday, October 11th from 11:00 am to 11:30 am EST. 

If applicable, we encourage you to pass this information along to those PS-Prep, business continuity or risk management team members in your organization. 

To register for this webinar please CLICK HERE.

This webinar will have the following panel members to address questions and add further insights into this topic:

Mike Thomson

Mike Thomson heads ImpactWeather’s business continuity program and is Chairman/CEO of the national Association of Contingency Planners (ACP) and President of the South Texas Chapter ( ).

As a seasoned 30-year veteran in the crisis management field, Mike managed successful corporate responses to 9/11, the Northeast power outage, the postal anthrax threat and Hurricane Isabel, Ike and Dolly.  A former head of business continuity at a Top 100 law firm, he has managed the consulting teams helping to build the business continuity programs at several Fortune 500 corporations including Sysco, Devon Energy and Newfield Exploration.

A retired colonel, 28-year US Air Force veteran and member of the Energy Security Council (ESC), Mike also serves on ACP’s national committee on US business preparedness standards and practices.

Mike joined ImactWeather in 2009 to create its ImpactReady division.   This business unit, under his direction, helps clients integrate ImpactWeather services and products into their contingency planning, emergency response and crisis management efforts. ( )

William G. Raisch

William G. Raisch is the founding Director of the International Center for Enterprise Preparedness (InterCEP) at New York University established with initial funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as the world’s first academic research center dedicated to private sector risk management and resilience. 

His work at InterCEP focuses on real world impact with an emphasis on the development of actionable strategies and policies through active collaboration with key private sector stakeholders and a holistic approach to risk management and resilience. The Center’s research activity focuses on achieving objectives in uncertain environments with insights from the areas of risk management, strategic planning and innovation.  Special emphasis is placed on the “what” and “why” of enterprise risk management and resilience.

Mr. Raisch is actively engaged with the international business community as well as elements of various national governments and NGO’s globally.  Mr. Raisch served as private sector preparedness advisor to the U.S. Federal 9-11 Commission and assisted in developing the Commission’s recommendations on private sector emergency preparedness.  He has over 30 years of experience in the private sector spanning roles in both private and public corporations.   His background includes roles in management consulting that spanned a diversity of industries, leading strategic planning for Smith Barney International and managing several start-up efforts addressing new business innovations and technologies.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a Principal Member of the Technical Committee on Disaster/Emergency Management & Business Continuity (NFPA 1600) and a member to the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the ISO Technical Committee on Societal Security. He serves on the advisory Committee of Experts for ANAB – the accrediting body for the voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Program (PS-Prep).  He also serves as the emergency manager for his home town, the Village of Asharoken, New York.        

Mr. Raisch received his B.A. (Government & Economics) and M.B.A. from Cornell University. 

Donald Byrne, CBCP, CDCP, CBRO-M, Lead Auditor, Adjunct Professor, Boston University 

The former CEO of several companies, Don Byrne brings an executive perspective to resiliency planning.  Don’s expertise includes all types of technology, dealing with operational challenges, and strategic planning.  He is on the Board of Directors of several companies and professional organizations.  His experience includes working with government agencies and firms in legal, insurance, manufacturing, maritime, energy and supply chain fields, as well as, cultural institutions, non-profits and data centers.  Don is an Adjunct Professor at Boston University where teaches graduate programs in business continuity, risk and security.

A sought-after speaker at conferences, Don serves as a Director of several professional societies. Currently, he is the Association of Contingency Planners representative to the ANSI National Accreditation Board’s Committee of Experts (ANAB-COE). Working under a contract with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this group is charged with developing national standards and practices for the United States in the area of Business Continuity Management and advising the government on the PS-Prep program. Don is also a member of the core technical committee working with the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS International) on a forthcoming international (ISO) standard in the area of business continuity. 

A Lead Auditor, Don is the Program Manager for Business Continuity at one of the largest certification firms in the U.S.  He has participated in sanctioned audits of international standard BS 25999 in both the US and Asia. Don is working with other interested parties and organizations to develop a small business continuity standard, a community resiliency benchmark tool, and personal preparedness guidelines. 

A graduate of the U.S. Army Chemical and Biological Warfare School, Don has spent much of the past thirty years working in the fields of computer development, emergency management, business continuity, and operational resiliency. His technical expertise includes storage technologies, customer relationship management, document management, and workflow solutions. He has been the CEO of several successful firms involved in the development of risk management software and is active in the emerging area of electronic discovery (e-Discovery). 

An entrepreneur and former venture capitalist, he has helped launch several technology firms. Don is the founder and Managing Director of North River Solutions (NRS), a consulting, and research firm; and is CEO of Metrix411, a software company specializing in assessments and business benchmarking. Both these companies maintain a worldwide presence with offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and China. North River Solutions offers a full range of business and resiliency planning services including strategy development, pre-audit assessments, crisis management, risk assessments, business impact analysis, education and awareness programs, executive communications training, and plan testing and evaluation. 

NRS has teamed with several insurance firms and leading educational organizations to develop specialized programs for various government, private sector, and non-profit institutions. Working with others, the firm has developed the Resiliency-1 Index, a benchmarking tool that assesses an organization’s level of preparedness across twelve operational areas. Similar assessment tools covering various ISO standards as well as supply chain concerns and the threat from natural hazards are in active development and will shortly be available from Metrix411. 

Don holds degrees in mathematics and philosophy, has a Masters in International Marketing, and has earned professional certifications in the areas of business continuity planning (CBCP) and data center operations (CDCP). He is an ISO Lead Auditor and a contributing writer for the Domestic Preparedness Journal and the NEWS website .

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